I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long! I’m back, hopefully with enough energy to continue this for good. (You can always track my progress at Thrilled to Death: Paul Pavao’s Leukemia Blog.)
This Week’s Reading Schedule
Today’s Bible Reading is Deuteronomy 19-22
Tuesday, Mar. 13: Deuteronomy 23-26
Wednesday, Mar. 14: Deuteronomy 27-30
Thursday, Mar. 15: Deuteronomy 31-34
Friday, Mar. 16: Psalm 1-5
The overall year’s plan is here.
Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 19-22
Today’s reading can give us a sense of God’s fairness, if we keep in mind the context of the culture of the ancient Middle East. There are things we’ll read today and tomorrow that seem shocking to us in modern times, but the ancient Middle East was a much different culture than ours.
This applies especially to the war passages. Not fighting and winning wars meant that your enemies would come fight you, kill your men, and abduct your families.
Whatever we think of that, Israel was a part of and new to that world. They were God’s earthly nation, and they fought earthly wars.
Let us remember, though, that the church of Jesus Christ is part of a heavenly nation, and as a result it does not fight earthly wars the way Israel did (Jn. 18:36).
I just want to point out Deut. 20:1-9 as an interesting approach to providing an army for Israel. At this point in their history, Israel had no professional soldiers, so the warriors were all the men of Israel. This chapter describes how they were chosen and how they were to fight.
Verses 18-20 of this chapter always stands out to me. Righteousness was taken seriously, and a rebellious youth that couldn’t be controlled was simply put to death.
For the same reason, rebellious members of the church are not to be allowed to stay in the church. The "loaf" must not be leavened, and so wicked members are to be put out (1 Cor. 5).
Deuteronomy 21:22-23: Cursed Is He Who Hangs Upon a Tree
This passage could easily be missed, but it is an important part of prophecy and the work of Christ. Jesus died upon a cross, of course, but because it was made of wood, he is said to have died upon a tree. Thus, according to this passage, he was cursed.
God left nothing that was not taken care of. In bringing the Law to fullness, he also took care of the curse on the Law. This is quoted and discussed in Galatians 3, and we’ll discuss that more when we get to Galatians.
Deuteronomy 22 (Mature)
This is another chapter that must be read in context of the ancient Middle East. It is definitely a parental guidance chapter.