This Week’s Reading Schedule
Tuesday’s (today’s) Bible Reading is 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.
Deuteronomy 23 (Mature)
The Law gets down to some details that I am not going to discuss.
Other details in this chapter are quite interesting, including the fact that the Israelites were not to charge interest to each other. Between that practice and the years of Jubilee it ensured that Israel could not have a debt problem.
Deuteronomy 24: Law of Divorce
Deuteronomy 24 begins with Israel’s law of divorce. Jesus has things to say about God’s real feelings about divorce in Matthew 19:3-12.
Deuteronomy 24: Respect
I find a lot of the laws in Deut. 24 have to do with respect. The chapter does mention being careful about leprosy. You don’t want something to begin and then spread, but the rest of the chapter shows the immense respect that the Israelites should have for one another.
Deuteronomy 25: The Judges
It is the judges who get to decree punishments in Israel. When the Law mentions "a tooth for a tooth," that is not a punishment that individuals can dish out. That is dished out by the judges.
Deuteronomy 25:4: Don’t Muzzle the Ox
This law, easy to skip over, is used by Paul to provide insight into how God sees the Law in 1 Cor. 9:8-14.
Deuteronomy 26: The Tithe
I missed out discussing the tithe in Deuteronomy 14, but as you can see in that chapter and this one, the tithe was not a batch of money used to support the temple. There were other taxes, such as the redemption of the firstborn and sacrifices, that supported the temple and priests.
The tithe was shared with all the needy of the town, usually at the feasts (see Deut. 14).
The community, mutual respect, and unity of Israel was important. The feasts, where the tithes were eaten and shared among the Israelites from each city, was a time of bringing the Israelites together.
This is going to be controversial to say, but tithing is simply not a New Testament principle. You will never find it mentioned in any of the letters to the churches, nor discussed in the early Christian writings.
In fact, history will show that tithing was reinstated in France under Pepin the Short to help support the monks in the 8th century.