Let’s turn to Deuteronomy, chapter nineteen, as we continue our study through the bible.
In the nineteenth chapter the first thing that Moses is dealing with is, when they come into the land, and they possess the land that God is giving to them, the establishing of these three cities of refuge, that were to be a sanctuary for the person who accidentally killed someone else. In that culture, and still today, in the Bedouin culture of the Middle East, if someone kills one of your family members, you become honor bound to kill them. I mean it’s your duty. You’re honor bound to do it, to avenge the blood of the family member that was slain. Now, because this was a culture, and the customs of the people, injustices were wrought, because often times if you killed someone, it was by accident.
Moses gives an example here, of what we would call manslaughter. You’re going out into the woods with your friend to cut down some trees, and as you’re swinging your axe, the axe head flies off, and hits the guy and it kills him. Now he was your friend. You didn’t intend to kill him. It wasn’t with malice, it wasn’t something premeditated, it was just a pure accident. So in order that you might be protected from vengeance by the family member, of that other person, within the center of the land, more or less, that is in centralized locations there were to be established these cities of refuge, where you could flee and be protected within the gates of that city. So that the avenger of blood could not pursue you within the city, to take vengeance upon you for the accidental killing of the member of his family.
These cities were to be strategically located so that you could get there quickly. Also, the roads to these cities were to be well maintained and well marked. At each crossroad, there was the sign, “Refuge, Refuge”, with the arrow pointing towards the direction you wanted to go to get to that city of refuge. It was a protection so that a person who was guilty of manslaughter would not be slain because, that would then be the shedding of innocent blood, because there was no premeditation or malice involved in the death of the other person.
Now, on the side of the Jordan, where they had already established, there were already three cities of refuge over there. Now when they move into the land, and you take further territory. Now Moses then also said, “If you do expand even further your territory”, you remember that God promised to give to Abraham, all the territory from the Nile river to the Euphrates. They never did take all of the land that God had promised. “Now should it be that you obey the Lord and God blesses you, and your territory expands”, then with the expansion of the territory, was to be the expansion of the number of the cities of refuge, so that there would always be a place of refuge within reach.
Of course, people see within the city of refuge a beautiful type of Jesus Christ, where we have fled for refuge. Where we are safe. A person who fled to a city of refuge, would be safe, as long as he remained in that city of refuge, and so people see that as a type of Jesus Christ, where we, for refuge have fled.
Now, if a person was guilty of first degree murder, there was premeditation, he was lying in wait to ambush him, hatred and malice were involved, then there was no refuge for that person, even in the city of refuge. When the avenger of blood came to the city, the elders of the city of refuge would have to turn over such a man, to the avenger of blood, that he might be slain. No place of refuge for that presumptuous kind of sin.
A man who hates his neighbor, lies in wait, rises against him and strikes him mortally so that he dies, no place of refuge for him. Your eyes shall not pity him, [verse thirteen] for you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it might go well with you (19:11-13).
The purpose of justice is the preservation of your society, that it might go well with you.
Next Moses deals very briefly with the removing of your neighbor’s landmark, which men of old had set. Now when they came into the land, the land was first of all to be divided to the tribes. Then, that portion that was given unto the tribe, was to be divided to the families within the tribe, so that each family received their portion of land. They would set up these rock markers, and even to the present day, over in the land, you can see these little rock markers. They don’t have you know, modern surveying methods, and they don’t drive down these stakes you know, and put the little marker on it, the surveyor’s marker. They don’t do that. What they do is just put up a pile of stones, and that stone pile is the marker of the boundary of the land. That becomes a very sacred thing. You’re not to move those stones, you know, go out at night and move it over a foot or a yard or so, to expand your yard into your neighbor’s yard. They were held very sacred, the markers for the property boundaries. So the law against the moving of your neighbor’s landmark, which had been set.
Then the law concerning witnesses. You could not invoke capital punishment against a person in the mouth of one witness. You had to have at least two or three witnesses to establish the veracity, or the truth of the matter.
And if a man should rise up and bear false witness against another man, testifying that he did something wrong (19:16).
And there develops this argument, the guy says, “No I’m innocent!”, he said, “No, I saw him do it, I saw him do it!”, and he is testifying falsely against the man, there is to be a very serious examination of the facts by the priest. If it is found that you’re just trying to get me in trouble, you’re angry with me, and you’re trying to get me thrown in jail, or you’re trying to get me stoned, the penalty for what you’re accusing me of, will be given to you. Because you were bearing false witness against me, and trying to get me to be punished some way. The very punishment that would be meted out, were I guilty, is meted out upon you, because you have born false witness against me. Now, verse twenty, it declares that…
That person who does that is to be put away, the evil person from among you, that those who remain shall hear, and fear, and hereafter they shall not commit such evil among you (19:20).
The purpose of the severity of the penalties, were intended as a deterrent to crime. Now our social scientists today say that severe penalties are not deterrents to crime. But that’s all hypothetical speculation on the part of the social scientists. They don’t have any proof to that, in fact, proof seems to be otherwise.
Big flap last week, because a couple of men were hanged in Malaysia, who were caught with drugs. But I noticed, that in the British papers, and they were quite into that because one of them had joint British and Australian citizenship. So, and you know some of those British tabloids, they have headlines that are half the size of the front page. They made a big deal of the hanging of these two men, on drug charges in Malaysia. But I noticed that the paper said, that this will surely serve notice to anyone who is carrying drugs, to steer far from Malaysia. Because even Margaret Thatcher, made a plea to the government over there, to commute the sentences and so forth, and for leniency. But they showed no leniency, they went ahead and hanged these two fellows, in spite of all of the hullabaloo that was raised up over the whole thing. But it makes you think twice before you, when you book your routing on your airlines, if you’re carrying drugs in your suitcase. Then you think twice before you go through Malaysia, because you know that these people mean business, when they say that they don’t want any drug trafficking in their country. These two fellows, are only two of many. The only reason that there was so much press about it, is because one did have joint Australian, British citizenship. But some thirty two have been hanged in the last couple of years in Malaysia, over drug charges. And word gets out, “Hey, steer clear of Malaysia!”
Of course it’s even more so in Singapore. There, they don’t even spend two years trying you in court. If you’re caught with drugs, the policeman takes his forty five and blows your head off. So Singapore has absolutely no drug problem. It is a deterrent, and these social sobsisters, who are constantly calling for a greater leniency, and the resocialization, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, declaring that the severe penalties really don’t have a deterrent against crime. They’re wrong. The bible declares that it does. “Those that remain shall hear, and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you.” All you have to do is start invoking the penalties of the law, and you’ll find that people will think twice, before they commit a crime.
Your eye [he said] shall not pity; [you’re not to get soft] but a life shall be for life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, and a foot for a foot (19:21).
Now, you say, Jesus said, “You heard it hath been said of those of old times, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, but I say unto you”. Now, Jesus, note that it hath been said. At the time when Jesus was teaching, the people, except for the scholars, did not know the Hebrew language, and thus they could not read their own scriptures. They were dependent upon the scribes to teach them the law of God. As the scribes taught the law of God, there was a lot of interpretation of the law.
Jesus was constantly coming out against the way they interpreted the law. Showing the inconsistencies in their interpretations. Now as they interpreted this law, “An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth…”, and so forth, they had interpreted it as a mandatory obligation in a personal way. People liked that interpretation, because people like revenge. There’s something within me, an evil perversity of my nature, that I love to get even, and I like that idea of an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. I mean it appeals to my perverse nature. But reading in context, it’s not something that is to be enacted by me on a personal basis. But it is the judgement in the hands of the judges, and how they are to deal with the situation, and it doesn’t really apply to me taking personal vengeance against another person. That’s the way it had been interpreted to them, and that’s why Jesus said, “You’ve heard that it hath been said…”. You know someone blackens your eye, black his eye, breaks your nose, break his nose, knocks out a tooth, knock out his tooth. You know, personal revenge. No. That’s not what the law said. The law is saying how the judges are to deal with the matters. It isn’t a matter of personal vengeance, as it had been interpreted. That’s the difference, when you get into the new testament, what Jesus was talking about.
Now, chapter twenty deals with the laws concerning warfare.
When you go out against your enemies, you see their horses, and their chariots, and you realize you’re outnumbered, [What are you gonna do?] remember who’s with you, [When you’re faced with a situation that’s bigger than you, when you realize that you personally can’t cope. Then what you need to do is turn to one that is greater than you, and stronger than you, and realize that He is with you to help you.] so do not be afraid of them: for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt (20:1).
How important, how important that we remember and that we constantly realize that, “Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world”. When David came out against the Philistine giant, and he was disturbed that they would send out a child against him, “Don’t you have any men? Am I a dog, you’d send this little kid out here to fight me?”. Turning to David, he sought to intimidate him, “Little boy you better go home right now, or I’ll cut you up and feed you to the birds!” David responded, “You’ve come at me with a sword and a spear, but I come against you in the name of the living God, that you have defied”. David knew who was with him. David had no fear, he knew that God, who had delivered them out of Egypt, was with him in the battle against the giant. When you go into battle, when you’re faced with a situation, you’re outnumbered. You realize you can’t do it yourself, remember the Lord is with you. Don’t be afraid. The Lord is with you.
Now when you come to the verge of the battle, the priest is to go out and speak to the army (20:2).
Now, the priest evidently went to battle with them. In fact, in the time of David the priest was with them, and they would enquire of the priest, “Shall we attack now? From which direction shall we attack?”, and the Lord would actually direct their battle plans! “But when you’re on the verge of the battle, the priest is to go out,”…
And he is to say, [First of all, words of encouragement.] now don’t let your heart be faint, don’t tremble, or be terrified because of the enemies; For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to save you (20:3-4).
So, the priest was to give them, a little word of encouragement, reminding them that God was with them. And then, “Any of you fellows built a new house, haven’t moved in yet? Go on home.” See in the battle, you might be thinking about that new house. “Man, I’ve gotta finish the kitchen”, and you’re not really concentrating on the battle. So those that built a new house, hadn’t moved in, they could go home.
Have you planted a vineyard, and you haven’t eaten thereof yet? [“You know, you’ve gone to all the trouble. You’ve planted the vineyard and everything else, but yet you haven’t yet gathered any fruit from it. Go on home.”] Are you betrothed to a wife but you’re not married yet? [You’re engaged, but not married] Go on home (20:6-7).
That betrothed and yet not married is interesting, because that was the situation you remember, of Mary and Joseph. She espoused to Joseph, when she became pregnant, by the work of the Holy Spirit, so that this betrothal, or espousal period, as we will get into the next chapter, couple chapters, it’s equivalent scripturally to being married. In fact, if you were engaged under those terms, in that culture, you would have to get a divorce, even though you weren’t yet married. You had to get a divorce even from this business of betrothal, or espousal.
Of course it used to be that we were a little more severe, even in this country. You could sue for breach of promise. They don’t do that anymore. You know you can ask a dozen gals to marry you, and get the promises and so forth, but there’s no more suit for breach of promise, as far as, “He promised he was going to marry me”, or “She promised she was gonna marry me”. But in that culture, they took the engagement much more seriously, and you were considered married, even though the marriage was not yet consummated.
So, you’re betrothed from a woman, you’ve not yet married her, you’re dismissed from battle. Having gotten rid of those people whose minds would probably be on other things, rather than the battle itself, the priest next said…
Who is fearful and fainthearted? Go on home (20:8).
Now the reason for that is that being fearful, they might panic in the midst of the battle, and create fear among the other troops. Fear is a contagious thing. So, lest they panic in the midst of the battle, they were sent home, those who were afraid to go into the battle. You remember when Gideon gathered together his army to face the Midianites. There were some thirty two thousand that responded to Gideon’s call. So he. The Lord said to Gideon, “The men that are with you are too many”, even though the Midianites had a hundred and thirty five thousand. “I know the hearts of these people, if I deliver the Midianites into their hands, they’ll go around glorying of what they have done, so go out and tell all of those who are afraid to fight to go home.” Gideon’s thirty two thousand diminished immediately down to ten thousand. So of the thirty two thousand, twenty two thousand were afraid. I don’t blame them, they were out numbered pretty thoroughly even at that point. But, the priest was to say, “If you’re afraid, if you’re fainthearted, go ahead and leave”. After you’ve gotten the thing thinned down,
Now appoint the captains to lead you into battle. Now when you come near a city to fight against it, first of all, offer that city peace. [That is to surrender] And if they surrender, then they become your slaves, you take tribute from them. If they don’t surrender, then you lay siege against the city: And when God delivers the city in your hand, you’re to kill all of the males. But save the women, alive and their little children, and the livestock, and that becomes your spoil and your plunder (20:9-14).
That was true of the cities that were outside of their boundaries, but those cities that they were to conquer within the land that God had promised, they were not to spare anyone. Nothing that breathes. Everything is to be utterly wiped out. Verse sixteen…
But the cities of those people, which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, nothing that breathes shall remain alive: Utterly destroy them; the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites (20:16-17);
Now God was using the children of Israel as His tool of judgement against these wicked nations. These people were involved in practices that were so horribly vile, so horribly degrading, that God in His judgement, had ordered their extermination. Not of all people, but these particular people who were living in the land. It was because of their horrible wickedness that God was driving them out, and giving the land to the children of Israel. So for them, there was to be no mercy, nothing spared, you’re to utterly destroy them, everything that breathes. “Because you are God’s tool of judgement against these nations for the vile things that they have done. Also, if anything remains alive, or if you allow them to remain alive, there is that chance of your being polluted, by their very activities, and the things that brought their destruction, will then bring your destruction.”
There are paths that nations can take that are self destructive. Those paths that nations take that are self destructive, are paths after the flesh. Sad to say, the United States is on that path, and there are many who are seeking to promote the U.S. on that path. It is my opinion that the American Civil Liberties Union has done more to destroy the United States, than any foreign country. Breaking down the moral fibers that made us strong. Opening the doors for all kinds of filth and pornography, to be disseminated across our nation. The suits that they have filed have opened the doors. As brilliant men, so brilliant that they sit on the Supreme Court, yet they haven’t the capacity to discern what is obscene and not obscene. What is dirty and not dirty. Little fifth grade kids can tell you what’s a dirty picture, and not a dirty picture. But unfortunately those men on the Supreme Court seem to be unable to do so. By this we are entering into that path of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites. The path that brings destruction. Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people. Our nation is tremendously weakened morally, and that is extremely dangerous.
As Gibbons recounts the rise and the fall of the Roman empire, he very clearly points out that Rome was really not conquered from without, but destroyed from within. Of course he goes into a lot of those things that were being done. The excesses, fleshly excesses within the Roman empire. The moral rottenness that decayed the very pillars of the Roman empire, and thus it fell from within rather than really being conquered from without.
One of the reasons why we had such difficulties in Vietnam, was the wide spread use of drugs and alcohol among our troops. We don’t like to admit that, we want to think that we’re a Christian nation, and we were fighting a bunch of heathens. How we need to become strong again. There are things that can destroy a nation from within. Thus, lest they become infected by the activities of these people, who were so vile that God had to destroy them, and used the nation of Israel, as His instrument of judgement. They were to be complete in their extermination, not leaving them to pollute God’s people. Verse eighteen…
Lest they teach you to do according to all of their abominations, which they have done for their gods; and you sin against the Lord your God. [Now an interesting thing] If you are set siege against a city, you start building your weapons to scale the walls, or to batter the gates, [or whatever] When you cut down trees to make your battering rams; [and all], don’t use trees that bear fruit, that can be eaten. They’re your sustenance. So, use only trees that don’t produce any food (20:18-20).
Use the sycamore, or the oak, or some tree that doesn’t have fruit. Don’t cut down the fruit trees. I like that. I love fruit, so, good law!
Now if a man was found dead out in the field, and no one knows who killed him, the priests are to come and they are to carefully measure the distance to each of the cities, [From this open territory where the man’s body was found.] and the city which is closest to this man [to the carcase] the elders of that city are to take a heifer, and go down into the valley where there is a running stream. They’re to break the neck of the heifer, and they’re to wash their hands in that stream [the running water] and they are to swear that they did not kill the man, nor do they know who killed the man. By this, they were expunged from the guilt (21:1-7).
So this is the method by which they dealt with the unsolved crime, “We don’t know who did it, we swear we don’t. We didn’t do it, we don’t know who did”. The death of that heifer then would serve as the substitute for the actual guilty party, whoever they were. Thus they were providing atonement, verse eight…
For the people Israel, which God had redeemed, and not to lay innocent blood to the charge of your people Israel (21:8).
So the heifer was killed as a substitute. Now, in verse ten…
If you’ve captured an enemy’s city, and you see a beautiful gal [Of course this doesn’t apply to the inhabitants of the land that they were taking, but again when you’re going out to battle. “Take a city and you see a beautiful gal, you think you’re in love with her.] you desire her, you’d like to have her as your wife. Then you’re to bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and trim her nails; [Then you take another look! Ha, ha!] She is to remain in your house for thirty days, as she has the opportunity of mourning over her family that was lost in battle: [Because, you’re to kill the male and the females were to be taken as captives. They were to be, really used as slaves in those days. But there’s one you want to marry, you think, “Oh she’s pretty, I’d like to marry her”. You bring her home, give her thirty days to grieve over her lost household,] and then you may take her as your wife, but if you’ve decided then [“I don’t want her, you know. During that thirty days, you’ve seen traits and characteristics that sort of make her undesirable. She whines a lot, or…] then you’re to set her free. [You’ve actually humiliated her in shaving her head, and cutting her nails, so you’re to set her free.] You’re not to sell her, [You can’t sell her now as a slave. But she is entitled to freedom. But you don’t have to marry her after the thirty days, you see that you don’t want her, you don’t have to marry her. Set her free, don’t sell her for money.] you shall not treat her brutally, because you’ve actually humiliated her in the shaving of her head. Now if a man has two wives (21:10-15),
Polygamy was practiced in those days, but I can see problems with polygamy. I can see advantages too as far as that goes, I mean if you want to. You have one that’s a good cook, one that’s a good look. Send a couple out to work, bring the money in, and I mean you could live like a king. But I think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. There would no doubt, as Jacob, you remember with Leah, and Rachel. He loved Rachel much more than Leah, and I’m sure that that would create some real problems.
[In this case], If a man has two wives, he loves one more than the other. But the one he doesn’t care so much about, bears his first son. When the time comes to give the inheritance, he is not to give it to the son of the wife that he loves more, if he is the second son. But the first born son, regardless of his attachments or feelings towards the mothers. The first born son has the right of inheritance, and he gets a double portion of the inheritance, because he’s the beginning of the strength (21:15-17);
So the children aren’t to suffer because of the father’s inconsistency here. Verse eighteen deals with rebellious sons.
If you have a son who is stubborn, he’s rebellious, he will not obey his parents, even after they have [spanked him] chastened him, he still doesn’t give heed: Then his father and mother shall take hold of him, and bring him to the elders of the city, and to the gate of the city; And say to the elders, This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us; he’s a glutton, and he’s a drunkard. And all the men of the city will stone him to death with stones, [Pretty tough, pretty tough. But the purpose is,] to get that evil person out of your society; plus putting fear in the hearts of other boys who think that they might want to rebel against the authority of their parents; all Israel shall hear, and fear. Now if a man has committed a crime that is a capital offense, and he’s put to death by hanging: They’re not to let him hang overnight; they are to give him a quick and immediate burial; hanging overnight from the tree would defile the land, so immediate burial is to be given to him, not to defile the land which God has given; for he who is hanged is accursed of God (21:18-23).
Paul picks this up in Galatians, the third chapter, “Inasmuch as Jesus was hanged on a tree, crucified”. You see the curse of the law or the man hanged on the tree is cursed of God, so there is the curse of the law. “And he who”, so Paul said in Galatians, the third chapter, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. For it is written, Cursed is every man hanged on a tree”. So, by Jesus’ crucifixion, cursed of God, the curse of the law was upon Him. Death, by hanging on a tree, or death by crucifixion. So that, by His death, in our place, He has redeemed us from the penalty of death, becoming a curse for us. So that glorious truth of the substitutionary death of Christ, in our place.
If you see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray, you’re not to hide yourself from it: [One of the problems of our society today, is people just don’t want to get involved. We’re constantly shocked by the stories of people who have been assaulted, and how people just stood by, did nothing to help them. Didn’t want to interfere. Women being raped in public, and the crowd just standing, no one doing anything to stop it, no one wanting to interfere. It’s a rather rough place to live when people don’t want to get involved and help someone who is in need. So to protect Israel from that callous kind of attitude, God gave laws. You see, an ox or a sheep that’s gone astray, that’s lost, you’re not to just go in your house and close the door, and say, “Well, what a shame, someone lost their ox”, or “My neighbors sheep has strayed off. Too bad”, and just close the door and go to bed.] but you shall certainly bring them back to your brother. [You’re to get involved.] Now if he lives too far, or you don’t know who’s ox or sheep it is, [But obviously it’s strayed off.] then you’re to take it and keep it yourself, put it in your own stall until the owner comes looking for it, [Then when he comes looking for it,] you’re to return and restore to him. Thus shall it be for any lost thing (22:1-3).
In other words it wasn’t, “Losers weepers, finder’s keepers”. But there was that obligation of seeking to find whoever owned that property that you had found. Find the owner and restore and give it back to the owner.
Now if you see you’re brother’s ox or donkey fall in a ditch, and you see your brother trying to get the thing out of the ditch, you’re to go over and help him (22:4).
Now you say, “That doesn’t apply to our society, I don’t have any oxen or donkeys falling in ditches”. Okay, you want a modern version? You see a person who has a dead battery, trying to push his car. Get out and help him push. Don’t honk your horn and say, “Get out of the way!”. Be neighborly. Go out of your way to help someone in need, is basically what the scripture is teaching us. Don’t be selfish. Don’t be just all locked into yourself. Help those who are in need. Next…
A woman is not to wear clothing that belongs to a man, [Of course this is subject to interpretation for sure. Basically, you know in those days, men wore robes. So, what can you say. Basically, if you look at the law, what is He really seeking to prohibit? Men trying to look like women, and women trying to look like men. When we arrived in London last Saturday, we, our hotel was right next to Hyde park. It so happened that that Saturday, they were having, in Hyde park, a big gay demonstration. And they had, I guess a parade, because parked along the street were some floats, with these fruits, that were dressed and made up like women. I mean in looking at them, you’d think that they were women. But the signs were proclaiming otherwise. We had our little five year old granddaughter, and my heart was sick for her to see that kind of junk, that you usually associate with west Los Angeles, and San Francisco. You know it really troubled me, that my little granddaughter, five years old, in all of her beauty and innocence, would have to be exposed to these fellows who have a problem, trying to look like women, dressing like women. In the same token, women were not to seek to appear as men, and that’s basically the prohibition here. You know it isn’t, you women aren’t to wear Levis, I wouldn’t wear the kind of Levis you wear for all the money in the mint! I mean you have a right to those kind of Levis, if you want them. I have no problem with that. Or Jordache, or whatever they are. A lot of people, you know, really get strung out on this. It’s just basically, don’t try to look like a woman if you’re a man, and don’t try to look like a man, if you’re a woman. Because that it says,] is an abomination before the Lord your God (22:5).
If He wanted you to be a woman, He would’ve created you, a woman. An abomination to God.
Now if you’re out hunting, and come upon a bird’s nest, you want the eggs or the little birds, don’t take the mother, let her go free, take the [nest or] eggs, or the little ones, but don’t take the mother. Let the mother go; so that she might have more eggs, and more little birds. When you build a new house, you’re to put the railing around the roof so that no one falls off accidentally (22:6-8).
They had flat roofs on their houses, and they always had a stairway up to the roof, and you did, that was your patio, on the houses over there. That’s your patio, on the roof. You’ll see women hanging their clothes out on the roof. They have their clothes lines out on the roof of their houses. You see women scrubbing with a mop and pail, their roofs. It’s part of their living quarters over there. Now, if you just had the straight flat roof, and no protection around it, it would be easy for people to just fall off the roof. So, “When you build your houses, put a protection around the roof. Build up the walls around the roof, railings, banisters, or whatever. So that people won’t be falling off”. The parapet, or the balustrade, a banister, so that you know, someone doesn’t get hurt. It’s just plain common sense.
Now this diversity is interesting…
You’re not to sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed: lest the vineyard be defiled. You’re not to plow with an ox and a donkey together. [You’re not to yoke them together, or an unequal yoke.] You’re not to wear a garment of different sorts, of material, such as a combination of wool and linen mixed together (22:9-11).
Now it is interesting in the mixing of wool and linen together, it does create an electrostatic kind of a thing that will make you extremely irritated. This is true of a lot of the synthetic fabrics that we have today. They have discovered with the airline pilots, that sitting on the synthetic fabrics, actually tires them on the long haul. So they’ve gone now in the most part, to these wool, all wool kind of sheepskin seats and so forth, because it isn’t nearly as irritating, it doesn’t set up that electrostatic kind of thing on your body where your skin begins to crawl. And synthetic or mixed fibers can do that. That could be one of the reasons why God told them not to do it.
You are to make these tassels on the corners of your robes (22:12).
Now these little tassels would have a blue thread in it, and the robes, evidently as they threw them over themselves, or wrapped them around, there were four corners. On each of the corners, this little tassel with the blue thread, and it was really to remind them of God. You remember in the new testament, when Jesus was walking with the ruler, Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue. Walking to his house because his little daughter was deathly ill, then a woman came out of the crowd, and touched the hem of His garment, that hem there is the tassel of His garment. This little tassel that was required, make four tassels. She grabbed one of those little tassels, on the garment of Jesus, and so He turned around and said, “Who touched me?”, and that’s when Peter said, “Lord, you’ve gotta be kidding me! People are pushing you, and shoving all around here. What do you mean, ‘who touched me’?” But she had grabbed, or touched the tassel on His garment, the hem, the tassel.
Now if a man takes a wife, and after he has gone in, consummated the marriage, and then he discovers that he hates her (22:13),
You remember this happened in David’s household. Of course, here’s one of the problems with the multiplicity of wives, one of his son’s fell in love with his half sister, desired her. Couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, he had such a tremendous desire for her. Ammon, was desired for his half sister. So he finally grabbed her, and forced her, then immediately, he hated her, sought to shove her aside. Absalom of course, took revenge and killed him. But you’ll get that, as we move along, and we get into the story of David, David’s household. But sometimes that was the case. Man driven by his passions, “Ooh, I love her, I want her, I’ve gotta have her”. Then once he’s consummated the marriage, no longer wants her.
Now if this man [in this situation] starts spreading a dirty rumor, [Saying, “Well, she wasn’t a virgin. I married her because I thought she was pure. But she wasn’t pure, she wasn’t a virgin.” Trying to get out of the marriage. You see the man puts away his wife, except it be for fornication. If he marries another, he commits adultery. Well he’s trying to get out of it, “Well I thought she was a virgin when I married her, so…”] then the parents are to bring the signs of her virginity: [That of course was the bed clothes from the bed at the time that they had had the consummation of marriage. Proving that she was a virgin.] This man who made this false accusation against this girl, who was pure, was to be beaten, fined a hundred shekels of silver, which were given to her parents, and he could not divorce her ever (22:14-19).
Now it seems to me, that this would be rather hard on the woman. It seems to me that there should’ve been an out for her. I mean this guy doesn’t like her, you know, forget him! But, women really didn’t have much as far as rights in those days. Now if it was proved that she was not a virgin, or…
If they could not prove that she was a virgin, then she would be stoned to death (22:20-21).
So it was rather severe, rather hard.
If a man is found lying with a woman that is married to another man, [adultery] then they are both to be put to death. If there is a young gal who is a virgin, and yet she is engaged to be married, some fellow rapes her, if its in the city; then they were both to be put to death, because she didn’t cry out (22:22-23).
She was a party to it. So they were both, and you see this isn’t, this is a, looking at the engagement period, as though she was already married.
If it happened out in a field, then just the fellow was put to death, because though she had cried, there was no one to hear, or to help her: If a young man finds a virgin, who is not betrothed, he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out; Then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, he has to marry her; and [There can be no divorce.] he can never put her away, all of her days (22:27-29).
Then finally, incest is prohibited in verse thirty. So some of the laws pertaining to the people, prior to their coming into the land. Whereby they are to develop a society that is pure, that is strong, that is free from those evil that deteriorate and destroy a society. God wanted the preservation. Thus the laws are to preserve that which is good. The purpose of the laws were the preservation of the society. When the laws break down, anarchy ensues, everyone does that which is right in his own eyes, and it’s not long before you have a total wipe out of that society. You cannot exist without laws. They are necessary to the preservation, and so God established these laws, whereby the society might be preserved, God’s people might be preserved in the land. Shall we pray.
Father, we ask your help as we look at your word. We know that the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimonies of the Lord are pure, making wise the simple. They’re more to be desired than gold, yea much fine gold. In keeping of them there is great reward. Help us Lord to learn your ways. Help us Lord, to walk in your paths. Help us to give heed to your word, that we might obey and continue in your truth. Lord help us as we sort of wade through some of these more difficult areas of the scriptures. That we might O God, pay careful attention, and not be quick to relegate the rules to another culture, another age, another society, but realize Lord that there are basic principles to which we must adhere, if we are going to live a life that is pleasing unto you. If we are to dwell peacefully and securely in the land that you have given to us. So help us Lord to keep your statutes, to walk in your ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
You guys are tremendous! You know this is, this is not easy stuff to go through. But it’s necessary. We need to know the ways of the Lord. We need to study the law of God. We need to give heed thereto. I want to commend you. Once we get out of Deuteronomy, the pace starts to quicken. Things start getting exciting again. You start dealing with events and happenings, and you know a lot of excitement comes on into the scene. But just a ways through Deuteronomy, through Leviticus, and these books, I mean, that’s great! I commend you! But I know, that my commendation is nothing, God will bless you and that’s what’s important. The law of the Lord is perfect. Let’s study the law of the Lord. Let’s keep the law of the Lord. Let’s walk in His statutes, let’s keep His way.
May the Lord be with you and may the Lord watch over you and bless you, in all of your ways. May He write His law upon the fleshly tablets of your heart. Thank God, thank God that through Jesus Christ, the law which we read and dealt with tonight. How many of us would’ve already been wiped out, it condemned us. You know in that society, a lot of us would’ve been stoned already! But, thank God that Jesus Christ bore the curse of the law for us, being crucified, He redeemed us from death, and we have life in Him. May you enjoy that abundant life in Jesus, this week, as you walk in fellowship with Him.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7058