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Deuteronomy 21-25


A Devotional Journey
   led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                                                                                                                                 
Thru the Bible in a Year
       More laws!  Moses instructs the people what to do if a murder is committed and no perpetrator can be identified.  He makes clear the rights of a captive woman who is married by an Israelite.  He discusses the rights of the firstborn, and the consequences of rebellion by a son against his father.  Then Moses discusses several property laws, and discusses the legal issues surrounding marriage. 
       There are certain people who are not permitted to enter the assembly of the LORD, the issue being the purity and commitment of God’s people.  In the same regard, the purity of the camp in which the people dwell (which is also the dwelling of God in a certain sense) is to be maintained.
       After these discussions, a long list of rules and regulations regarding everything from the treatment of slaves to banking to commerce is discussed.  In all of these laws, fairness, honesty, integrity and consequence are upheld as primary motives and virtues.
       The move from a tribal organization in which all property was in some sense held in common, to a settled society in which individual property and property rights would help define everything considered humanly important involved tremendous change.  The people Moses led had to overcome generations of traditions developed both in the desert and in Egyptian captivity.  The laws Moses gives are not only a road map leading to prosperity and peace, but the means of making the transition in a spirit of unity and confidence.
       Have you ever stopped to evaluate your own family and personal traditions?  Do you suppose there are any which should be changed?  Does fairness ever become bent preferentially in your direction?  Does consequence ever seem somewhat less necessary in your own case than in that of other people? 
      As you consider your relationships with other people, what rules (standards, principles) are important?  If someone were to observe your communication, interaction and ways of relating to others, what operative principles would s/he notice?  Is there anything about your way of talking to others, listening to others, sharing with others or working with others which should change?  Ask someone close to you for their help.  Better yet, ask God to reveal to you ways in which you can grow.  Then ask His help and go to work.
       As a first step, pick a person you know and go out of your way today to do more for them than they have done for you.  Make it a conscious goal, in some way, to be a blessing to every person you meet.  As you are, you will begin to understand the nature of God’s standards, because you will be living in their spirit.  After all, Jesus said the entire Law of God could be summarized in two commandments:  love God totally, and love other people unselfishly. 
© A. Eugene Pearson 2012