WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 24
By: Josh Boles
Before we start today’s devotional, I just wanted to make sure you are aware that this will be the last devotional until Monday, November 26th. We hope that you have an incredible Thanksgiving weekend with your family.
Jeremy and I were talking just a few days ago at the BGCO annual meeting as to why we chose to cover the book of Deuteronomy. Joe pitched in on the conversation and asked us why we would do that? We were “mostly” joking, but there is also some truth in that. I’m sure, like us, you might be tired of reading about the Law. It can be daunting, and confusing to read sometimes. Plain and simple, it is hard work. There is a large cultural gap in the way we do things, and the way the Israelites had to do things. And obviously, the big difference between the two is Jesus. There are some other factors as well, but they all make interpreting Law difficult.
Although we are not under this Law anymore, rather the Law of righteousness under Christ, it still is applicable to our lives. The purpose of God’s Law for the Israelites is to ultimately show them how to obey, and they needed a lot of help. For them, living in such a way was a requirement, and as you have read in our journey through Deuteronomy, this was no easy task.
Today, we have Jesus interceding for us. He has fulfilled the Law in our place, but don’t we still need to know how to obey God? Should we not live our lives every day with the hopes of deeper devotion to God? Hopefully your answer is yes, and if so, then the Law can be a great guide. Let’s take our chapter today for an example. Primarily speaking, all the Laws in our chapter today concern our attitude and actions toward other people.
One of the first things we see is in regards to marriage. Take a look at verse 5. This is actually pretty common advice for anybody who is doing premarital counseling. We should always take time to be happy with our spouse. You simply cannot do this if you don’t treat each other with kindness and respect.
Verse 7 deals with steeling a fellow Israelite and either keeping him as a slave, or selling him. This is obviously not nice, you shouldn't do that. Verse 9 tells us that we should care for the sick and diseased. Verses 10-15 give us direction on how to treat our neighbors and the poor. I’m sure you could think of a few verses in the New Testament on how to treat your neighbor and the poor. The rest of the chapter deals primarily with the way we treat sojourners, basically people who don’t belong or wonderers, and then, widows.
The Law was meant to give the Israelites a way to live righteously. Deuteronomy is repetition of the Law, and it certainly is far from the only place in the Bible that these Laws are repeated. What we can gather from this is that the Israelites needed constant reminders on how to live a Godly life. I would ask you to consider these reminders as well. Some of these seem obvious. We should take care of the widows, the orphans, and the poor right? Well what are you doing to fulfill that? Are you actively trying to help those around you? If we want to deepen our devotion to God, we must always be evaluating how we treat other people. Why? Because the Bible tells us so! As we get into this holiday season, remember those around you who desperately need the love of Jesus.