banner
bar
flags flying March 21 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Deuteronomy 23, 24, 25, 26

Policies and Rules to Follow

Every government, organization, and family has its policies and rules (written or not) on how to get things done. There are certain ways we want to do things, and they are usually based on core principles. Clear communication of these policies prevents confusion, inconsistency, frustration, and general deterioration. In the times just before Israel is to enter the Promised Land, Moses communicates to them more of the policies and rules of the LORD in order to safeguard their inheritance. These are stipulations the Israelites are to keep in order to stay in the good graces of the LORD their God. These are patterned after the Suzerain Treaties of their day (more…) .

First, there are exclusions for those allowed in the assembly of worshipping Israelites. For instance, the strange exclusion of those who are emasculated by cutting or crushing is linked with exclusion for those born of a forbidden marriage (Deuteronomy 23:1). Israelites are not to marry Ammonites or Moabites, and those two groups are forbidden access into the assembly because of their malice against Israel. This link suggests castration is a cultic practice of these idolatrous nations (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the O.T., by Walvoord and Zuck, ©1985, p.303). However, God wants the Israelites to have children and multiply in the land (Genesis 35:10-11). Male and female shrine prostitutes are also forbidden in the assembly (Deuteronomy 23:17-18). Though there is forgiveness for all who sin (more...), those who live unrepentant cultic lifestyles are detrimental influences on those who gather for worship. We should restrict them from attendance until there is demonstrated repentance and the forsaking of their evil ways. In addition to these exclusions, there are also exclusions for those with contagious diseases, and we can understand the logic of that (Deuteronomy 24:8; Leviticus 13:45-46).

Second, there are exclusions for those allowed in the Israelite army camp. When they are in their war camp, God instructs them to keep away from everything impure (Deuteronomy 23:9). This includes nocturnal emissions and even where to relieve themselves.

For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. (Deuteronomy 23:14, NIV).

Who will you allow into your home, business, church or other organization? Will you allow anyone no matter what the circumstances are? Will you allow them to enter even if their presence is detrimental? Would you not want to protect yourself against them? What about our attitudes and actions; are we striving to live clean and holy lives before God in his assembly or are our attitudes and actions harmful? If they are not good, let's repent and clean up our lives.

Third, there are regulations for the treatment of their fellow Israelites. There are rules for marriage to protect women and to keep the inheritance of the land in the family (Deuteronomy 24:1-5; 25:5-10). There are rules to settle civil disputes and for exercising corporal punishment (Deuteronomy 25:1-3). There are policies for lending and being kind to the poor, widowed, orphaned, and aliens (Deuteronomy 23:19,23; Deuteronomy 24:10-15, 19-22). They are not to take advantage of each other. The people are to treat each other with equity, fairness and honesty. They are to remember that once they were slaves in the land of Egypt before the LORD showed compassion and saved them. How do we treat one another? Do we treat each other with love, consideration, mercy, kindness and grace, or are we mean? If we get too big for our pants (i.e., we are fat with pride) we need to remember where we came from and our humble beginnings. The LORD will bless us for our kindness, fairness, and equity with others. What policies do we have in place to help ensure these things?

Fourth, when the Israelites enter the land, they are to remember the LORD with an offering. According to Deuteronomy 26:1-11, they are to offer a basket of fruit to the LORD from the first fruits of their harvest in the new land, and they were to do this with rejoicing and thanksgiving. We also should remember the good things the LORD has done for us and give thanks. Did God give you a new job, a new house, or a new church building? Why not rejoice together and give him an offering of thanks?

Fifth, the Israelites are to voice their commitments (Deuteronomy 26:12-19). Loyalty to the LORD is all important, as it is in any organization today. In today's world written agreements are considered more binding than verbal agreements, but in God's mind they are the same; we need to be true to our word. God says vows must be kept (Deuteronomy 23:21-23). Verbal agreements seal the commitments we are making. Have we made verbal commitments to the LORD? Are we keeping them? The verbal commitments set forth in our next chapter follow the pattern of the Suzerainty Treaties of that day. May the LORD bless you as you live out your commitments to Him.

Lessons to live by:

  • Sometimes policies and rules seem strange but they are for our own benefit or that of our family, society or nation.
  • Though there is forgiveness for all who sin (more...), those who live unrepentant cultic lifestyles are detrimental influences on those who gather for worship. We should restrict them from attendance until there is demonstrated repentance and the forsaking of their evil ways.
  • Are we striving to live clean and holy lives before God in his assembly or are our attitudes and actions harmful? If they are not good, let's repent and clean up our lives.
  • The LORD will bless us for our kindness, fairness, and equity with others. What policies do we have in place to help ensure these things?
  • We should remember the good things the LORD has done for us and give him offerings of thanks.
  • Verbal agreements seal the commitments we are making. Have we made verbal commitments to the LORD? Are we keeping them?

Today's Bible memory verses:

Deuteronomy 26:17-18

You have declared this day that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey him. And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands. (NIV)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

Previous Lesson  |  Next Lesson

Back to top of page
Return to Chronological Bible Studies main page
Go to Scriptures main page
Go to Topics main page
Go to Home page

Scripture
Contact Us
Forgiveness and Peace With God
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

COPYRIGHT @ 2016, MASTER'S TOUCH BIBLE STUDIES