Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Deuteronomy 24-26

Aren't you about ready to cross the Jordan?  Are you getting tired of reading all of these rules?  Certainly they must be important or they wouldn't have been preserved for us across the centuries and I do hope that their has been enough repetition for you to see how important our care for widows and orphans and the poor are in the eyes of God.

Chapter 24 spends some time on a very touch subject.....divorce.  It is important to note that while God allows for divorce, he never demands it.  In fact, I believe that God intends for marriage to be forever and that it is the hardening of the heart (either husband or wife) that leads to divorce.  The uncleanness referred to in the Bible as the only reason for divorce is associated with sexual impropriety.  Remember that when a man and a woman marry they become one.  Infidelity is a sin against that oneness, but pure love (I'm not saying we are able to do this, I am just saying this would be God's preferred way) forgives the most grievous of sins.  I say that because were it not so, all of us would die for our sins against God.  Again I say, God allows divorce, but he does not recommend it.

Look at how laws are instigated to protect the poor, the widow, the orphan.  If you make a loan to a poor man you cannot keep the surety bond (his coat or his millstone, etc.) over night.  You must return it by days end, because he needs those things to make a living and to live.  The millstone was used to crush grain and make flour.  The coat often served as a covering at night.  Pay the day worker at the end of each day.  He depends upon those wages to provide daily food for himself and his family.  Leave some olives, some wheat and barely, some grapes for the gleaner to take home with them to take care of their families.

I just think that these passages are important reminders to us.  While the poor will always be among us, God strongly reminds us that we are not to take advantage of them.  I'm not smart enough to understand all of the answers but I think God has an opinion about the protests going on in Wisconsin about working folks being able to organize.  I think God has an opinion about how we treat the homeless on the streets of KC.  I think God has an opinion about how we treat the single mom and the man on the street corner with the sign in his hand.  this stuff isn't just for our reading pleasure.  Remember.....we are to hide these words in our heart, it is to flavor our lives so that we will not sin against God.

Use fair weights and measures.  it is a sin to cheat and steal.  I've got a feeling that there are a lot of folks who have a lot to account for when they meet their maker.  Being fair is another way of practicing righteousness.

Remember, says chapter 26, "you were once a wondering Aramean."  God has delivered us from lives that were without meaning.  Had we died in our sins we would have been condemned to an eternal death, but God in his mercy has delivered us from the wages of sin.  he has allowed us to enter into a land flowing with milk and honey.  He has blessed us and them multiplied our blessings.  We are his people and he is our God.  He calls us to righteousness, to be examples of Godliness, to be hope for those who are without hope, to offer comfort and ultimately to invite the world to share in the knowledge of these sacred words and the love of the Creator who gives them to us.

Hope you are having a great day.  It is supposed to 50 degrees on this 23rd day of February.  that will be something to celebrate.  God bless you in your faithfulness.

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