Daily Word

Deuteronomy 21

Read Deuteronomy 21 – My oh my, am I ever glad I did not live in the ancient world! Order was established for unsolved murders. The nearest town would have to make every effort to solve the crime, but if it remained unsolvable, they were to make atonement publically and before the LORD.
The LORD put protective standards in place for women who were taken in war as brides. This may have riled your feminist feathers, yet God’s standards actually gave rights to women who would otherwise be disregarded. Before the marriage could be consummated, the woman was to have her head shaved, her nails trimmed, her clothing removed and a month to mourn her parents. This was a reset period. It was both humbling and healing for a woman to move past her past and a time for the man to be sure he wanted to marry her and that it was not a fleeting decision based on her appearance. At the end of the month, he could marry her or set her free, without selling her or treating her brutally because that is what the LORD commanded. Sometimes break-ups stir vengeful feelings, but the man was not permitted to further dishonor the woman… Beloved, I hope you are able to see past our times as you look into these ancient ones and see the LORD’s compassion and protection.
Verses :15-17 had me thinking about Leah and Rachel, Jacob’s wives whom we are first introduced to in Genesis 29. Things can get rather messy with more than one wife, and the LORD gave commands to protect both parties with established practices for inheritance.
God gave serious instructions for the parents of a rebellious son – one would hope the mere fact of this ordinance was enough to keep any son from rebellion. (:18-21)
Our chapter concludes with instructions when capital punishment was rendered by hanging the guilty on a tree. Here we see a balance of justice and mercy. To hang the guilty on a tree was justice; to remove and bury him showed mercy and dignity for the land itself. Paul expands on this in Galatians 3:13-14 (in the New Testament) showing how Jesus became this atonement for us, taking on the curse we deserve for our sin. Beloved, because of Jesus we are redeemed from the curse of the law – and that is a giant Hallelujah to close on today!

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