Read Deuteronomy 22 – Kindness and purity – Our chapter contains several, seemingly random, laws to set the Israelites apart as God’s people. In verse :1 a person might be inclined to say, “finders keepers” if a neighbor’s animal wanders onto his land, while God instructs kindness and integrity. In verse :4 we see this includes one’s responsibility to stop what they are doing to help, and not look the other way. Living for one’s self is not God’s way for believers. Jesus made this law simple when he said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (See Mark 12)
“A woman must not put on men’s clothing, and a man must not wear women’s clothing. Anyone who does this is detestable in the sight of the LORD your God.” :5 Some religions take this to mean that a woman should not wear pants. Consider when this was written, men wore robes and tunics… basically dresses! However, men’s attire, be it in the form of pants, shorts, kilts, robes, tunics or the like is designed for men, and likewise, for ladies attire. Present culture likes to blur the lines between men and women, and society just gets more and more confused. Though we are no longer under the law, there is great wisdom here.
Build a railing on your rooftop. (:8) Rooftops were like patio’s back then – one must be kind and foresee the risk of falling off and prudently put up this railing. Again, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)
Don’t mix up your crops; don’t plow with two different animals; don’t make clothing out of linen and wool. These instructions seem random, but they are there for both simple wisdom – like linen and wool will shrink differently and pull apart – donkeys and oxen are unequal in size and strength – yoking them together creates an off balance system that will harm both… As well as the big picture – Israel was to be set aside as God’s treasured possession. They were not to do the things their pagan neighbors did.
Sexual purity is important to God. God’s Word has protections and punishments for offenders and victims. I know this seems old fashioned, but just think of all the problems in our society that would not exist if sexual purity was valued. Disease, depression, unwanted pregnancy and fatherless children would all be HUGELY diminished. Straying from sexual purity always hurts a person in the long run.
Beloved, I hope you see God’s love and protection within these laws. You can think of them as the railing that keeps you from falling off the roof!