Read: Deuteronomy 22-23
Note: There are a lot of laws listed in these two chapters, and we don’t have time to cover everything being written about. However, if you want to know more about what you just read, comment below.
Think: Woah, after reading these two chapters you may feel a little uneasy. Maybe questioning what in the world you are doing following a God who would make this many rules. You might be doubting whether or not you are good enough to even call yourself a Christian! Well I have some news for you – you aren’t. There is no way you can perfectly live up to who God wants you to be. However, Jesus death took our sins from us and his resurrection allows us to live new life in him! So no matter how messed up you are – God loves you, because he sees Jesus covering you.
Before you relax and feel like you are off the hook from all of these Old Testament regimented laws thanks to Jesus, let’s think about it all a bit more. I’m going to focus in on what is said in verses 13-30, about marriage and purity. We’ve been talking a lot about this subject thanks to the Song of Solomon posts – so I find it appropriate to bring in more discussion on the topic from our Deuteronomy reading.
The rules listed out in these verses are extreme. God makes it very clear to the Israelites that they are not to be sleeping around, and that their marriage bed should be holy and set apart. The consequences for disobeying these laws? Death.
Before we discredit these consequences and claim that this ancient culture was just cruel and over-the-top, let’s look at what Jesus himself said about such things.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Matthew 5:27-29
Ouch! Jesus does not throw away the old law and call it ridiculous – he amps it up! Jesus comes in and says, “Hey, it’s not just the physical act of adultery that is wrong, it is the motive of the heart also.” Jesus gives perfection a whole new meaning.
You’ll notice that Jesus does not say to stone someone to death if they have committed adultery, but he does imply that if you don’t take care of the sin in your life, your life is heading toward death. Your relationships will die, your joy will die and your ability to get close to God will die. No, you are not sentenced to immediate death – but you are warned that if you don’t take care of your wandering eye, of your lustful thoughts or your rude words, your life will become death.
But o how gracious and good our Jesus is! That no matter how long we have lived with a sin and an act of disobedience, he is ready to take us back. He is calling us and pursuing us to turn back to him. Maybe you are a person who has messed up in the area of purity, big time. Here’s what God wants from you – not to be stoned to death or mocked, he wants you to seek him, realize your foolishness, turn away from that sin (even if it means doing something drastically difficult), and run to his arms! He loves you dear one!
Pray: Ask God to convict you of anything in your life that is not holy and pleasing to him. Then make a commitment to God that you will do whatever it takes (no matter how crazy or drastic or weird you might feel about it) to be pure and holy. Thank God for allowing us to live a freeing, hopeful life in him and for showing us the path of righteousness to do so.