April 19, 2022 - Deuteronomy 21-23
People of God are to be holy like the God we follow! In Exodus and Deuteronomy Moses stated the ten commandments and defined holiness and what it should look like among the Israelites. In this section of Deuteronomy, Moses applied these moral laws to circumstances that could arise in the Promised Land.
Three areas of purity were addressed as Moses instructed the people of Israel. Civil purity was outlined in chapter 21 and the beginning of 22. Moral purity was presented in the second half of chapter 22, with the initial discussion of holiness of worship in chapter 23.
In our current culture, we may not have issues such as treatment of captured women, public exposure of corpses on trees, or polygamy, but we do have divorce, rebellious children, and deviant sexual behavior. We also are having a vigorous debate on inclusion and exclusion of individuals to worship before a holy God. Let us carefully consider the teachings of Moses in this section of scripture.
We are challenged today to be holy people in the church just as Israel was called to be a holy nation. This will create tension and misunderstanding as the matters of holiness and purity are debated. A careful, biblical response may not be enough for some, as godliness is contested. Decisions to consistently stand for holiness will have to be made. Hebrews states, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23). As we walk and live within our culture, let us stand resolutely for holiness.