Today’s passage: Deuteronomy 23
- The Lord had set Israel apart unto Himself and gave them a relationship with Him. They were to have no other gods. Some of the laws in today’s chapter pertain to this command and heart of God for the well-being of His people.
- Verse 1 would prevent Israelites from assimilating pagan practices (e.g. temple eunuchs) into their worship of God.
- The use of “dog” in verse 18 could represent male temple prostitutes. That would make sense in the context.
- The “cleanness” of the camp on military campaigns was just as necessary as any other time because God was their champion and would be in their midst.
- People who were not of the physical lineage of Israel could become part of God’s people. Abraham’s descendants are those who share his faith (Romans 4:16-18, Romans 9:6-7, Galatians 3:7-9). This idea of the inclusion of the Gentiles was not entirely new when the church began, it simply flourished (by the grace of God) when the church began.
- The laws toward the end of the chapter can fall into the category of the general command, “You shall not steal.”
Questions to consider:
- In what ways can we see how God is setting out to protect His people in these laws? What would keeping them do for the benefit of Israel?
- In what ways do we see the destructive nature of the paganism of the surrounding peoples? Why does it make sense that the practices of so many false religions bring death and destruction, but following the Lord brings life?
- Who is welcomed to enter the “assembly of the Lord?” Based on whose righteousness are we welcomed?