September 17, 2019

Care About Your Relationships. God Does.

Deuteronomy 24

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Laws Concerning Divorce

“When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man's wife, and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the LORD. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.

Miscellaneous Laws

“When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife1 whom he has taken.

“No one shall take a mill or an upper millstone in pledge, for that would be taking a life in pledge.

“If a man is found stealing one of his brothers of the people of Israel, and if he treats him as a slave or sells him, then that thief shall die. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

“Take care, in a case of leprous2 disease, to be very careful to do according to all that the Levitical priests shall direct you. As I commanded them, so you shall be careful to do. Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam on the way as you came out of Egypt.

10 “When you make your neighbor a loan of any sort, you shall not go into his house to collect his pledge. 11 You shall stand outside, and the man to whom you make the loan shall bring the pledge out to you. 12 And if he is a poor man, you shall not sleep in his pledge. 13 You shall restore to him the pledge as the sun sets, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you. And it shall be righteousness for you before the LORD your God.

14 “You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. 15 You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the LORD, and you be guilty of sin.

16 “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.

17 “You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow's garment in pledge, 18 but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.

19 “When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. 22 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this.

Footnotes

[1] 24:5 Or to make happy his wife
[2] 24:8 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13

Care About Your Relationships. God Does.



Key Verse | Deuteronomy 24:22

"You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this."

Bio | Brett Nelius

Hi, my name is Brett, and when people ask how I am, I answer, "I'm saved by grace." It's true! I recently married an amazing, God-fearing woman. If you ever get to hear the full story of my life before Christ, you will understand why my marriage is both an example of God's grace and a modern miracle. Before I recently moved from Dallas, I led a table at Equipped Disciple—Watermark's discipleship training series in the context of personal time with God and small-group interaction. You can also find me outside hiking or camping.

And if none of that interests you, we can bond over The Office trivia any time.

Central Truth

Our relationships can always be better. We've all been treated poorly, so let's reflect a relationship with God by relating well to one another.

Devotional | Deuteronomy 24

I was bullied in high school—remember a time when that ever happened to you? I wouldn't relive those experiences if you paid me. The fact that broken relationships impacted so many of us proves why...

I was bullied in high school—remember a time when that ever happened to you? I wouldn't relive those experiences if you paid me. The fact that broken relationships impacted so many of us proves why Moses spent so much time outlining godly ways of living with one another.

Here's the problem—while those bullies were my enemies in high school, I was an enemy of God (Romans 5:10) until early 2015. After Jesus saved my life from slavery to sin, my relationships needed to reflect it.

Moses details these ways to live to set Israel apart, and that includes extraordinary ways of treating other people. If I want to reflect the amazing relationship I have with God through His Son Jesus, I need to strive to put my wife's needs over mine, care for the poor, and treat my Christian brothers fairly.

Why? Well, while I wasn't a slave in Egypt, I was a slave to broken and painful relationships that reflected a life separated from God. That's probably part of all of our stories, remember? The Israelites hated how they were treated in Egypt, so multiple times Moses reminds them of the pain from that time in their lives.

So let's do an about face. Let's love, care, and pursue one another so differently that it draws others near to the God who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt and delivered us out of our sin. Let's remember and reject the pain that can be caused by treating others poorly. Three times here, Moses reminds the Israelites that they know what it feels like to be hurt by others. Why would we turn around and do the same?

Because of the love of Christ, you and I have hope beyond our broken relationships; and because of that same love, we can prevent further brokenness by treating others radically differently. Today, tomorrow, and thereafter, we have the opportunity to love our spouses, friends, strangers, and the needy with fairness, kindness, and genuine compassion.

We know what it's like to be without that. Remember?

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Discussion Questions

1. Why was a man told to stay home during his first year of marriage?

2. How could you change a behavior that would begin to heal a relationship?

3. What does it look like to have better relationships with those less fortunate?

7 Comments available

Michael Scaman about 5 hours ago

God permitted divorce ‘because of the hardness of hearts’ according to Jesus and in Malachi God says ‘I hate divorce’.

It seems God puts some ‘legal’ constraints on some bad conditions to keep things from being worse.

Michael Scaman about 5 hours ago

It seems at first glance to be a bit strange for God to say in a section about leprosy “… Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam on the way as you came out of Egypt…”

Maybe it’s to remind the hearers that God is sovereign and brought the leprosy on Miriam and also was able to take it away.

Michael Scaman about 5 hours ago

Not a honeymoon (month) but a honey year.

“When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife1 whom he has taken.

greg jones about 5 hours ago

1-“Let’s remember and reject the pain that can be caused by treating others poorly.” Great quote. Michael Scott?

Matthew19:3-23 debate is referring to Deuteronomy23-24 section of the law.

Pharisees argue certificates of divorce keep the law. God loves the law, God has given us the law to love. We show our love by keeping it.

Immediately before this exchange we have the parable of the unmerciful servant.

In Galilee it’s being taught grace is there for those who seek it, but not for those who won’t extend it. John the Baptist has been preaching and baptizing in this region.

Across the Jordan in Judea we see law without empathy is taught in contrast to Galilee.

Matthew19:3&7 are arguments to protect the law. Matthew19:11-12 promote the kingdom. Law and grace promote kingdom.

Verses13-15, then, 16-30 promote the kingdom as greater while respecting the law.

Lindsey Driscoll about 9 hours ago

So good to read encouragement from Gods word from you this morning Brother! Thank you Brett. I’m weeks away from Lord willing, entering new motherhood and a new relationship with a son who will need to be cared for. It’s important for me to remember as verse 24:22 states that God commands us to care for others. But first he commands us to have no other idols before God and love him with all our heart soul mind and strength. (Duet 5:7 and 6:5) Caring for my husband, son, and others must first come from a loving God whole heartedly.

Sue Bohlin about 10 hours ago

Outstanding devo, Brett. I love that you saw how 3 times Moses reminds the Israelites that they know how it feels to be hurt by others. The ability–and willingness–to put oneself in another’s shoes is an important anti-bullying strategy.

Thanks to Todd’s last two messages, I have a new appreciation of the word “righteousness” in v. 13. Right-living is best driven by right-heartedness, which shows up in God’s commands to show kindness to sojourners, widows and the fatherless. Those commands are a beautiful indication of the beautiful heart of our God: kind, compassionate, loving . . . and GOOD.

Hugh Stephenson about 11 hours ago

GM Brett. Awesome devo.

Reflecting on bullies… I hated being bullied. In middle school and high school, I got in fights when I saw others being bullied. In time, I had to reflect on how I was being a bully myself. In parenting I modeled the authoritarianism of my own dad. Clearly my kids experienced that as being bullied. In my 30s, a loving counselor spoke truth to me. I saw my entire relationship model was tragically flawed.

God tells me that in all of my life only two things are important; relationship with Him and relationship with others, (Exodus 20:3-17, Matthew 22:34-40). Further, He gives me two covenants - His with me and mine with Amy, (Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:25). All other relationships come 2nd.

Leave and cleave? Love and serve like Jesus? You bet. Incredibly clarifying.

My two greatest blessings are knowing Him and serving her.

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