Week of 7/7/19 - Pages 298-312

The fifth commandment (honoring one’s parents) is expanded with discussions of other authority structures, including judges and courts, a future king, priests and Levites, prohibited occultist professions, and prophets.

The sixth commandment (prohibiting murder) is also leveraged by addressing cities of refuge, importance of honest testimony, rules of warfare, and how to deal with unsolved murders.

Several miscellaneous laws are discussed relating to primarily two issues: 1) everyone has the responsibility for caring for the welfare of others, and 2) the concept of keeping clean and unclean things separate.  Sexual offenses are also discussed.  All of these, and a variety of other laws, are for the well-being of everyone.

Ancient treaty agreements usually had a section containing blessings and curses, blessings for keeping the treaty and curses for breaking it, Deuteronomy follows this ancient form.  Once Israel (God’s people) was to enter the Promised Land, Moses warns of the two contrasting consequences of the covenant.  On the one hand, if the people truly obey God, they will be blessed.  On the other hand, if they do not obey God, terrible curses will come upon them.

A common warning used throughout this section, “purge evil from among you.”  We too should heed this warning.  God is merciful, loving, patient and slow to anger but He is also holy and just.  His principles are for our protection, He desires that we choose to obey so we can be blessed and experience His goodness.