Deuteronomy 23 - Your Mission Field
1He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. 2A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. 3An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever: 4Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. 5Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee. 6Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever. 7Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land. 8The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation. 9When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing. 10If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp: 11But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again. 12Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: 13And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: 14For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee. 15Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee: 16He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him. 17There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God. 19Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: 20Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 21When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. 22But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. 23That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth. 24When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel. 25When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn.
Today's Scripture Meaning
Who are shut out from the congregation. (1-8) Cleanliness enjoined. (15-25) Of fugitive servants, Usury, and other precepts. (9-14) Verses 1-8: We ought to value the privileges of God's people, both for ourselves and for our children, above all other advantages. No personal blemishes, no crimes of our forefathers, no difference of nation, shuts us out under the Christian dispensation. But an unsound heart will deprive us of blessings; and a bad example, or an unsuitable marriage, may shut our children from them. Verses 9-14: The camp of the Lord must have nothing offensive in it. If there must be this care taken to preserve the body clean, much more should we be careful to keep the mind pure. Verses 15-25: It is honourable to shelter and protect the weak, provided they are not wicked. Proselytes and converts to the truth, should be treated with particular tenderness, that they may have no temptation to return to the world. We cannot honour God with our substance, unless it be honestly and honourably come by. It must not only be considered what we give, but how we got it. Where the borrower gets, or hopes to get, it is just that the lender should share the gain; but to him that borrows for necessary food, pity must be showed. That which is gone out of thy lips, as a solemn and deliberate vow, must not be recalled, but thou shalt keep and perform it punctually and fully. They were allowed to pluck and eat of the corn or grapes that grew by the road side; only they must not carry any away. This law intimated what great plenty of corn and wine they should have in Canaan. It provided for the support of poor travellers, and teaches us to be kind to such, teaches us to be ready to distribute, and not to think every thing lost that is given away. Yet it forbids us to abuse the kindness of friends, or to take advantage of what is allowed. Faithfulness to their engagements should mark the people of God; and they should never encroach upon others.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Deuteronomy with Chapter 23 and we see Moses is giving the 5th set of principles - Laws for Human Relationships - in this second giving of the law to this new generation of Israel. In this section we see principles for the Sanctuary and the Camps which were the neighborhoods of the Israelite's giving instruction to how to treat your neighbor. In making application we see how the Lord is serious about the treatment of the House of God and about how we treat our neighbors. Seeing how the Lord feels about the Sanctuary should motivate us to respect the House of God today. Seeing how the Lord wants us to treat our neighbor should motivate us on how we should treat our neighbors. The truth is that our neighborhood is our Mission field and we should treat our neighbors with kindness showing and telling them of our Savior. It reminds me of our neighbors at our first house. A Spanish family bought a house next to ours. Being of foreign decent the neighborhood was not as welcoming. We befriended the family taking time to get to know them and took them to a Spanish mission Church introducing them to Jesus - where they received Christ. Praise the Lord. How about you? Do you see your neighborhood as a Mission field? Let us learn from today's text and see our neighborhood as a Mission field.
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Sincerely, Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.