It is more blessed to give than to receive

These chapters are mostly a repetition of what has been said before. This shows their importance! We are not to be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards a needy relative.

We are expected to be liberal and generous in our dealings with our fellowmen especially the household of faith, when it comes to forgiving their sins against us or lending to those who are poor or writing off the debts of people who still cannot repay us after many years.

God promises to bless us for the same, while reminding us that it is more blessed to give than to receive, Deuteronomy 15! The festivals of the Passover, the Harvest and the Tents were to be observed every year during which the male members had to appear before the Lord at the appointed times and at the place which God chose to establish His Name. Justice was to be practiced impartially and bribes, favoritism etc. was not be seen in their midst, Deuteronomy 16.

Idolatry was not to be mingled with the other commandments of God once the temple was built, vs 21,22. Sacrifices offered had to be flawless in all respects.

At the testimony of two or three witnesses, an Idolator had to be stoned to death, Deuteronomy 17:1-7. A priest who gave a verdict based on God’s laws had to be respected and obeyed, vs 8-13. The appointment of a King had to be based on certain criteria to ensure that he would not exalt himself above the Word of God as time went by, and so, bring an end to his reign earlier that God desired, vs 14-20.

The Levitical priests were appointed by God, and so He ensured that He provided amply for them too, Deuteronomy 18:1-8. It is dishonouring to say that God has called us to do a work for him and then beg before men for a payment for the same! Witchcraft, sorcery, divination, causing children to pass through the fire, interpreting omens, casting spells, or being a medium, an occultist, or a necromancer were all considered detestable in God’s eyes, vs 9-14, for God intended for us to go to Him through His prophet in the Old testament, or to Him directly in the New Testament, in order to receive the insights that we needed. However, this could only be possible if we cleaned our consciences from all known sin by the blood of Jesus in order to do so!*

A prophet whose prophecy did not come true was not to be feared and had to be put to death, vs 15-22!

Innocent blood was not to be shed in the land or else the land would be guilty of murder, Deuteronomy 19: 10,13. However, everything was to be confirmed by 2 or 3 witnesses and the guilty had to be handed over to death or given the same sentence as he desired to do to his relative, —life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot, vs 15-21. In this way evil would be purged from the land.

These are simple instructions, which only the proud will have a problem following, but for those who humble themselves under these laws of God, they will be the words that indeed lead to eternal life. Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.