-This next section starts out with laws of divorce within the nation of Israel. If a man finds indecency removing his favor, he is allowed to write her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand sending her out of his house. She is then free to leave and become another man’s wife. If that latter husband also turns against her and writes another certificate of divorce putting it in her hand and sending her out of his house, the former husband is not allowed to take her back again to be his wife. In other words, there will be no wife swapping in God’s country. She is considered defiled, and the Bible says very clearly that it is an abomination before the LORD bringing sin upon the land (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). When Jesus was asked about this issue, He was very clear about the intent of all these things written in the perfect Law of the LORD. He told His audience very matter of factly that it was man’s “hardness of heart” that permitted for divorce, not God’s intended plan (Matthew 19:3-9, Mark 10:2-9). A further marriage provision is now given in the Law of the Promised Land that seems like an awesome idea. “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken (Deuteronomy 24:5).” I wish that law applied to America J. God was concerned about establishing a happy, joyful, and prosperous home life between man and wife.
-The text then moves back into more diverse-sundry laws for the society of God. Verse six has to do with not taking the handmill or upper millstone in pledge. Taking these things would be to take a poor man’s sustenance from him because this is what was used in the home to make bread for their society. Kidnapping is then outlawed. If a person who was kidnapped and treated violently or sold into slavery, that perpetrating thief would be dealt capital punishment; again this was for the purpose of purging the evil from among the populace (Deuteronomy 24:7). The Levitical Law was to be carefully observed by the ordinary people of the land in regards to leprosy infections with a call to remember what happened to Miriam in the wilderness journey (Leviticus 13-14, Numbers 12, Deuteronomy 24:8-9). Certain laws for taking a pledge in regards to loans were commanded with special care given for those who may have been poor. Also, how wages should be distributed were covered to prevent injustice, which amounts to sin. The sum of this is stated as such, “You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns (Deuteronomy 24:10-15). A further area that was dealt with pertained to individual responsibility for crimes committed in the land. Fathers were not allowed to be put to death for their sons mistakes, and sons were never to be put to death for their fathers faults (Deuteronomy 24:16). No perversion of justice was to be allowed in Israel and those laws extended to aliens, orphans, and widows. The Israelites were again reminded that they had been redeemed from slavery in Egypt, and that they were to deal kindly with all involved in their culture. Reaping laws were put into effect to benefit the needy such as not going back to pick up forgotten sheaves of wheat in the field, not beating the boughs of the olive tree a second time in harvesting, and not regathering grapes a second time from the vineyard (Deuteronomy 24:17-22).
-*Application* All of these laws are put into place with regards to having the right kind of heart. It will be easy for us to follow all the laws of God if our heart is right with Him. The problem is, our natural hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Apart from the saving life of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that indwells us upon our acceptance of Him, we are in desperate trouble. Once we have His righteousness, things clear up and we can do the mighty acts of God joyfully and generously as we continually grow in His grace (Matthew 6:33, Romans 3:19-31, Ephesians 2:1-10).
Verses to Memorize: Deuteronomy 24:14, 17