Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 18, 2014

We need reminders, both soft and subtle and loud and clear, in God’s Word to stay holy to our God.

Today’s Scripture comes from Deuteronomy 22:5-12.

“5 “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing;  for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.

6 “If you happen to come upon a bird’s nest along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young;  7 you shall certainly let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, in order that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.

8 “When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, so that you will not bring bloodguilt on your house if anyone falls from it.

9 “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled.

10 “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.

11 “You shall not wear a material mixed of wool and linen together.

12 “You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself.”    Deuteronomy 22:5-12.

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The focus of this devotion is on the last four verses which are put in bold italic.  But, first, I do want to briefly comment on a few things in some of the other verses.

Regarding verse 5, it may seem harmless for men and women to wear each other’s clothes, but it can be deceptive, and it does not honor God’s creation and intention for them.  God created man and woman, and although they have many things in common and are not independent of each other, they were created to have distinct features and functions.  Romans 1:26-27 expresses the degrading passions that occur when women exchange “the natural function for that which is unnatural” and when men abandon “the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another”.

Regarding verse 8, a parapet is a specific safety provision.  It is defined as “low wall or railing to protect the edge of a platform, roof, or bridge”.  Merriam-Webster online dictionary.  The purpose of a parapet on a roof is to protect those people who are on a roof and who may lose their balance.  The parapet gives them some barrier, or something to grab, to prevent them from falling off the roof and hurting themselves.

Generally, safety provisions are good.  We see requirements of safety provision throughout society.  We see fences around pools.  We see trampolines only in backyards.  We see child-proof caps.  There are so many other examples.  Although people should not be careless, we see God’s law (and man’s law following God’s law) mercifully making such safety provisions to prevent or at least minimize the consequences of man’s carelessness.

Now, we will focus on the last four verses which are put in bold italic.  These verses point together to a common theme that the kingdom of heaven is not mixed with the righteous and unrighteous.  “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived;  neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”  1 Corinthians 6:9-10.  “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:  immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Galatians 5:19-21.

We particularly see the image of the ox and donkey in verse 10 used in 2 Corinthians 6:14:  “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:  for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?  and what communion hath light with darkness?”  King James Version.

In verse 12, the purpose of the tassels is explained in Numbers 15:37-41.  “The Lord also spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue.  It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God.  I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God;  I am the Lord your God.”  Numbers 15:37-41.

In conclusion, there is much in this world that tempts us to “follow after your own heart and your own eyes” and to chase after other unholy things and to get bound up in such other unholy things.  We need reminders, both soft and subtle and loud and clear, in God’s Word to stay holy to our God.

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