DEUTERONOMY TWENTY-THREE

 

Moses moves on to cover some more laws of holiness. Verses 9-14 would seem trivial to us, but they were not to our God. We have covered this principle in a previous lesson so let us just say here that God highly regards a holy and separated life in His people. He here associates physical, personal cleanliness with holiness. The term "cleanliness is next to godliness" would fit well. Our God is concerned with EVERY area of human activity even down to the bare neces­sities of nature. NOTHING escapes His notice or His Word. If we are unable to find a principle of His Word to apply to our "question", the problem isn't His Word, the problem is in us which would prevent finding the answer.

1. What is the reason for such detail in the law of God, v. 14?
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a. Where does He walk today, Rev. 1:13-20? ________________________________________

Let us not think that He is no longer concerned with such detail.

2. Now we come to a delicate situation. Notice scripture does not use the term slave, rather, it uses what term, v. 15? ______________________________________________________________

The buying and selling of slaves was forbidden in scripture. Deut. 21:14 would be a good ex­ample of this. Even though they were forbidden to make "merchandise" of a person, servitude was permitted. There are three reasons for servitude. What are they?

(a) Ex. 22:3__________________________________________________________________________
(b) Deut. 15:11-15 ___________________________________________________________________
(c) Deut. 15:16-17; Ex. 21:1-6________________________________________________________

Now this presents several things. First, evidently a man could sell his daughter yet she did not belong bodily to the master. Her physical well-being was still protected by God's law. This "selling" seems to be in view of marriage. The "selling" price being the dowry, Ex. 21:7-11 (see lesson 22-4). Second, a man could freely renounce his liberty and sell himself. If he chose the security of servitude over the better way of "self-employed", he showed his subjection with the pierced ear (today's pierced ear on a man sure isn't this). This man who was a voluntary servant could not be returned to his master if he had fled from him, Deut. 23:15-16. Of course, the other two would be because they owed a debt which had to be paid. Third, man's nature is not one of servitude. God gave man the desire to exercise dominion or control over God's creation, Gen. 1:26. Some men are unable to do this and can be content in servitude. Far more, even though they are working for the other man, dream of being able to exercise this dominion over his occupation. This may be a reason that many companies almost demand the total being of an employee today. This is the world's way of attacking this "dominion mandate" and desire which God built into man.

This principle of servitude is reflected throughout scripture. We were a slave to sin, sold out by Adam to the devil himself. The Lord Jesus Christ paid the price to buy us out of that ser­vitude to the world, flesh and the devil. Our call now is to make a clean break from that old master and serve our new Master, I Cor. 7:20-24. We are to avoid that old yoke of bondage to the world, flesh and the devil, Rom. 13:14.

Notice a principle of I Cor. 7:23. We are not to be a servant to man. This would include ser­vitude through socialism, state welfare. There are many who would like to change directions, yet, they are unable to do so because they are the servant of socialism and they are afraid they will lose the blessings of their master, the state. Their master might withhold their benefits. God's people are to be free from all entanglements in order to serve Him.

(d) The OT sign of servitude to a master out of love was a pierced ear. What would be some NT signs of servitude to our Master, Gal. 5:22, 23, 24? __________________________________

The purpose of freedom is to serve God and to bring all things under the authority of His Word. The scriptures, as well as history, show us that any time this freedom is ignored or abused it is lost.

3. We saw in vv. 15-16 that a man could sell his daughter, yet that "selling" was confined within God's law. What is forbidden in v. 17a; Lev. 19:29? ____________________________

4. Following this line of thought, what is forbidden in v. 17b; Lev. 18:22; 20:13?
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a. Both of these sins referred to in 17 and 18 would be a reference to the selling of one's body. Biblical servitude to another person would be the selling of one's time, talents and efforts, not the bodies. What principle would apply here which would forbid the selling of the body, Rom. 12:1?___________________________________________________________________ ___________

As Rom. 12:1 is adhered to, our own bodies can be used only in a manner consistent with His Word.

This passage, vv. 17-18, would be a reference to the Canaanite fertility rites which in­fluenced God's people so often, I Ki. 14:24; 15:12; II Ki. 23:7, etc..

The sinner is not barred from giving to the Lord, yet here we see clearly forbidden the bringing of the profits of sin to Him. Also, here is a principle that sin is not to be taxed. To tax sin is to condone it, and even becoming dependent upon that sin. Here would enter in our present day "sin tax" on tobacco, alcohol, and, especially, the lottery. The profits of sin are not to be used to promote "good things". This would also include the idea, "I know this isn't exactly right, yet, if I make a few more dollars I will have more to give to God."

We also see in I Ki. 3:16-28 the two harlots received justice under the law, yet this did not make them citizens. Deut. 23:17 indicates that those who were harlots were outside of Israel, strangers. They were outside of the nation by being "cut off." I Cor. 5 could fit in here.

We see then from these four verses, Deut. 23:15-18, a principle laid down and applied by Paul in I Cor. 6. There he is talking of living a morally clean life. Starting in v. 13 he is referring to the body. Follow it on through and notice v. 20, "For you have been bought with a price: Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." Here we see that Christ, with His blood, purchased far more than just our spirits. He purchased our bodies. Our bodies are not our own to do with as we see fit. Our bodies are HIS to be used only in the manner which is consistent with the principles of His Word. It is not to be controlled by other men; it is not to be controlled by the lusts of the flesh; it is not even to be controlled by our own desires. We are the servants of the Most High God, and any use of our bodies which is inconsistent with this or which prevents, hinders this servitude is sin, Rom. 13:14.

We do not have to look far in the NT to find this principle built on over and over. Let's serve with a willing heart of love for the One Who paid the price to buy us back from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Let us be holy because the One who called us and paid the price for us is holy.
See "Institutes" further treatment of this principle.

(Added note on question 2 above. One of the reasons companies transfer their employees is to keep their allegiance toward the company.)