|On-Line Bible Lessons|
Moses has covered the laws which protected the purity of the home and family. Now he is going to give something to protect the purity of the congregation. There seems to be several divisions here: First, the rights of citizenship, maintaining the purity in the congregation; second, maintaining of purity in times of war; third, proper response to slaves and to the wicked person; fourth, the individual's responsibility as a citizen of this congregation.
1. Verses 1-2, here we see those who are barred from the congregation.
The first ones barred are those males who are incapable of reproducing.
Verses 17-18 would fit here, also. The reason for this prohibition
is that these people would not be concerned with the future. These
would only be concerned with the here and now because they would
have no heirs. The people of God are to make their decisions in
the view of how many generations, Ex. 20:5?
Those of v. 1 and v. 17 are not going to make this kind of decision. Those of v. 1 could give their whole allegiance and loyalty to their human masters as eunuchs.
Another point here. In chapter 22, God has emphasized the natural order which He established. This order which is to be followed and chp. 23 follows it. Those who would fit into v. 1 would not be able to follow the natural order. Those of v. 2 didn't follow the natural order and v. 17 refuses to follow the natural order.
2. Who else was barred from the congregation, v. 2? __________________________________
a. Here again we see the thrust of God's law the protection of the godly family. It at no time rewards sin. He might be a godly man, yet he was still barred from any legal rights of heirship for how long? ________________________________________________________________________
There were few exceptions to this and those exceptions were made so by God as God Himself dealt with the persons, David and Bathsheba, etc.. This law shows the importance which God places upon the order which He established.
3. Who else was barred, v. 3? ________________________________________________________
There are two thoughts on vv. 2 and 3. Some say for ten generations, others say that ten is a number of complete exclusion which would bar them from ever coming in.
4. Why were those of v. 3 barred, v. 4? ______________________________________________
a. They were not barred because of incest, Gen. 19:30-38, but on account of their hostility they had shown to the establishment of the kingdom of God. Not only had they failed to do the above, but what else did they do, v. 4? ________________________________________________
b. What did God do with "the curse" which Moab sought,
c. As a result, what was Israel prevented from doing, v. 6?
This was not done out of revenge or personal hatred for them. Ezra put this law in force as he re-established the congregation in Jerusalem in chp. 9. Again, there were exceptions, Joshua 1:12, 13 and Ruth 1:15-22. These two were made exceptions because of two things. First, their willingness to turn their backs completely upon their false gods. Second, both married into the congregation. In both of these we see a beautiful picture of the Church. Eph. 2 speaks of us who "At one time we were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."
The law of Moses was very strict in barring certain people from the nation of Israel espe&SHY;cially those who were against the kingdom of God, yet, they could turn from their false gods and marry into the nation. We who were at war against the Lord and His Christ are accepted in the same way. By His grace, through faith, we turn from our false gods and are married to the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel, Ps. 89:18. The OT woman assumed the status of her husband, therefore, marriage gave her his status in the nation. Marriage to the KING of Israel gives us His status and entrance into His new nation of Israel.
This affirms again the forbidding of the saved marrying the unsaved. Yet, v. 6 goes even fur&SHY;ther. We are forbidden in any way to help those who seek to hinder God's kingdom, the enemies of God. This is one reason the ones who hate God are prospering today. Many times God's people are helping and supporting them.
5. Who was allowed to live as strangers among the congregation,
a. Why? (There is a reason for each group). _________________________________________
They could dwell among them as strangers and then be accepted in through circumcision after they had demonstrated their belief in the God of Israel for two generations. They demonstrated this belief through obedience to His laws. Many times we are willing to accept in those who make a profession when we should be waiting for a demonstration of their faith.
"In colonial New England, the covenatal concept of church and state was applied. Everyone went to church, but only a limited number had voting rights in the church and therefore in the state, because there was a coincidence of church membership and citizenship. The others were no less believers, but the belief was that only the responsible must be given responsibility. One faith, one law, and one standard of justice did not mean democracy. The heresy of democracy has since then worked havoc in church and state, and it has worked towards reducing society to anar&SHY;chy ("Institutes", pg. 100)."