Deuteronomy 23 & Psalms 112-113

Deuteronomy 23

    “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD.

    “No one born of a forbidden union may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD.

    “No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever, because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. But the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam; instead the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loved you. You shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever.

    “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were a sojourner in his land. Children born to them in the third generation may enter the assembly of the LORD.

    “When you are encamped against your enemies, then you shall keep yourself from every evil thing.

    “If any man among you becomes unclean because of a nocturnal emission, then he shall go outside the camp. He shall not come inside the camp, but when evening comes, he shall bathe himself in water, and as the sun sets, he may come inside the camp.

    “You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it. And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement. Because the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.

    “You shall not give up to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall dwell with you, in your midst, in the place that he shall choose within one of your towns, wherever it suits him. You shall not wrong him.

    “None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, and none of the sons of Israel shall be a cult prostitute. You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog into the house of the LORD your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God.

    “You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest. You may charge a foreigner interest, but you may not charge your brother interest, that the LORD your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

    “If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin. But if you refrain from vowing, you will not be guilty of sin. You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth.

    “If you go into your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as you wish, but you shall not put any in your bag. If you go into your neighbor's standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your neighbor's standing grain.

(Deuteronomy 23 ESV)


Psalm 112

     Praise the LORD!
    Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
        who greatly delights in his commandments!
    His offspring will be mighty in the land;
        the generation of the upright will be blessed.
    Wealth and riches are in his house,
        and his righteousness endures forever.
    Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
        he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
    It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
        who conducts his affairs with justice.
    For the righteous will never be moved;
        he will be remembered forever.
    He is not afraid of bad news;
        his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
    His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
        until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
    He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
        his righteousness endures forever;
        his horn is exalted in honor.
    The wicked man sees it and is angry;
        he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
        the desire of the wicked will perish!

(Psalm 112 ESV)


Psalm 113

    Praise the LORD!
    Praise, O servants of the LORD,
        praise the name of the LORD!
    
    Blessed be the name of the LORD
        from this time forth and forevermore!
    From the rising of the sun to its setting,
        the name of the LORD is to be praised!
    
    The LORD is high above all nations,
        and his glory above the heavens!
    Who is like the LORD our God,
        who is seated on high,
    who looks far down
        on the heavens and the earth?
    He raises the poor from the dust
        and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
    to make them sit with princes,
        with the princes of his people.
    He gives the barren woman a home,
        making her the joyous mother of children.
    Praise the LORD!

(Psalm 113 ESV)


Something to Consider

Deuteronomy 23: The land of God’s people was to remain a holy land and great measures were to be taken to preserve the cleanliness and holiness of the congregation that dwelt in the land. However, not only was the land to remain a holy land with holy people, it was to be the dwelling place of the chosen ‘family of God’. God’s people are adopted children into His family in which He is our Father, and we are all brothers and sisters, sons and daughters within this great family. 

A consistent theme that continues to be revisited throughout the Old Testament Law is the way in which the wealthier members of God’s family ought to show a great deal of generosity towards the poorer members of the family. What loving brother who has been blessed with plenty wouldn’t care for his younger brother or sister who is suffering lack? Therefore, we are to share our “crops” (resources) with our brothers and sisters in need and not expect any payment in return. We must continue to display our confidence and trust in God to persistently provide for us as we provide for others. Generously giving and sharing our wealth with our brothers and sisters of the faith is how we faithfully fulfill our role in the economy of God’s family. 

God will not allow His children to oppress one another nor will He allow His children to abuse the generosity of their wealthier brothers and sisters. Grapes and grain were to be freely given for the poorer brethren passing by the field, but grapes and grain were not to be gathered by the poorer brethren who ate freely from that field. God’s children are expected to come together under the guardrails of generosity and gratitude, and the conduct of this specially chosen family ought to always bring honor and great glory to the Father who protects and provides every need for His children.