Deuteronomy 25 & Psalm 116

Deuteronomy 25

    “If there is a dispute between men and they come into court and the judges decide between them, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty, then if the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with a number of stripes in proportion to his offense. Forty stripes may be given him, but not more, lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight.

    “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.

    “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. And if the man does not wish to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband's brother refuses to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.’ Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’ then his brother's wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.’ And the name of his house shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal pulled off.’

    “When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand. Your eye shall have no pity.

    “You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the LORD your God.

    “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God. Therefore when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget.

(Deuteronomy 25 ESV)

Psalm 116

    I love the LORD, because he has heard
        my voice and my pleas for mercy.
    Because he inclined his ear to me,
        therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
    The snares of death encompassed me;
        the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
        I suffered distress and anguish.
    Then I called on the name of the LORD:
        “O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!”
    Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
        our God is merciful.
    The LORD preserves the simple;
        when I was brought low, he saved me.
    Return, O my soul, to your rest;
        for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
    For you have delivered my soul from death,
        my eyes from tears,
        my feet from stumbling;
    I will walk before the LORD
        in the land of the living.
    I believed, even when I spoke:
        “I am greatly afflicted”;
    I said in my alarm,
        “All mankind are liars.”
    What shall I render to the LORD
        for all his benefits to me?
    I will lift up the cup of salvation
        and call on the name of the LORD,
    I will pay my vows to the LORD
        in the presence of all his people.
    Precious in the sight of the LORD
        is the death of his saints.
    O LORD, I am your servant;
        I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
        You have loosed my bonds.
    I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
        and call on the name of the LORD.
    I will pay my vows to the LORD
        in the presence of all his people,
    in the courts of the house of the LORD,
        in your midst, O Jerusalem.
    Praise the LORD!

(Psalm 116 ESV)

Something to Consider

Deuteronomy 25: According to the Law of God, even an animal was entitled to some of the fruits of his labor. To muzzle an ox while he is treading out the grain would prevent him from eating any of that grain. The apostle Paul would later apply this same principle toward those who labor in ministry. 

For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? (1 Corinthians 9)

Just as we ought to take great care of the animals in God’s creation that serve and benefit us physically, we ought to take great care of those whom have been called by God to serve and benefit us spiritually.