Learning from Deuteronomy 22-25
Care for ‘your brother’(1-4). Our caring is not to be selective - ‘If the brother does not live near you or if you do not know who he is’(2). When Jesus says, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’(Luke 10:27), He means much more than loving the people who live near us, the people that we know. The ‘Samaritan’ didn’t know ‘the man who fell into the hands of robbers’(Luke 10:30,33). ‘Jews did not associate with Samaritans’(John 4:9). Jesus says, ‘Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44). Love your enemies with the love of the Lord - ‘when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son’(Romans 5:8,10). Don’t love the ways of those who ‘live as enemies of the Cross of Christ’(Philippians 3:18). ‘Purge the evil from the midst of you’(21-22,24).
God sees us as we really are. He ‘looks on the heart’ as well as ‘the outward appearance’. We must live to please Him, praying, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!’(14; 1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 139: 23-24). God calls us to be holy: ‘you shall keep yourself from every evil thing’(9). This ‘holiness’ is not to be a proud, arrogant thing. It is to be filled with compassionate caring. Don’t write anyone off, saying, ‘They’re not our kind of people’(7). Don’t be out for all you can get for yourself without any thought of how your actions affect other people (24-25). Let your holiness be real. Don’t say one thing and do another. Don’t pretend to be more ‘holy’ than you really are. Choose to be holy - every day (21-23).
Justice for the vulnerable is grounded in God’s redemption (24:17-18). This is an important principle for us. God loves us. He has done great things for us. He cares. We are to care. Let His love be the guiding light in every part of your life. Scripture speaks of both salvation and judgment. Israel was given ‘the land’ as ‘an inheritance to possess’. The Amalekites were blotted out (25:19). The Christian life is a spiritual warfare. When we are ‘faint and weary’, we will be ‘attacked on the way’. If we ‘lag behind’ in our walk with God, those who ‘do not fear God’ will try to ‘cut us off’ from the Lord and His people. This is the work of Satan. We must not be ‘ignorant of his devices’. God is with us in the battle. He is leading us on to our eternal ‘inheritance’(25:17-19; 2 Corinthians 2:11).