Journaling: Deuteronomy 16-19

Speaker: Scott Jarrett | Jul 26, 2020
  1. Acceptable worship requires more than good intentions (i.e. it also requires careful observance of God’s instructions)(16:1-17, 12).
  1. The Lord’s Table (NC Passover) is to be observed only in the place where God’s Name dwells (i.e. the covenant community w/her anointed priests) (16:5-6).
  1. Though the “works of the law” (which included the three Sabbath holidays) have been superseded through faith in Christ (Gal 4:10), the principles which remain intact would include: 1) we must remove the sin or “leaven” from our life (i.e. we must seek and serve justice/repent) if we want God to remove His wrath for our sins (Passover) (16:1-8; 1Co 5:6-8), 2) we must acknowledge God’s yearly provision and blessings through freewill offerings and rejoicing w/the covenant community if we want His provisional blessings to continue (Feast of Weeks and Booths)(16:9-17, 10-11, 14, 16b-17).
  1. Every covenant community is to “appoint [its own] judges and officers” for the purpose of “judg(ing) the people w/righteous judgment” (16:18; 1Co 6:1-3; NC = ordained teaching elders are the “judges”, ruling elders are the “officers”; e.g. Act 14:23).
  1. Righteous judgment requires that there be no perversion of justice which includes any and all forms of partiality. IOW: justice is on God’s terms and not ours (16:19).
  1. To follow God and receive His blessings means following the path of “justice and only justice” (or “blind righteousness”) in all things (16:20).
  1. God hates even subtle forms of idolatry (16:21-17:1; e.g. men w/long hair /women w/short hair– see 1Co 11:13-16 = Paul associates hair w/proper worship of God [short hair: verse 6 – “shorn” = hair cut short on top, sides and back – or “above the collar & above the ears”; “shave” = hair shaved on top, sides and back]; shorn/shaved has been the honorable standard for men for thousands of years – 2Co 8:21; See also Lev 10:6, 13:45, 21:10 – “hang loose” = let grow long and become unclean; General rule: if a man’s hair can hang, then it is too long).
  1. All wrongdoing among those in the covenant community – most especially capital crimes, must be: 1) reported to the leaders – including those that are only suspicions (17:2-4a, “it is told you and you hear it” = hearsay), 2) diligently investigated (17:4b), 3) proven by sufficient evidence and punished according to what fits the crime (17:4c-6), 4) pursued/supported by the entire covenant community as the sign of their commitment to justice and holiness (17:7).
  1. All capital crimes. (e.g. sexual immorality, murder, etc), violations of one’s legal rights (e.g. slander, stealing, fraud, etc) assault or other complex cases requiring the judgment of the elders is to be: 1) submitted to the elders for their decision (17:8-9), 2) obeyed exactly according to their direction/verdict (17:10-11).
  1. Rejecting the judgment of the elders through questioning or disobedience (i.e. acting “presumptuously”): 1) makes that person guilty of insurrection/insubordination apostasy (17:12 w/Num 15:30-31 w/Mat 12:32, 18:17), 2) is something the covenant community sb fearful of doing (17:13).
  1. The one leading God’s people must be: 1) a covenant brother (not sister) (17:14-15; 1Ti 2:12-15), 2) risk adverse (17:16-17), 3) biblically-immersed and God-fearing (17:18-19), 4) loyal and just in his treatment of his covenant family (17:20).
  1. A large portion of what God’s people give to the Lord as their tithes/offerings is to be designated as the “inheritance” of/compensation for His “priests” (e.g. anointed/ordained elders) (18:1-8; 1Ti 5:17-18).
  1. Participation in rituals associated w/anything spiritual or supernatural that is not directly prescribed, in agreement and associated w/God is a pagan “abomination” and not allowed before Him (18:9-14; e.g. witchcraft, necromancy, false religion).
  1. Moses preached that a (new) law-giving prophet: 1) would again arise and have authority over God’s people (18:18-19; this is Jesus – Act 3:22-23), 2) is to be deemed suspicious, never feared and ultimately condemned unless their message can be validated through biblical integrity and prophetic fulfillment (18:20-22).
  1. Covenant members: 1) must be protected from those wanting to exact a justice beyond what the Law prescribes (19:1-10), 2) must not be protected when the crimes they have committed are capital in nature (19:11-13).
  1. Intentional misrepresentation of all forms of property (including intellectual property) is explicitly prohibited by God (19:14; e.g. embellishment/sinful manipulation of the facts/story to persuade the actions of another in a particular direction).
  1. Any accusation against a covenant member that is propagated as truth before it has been established as such by the necessary evidence of more than a “single witness”: 1) makes the accuser guilty as a “malicious witness” whose punishment shall be according to the accused crime (19:15-19a; Joh 5:31; 2Co 13:1), 2) shall never be tolerated, nor should those who do it be pitied (19:19b-21).
  1. The severe punishment imposed on a malicious witness tells us that God demands we practice, “innocent until proven guilty” (19:15-21).