christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 21:10-22:7, the integrity of the land

Read Deuteronomy 21:10-22:7 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: deuteronomy 21:10-22:7, the value of the next generation

(Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the Hebrew paragraph divisions and chiastic structures. The paragraphs marked by an “s” at their close are weak paragraphs, which indicate a change of facet but not a change of theme or topic. The paragraphs marked by a “p” at their close are strong paragraphs, which indicate the completion of a theme or topic. The paragraph divisions reveal the chiastic structures: narratives which zero in on the main point of the narrative at its center, like a bull’s eye at the center of a target. The main point is revealed, because the narrative elements before the main point (or central axis) are repeated after the central axis, in reverse order, while the central axis itself is not repeated.)

We are considering what each of the weak paragraphs in Deu 21:10-22:7, the first section explaining Do not commit adultery (Deu 21:10-23:14), have to teach us in the matter of adultery. The Hebrew paragraph divisions are:

Deu 21:10-14 {s} Treatment of the captive woman
Deu 21:15-17 {s} Do not reject the legitimate firstborn
Deu 21:18-21 {s} Treatment of the rebellious son
Deu 21:22-23 {s} Treatment of the executed criminal
Deu 22:1-3 {s} Treatment of a neighbor’s lost animals
Deu 22:4 {s} Treatment of a neighbor’s burdened animals
Deu 22:5 {s} Sanctity of gender distinction
Deu 22:6-7 {s} Treatment of a mother bird

We saw that the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs, Deu 21:15-21, preserves the sanctity or integrity of the next generation. The 4th paragraph is very unusual, and seems to have nothing at all to do with our overarching topic, yet the weak paragraph division tells us it is just another facet of that same topic. Here it is:

“If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.” Deu 21:22-23

Now we have to ask ourselves the same question we asked yesterday: why is this command here, and not with the explanation of Do not commit murder? God is smarter than we are! We see that in the paragraph itself, the reason is given for this command: so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. So I propose that just as yesterday’s theme was, Do not defile the next generation, or Preserve the sanctity or integrity of the next generation, this paragraph’s theme is Do not defile the land, or Preserve the sanctity or integrity of the land.

Now let’s just think about this. We are first given the first command about the captive woman, because God of course cares for captives, but also He is interested in Do not defile the marital union, or preserve the sanctity of the marital union. We are given the next commands about the sons, because He is interested in Do not defile the next generation, or preserve the sanctity or integrity of the next generation. A next generation which has been protected and not polluted, in other words, comes from marital intimacy that has been protected and not polluted. The next generation is the fruit of the marital union.

Then we are given the command for the proper treatment of the hanged criminal, because He is interested in Do not defile the land, or preserve the sanctity or integrity of the land. I believe the pattern already established teaches us, that a land which has been protected and not polluted, comes from the next generation that has been protected and not polluted. Just as the state of the next generation is the fruit of the state of the marital union, the state of the land is the fruit of the state of the next generation. To establish a land of purity and integrity, we must first establish a next generation of purity and integrity. To establish a next generation of purity and integrity, we must first establish, support, and protect, the purity and integrity of the marital union and marital intimacy.

When the supporters of change of the definition of marriage say that it will not mean anything in the long run, they are misinformed, they are not telling the truth; do not believe them. We have not preserved the sanctity of the marital union in these times, and as a result, we have a next generation which either preys, or becomes a prey. The result of a next generation which preys, or becomes a prey, is a defiled and polluted land. God is so much smarter than we are!

What do we do? God’s people who are called by His name (not the atheists, unbelievers, and wicked), must repent of these things, and resolve to wash their hearts and minds with the water of God’s word, acknowledging the justness and truth of His judgments in these matters, and transform our way of thinking to align it with His way of thinking and doing. Whatever we are doing to dishonor our parents, the lives of our fellow men, our marriages, our children, and our land, we must cease from doing it, and ask God to forgive us our wicked ways. Then He will hear from heaven, and forgive our sins, and heal our land (2 Chr 7:14).

Continued: deuteronomy 21:10-22:7, kind treatment of animals

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