Consideration for Others: Deuteronomy 21:21-22:5

Deuteronomy 21:21‑22:5  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
We were considering the stoning of the stubborn and rebellious son, and we need hardly remark that this was law and not grace. Yet it is surely true that sin is just as serious under grace as it was under law — indeed it is more serious because more light means greater responsibility. The grace of God, known in the soul, ought to give a new and powerful motive to live for the Lord’s glory. May the Lord cause any thoughtless, disobedient, young reader of this paper to consider his or her ways.
We are also told that if a man had committed a sin worthy of death, and they hanged him on a tree, they were not to leave his dead body on the tree all night, for he was “accursed of God.” Surely we have committed sins worthy of death — we were guilty — and all those under the law are cursed by it, too, since they have not kept it. But wonder of wonders, we do not have to bear the punishment, for God has provided a Substitute. The blessed Lord Jesus was made a curse for us on Calvary’s tree (Galatians 3:1313Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Galatians 3:13)), taking our guilty place and bearing our judgment that we might go free. Dear reader, have you claimed Him as your Saviour — your Substitute? If not, and you continue rejecting Him, then you must bear the judgment of God yourself, and that forever in the lake of fire. Do not reject God’s marvelous grace.
Thoughtfulness and Kindness
How wonderful to see that God would have His people, who were called by His Name, considerate of others. There is so little consideration of others today that it is well to take notice of what the Lord says here. Often our thoughtless ways bring dishonor upon the Lord, without us realizing it. We may be thoroughly upright in our dealings, and yet lack in that thoughtfulness and kindness which we ought to show to our neighbors. The Israelite was not even to pass by one of his neighbor’s cattle, which had fallen into a pit, without stopping to help it out, and he was to care for any of his neighbor’s cattle that might have wandered onto his farm until they could be returned to their owner. He was to show this same care with anything belonging to his neighbor. It is beautiful to see the Spirit of God giving instructions about all these “little things” in our lives, for it is well to remember that the Word of God not only tells us how to be saved, but also marks out the path for our feet step by step.
Distinction in Men and Women’s Clothing
The next verse shows us that there was to be a distinction in clothing between men and women. Men were not to wear women’s clothes, nor women those pertaining to men. One sees in this the wisdom of God in guarding us against the moral disorder to which our natural hearts are so prone. The awful corruptions that filled the heathen world (as recorded in Romans 1) were the result of men and women casting aside restraint, and living in their lusts. Men left the natural use of the women and filled the earth with corruption which brought down the judgment of God.
And don’t we see the same tendency today? Women dressing like men is but another step in this direction in these so-called Christian lands. Dear young Christian, let us be warned so that we walk circumspectly. Since God has told us that those who do these things are “abomination unto the Lord” it is our wisdom to hearken to the voice of God.
Further Meditations
1. What are some examples of the kindness an Israelite was to show to his neighbor?
2. How can we show tender thoughtfulness toward our neighbors? What is a necessary prerequisite for showing a meaningful kindness to a friend? How does this relate to the fruit of the Spirit?
3. The kindness of the Lord as the perfect example can be enjoyed simply and quickly in the refreshing leaflet The Loving-Kindness of the Lord taken from Footprints for Pilgrims.