Deuteronomy 12-25

Deuteronomy 12‑25  •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 7
EU 12-25{Mamma.. Now, Moses taught the people how they were to behave in the land, that they might be blessed. In all their actions they were to show that they were God's people, and that He was their God; and as a proof of this, God would choose a place in one of their tribes, where He would put His name, and there they were to bring their offerings and their tithes, and they were to eat there before the Lord and to rejoice in all the good things that God had given them.
Sophy. Could they not rejoice as well in their own tents?
M. No. God chose to surround Himself with joy, and it was joy to Him, who was the mighty giver of all good things, to see His people rejoicing before Him. All were to rejoice, their sons and their daughters, their servants, and the Levites that were inside their gates; no one was to be left out.
S. Were they to bring every animal that they killed to God?
M. No; the animals that they wanted for their common daily food they might kill inside their gates, but all the blood was to be poured out upon the earth. It was only the things they offered to the Lord that they were to bring to the place which God should choose, and then the blood was to be poured upon the altar. And when they were come into the land they were to be very careful not to have anything to do with the false god of the nations that God had destroyed; they must not even ask about them, for their ways were very hateful to God. And if any one came and asked them to go after any other god they were not to listen to him, but all the people were to put him to death. If it was their nearest relation, or their dearest friend, they were not to pity him, or to try to hide him; they were to be the very first to cast a stone at him, because he had tried to draw them away from the one true God, who had brought them out of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
S. Was that to show that they loved God more than their dearest friend?
M. Yes. It was sin even to listen to the temptation, and we know that it was by listening to the serpent that Adam and Eve got away from God at first. And any one who tempts God's people to dishonor Him is doing Satan's work; and even if it is our nearest relation, or our very dearest friend, we must take God's part against him, and treat him as a guilty one.
S. That would be great sorrow, mamma.
M. True, Sophy; but if we loved God with all our heart, and with all our soul, it would be greater sorrow to hear Him dishonored. The children of Israel were to be so zealous for God in this matter, that if they heard that the inhabitants of one of their own cities had gone after other gods, they were to search carefully whether it were true; and if it were they were to destroy the whole city, and to burn it with fire, and it should never be built again. They were to be in everything a holy people, because they were the children of the Lord their God. God showed how He cared for them, and they were to care for one another. He said, if the way was too long for them to carry their offerings they might bring money instead, and when they carne to the place the Lord had chosen, they might buy oxen or sheep, or whatever they wished, and they might eat them before the Lord, and rejoice with their families, and with the Levite that lived in their city They were never to forget the Levite, but every three years they were to lay up the tenth part of all they had, especially for the Levite, and for any stranger, or orphan, or widow, who might be in their city, that all might come up before the Lord, and eat, and be satisfied. God would not have one poor beggar left out or forgotten when His people rejoiced before Him.
S. Does God like His people to be generous?
M. Yes; because it is like Himself. He gave liberally to them, and they were to give liberally to each other. After seven years every one who was owed anything by another was to forgive him the debt, and they were to help every poor man in their tribes. And if they had a slave of their own people they were to set him free in the seventh year, and to give him plenty of food to take away with him; but if he wished to stay with them, they were to put a hole in his ear as a proof that he was their servant forever, to listen and to obey.
The first-born of their cattle they were to keep for the Lord, and they must not shear the wool off the first-born of their sheep. All the feasts they were to keep in the place the Lord should choose. Three times in the year they were to appear before the Lord.
S. You said they kept the Passover in their own houses?
M. So they did the night they came out of Egypt. But when they were come into the land, they were to go up to the place where God should put His name, and eat it in the night, and go home next morning. God's throne was to be with His people, and they were to come up to worship him, not empty, but with the best of all the good things He had given them.
They were to set up judges in all their cities, who were to judge the people truly and justly; and if they had a very hard case they were to go up to the place that God should choose, and the priest and the judge that were there should give judgment about it. And Moses said: When you are come into the land, and wish to have a king like the other nations, you shall not have a stranger for your king, but you shall have one whom the Lord your God shall choose for you out of your own tribes. And your king must not get a great many horses, or go down into Egypt, because the the Lord has said: You shall never return that way any more. And your king must not have many wives, and he must not save up for himself silver and gold, but he must write a copy of this law in a book, and he must read it the days of his life, that he may learn to fear God, and to obey His word.
S. Why should the king write out the law?
M. Because he ought to be the person who was most careful of God's honor in all the kingdom. The king who ruled over the people ought to have been God's servant, keeping His law and showing an example to all his subjects. But Moses knew that this faithless people would not always continue to walk with God as he had told them. So he said: The Lord your God will raise up a Prophet out of your brethren like unto me, and you will listen to him.
S. Did he mean Jesus?
M. Yes. Moses reminded them that they had been afraid of the voice of God speaking out of the fire on the mountain, and that they had wished not to hear it any more. But he said that the Lord Jesus Christ should come with the words a God in His mouth, not with thunder and lightning, but full of grace and truth. He should speak to them in God's name, and any one who did not listen to Him, God would judge.
Moses also told them what to do if a person was found killed in their land. They were to kill a heifer, and the elders of the city should wash their hands over the heifer, and say: Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it; and so God would not punish them for the innocent blood shed in their land. Moses also gave them a great many laws about being thoughtful and kind to one another, and treating oven the animals with the gentleness with which God treated them. God would not allow any kind of mixture; they must not sow different kinds of seeds together, nor put a cow and a donkey to plow together. The fringes of blue upon their dress were to show the kind of people they were to be. An Ammonite or Moabite they were never to receive into the congregation of the Lord, because of what they had done to Israel in the wilderness. They were not to hate an Edomite, because Esau was their brother, and they were not to hate an Egyptian, because they had once been stranger sin his land. But they were never to spare an Amalekite.