Faithfulness: Deuteronomy 24:6-25:10

Deuteronomy 24:6‑25:10  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Deuteronomy 24:6-25:106No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge. 7If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die; and thou shalt put evil away from among you. 8Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do. 9Remember what the Lord thy God did unto Miriam by the way, after that ye were come forth out of Egypt. 10When thou dost lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge. 11Thou shalt stand abroad, and the man to whom thou dost lend shall bring out the pledge abroad unto thee. 12And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge: 13In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the Lord thy God. 14Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates: 15At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee. 16The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. 17Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow's raiment to pledge: 18But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing. 19When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. 20When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 21When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 22And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing. 1If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. 2And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. 3Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee. 4Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. 5If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. 6And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. 7And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother. 8Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; 9Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. 10And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed. (Deuteronomy 24:6‑25:10)
Under the law no man was to be left without that which was necessary for his livelihood in order to settle a debt.
Anyone who practiced kidnapping was to be put to death. What wonders the grace of God can now do for the vilest! The people were also to be very careful to observe all the Lord had commanded as to leprosy, so that this dread sickness would not spread or cause defilement in the camp where the Lord dwelt.
There was also to be consideration for the needs of the poor, so that in their dealings one with another no one was to be put under hardship. A man’s wages were never to be withheld from him, especially if he were in need.
Moreover, a child was not to die for his father’s sins, nor a father for his sons. They were always to be just in their dealings.
There was to be special consideration given to the fatherless and the widow, and they were to leave gleanings in their fields and on their olive trees. God, in all His greatness, thinks of the needs of every one of His creatures, especially man, in spite of all his rebellion and sin. “How good is the God we adore!” Do you know Him as the One who has met the great need of your guilty soul, through the work of His Son on the cross? Are you redeemed by the precious blood of Christ? The needs of your body are not nearly as important as the need of your soul, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:3636For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)).
Whenever it was necessary to beat a man for his wrong doing, they were not to give him more than forty stripes, for if they kept on beating him it would be anger, and not justice he was receiving.
If an ox was put to work in a corn field, they were to allow the animal to eat all the corn it needed — they were not to muzzle it. The Apostle Paul mentions this in Corinthians, to show that this is applicable to those who labor for the Lord. Those of the Lord’s people, among whom they labor, are to care for their temporal needs (1 Corinthians 9:7-14).
The Faithfulness of a Brother
If a man died in Israel without having any children, then his brother was to marry his deceased brother’s wife and raise up seed to his brother. If he did not wish to do so, then in the presence of the elders of the city she was to loose off his shoe and spit in his face. Now, in a typical way, Israel was married to the law, but sadly there was no fruit for God from this “marriage,” for “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:2323For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)), and a broken law brought death. The Lord Jesus, the true Husband of Israel (Isaiah 54:55For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)), came to restore that which He took not away (Psalm 69:44They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. (Psalm 69:4)), but Israel would not have Him. He was faithful, as a brother was to be in Israel, but in spite of His faithfulness they rejected Him. They ought to have honored Him, for they were unfaithful and not He, but they robbed Him of the honor due to Him and spit in His blessed face. And yet, all this has not changed His love and faithfulness. He will not put them away (Isaiah 50:11Thus saith the Lord, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. (Isaiah 50:1)), but will yet betroth them to Him in faithfulness, (Hosea 2:19-2019And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord. (Hosea 2:19‑20)). He will bless them and make them fruitful in the coming day when their seed shall be as the sand of the sea (Romans 9:2727Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: (Romans 9:27)). What grace!
Further Meditations
1. What special consideration was given to the fatherless and the widow?
2. How has the Lord shown His faithfulness to His people Israel? to you?
3. If you’ve been thinking about the faithfulness of God you might be refreshed by the poem God’s Faithful Promises.