Read 61.) Deuteronomy 12:1 thru 15:23. With Deuteronomy chapter 12, we learn of the command, that for Israel, there was to be only one physical location for their worship. This would be a place yet undisclosed. We know, of course, that it will be Jerusalem, and so, we will remain alert to learn as to what time this becomes known. It will certainly be the case 400 years from this time, when David seeks to build a temple unto the Lord in Jerusalem in his day. Besides that, they were to worship the Lord only in the manner He prescribed, and not in any way in the manner by which the surrounding nations worshiped their gods. The pagan worship of these false idols even involved, in some instances, the religious sacrifice of some of their own children! Within the chapter, we also see promises to Israel of victory and safety in verses 29 and 10. Then, from chapter 13, we have the direction concerning false prophets, even if they correctly prophesied a future portent. But, if they advocated the worship of some other god, they were to be killed. Note: A false prophet may correctly predict something! The entire chapter revolves around the wholehearted keeping of the 1st and the 2nd Commandments by all of Israel.
Chapter 14 concerns itself primarily with 2 matters, the first has to do, once again, with the things that pertain to ceremonial uncleanness, like physical scarring, shaving, and eating forbidden foods. Recall that forbidden foods were not inherently bad or wrong, or in some way evil. Their prohibition had solely to do with Israel’s separateness unto the Lord, and ceremonial cleanness. From verse 22, to the end, as with the end of Leviticus 27, we have the command concerning the tithe. It is the first 10th, and is not a gift or freewill offering. It was a command! It belonged to the Lord! It was His, and to withhold it was as theft! The tithe was in place as early as with Abraham, 700 years before, in Genesis 14:20. The Law was done away with Christ’s death on the Cross. What Christians find in their New Testament is giving, especially in II Corinthians 8 and 9. Nowhere there is 10% mentioned, but only generously and sparingly. But, where do you suppose the dividing point is between these two, if it is not at 10%? Give generously! It begins after 10%! See Proverbs 3:9+10. Chapter 15 gives us more of God’s promises to Israel, and corresponds with the Sabbath Year of Leviticus 25:1-7. If in 12:29 and 10, we find promises of victory and safety; here, in verse 4, we have the promise of wealth and prosperity again. But, take note of this, by the end of verse 11, we can take away a guiding financial principle. Lend to a brother, but consider it as a gift, so that if he may not repay, you need not hold it against him; but consider it as a ‘loan’ to the Lord, and let Him repay! See Proverbs 19:17. The Sabbath Year was a further regulation on the matter of slavery, and the treatment of slaves obviously was to be so good that some might want to willingly remain, rather than to be freed! The chapter closes with the command to sacrifice the firstborn males of their flocks and herds to the honoring of the Lord. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell