Today you should read: Deuteronomy 23:1-25
Well, isn’t this just one of the most awkward passages of Scripture about which to write? Nestled in amongst some of the awkwardness is verse 14, which, in my opinion, is the key verse.
The camp must be holy, for the LORD your God moves around in your camp to protect you and to defeat your enemies. He must not see any shameful thing among you, or he will turn away from you.—Deut. 23:14 (NLT)
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary gives this insight: “The camp of the Lord must have nothing offensive in it.”
Let that be something of which we have great understanding. The camp of the Lord must not have anything offensive in it. Well, shucks, that isn’t a very hopeful verse for a sinner like me because I am offensive to the Lord various times throughout a typical day.
Now that you’ve recognized your inability to even be considered part of the Lord’s camp according to the merit of your sin, let the requirement for holiness and cleanliness point you towards the great news of the Great Redeemer’s great righteousness that is greatly lavished on those who surrender to His lordship and receive his forgiveness.
All of the commands of the Old Testament, even the ones that seem awkward and difficult to understand, point toward the need to be holy in order to fully engage in proper communion with the Lord. We know that we cannot measure up to the standards of the Law, but “thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” that allows us the privilege to “draw near to the throne of grace with confidence.”
Now, on a different note, check out verse 23a. “You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips…” (NASB).These words sparked a thought that I want to communicate to both you and myself: Please don’t promise to do something or commit to be part of something if you don’t plan to complete your promise or fulfill your commitment.
It’s intriguing to me how easily people back out of their commitments. If someone agrees to be on a ministry team or a committee, he/she should fulfill that commitment. I understand there are extenuating circumstances that get in the way at times, but we should all strive to do what we say we are going to do.
So, there ya go. I hope this was helpful. Oh, and I am thankful for toilets (vs. 12-13).
Posted: Rich Duffield