Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for the contents of these Bible study outlines.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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(Seeing That Justice Is Done)
January 30, 2022
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 24:1-22
KEY VERSE: “But 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.” (Deuteronomy 24:18)
INTRODUCTION: Deuteronomy chapter 24 begins with the Mosaic Law of divorce. The remainder of the chapter is devoted to people-to-people relationships in which mercy is to be shown. Remember, God is merciful, and He expects His people to exhibit mercy toward each other. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (see Proverbs 14:34).
I. HUSBANDS AND WIVES. (Deuteronomy 24:1-5)
“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)
1. Divorce was not part of God’s ideal for marriage, even though he permitted it here. Jesus told his disciples that this concession was made because of the hardness of the Israelites’ hearts -- that is, their refusal to submit to divine standards (see Matthew 19:8). God allowed for divorce when the husband found something indecent about his wife, that is, something unacceptable. This protected the woman and freed her to remarry (Deuteronomy 24:1).
“When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.” (Deuteronomy 24:5)
2. God protects the home even in the time of war. God regards the sacredness of the marriage vow.
Better by far was the mandate that Israel should help a newly married couple get off to a good start by giving the husband one year off from service in the army. This would allow the couple time to adjust to their life together and prevent a new bride from losing her husband in war before having a chance to enjoy married life and possibly conceive (Deuteronomy 24:5).
WHAT EVERY WIFE NEEDS
By Dr. Robert Jeffress
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.” (Ephesians 5:25-26)
The apostle Paul describes the roles of husbands and wives in Ephesians 5. He says to husbands, “Love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (verse 25). He goes on to say, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies” (verse 28). Husbands, your responsibility is to love your wife in the same way that Christ loved us -- to be willing to do whatever it takes to meet her needs. Now, if your job is to meet the needs of your wife, then you better know what those needs are. What are the unique needs of women?
In his book “His Needs, Her Needs,” Dr. Willard Harley identifies the five greatest needs of a wife: affection, conversation, honesty, financial support, and family commitment. Let me suggest five ways to meet these very real needs.
Number 1: Praise Your Wife. Proverbs 31:28 says a wise husband will praise his wife. Notice it is not “flatter” but “praise.” Flattery is complimenting her on externals, things she has no control over. Instead, praise your wife for her internal qualities.
Number 2: Remove Her Fears. Two of the greatest fears women have are loneliness and financial poverty. One of the best things a husband can do is to explain the family finances to his wife and tell her what will happen if he precedes her in death.
Number 3: Provide For Intimate Times Of Conversation. Set aside time to communicate with your wife. Do not use that time to punish her or force her to agree with your view on an issue. And most importantly, do not dwell on past mistakes.
Number 4: Delight In Fulfilling Your Wife’s Little Wishes. We men like to do big things, like buying a new car. But your wife also likes to see you attending to smaller details, to show that you care about her everyday needs.
And then number 5: Build Security In Your Wife. How do you build security in your wife? By never delighting in another woman. You concentrate all your attention and affection on your wife. That is how you meet your wife’s need for security and affection. -- By Robert Jeffress, Pathway To Victory devotional, March 2, 2016
II. MASTERS AND SERVANTS. (Deuteronomy 24:6-18)
“No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge. 7 If 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.” (Deuteronomy 24:6-7)
1. In ancient Israel, there were no refrigerators or freezers in which to store food, no closets full of extra clothes, no heaters to turn on at night when the weather got cold, no banks or ATMs. A man worked each day, got paid each evening, and bought or harvested his food for that night’s dinner. So taking his grindstones or even the upper millstone as security for a debt was cruel because it meant that he couldn’t prepare his daily bread (Deuteronomy 24:6).
2. Even worse was kidnapping a fellow Israelite to enslave or sell him, an offense rightly punishable by death (Deuteronomy 24:7). This is a stiff warning against human trafficking.
“Take 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. 9 Remember what the LORD thy God did unto Miriam by the way, after that ye were come forth out of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 24:8-9)
3. A serious skin disease was a matter of great concern, since it required the affected person to be quarantined and to endure extensive procedures with the Levitical priests in order to be pronounced clean again (Deuteronomy 24:8; see Lev. 13:1-46; 14:1-32). Moreover, Moses reminded the people what God did to Miriam when she opposed Moses’s leadership (Deuteronomy 24:9). Her skin became “diseased, resembling snow” (Num. 12:10).
“When thou dost lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge. 11 Thou shalt stand abroad, and the man to whom thou dost lend shall bring out the pledge abroad unto thee. 12 And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge: 13 In 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.” (Deuteronomy 24:10-13)
4. If anything was to mark the people of God, it was compassion for those in need -- a trait in short supply both then and now. God was even concerned about the dignity of an Israelite debtor, who was to be spared the humiliation of having his lender barge into his house, scoop up whatever he wanted for his security on the loan, and walk out with the debtors’ neighbors watching (Deuteronomy 24:10-11). If the debtor was a poor man who had nothing to offer but the garment he needed to sleep in at night to keep warm, the lender was told to return it to him by sunset, an act of kindness that God counted as righteousness (Deuteronomy 24:12-13).
“Thou 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: 15 At 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. 16 The 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. 17 Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow's raiment to pledge: 18 But 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.” (Deuteronomy 24:14-18).
5. Continuing this focus on compassion, Moses pointed out that workers deserved their wages in a timely manner -- even more so if they were poor and had no other way to eat. God held employers liable if they cheated their workers (Deuteronomy 24:14-15). Out of a similar emphasis on compassion, fathers and children did not have to answer for each other’s sins (Deuteronomy 24:16). Moreover, a widow or resident alien was not to be denied justice simply because of personal powerlessness (Deuteronomy 24:17).
III. RICH AND POOR. (Deuteronomy 24:19–22)
STATEMENT: “When others have needs, don’t close your eyes (Proverbs 28:27), your ears (Proverbs 21:13), your hand, or your heart (Deuteronomy 15:7; 1 John 3:17). Good words are not a substitute for good works (James 2:14–17; 1 John 3:18). When we share with the poor, we give to the LORD, and He sees to it that there are dividends for them and for us (Proverbs 19:17).” -- By Warren Wiersbe
“19 When 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. 20 When 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. 21 When 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. 22 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing. (Deuteronomy 24:19–22)
1. The repeated motivation for the Israelites to obey these laws was that they were once slaves in Egypt (Deuteronomy 24:18, 22). Of all the peoples who should understand the pain of injustice, it was the Israelites. Therefore, they were commanded to care for the three most vulnerable groups within their society: the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow (Deuteronomy 24:19-21).
2. This leads us to an important side note. Know that if you have been comforted by God, He expects you to share that comfort with others who have experienced similar suffering. “He comforts us in our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Cor. 1:4). Your experience of God’s blessings should lead you to bless others.
INSIGHT: Some important things taught in the Book of Deuteronomy to see that justice was done (see Deuteronomy 24:7, 16-18; Deuteronomy 25:1-3, 11-16)
First, Kidnapping was prohibited (Deuteronomy 24:7) and was a capital crime (Ex. 21:16). To kidnap people and sell them is to treat them like merchandise and not like persons created in the image of God. The Jews were not to enslave one another or sell one another to be enslaved by the Gentiles. The Lord had delivered His people from Egypt so they could be free, and kidnapping was the reverse of God’s purpose.
Second, When an offender was found guilty and sentenced to be beaten, he was not to be humiliated but punished justly (Deuteronomy 25:1-3). To beat him too little would be to minimize the offense, but to beat him too much would be to treat him in an inhuman manner and “degrade him.” The limit was forty stripes, but the Jews later made it thirty-nine (2 Cor. 11:24) so as not to accidentally go over the legal number. Whether it’s a judge sentencing a criminal or a father chastening his child, the punishment must fit the offense and not demean the offender. As the United States “Bill of Rights” says, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments afflicted” (Amendment VIII).
Third, Two men fighting (Deuteronomy 25:11-12) is an invitation for more trouble; better they should seek help and settle their dispute in a more constructive way. It’s understandable that the wife would want her husband to win, but her method of assistance was shameful, unfair, and grossly offensive. In describing this scenario, Moses prohibited all indecent methods of combat by either men or women. The penalty would certainly restrain anybody from doing such a thing.
Fourth, Honest weights and measures (Deuteronomy 25:13-16) were essential to the public good (Lev. 19:35-37). The prophets denounced dishonest weights and measures because their use made the poor poorer and the rich richer (Amos 8:5; Micah 6:10-11; see also Prov. 11:1; 16:11; 20:10, 23). Once again, Moses reminded the people that their future security and blessing in the land depended on their obedience to God’s Law. When they cheated others, they only cheated themselves.
By G. Campbell Morgan
“And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.” -- Deuteronomy 24:22
The thing immediately commanded was that at harvest-time the people should remember the stranger, the fatherless, the widow. In their reaping of their corn, their beating of their olive-trees, their gathering of their grapes, they were to remember those less privileged than themselves; and remembering, they were to relax the strict measure of their own rights, as they left something behind them for others.
The argument used was that they were to remember the days of their own adversity. That such an argument should be necessary seems at first to be strange, and yet a stranger fact is that people do so easily forget their own adversity in days of prosperity. Over and over again one sees a man, who in early life knew the pinch of poverty, having come to ease and comfort of circumstance, hard and callous in the presence of the trials of others. It is not always so, but it should never be so; and to those who live according to this law of God, it will never be so.
Again, through this law of God for mankind, we have an unveiling of God Himself. In all His unsearchable riches, He thinks of the poor, and not only arranges that they may glean, but places all His wealth at their disposal. When then we yield up some gleanings of our possession for the relief of the needy, we have nothing of which to be proud. It is poor action as compared with the Divine. Verily there is only room for humility in the life of those who know God. – By G Campbell Morgan, Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible
CONCLUSION: What have we learned from our study of Deuteronomy chapter 24?
INSIGHT: Knowing the sinfulness of the human heart, God gave these laws to promote happiness (verse 5) and to prevent oppression (verse 14) and the perversion of the law (verse 17).
First, Husbands And Wives (Deuteronomy 24:1–5). God allowed divorced people to remarry; but this was a concession, not a commandment (Matt. 19:1–12). The divorced wife, protected by this law, could establish a new home, and she did not become a castaway. God wants happiness and holiness in our homes. We will enjoy those blessings if we obey Him and love one another.
Second, Masters And Servants (Deuteronomy 24:6–18). God sees how we treat those who depend on us for their living. We must never humiliate others because they have less money or authority than we do. When we start to get proud and insensitive, we should remember what we were before the Lord saved us (Deuteronomy 24:18, 22; Titus 3:3–8).
Third, Rich And Poor (Deuteronomy 24:19–22). God had special concern for the poor, and He depended on the generosity of His people to meet their needs. He promised to bless all who showed compassion to aliens, widows, and orphans. We should ask ourselves where we would be if others helped us to the same degree that we help others.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Remembering how God treated us should govern how we treat others.”
REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the Moody Bible Commentary, J. Vernon McGee’s Thru the Bible Commentary: (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, Dr. Tony Evans (https://tonyevans.org/), KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Dr. Robert Jeffress’ Pathway to Victory (https://ptv.org/), Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, Radio Bible Class Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations and other references.
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