(1) "If there is a dispute between men, and they come to court, that the judges may judge them, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked, (2) then it shall be, if the wicked man deserves to be beaten, that the judge will cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence, according to his guilt, with a certain number of blows. (3) Forty blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and beat him with many blows above these, and your brother be humiliated in your sight.
- What a way to start a chapter! This basically says that the Israelites were to mete out judgment against a wicked man by publicly beating him.
- While this form of justice is completely foreign to us in our day, and in our culture, the fact remains this would have been a powerful deterrent.
- Just by virtue of the humiliation alone, one would be deterred from going to court in the first place. It would be a last resort, not a first response.
- Passages like this are yet another reminder of how it is that we’ve gone so far away from God and His Word in our day and in our time today.
- Is it just me, or has our judicial system deteriorated and been corrupted to the point that you can get away with murder having the right attorney.
- It’s getting so bad, so fast, that instead of remaining incarcerated, criminals go free only to commit more crimes thinking they’ll get away with it.
It’s for this reason that we hear news stories like this one on November 1st from Reuters with the headline; “Sheriff tells women to get guns to ward off attacks” Here’s some excerpts from the article; “During a press conference Monday about a rape suspect's arrest, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said women should walk in groups and get a gun. "I don't want you to go for the Mace. I want you to go for the concealed weapons permit," the sheriff said, according to a video oamalf his remarks. …Wright's comments were prompted by the case of Walter Monroe Lance, 46, who was arrested in a park Sunday and charged with kidnapping, rape and grand larceny. The suspect has a long record of arrests. Wright said he knew he would "get all lit up" by anti-gun activists for his remarks, but he was frustrated that Lance kept getting out of jail. "I really think that would send a message to some of these people that can't control themselves that you better be really cautious who you mess with because they might be armed," Wright told Reuters on Tuesday. "Just presenting a weapon could have prevented this whole thing from happening." It is legal in South Carolina to carry a concealed weapon following training and certification. Since his remarks, Wright said, people have told him, "Thank you for saying what I've been thinking."
(4) "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.
- Like we’ve seen in previous chapters, the Lord is here concerned with cruelty to animals. He didn’t want the ox muzzled and unable to eat grain.
- In those days, the ox would walk on the grain in order to break it away from the husk. They would keep the ox from eating it by muzzling him.
- It’s interesting to note that Paul would quote from this verse and apply this principle to those who ministered in the Word preaching the gospel.
1 Corinthians 9:9-14 NKJV (9) For it is written in the law of Moses, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE AN OX WHILE IT TREADS OUT THE GRAIN." Is it oxen God is concerned about? (10) Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. (11) If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? (12) If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. (13) Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? (14) Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
1 Timothy 5:17-18 NIV The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. (18) For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages."
(5) "If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband's brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. (6) And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
- Moses is addressing the matter of a man dying with no son to carry on his name. In this case, the man’s brother was to marry the widow.
- This was done so as to leave descendants who could in turn not only carry on the family name, but to also have an inheritance as well.
(7) But if the man does not want to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, 'My husband's brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.' (8) Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him. But if he stands firm and says, 'I do not want to take her,' (9) then his brother's wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, 'So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother's house.' (10) And his name shall be called in Israel, 'The house of him who had his sandal removed.'
- Moses now deals with the situation of a brother refusing to marry his brother’s wife by telling them that the widow is to publicly humiliate him.
- If the elders were unsuccessful in convincing him to reconsider his refusal to do so, the widow was to remove his sandal and spit in his face.
- Furthermore, he was to be named and identified as “the house of him who had his sandal removed,” throughout all of Israel for all of his life.
(11) "If two men fight together, and the wife of one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of the one attacking him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the genitals, (12) then you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall not pity her.
- You’ll forgive me in advance for not expounding too much on these particular verses, as I simply say that this was about the wife not interfering.
- Also, I think it speaks to how the woman is never to act in such an inappropriate way, especially as it relates to the very manhood of a man.
(13) "You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. (14) You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. (15) You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. (16) For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the LORD your God.
- This is very clear in that Moses is sort of dealing with the nuts and bolts issues and warns them about dishonest business dealings with others.
(17) "Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, (18) how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. (19) Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.
- What a way to end a chapter! Here, they’re to remember to not forget to utterly blot out the remembrance of the Amalekites from under heaven.
- Why? Because of what the Amalekites did to the Israelites in the exodus out of Egypt. They attacked the weak and the weary from behind.
- Perhaps you’ll indulge me for the remainder of our time tonight, because I’m sensing the Lord would have me talk about how the enemy attacks.
1. Like Amalek, a type of the flesh, we are in a spiritual war, as Amalek, the grandson of Esau, warred against Jacob, who is a type of the spirit.
Galatians 5:17 NKJV For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
2. The Amalekites would lie in wait until the optimum time to attack, which is what Satan does with us.
1 Peter 5:8 NIV Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
3. Just as Amalek would meet them on the way and attack, the enemy will also attack us when we’re following God’s way in our lives.
Proverbs 6:20-26 NIV My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching. (21) Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. (22) When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. (23) For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, (24) keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. (25) Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, (26) for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys [hunts] upon your very life.
4. Like the Amalekites, the enemy will attack us when we’ve failed or are tired and weary.
Luke 22:31-34 NIV "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. (32) But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (33) But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death." (34) Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."
D. Martyn Lloyd Jones “Spiritual Depression - Its Causes and Its Cure” - “Does someone hold the view that as long as you are a Christian it does not matter what the condition of your body is? Well, you will soon be disillusioned if you believe that. Physical conditions play their part in all this. …temperament seems to some degree to be controlled by physical conditions and there are certain people who constitutionally, almost in a physical sense, are prone to this condition. In other words, there are certain physical ailments which tend to promote depression. …take that great preacher who preached in London for nearly forty years … – Charles Haddon Spurgeon – one of the truly great preachers of all time. That great man was subject to spiritual depression, and the main explanation in his case was undoubtedly the fact that he suffered from a gouty condition which finally killed him. He had to face this problem of spiritual depression often in a most acute form. …there are many, I find, who come to talk to me about these matters, in whose case it seems quite clear to them that the cause of the trouble is mainly physical. Into this group, speaking generally, you can put tiredness, overstrain, and any form of illness. You cannot isolate the spiritual from the physical for we are body, mind and spirit. The greatest and the best Christians when they are physically weak are more prone to an attack of spiritual depression than at any other time and there are great illustrations of this in the Scriptures. You may be in this condition simply because you are working too hard physically. You can be tired in the work and not tired of the work. It is possible that a man has been over-working- I do not care in what realm, whether natural or spiritual-and has been over-taxing his energy and his physical resources. If you go on working too hard or under strain you are bound to suffer. And of course if that is the cause of the trouble, the remedy you need is medical treatment. There is a striking example of this in the Old Testament. …when Elijah had that attack of spiritual depression after his heroic effort on Mount Carmel, he sat down under a juniper tree and felt sorry for himself. But the real thing he needed was sleep and food; and God gave him both! He gave him food and rest before He gave him spiritual help.”
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones “Spiritual Depression, It’s Causes and its Cure” pp. 18,19
5. As the Amalekites would attack from behind, so to does the enemy attack us where we’re most vulnerable and week, and have no armor.
Ephesians 6:13-17 NIV Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (14) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, (15) and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (16) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (17) Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.