What does it say?
Application of the eighth commandment continues (Deu 24:1-7). The prohibition against stealing expands to include protecting personal rights in various civic matters. Moses next expounds on the ninth commandment, the prohibition against stealing (24:8-22). The emphasis here protects widows, orphans and foreigners
Even criminals and animals have certain rights protected under Moses’ application of the ninth commandment (25:1-4). The tenth commandment forbids coveting anything that belongs to one’s neighbor. Four specific applications appear here (Deu 25:5-19).
This is the conclusion of Moses’ second address to the people (Deu 26). The emphasis on offering to God the firstfruits and tithes focuses the people on developing an attitude of thanksgiving.
Some see this as the beginning of Moses’ final discourse (Deu 27). Others see this (27-28) as a parenthetical section in third person outlining a covenant renewal ceremony to be executed upon entry into the land, as the people assemble at Shechem to review the Law. In a manner common to that day, they were to plaster stones and write upon them blessings and curses of the Law and offer sacrifices upon them to signal their affirmation of the covenant with God. The Levites would then warn of the curses that would result from disobedience.
What does it mean?
A fascinating aspect of this section of Deuteronomy is how broadly the Ten Commandments are applied to different aspects of society. Also amazing is how God is so flexible in applying truth to the times and culture. For example, God’s plan from the beginning has been one man and one woman in marriage, and God is on record as being opposed to divorce (Mal 2:16 and Mat 19:8). Yet he makes provision for divorce based on the hardness of human hearts. God is on a mission and will not be sidetracked by the very human sin for which he will ultimately atone.
For all their failings and weaknesses, Israel is taught to be a thankful and giving people. How much more should we be thankful and giving today in light of the complete truth we hold on this side of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sin?
How will I respond?
God is never deterred in his mission. What do I allow to prevent me from full engagement in God’s mission? Sin, selfishness, bitterness, hurt? What one thing can I turn loose of today to grow in my walk with God and engagement in his mission?