Sunday, September 18
By Jill McClain
Deuteronomy continues with more instructions about how God’s people should live. In chapter 20 regulations are given about how the Israelites were to prepare for and go to war. Deuteronomy 20:3-4 says, “…Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” How encouraging for us today, to know that the same God that delivered the Israelites from their enemies in battle will also be with us as we fight evil. What battles are you facing? Are you trying to stand up for what is right? Are you fighting for righteousness at a worldly school campus? Or are you struggling to lead someone to Christ? Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will fight with you. Be brave and courageous for you are fighting on the side that will ultimately be victorious!
Chapters 21-23 give additional guidelines about how society should function in a variety of different situations. Deuteronomy 22:1-4 clearly instructs us to be concerned with and get involved in the problems of those around us. It is so easy in our day and age, to look the other way and not get involved in the lives of those around us. However, these verses repeatedly tell us to help others and not ignore our brother’s problems. “If you see your brother’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to him.” (Deuteronomy 22:1) The following verses go on to state that if the owner of the livestock lives too far away, or you do not know who the owner is, you are to take care of the animals until the owner can be reunited with the animals. Then two more times the people are instructed to not ignore such problems, but to be part of the solution for those facing such troubles. Your neighbor may not be losing any livestock today; but what other hardships are you aware of? Fight the urge to live only for yourself, and look instead for others that could benefit from your assistance. Is there someone you can help today?