This week we continue with the rehearsal of the law in messages 19-21 from the Life-Study of Deuteronomy as part of our corporate pursuit. All of the statutes and judgments that are reviewed in Deuteronomy show just how careful and detailed our God is. They also reveal that in caring for His people, He is loving, holy, righteous, and just. We will highlight some of those statutes here.
In Deuteronomy 25:13-16, God commanded the children of Israel not to have differing weights in their bag and differing measures in their house. This signifies that we must not use one standard to measure others, and another to measure ourselves. If we have different standards, we will always be able to find fault in others while vindicating ourselves, which will issue in disaccord rather than the one accord the Lord desires. According to these verses, we should have “a full and righteous weight” (Deut. 25:15) in dealing with ourselves and with others. In this way we will be fair, righteous, and just, as God is, and keep the oneness in the church, which is the house of God (1 Tim. 3:15).
Deuteronomy 18:1-8 covers the supply of the Levites, those who practically serve God and the priests in the temple. On the one hand, we need to remember the serving ones and supply them materially. God takes care of them in His faithfulness, but He does so through the saints who are faithful to give. On the other hand, we all need to be the real priests and Levites today (1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 1:6). As priests, God Himself is our portion and our inheritance (Num. 18:20; Deut. 18:2; Eph. 1:14). What a blessing that we can enjoy Christ, typified by the offerings, before God and with God!
Because God is our portion, we have no need for divination, sorcery, or soothsayers (Deut. 18:9-14). Unbelievers are worried about their security, well-being, and future, so they may employ such measures for assurance regarding these things. As believers, however, we have no need to worry about these things. We know that the Lord is with us (Matt. 28:20), and that we have a heavenly Father who cares for every aspect of our living (Matt. 6:31-34). We simply need to come to Him, cast our anxieties on Him, and enjoy Him as our peace in every situation (1 Pet. 5:7; Phil. 4:6-7).
Deuteronomy 18:15-19 goes on to reveal Christ as the true Prophet, typified by Moses. “A Prophet will I raise up for them from the midst of their brothers like you; and I will put My words in His mouth, and He will speak to them all that I command Him. And the man who will not listen to My words which He will speak in My name, I Myself will require it from him.” Peter clearly proclaims that these verses are fulfilled in the Lord Jesus, who spoke not from Himself, but from the Father who sent Him, and whose words we are responsible to heed (Acts 3:22-23; John 12:48-49; 17:8). As the real Prophet, Christ is the incarnate Word who spoke for God and forth God, and is still speaking in us today (John 1:1; Rev. 19:3; Rom 8:10).
Finally, the matter of being prepared for battle (Deut. 20:1-20) and the matter of the birthright (Deut. 21:15-17) are linked together. We must preserve our birthright by fighting. If we do not care for our birthright and are not willing to fight for it, we will lose it (Heb. 12:16-17). We must be active to enjoy Christ as our inheritance – the enemy will steal away our enjoyment of Christ if we are not vigilant and do not guard against this (John 10:10). However, while we are fighting to preserve our birthright, we must learn to trust in God. Actually, as with all of the other matters we have seen in Deuteronomy, we cannot fulfill this requirement by ourselves, and God never intended us to. In our fighting to maintain our birthright, we must turn to Christ as the fighting One in our spirit and allow Him the way to live through us. Only by taking the Lord as our life and life supply can we fulfill God’s requirements.