Pastoral Commentary for Deuteronomy 21:22-23:8
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
Deuteronomy 21:23 tells us "anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse." Truly, Jesus bore the curse of sin for us when he hung on a tree and died for our sins. Paul said: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). The Golden Rule of Jesus, "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31) is clearly illustrated in the command to care for a neighbor's lost or fallen ox. Transgender behavior, or cross dressing is detestable to God, yet God cares for even the littlest bird in the nest. Sexuality is a powerful part of mankind's makeup and therefore, God understood that it needed to be carefully regulated, lest sexual sin take a terrible toll on the lives of God's people. Paul said:"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body" (1 Corinthians 6:18). Laws were provided to protect a virgin who was falsely accused by an unhappy husband, and on the other hand, to punish a woman who falsely claimed to be a virgin. Rape was punishable by death. Certain classes or nationalities of people were excluded from becoming a part of the assembly of God's people. Israel was a holy people, set apart by God to fulfill His purpose of bringing salvation to the whole world. Therefore Israel was to exclude from participation in its sacred rites anyone who did not meet the demands of ritual purity, whether they were Israelites or from other ethnic groups.