1 – Deuteronomy 25:2-3 (ESV) 2 then if the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with a number of stripes in proportion to his offense. 3 Forty stripes may be given him, but not more, lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight.
RAF: One cannot read these various laws without being caught by the profound value which is put on human life. In God’s eyes, having been made in His image, though so corrupt and fallen – nevertheless, even in judicial undertakings – no one is to be degraded. The dignity of the race and we as individual members of it, is to be upheld in all circumstances. I wonder if our attitude toward the lost matches our Lord’s?
2 – Deuteronomy 25:19 (ESV) 19 Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget.
RAF: Oh that we would live in this place all the time – the place of “you shall not forget.” As soon as we forget God’s mercy toward us, we become harsh; forget His generosity, and we become stingy; forget His grace and we become demanding with others; forget His goodness and we will soon be crooked; forget His gentleness and harshness rushes in. Our entire scope of living with and loving others is to be rooted in the mercy and grace we have been shown in Jesus Christ. This is to be our rule toward them, not some contrived standard based either upon their performance or our feelings.
3 – Deuteronomy 28:28-29 (ESV) 28 The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind, 29 and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you.
RAF: Madness, blindness and confusion of mind are the results of rejecting God as God. No wonder our society shows the increasing incidence and severity of disorders of the mind of all types. One cannot flee from truth, flee from righteousness, justice, reconciliation to God, and not bear the fruit of it. A right mind comes with living in reality – and there is no reality apart from God. Without Christ in His rightful place, nothing in the universe makes sense. Madness must take over.
4 – Deuteronomy 28:45 (ESV) 45 “All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that he commanded you.
RAF: What is so poignant in this entire passage is that it is not the Laws as Laws which are important. It is that these Laws reflect the character, the innate holiness of our God, and the display of His heart toward mankind. It is the getting of this heart that men need. The departure from the laws is the means of determining that we have departed from God. It is in partaking of His Spirit so that we may be possessed of His heart that all of this is transformed. He would never have been satisfied with the most absolute performance of every detail had it been rendered by raw obedience, and not flowing from a heart which loves God and man as God Himself loves. This is the blessing of the New Covenant – the Spirit of God indwelling us, that we might become “partakers of the divine nature” – that we might love as naturally as He does. 2 Peter 1:4
5 – Deuteronomy 30:1-3 (ESV) “And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, 2 and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.
RAF: O Israel! Come to Christ! Only if He put His Spirit within you can you “obey” with all your “heart and with all your soul.” It is not within man. The Promise of the New Covenant is the Spirit of God. And you can enter it only in receiving Christ as its mediator. Take Him as your own. Look to Him as your Messiah. See Him as your God and your King and be reconciled to God that you might be restored from all the curses of those under the law. Come to Christ! Come to Christ!