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February 9, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Leviticus 24-25
Audio: Leviticus 24-25

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Deuteronomy 20 (ESV)

“When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the peopleand shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’ Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying, ‘Is there any man who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. And is there any man who has planted a vineyard and has not enjoyed its fruit? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man enjoy its fruit. And is there any man who has betrothed a wife and has not taken her? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man take her.’ And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ‘Is there any man who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house, lest he make the heart of his fellows melt like his own.’ And when the officers have finished speaking to the people, then commanders shall be appointed at the head of the people.

10 “When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it.11 And if it responds to you peaceably and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you. 12 But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. 13 And when the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, 14 but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lord your God has given you. 15 Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here. 16 But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, 17 but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded, 18 that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the Lord your God.

19 “When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them. You may eat from them, but you shall not cut them down. Are the trees in the field human, that they should be besieged by you? 20 Only the trees that you know are not trees for food you may destroy and cut down, that you may build siegeworks against the city that makes war with you, until it falls.

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Next: Deuteronomy 21

Back: Deuteronomy 19

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Capital Punishment

    Many people detest God and His Word. That should be obvious to everyone who looks at the state of our world. But why so much hatred and animosity? For many of those who hate God and His Word it stems from God killing people. From their perspective, God was unfair for killing all life in the flood as an example. Some of them go a step further and blaspheme God's character by saying God was "evil" for acts such as this.

    But a more difficult aspect of God killing people is when God commands people to kill people. While taking the life of everyone except Noah and His family (and the animals on the ark) was bad enough, commanding people to kill others is inconceivable for most people. Even those who consider themselves Christians try to explain away the slaughter of who many would consider were "innocent people."

    While it's true God says "do not murder", He did sanction the slaughter of entire regions where men, women, children (and even animals) were killed by His command. This creates a moral dilemma that results in many people being unwillingness to worship a God who would command such things or submit to an authority who would do such things. 

    When asked this question, John Piper said, "I believe the government has a right to take a rapist and a murderer and to put him in jail. Or to kill him. I think capital punishment is consistent with Genesis 9 and consistent with God's character, because of the value of man: "The blood of a man shall be shed for taking the blood of a man" (Genesis 9:6) But that's very different than saying that anybody can go around killing people.

    "So God has his times and seasons for when he shares his authority to take and give life. And the church today is not Israel, and we are not a political entity. Therefore the word we have from the Lord today is, "Love your enemy. Pray for those who abuse you. Lay your life down for the world. Don't kill in order to spread the gospel, but die to spread it."

    John Piper’s Interview here:

    Do you struggle with the reality that God kills people?

    Do you struggle with the reality that God used people to kill people?

    Are you equipped to respond to those who challenge your willingness to worship (and follow) a God who would kill people or command people to kill others?

  2. I have to say, some things in the Bible which I've read have surprised me. But always, I come back to this: God is sovereign over all. He has reasons for all He does, and He is good ALL THE TIME. Being human, I don't have the capacity to understand why God does what He does sometimes, but I trust Him. I know that all things work together for good for those that love the Lord, and I'm in no position to question God. 

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