As Moses concludes expounding and applying the Decalogue to all areas of life, Israel is reminded of why they should demonstrate generosity and compassion to one another. Out of remembrance and gratitude for all God has done on their behalf, they are to honor the Lord in their dealings with one another. Having received mercy and generosity from God, they are to be merciful and generous.
The laws found in Deuteronomy 21:15-23:14 cover a wide range of specific topics and many of these laws seem quite strange to modern ears. As a result we are sometimes prone to disengage from the text. As we study these verses we will see that through these laws God was reminding Israel of His lovingkindness and holiness and through obedience to these laws Israel would reflect God's character more accurately to the peoples around them. Perhaps most importantly we will see that these laws were always pointing to Jesus: The perfect reflection of God's lovingkindness and holiness.
This morning we examine God’s continuing instructions to Israel concerning justice and judgment. Justice is a subset of a higher value, righteousness. Righteousness is demonstrated first and foremost by an unreserved love for God and it is reflected in how we treat others, especially in our respect for human life. And we see how the Israelites were the instrument of God’s judgment upon the wicked nations in Canaan. As we read of God' judgment of their sin, we should never forget that God judges all sin. And God will judge our sin. But thanks be to God, that in the gospel there is hope for sinners like us. Deuteronomy 19 takes us to the cross of Christ where we see the justice and judgment of God meet so that sinners can be reconciled to God.
Deuteronomy is Moses' final message to Israel. In our text today, Moses outlines how Israel shall receive a king and what that king will be like. Additionally, Moses encourages Israel with the news that God is going to continue to speak to Israel after he is gone. God will raise up prophets to communicate his divine revelation to the nation. Both God's instruction about a future king and a future prophet like Moses find their fulfillment in Jesus the Christ.