Deuteronomy 24

Law of Divorce

24 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens [a]that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house,and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wifeand if the latter husband [b]turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.

“When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.

Sundry Laws

“No one shall take a handmill or an upper millstone in pledge, for he would be taking a life in pledge.

“If a man is [c]caught kidnapping any of his [d]countrymen of the sons of Israel, and he deals with him violently or sells him, then that thief shall die; so you shall purge the evil from among you.

“Be careful against [e]an infection of leprosy, that you diligently observe and do according to all that the Levitical priests teach you; as I have commanded them, so you shall be careful to do. Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam on the way as you came out of Egypt.

10 “When you make your neighbor a loan of any sort, you shall not enter his house to take his pledge. 11 You shall remain outside, and the man to whom you make the loan shall bring the pledge out to you. 12 If he is a poor man, you shall not sleep with his pledge. 13 When the sun goes down you shall surely return the pledge to him, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you; and it will be righteousness for you before the Lord your God.

14 “You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your [f]countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your [g]towns.15 You shall give him his wages on his day [h]before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his [i]heart on it; so that he will not cry against you to the Lord and it become sin in you.

16 “Fathers shall not be put to death [j]for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death [k]for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.

17 “You shall not pervert the justice [l]due an alien or [m]an orphan, nor take a widow’s garment in pledge. 18 But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.

19 “When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the [n]orphan, and for the widow, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.20 When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs [o]again; it shall be for the alien, for the [p]orphan, and for the widow.

21 “When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not [q]go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the [r]orphan, and for the widow. 22 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.

I think it’s important that generosity is not just a new idea, or even a part of the New Testament. Generosity, and caring for the needy and poor, was even a part of the Israelite law before they ever entered the land of promise.

It shows God heart through all of this. It is not selfish, but generous, loving, and focused on others (us namely). Much of serving God is in getting our eyes off ourselves, in order to put to death our selfish nature, and following God’s plan for our lives.

Generosity is a great way to do this, as it reminds us there is always someone who is needier than ourselves. No matter how much we think we don’t have, there is always someone we can help.

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