Purging evil from the congregation!

Scripture reading for February 27th: Deuteronomy 21-26

“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, then his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious.  He will not obey us.  He is a profligate and a drunkard.”  Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death.  You must purge evil from among you. All Israel will hear it and be afraid.”  (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

One form evil was dishonoring and rebelling against parents.  This case was not a first incident, but had been dealt with many times without repentance by the son.  The son had refused to listen and be corrected by his parents was exhibiting rebellion that if left uncorrected would spread evil to the community.  Discipline was to be used to remove it or drive it out of one’s home or life.   Evil leads to death and that can spread to others in the community.

Now, don’t jump to the conclusion that we should stone our children today!  This law was for God’s family under the old covenant.  But it can teach us principles that will help us raise godly children who will be a blessing to the community.  We must not tolerate evil in our children, but discipline them in love and teach them God’s Word.  Swift punishment of evil instills a holy fear of God’s Word and reinforces the seriousness of evil as a source of death.  Notice the elders with wisdom and maturity were called upon to help.  They cared about all the children and the future well-being of the community.

The general lesson for us is our need for a clear definition of good and evil.  This is found in the Word of God.  The community working together to purge evil and promote respect for God’s law was foundational to God’s blessing of His people.  Contemplate these truths and ask God how to apply them personally and in the community we belong to!

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