Deuteronomy 25

Deuteronomy 25  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Again we find in the rest of Deuteronomy 24 as well as in Deuteronomy 25 a number of precepts of mercy and goodness as to the people even in the most ordinary matters of household life – not the wife only but one’s fellows, servants too, strangers, harvests and vineyards, down to the care of the cattle. The poor man who was in fault and got beaten was not forgotten. There must be no over-passing a certain measure, nor be anything that would make one’s brother vile. Stripes may be due and needful; but there must be nothing to destroy respect. Jehovah finds His own interest in all the belongings of His people, and He would train up in His own nurture and admonition – an important point for us to consider in good time.
Further, we find that anything like an advantage taken where feelings were raised against another is rebuked in the sternest manner. A righteous and equal measure is insisted on. But Amalek must not slip out of mind. “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou vast faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when Jehovah thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.” Now, who will dare to say that this was wrong? Shall not the Judge of all the earth do and say what is righteous?
And this gives me occasion to press a few words from the New Testament, often forgotten in its spirit when its words may be remembered. It is the part of a Christian to abhor evil as much as to love what is good. Beware of the smallest sympathy with him who counts it good to be indifferent, lukewarm, not zealous, who likes no doubt what is pleasant and kindly in itself, but without detestation of that which dishonors God. There is a total defect in the Christian character which (to speak typically) has not the badger’s skin as well as the covering of blue. Our Lord Jesus felt strongly against evil. He alone is perfection, and has shown this for our profit and example: Here we see the same principle inculcated in Amalek’s case.
The truth is quite contrary to the spirit of the age, entirely different from what people call a sweet tone, or the spirit of Christ. They know little of Christ who talk thus. The fact is that had they heard Jesus denounce religious forms and men who walked not in faith, had they or their friends fallen under the censure which filled His soul – say in Matthew it is to be feared that a similar strain of thought and feeling would have condemned the Son of God. This is of the more importance for those who, like us Christians, have to walk in communion with Christ and His cross at the same time that the power of evil reigns in the world. We cannot escape trial of a serious kind, and to take it in grace – such exactly is Christianity in practice. The millennium will be the overthrow of the power of evil, and consequently righteousness will govern. But what brings in the difficulty now is the perfection of God’s ways in Christianity, whilst outwardly evil remains. God permits, but lifts the Christian above, the very worst evil. It rose up against the Son of God Himself; and the Christian follows Him and His cross. Accordingly this is precisely where and how he has to walk. The evil God permits to rage to the uttermost, but grace and truth in Christ in the power of the Spirit is brought into his heart and governs his ways. Hence he is called to abhor evil just as much as to love that which is good; and the heart which does not show divine hatred of evil has really but scant love for what is good. The one is the measure of the other: they are inseparable from Christ, and should be from the Christian.