Are you banned from worshiping at my church?

Today’s ReadingDeuteronomy 21:10-25:19

access forbiddenToday’s reading continues the second reading of the Law  (remember Deuteronomy means second law).  There is a curious list of laws that the Israelites were expected to obey. 

Some are amusing and nonsensical to us today:

Deuteronomy 22:11 NLT

11 “You must not wear clothing made of wool and linen woven together.

Why?  I have read a few commentaries and it is not universally clear.  I would think it is a word picture of not trying to live with two differing ideas or purposes or maybe the idea that we should marry within our faith.  Unfortunately I am not able to stand behind any particular thought on this verse.  However, I do have some ideas on the verses that come a bit later in Deuteronomy 23:1-8.

The verses themselves are not really worth citing today.  They are historically and culturally applicable to the nation of Israel at that time.  They are not for us today. 

The verses mentioned is a list of rules about who could not be admitted into the temple for worship.  There is a bit of reasoning listed with the rules. There were four rules:

  1. A man who had been injured in his genitalia could not enter.
  2. A person born out of marriage could not enter.
  3. An Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants for ten generations may not enter.
  4. No one until the third generation of Edomites and Egyptians may enter the assembly of the Lord.

I like what Matthew Henry in his commentary says about these verses, “No personal blemishes, no crimes of our forefathers, no difference of nation, shuts us out under the Christian dispensation.”

What struck me interesting is what we know Jesus taught on this exact same subject.  While the Law was restrictive in who could come and worship, the teachings of Jesus were inclusive.  Jesus does not want to exclude anyone, even illegitimate Ammonite men who were injured while riding their bicycles.

Matthew 11:28 – 30 NIV

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

John 5:24 NIV

24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

John 6:49 – 51 NIV

49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

John 7:37 NLT

On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, "Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!

Revelation 22:17 NIV

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Isn’t it great that there are no laws and restrictions as to whom can come and be apart of the worship of God.  No nationality is restricted, no status in life, no physical limitation, no fault, no sin, no crime, no flaw, no mistake, no – nothing can keep us from God’s love.

By the way, you are invited to my local church any time.

International Baptist Church of Eindhoven

About plimtuna

I am just an average guy trying to find his way along this journey of life. I am definitely middle aged. I am definitely happily married with a wife and two children. Personally, I have a passion for things eternal. Professionally, I have a passion for things that are securely in control.
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