Deuteronomy 17 Commentary
In ordinary life examples are mere pointers and need not be expensive nor accurate. The Bible is different. Models are at a different level. They represent the worship of the Almighty God. Care is required. Both the worshipper and the objects of worship should be of the highest quality possible.
There was a limited list of animals that could be used in worship. They needed to be physically sound. The demand for perfection makes worship in the Old Testament nearly impossible. It is a pointer to a perfection that is possible only under the Cross.
What follows next is similar to a church disciplinary procedure. We can draw general principles from here. Firstly, a human investigation is initiated. Facts are required. Secondly we have human judgment to punish or not to punish based on findings. While the LORD knows exactly what has or hasn’t happened, we humans don’t know. We can only know after an investigation. An investigation is therefore a godly process in the church.
From here we can tell that a normal Christian response like ‘let’s leave it in the hands of the LORD’ may sound spiritual but is actually a lazy and ungodly response to a sin situation in the body of Christ. An investigation is required. With the Cross comes a new process which reflects the grace available by underlining restoration as opposed to immediate extermination by stoning.
The Community of God’s people would require/need a justice system. A human structure is envisioned with the godly establishment of priests at the head. Justice is a godly and divine function.
The chapter closes with instructions on kingship. We can reflect on Solomon’s failures and see how he broke many of the rules for kingship. He married many women and accumulated too much silver and gold. No wonder he failed!
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