So I’m considering doing a regular feature called something like “10 Best Bible Verses to Take Literally This Week,” based on hot stuff going down in the world (and always a few oddballs for fun). Let me know if you all are interested in this! I’ll start things off with Deuteronomy for this first round, as we’re just coming off of May Day weekend and likely worn out by “Christians” like Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona. Jan, if you’re reading, for God’s sake please dust off that Bible and crack it open–God is watching!!!
Note: I deeply apologize in advance for the gender-biased Godtalk/peopletalk in these verses… I was rushing to get this post out, and in my haste, I cut and paste these passages from an online New International Version. Future posts will be more intentionally translated to this end…
GREATEST HITS OF DEUTERONOMY… WITH ARIZONA IN MIND!
10. Deut 10:17-19 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the orphan and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.
9. Deut 22:11 Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.
8. Deut 14:28-29 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes* of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the orphans and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. [Tithes=10% of all harvest and/or income from each household]
7. Deut 15:1-5 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because the LORD’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your brother owes you. However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.
6. Deut 15:7-11 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
5. Deut 22:8 When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof. [I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately; we’re having dinner guests next week, we’re serving wine, and our deck isn’t fully enclosed w/a guard rail… trouble!]
4. Deut 23:15-16 If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand him over to his master. Let him live among you wherever he likes and in whatever town he chooses. Do not oppress him.
3. Deut 24:14-15 Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns. Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.
2. Deut 24:17-18 Do not deprive the alien or the orphan of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.
1. Deut 24:19-22 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the orphan and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the orphan and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the orphan and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.