SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
23:1 A man with crushed or severed genitals may not enter the assembly of the Lord. 2 A person of illegitimate birth may not enter the assembly of the Lord; to the tenth generation no one related to him may do so.
3 No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord; to the tenth generation none of their descendants shall ever do so, 4 for they did not meet you with food and water on the way as you came from Egypt, and furthermore, they hired Balaam son of Beor of Pethor in Aram Naharaim to curse you. 5 But the Lord your God refused to listen to Balaam and changed the curse to a blessing, for the Lord your God loves you. 6 You must not seek peace and prosperity for them through all the ages to come. 7 You must not hate an Edomite, for he is your relative; you must not hate an Egyptian, for you lived as a foreigner in his land. 8 Children of the third generation born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord.
9 When you go out as an army against your enemies, guard yourselves against anything impure. 10 If there is someone among you who is impure because of some nocturnal emission, he must leave the camp; he may not reenter it immediately. 11 When evening arrives he must wash himself with water, and then at sunset he may reenter the camp.
12 You are to have a place outside the camp to serve as a latrine. 13 You must have a spade among your other equipment, and when you relieve yourself outside you must dig a hole with the spade and then turn and cover your excrement. 14 For the Lord your God walks about in the middle of your camp to deliver you and defeat your enemies for you. Therefore your camp should be holy, so that he does not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.
15 You must not return an escaped slave to his master when he has run away to you. 16 Indeed, he may live among you in any place he chooses, in whichever of your villages he prefers; you must not oppress him.
17 There must never be a sacred prostitute among the young women of Israel nor a sacred male prostitute among the young men of Israel. 18 You must never bring the pay of a female prostitute or the wage of a male prostitute into the temple of the Lord your God in fulfillment of any vow, for both of these are abhorrent to the Lord your God.
19 You must not charge interest on a loan to your fellow Israelite, whether on money, food, or anything else that has been loaned with interest. 20 You may lend with interest to a foreigner, but not to your fellow Israelite; if you keep this command the Lord your God will bless you in all you undertake in the land you are about to enter to possess. 21 When you make a vow to the Lord your God you must not delay in fulfilling it, for otherwise he will surely hold you accountable as a sinner. 22 If you refrain from making a vow, it will not be sinful. 23 Whatever you vow, you must be careful to do what you have promised, such as what you have vowed to the Lord your God as a freewill offering. 24 When you enter the vineyard of your neighbor you may eat as many grapes as you please, but you must not take away any in a container. 25 When you go into the ripe grain fields of your neighbor you may pluck off the kernels with your hand, but you must not use a sickle on your neighbor’s ripe grain.
24:1 If a man marries a woman and she does not please him because he has found something indecent in her, then he may draw up a divorce document, give it to her, and evict her from his house. 2 When she has left him she may go and become someone else’s wife. 3 If the second husband rejects her and then divorces her, gives her the papers, and evicts her from his house, or if the second husband who married her dies, 4 her first husband who divorced her is not permitted to remarry her after she has become ritually impure, for that is offensive to the Lord. You must not bring guilt on the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.
5 When a man is newly married, he need not go into the army nor be obligated in any way; he must be free to stay at home for a full year and bring joy to the wife he has married.
6 One must not take either lower or upper millstones as security on a loan, for that is like taking a life itself as security.
7 If a man is found kidnapping a person from among his fellow Israelites, and regards him as mere property and sells him, that kidnapper must die. In this way you will purge the evil from among you.
8 Be careful during an outbreak of leprosy to follow precisely all that the Levitical priests instruct you; as I have commanded them, so you should do. 9 Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam along the way after you left Egypt.
10 When you make any kind of loan to your neighbor, you may not go into his house to claim what he is offering as security. 11 You must stand outside and the person to whom you are making the loan will bring out to you what he is offering as security. 12 If the person is poor you may not use what he gives you as security for a covering. 13 You must by all means return to him at sunset the item he gave you as security so that he may sleep in his outer garment and bless you for it; it will be considered a just deed by the Lord your God.
14 You must not oppress a lowly and poor servant, whether one from among your fellow Israelites or from the resident foreigners who are living in your land and villages. 15 You must pay his wage that very day before the sun sets, for he is poor and his life depends on it. Otherwise he will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.
16 Fathers must not be put to death for what their children do, nor children for what their fathers do; each must be put to death for his own sin.
17 You must not pervert justice due a resident foreigner or an orphan, or take a widow’s garment as security for a loan. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do all this. 19 Whenever you reap your harvest in your field and leave some unraked grain there, you must not return to get it; it should go to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow so that the Lord your God may bless all the work you do. 20 When you beat your olive tree you must not repeat the procedure; the remaining olives belong to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard you must not do so a second time; they should go to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow. 22 Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt; therefore, I am commanding you to do all this.
25:1 If controversy arises between people, they should go to court for judgment. When the judges hear the case, they shall exonerate the innocent but condemn the guilty. 2 Then, if the guilty person is sentenced to a beating, the judge shall force him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with the number of blows his wicked behavior deserves. 3 The judge may sentence him to 40 blows, but no more. If he is struck with more than these, you might view your fellow Israelite with contempt.
4 You must not muzzle your ox when it is treading grain.
5 If brothers live together and one of them dies without having a son, the dead man’s wife must not remarry someone outside the family. Instead, her late husband’s brother must go to her, marry her, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law. 6 Then the first son she bears will continue the name of the dead brother, thus preventing his name from being blotted out of Israel. 7 But if the man does not want to marry his brother’s widow, then she must go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to preserve his brother’s name in Israel; he is unwilling to perform the duty of a brother-in-law to me!” 8 Then the elders of his city must summon him and speak to him. If he persists, saying, “I don’t want to marry her,” 9 then his sister-in-law must approach him in view of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, and spit in his face. She will then respond, “Thus may it be done to any man who does not maintain his brother’s family line!” 10 His family name will be referred to in Israel as “the family of the one whose sandal was removed.”
11 If two men get into a hand-to-hand fight, and the wife of one of them gets involved to help her husband against his attacker, and she reaches out her hand and grabs his private parts, 12 then you must cut off her hand—do not pity her.
13 You must not have in your bag different stone weights, a heavy and a light one. 14 You must not have in your house different measuring containers, a large and a small one. 15 You must have an accurate and correct stone weight and an accurate and correct measuring container, so that your life may be extended in the land the Lord your God is about to give you. 16 For anyone who acts dishonestly in these ways is abhorrent to the Lord your God.
17 Remember what the Amalekites did to you on your way from Egypt, 18 how they met you along the way and cut off all your stragglers in the rear of the march when you were exhausted and tired; they were unafraid of God. 19 So when the Lord your God gives you relief from all the enemies who surround you in the land he is giving you as an inheritance, you must wipe out the memory of the Amalekites from under heaven—do not forget!