Deuteronomy 23

* Who are shut out from the congregation. (1-8) Cleanliness

enjoined. (15-25) Of fugitive servants, Usury, and other

precepts. (9-14)

1-8 We ought to value the privileges of God's people, both for

ourselves and for our children, above all other advantages. No

personal blemishes, no crimes of our forefathers, no difference

of nation, shuts us out under the Christian dispensation. But an

unsound heart will deprive us of blessings; and a bad example,

or an unsuitable marriage, may shut our children from them.
9-14 The camp of the Lord must have nothing offensive in it. If

there must be this care taken to preserve the body clean, much

more should we be careful to keep the mind pure.
15-25 It is honourable to shelter and protect the weak,

provided they are not wicked. Proselytes and converts to the

truth, should be treated with particular tenderness, that they

may have no temptation to return to the world. We cannot honour

God with our substance, unless it be honestly and honourably

come by. It must not only be considered what we give, but how we

got it. Where the borrower gets, or hopes to get, it is just

that the lender should share the gain; but to him that borrows

for necessary food, pity must be showed. That which is gone out

of thy lips, as a solemn and deliberate vow, must not be

recalled, but thou shalt keep and perform it punctually and

fully. They were allowed to pluck and eat of the corn or grapes

that grew by the road side; only they must not carry any away.

This law intimated what great plenty of corn and wine they

should have in Canaan. It provided for the support of poor

travellers, and teaches us to be kind to such, teaches us to be

ready to distribute, and not to think every thing lost that is

given away. Yet it forbids us to abuse the kindness of friends,

or to take advantage of what is allowed. Faithfulness to their

engagements should mark the people of God; and they should never

encroach upon others.
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