Author Archives: Don Marsh

No Moabites Allowed


“No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever,C)” data-cr=”#cen-ESV-5505C” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”> because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. But the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam; instead the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loved you. You shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever.” Deuteronomy 23:3-6.

The law of sin and death hangs over all of our heads, and yet God has made a way of escape through the law of the spirit of life that is in Christ (Romans 8:2). God declares death over all for sin, but makes exceptions for those who seek Him and His mercy. Years after this command is given, Ruth the Moabitess will enter the genealogy of King David, and of Jesus.

Today all mankind still has the sentence of death. But pardon is also available to all who believe in the one who paid for it with His blood. And we are His ambassadors if we believe. We extend that mercy to all, even to those who reject it and are lost.

The Virginity Test


“If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then hates her and accuses her of misconduct and brings a bad name upon her, saying, ‘I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her evidence of virginity,’ then the father of the young woman and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate. And the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to marry, and he hates her; and behold, he has accused her of misconduct, saying, “I did not find in your daughter evidence of virginity.” And yet this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the cloak before the elders of the city. Then the elders of that city shall take the man and whip him, and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name upon a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife. He may not divorce her all his days. But if the thing is true, that evidence of virginity was not found in the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father’s house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.” Deuteronomy 22:13-21.

Yet another reminder that there is no such thing as something that is none of God’s business. He made you. He knows everything about you. He will someday judge you. He can dispose of you any way He wants. And until then, there are commands to obey.

Here in America, we are all about our right to pursue happiness at any cost. And we get pretty indignant when someone tells us we are wrong. I don’t know if there is anything more hated in this country than someone who judges bad behavior.

However, we can make our own idiotic rules and judge good people all day long. All it takes is one accuser, no evidence, and obvious bad motives to attack a good person and try to ruin him. It’s happening now in the American Media Circus. We should all be horrified at such arbitrary destruction being rained on someone in the pursuit of power.

CSI Israel BC


“If in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess someone is found slain, lying in the open country, and it is not known who killed him, then your elders and your judges shall come out, and they shall measure the distance to the surrounding cities. And the elders of the city that is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer that has never been worked and that has not pulled in a yoke. And the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to him and to bless in the name of the Lord, and by their word every dispute and every assault shall be settled. And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, and they shall testify, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it shed. Accept atonement, O Lord, for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not set the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel, so that their blood guilt be atoned for.’ So you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 21:1-9

A capital crime must be atoned for, even if it goes unsolved. God knows who did it. And I am sure that he will explain it to the almighty God at the last judgment. But in the meantime, a sacrifice must be made by the elders of the nearest town. Case closed.

God will judge the cases we cannot. Yes, I suppose an inquiry may have been able to turn up a man who had a quarrel with the victim. And maybe he owns a cudgel with contours that match the dent in the victim’s skull. And perhaps that cudgel has just been washed clean by the creek near the suspect’s house. And the neighbor asked him why he was doing that, because…who washes a cudgel?

I believe God wants us to have some sort of closure in our lifetime. “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.” When we know whodunnit, it would be too hard to let go of, and there are legal remedies. But when we don’t really know, we need to be free from a life of constant speculation.

Today, we need to look no further than the news, which is always filled with speculation, character assassination and lies. It is a constant circus of evil intentions and conspiracy theories. Vengeance will be the Lord’s. He will repay.

Warfare

“When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. And if it responds to you peaceably and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you. But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lord your God has given you. Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here. But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord Your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded, that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 20:10-18.

This kind of total destruction does not apply to all warfare. God was judging these people and using His people to carry out the sentence. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, God did not raise an army to execute judgment. He just did it Himself.

God was both eradicating the people and their practices. The abhorrent wickedness of these people had to be cleansed, not leaving a living thing. This is how it will be at the end. When Christ returns and brings an end if human history, He will not be preserving pockets of resistance. And heaven will have no bad neighborhoods. The victory over sin will be complete.

Today we are offering the world Christ, God’s olive branch. If they do not receive it, we shake the dust from our feet and move on. Instead of devoting the wicked to destruction, we are to be prepared to die rather than take up their practices, or approve of them. Jesus said, “They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God,” John 16:2.

To compromise with the wicked to have peace makes you an enemy of God. To prefer death to disobedience is a sign that you are His. Today, they only kill your reputation, calling you a bigot, a hater, a something-phobe, or a Nazi. The day will come when that is not enough.

Due Process


“A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established. If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Deuteronomy 19:15-21.

The malicious witness is a real thing. People will lie under oath to get a desired results. Jesus was lied about under oath at a trial held at night by authorities who had predetermined his execution.

There are many strong motivations to lie. We lie about the police to exonerate our crooked friends. We lie about people we disagree with. We lie to make ourselves look like victims years after we were willing parties to advance our careers. We lie about how much money we make and about our expenses to the IRS. We lie as if there is no God before whom our accounts will be settled. But there is, and they will be.