Monday, July 30, 2012
Deuteronomy 24:5 is an interesting text:
"If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married."
So in other words, the Mosaic law makes it clear that when a man has just gotten married, he shouldn't go off to war. This came to mind recently as we have friends with a daughter that just married some military guy, and shortly after the wedding he was shipped off overseas for a year. Man, that has to stink for a large number of reasons...
The two or three people that read this blog know that I hold to an unpopular view that Christians should never wield the sword, especially in terms of military service, which makes this old Mosaic law all that much more important. Its fascinating to me that, in this pre-new covenant era (the Mosaic dispensation if you like) when Israelite war with enemy nations was common place, there was still a concession to say, basically, "Whoa, wait, you just got married? Are you nuts!? You aren't going off to war... you've got a new wife, you goober!"
Even during this harsh, wilderness time of warfare, even Moses took into account the need for newly-weds to spend time together. Shame that military Christians don't have the same respect for this old law today as well. I'm no legalist, but when reading the OT I do appreciate that there are core truths and ideas that can be gleaned from the law. We aren't obligated to the law anymore, but rather as believers freed by grace, the law should be a joy for us to dig into, to research, and to finding understanding what the key truth of the particular law or regulation was. In this case, it's common sense for anyone bound and determined to go off and kill. Before you do, take some time to be with your wife. Might be one of the most common sense laws of the OT.