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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 6, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

 

Daily Reading:  Deuteronomy 21-23

 

Deuteronomy 22:8

When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.

 

There are Old Testament laws that many use for various purposes. There are Old Testament laws that are lauded for proof of this or that, and then there are Old Testament laws, like today’s, which is one that few have ever considered. But there it is. Standing as a citadel of God’s watch care and concern for the safety of all people. In fact, by reading the three assigned chapters of Deuteronomy today there are numerous laws just like this one. They all demonstrate the precautions that God commands to protect, and His love for all.

 

This law states that if an Israelite builds a new house, a battlement is to be placed on the roof. A battlement is a short fence, customarily about 3 cubits high (about 4.5 feet), around the roof to protect against anyone falling off the roof. Roofs at this time in history were primarily flat. They were used for protection against the element for the house and also for walking on, prayer, fellowship, sleeping during the hot months, and even as a walkway from house to house. This wall around the roof was for protection. Not only to protect a person from falling off, perhaps to death, but it was also a protection for the homeowner from having to flee to a city of refuge if a person did fall off their roof and die. For if there were no fence around the roof it could be considered manslaughter, the innocent and accidental death of another through negligence.

 

Can you see the Lord’s concern, His safety measures, and His loving care for His sheep? Frankly, all of God’s Laws are safe. No wonder the Psalmist, King David, wrote:  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. Psalm 19:8 His laws, His statutes, are right. They are safe. They are wholesome. They are clean. They are to be the apple of our eye, meaning they are desired to make one wise.

 

Not only are the laws of God right, they also enlighten. Who would have thought about building a wall around their roof for the protection of those on the roof if God had not specified it? Some would no doubt. They would have thought about it, but would they spend the money to construct it? Wanting this wall is one thing, paying for it is another. God’s command about this embattlement not only protects, but it also enlightens the eyes of the householder for their need to protect all that enter into, or walk on top of, their house.

 

With the understanding that God’s Laws both protect and enlighten it is no wonder that the second verse of the book of Psalms says of the man that is blessed: But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

 

Yes, God’s Laws, the Old Testament and the New Testament laws can be our delight, for they, in their time, protect, make clean, safeguard, and enlighten. While most ignore, reject, sneer at, and even mock God’s Laws. There they are. Standing as a lighthouse of knowledge and protection for all who love them and keep them.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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