One thing I have tried to do as we go through Deuteronomy is show the relevance of these laws to us. And again, an important principle to keep in mind is what Jesus and the apostles say about it. In verse 4, it says,
Do not muzzle an ox while it treads out grain.
The idea is that while an ox was working in the field, it should be able to eat grain that had fallen to the ground.
What does this have to do with us? Are any of us farmers?
Paul tells us.
For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake…In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:9-10, 14).
Paul makes the exact same application in I Timothy 5:17-18.
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”
One of the main reasons for tithes in the Old Testament was to support the priests and those who worked in the temple. And Paul says that in the same way, we should support our pastors financially. God felt in the Old Testament that 10% was sufficient for the support of the priests in the ministry they did, and that’s one reason why we encourage tithing today.
If you haven’t been tithing to your church, I really encourage you to pray about it, and see what God will tell you to do.
But one more thing, on a totally different topic.
God told the Jews not to give more than 40 lashes to a criminal, so that the person would not be degraded in their eyes. It made me think of Jesus. The Romans didn’t follow Jewish law. How much was Jesus degraded for our sake when he was beaten and crucified?
In a prophesy of Jesus, Isaiah said this,
See, my servant will be successful;
he will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.
Just as many were appalled at you—
his appearance was so disfigured
that he did not look like a man,
and his form did not resemble a human being—
so he will sprinkle many nations. (Isaiah 52:13-15)
Lord Jesus, thank you for the price you paid for us.