Deuteronomy 22:8-12 – The Little Useful Things That Our Parents Teach Us!

Posted: March 18, 2017 in Book of Deuteronomy
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Deuteronomy 22:8-12

Miscellaneous Regulations

When you look back on growing up in your parent’s household, you think sometimes of the practical things that you parents taught you. There were such things that they taught us that help us survive and thrive, just very basic stuff. A big one that parents often teach us is that we should have great respect for the law of gravity. The law of gravity is no respecter of color, creed, national origin, race, sexual orientation or veteran status (my HR friends might think that’s funny). Other immutable laws that your parents might teach you are don’t stick your hand in that fire, you might get burned – always a good one. Another is that you better watch where you are going – another good one because there’s that whole irresistible force meeting the immovable object law. Another is don’t spit into the wind – for obvious reasons. And the most important one of all that still serves me to this day – righty tighty, lefty loosey. This one means that all screws no matter what size they are or what application that they are used in, all of them, screw on to the right and off to the left. Turning a screw to the right will make it tighten the items that it is holding together and turning a screw to the left will loosen that same grip. It is an immutable law of the universe that parents teach their children.

 

Our parents teach these things to us because they want us to learn to function in society and not get ourselves killed, mamed, or hurt when we disregard the basic laws of the universe. They want us to survive and thrive. They want us to grow into adults who are equipped with enough knowledge of how the world works that we will make it on our own when we grow up. For example, my youngest daughter learned some basic laws of the universe one summer while staying with her grandparents, my mom and dad. She had just been the night before sitting in her papa’s lap watching TV like she always did in those days. They were watching this special on the career of Evil Knievel, the amazing motorcycle daredevil of the 1960’s and 1970s. She saw him jumping buses, cars, rivers, and so on. So, Taylor being Taylor, the family comedian and daredevil, even at an early age. She got it in her head that if she got enough speed going from one side my mom and dad’s front porch that she could jump the large hedges that surrounded this open porch. The porch was elevated but the hedges were about waist high on an adult so they were as tall as Taylor was at that point (she was about maybe 3 years old, 4 at the most). She built herself a ramp with a cement block and some plywood and she was set. She hopped on her tricycle and went to the other end of the porch and began to pedal as fast as she could. She hit the ramp perfectly and was airborne, but due to the lack of sufficient speed and the height of what she had to jump she landed in the bushes. Papa who was cutting grass at the time on his riding lawnmower makes a turn toward the house and sees Taylor laying basically on top of the bushes crying. I am not sure what all Taylor told my dad about the what happened. But, my dad, being my dad, used it as a teaching moment after she quit crying and he got her cleaned up. He of course told her that you can’t just imitate everything you see on TV. Evil Knievel had engineers to help him set up his stunts. And that Evil Knievel has pretty much had broken every bone in his body during his career. So, there’s another one. Don’t imitate everything you see on TV. I guess that’s why sometimes you see the warnings now on TV – driver on a closed course, do not attempt at time. We call that the Taylor rule in our family now.

 

When I read this collection of miscellaneous laws that God gave us in Deuteronomy 22:8-12, I thought of the basic laws of the universe that our parents teach us. Let us read it together now:

 

8 When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.

 

9 Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled.[a]

 

10 Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.

 

11 Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.

 

12 Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.

 

These are practical laws, helpful for establishing good habits for everyday living. Verse 8: Since people used their flat roofs as porches back in the day in Israel, a railing was a wise precaution. Verse 9: If you plant two different crops side by side, one of them is going to overshadow the other and it will die for lack of sunlight and nutrients. Verse 10: Using two different beasts of burden is just not smart. They will pull the plow at differing rates and it will not plow evenly as a result. Verse 11: A garment made of two different kinds of cloth were wear unevenly and destroy the garment. Verse 12: Making tassels at the bottom corners of a cloak will help you determine the top from the bottom, etc. We should not think of God’s laws as arbitrary restrictions but rather seek to find the reasons behind the laws that God has made. They are made often to teach us something deeper or to protect us from harm.

 

Much like our parents teaching us about the immutable laws of the universe, God teaches practical lessons. He is part of our daily lives. He understands what we go through as human beings. Because He created us and the world we live in, He knows what is best for us and what will hurt us. Because He knows the laws of the universe that He created, he protects us from harm with his commands. Because He knows that sin destroys, that is why He has prohibitions against sin. Not because He wants to restrict us but rather to protect us from what He knows will destroy us. Just like our parents teaching us how the world works.

 

Amen and Amen.

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