Ki Tetse כִּי-תֵצֵא
“When You Go Out”
Torah: Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19
PROPHETS: Isaiah 54:1–10
APOSTOLIC WRITINGS: Mark 12:18–27
These devotionals are designed to supplement, not replace, your Bible reading.
Torah 1 & 2
God Gives Authority and Demands Responsibility
The previous portion defined how authority would be balanced throughout the community by establishing offices of judge, king, priest, and prophet. This portion deals with specific instructions for exercising authority so that God is glorified. God’s community must live according to His ways and reflect His glory, not live according to personal preferences and self-promoting agendas.
So, when God gives military victory, His instructions serve to maintain domestic harmony. After defeating a people militarily there are limits to how men can treat women.
There are also limits on how much and to whom inheritance can be given.
Finally, there are instructions for parents of totally rebellious children, unresponsive to family discipline, to bring them under punitive communal authority.
In what ways are you serving to promote domestic harmony under your own roof? What can you do to obey God and produce a God-glorifying home life?
God Is Pure So Those Who Dwell With Him Must Stay Pure
This section provides instructions for maintaining purity within the community that God is establishing for His praise.
Burying a dead body before sunset after carrying out a death sentence served to maintain land purity.
Caring for property that belongs to others in a self-less, as opposed to self-ish, way served to maintain purity within relationships and promoted the “golden rule.”
Because “cross-dressing” blurs God-given distinctions between the sexes, maintaining gender purity reflects God’s created order and furthers His redeeming purposes.
As creation’s crown, men (male and female, cf. Genesis 1:26–27) are superior to animals but we have been given responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation (Genesis 1:28). Thus, limits on taking animals for food serve to maintain good stewardship and allow God’s animals to multiply according to His instruction to them (cf. Genesis 1:22 and 8:17).
What area of your life is polluted by impurity? Seek God’s face to clean up that place and radiate His grace!
Torah 3 & 4
Obey God’s Commands
Deuteronomy 22:8–23:6 [7 Heb]
Reflect God’s Glory
Deuteronomy 23:7 [8 Heb]–23:23 [24 Heb]
There are many different kinds of instructions in these sections. Notice the connection between ritual and ethical concerns.
Ritual concerns involve that which relates us rightly with God (i.e., tassels on garments to remember God’s commands, freedom to enter God’s assembly, maintaining a “clean/pure” camp because of a “holy” God dwelling among you, and keeping your vows to God).
Ethical concerns involve that which relates us rightly with others (i.e., guard-rail on roof to protect your guest, maintaining sexual purity and familial honor, protecting slaves, charging interest).
Sounds like the two great commands, doesn’t it—relating rightly to God and others (cf. Matthew 22:35–40)? In God’s community, there is not an easy distinction between “sacred” concerns and “secular” concerns. Everything in life must be viewed in direct relationship to God (cf. Matthew 25:40, 45), Who created and redeemed us for His glory.
In what ways do you try and obey God’s commands by depending on your own understanding and drawing on your own strength (cf. Proverbs 3:5; 9:10)?
torah 5 & 6
God Freely Provides
Deuteronomy 23:24 [25 Heb]–24:4
God cares for the poor, needy, and vulnerable in society. He provides for them by allowing them to go onto “private property” and eat what they find. To hoard, however, is beyond what God allows. Those who have must give, but those who don’t, have limits on what they can take. Each person must trust God as the ultimate Provider. Are you trusting God as your great Provider?
The discussion on divorce has been a topic of much debate (cf. Matthew 19:3–9). Notice, however, the emphasis in the text is not on whether divorce is acceptable but how to avoid defiling the land by unauthorized sexual relations (adultery). Sexual purity has enormous ramifications for staying in right relationship with God, with others, and with the inheritance God provides! How is God calling you to grow in the area of sexual purity?
God Safely Protects
God’s instructions concerning those who are newly married (v. 5) and deep in debt (vv. 6, 10–13) are like boundaries that create a certain “order” within community life. So too, God’s instructions for punishment of a kidnapper (v. 7) and purification by a priest (vv. 8–9) create boundaries which promote justice and protect the innocent.
God’s instructions provide us with boundaries in our life. Do you resent God’s boundaries as restrictive or do you treasure them as protective?
torah 7 &
Fear God So You Will “Act Justly and Love Mercy” (Micah 6:8)
Much of this portion is concerned with justice. God is just and His community must purge evil and uphold justice because such actions reflect God’s nature. Paying a worker (24:14–15) and protecting the employer’s children from their father’s sin (v. 16) upholds justice. Judges must uphold justice by not giving out overly harsh punishments (25:1–3). Justice demands that those who work should benefit from their labors (v. 4; cf. 1 Corinthians 9:7–10). Justice also demands that families function according to God’s design and not according to the personal preferences of any individual (vv. 5–10). Justice also prohibits disproportionate force being used to solve fights (vv. 11–12) as well as dishonest weights and measures being used to establish commercial value (vv. 13–16).
Though God is just, however, He is also full of mercy. That is why His people must remember being recipients of God’s mercy so as to extend mercy to others, especially the alien, fatherless, and widow (society’s vulnerable and weak) (24:17–22).
Those Who Do Not Fear God Will Not Receive Mercy
The Amalekites had no fear of the LORD, and thus they did not “act justly nor show mercy” (cf. Exodus 17:8–16). When Israel was strong enough to do so, they were to be God’s instrument of justice by destroying the Amalekites.
God’s justice demands that we too be destroyed for our sin. po6How is God’s justice upheld in Messiah’s death? How is God’s mercy poured out through a resurrected Yeshua? Take a moment to contemplate all of what God has done for you in the past, all of who God is for you in Yeshua, and all that He wants you to trust Him for in the near future.
Uncomfortable Without Knowing the Scriptures and the Power of God
This haftarah is the 5th of seven Haftarot of Consolation following Tish’ah b’Av. All seven selections are between Isaiah 40:1 and 63:9. Last week’s haftarah (Shoftim, Isaiah 51:12–52:12) ended at the beginning of the “Suffering Servant” passages (52:13–53:12), and this week picks up at the end of those passages. It is tragic that these verses are regularly passed over by our brethren “according to the flesh” when true consolation and comfort are only found in the One who fulfilled this saving promise.
This week’s haftarah continues to look ahead to the time when God would regather exiles to the land and pour out His “love” and “compassion” (v. 10) upon His people. Ki Tetse offers Israel the path of life and blessing by obeying God’s covenant obligations. Because God is faithful and merciful, He will keep His covenant promises by drawing His people back to Himself despite their hardhearted unbelief.
Soften your own heart by spending some time sitting at the Master’s feet, praising Him, speaking to Him and most of all, listening to Him through His word and obeying Him from the heart.
Comfort From Knowing and Following Messiah
The Sadducees were one of the main Jewish sects, arising sometime during the Maccabean period and disappearing within a couple of hundred years after Messiah. These Jews knew their Torah. Or so they thought. Drawing upon Deuteronomy 25:5–10, they came to ask Yeshua a question. Notice that, since these Jews did not believe in resurrection, the question is disingenuous. What do you think was their motive in approaching him? What does Yeshua say is their real problem (v. 24)? The Jews in Isaiah’s day had the same problem. So do many Jews today. Many believers today have this same problem as well.
Keep digging into the written word and pressing on to know the Living Word who reveals the power of God and comforts all who follow Him alone (cf. Matthew 11:28–30)!
Rest. Fellowship. Discussion.