16. GOD HAS ALWAYS EXPECTED HIS PEOPLE TO GIVE AS THEY ARE ABLE.
Deuteronomy 16:17 - "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you."
Today, He exhorts us to sow bountifully that we may reap in like fashion. God will make His grace abound toward us that we should have all sufficiency (cf. II Cor. 9:6-8). One who gives generously should not fear poverty.
17. MULTIPLYING WOMEN, MONEY, & POSSESSIONS IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.
Deuteronomy 17:16,17 - "But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.' Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself."
The kings of Israel were prohibited by God from accumulating these things. Old Testament history shows the disaster of those who disobeyed (e.g., I Kings 11). What should a man do instead? He should make a copy of the Mosaic law, keep it with him for reading and studying, "that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law" (Deut. 17:18,19).
18. REBELLIOUS CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.
"If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of the city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard,' Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear."Granted, we today do not have either a legal or moral right to execute our rebellious children. The right of execution belongs to the civil government today (cf. Rom. 13:1-7). So, what are parents to do? Fathers have a right and a duty to chasten their children as necessary. It is still a wise saying that "if you beat him [i.e., your child] with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell" (Prov. 23:13,14). Although this advice will not be well received by all today, I believe it to be good counsel. Genuine love must always be the motivator in discipline (or it is nothing more than abuse), but sometimes challenging children require that extreme measures be taken for their good. Rebellion cannot be tolerated in the home.
19. BETTER NOT TO MAKE PROMISES, THAN TO MAKE THEM & NOT KEEP THEM.
Deuteronomy 23:21-23 - "When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you. But if you abstain from vowing, it shall not be sin to you. That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth."
God wants us to be people of our word. It is better to say "no" initially than to lie (cf. Matt. 5:37).
20. THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT GOD, IN HIS WISDOM, HAS PREVENTED US FROM LEARNING.
Deuteronomy 29:29 - "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."
We might be inclined to think that we can and should comprehend everything and be aware of all that the LORD is doing, but such is simply not the case. That would be thinking too highly of ourselves and too lowly of God. There are some things that He has withheld from us--secrets, if you will. Rest assured, God, who is full of wisdom, would not withhold anything from us that would be helpful (cf. Rom. 8:31,32).