In Deut. 19-22, you discover how men and women walk closely with God so they can be a peacemaker in settling disputes and controversies between people. They protect the innocent, discipline evildoers, discover truth through the testimony of two or three witnesses, penalize false witnesses, pursue simplicity in their relationship with Christ, communicate grace and truth, value others and choose sexual purity.
Matt. 5:9 says, "Blesses are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." It is one of the Beatitudes in the Sermon On The Mount.
When the Lord destroyed nations, drove them out and settled in the land He gave, they set aside three cities centrally located. Anyone who killed a man unintentionally went there for protection from revenge so innocent blood would not be shed to prevent bloodguiltiness. If a man hated and killed his neighbor, the elders would hand him over to the avengers of blood to die. They purged the guilt of shedding innocent blood so it would go well with them (Deut. 19:1-13). Protect innocent parties and discipline evildoers to purge the guilt of shedding innocent blood.
Do not move a neighbor’s boundary stone that ancestors set. A single witness was not enough to convict a man accused of any crime. The matter was established by two or three witnesses. They penalized a false witness by doing what the judge intended to do to his brother. This would purge evil so other people would hear and be afraid. They showed no pity but life for a life, eye for a eye, tooth for a tooth (Deut. 19:14-21). Discover truth through testimony of two or three witnesses and penalize false witnesses to deter future crimes.
God commanded Israel to not fear when they fought enemies and saw horses, chariots and an army greater than them. The Lord was with them when He brought them out Egypt to fight against their enemies and give them victory. If a man built a new house, planted a vineyard without enjoying it, pledged to marry a woman, they should go home to prevent dying in battle. If any men was afraid or fainthearted, they were sent home so their brothers would not be disheartened. If people accepted terms of peace after being attacked, they subjected everyone to forced labor. If they refused to make peace, they killed the men and took the women, children and livestock as plunder. They destroyed idolatrous people to stop teaching in worshiping their gods causing sin. When they laid siege to a city for a long time, they saved the trees for food. Non-fruit trees were cut down to build siege works until it fell (Deut. 20:1-20). Reject fear, avoid distractions, destroy idolatry and use assets when praying against evil forces that have greater resources.
Communicate Grace and Truth
When the killer was unknown, the elders in the nearest town broke an unworked heifer's neck and washed their hands over the animal saying they had not shed blood or saw it done. They forgave Israel whom God redeemed without holding His people guilty of the innocent man's blood to purge the guilt of shedding innocent blood. A woman from the spoils of victory could be taken as a wife after she mourned her father and mother for a month. If a husband was displeased with her, she could leave and not be treated as a slave. An unloved wife's firstborn son received a double share. All the men of a city stoned a rebellious son to death to remove evil so Israel would hear and be afraid. Anyone who hung on a tree for capital offense was under God’s curse. His body was buried the same day to not desecrate the land God gave as an inheritance (Deut. 21:10-23). Communicate grace and truth to remove evil and guilt so God's people fear and obey Him.
A brother’s animal was taken back to its owner if it strayed. Women and men did not wear the opposite gender’s clothes since it was an abomination to God. A mother was not taken from a bird’s nest but the young could be taken so it would go well for them in prolonging their days. They made a parapet for the roof of a house to stop the guilt of bloodshed if someone fell from it. They did not plant two kinds of seed in a vineyard since it would defile its fruit. They did not plow with an ox and donkey yoked together and wear clothes of wool and linen woven together (Deut. 22:1-12). Value others by protecting their property, maintaining gender distinctions, initiating safety and promoting productivity.
Choose Sexual Purity
The elders fined a husband 100 shekels of silver and gave it to the wife’s father for falsely accusing his wife of not being a virgin. If the charge was true and the girl was not a virgin, then men of the city stoned her to death since she was promiscuous in order to purge evil from among them. If a man slept with a married woman, then both died to purge evil from Israel. If an engaged woman did not cry out when a man slept with her, then both were stoned to death to purge evil from among them. A man died if he raped a girl pledged to be married. He paid the girl's father 50 shekels if he raped a virgin not pledged to be married (Deut. 22:13-30). Choose sexual purity in relationships and punish false charges that harm reputations to purge evil from your midst.
Ask God to develop the following characteristics in your life to equip you in becoming a peacemaker:
1. Protect innocent parties and discipline evildoers to purge the guilt of shedding innocent blood
2. Discover truth through testimony of two or three witnesses and penalize false witnesses to deter future crimes
3. Reject fear, avoid distractions, destroy idolatry and use assets when praying against evil forces that have greater resources
4. Communicate grace and truth to remove evil and guilt so God's people fear and obey Him
5. Value others by protecting their property, maintaining gender distinctions, initiating safety and promoting productivity
6. Choose sexual purity in relationships and punish false charges that harm reputations to purge evil from your midst