Separation

(DEUT 22:9) Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.
(DEUT 22:10) Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.
(DEUT 22:11) Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

The Law of Moses had numerous laws such as these that regulated minute details of everyday life and were typical of that Old Testament yoke of which the Apostle Peter said, “...neither our fathers nor we were able to bear...” (ACT 15:10). The “why” of these laws we can speculate on but the fact is that God expected them to be taken seriously. Our Lord Jesus Christ Who by His death instituted a New Testament which blotted out the Old Testament (COL 2:14) nevertheless said of the Mosaic Law which He would fulfil (ROM 10:4):

(MAT 5:19) Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

As in other curiosities of Moses’ Law, these spoke of the principle of separation: there are things that do not belong together. While we earnestly contend for not separating what God has joined together (MAT 19:6), we should also be zealous to not join together what God has separated. How many professing Christians have fallen prey to the thinking that says, “I can’t see the sense in (fill in the blank here). Surely God won’t mind if we (fill in the blank here)?” Watch out for the Surely God: she hangs out at the dark intersection of Sin and Benefit like the strange woman of PRO 7:5-23, exploiting the simple who think they know better than God what should not be forbidden them.

First, the lighter side. Bible-mockers might ridicule such notions of separation while adamantly standing for that concept in everyday life, repulsed by (for example) the very thought of installing Honda accessories on a Harley-Davidson (horrors!), or wearing an OSU hat and a Michigan sweater together (perverse collegiate cross-dressing). Such breaches of propriety dare not even be spoken of in certain company. Ignoring all valid principles of hermeneutics, my personal interpretation of DEUT 22:10 is that true gospel ministers (God’s oxen, 1CO 9:6-10) must not work with televangelists.

Christ our Mediator expects us to honor the principle of DEUT 22:9-11 in various things.

In matters of everyday living, the lines of distinction between male and female are not to be blended or blurred. Paul commands distinctions like long hair on women and short hair on men being as plain as nature (1CO 11:4-15), that effeminacy in men is sinful (1CO 6:9) and same-sex copulation likewise (1CO 6:9; 1TI 1:10) it being “...against nature...” (ROM 1:26-27). Transvestitism and transgenderism fall under the same condemnation before God. A 19th C. writer observed, “There are people in Europe who, confounding together the different characteristics of the sexes, would make of man and woman beings not only equal but alike. … It may readily be conceived, that by thus attempting to make one sex equal to the other, both are degraded; and from so preposterous a medley of the works of nature nothing could ever result but weak men and disorderly women.” (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, pub. 1840). Europe has led the way in many things, many wrong things also, and America is fast on the heels of her post-Christian “enlightenment.”

The confusion in the culture at large has a sympathetic ear in professing Christendom which rejects Paul’s order about men and women as being archaic and fitted only for the culture of his day because Surely God would not still think like that. Bible-believer: take your cues from Shiloh (GEN 49:10), not Surely. The Surely God would, in the name of human love and tolerance, “puff up” a church with unbiblical sexuality, as happened at Corinth (1CO 5:1-2) so that it is assumed that Heaven now celebrates what it once condemned and Puff is no longer a magic dragon who lives by the sea but a tragic drag queen in the “Church of Unity.” The Surely God, under the same banner of love and tolerance, will also join together sexually others that should be kept separate: unmarried singles (fornicators) or married folk with someone other than their spouses (adulterers). The Surely God will even have key people in churches who are her devotees and promote such joinings, as at Thyatira which Shiloh condemned because they suffered Jezebel “...to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication...” (REV 2:20). It is one thing for saints to fall under temptation into such sin but it is another for such sin to be advanced as tolerable or even preferable in the church. If godly teachers are subject to greater condemnation (JAM 3:1), what of the ungodly?

I will reserve further comment on DEUT 22:9-11 for a future meditation and extend here a grateful “tip of the hat” to Pastor Chad Wagner for his excellent meditation, “The Shirley God.” It may be found at:

https://www.excelsiorspringschurch.com/the-shirley-god