Deuteronomy 23:3-8 (JDV)
Deuteronomy 23:3 No Ammonite or Moabite may enter Yahveh ‘s collected assembly; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, may enter Yahveh’s collected assembly permanently.
Deuteronomy 23:4 This is because they did not meet you with food and water on the journey after you came out of Egypt, and because Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram-naharaim was hired to curse you.
Deuteronomy 23:5 Yet Yahveh your God would not listen to Balaam, but he turned the affliction into an empowerment for you because Yahveh your God cares about you.
Deuteronomy 23:6 Never pursue their welfare or prosperity all your days – permanently.
Deuteronomy 23:7 Do not despise an Edomite, because he is your brother. Do not despise an Egyptian, because you were a guest in his land.
Deuteronomy 23:8 The children born to them in the third generation may enter Yahveh’s collected assembly.
People from some nations were to be excluded from joining the covenant community, because those nations had acted to destroy Israel. Others were not to be despised, but welcomed into the collected assembly after two generations had passed. Even the Edomites and Egyptians would be accepted after the limits of the exclusion were expired. The purpose of this rule was not to encourage prejudice, but to protect the covenant from those nations which had recently demonstrated hostility to Israel. The limits suggest that some within those nations would change their minds about the Israelites, and want to join them by converting.
Christ commands us to go to nations. The only ones excluded from God’s new covenant assembly are those who reject him. There is no need to protect the new covenant community because when the kingdom from the sky comes, nothing impure will enter it. God’s word today is “let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”
Lord, thank you for accepting us into your new covenant community.