Deuteronomy 23:13 – And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee.
Deuteronomy 23:14 – For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that He see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.
Surely there haven’t been a whole lot of sermons preached on the above passage. This scripture reveals that the bible deals with real issues and isn’t afraid to speak to them. During the long discourse in Deuteronomy, dealing with dos and don’ts, the bible deals with practical issues. Things like how to treat your neighbor, plan for the worst of times, and how to clean up your own mess.
The fact is we are human and therefore prone to being messy. This isn’t something that surprises God, for mess and man go together. Therefore, through His mouthpiece Moses, God deals with our messy issues.
1. There are two purposes to every weapon. One side is sharp and able to savagely stab your enemy. The other side is blunt and broad and able to dig up the earth. One side can deal with spiritual problems, the other works great in natural circumstances. To be correctly armed means we are equipped to operate in both elements well. Many people are great at stacking up spiritual enemies, but not so great at dealing with their personal problems. Part and parcel of being a warrior is knowing how to use the paddle. If you are super spiritual but a giant jerk – you are unbalanced. Learn to master both ends of the stick.
2. Some battles God refuses to fight for you. Moses promised that God would deliver and give up their enemies. It doesn’t seem like Israel has to worry about using the pointed end of their weapons too much. But God commanded them to personally deal with the messes they created. If you opened your mouth, typed out the words, and got yourself into the mess – dig yourself out. Apologize, repent, and cover. God will fight your enemies, you deal with the enemy – in-a-me.
3. Each person clean up your own mess. Your mess is your responsibility. Nobody should have to clean up after you. Not your spouse, parents, or pastor. If you created the problem, it’s your job to deal with it. It appears that each man was armed, but not the women or children. Therefore, I believe each father was responsible for making sure his whole family knew how to deal with their messes as well.
4. Make sure you bury your mess. In this instance, and current situations, messes involve a tremendous amount of stink. Old problems left open and exposed have a way of staying with us through their stench. Some people have smelly spirits because they never dealt with their past messes. To burying your mess is to deal with your mess. Make sure your past is covered.
5. Don’t bring the mess into the camp. All of the scriptural action I am talking about was to happen outside the camp. Don’t bring your problems into the camp. Your church service shouldn’t have to be hindered by your personal issues. Others in the church shouldn’t be dragged into your problems. God is holy, and proclaimed He wouldn’t walk in an area that was unclean. How clean is your church? What does that atmosphere smell like? We expect to fight satan, but shouldn’t have to ward off your stink.
6. Fertilize the future. Yesterday’s mess, if dealt with properly, has the ability to fertilize your tomorrow. Enough said.