The miscellaneous laws of the Old Testament are just awesome.  If you've never taken the time to read through a book like Deuteronomy, then you need to.  It's a real treat.  Not only is this where Jesus got all of the ammunition that He used against the Devil during His temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), but there are also some rare gems among the various laws. Now, I don't mean in any way to make fun of the law that I'm about to discuss, but it's one of those rules that makes me chuckle when I read it.  It makes me think of playground hi-jinks and people making funny faces.  I'm talking about Deuteronomy 25:11-12.

When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand. Your eye shall have no pity.

I suppose you could say that I have an "immature" sense of humor for laughing when I read a law that mentions seizing someone by the "private parts", but so be it.  This is a funny picture in my mind.

The Law makes it clear, however, that this is in no way a minor offense.  Other cultures and religions have various situations in which a person's hand is to be cut off as punishment for an offense, but this is the only case in the Bible's Law that calls for this particular penalty.  But what makes it such a serious crime?  Why take such drastic measures against an action that seems rude but not overly injurious (other than that sickening pain)?

Well, I suppose you could say that since the "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" law can't possibly apply here, something else had to be done, but I don't think that's it.  The true answer probably lies a couple of chapters back in Deuteronomy 23:1, "No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD."  In other words, the woman who reaches out to grab hold of her husband's enemy's "private parts" may end up permanently disqualifying him from participating in the worship assembly.

Sadly, there are a lot of men sitting through worship services in our churches today that probably wish that there was something to disqualify them from having to be there.  Men have become so effeminate in our culture that they abandon the spiritual headship of the home to their wives while they go out and do supposedly "manly" things.  In the Bible, however, faith and worship are extremely masculine pursuits.  One could make a joke concerning these laws that I've mentioned about what you have to have to be able to worship.

Worship of the Almighty Creator and King of the cosmos is at once our highest privilege and the most natural expression of our faith.  Worship is not our right.  God makes that clear by denying many people access to the assembly (Deuteronomy 23:1-8).  It is a gracious blessing to be able to draw near to God, even just to be able to sing with others about His greatness.  But this is exactly what the man who loves God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength greatly desires to do.  When something or someone is truly praiseworthy, we long to give the deserved praise.

Men who show little or no desire to be in worship ought not to kid themselves that they are genuine believers.  Disobeying the Word of God when it commands attendance at worship (Hebrews 10:25) is not a "cool" and "manly" thing to do.  It is a faithless and cowardly thing.  Real men worship God with all their hearts.  The rest may as well just go ahead and emasculate themselves (Galatians 5:12).