No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge. ~Deuteronomy 24:6
The millstone was an important tool in agriculture and in ancient times. It was used to grind grain into flour. It consisted of a nether or lower slab of hard stone that served as a base, and an upper smaller stone. The upper stone would be used to grind grain into small, fine flour. Flour was a major staple of life, and so the millstone was very essential for its production. Isa. 47:2 says, “Take the millstone and grind the meal.” The millstone was used daily for grinding. Let us consider some important lessons from the millstone.
We see the hefty WORTH.
A man and his family’s livelihood depended upon having a millstone. Without a millstone they could not produce flour. In ancient times people made pledges of tools and other useful valuables when a business or financial transaction was made. The pledge was a form of security or collateral that assured the giver of goods or services that he would be paid. God told the Israelites that neither the nether or upper millstone could be taken as a pledge because that was equivalent to taking away a man’s life. This was an essential tool in a man’s household. He would starve and be resource-less without one. There are two thoughts on this. First, don’t ruin another person’s life to satisfy your desires. Second, don’t throw your life away to transactions and decisions that have no eternal value.
We see the heavy WEIGHT.
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea,” Matt. 18:6. Because of their size and they were made of stone, a millstone was very heavy. Jesus said someone who is a bad influence and is a stumbling block, leading other people into sin, is under serious judgment and condemnation. He said it would be better if this bad influence had a millstone hung around his neck as a weight and drowned in the sea than to lead another person astray. This comparison pictures the millstone as a deadweight that pulls something else down, especially in water. Are you someone who is a deadweight in another person’s life? Is your influence and testimony dragging someone else down instead of taking them higher?
We see a hurtful WEAPON.
“And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to brake his skull,” Judges 9:53. Abimelech was the disgraceful son of Gideon. He killed off his other brothers so that he could be the self-promoted leader. He used his newly-gained position and power to attempt a takeover of a city. The people of that city had a strong tower that they ran into for safety. As Abimelech came to that tower and attempted to burn it down, an anonymous elderly lady took a piece from a millstone and cast it down from the top. It found its mark on an unsuspecting Abimelech and resulted in the mortal wounding of his head. The thought here is that your sin catches up with you. You can’t flaunt your sins and pride in God’s face and think you can get away with it.
We see the holy WISDOM.
The millstone was said to be a man’s life. What best identifies your life? Are you just living for the daily grind (pardon the pun), or are you living for Jesus? Can we say like the songwriter, “Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee”? Decide today that the importance of your life is living for the glory of God and not just living to survive.
Have a purposeful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 22-24