2 Samuel, chapters 1-3

Then David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, saying: “Give me my wife Michal […] So Ishbosheth sent to take her from her husband, Paltiel the son of Laish. But her husband kept walking with her, weeping as he followed her as far as Bahurim. Then Abʹner said to him: “Go, return!” At that he returned.
~2 Samuel 3:14-16

Never mind that David already had sons from six different women at the time of this event (2 Sam 3:2-5).
After several years of being on the run, David wanted his first wife back- the original one- the princess for whom he risked his life in battle for (1 Sam. 18:27).

It is touching that Michal’s new husband, Paltiel, followed her and wept at her departure.
I find it noteworthy that God’s word should include this emotive detail amidst so many stories of conquest and bloodshed.

The princess Michal was moved from one man to another as if she were an asset, and it did not matter if she originally had been very much in love with David or if Paltiel was now in love with her (1 Sam. 18:20).

What we learn here is that marriage is marriage and David had the legal right over Michal because he married her first.
It was his decision not to divorce her despite the distance between them.

Although modern marriages also undergo certain psychological trauma, we live in a mostly monogamous society in which fidelity is expected both ways and infidelity is conducive to the dissolution of the marriage (Matt. 19:9).

While it is easy for us as readers to follow David’s train of thought, we should also observe that God took note of Paltiel’s reaction.
Jehovah is not a cold-hearted God nor is he indifferent to the feelings of those who are not even serving him.

Joshua, chapters 9-11

“It was Jehovah who allowed their hearts to become stubborn so that they waged war against Israel, in order for him to devote them to destruction without any favorable consideration.”
~Joshua 11:20

Jehovah did not decide the fate of the Canaanites for them.

The previous verse clearly states: There was no city that made peace with the Israelites except the Hivites inhabiting Gibeon. They conquered all the others by war,” (Joshua 11:19).

Despite Jehovah’s instructions ‘not to make a covenant with them,’ the Israelites had unintentionally established a treaty between themselves and the people of Gibeon (Ex. 34:12; Jos. 9:6-15).

Then, when the other cities attacked Gibeon, the Israelites rightly felt a moral obligation to defend them (Jos. 10:6-8).

Gibeon was spared the peril that the rest of the country suffered because, in their own words, they were ‘plainly told that Jehovah […] commanded Moses his servant to give Israel all the land and to annihilate all its inhabitants,’ (Jos. 9:24).

Thus, instead of arrogantly waging war against God himself, they laid themselves at the mercy of Israel and were indefinitely assigned the role of temple servants (Jos. 9:25-27).

The fact that Jehovah did extend considerable mercy toward the people of Gibeon, even allowing them the privilege of performing duties directly related to sacred worship, highlights his willingness to set aside the execution of his own judgment in order to favor those who seek him out sincerely (Ps. 86:15).

It is different, though, in the case of those who ‘allow their hearts to become stubborn.’

We do not need to be Canaanites or God’s sworn enemies to fall into this trap of obstinate arrogance.

Whether or not we witness God’s saving hand does not depend on who we are or where we come from.

It depends on whether or not we individually heed his words to ‘cleanse our hearts and stop being so stubborn,’ (De. 10:16).

Deuteronomy, chapters 4-6

When you are in great distress and all these things have happened to you in later times, then you will return to Jehovah your God and listen to his voice.

~Deuteronomy 4:30

Jehovah knew that eventually the Israelites’ descendants would lose faith in him and be ‘scattered among the peoples,’ (De. 4:27).

There, they would offend him when they fell into the practice of idol worshiping (De. 4:28).

But he would not forsake them.

“If you search for Jehovah your God from there, you will certainly find him, if you inquire for him with all your heart and with all your soul. […] For Jehovah your God is a merciful God. He will not desert you or bring you to ruin or forget the covenant that he swore to your forefathers,” (De. 4:29, 31).

Within the congregation, this may apply to those who either in the past or future commit serious sins against Jehovah and break the pact they made with him upon baptism.

What recourse do they have when later on in life they find themselves alone and in trouble?

God himself extends the following invitation:

“[…] If you return to me and observe my commandments and obey them, though your dispersed people should be at the end of the heavens, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place that I have chosen to have my name reside,” (Ne. 1:9).

The congregation doors are still open “and he will not turn his face away from you if you return to him,” (2 Ch. 30:9).

Leviticus, chapters 21-24

No unauthorized person may eat anything holy. No foreign guest of a priest or hired worker may eat anything holy. But if a priest should purchase someone with his own money, that person may share in eating it. Slaves born in his house may also share in eating his food.
~Leviticus 22:10,11

This text implies that circumcised foreigners who had been bought as laborers were thereafter considered to make up part of the priest’s household.

The priest’s immediate family members could also partake in holy meals.

Daughters were considered a part of the household if they were single, divorced or widowed and did not have children who could care for their needs (Lev. 22:13).

Jehovah truly extends his kindness toward every person regardless of their origin (Matt. 5:45).

From these verses we can gather at least a couple lessons:

1. God has his own arrangements as to who can enjoy things that he considers to be His own and how those things are enjoyed.

When we respect those arrangements, we are demonstrating godly devotion, especially if that implies making certain personal sacrifices (1 Tim. 6:6).

2. God is not partial toward any “but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him,” (Acts 10:34,35).

Therefor we should make a genuine effort to eradicate racist or prejudice notions that may have been engrained in us as children and that keep us from extending our hospitality toward members of our own faith who come from different roots.

Exodus, chapters 23-26

If you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has fallen under its load, you must not ignore it and leave. You must help him release the animal.
~Exodus 23:5

But the seventh year you should leave [the field] uncultivated and let it lie fallow, and the poor among your people will eat of it, and what they leave, the wild animals of the field will eat.
~Exodus 23:11

Six days you are to do your work; but on the seventh day, you are to cease from your labor, in order that your bull and your donkey may rest […]
~Exodus 23:12

You must not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
~Exodus 23:19

These verses are particularly moving as they highlight how Jehovah’s compassion extends to all living creatures.
His law protected even those who have no voice: animals.
Thus we humans are provided with some insight as to what he considers to be the ethical treatment of animals.
Though it is true that God put every living thing under the authority of humankind, he did not authorize us to abuse animals or expose them to cruel, anti-natural conditions, (Gen. 9:2,3).
This is why he prohibited the Israelites from boiling a goat in its own mother’s milk, for that milk was originally intended to nurture the goat, not kill it.
Truly, “the righteous one takes care of his domestic animals, even the mercy of the wicked is cruel,” (Prov. 12:10).