Good morning on this fine summer day! The Law way back in the early books of the Old Testament can make for some interesting reading. For example: “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband’s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. But if the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.’ Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him. But if he stands firm and says, ‘I do not want to take her,’ then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother’s house.’ And his name shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal removed.’ "(Deut 25:5-10)
The obvious answer is to never be caught dwelling with your brother. Not sure that was possible back in the day, but is that in keeping with the spirit of the law in any case? One might also notice that the living brother's wife seems to get no say in the matter, or maybe that is the reason the man takes the public shaming. Of course if the one brother's wife is a desirable woman in the eyes of the other brother, a different sort of temptation might come up. "Hey, King! My brother really, really wants to earn a medal in this campaign. Why not put him on the front lines for this fight?" King David set a bad example in that regard when he found a woman he desired had this inconvenient husband. The Law shows the intention we all carry deep in the heart.
One may try to avoid a possible future situation, another may try to take advantage, while the godly man obeys the Law and does his duty. We have choices to make and the Law of the Lord is very good at highlighting any evil lurking in the dark corners of the heart. The godly man, however, does not become godly without God. All of us will fail in our own strength. If we want to be known as godly, we must strive to know God.Have a glorious Thursday in Christ!