Deut. 21:18 “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them, 19 then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city and unto the gate of his place. 20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, ‘This, our son, is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones so that he die. So shalt thou put evil away from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.
The graciousness of God’s law
1.) Note that this law ends the idea that children are absolutely owned by the parents to do with what they will. Instead, the Parent must go to a larger deliberative body in order to convict the child. The law thus gives the child a higher court outside the home where he would essentially be able to appeal a wicked parents desire to kill him. Remember, the way the pagans treated their children. This law is a safeguard against that.
2.) Clearly, this law applies to an older adolescent or young adult child still living in the home. Toddlers aren’t prone to be drunkards. We are likely looking at an adult child who has established a pattern of rebellion and criminality.
3.) Allowing such a delinquent child to live would be to allow the leaven of wickedness to infect the whole social order. One unrepentant adult child allowed to exercise their sovereign will over God’s will would breed more of the same and eventually, the whole Godly social order would be overthrown. Stoning such a guilty offspring is thus grace to the whole covenant community.
4.) I find it beyond astonishing that a culture that is so glib about torturing and killing the unborn as followed by selling the unborn body parts on the free market finds the ability to be outraged over a God who would legislate the death penalty for an adult child who has set a pattern of rebellion and criminality. Modern man complaining about the God of the Bible being cruel is like Miley Cyrus complaining about Madonna’s lack of virtue. Clearly, we see here that this commandment is graciousness to God’s covenant community.
5.) Finally, there is no record in Scripture of this ever happening.