wit·ness: One who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced.
Deuteronomy is, in effect, the “Last Will and Testament of Moses”. Moses provides a contrasting snapshot of the Israelite witness and the Mosaic witness. The Israelite witness was unimpressive at best, worth destroying(?) at worse.
What was their witness? Stubbornness, wickedness, and sin.
The Mosaic witness? Yep, they are stubborn, wicked, and sinful. Please love them, be gracious to them, and have mercy on them anyway. Do this for the glory of your holy name and to fulfill the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Paul admonished Titus to teach those in his care “…so that God’s word will not be slandered.” Paul continues, “Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that any opponent will be ashamed, because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about us.” Even slaves were to be “demonstrating utter faithfulness, so that they may adorn the teaching of God our Savior in everything.”
This passage in Titus can be used inappropriately. Paul’s focus isn’t explicitly behavior, but how God’s word, teaching, and message comes across to others. All the behaviors weren’t a list of dos and don’ts so much as a be aware of the witness you are giving to others about God.
What is your witness? How do you witness? Why do you witness?
※Part of the Post-Communion Prayer, 2019 Book of Common Prayer※
And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord. To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.