This is a section where I post a collection of small sections of the books I’m working on at the time. Details in scripture I’ve been shown that I just can’t wait to share.
Chapter 73 In the Land You Are About to Enter Deuteronomy 6
Deuteronomy 6:1-4 NLTse (1) “These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, (2) and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the LORD your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. (3) Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you. (4) “Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.
As we enter into a review of the laws, we should look back at another chapter in the previous book of Numbers. That’s where we see another review. That review was about the sacrificial system. When Moses reviewed those details, he also wrote about his journey up that mountain to die. There is an eerie connection between the two.
How would you feel if God told you that you were going to die and where? And then God told you, He had a mission for you to carry out? Talk about a test. Could you endure what Moses had to go through? Would you have been as patient and willing to cooperate as he was? That showed how close of a connection Moses had with God.
Then there is the spiritual side of the lesson. Do you understand how you have to put yourself in Moses’ place to see one tenth of that lesson? On one hand Moses was a symbol of Christ. Moses showed how Christ had to die to open a path to the real Promised Land. Moses had to go up a mountain. A direct connection to Jesus going before God’s throne to present His perfect offering. Moses was not presenting a perfect offering. As a matter of fact, an error put Moses on that mountain. Moses may have been God’s greatest prophet, but he was no better than any of us. But with Jesus, everything had to be perfect.
Now we begin to see the connection between the news Moses received about his death, the review on the sacrificial system, and the laws. They all work together, joining to make one lesson. Some physical details pointed to a spiritual connection, and some spiritual details stood on their own. We have to be able to tell which are physical pointing to the spiritual, and which are spiritual on their own.
One law of context tells us, physical symbols always point to something far greater. Not something equal, but something far greater. We also have to know, this is true in all conditions. So the mountain Moses had to climb pointed to something far greater, God’s throne, or the Heavenly Sanctuary. Moses pointed to someone far greater, Christ. Moses sacrifice pointed to a far greater sacrifice, Jesus. There is a much greater list then we can discuss here, but you can see the pattern. Moses was not provided with a detailed list of what all the symbols in the Tabernacle, its services, or any of those events in the wilderness represented. But Moses was given clues for us to examine. We just have to be willing, and patient enough to look for them. And as always, let scripture explain them.
We can look at the New Testament to see how Moses helped Jesus to prepare for His sacrifice. We can see how God put Moses in the position to learn from his own experiences, so he could offer the right words and compassion at the right time. That’s another attribute priests need to have. The training course can be brutal from a worldly point of view. That’s because we have a difficult time seeing God’s love on the other side, or end of the lesson.
We can also see in Isaiah and other books how God uses a mountain to symbolize His throne. This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days, the mountain of the LORD’s house will be the highest of all– the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the LORD’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:1-3 NLTse).
When we look at the symbol of God’s mountain, we also see it’s a place to learn. That’s another important aspect and another attribute all of God’s priests need to acquire. If they don’t know where to learn from God, they ain’t gonna know how to learn from God, so how they going to teach anyone, anything? Of course they always have the option of teaching the wrong things. That door is always open.
Moses tied the laws with teaching for our benefit. We’re supposed to teach our children and grandchildren. Tying Deuteronomy 6 to Isaiah 2 helps us to understand how to get that education so we’re equipped to pass along the proper material. If we’re not learning from God, we are not being the effective teacher God needs. It doesn’t matter if we’re teaching family, classes, or an entire nation, like Moses did. Numbers don’t matter, it is the quality of the message that is important.
How do the laws, sacrifices, and communication work together? The first time Moses recorded the Ten Commands, he pointed out in detail how God personally gave them to Israel with His own voice. Communication and the Commandments were forever linked. Then God offered them direct communication with Himself. I hope you can see the connection, if you don’t, your on the side that turned down God’s offer.
Look at your own experience with God as a witness. When you first became a Christian, you wanted to change. You wanted to follow Jesus and the law, all of them. But it was tough. Once you get to a point you thought you were doing well, things you never considered sins suddenly came to light. It soon seemed like your life was a never ending list of unintentional sins. Moses also taught about those unintentional sins. The point is, no one in this world can tell you about those unintentional sins. Only God’s Spirit can. It takes direct communication with God. That was exactly what God and Moses were trying to teach those people for the past forty years. The job would have been a lot easier if they listened to God. Moses was a sort of blockage in the stream of information.
Imagine an infinite source of information wider than the sky. Okay so most people, including myself can’t imagine nor describe infinity. Imagine a huge lake, like Lake Michigan, or all the Great Lakes in America. Those lakes are easily seen from space. That size doesn’t nearly begin to explain God’s knowledge and His ability to be everywhere at once teaching everyone exactly what they need to learn at any particular time. That water is God’s Spirit.
Or look at the oceans. They are connected. You can sail a boat from one ocean to another without ever seeing another boat. Now we are talking huge! At the very beginning of Genesis, God compared His Spirit to the water covering this world. Now imagine trying to distribute that water anywhere in the world through a pipeline the size of your little finger. How long will it take to move all that water? I mean all of it.
That’s what happened when Israel chose to place Moses between themselves and the Infinite source of knowledge. Everything slowed down. At times there was no movement. All that pressure made it seem as if Moses was going to burst. And he finally did.
Don’t ever place anyone between you and God. Not only are you slowing down the flow of knowledge, you are placing a lot of pressure where it never belonged. Jesus chose to place all that pressure on Himself. He had to do that to save this world. There was no other choice. But Jesus’ death never gave you the right to take that pressure and put it on other people. That was never part of God’s plan and is not any part of the plan of salvation.
Moses Climbed His Mountain
Deuteronomy 32:44-52 NLTse (44) So Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and recited all the words of this song to the people. (45) When Moses had finished reciting all these words to the people of Israel, (46) he added: “Take to heart all the words of warning I have given you today. Pass them on as a command to your children so they will obey every word of these instructions. (47) These instructions are not empty words–they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land you will occupy when you cross the Jordan River.” (48) That same day the LORD said to Moses, (49) “Go to Moab, to the mountains east of the river, and climb Mount Nebo, which is across from Jericho. Look out across the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the people of Israel as their own special possession. (50) Then you will die there on the mountain. You will join your ancestors, just as Aaron, your brother, died on Mount Hor and joined his ancestors. (51) For both of you betrayed me with the Israelites at the waters of Meribah at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. You failed to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel there. (52) So you will see the land from a distance, but you may not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”
It’s really hard to image the information in Deuteronomy 32 is a song. But this showed how important the information is. God wanted Israel to get this information stuck in their heads like a song you can’t get out. The same tune that stays with you all day long. Do we look at God’s law that way? Is that the way people teach it? Of do they favor their version of God’s song? Wouldn’t we refer to that as a copy right infringement these days?
God promised Israel life if they obey His commandments. Then God told Moses to climb a mountain on the east side of the Jordan River to go up there to die. Think about that for a moment. Your message is complete. Now climb a mountain to die.
God reminded Moses about the day he escorted his brother Aaron up a mountain, stripped of his priestly garments, placed them on Aaron’s son, and left Aaron on that mountain to die. No one know for sure what happened to Aaron. That must have been on Moses’ mind. For Moses, it had to be a gut wrenching experience filled with emotions.
Moses knew better than to argue with God. Moses knew God made up His mind. Moses must have thought about the times he stood up and argued with God to save the people of Israel. But no one was there to defend him. Moses must have felt very lonely at the time. Then again, how can you feel alone when your close to God?
Israel was on their own with a new leader. One without a vail covering his face. Joshua was near the same age as Moses. Joshua was one of the few people over age sixty when the reached the Jordan River. Something prepared Joshua. God trusted Joshua and it was only because he had the faith it took to enter the promised land forty years earlier.
There is another lesson when we look at the time involved. Joshua, Moses, and many more had to suffer along with that unruly bunch in Israel. It didn’t matter that some people loved and chose to follow God. The good had to suffer along with the majority who had to be punished. I doubt is anyone can adequately explain why. But it happens. The trend continues today. People serving God are often driven to an early grave, because other people want to stick to their amendments to God’s laws. Or people want to preach their easier path to some other promised land. This world is filled with a lot of religious concepts made up of a few proof texts and long winded explanations. Think about it. Those rebellious people drove Moses to an early grave. They played a major role by attacking Moses immediately after he lost his sister and brother. But the circumstances didn’t seem to matter to God. But did they? This world and so called religious leaders who claimed to serve God sent His Son to an early grave. Maybe Moses had to die to make a point. To provide a warning to future generations. Wasn’t that the theme we’ve seen over the past few chapters?
His Special Treasure
Deuteronomy 32:9-14 NLTse (9) “For the people of Israel belong to the LORD; Jacob is his special possession. (10) He found them in a desert land, in an empty, howling wasteland. He surrounded them and watched over them; he guarded them as he would guard his own eyes. (11) Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions. (12) The LORD alone guided them; they followed no foreign gods. (13) He let them ride over the highlands and feast on the crops of the fields. He nourished them with honey from the rock and olive oil from the stony ground. (14) He fed them yogurt from the herd and milk from the flock, together with the fat of lambs. He gave them choice rams from Bashan, and goats, together with the choicest wheat. You drank the finest wine, made from the juice of grapes.
God tried to attract Israel like a man attracts a lover. God promised the best in life. The difference being, God is able to deliver. And God keeps His Word. It may not seem to us that Jacob’s people had the best of everything. But we didn’t live in those times. The world today portrays the land Jacob lived in as a harsh desert with little or no life. Few people are able to see the Bible and what it says.
Scripture describes what we refer to as the Middle East as a land full of pastures, hills, vineyards, orchards, and forests. Many fruit and nut trees are described. Many stories in the Bible tells us how trees were used to build elaborate buildings.
The Bible also tells us about countless wars and conquests. We have no idea how often crops were burned to deny invading armies a source of food. Once siege equipment was designed, forests also joined in those prewar fires. After a few generations, the land changed. It was no longer able to heal itself. Today we see the results of generations of war.
God delivered what He promised. Men changed all of that. They threw it all away. Greed is near sighted to say the least. Greed cannot see the future, or the results of actions people take to fulfill desires.
Today we see an extended aspect of greed. Today we live in a society gauged on instant satisfaction. Today people want instant everything. Faster computers, laptops, phones, and gadgets no on heard about a few years ago. Does anyone consider the actual cost of this economic revolution?
Isn’t every revolution a type of war? Let’s be honest, this economic competition we see today is a type of war? Would it be difficult for some of the symbols in scripture to actually point at the economic situation we see today? An economy run by greed. A type of greed we refer to as technology. We we look at what is actually happening, don’t we see wars between businesses?
People may not look at business as war. They may ask, where are the casualties? Where are the dead and wounded? Look around at how those battles are being fought. To compete, companies are moving from American soil to countries with much lower wages. As close to slave wages as possible. Wages so low, the only other businesses that spring up as a few soup kitchens and prostitution. Is that the type of economic growth this world calls a success?
Then there is the cost experienced by the few nations with rare and valuable precious metals required to produce equipment using microprocessors. Most of those countries we refer to as the third world. What is that supposed to mean anyway? Those countries are poorer than poor. A few people at the top prosper better than kings. While everyone below lives like slaves. And this world can’t see how the stories Moses wrote relate to the world we made. Who is the spiritual Egypt, and who are the slaves?
When God kept on repeating the role of the Levites, work they were to do to support widows, orphans, and foreigners, didn’t God include the world today? As the New Testament priests today, aren’t we supposed to be looking after the rest of the world, no matter who they are? No matter how poor they are? When God looks down on this generation, do you really think He will call it the success people claim it is?
Is an Android of Apple going to save anyone? Will a faster, slimmer, or more powerful phone save the world? Does it benefit the user in any legitimate spiritual way? Or does every advancement draw us further away from God. Does it close our eyes with another layer of man made scales? Does it add another layer of stone around our hearts? Has the heartbeat of the world, the cry of staring children, voices of elderly men begging in the streets been silenced by the latest pop song telling listeners to be happy? What has this world become when women wearing high heals, a fortune in make, and less cloths than a wash towel would cover become the prophets they want to hear? Or men with more ink showing than skin. Less common sense and less insight into life than God gave worms. What has the world become when it flocks after those people for answers to life?
How many of those pop prophets have soared like stars only to burn as quickly as a shooting star? In other words, made millions of dollars and wound up broke before reaching thirty. It happens all the time. They join a ring of wolves stopping at nothing to reach their own distorted view of the top. But their false towers of worship never reach high enough. Like the tower of Babel, they want to reach the heavens on a work force made up of confusion. They can’t see, it will never work.
When we look at this world for what it really is, how it was built, and altered by men, it is really better than what God promised Jacob? Is it any better than what Jacob received. Remember, even during that famine in Canaan, no one starved to death. It was rough, but they all made it to Egypt with their cattle and flocks. God didn’t forget them.
Chapter 95 Terms of the Covenant Deuteronomy 29
Deuteronomy 29:1-8 NLTse (1) These are the terms of the covenant the LORD commanded Moses to make with the Israelites while they were in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Mount . (2) Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them, “You have seen with your own eyes everything the LORD did in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to his whole country– (3) all the great tests of strength, the miraculous signs, and the amazing wonders. (4) But to this day the LORD has not given you minds that understand, nor eyes that see, nor ears that hear! (5) For forty years I led you through the wilderness, yet your clothes and sandals did not wear out. (6) You ate no bread and drank no wine or other alcoholic drink, but he gave you food so you would know that he is the LORD your God. (7) “When we came here, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to fight against us, but we defeated them. (8) We took their land and gave it to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh as their grant of land.
I was thinking of skipping over a few of these chapters and mostly sticking to facts about the Tabernacle. When I put this away for a while, then looked at it again, I could see the covenant, God’s law is at the heart of the Tabernacle. Everything centers around the law contained in the heart of the Tabernacle.
Why would God refer to His law as a covenant? Is the covenant God’s law, or is that only a portion of it? To answer that question, we have to do what Moses told Israel to do, go back to Sinai, and find out what that covenant is.
‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.” So Moses returned from the mountain and called together the elders of the people and told them everything the LORD had commanded him. And all the people responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has commanded.” So Moses brought the people’s answer back to the LORD. (Exodus 19:4-8 NLTse).
Since the Ten Commands were not given until Deuteronomy chapter 20, Moses must be referring to another covenant. We have to remember, God’s covenant was given one phase at a time. Each part built upon the other.
“Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat–you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring a pair of every kind of animal–a male and a female–into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood. Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.” So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him. (Genesis 6:17-22 NLTse).
The first covenant was given to Noah. God referred to His instructions as a covenant. Let’s look at those instructions. What would have happened if Noah didn’t take two of every animal on that boat? Would God have just recreated another pair after the flood? God could have, but would He? What about the food? Noah had no idea he was about to spend nearly a year on that boat. And when he got off, there wasn’t much of anything to eat. What would have happened if Noah decided to ignore that part of the covenant? Would God have produced food on the boat and on the land stripped bear by the flood? Would God have made a faster growing season, or made things grow over night like He did for Jonah when a gourd grew up in one night? Of course God could have done any of those things, but He didn’t have to. Noah obeyed. That’s why God chose Noah.
Then God told Noah and his sons, “I hereby confirm my covenant with you and your descendants, and with all the animals that were on the boat with you–the birds, the livestock, and all the wild animals–every living creature on earth. Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.” Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” (Genesis 9:8-16 NLTse).
The second part of the covenant came after the flood. After Noah saw how obeying effected the outcome. And why God gave those instructions. Noah had to see the reason for those instructions. Then Noah was shown the second part of the covenant. The second part of the covenant could not have existed if the first part was not completed.
Then the LORD said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.” After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. So the LORD made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River– the land now occupied by the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.” (Genesis 15:13-21 NLTse).
Who knows how long it was between the covenant with Noah and the next portion given to Abraham. The next part seems to have little to do with the flood. Is there a connection? With Noah, him and his family were saved from the flood. It seems just the opposite with Israel. But who was really saved in the end? It seems God used another contrast to teach the same lesson. Notice the words oppressed and enslave. When we use that information and look back at the flood, is God telling us details about the condition of the world in Noah’s day? Is this something we should be paying attention to today? With the way rich people are getting richer, and poor are being treated, maybe this is something we need to pay closer attention to.
God’s covenant actually seemed to shrink. Noah was given the world and authority over every creature. Israel was promised some land. Only a small portion of the world.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai–‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! “I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.” Then God said to Abraham, “Your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility. This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised. You must cut off the flesh of your foreskin as a sign of the covenant between me and you. From generation to generation, every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. This applies not only to members of your family but also to the servants born in your household and the foreign-born servants whom you have purchased. All must be circumcised. Your bodies will bear the mark of my everlasting covenant. Any male who fails to be circumcised will be cut off from the covenant family for breaking the covenant.” (Genesis 17:1-14 NLTse).
Why did Abraham include the date? To show it took a long time to fulfill the promise, or covenant. It also reminded us, there was a long time between the first part of the covenant and the second part. For some reason, things like this take time. Why?
God didn’t tell Noah to build a boat, then flood the world at the end of that week, month, or year. It took one hundred and fifty years. Then Noah had to wait inside the boat before the rains came. It was a testing time. Why does God have to test us?
We have a tendency to seek God when we’re in trouble. Then when things are going smooth, we tend to forget about God. Think about it. Noah went into an ark covered in pitch. That word pitch is also translated atonement. Take a look at it and check it out for yourself. Every other place in the Old Testament that Hebrew word was translated atonement.
Abraham was promised land, then taken into the promised land. Then traveled to other places, including Egypt. Part of that prophecy included Israel leaving the promised land and going into Egypt for over four hundred years to be tested. Would they give up on God? Would they accept those pagan gods over the real God? That bull Aaron made and the people worshiped at Sinai proved the point.
Look at this part of the covenant. What does it involve? In this part God promised Abraham a large family. Abraham’s part was to circumcise all the men with him, as well as himself. Common sense tells us what needed to happen before those sons and daughters were born. Before the beginning of each birth, the men had to offer their covenant to a woman. That is something to think about. God designed men and women for this covenant long before anyone ever heard about it. But how many people look at that it involves, and what that sign represents.
A covenant is made with God. A sign is placed in the body. Then that symbol, sign, or covenant is given to the woman, hidden inside her. That produces life. A child is born to fulfill and carry on the covenant.
Need more proof. Here is more homework. Few people know this, because it requires about an hour worth of work. How much is one hour compared to all those years Noah and Abraham had to wait? Look up the words rib and ribs found Genesis chapter 2. Follow that word back to its root meaning. That tells a story. It tells us about this covenant God made with Abraham.
Few people are able to prove God wrote the Bible. They don’t spend time with God nor His word. They prefer to stay outside the boat. They refuse to be circumcised in the heart. If they did, God would prove again and again, only He could have written the Bible. God’s Word is His test today. It takes time to learn, just like it took time for Noah to build that boat, and Abraham to hear the portions of the covenant he received. Notice how both events involved a testing period.
God didn’t reveal all the details about the flood to Noah during their first conversation. Neither did God share all the details about the promised land, or a lot of details about that four hundred years in Egypt with Abraham. It took time to find out about all those details just like it is going to take time for anyone to learn details in scripture. God reveals everything in His own time. If you don’t believe me, try this. Take one of those details you learned from this book and share it with a number of people. See how many of them accept what you’ve learned. See how many pretend what you tell them is nothing new. Try to teach a few people what you’ve learned about studying scripture. How many are interested? If you did look up the word rib in the Hebrew dictionary and found that answer, ask a few other people to complete that simple study. How many people will follow your simple instructions? Not many. Now you have an idea of the problems God faces, and why He takes His time testing people.
When people are tested, when they put in the effort, when their faith in God is increased by they way God uses time, they are less likely to fade away when they need to draw close to God. That is why people are tested. That is why God takes His time.
That was it for that portion of the covenant. So far all people had to do is remember what God did for Noah, and cricumcise themselves like Abraham told them to do. That doesn’t seem very difficult. So where did Israel go wrong? What lesson do we learn from Israel?
Then the LORD told Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. When he feels the force of my strong hand, he will let the people go. In fact, he will force them to leave his land!” And God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh–‘the LORD.’ I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai–‘God Almighty’–but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them. And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners. You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them. “Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the LORD. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the LORD!'” So Moses told the people of Israel what the LORD had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. (Exodus 6:1-9 NLTse).
We see Israel had trouble listening and believing. When we accept that fact and look back, we can see how listening and believing has been a problem. People didn’t want to listen to Noah or believe him. That didn’t stop the flood. No one knows how many people were on the earth at that time, but it didn’t matter what the odds were. God didn’t bend to popular vote.
Abraham and his family had their own problems. Abraham’s wife had a plan to move that covenant along a little quicker. That plan didn’t work. Isaac’s wife had a similar plan. That plan also backfired. Then Jacob decided to marry a number of women. That wasn’t in God’s plans either.
When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The LORD has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.” She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The LORD heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.” Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. She named him Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!” Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the LORD!” And then she stopped having children. (Genesis 29:31-35 NLTse).
Leah was the only woman Jacob had to marry. Did marrying those other women lead to those four hundred years in Egypt? It may have had something to do with it. We can’t be sure. But notice, Judah was Leah’s forth son. Levi was her third. Both, the line of the priesthood and king came from Leah.
There is another story where Simeon and Levi wiped out an entire city, and they had to move. Was that another event that led to Israel’s four hundred years in Egypt? We can’t be sure until we study the entire matter. That’s is a part of scripture that still requires investigation.
The only thing we can be certain about is, it took time and a series of events that led to Israel’s captivity in Egypt. We do know, a famine led Israel into Egypt. When we look at that, we see a contrast between the first and second covenant. Noah was told to take enough food on the boat. A lack of food in the promised land led Israel into Egypt. What is the spiritual meaning of food?
Moses told those people to look back and review everything they saw with their own eyes. Then Moses told them, “to this day the LORD has not given you minds that understand, nor eyes that see, nor ears that hear!” Is the same true today?
We see another reference to time. “For forty years I led you through the wilderness, yet your clothes and sandals did not wear out. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other alcoholic drink, but he gave you food so you would know that he is the LORD your God.” This is another indication of God’s testing time. Did Israel learn anything during that time?
But If You Refuse
Deuteronomy 28:15-24 NLTse (15) “But if you refuse to listen to the LORD your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you: (16) Your towns and your fields will be cursed. (17) Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be cursed. (18) Your children and your crops will be cursed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be cursed. (19) Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be cursed. (20) “The LORD himself will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and abandoning me. (21) The LORD will afflict you with diseases until none of you are left in the land you are about to enter and occupy. (22) The LORD will strike you with wasting diseases, fever, and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, and with blight and mildew. These disasters will pursue you until you die. (23) The skies above will be as unyielding as bronze, and the earth beneath will be as hard as iron. (24) The LORD will change the rain that falls on your land into powder, and dust will pour down from the sky until you are destroyed.
This is the bad news. I imagine many people know what actually happened to Israel. They failed, and it cost them everything. They lost their lands. They lost their homes. They lost their crops, cattle, flocks, silver, gold, and freedom. To understand that story, there are a number of books you’ll have to read. Isaiah is one of them. Isaiah had the job of traveling from nation to nation, king to king, during some of the worst times in history. There were constant wars, conquests, looting, rebellion, and all out chaos. It’s amazing how Isaiah traveled from kingdom to kingdom, past armies, thieves, bandits, gangs, and anything else we could imagine. Many of those kings wanted to kill Isaiah. Few people consider the faith Isaiah had to walk through the war torn regions he was sent to witness.
Jeremiah is another book. Jeremiah’s ministry center in Jerusalem before and during its fall. Jeremiah gave us an inside look to the fall of Judah’s capital city.
Ezekiel may have some of the strangest visions. That may be about the only thing most people know about Ezekiel’s book. Ezekiel gave us a look into the first group of people carried off by Babylon and scattered to other regions. Once we learn a little background on the story, we can take a logical look at those visions.
Ezekiel is closely related it Daniel in the same way Isaiah’s book is related to Jeremiah’s. Ezekiel wrote about life outside of Babylon, the capital city. Daniel wrote about life inside the city. Once we realize those facts, we begin to understand how those books compliment each other.
Israel had a long list of times they didn’t listen to God. If we broke down books in the Old Testament, a vast majority contains stories telling us about the mistakes Israel, God’s chosen nation made. What do we get when we compare that to the New Testament? One of the greatest contrasts in scripture.
We’ve seen how God loves to teach using contrasts. Did you ever consider contrasts between stories in the Old Testament like Jerusalem’s fall, and the Gospels? If you did, you’d collect a list of that now to do, and a list of what should have been done. Those stories, comparisons, and contrasts are waiting there to be discovered.
Deuteronomy 28 appears to deal with only God’s basic set of rules and commandments. But is there more? We have to remember, the first twelve chapters in Deuteronomy told Israel to look back at the events of the past forty years. God wanted to teach them how to learn where they were going and why? Isn’t learning about the Spiritual Promised Land even more important? Then Moses presented a set of lessons closely linked to the New Testament. Here again, we have to remember, Moses didn’t understand any details about how the Tabernacle pointed to Christ. None of those symbols were explained in detail. But when we know scripture, we can see how those details point to stories in the New Testament. We could tell Moses pointed us forward by the way those stories were introduced. When Moses told Israel to look forward to the promised land, it was a signal for us to look forward in scripture.
Are those lessons included in all the commands and decrees? If you studied scripture like some people do, you would look at God’s style of writing like laws of context. And we do have the laws of the prophets that go hand in hand with all the stories in scripture.
Are those promises in Deuteronomy immediate, or since the context of some of those chapters pointed to the future, are they spiritual promises point to our future? We have to examine each and every detail in both the physical and spiritual forms.
At this point we have to examine those curses. To look at those curses, we have to follow the direction context sends us. Since Moses, and in this case, the Levites are teaching about the future, we have to look at Israel’s future to find the answers. How good is your recollection of Israel’s history? When did those problems begin?
Since this book is supposed to center on the Tabernacle at this point, I don’t feel I should collect a lot of scripture on Israel’s political history. But it is an interesting story you can do on your own. Look at the story if Ai in Joshua chapter 7. Lessons were taught in that story. In later chapters of Joshua, we see how some towns and regions weren’t conquered according to plan. That was another mistake. The point is, God didn’t turn His back on Israel after the first, second, third, or forth mistake. God stuck with them over and over again.
Another issue we have to look at is the subject of empty cupboards, breadboards, fields, and other details having to do with what? The economy. God gave Israel the perfect economy. It was simple. God’s economy made each man responsible for his own welfare and family. Everyone was well taken care of, and part of God’s promise was to have enough money to loan to other nations. But God’s plan was nothing like the economy we have here, or anywhere in this civilized world. Think about that for a while. I’m sure everyone will see their own details.
Now why does it seem some, or shall we ask, many evil people prosper? We have to examine that curse from the context it was presented. Physically, the Levites were telling Israel about their future. We have the opportunity to read, study, and of course listen to God’s Spirit to learn about Israel’s future. Once we apply that knowledge, we can begin to understand maybe a small part about our future. One thing is for sure, after reviewing Israel’s recorded history, we are gong to understand a lot more about our present state, and the state of this world, no matter where you live.
Moses and the Levitical Priests
In this section of my book, I look at why God listed laws in a specific order and explain how to look at the spiritual connection they share.
Deuteronomy 27:9-26 NLTse (9) Then Moses and the Levitical priests addressed all Israel as follows: “O Israel, be quiet and listen! Today you have become the people of the LORD your God. (10) So you must obey the LORD your God by keeping all these commands and decrees that I am giving you today.” (11) That same day Moses also gave this charge to the people: (12) “When you cross the Jordan River, the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin must stand on Mount Gerizim to proclaim a blessing over the people. (13) And the tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali must stand on Mount Ebal to proclaim a curse. (14) “Then the Levites will shout to all the people of Israel: (15) ‘Cursed is anyone who carves or casts an idol and secretly sets it up. These idols, the work of craftsmen, are detestable to the LORD.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (16) ‘Cursed is anyone who dishonors father or mother.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (17) ‘Cursed is anyone who steals property from a neighbor by moving a boundary marker.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (18) ‘Cursed is anyone who leads a blind person astray on the road.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (19) ‘Cursed is anyone who denies justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (20) ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with one of his father’s wives, for he has violated his father.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (21) ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with an animal.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (22) ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with his sister, whether she is the daughter of his father or his mother.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (23) ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (24) ‘Cursed is anyone who attacks a neighbor in secret.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (25) ‘Cursed is anyone who accepts payment to kill an innocent person.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (26) ‘Cursed is anyone who does not affirm and obey the terms of these instructions.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
Notice how the people giving the announcement moved from Moses, to the elders, to the Levites? I suspect this is God’s way of seeing if we’re paying attention. If we see the connection between elders and Levites. Of course God is going to place other clues along our journey.
The lesson of that day was very important. “O Israel, be quiet and listen! Today you have become the people of the LORD your God.” Imagine being told your God’s people. Imagine hearing that message after seeing all those miracles in Egypt. Would you forget any of those details after forty years?
There were conditions. “So you must obey the LORD your God by keeping all these commands and decrees that I am giving you today.” Then the Levites gave a short list. Stay away from idols. That sounds a lot like the beginning of the Ten Commandments. Don’t dishonor your father or mother. Don’t steal property. Don’t mislead a blind person. Now it seems to be shifting in a spiritual lesson. Don’t deny justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows. The Levites followed with a list of perverted sexual acts people aren’t supposed to do. Next is a warning not to attack a neighbor. And a new one, not to accept payment to kill an innocent person. Why was this one added here? Is it something new people began doing, so God had to tell them not to do it?
Is there a connection between those laws we should see? God put a series of laws in a particular order before so we could see a spiritual lesson. Is this something new? Most people loose interest with the words, “ you must obey the LORD your God by keeping all these commands and decrees that I am giving you.” Something between the, “you’s” looses them. Then people think, this doesn’t apply to me. People who claim the Commandments are still valid today, often ignore much of the other laws in those books Moses wrote. It’s difficult to get people to see idols beyond brass or wood statues. If they aren’t in the form of familiar idols, the law doesn’t seem to apply. Cars, big screen TV’s, famous people, homes, and other trinkets that will never leave this world don’t seem to apply to popular concepts of an idol. Looking back, Aaron didn’t think that cow was an idol. He grew up seeing those things on every street corner.
We’ve covered the spiritual meaning of boundaries in previous chapters. At least one aspect of those boundaries. Now that we see the law repeated, we have to ask what we may have missed. Especially after seeing God give and obvious sign or signal. That aspect of being paid to kill someone showed us, blame or responsibility it not as easily shifted as some people may think. People must of thought, and still may think, if they get paid to kill someone, the sin isn’t on the assassin, but on the person who paid the assassin. God had to specifically tell Israel, that sin is on both of them. Now we begin to see how this all fits in with the other aspects of sin mentioned in this section.
God leads us on our way to understanding one step at a time by mentioning the sin of misleading a blind person. When a teacher, preacher, or any believer misleads a nonbeliever, or new believer, that is misleading a spiritually blind person. Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher. (Luke 6:39-40 NLTse).
That was a lead into the next lesson law, denying justice. Which of course is placed in this order to lead into the next set of laws about sex. It shouldn’t be difficult to see why those laws forbidding sex with close relatives are grouped together.
Most people today refer to their church as a family. God is focusing on a problem He knew was going to happen. Look at the obvious lesson here. Israel was one big happy family. They were named after Jacob’s sons. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. The entire nation was named after their father. Now go back and review this series of laws. Notice how God led into them?
Where do many people go to perform or commit adultery? Many commit adultery with someone they feel a connection with. Someone along the same religious lines and beliefs. Adultery is often committed with someone from the same church. I know, because I’ve seen it happen. It also happened to me. What does that do to a church family?
Two people meet in church. One or both may be married. They compromise. At first they may lead a life of lies to cover up their relationship and adultery. As time passes they become bolder and bolder. As time passes they convince themselves what they are doing is right. Little by little suspensions arise, and finally the truth comes out. They become like that man who marched that foreign woman past the group of people weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle into their tent. Everyone is doing it, so it must be okay. They confided with their closest friends, and some how received the okay from them to live a life in sin and open rebellion against God and their church family. The blind is now leading the blind. Popular belief canceled another one of God’s Commands. Actually a whole list of them.
People don’t see how lies, adultery, and all those other broken sins is only a step away from killing the innocent people involved in that type of open rebellion. What about the innocent spouse and children involved? Were they hurt beyond belief? Does anyone care? Does anyone know how to help? What about the other side of that coin. What kind of example was set for the children. Not to mention the extended church family. How far do the effects of that sin reach? No wonder God told Israel to take both parties involved in adultery outside the town and stone them. God’s heart is with the innocent victims of adultery and is one of the few there to share their pain and comfort them.
Celebrate Your Freedom
Deuteronomy 26:6-11 NLTse (6) When the Egyptians oppressed and humiliated us by making us their slaves, (7) we cried out to the LORD, the God of our ancestors. He heard our cries and saw our hardship, toil, and oppression. (8) So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders. (9) He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey! (10) And now, O LORD, I have brought you the first portion of the harvest you have given me from the ground.’ Then place the produce before the LORD your God, and bow to the ground in worship before him. (11) Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household. Remember to include the Levites and the foreigners living among you in the celebration.
This portion of the story actually belongs with the first part. We can see how God made a specific connection between giving the first part of the harvest to the priests with remembering their lives in Egypt. Those people may have been in their forties and sixties, but we can be sure, memories were still strong.
On the surface, the lesson is obvious. Be thankful God took you out of slavery, and show it. Be prepared to prove your thankful. This may sound harsh, but that’s what it boils down to. Does God expect to the thanked? God doesn’t force people to do anything. But let’s look at this from the aspect and view of Heaven.
Are we going to pay any tithes in Heaven? For the sake of argument, let’s say, no. What does God want from us in Heaven? Does God wants us picking fruits, nuts, cutting down grains, and giving it to Him? I don’t think so. All God wants is our time. What is God receiving from those Levites? Their time. The other people pay for not wanting to spend time with God. Is that how it works? Does that sound too simple to be true?
We have to be thankful for something. When we are, don’t we feel an urge to share that joy? Every time God shares something new with me, I can’t wait to share it. With this being what we’ve come to know as Easter weekend, I’ve been shown a few things I can’t wait to share.
What is the Promised Land to Jesus? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. (John 3:11-13 NLTse).
To Jesus, the Promised Land was going back home. When we look at the sequence of events introduced in Deuteronomy 26, we see how Joseph prepared Egypt for Jacob’s arrival. We also see, no on questioned Jacob. Joseph invited them to Egypt. They had a choice. They could move to the richest lands in Egypt during the world’s worst drought and famine, or rely on Joseph to continue to supply grain and other food until the drought was over. Joseph knew how long it was going to last. But Joseph wanted his family close to him.
Even though his brothers didn’t trust him, they all followed their father’s wishes, and moved to Egypt. After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you–for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said. But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them. So Joseph and his brothers and their families continued to live in Egypt. Joseph lived to the age of 110. He lived to see three generations of descendants of his son Ephraim, and he lived to see the birth of the children of Manasseh’s son Makir, whom he claimed as his own. (Genesis 50:14-23 NLTse).
As long as Joseph was alive, they were protected. Even though Joseph protected them, gave them the best land for their families and flocks, their past sin haunted Joseph’s brothers. They threw him in a hole, dragged him out, then sold their brother as a slave. Something was inside those people that had to be dwelt with.
There are no real account of Joseph or his brothers teaching the world about God. Other than a few instances where Joseph witnessed to Pharaoh and his court, where are the lessons showing us how any of them witnessed to the world about God? The examples are few and far between.
Fast forward to Jesus. How many examples do we have of the disciples going out to witness about the things they learned from Jesus? Here we have an example of Jesus stepping off His throne, coming to this world to personally sit around the campfires, town squares, synagogues, along the roads, and on the sea side to teach people. How many examples can you think of where we’re shown anyone understood, then took what they learned, and used that information to lead people to Jesus?
I can only think of a few. Two of my favorites are the man Jesus threw a thousand demons out of. Afterwards that man followed Jesus’ instructions. He went home, told his family what happened, and eventually brought ten towns on the Gentile side of the lake to Jesus. Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. (Mark 5:19-20 NLTse).
The other example is that unnamed woman at that well in Samaria. Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!” Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him. (John 4:26-30 NLTse).
How many other examples are there in the Gospels? How many other people took the message and lessons Jesus taught, and used those to bring other people to Jesus? There was the Roman commander who had a little understanding about how the Spirit works. Mary, who anointed Jesus, most likely lead other people to Jesus. Matthew and a few others had dinners in their homes to invite people to meet Jesus. The leper told people all over the region about what happened. That was after Jesus told him not to tell anyone. What about all those people who told about Lazarus rising from his tomb? There are more examples of people watching Jesus perform miracles, then telling others. There were actually a lot pf people using a variety of methods to introduce people to Jesus. But are those little secrets being taught today?
Then suddenly something went wrong. Soon, after the world began to understand Jesus, or maybe they didn’t understand Jesus’ real ministry. Many people began to blend their distorted view of the Messiah with Jesus’ ministry. Some people plotted to use Jesus’ powers, and connection with God to over throw the Romans, reestablish David’s throne, make Israel an independent kingdom, then what? What were their plans after that? What would they do with that power, wealth, and knowledge? What knowledge? Were they finally ready to go forward with God’s original plan of becoming a kingdom of priests? Were they ready for that?
When Jesus died, He spent an entire day in a tomb. God knew what He was doing. Jesus talked about Jonah being in the the belly of a fish for three days as a sign. How many people understand that acted parable and the lesson it teaches? Was Jesus the reluctant and misguided prophet and priest Jonah represented? Think about that. Then ask yourself, who was really in a tomb, Jesus or the world?
Jonah couldn’t have lived for more than three days without water. So that time period had to be limited to the physical aspects of a normal man. Then the fish spit out Jonah, along the shore. And the LORD spoke unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. (Jonah 2:10 KJ2000).
Why would a huge fish travel all the way to a shoreline to throw up? Couldn’t the fish have just spewed out Jonah anywhere in the ocean? And the fish just happened to spit out Jonah exactly where he needed to be. Why does a fish obey God, but people with their self proclaimed higher knowledge and understanding have such a difficult time?
Was Jesus’ time in that tomb restricted by Jonah’s ability to only survive three days without water? Or was it the speed at which that fish was able to travel? Maybe Jesus only spent one entire day, a small portion of that Friday, and who knows what time Jesus rose on the first day of the week? All we know for sure is, Jesus came out of that tomb long before sun rise. Is that another indication of how God’s plan of salvation unfolded while people slept?
Let’s sort of reverse engineer that day Jesus spent in the tomb. In other words, let’s look at it from different perspectives. Did you ever ask yourself what the world did on that Sabbath?
What is the Sabbath? Or shall we ask, what is the Sabbath supposed to be? Wasn’t the Sabbath established to spend time with God and the family? Was that what happened on the Sabbath Jesus laid in the grave?
No one knows for sure what happened inside that tomb. The strange thing about that is, people seem to preach about the victory, ignore the battle that occurred in and around that tomb, and wonder why their sermons have little or no effect. Let’s look at the world for an answer.
How many movies have been made about the victories at the end of World War 2? Has anyone made a movie about the day Germany surrendered? Or when Japan surrendered? Would people flock to theaters, hand over their charge cards, and pay to see a movie about the day those surrender papers were signed? No! But hundreds of movies made billions of dollars showing the battles that led up to those surrenders. So what makes religious leaders think a one hour sermon about a victory will attract attention while they ignore details about the battle?
What happened outside that tomb in the hours Satan and his troops thought they gained the all time victory in the universe? What were they doing to celebrate? Were all those evil angles gathered around that tomb? Were they honoring and exalting Satan, giving him the honor he wanted for — who knows for how long? Who knows what happened? But I am sure about this. God was watching, and He has about a million stories He would love to share about that day. Is anyone listening? After all, Jesus had to die so those stories could be told.
What were those priests doing that day? Was that Sabbath a day spent in God’s presence? Were they doing what they were supposed to do? When we look at the first Passover, we see it was created to reintroduce the priesthood to families. Were the priests who put Jesus in that tomb teaching what they were supposed to be teaching? I wonder how many preachers today are going to reintroduce the priesthood to families when they remember the day Jesus spent in that tomb?
For those priests, the Passover was the biggest money making holy day of the year. And that Passover during the Sabbath was a big one. Bigger than most. It meant extra income. But something was on their minds. In a way, they did spend some time with God. But how did they use that time? How did that time improve their lives, or sermons? How did those priests spend that Sabbath?
The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.” Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it. (Matthew 27:62-66 NLTse).
On the sixth day, the priests were afraid of contaminating themselves by entering Pilate’s court during the trial. They didn’t want to make themselves ceremonially unclean for the Passover. That went out the window when their conscience got them, and they began to see flaws in their plans.
What did Pilate do that day? He was trying to relax. It was a rough week for Pilate, and he couldn’t wait for that Passover celebration to be over. That Passover placed Pilate’s reputation on the line. And he always had to be ready for the unexpected.
What were the disciples doing on that Passover? They hid. They locked themselves in a house wondering what to do next. Spiritually, they were lost. Physically and emotionally, they were exhausted. While Jesus fought the spiritual battle that would determine the outcome of this world, and the universe, their were a useless group of soldiers.
What about today? People look at what most refer to as Good Friday as a day off work. Mail service is suspended, and many companies make it a three day weekend. What about the Sabbath? Even on what people call the Easter weekend, mail service is back on during the Sabbath. All the stores are open. For the most part, it is business as usual for this world. No one seems to know or care, this is a day to spend time with God, and reflect upon Spiritual matters. Maybe ask about that battle that saved the universe. Easter weekend seems to be a magnet for new movie releases. How many of them deal with wars and battles of more interest to people than the real life battle that determined the fate of the universe? Then there are the basketball games. To many watching their favorite team, or the one they bet money on is more important than spending time with God. Can you see parallels between that Passover Jesus spent in the tomb and how people react today?
Then there are the children. Are children today being taught like they are supposed to? Most are expecting candy, rabbit shaped chocolates, and other such things shaped like – shall we say, idols? Some people give gifts on Easter. What would you give Jesus for saving your life? What do you get God’s Son? A shirt, tie, or tools? Does the God who can create worlds with a few words need anything? What about your time? Is spending a day with God worth an eternity in Heaven?
Which brings us back to Deuteronomy 26. “ And now, O LORD, I have brought you the first portion of the harvest you have given me from the ground.’ Then place the produce before the LORD your God, and bow to the ground in worship before him. Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household. Remember to include the Levites and the foreigners living among you in the celebration.”
Think about this. After Jesus rose from that grave, He spent over a month here reteaching what He taught His disciples over the previous three years. You can bet Jesus used the method of looking back a lot. Then He had to explain all the details they missed. How many of them do you think there were? I think they lost count on the first day. I’m sure that experience was as humbling for the disciples as it was educational.
But the world today is not looking for humbling. Or a forty day explanation. Or the experience of learning lessons they missed. Today it is in church for Easter by noon, and out within an hour. That hour is mostly filled with a few entertaining songs, a prayer where no one waits for any answer from Jesus, and a recycled sermon. Is that what God had in mind when He wrote the longest, most detailed Commandment? Is that what God expected from this world when His Son fought that battle in that tomb? Or did Jesus simply rest until God saw it was time to send a few angles down there, clear the area, and get His Son out of there? Why did the plan of salvation have to include that story spanning the sixth, seventh, then the first day of that week? Is anyone bothering to ask why?
Plans for the Edomites and Egyptians
Deuteronomy 23:7-8 NLTse (7) “Do not detest the Edomites or the Egyptians, because the Edomites are your relatives and you lived as foreigners among the Egyptians. (8) The third generation of Edomites and Egyptians may enter the assembly of the LORD.
Why would God ease His restrictions for the Edomites and Egyptians? We have to use the rule of first mention to find out what an Edomite is. So Esau (also known as Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir. This is the account of Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, who lived in the hill country of Seir. (Genesis 36:8-9 NLTse).
Esau was Jacob’s brother. The one who sold his birthright for a bowl of beans. What does this tell us? Esau left God, but God didn’t leave him. We read in one story how much to Jacob’s surprise, Esau accepted him back with no questions asked. Years earlier, Esau wanted to hunt down Jacob and kill him. Something changed Esau.
During all those years, we read about what happened to Jacob. How he married four women. The one he loved couldn’t leave those false gods behind. Jacob lover her, but for some reason couldn’t reach her.
On the other side of the story, the side we don’t see recorded, the Spirit worked on Esau. God’s Spirit didn’t give up on the man who thought so little about his birthright, the seed that would lead to Jesus. Now we begin to see why this series of stories began with a sterile man. Esau lost the most important birthright in the Universe, a birth line leading to Christ. Esau sold it. But that didn’t stop God from giving Esau another very important blessing. A blessing his father failed to offer. The right to forgive.
How does this relate to Egyptians? Moses lived as the adopted brother of Pharaoh. The Pharaoh who lived through those plagues. The Pharaoh who refused to let God’s people go. Somehow Moses failed to teach his adopted brother about God. At that point in his life, Moses was as spiritually sterile as any man could be. But Moses broke away from that life of luxury. Moses gave up the most secure and luxurious life this world had to offer to seek God. To stand up for what he thought was right.
At the beginning of his journey, Moses committed the same crime Jacob feared most. Jacob was afraid his brother Esau was on his way to kill him. When Moses saw an Egyptian beating a slave, he killed that Egyptian. What an ironic twist. What a contrast in stories. A contrast only God would record. A contrast only His children would see.
What do we learn from Egypt? We didn’t see any evidence Pharaoh ever turned to God. We’ve seen how that Egyptian rabble who traveled with Moses was always a pain in his side. But what about those stories Moses didn’t record? What about those lives changed by those miracles in the wilderness?
People refer to faith a lot. Everyone has evidence of faith in their lives. Most of that evidence comes from other people. It is often easier to see changes on other people than it is to see change in yourself. Part of that faith is to look beyond God’s Word into lives of the normal people in those stories. People whose names were never mentioned. Don’t you think lives were changed during that journey?
Now we can see how God reaches out to us. With questions that can only be answered by asking God. This entire series of books has been dealing with the subject of a one on one connection with God. To hear those stories about individual lives that changed during that wilderness journey, you’ll have to listen to God. Approach God’s throne and ask.
When You Go To War
Deuteronomy 23:9-14 NLTse (9) “When you go to war against your enemies, be sure to stay away from anything that is impure. (10) “Any man who becomes ceremonially defiled because of a nocturnal emission must leave the camp and stay away all day. (11) Toward evening he must bathe himself, and at sunset he may return to the camp. (12) “You must have a designated area outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. (13) Each of you must have a spade as part of your equipment. Whenever you relieve yourself, dig a hole with the spade and cover the excrement. (14) The camp must be holy, for the LORD your God moves around in your camp to protect you and to defeat your enemies. He must not see any shameful thing among you, or he will turn away from you.
Based on the context, we know the emission and burying waste is related to army camps. Verse 9 introduced the subject of war. Verse 14 continued the subject of war, and included the word camp. Context tells us, subjects in between relate to army camps.
I never noticed this until I leaned to study scripture by examining its context. Once we look at stories the way they’ve been written, it’s easy to see when one stories or subjects begin and end. Understanding context is critical to any book or story. Especially the Bible.
Why would God place these rules within the context or war? Armies thrive on discipline. Without discipline, what is an army? Nothing more than a band of thugs. An undisciplined army is no match for a well trained, disciplined army. Let’s take a look at this on a spiritual level.
Are Satan’s forces disciplined? Are they organized? His unseen angels are more than likely better disciplined than we could imagine. But what about human forces under his command? Satan likes to think he has all the world’s armies under his control. Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” (Luke 4:5-7 NLTse).
Those kingdoms included their armed forces. Satan was convinced all of them were under his control. That included all the armies, riches, and people. Imagine that. People are reluctant to give their lives to Jesus, but don’t give it a second thought when they surrender control to Satan.
What is Satan’s reward? He claims everything is his to take and give as he chooses. Where is the security in serving Satan? If Satan was in control of all the kingdoms in this world, why have they been fighting each other since the beginning? Adam’s oldest son killed his younger brother. The trend has not changed since that time. If Satan was really in control, why hasn’t he brought peace to the kingdom he claims is his?
God wants His army to be pure. That is a sign of their dedication. This spiritual battle is a war between violence, greed, selfishness, destruction, and peace. Love is God’s greatest weapon. The strength of God’s army comes from the discipline His soldiers learn. In this case, God is teaching a few common sense laws.
Where does an emission come from? Most likely from a sexually transmitted disease. This is a rule we see closely referenced in a story about David. “We don’t have any regular bread,” the priest replied. “But there is the holy bread, which you can have if your young men have not slept with any women recently.” “Don’t worry,” David replied. “I never allow my men to be with women when they are on a campaign. And since they stay clean even on ordinary trips, how much more on this one!” (1 Samuel 21:4-5 NLTse).
In this example, we see an extension of the rule. And why not. When God gave that regulation, it was pretty much up to a soldier to voluntarily remove himself. As time passed, soldiers became dependent on war, conquests, and treasures they captured for income. In most armies, if they didn’t fight, they didn’t get paid.
When we look at God’s army entering the promised land, his army was the best paid ever. They received land, farms, houses, vineyards, crops, and other instant sources of support. Not only for the day, but for generations. God had a plan, and it was a real contrast to what Satan had been doing.
Digging a hole to bury waste stopped disease from spreading. It was common to use streams, ponds, lakes, and rivers as bathrooms. That is a practice many communities follow today. We still hear of out breaks in modern times. God knew how to handle the situation and told Israel what to do.
Lack of discipline, and other problems spread through military camps faster than disease. That human waste becomes a spiritual lesson. It is also a lesson Jesus talked about. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.” “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart–that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.” (Matthew 15:15-20 NLTse).
We have to admit, a large part of this spiritual battle is a war of words. Undisciplined troops say the wrong words. Undisciplined soldiers fight the wrong battles at the wrong time. It makes me shake my head when I see an inexperienced, untrained, undisciplined soldier attack forces no one in their right mind would attack on their own with no strategic plan, and no idea what a spiritual weapon is. Someone they know points out an enemy, and they are too eager to charge into a battle God never directed.
It makes me sad to see church leaders turning out troops as unorganized and undisciplined as Satan’s forces. Let’s take an serious look at the issue. Most people have no idea they are serving Satan. Most people think they are serving themselves. Self can be the most dangerous, uncontrollable enemy. Not many people directly serve Satan. But that seems to work just fine with him.
So why do people copy the disorganized tactics Satan uses? Does that make any sense? Let’s face the most gruesome facts of spiritual warfare. If your not serving God directly, taking orders directly
from God, who are you taking orders from? That leaves only three choices. Someone you put in God’s place. Your serving yourself. Or your serving Satan. Can you explain the difference between each choice?
Chapter 91 Security Deuteronomy 24
Deuteronomy 24:1-5 NLTse (1) “Suppose a man marries a woman but she does not please him. Having discovered something wrong with her, he writes her a letter of divorce, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house. (2) When she leaves his house, she is free to marry another man. (3) But if the second husband also turns against her and divorces her, or if he dies, (4) the first husband may not marry her again, for she has been defiled. That would be detestable to the LORD. You must not bring guilt upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession. (5) “A newly married man must not be drafted into the army or be given any other official responsibilities. He must be free to spend one year at home, bringing happiness to the wife he has married.
This is a rather difficult passage for me to write about. When I was gong through my second divorce, the ex-wife asked me to wait a few years until she found out if her fling was for real or not. It turned out, the marriage was never for real. She had problems, and needed to get out of town quick. So a temporary marriage seemed to be the solution. Marrying a Christian seemed to be the safe solution. Her plan was to finish her master’s degree in special education, get a job, then a divorce. Her family knew about the plan before the marriage and approved of it. I thought they were good Christians. But they had this tradition where they came from. It was okay to marry an American man to use as a stepping stone to get to where you wanted to be. Although she had been in this country for over forty years, picking and choosing which traditions to keep seemed like a logical path.
I remember the day she asked me to wait around a few years until she found out of the relationship with the man fifteen years younger then her would work out. She wanted to remain married while she engaged in an open relationship. Yes, adultery was part of the relationship and in the beginning was something she bragged about. It was as if she was possessed.
God told me to divorce her and confirmed the decision in more than three different ways on more than three occasions. It was something that had to be done and done quickly. So she asked, “if we did divorce, could we get married again?” This was one of the scripture God provided to confirm a determinant divorce.
When something like this, or any other passage in scripture has such a deep personal meaning, it is often difficult to move from the physical to the spiritual meaning. Let’s be honest, when emotions run so deep, they cause physical pain, it is difficult to keep your mind on track. You feel like your examining every detail from every angle, but somehow emotional pain keeps turning your thoughts around. Often times back to yourself, making it difficult to see the real lesson. Let’s face it, when your in that type of emotional pain, that turned into physical pain, the last thing you think you need is the truth that often cuts deeper than you care to see. But it has to happen to heal. You eventually have to face the facts, accept the truth, and learn the entire lesson.
What a lesson that was. God assured me, He was working on preparing the perfect wife for me. That was about the only thing that got me through that time in my life. I was certain the wait would not be long. A few days after the divorce, I was looking for that promise to be fulfilled.
Entering the dating scene these days, when your over fifty is a real eye opener. Like my ex-wife, most women over fifty are looking for much younger men. And the men know it. So they play their little games, people get hurt, and the world goes round.
Women over fifty are often over controlling to say the least. Many played the part of single mothers raising a family. They feel abandoned, and are used to making all the decisions. Most made huge sacrifices. And many do not trust men. But have not given up on finding love. The problem is, I don’t think they know what to look for. Some of the women have a profile with a long list of what a man has to have to interest them. Kind of like a guy who looks like Richard Gere in his thirties. With more money, and willing to be under the woman’s total control.
I’m not going to blame them. It took me years of looking before I finally gave up the search. Or shall I saw, put it back in God’s hands. I finally figured out, I need a woman who pursues God like I do. Someone who feels like a day without God is a fearful thought. Someone who has to communicate with God on a daily, hourly, minute by minute, event by event, thought by thought basis. Isn’t that what love is all about?
Isn’t falling on love thinking about that person every minute of every day? I remember the divorce. I would have given anything to have one minute where my thoughts were not centered on trying to save the marriage. I was really in love. But love doesn’t exist on a one way street.
It’s kind of strange that God took a rib out of Adam when He created Eve. God could have used dirt, like He did for Adam. Or God could have spoken a single word to bring Eve out of the ground like He did for all the animals. But God took a rib out of Adam, and used a Hebrew word in that sentence. God used the word, instead.
God placed Adam in a deep sleep to open him up from front to back. God took out a single rib from around Adam’s heart and closed up the wound. I wonder why God had to open up Adam to take out that rib. Wouldn’t it have been easier for God to just make Eve from the same dust He used to make Adam? Or why didn’t God pull a rib out without opening Adam up? And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. (Genesis 2:21-22 KJV).
When we look up the word, we don’t see anything unusual. But when we look at the root meaning of that word, we see God described the physical pain we feel when we loose a spouse we really love.
INSTEAD H8478 תּחת tachath
From the same as H8430; the bottom (as depressed); only adverbially below (often with prepositional prefix underneath), in lieu of, etc.: – as, beneath, X flat, in (-stead), (same) place (where . . . is), room, for . . . sake, stead of, under, X unto, X when . . . was mine, whereas, [where-] fore, with.
H8430 תּוח tôach
From an unused root meaning to depress; humble; Toach, an Israelite: – Toah.
We feel depressed and humbled. Emotions are a strange thing. Emotions can run so deep, they cause physical pain when we encounter a loss. When we look back a few verses in Genesis, we see God created man in His image. Is God missing a physical rib? I can’t be sure. But I know God feels that physical pain whenever He looses one of His little ones. And God is loosing many of them every minute.
How many people treat God like my ex-wife treated me. They know the relationship is temporary, or shall we say fake. The relationship was only an act. I never suspected a thing. The shock was so great, I couldn’t eat for two weeks. But with God, He knows when that love is real or just an act. I don’t think knowing the truth eases any of the pain God feels. I know when I learned the truth, it didn’t ease the pain at all. If anything, it increased it for a time.
There is a deep spiritual side to this law we have to consider. Jesus talked about divorce. When He did, Jesus told the Pharisees, their problem was, they didn’t understand. Their minds were so focused on the world they created in their minds, they couldn’t see what it as actually like in Heaven. Jesus was referring to love.
Let’s take a look at this law from the aspect of love and try to put it into the true nature of love from Heaven. When a man marries a woman, but she doesn’t return that love, when the man finally realizes she has no love for him, he writes her a letter of divorce, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house. That sounds a lot like the situation I went through.
When she leaves his house, she is free to marry another man. But if the second husband also turns against her and divorces her, or if he dies, the first husband may not marry her again, for she has been defiled.
Notice the second husband doesn’t see that lack of love inside the woman. The man does something to turn against the woman. God recorded a totally different set of circumstances. It seems the woman looked for and found a man just like herself. A man void of true love. A man who turned against her. In this world, we may call it, just desserts. Or getting just what they deserves. Why would God put a person He loves through something like that?
People need a wake up call. Somehow God’s needs people to look at the way they live, how they love, how they pick and choose which laws to follow, and which to ignore. God needs people to look back at how they hurt other people. God needs people to look at how they refused to help people when they were put in a position to love, and offer aid when it was needed most. Now we can see why Moses reminded Israel about the times the Ammonites and Moabites refused to love them, but went out of their way to curse Israel. How far does God need to go to get the point across?
We see here how God decided to deal with the situation on a personal level. A woman marries a man. The woman never loved the man, but saw an advantage. She used the man. When something happens, and the man finally opens his eyes, the mask is removed from the masquarade, the woman is set free by divorce to do whatever she wishes. She gets what she thinks she wants. She makes her own decisions. She winds up marrying a man who uses her. Then when he is tired of playing his game, she sends her on her way. Suddenly, the woman’s eyes are open. She finally sees the love she had with the first man. She sees how real it was. So she tries to go back to the first man to rekindle that love he once had for her. But God says, “no!” God says she is defiled. What does that mean? Let’s take a look at another translation that didn’t tone down the warning.
Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 24:4 KJV).
Such an act would defile the entire land. How and why? Like I said, it took me a long time to realize, I need a woman who pursues God with a love with no equal in this world. If the woman thinks she can find the love she needs from the first husband she took advantage of, she didn’t learn the whole lesson. She is doing nothing more than repeating the same mistake. She has not gotten over trying to please herself.
Her act defiles the entire land because it teaches people to put yourself first. Look for ways to please yourself and leave the lesson at that. I was shocked to hear how the church supported my ex-wife in open adultery. They used two terms to sum up their decision. God wants us to be happy. And, God gives us freedom of choice. Does that mean God decided to cancel a good portion of His Ten Commandments so we could be happy? Get real. Now we can see how those selfish acts defile the entire land. One compromise leads to another. They all lead to a path away from God.
When I read profiles from women online I see a lot of them saying, “no drama,” or, “no games.” Most of them are looking for men ten to fifteen years younger than themselves. Those women are like the silly doves Solomon wrote about. They think they have it all. They think they are high enough to be beyond harm. After making decisions for years, they think they have the experience to know what right from wrong, and since they are older, they consider themselves smarter then men they are pursuing. But that’s not the case at all. Men look for women like that. Who brag about their wealth and self dependency. Those woman are easy prey for men who are just like those woman, self centered. The man’s job is easy because he can admit his weaknesses. He knows the woman has the same weaknesses, and exploits them.
God knew all this was going to happen. So in a spiritual manner, He warned about it. The problem is, self centered people cannot see the spiritual application. God has no choice but to give them the freedom of choice they claim. When the situation turns sour, and the woman is hurt, God doesn’t want that woman running back to the man she tore apart. That would not fix the core problem. That does not get to the root of the problem. God wants those women to turn to Him to find out what true love is. That’s why Jesus told those people they didn’t know what they were talking about. They didn’t know a thing about God’s love. Those religious leaders took out one little part of that law and wrote a whole list of amendments to make it a law to serve their desires and view of what they thought love and marriage was supposed to be.
God gave them a hint when He told us, a man should take off a year to spend with his new wife. He should get to know her. God was really telling us, we need to get to know Him.
Remember to Feed
Deuteronomy 24:19-22 NLTse (19) “When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do. (20) When you beat the olives from your olive trees, don’t go over the boughs twice. Leave the remaining olives for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. (21) When you gather the grapes in your vineyard, don’t glean the vines after they are picked. Leave the remaining grapes for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. (22) Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt. That is why I am giving you this command.
Isn’t that a way of God telling us, when we forget something, that is God showing us how to serve someone, or see to their immediate needs? This series of books began by explaining how God works. We know God works in mysterious ways. Stories in this chapter don’t follow the logical, systematic thinking of this world. Serving people by forgetting something is an example, or proof of how God works in unexpected ways. This shows how close we need to pay attention to what happens in our daily lives. And how we need to look back to find out how something may appear to us as a mistake, but then out to be the blessing someone needed that day.
God also shows how nature cooperates with Him. If plants cooperate with God, why not us? Which was created in God’s image? Us or trees? Sometimes trees are used to represent people. Is that true in this case? Carefully look at the scripture. First a person is assumed to leave a bundle of grain behind. Next a tree leaves olives behind. See the connection? God can hide blessings as easily as He hides food and blessings for people in need.
Look at the next crop mentioned. When we put the three together, don’t we see a specific group of crops often used as spiritual symbols? Isn’t grain, olive oil, and grapes used as symbols throughout the Bible? We don’t want to jump all over scripture to hunt down some kind of spiritual meaning to this story, but we do want to take time to see how each is able to provide a special blessing to people in need. Blessing we often don’t expect. But blessing God had planned.
Chapter 93 The First Crop Deuteronomy 26
Deuteronomy 26:1-5 NLTse (1) “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession and you have conquered it and settled there, (2) put some of the first produce from each crop you harvest into a basket and bring it to the designated place of worship–the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored. (3) Go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him, ‘With this gift I acknowledge to the LORD your God that I have entered the land he swore to our ancestors he would give us.’ (4) The priest will then take the basket from your hand and set it before the altar of the LORD your God. (5) “You must then say in the presence of the LORD your God, ‘My ancestor Jacob was a wandering Aramean who went to live as a foreigner in Egypt. His family arrived few in number, but in Egypt they became a large and mighty nation.
When were we see something repeated, we have to ask what we missed. The trick is, and it is not really a trick at all, it is God’s way of communicating with us. God is teaching us in stages. It is like the vision of the Sanctuary in Ezekiel. There are different gates. People are supposed to enter by one gate, and leave by another.
“The prince must enter the gateway through the entry room, and he must leave the same way. But when the people come in through the north gateway to worship the LORD during the religious festivals, they must leave by the south gateway. And those who entered through the south gateway must leave by the north gateway. They must never leave by the same gateway they came in, but must always use the opposite gateway. The prince will enter and leave with the people on these occasions. (Ezekiel 46:8-10 NLTse).
There are also a series of measurements, first width and length. Then height is added. Ezekiel then talked about levels. I suspect that pattern describes our pattern of learning. Here we seeing the aspect of entering one gate, them leaving through another. We learned details about giving to the priests based on the context, or what we learned from previous chapters. Now God opened another gate or door for us to learn new lessons based on previous scripture, or lessons we learned in Deuteronomy.
The lesson we learned from honest scales is one example. Merchants we’re restricted to giving people the exact amount of produce they intended to purchase. Merchants were free to give a little more. I doubt if we will be buying and selling in Heaven. There certainly won’t be slavery in Heaven. We won’t have to worry about women being raped in Heaven. Each of those laws gave us the chance to look forward to Heaven where most of those laws will become obsolete. But that’s when Jesus says so. Not when some priest, leaders, or religious organization says laws are no longer required.
Look at the dietary laws. Most of us know, eating unclean animals is not healthy. As a matter of fact, because people messed around with the diets and living conditions of clean animals, they are not that healthy. But some people claim all those laws are dead, based on a vision Peter had. They seem to forget, by law, a symbol always points to something far greater. And symbols are explained in the story they are found in. What surprises me is, some people seems to like to think they know more about the human body than the original Creator. They say they know God. Some claim to love God. But they insist they can make radical decisions without God.
There is another way God communicates with us. Through our daily lives. I’d hate to admit it, but things are tough in the Real Estate market. New federal regulations is making it almost impossible to close on the sale of a house. And some local Brokers are flooding the market with new agents. Where there were only about 4000 a few years ago, there are now over 13,000, and still fewer sales. That equates to a disaster for many agents. To make a long story short, I fell behind in my rent. I tried to go to the Salvation Army for an advance to bring the rent up to date. This was a matter where I could find myself homeless in a matter of a few days. The Salvation Army used have funds to help people in such a situation. But no longer. Needs far out weighted funds long ago. So that was it. I forgot that idea, but couldn’t put it out of my mind. But it wasn’t off God’s mind.
When I was praying about this chapter, I was told to call the Salvation Army back, and offer them rights to prints, and sell a thousand of my books. And to sell a thousand copies of my eBooks. In other words, they can’t help me, but I can help them by giving them the ability to raises $20,000 or more so they can continue to help other people.
Jesus didn’t receive a dime from that treasury in the courtyard. But that didn’t stop Jesus from looking for a blessing in that scene. Then one walked up to the chest in the form of a broken down old widow. The last person people would expect to see a blessing. To think of it, she exceeding all human expectations on this lesson in Deuteronomy. But we still need Jesus to show us the lesson.
We see another reminder about Jacob going into Egypt. What does that have to do with giving the first and best of everything to the Levites? God is showing Israel, they are supporting a brother. The only brother, in this case a tribe to stand up and say they were willing to serve God. What lessons do we get from that? I’m certain there are a lot of lessons you can think of on your own.