Deuteronomy 14-16

Oh my stars!  I get it now.  So if you go back to chapter 5, Moses read the 10 Commandments to the next generation, right?   So in the middle of the second speech, Moses is breaking them down!

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Chapter 11: Love and Obey the Lord (that chapter was for the First Commandment)

  • 13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul

Chapter 12 and 13  Laws for proper worship. (these chapters are for the Second Commandment)

  • 12: 3 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.
  • 13:2 “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

So now we are at Chapter 14: Taking the Lord’s name in vain.  Unfortunately, we have watered this commandment down to the “OMG”.    The word vain can mean “empty,” “nothing,” “worthless,” or “to no good purpose.”  It is not just our speech, but in how we live too.

  • Cut yourself/shave the front of your forehead
    • To make a long story short, in 1928 they began excavating tablets written in cuneiform text that described Baal cycles (false gods) in Syria, called the Ugaritic Text.  They found about 1500 fragments.  We have de-coded about 100 poems and 50 cult rituals.  Anyway, this practice of mutilating yourself or shaving your head was a cult practice of the dead and fertility rituals.
    • Clean/Unclean animals: (by the way what is a hyrax?) Some forbidden animals were eaten in pagan religious rituals.   Also, we know that God is going to forbid scavengers or animals that ate blood.  I am sure there is more to it, but the bottom line comes down to: they are to be set apart from the pagan world around them.  Even though this does not apply to us today (Acts 10:9-16) the premise of being set apart still stands.
    • Tithes-giving God 1/10 BACK to what he provided.  If I GIVE you $10 and then ask for $1 back….wrestle with God on this not me.

Chapter 15: breaks down the 4th Commandment concerning the use of our time.  Remember how the Israelites collected double the day before the Sabbath so they would always have enough of God’s provisions:

Caring for the poor:  (ready to get punched in the stomach)

      • If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.  (So as you roll up to Wal-Mart to stock-pile this week, with your church sticker on your car…ouch right?  I am not throwing a stone, I promise.  I have enough food in my house to feed a shelter home)  How could that time have been used for God’s purposes?
      • Freeing Servants: This is a big topic for me because you have to know one of the biggest arguments against God is the word “slavery” in the Bible.  I discussed this in Exodus that know that taking a servant Biblilly is NOT what He intended for the “History” of slavery as we know it.
        • To be a slave was not a bad thing for the Israelites. Israelites had to respect their slaves. Slaves served other people in order to pay their debts. When their owners freed them, the owners gave them generous gifts to help them in their new lives.  Sometimes a slave wanted to remain with his master. The master made a hole in the slave’s ear. To do that, he would push a piece of metal through the slave’s ear and into the door. That showed that the slave wanted to join the master’s home. We could talk about this FOREVER…blood, doorpost, “whose” they became….so may hidden messages.
        • Chapter 16: Sabbaths-
          • Passover (Good Friday)
          • 7 weeks- Festival of Weeks (Pentecost)
          • 7 years- Festival of Tabernacles ( Final festival, when we will dwell with God)

I am going to stop at verse 18 and pick up there tomorrow.