Joshua

Joshua 5-8

Chapter 5.  Now that the Israelites are on the other side of the Jordan they are told to be circumcised.  I found it puzzling that for 40 years the Israelites did not do this,  however, now they are in enemy territory and they are told to do this.  Here are some of my random thoughts:

  • This must be done to celebrate in the Passover
  • When they are in Canaan, they must have the “sign” of the Abrahamic Covenant (if you jumped in late, message me and I will explain) so they are set apart
  • This is a true act of faith!  They will be vulnerable for days.  If they truly trust that God will protect them on that Land then,  they will do it!
  • The city is named after Gibeath Haaraloth “hill of the foreskin”.  Have mercy!

The Israelites celebrated the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened bread to commemorate their exodus from Egypt out of slavery.  On this day the Lord stopped providing manna.  To be transparent I totally forgot about the manna until I read this.  From here forward they will now eat from the land.


Jericho- Let’s start with some visuals for my new friend Crystal:

 

 

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Israel’s army had no siege engines, no battering rams, no catapults, and no moving towers like in Game of Thrones 😋 . Their only weapons were slings, arrows, and spears—which were like straws against the walls of Jericho.  While Joshua was approaching the city walls,  a “man” was standing there with a message from the Lord. I am looking for help on this.  Is this an Angel with a message from the Lord or an incarnate figure of the Lord?  Please let me know your thoughts.

Either way, this manifestation of this experience is humbling and Joshua takes off his sandals in reverence.

The instructions to prepare for battle are given:

  • march around the city with armed men.  The priests will carry their trumpets in front of the Ark.
  • Do this for 6 days
  • On the 7th day, something will be different (look at verse 6:5): a long blast!

Go back to Numbers 10:“The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies. 10 Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the Lord your God.”

So if anyone wants to stay in their pajamas all day I could keep writing about the trumpets…We can talk about the Feast of Trumpets…let me put it to you this way…if you hear a loud trumpet sound, and people disappear, but you are still here…panic!  The Feast of Trumpets will occur at the Rapture.  Also, there will be 7 trumpet blasts in Revelation.  Oh my stars…can you imagine how great this read-through is going to be when we get to Revelation…STAY WITH IT!   Ok, Ok…back to Joshua!

The trumpets blasted and the men shouted and the Walls Collapsed.  By the way, archeologist have proven that the walls fell forward! Completely corroborating that the Lord won this battle.

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Rahab and her family are ushered out just as promised

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Chapter 6 ends with a warning “Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city.” Have you ever heard of Ahab?  NO?  What about his wife Jezebel?   Guess who refortified the city??


Chapter 7- Achan’s sin- As the Israelites defeated Jericho,  Joshua said in 6:18

But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it.

Joshua, after giving the Israelites this warning sent out only 3,000 warriors to take Ai.  After all, it was small potatoes compared to Jericho.  What Joshua did not know was Achan would bring destruction to the Israelites through his sin.

I am going to leave this story application between you and God.  I am sure He spoke to you about something in your life you have hidden that He sees.


Chapter 8- Ai (pronounced  “aye  eye” just like the 2 letters)

The Lord sets the Israelites out now to defeat the city of Ai in an ambush attack.  I picture Joshua using X’s and O’s like a football play, drawing it in the sand.

Image: Image:<br>صورة

This time they are given the command to take the plunder.  Jericho was to be destroyed but this city will be used as provisions for the Israelites.  Ai in Hebrew means “Ruin”, and that is exactly what happens to this city (to this day).  If you look at Bible maps you will usually see it with a question mark because it was destroyed and cannot be found to this day.

Image result for where is Ai map

The Israelites return to where the Blessings and Curses were read near Gilgal and read the commandments again.  They made an altar to the Lord and at this time were following the Law.

Joshua

Joshua 1-4

The first word of this book is a transition word, so you know it is a continuation of Deuteronomy.  Please be reminded that God uses His Words more than anything else to speak to use. When I became a Christian a few years ago, I would hear people talking about God speaking.  This freaked me out.  Not only did I not believe them,  but I never heard anything from Him (so I thought) either.  If you want to hear from God,  open your Bible, have a pen in hand, pray, and then see what God prompts you to underline.

I am going to stay “historical” not “applicable”.  I want God to speak to you directly.  But please share in the comments.


Chapter 1:  The book begins with a Command and  a Promise:

  • Command: set out from their camp at Moab, cross the Jordan (during the flood season) and enter Jordan.
  • Promise: God will give them the Land promised.  So be strong and courageous.

As they prepare to go into the land, Joshua addresses the Reubenites, the Gadites, and 1/2 the tribe of Manasseh.  Back in Numbers 32, leaders from the tribes fell in love with the land on the east side of the Jordan.  They asked Moses if they can have it.  Moses assumed they meant instead of going into the territory to fight with the other tribes.  But,  they told Moses they still planned on fighting with the family for the land, so Moses said they could have it.  So Joshua is just making sure that these Transjordan tribes still plan on keeping their word and joining the army.


Chapter 2-Rehab.   We could do a whole Bible study on the faith of Rehab!  Rehab is a prostitute that hides the 2 spies.  Even though she hid them, word gets out that the spies are in Jericho and she makes a deal with the Israelites. She asks that when they take the land (and she knows the Lord will give them this land) that the Israelites show her and her family kindness.  She professes her faith in God and God alone.  They agree.

Now technically they are to follow God’s command in Deut. 7 and 20 to destroy the population without mercy when they take possession of it.  However, that commandment was so that the people would not turn them away from their God.  But Rehab only strengthens their Faith and her and her family will be spared if she ties a scarlet cord to her window.

Image result for rahab jericho

In Genesis, we talked about the scarlet cord several times.  When twins were born they would tie a scarlet cord around the wrist of the baby that would inherit the Covenant birth line.  The scarlet cord has also been mentioned in the building of the tabernacle.  The Covenant will follow with the scarlet cord to the birth of the Messiah.  So why does Rehab tie a scarlet cord to her window?  Through faith we are saved.  Rehab’s faith in the covenant saves her.  If you flip to the genealogies of the Gospel, you will see that Rehab is now in the Covenant line, she is the Great-great-grandmother of King David!  What? You don’t believe me that God could use a prostitute?  He already used Moses the murderer-fugitive! Flip to Matthew 1:5-6.


Chapter 3 and 4-Crossing the Jordan.  We think of the sea parting as the Red Sea. Well, look at this:

Image result for Crossing the JOrdan

(GOD GOES FIRST and makes the path!)

During flood season, God stops up the water and the Israelites keep God in the middle of the open river until everyone gets on the other side.

Image result for bible jordan river stones        Image result for where is Gilgal

They carry 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel that have crossed, to Gilgal to set up a memorial to God.

“When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’  For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed;  that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”


You have the time to read these 4 chapters twice.  I encourage you to be still and let God take over to encourage you on anything you bring before him today.   It might be about Covid 19 or something bigger in your life.  Pray about your circumstances and let God speak to you today.

Book Overviews · Joshua

Joshua Overview

This is it.  If you are behind, we are ABOUT to enter the Promised Land.  PLEASE Open your Bibles and begin RIGHT HERE.  At Joshua.

We have completed 5 books of the Law, 1 book of Poetry (Job), and now we are at the History section.  The poetry and prophet books will be embedded throughout the history books.

About 500 years ago God made a Covenant with His people:

On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river  of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” (Genesis 15:18-20)

“I give this land”.  We are not taking it, it is not ours to take.  It is His to give.  That all still holds true today.

So who is Joshua?    Joshua was born in Egypt, he was born into slavery.  We mentioned him back in Numbers 13:8 as Hoshea, from the tribe of Ephraim.  He was the personal assistant to Moses throughout the 40 years of wandering and was appointed one of the 12 spies to “check out” the land promised to them. The Promise Land:  Canaan, or sometimes called the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites, or a version of that.  Out of almost 3 million people, only 2 had faith in the Lord to take the land (Caleb was the other one).

  • Joshua,  in Hebrew,  means “salvation”   
  • Joshua translated to Greek is the name Jesus: Jesus in Greek means “Lord is Salvation”.

Here is our outline:

Taking the Land (Ch 1-12)

Distributing the Land (Ch 13-21

Staying in the Land (Ch 22-24)

Death and Burial (End of 24)

This book is going to go fast!  Don’t get behind!  If it will help, stand up and walk over to your calendar and write them on it.  I am thinking your schedule is pretty open this week. (you can click on them and get ahead for the week if you want)

Mar 23: Josh 1-4
Mar 24: Josh 5-8
Mar 25: Josh 9-11
Mar 26: Josh 12-15
Mar 27: Josh 16-18
Mar 28: Josh 19-21
Mar 29: Josh 22-24


Deuteronomy · Psalm

Deuteronomy 32-34 and Psalm 91

  • Click here to read
  • Click here to listen
  • By the way, I usually do not enjoy Psalms (I know some of you just gasped).  I am more of a Maps/Geneaology chick.  But I just read Psalm 91.  Being self-quarantined (not sick, just being pro-active), and spending every morning in the Word, this Psalm just made me cry.  Maybe this will be the year I will like the Psalms.

Deut 32-Song of Moses

So Moses was a poet and I didn’t even know it 😁  For anyone homeschooling, have your child find the metaphors and similies.  Moses recites this song and the Israelites memorize it.  This song is a summary of prophecies. We even see parts of this song recited in Revelation 19.  The song changes direction in verse 15. “Jeshurun” (also used in Isaiah 44) means “The upright or straight one”.

Please read the chapter but here is an abbreviated version I liked on youtube.

And then finally starting at Verse 48, Moses is given his place to take his final rest.  Mt. Nebo.

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Look at the below map.  Mt. Nebo is 10 miles away from the Promised Land and 2700 feet high.  He stood on the mountain beside where the Jordan River pours into the Dead Sea just a little south of Jericho.  Moses climbs to the highest peak (impressive at his age) and looked at what will become Israel today.

Image result for mount nebo topography


Chapter 32: This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death

If you flip back to Genesis 49 you will recall I talked about land distribution. (If this part bores you…feel free to skip to the bottom)  😉

Reuben (v. 6) was the firstborn, but he did not enjoy greatness among the tribes because of his sin (Sleeping with his dad’s concubine: Bilhah) . He lost his father’s birthright and blessing. Furthermore, no great civil or military leader or prophet ever came from this tribe.  Reuben becomes one of the “Transjordan Tribes” we walked about.


Judah (v. 7) received the position of leader among the tribes when his older brothers (the first three!!) became ineligible. Judah is the son that carries the Covenant.  The Blessing.  The Line that will birth the Davidic Monarchy and the Messiah!


Levi (vv. 8-11) received a blessing for choosing God over family at the Golden Calf debacle in Exodus 32.  They are carved out to be the Priesthood. (Thummin and Urim are the “stones” that God uses to make decisions through the priests, cast lots….like rolling dice that God controls)


Benjamin (v. 12) was to enjoy God’s protection continually since God would carry this tribe on His back “between His
shoulders.” As the warrior tribe, Benjamin would enjoy God’s protection.  The first king will come from this tribe.


Joseph (vv. 13-17) represented “Ephraim” and “Manasseh.” The “firstborn of his ox” probably refers to Joseph as the most powerful of the powerful.  He was the firstborn son of Jacob, God’s servant, by Rachel. “Ephraim” was the stronger of Joseph’s sons, who were both as strong as “the horns of oxen” during the tribes’ conflict with Israel’s enemies.


Zebulun and Issachar (vv. 18-19) would become channels of blessing to the other nations by means of their commercial wealth (The modern state of Israel, whose major port is Haifa, located in the area of ancient Zebulun.
These two tribes would experience God’s blessing as they brought riches into Israel.


Gad (vv. 20-21) inherited land east of the Jordan River that was suitable for development. Gad was a tribe that was very aggressive in conquering and subduing the land (“as a lion”),


Dan (v. 22) settled in an area inhabited by “lions” (Judg. 14:5), and migrated to northern Israel to an area that abounded in lions (Judg. 18). The people of this tribe were also similar to lions, like the Gadites, in their aggressiveness and strength.


Naphtali (v. 23) would enjoy the benefits of a seacoast (“the sea and the south”). The towns along the northern and western shores of this sea, including Capernaum and Bethsaida, lay within the territory of Naphtali.


Asher (v. 24) would benefit from the respect of his fellow Israelites (favored by his brothers) and prosperity (oil). His territory on the Mediterranean coast would require fortifications, but God would protect him.


Moses did not mention the “Simeonites” in this blessing. Jacob had prophesied that God would scatter the Simeonites in Israel (Gen. 49:7). Simeon received no tribal allotment of land, but only a few cities in Judah, when Joshua divided the Promised Land. The Simeonites became absorbed into the other tribes, especially Judah.



Psalm 91 Click here if you have not read yet.

This is a Psalm of encouragement.   God does not promise that we will not see danger, sickness, and terror but he will cover us.  This is the psalm that the Devil quotes when Jesus is in the wilderness being tempted for 40 day:

Matthew 4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”


Moses dies at the age of 120.  To this day no one knows where his grave is. Why?  Because we are no different than the Israelites.  We would make a shrine of his grave and his bones and they would be another idol for us to worship.

Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 30-31

Tomorrow is our last day in Deuteronomy.  You made it through the Numbers and Leviticus and aren’t you glad you did!

Chapter 30.   Moses completed all three of his speeches and only has few last things to do.  Moses meets with God and Joshua, and he writes the Law word for word.   The national leaders were to read this law to the whole nation every seventh (sabbatical) year, at the Feast of Tabernacles.  Two scriptures stood out to me personally:

14  the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.

Chapter 31. Insert a big sad face emoji!

Moses commission s Joshua to the tent of meeting to hear from God.  Joshua was chosen because of his faith the first time they tried to enter the land 40 years ago in Numbers 13-14.  Joshua is the son of Nun.  He comes from the tribe of Ephraim.

 

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Then from Ephraim:

The Genealogy of Ephraim in 1 Chronicles 7:20-27

God tells him to be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified.  I will bring you into this land BECAUSE I promised Abraham I would.  BUT (it is a big But!)….these people will be a hot mess!

20 When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant. 21 And when many disasters and calamities come on them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants.

The book of the Law was written word for word and was placed beside the Ark of the Covenant.  The Ark contained Aaron’s budded rod, manna, and the tablets.  It is no wonder Indian Jones was looking for it!

Image result for what is in the ark of the covenant

So tomorrow is choir practice as 3 million people learn the song of Moses and we finish Deuteronomy!

Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 28-29

Due to the unprecedented circumstances of Covid-19, this will be hard to read today.  I am NOT saying there is a correlation.  As we read the rest of the Old Testament, we will see how God fulfilled what Moses said here.  What I am saying is that you will see scriptures like 28:47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity…”  and it will hurt.  It should.  Our Country is failing.

Here we go.

“IF you obey the Lord…the Lord will…

  1. Your city and county will be blessed (v.3)
  2. Your children (fertility), herds,  and crops will be blessed (v.4)
  3. Your needs (food) will be blessed (v.5)
  4. Wherever you go and whatever you do will be blessed (v.6)
  5. Your enemies will attack you from 1 direction, but you will scatter them in 7 (v.7)
  6. You will lend money to nations but never have to borrow (v.12)

Curses:

  1. Your city and county will be a curse (v.16)
  2. Your children (fertility), herds,  and crops will be cursed (v.18)
  3. Your needs (food) will be cursed(v.17)
  4. Wherever you go and whatever you do will be cursed(v.19)
  5. Your enemies will attack you from 1 direction, but you will scatter in 7 (v.25)
  6. They will lend money to you, but you will not lend to them (v.44)

These are all the blessings, but not all the curses.  Moses lists about four times more curses than blessings. The lists of curses (in ancient documents) were typically longer and more detailed than the lists of blessings probably to stress the seriousness of violating the covenant. Israel was entering a very dangerous environment in Canaan, and needed strong warnings against the temptations they would encounter.

This might be a huge spoiler alert for some (sorry):  After we are in the Promised Land for some time; the curses of disobedience will be literal.  Read chapter 28 closely and you will see the Captivity at it’s worst.  A quick summary of the captivity is after hundreds of years of God warning the Israelites to obey him,  He finally takes His hand of protection off of them.   He allowed the Assyrians and the Babylonians to capture all of them and take them OUT of the land completely.  Here is a quick visual.

Image result for bible captivity map

This captivity will be so severe that they will resort to cannibalism and eating the afterbirth.  Then finally in verse 64 we will see the prophecy of the scattering “diaspora”.  This will explain WHY Paul’s mission trips to find Jewish people are so far from each other.

Image result for paul missionary map


Chapter 29! This is it!  Moses Final Speech so read it closely (I am honest with you when I skim, so now I am telling you to hang on every word)

As the people stand in God’s presence to renew their allegiance to him ALL are included.  Men, wives, children, servants…ALL.  He renews the Covenant from Genesis 15 (Promised in 12), and warns them one last time about apostasy, hypocrisy, and rebellion.

For me: Verse 29:19 was the hardest to read for me.  I have MANY people in my life that say that to me daily.

Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 24-27

Deuteronomy 24 begins with divorce.  These scriptures are not “for” or “against” it. However, it discusses that divorce for the couple is permanent.  It is not “on/off/on” situation so the decision should not be taken lightly.

I will mention a few of the scriptures BUT I loved yesterday responding in comments because I can chase rabbits without boring anyone!  So if you read any scriptures that are confusing,  comment or text me.

  • Verse 6 “Millstone”: If a man owed someone money,  we are not to take their livelihood.  Taking a millstone was robbing the person of an essential need.  Here is a picture of the upper stone.  It was used to grind grain to make food such as bread.

Image result for what are millstones deuteronomy

I wanted to show you a visual of it because millstones are talked about again. In Job, the Leviathan was so strong it was compared to one.  A millstone will land on Gideon’s son’s head.  But the famous scripture is from Jesus: Mark 9:42

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.

Chapter 24 ends with God’s love towards the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow.  We leave provisions for them in our fields (not leftovers…provisions).  We will see this applied when we read the book of Ruth.


Chapter 25. Forty lashes.  At this time, lashing or flogging was a punishment where it fit the crime.  The Law stated no more than 40 lashes (over 40 might kill someone).  However, when we get to the Gospel, flogging techniques had evolved.  What started as a single whip per lash later becomes a Roman weapon known as a cat-o-nine tail.  In the New Testament, Paul says in 2 Cor. 11:24 “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.” The Jews made laws about the laws to be careful not to break the laws, so they made it “less one” just in case they miss counted.  BUT the 40 lashes written in Deuteronomy were not the same 40 lashes Jesus took for us.  The Jews didn’t flog Jesus.  The ROMANS did!  The Romans used the cat-o-nine tail:

Image result for flogging tool jesus

If the Romans used a cat-o-nine tail, then Jesus’ sentence was 40-1= 39 x 9= 351 lashes. (Not sure if the Romans would have -1, so possibly 360 lashes)


25:5 The Levirate Vow!  One of my favorite topics to teach!  If you missed the original post on this…it’s a hot mess!  Click here.  Not often do I get to talk about contraception!


25:17: Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. 18 When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. 19 When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!

If you cannot recall who the Amalekites were,  click here for the story.  They attacked the Israelites when they were at their weakest.

We haven’t looked at a genealogy in a long time,  so find them and see the significance.

Bible Teachings - Chart of the Genealogy Of Abraham: Abraham's Family Tree - ConformingToJesus.com

 

 


Chapter 27:

Lots of visuals needed.  Chapter 27 is about what the Israelites need to do when they enter the Land.  They will cross the Jordan River to Mt. Ebal

Image result for mount ebal and mount Gerizim

 

The End of Chapter 27 is a major scene-setter for tomorrow’s reading!  The Israelites are commanded to put 6 tribes on Mt. Gerizim, who will stand and say the blessing for obedience to everyone.  The other 6 tribes are to stand on and say the curses for disobedience from Mt. Ebal.

In the meantime, the Levites recite 12 curses.  Notice these examples are all sins that one could hide or do in secret.  Read them and make a checklist of the ones you think you can follow (if you don’t have at least 1 or 2 checked, we cannot be friends).  Then get to #12.

“Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

The last verse covers the violation of any other command in the law.  Paul used this verse to emphasize the fact that no one can obey God perfectly (Gal. 3:10-14).

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”  13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

 

Homework: Why were the 12 tribes split the way they were for this?

Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 21-23

Let’s just set the scene.  Moses is sitting with the Israelites that are about to enter the Promise Land.   When God gave Moses the 10 commandments and the Book of the Law, the Israelites sat there for almost a year studying it.    Deuteronomy is the “retelling” of their history to the next generation (since they weren’t there in person).  In chapter 5, Moses read the 10 Commandments.  When the Israelites enter the Land they need to APPLY the Law.  In today’s terms: don’t go to church and say “Amen” and then go about your life without APPLYING IT.  Sorry, I had to yell at myself for a moment.

The past few chapters Moses has discussed the Commandments that refer to our relationship with the Lord.  Now, we are continuing the read about how to apply these laws in relation to others.  Here is your quick reference:

Image result for 10 commandments

Chapter 21:  You will clearly see Commandments 5, 6, 7.   You know I want to break down EACH verse but I will spare you a long post.  If you have already read, stop here.  Go to comments and talk about the Scripture that you stopped at or made your eyebrows move.  THEN come back and read some of the ones I underlined.

21: Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, and they shall declare: “Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, Lord, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent person.” Then the bloodshed will be atoned for, and you will have purged from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, since you have done what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

Image result for pontius pilate washing his hands

(That is Pontius Pilate)

Matthew 27: 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”


As you continue to read you have to keep in mind that God’s Law was not the first time a set of Laws was enforced.  In general, the Code of Hammurabi was the law.  God’s laws were written so that EVERYONE could understand them just like the Code of Hammurabi.  The codes were always written in “If this….then this…” Example:  If my kids leave one more dish in the sink, I am going to lose my mind”.

Chapter 21: Atonement for an unsolved murder, marrying a captive woman, the rights of the firstborn, and rebellious children.  If you were not with us in Genesis, I want you to know the rights of the firstborn are huge…(Yes, I said that in my Trump voice…Yuge!”  BUT remember the first born may receive a double portion but that is not the blessing.  If you are confused Genesis 25, (Jacob and Esau) the Bible talks about selling his birthright, but that was small potatoes compared to Jacob stealing the blessing!


As you read chapter 22 it continues the application of these laws: keeping ourselves holy (set apart) from the Canaanites.  Do you look like the world or do you look set apart?  I can break down each one for you if you need, just comment on the one that you did not get.  Each one is significant..proof of virginity, wearing clothes, mixing fabrics, sleeping with your father’s wife…Rueben!


Chapter 23:  If you are old like me, the names may be familiar but you cannot remember who they were.  I will recap some of them:

  • Ammonites and Moabites- first find them on your genealogy. Click here.  They were the sons (tribes) that were born after God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.  In Genesis 19, Lot took his daughters to the high land, and his daughter planned to get their father, Lot, drunk and have children.
    • Then in Numbers 22– the Ammonites and Moabites did not allow the Israelites passage through their land.  Balaam was the scorer they hired to curse them.  But we know that would never happen because of God’s Covenant
    • “I will make you into a great nation,
          and I will bless you;
      I will make your name great,
          and you will be a blessing.[
      I will bless those who bless you,
          and whoever curses you I will curse;
      and all peoples on earth
          will be blessed through you.”
  • Edomites: were Esau’s descendants, (Esau was Jacob’s brother).

Please be humble and comment on ANY scripture you do not understand.  We could have a fun day of breaking them down.

Book Overviews · Deuteronomy

St. Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick 

  • His name wasn’t Patrick
  • He wasn’t Irish
  • He was never canonized by the Catholic Church as a Saint

Maewyn Succat was his real name.  He was born in Britain in 386.  His family had a high social standing for generations.  His dad, Calphurnius was a deacon from a Roman family.  His grandfather, Pontious was also a member of the clergy.  However, he was not raised religious.  Many people work for churches for financial and job security but fail to raise their children in a spiritual way (keeping my comments to myself on this one  😉).

When Maewyn was 16 he was captured by pirates and brought to Ireland and sold into slavery.  Evidently, Ireland was the pirate hot-spot, which explains all the accents in the movies. He was a slave for at least 6 years.  While a slave, he was a Shepard, spending most of his time alone and afraid.  So he turned to God.  He had a dream that he would escape and return to the very people that enslaved them to talk to them about Christianity.

Maewyn did escape and studied theology for about 15 years and became a priest. He changed his name to Patricius, or Patrick, which derives from the Latin term for “father figure,” when he became a priest because he knew he had to return to the horrible place he was enslaved as a missionary.  He knew the language, cultures, and rituals.  Their pagan rituals were nature-based (just like the Old Testament). Maewyn incorporated nature into his missionary work so that the people would be less defensive as he shared the Gospel.  For example, they used fire to honor their gods, so he sat around a bonfire when speaking to them.  He also drew a circle to represent the sun when he introduced the Cross.  (They worshipped Ra-the sun god), so he added it to the back of the cross so they did not shut him down as he continued to share the scriptures. (We could learn a lot about how to approach people with the Gospel)Image result for what does the circle on the celtic cross mean

And of course, everyone’s favorite…

Image result for shamrock

The 3 leaf clover was used when Maewyn would need to explain the Holy Trinity.  He would scoop up the clover and point to each leaf and explain the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as separate but also as one.

 Have a Great St. Patrick’s Day.

If you have children (of any age), ask them who he is?

My son had the craziest story that involved deer, rainbows, and gold.   Deer??

 

 

Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 17-20

The end of Chapter 16 spoke of the appointed Judges.  We are going to read the book of Joshua and the following book is called Judges. (We can come back to this in a few weeks)  Anyway, the chapter ended with the warning of setting up Asherah poles next to the altar for the Lord.  This is the 4th time we have read about them,  so let me give you a visual (because you are going to read about them 36 more times…clearly they ignore this warning!)

Asherah is the mother of Baal, another god who shows up throughout the Old Testament. She is a fertility god who gave birth to 70 gods.   So the image they put next to the altar could vary according to the god they were worshipping.

Here are examples”

Image result for asherah poles      Image result for asherah


Chapter 17 clearly states three rules of evidence that are needed.  I want to point these out because we will refer back to them when Jesus is on trial.  Justice requires:

  1. a thorough investigation
  2. evidence must be supported by 2 or 3 witnesses
  3. the accuser must face the accused

Chapter 17:14  When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 

God does not just appoint them a king….they ask for one!  Oh no, that won’t be good.  We already know we are to follow God, not a king.  But God gives them a king anyway to show them they don’t need one.

The King must:

  1. He must be the one the Lord chooses
  2. He must not multiply his horses for military purposes
  3. He must not acquire many wives
  4. He must make a copy of the Law and have it with him at all times.  He will read it every day.

Chapter 18:9-13 (Refer to Lev. 18 for recap)

Sacrifice their sons and daughters?  This was a Canaanite ritual (that was common).  Molech represented the male principle of life and reproduction while Ashtoreth represented the female principle of fertility.

Image result for Molek     

Canaanites would sacrifice their children to this false god.  A fire inside the statue would receive the newborn child and pass through to their god.  But this should not be a problem BECAUSE we have read that when they enter the Promise Land they will should destroy ALL of their pagan ritual sites, not take on their ways, or marry into their tribes, or partake in their sexual rituals to their gods……


Prophets- After reading that the Israelites should NOT listen to a fortune teller, a medium, or spiritist, they are introduced to Prophets.  Well, how do we know one from the other?  A True Prophet:

  1. will be Hebrew
  2. must speak in the name of the Lord
  3. what the prophet says must come to pass

18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.


Chapter 19 Cities of Refuge.  If you skipped some of the readings click here for Numbers 35 post on this.

These chapters are amazing…Jesus on every page! Kings, Prophets, Priests….