Posts Tagged ‘Israelite’


Deuteronomy 19 (HCSB) “When the Lord your God annihilates the nations whose land He is giving you, so that you drive them out and live in their cities and houses, you are to set apart three cities for yourselves within the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess… You must purge the evil from you. Then everyone else will hear and be afraid, and they will never again do anything evil like this among you. You must not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot.”

For a religion that is undergirded by love, mercy and grace, today’s chapter questions the very fabric of that belief – or does it? (more…)

Rituals And Expectations

Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 in Old Testament
Tags: , , , , , ,

ImageDeuteronomy 16 (HCSB) “Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, because the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night in the month of Abib… “You are to count seven weeks, counting the weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. You are to celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God with a freewill offering that you give in proportion to how the Lord your God has blessed you… “You are to celebrate the Festival of Booths for seven days when you have gathered in everything from your threshing floor and winepress… “Appoint judges and officials for your tribes in all your towns the Lord your God is giving you. They are to judge the people with righteous judgment… “Do not set up an Asherah of any kind of wood next to the altar you will build for the Lord your God, and do not set up a sacred pillar; the Lord your God hates them.

So many festivals and rituals it seems and there is very little room for followers of the Christian God to live outside of this requirement. What was the point of these many festivals and is there any relevance to our lives today? (more…)


Deuteronomy 10 (NLT) “At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. Also make a wooden Ark—a sacred chest to store them in. Come up to me on the mountain, and I will write on the tablets the same words that were on the ones you smashed. Then place the tablets in the Ark.’… “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good… “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. You must fear the LORD your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes. When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky!

After falling so many times as a nation, it is amazing that God still wants to bless Israel with Himself. Is there more to this than meets the eye? (more…)


Deuteronomy 9 (NLT) “Listen, O Israel! Today you are about to cross the Jordan River to take over the land belonging to nations much greater and more powerful than you… But recognize today that the LORD your God is the one who will cross over ahead of you like a devouring fire to destroy them. He will subdue them so that you will quickly conquer them and drive them out, just as the LORD has promised. “After the LORD your God has done this for you, don’t say in your hearts, ‘The LORD has given us this land because we are such good people!’ No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is pushing them out of your way. It is not because you are so good or have such integrity that you are about to occupy their land… “Remember and never forget how angry you made the LORD your God out in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until now, you have been constantly rebelling against him… “Then, as before, I threw myself down before the LORD for forty days and nights. I ate no bread and drank no water because of the great sin you had committed by doing what the LORD hated, provoking him to anger. I feared that the furious anger of the LORD, which turned him against you, would drive him to destroy you. But again he listened to me. The LORD was so angry with Aaron that he wanted to destroy him, too. But I prayed for Aaron, and the LORD spared him. I took your sin—the calf you had made—and I melted it down in the fire and ground it into fine dust. Then I threw the dust into the stream that flows down the mountain.

The ears of the Israelites were probably sore from listening to all that Moses had to say to them. Is God not simply too verbose and does God expect more than just Sunday morning messages from us? (more…)


Deuteronomy 8 (NLT) “Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors… Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell. Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the LORD your God disciplines you for your own good. “So obey the commands of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking… “But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock!… “But I assure you of this: If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them, you will certainly be destroyed. Just as the LORD has destroyed other nations in your path, you also will be destroyed if you refuse to obey the LORD your God.

The Israelites barely were at the borders of their promised land and had not hasted the fruits of what God was to give them. Is that the time to lecture them and of course they wouldn’t forget God after all He did for them. Would they? (more…)


Deuteronomy 7 (NLT) “When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, he will clear away many nations ahead of you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These seven nations are greater and more numerous than you. When the LORD your God hands these nations over to you and you conquer them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaties with them and show them no mercy. You must not intermarry with them… For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure. “The LORD did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was simply that the LORD loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors… He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. But he does not hesitate to punish and destroy those who reject him. Therefore, you must obey all these commands, decrees, and regulations I am giving you today… Perhaps you will think to yourselves, ‘How can we ever conquer these nations that are so much more powerful than we are?’ But don’t be afraid of them! Just remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all the land of Egypt. Remember the great terrors the LORD your God sent against them… “No, do not be afraid of those nations, for the LORD your God is among you, and he is a great and awesome God. The LORD your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, otherwise the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you. But the LORD your God will hand them over to you. He will throw them into complete confusion until they are destroyed. He will put their kings in your power, and you will erase their names from the face of the earth. No one will be able to stand against you, and you will destroy them all.

Death and destruction seem to be a big part of God’s instructions to His chosen people. How is that evidence of a loving God and how different are we from any other religion that terrorizes non-believers? (more…)


Deuteronomy 5 Moses called all the people of Israel together and said, “Listen carefully, Israel. Hear the decrees and regulations I am giving you today, so you may learn them and obey them! “The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Mount Sinai. The LORD did not make this covenant with our ancestors, but with all of us who are alive today. At the mountain the LORD spoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire. I stood as an intermediary between you and the LORD, for you were afraid of the fire and did not want to approach the mountain. He spoke to me, and I passed his words on to you… “The LORD spoke these words to all of you assembled there at the foot of the mountain. He spoke with a loud voice from the heart of the fire, surrounded by clouds and deep darkness… They said, ‘Look, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice from the heart of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak to us humans, and yet we live! But now, why should we risk death again? If the LORD our God speaks to us again, we will certainly die and be consumed by this awesome fire. Can any living thing hear the voice of the living God from the heart of the fire as we did and yet survive? Go yourself and listen to what the LORD our God says. Then come and tell us everything he tells you, and we will listen and obey.’… So Moses told the people, “You must be careful to obey all the commands of the LORD your God, following his instructions in every detail. Stay on the path that the LORD your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy.

A rehash of Exodus 20 made me wonder if I should actually skip this chapter altogether because I wondered what we could draw from a passage we already studied not too long ago. What is Jesus speaking to us through this passage? (more…)