Posts Tagged ‘Jews’


Deuteronomy 13 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “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… If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them… If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly… Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. He will increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your ancestors— because you obey the LORD your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.

Today’s chapter winded me when I read Moses’ instructions to the Israelites to destroy anyone and any place that preached another God or faith. Was this in error and what is God speaking to us about it? (more…)


Numbers 28 (NLT) The Lord said to Moses, “Give these instructions to the people of Israel: The offerings you present as special gifts are a pleasing aroma to me; they are my food. See to it that they are brought at the appointed times and offered according to my instructions… This is the special gift you must present to the Lord as your daily burnt offering… On the Sabbath day, sacrifice two one-year-old male lambs with no defects… On the first day of each month, present an extra burnt offering to the Lord of two young bulls, one ram, and seven one-year-old male lambs, all with no defects… On the fourteenth day of the first month, you must celebrate the Lord’s Passover. On the following day—the fifteenth day of the month—a joyous, seven-day festival will begin, but no bread made with yeast may be eaten… At the Festival of Harvest, when you present the first of your new grain to the Lord, you must call an official day for holy assembly, and you may do no ordinary work on that day… Be sure that all the animals you sacrifice have no defects.”

Today’s chapter discusses sacrifices, a ritual of the past and my mind is boggled by the blood bath that was called for. How is this relevant to us today and are we expected to follow it? (more…)


Numbers 27 One day a petition was presented by the daughters of Zelophehad—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Their father, Zelophehad, was a descendant of Hepher son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph… “Our father died in the wilderness,” they said. “He was not among Korah’s followers, who rebelled against the Lord; he died because of his own sin. But he had no sons. Why should the name of our father disappear from his clan just because he had no sons? Give us property along with the rest of our relatives.” So Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord replied to Moses, “The claim of the daughters of Zelophehad is legitimate. You must give them a grant of land along with their father’s relatives. Assign them the property that would have been given to their father… One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river, and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel. After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.”… The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him. Present him to Eleazar the priest before the whole community, and publicly commission him to lead the people. Transfer some of your authority to him so the whole community of Israel will obey him.

This chapter seems to draw us to the end of another era and one wonders how God would continue to lead Israel without a leader? (more…)


Numbers 17:1-2,4-5,7-8,10,12-13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to bring you twelve wooden staffs, one from each leader of Israel’s ancestral tribes, and inscribe each leader’s name on his staff… Place these staffs in the Tabernacle in front of the Ark containing the tablets of the Covenant, where I meet with you. Buds will sprout on the staff belonging to the man I choose. Then I will finally put an end to the people’s murmuring and complaining against you.”… Moses placed the staffs in the Lord’s presence in the Tabernacle of the Covenant. When he went into the Tabernacle of the Covenant the next day, he found that Aaron’s staff, representing the tribe of Levi, had sprouted, budded, blossomed, and produced ripe almonds!… And the Lord said to Moses: “Place Aaron’s staff permanently before the Ark of the Covenant to serve as a warning to rebels. This should put an end to their complaints against me and prevent any further deaths.”… Then the people of Israel said to Moses, “Look, we are doomed! We are dead! We are ruined! Everyone who even comes close to the Tabernacle of the Lord dies. Are we all doomed to die?”

It is hard to understand this God of Moses and Abraham who punishes 14,950 people with death just a chapter ago and now shows grace upon a hard-hearted people. What are we to understand of God’s character from this? (more…)


Leviticus 18:1-6,21-25,30 (ESV) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the LORD your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the LORD. “None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness. I am the LORD… You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion. “Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants… So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, and never to make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.”

God now moves to morality and specifically advises the Israelites what is and is not acceptable in terms of sexual relations.

This is certainly uncomfortable for some of us but more than anything, it is something that has caused the christian faith to be questioned because in today’s world where homosexuality and transgendered living is begging acceptance, the christian faith seems to hinder its progress.

What is God speaking to us through this difficult message and how are we to apply it into our lives? (more…)


Leviticus 12:1-8 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, ‘If a woman conceives and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days. As at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Then she shall continue for thirty-three days in the blood of her purifying. She shall not touch anything holy, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed. But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation. And she shall continue in the blood of her purifying for sixty-six days. “‘And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering, and he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for her. Then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female. And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.'”

A bizarre piece of the law is upon us and like you, it left me wondering why God would be so biased against women and especially so regarding female babies? (more…)


Leviticus 11:1-3,9,13,20,29,44-45 (ESV) And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat… “These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat… “And these you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten; they are detestable… “All winged insects that go on all fours are detestable to you… “And these are unclean to you among the swarming things that swarm on the ground… For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”

More rules, more limitations and it seems like God clearly was setting the Israelites apart because wherever they went, they were always going to be culturally different from any other culture around them.

Do any of the rules apply to us and are we living far from the grace of God? (more…)


Exodus 30:1,6,12,16,20,21,25,36 “Make an altar of acacia wood for burning incense… Put the altar in front of the curtain that is before the ark of the Testimony—before the atonement cover that is over the Testimony—where I will meet with you… “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them… Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD, making atonement for your lives”… Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made to the LORD by fire, they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come”… Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil… Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.

If not for awe, I am unsure what other emotion I can express for God who has not left a single stone unturned in terms of His plan for a place to dwell among His people.

Not only has God shown an ability to plan to perfection but His provision of skills, material and willingness to the Israelites show He is a master orchestrator and is beyond brilliant!!!

The question again this morning is to understand how all this relates to us who live nearly 3,500 years after this incident? (more…)


Exodus 29:1a,9b,15-16,35,38-39,44-46 “This is what you are to do to consecrate them, so they may serve me as priests… Then tie sashes on Aaron and his sons. The priesthood is theirs by a lasting ordinance. In this way you shall ordain Aaron and his sons… “Take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. Slaughter it and take the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides… Slaughter it, take some of its blood and put it on the lobes of the right ears of Aaron and his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Then sprinkle blood against the altar on all sides… “Do for Aaron and his sons everything I have commanded you, taking seven days to ordain them… “This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight… “So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.

As I read today’s chapter, I was left squirming about all the blood and gore stipulated by God as an offering to Him and kept wondering why, why? Animal rights have obviously had a lasting impact on me and therefore I see all this sacrifice in a different light from the people of Moses’ age.

Having said that however, I do know that God does not simply ask for these sacrifices without perfect reason and therefore I hope you join me in asking God to speak through this chapter into our lives today. (more…)


Hebrews 3:4-6, 16-19
For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast… Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Moses is considered the father of all prophets by the Jews because of the role he played in freeing the 2.5 million enslaved Israelites from the clutches of the Egyptian pharaoh and leading them to the promised land, Israel. This has brought him the love and respect of Israelites till this day and the blessing ‘may you live to be 120′ is what the Jews use till today to bless each other, a reflection of Moses’ age and accomplishments. The second aspect is the followers of Moses who were ungrateful and hard hearted. They complained from the moment they left Egypt, rebelled continually as they journeyed with Moses, were punished by God to death and still some fell away. What do these stories have for us today and what is God saying to us? (more…)