Thursday, January 31, 2008

Conquest of Ai Joshua 8

Joshua 8:3 "So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night."

Ai is the city, in previous verses, that defeated Israel because the LORD was not with them due to the sin of Achan. Now, a dramatic plan is put in motion to take the city.

The people of Ai remember the victory they had and expect the same thing to happen again. But Joshua had a plan. While the 30,000 lay in wait on one side, Joshua approached the gate as before but turned to flee.

v15 "And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before the, and fled by the way of the wilderness."

The people of Ai, smelling victory again, ran after them. This time though, those lying in wait set the city on fire. Israel surrounded the people of Ai and soundly defeated them.

v21 "And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again and slew the men of Ai."

It was a classic plan for victory. Israel now had their second victory in Canaan. After this victory, Joshua set up an altar and read all the law to all the children of Israel. v34

The chapter is 35 verses long and is a good chapter to read through. Remember that 40 years ago Israel came out of Egypt as ex-slaves with no law and no organization. God has molded them into his people and a strong fighting force.

Isaiah 43:7 "Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Achan Joshua 7

Joshua 7:10-11 "And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up, wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, an dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff."

When Jericho was conquered, the command was to put the precious metals in the treasury of the LORD's house and burn every thing else. Jericho was not to be rebuilt.

Achan succumbed to temptation.

In verse 18 of the previous chapter a warning is given not to take of the accursed thing. It was not that it would just hurt the individual but that what one does hurts the whole nation.

Chapter 6 v18 "And ye in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the cap of Israel a curse, and trouble it."

We also know that the LORD had told them to keep the camp clean for He walked in the camp. From other readings, we know that God and sin cannot co-exist. Sin was what separated God and man in the first place.

Not knowing of the sin in the camp, Joshua sent men to Ai to take what seemed an easy city to take but Israel was soundly defeated and people were killed. It was then that Joshua prayed to God thinking their cause was lost. God revealed to Joshua that it was sin.

So Achan is tempted. He sees some stuff and just has to have it. He obviously knows that he cannot enjoy what he took from Jericho for then everyone would know what he did. So he hid it in his tent.

v20-21 "And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them: and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it."

In one weak moment, Achan broke a good many commandments. He stole because the precious metals belonged to the treasury. The garment should have been burned. He coveted. He tried to hid his sin. In essence, he lied about the whole thing until he was caught and also dragged his family into the deceit.

The punishment for him and to clean the camp of sin was the death of himself, his family and all that the owned. Achan was stoned in a valley and it is known as the valley of Achor unto this day. v26.

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

We could all have been justifiably stoned for our sin. We would have paid the debt we owed. Christ, however, paid the price for sin and so we go free.

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

Romans 1:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one;"

Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Psalms 123:1 "Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens."

Key words: Bible Study, Old Testament, Joshua, Achan, Milton Southerland, sin

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jericho Joshua 6

Joshua 6:20 "So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city."

Jericho was the first victory in Canaan for the children of Israel. The LORD gave them a very unusual strategy to follow. They marched around the city, blew trumpets and shouted.

v3 "And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days."

Then we have the verse of sevens. Makes one want to go study numbers and what they mean.

v4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets."

God remembered Rahab, the woman who helped the two spies. Joshua sent the two spies into Jericho to get Rahab out along with her family and belongings. They knew her house by the scarlet thread or cord. v23

There was one caution for everyone. Nothing was to be taken for personal possession. Everything except what was brought into the treasury was considered accursed. Put someone did take something and we will study that in the next chapter. v26.

Just a comment concerning the walls falling down after the marching around it and the sound of the trumpets and shouting. I used to not understand the power of sound. It does have destructive power, however. You can feel vibration from sound. It stands to reason that the right combination of sound could cause a structure to crumble. Some time back I saw a documentary on what they called the string theory. They concluded that the very smallest thing that atoms were made up of were sound waves. They are still studying that. I just want to throw in a few verses from John chapter 1.

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God, ALL things were made by him and without him was not any thing made that was made."

In the creation we read in Genesis 1 that "God said..." . He spoke it into existence. I might add that he also maintains its existence as well.

Colossians 1:16 "For by him were all things created..." v17 "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."

I cannot prove it and would not try to. But I believe that if we could get to the smallest element of creation we would find the voice of God. The creation is made up of His word.

"Preserve me, O God, for in thee do I put my trust." Psalms 16:1

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Reproach of Egypt Removed Joshua 5

Joshua 5:9 "And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you, Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal (a rolling) unto this day."

Circumcision was a sign given to Abraham. It represented his faith in the one true God. It was a sign to be observed by all Israel. In the wilderness the practice was not observed.

Verse 4 and 5 explains: "And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt that were males even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. Now all the people that came out were circumcised, but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised."

This new commitment took place at Gilgal, a place just across the Jordan River near Jericho.

Like baptism in the Christian faith, circumcision was a sign of the faith that already existed in the heart. Abraham had faith before his physical commitment. Indeed it was his faith that counted for righteousness not a physical act. Romans 4 sorts it out. Romans 4:3 "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

v13 "For the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith."

Remember the law was not yet given when Abraham received the promise.

So, the reproach of Egypt is gone off them since they have renewed their obedience to God. Baptism is the first act a Christian is commanded to do after salvation. It leaves a lingering guilt if a person does not obey the Savior in this first command.

Very important in this chapter is that Israel had their first passover in the new land after renewing their obedience to God. v10.

Another very important event took place as well. Israel stopped getting the manna from heaven. They now ate of the land of Canaan. Their first meal was of the "old corn". v11

A magnificent scene occurs in the last part of the chapter. The LORD himself appears to Joshua holding a sword. Joshua did not at first recognize him but asked this question:

v13 " ...Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?" Joshua is told to take off his shoe for he is standing on holy ground, just as Moses had been told back when he was first called to lead the people out of Egypt.

The LORD said: "...Nay, but as captain of the host of the LORD, am I now come."

See the Picture : ""...behold there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand..."

The LORD himself has come, not as a cloud or fire but as a warrior with sword ready to fight for Israel. Remember chapter 1 v9 "Have not I commanded the? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whitersoever thou goest."

"...As captain of the host of the LORD, am I now come."

A wonderful chapter filled with subjects that can be studied for weeks and months.

Psalms 124:8 "Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth."

Bible study, Old Testament, Joshua, milton southerland, old old story, Gilgal

Friday, January 25, 2008

Twelve Stones Joshua 4

Thanks to those who clicked on the survey. It is encouraging to know others are reading.
Joshua 4:4-5 "Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man; And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel."

Perhaps, in reading along, as we have done, it is easy to say 'Oh well another miracle'.

We should not look at it that way. There must be something here for us or the chapter would not be in the Bible.

One New Testament author said these things were for ensamples (or types) for us.

I Corinthians 10:11 "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come."

With that in mind, let me express my view on the types of this chapter.

The twelve stones left in the river representing each tribe of the children of Israel represents to me the leaving of the old life of wandering for Israel. They had been redeemed from Egypt but still wondered around in the wilderness because of rebellion. During this time, they were disciplined and taught until they were molded into a nation. No one is fit for battle until they are in shape themselves.

The twelve stones taken up from the river and carried to Gilgal represent to me the taking up of a victorious life. The crossing of the river under the power of God shows the acceptance that victory can not be accomplished without the LORD. We build our faith in life by seeing the workings of God in our life and remembering what he has done in the past when a new problem arises.

v6 "That this may be a sign among you that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying What mean ye by these stones? v7 Then ye shall answer the, that the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off; and these stones shall be a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever."

Parents often experience things, gifts from God which make them strong Christians. They should not hesitate to remind their children of the power of God in their lives. They may appear not to hear but with repetition they will remember a lot of what is said. I remember how afraid I was when I found out I had cancer. That was more than five years ago. It can be a comfort to people to tell them there is life after cancer or any other illness where the Lord chooses to bring us through. He is still Lord if he chooses not to spare our life further.

Psalms 4:4 "Stand in awe, and sin not, commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Shelah."

Old Testament, Milton Southerland, Gilgal, Jordan, Bible Study, Joshua

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jordan River Joshua 3

Joshua 3:1 "And Joshua rose early in the morning: and they removed from Shittim and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over."

My little map is not real good but it
gives an idea of where the children of Israel are and where they are going.

The order of events are that Joshua rose early in the morning (a good lesson) and had the people move close to Jordan. Then instructions were given concerning the crossing.

The priest bearing the ark would step in the edge of the overflowing water of Jordan. A path would dry up like at the Red Sea then Israel would cross over.

v3 "And they commanded the people saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place and go after it."

The priest stood in the middle of Jordan on dry ground while Israel passed to the other side. A note of interest here is that they stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan v17. Can you imagine the waters of the river piling up and your job is to stand in the middle while thousands of people walk past you. They stood firm, though, with the ark.

Verse 16 is a long one but I need to put it in. It tells the story.

"That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan; and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea failed, and were cut off, and the people passed over right against Jericho."

One other thing I should mention. The people had to keep their distance from the ark of the covenant. Verse 4 says "Yet there shall be a space between you and it...come not near unto it..."

This speaks to the separation between God and man that must exist because of sin. Yet a new way is provided when Jesus died for those sins as described in Hebrews of the New Testament.

Hebrews 10:19-22 "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say , his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."

Our lesson here is the difference in the old way and the new way in Christ. Only the priest could enter the holiest to approach God but with Christ blood covering our sin we may now approach boldly to the throne. It's a better way.

On another note: Jordan is often compared with death. It must have been scary for Israel to see Jordan overflowing its banks and knowing they must cross. Death too is scary until we are given grace for that need. Notice as soon as the priest's feet touched the water it was dried up and the crossing was made easy. So to, as Christians, will we find death safe for us to cross. The Bible calls the death of His saints precious.

Psalms 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints."

Psalms 48:14 "For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even unto death."

Isaiah 58:11 "And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not."

Key words: Bible Study, Jordan River, Israel, Milton Southerland, Old Testament

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rahab Joshua 2

Joshua 2:1 "And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there."

(References: Heb 11:31, James 2:25)

Rahab was a harlot or prostitute. That was not all she was. She has a very important place in history. See Matthew where the line of Christ is recorded. Because of the English being translated from different languages, Rahab is translated Rachab in Matthew. "v5 "And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; v6 And Jesse begat David..."

Remember in the book of Ruth how Naomi came back from Moab and Ruth insisted on coming with her. Rahab's son was the one who had mercy on the Moabish woman and also married her. Rahab was David's Great Grandmother! Right on through to Christ. There is the scarlet thread. Her story should be very inspiring to Christians. So, let's look at her good qualities.

She was caring for her family. v13 "And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death."

No doubt Rahab had dreams of her own. Perhaps, she would like to have married and had her own family. Yet, she was at home taking care of her parents and the other children. We could look down on her because of her occupation but we were not there and so do not know the circumstances. I'm not saying her occupation was right, her purpose was a good one.

She was a believer. v11 "...for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath." She had heard of the miracles done by the Lord in bringing Israel out of Egypt. It convinced her that He was the true God. Notice she first said your God but also her personal affirmation that 'he is God'.

She also believed that Jericho would fall and that the people were afraid as the LORD said in Deuteronomy 2:25 "This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven..."

She was a smart woman and a doer. She knew how to get the spies out of the city and knew how long the searchers would seek them. v6 "But she had brought them up to the roof of the house and hid them...v15 "Then she let them down by a cord through the window..." v16 And she said unto the, Get you to the mountain...and hide yourselves there three days..." The plan worked and the two spies escaped to return to Joshua with the information that the people of Jericho feared them.

I want to focus on the cord used to let the two spies down from the house which was upon the wall of the city. This cord or thread as the spies called it was red or scarlet. I think of the blood of Jesus when I read this. The spies were in a sinful place. They could not escape alone. They needed help. Someone (Rehab) offered the scarlet thread and they accepted it and were rescued.

Later, it was the scarlet thread hanging in the window that saved Rehab and her family. I see a wonderful picture of salvation in this story. v18 "Behold when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window..." The scarlet thread saved the two spies and it saved Rahab and her family.

The names of the two spies are not mentioned. The focus is on Rehab and the scarlet thread. We will find Rehab's name given honor in the New Testament. Hebrews 11:31 "By faith the harlot Rehab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace."

Let's jump to chapter 6 verse 25 to complete this part of the story. "And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household and all that she had and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho."

I believe I can say, that no matter who you are or what you have done, there is a place in the kingdom of God for you. John 3:16 reference.

The story of Rahab is a wonderful story and I hate to leave it but I must limit the length of these posts or folks might not read them. God Bless.

Psalms 35: 18 "I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people."

References: Deut.1:8,2:25,Ex 14:31,Num 21:21,Josh 6:23-25

Chatsworth, Milton Southerland, Bible Study, Old Testament, Rahab, Joshua

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Beginning Joshua

Joshua 1:1 "Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister.saying."

It is a good saying that to be a leader, one must be willing to serve first. Joshua was such a man. You will see him often along side Moses. He usually does not speak. He was one of the spies originally sent into the land of Canaan and was one of two who returned with word that they could possess the land. He is younger than Moses but not by a lot. He dies later at 110. The book of Joshua covers about 20 years, so that would make Joshua about 90 years old when he led Israel into Canaan.

CI Scofield divides the book of Joshua into four parts: 1) conquest 2)partition of inheritance 3) beginning of discord 4)Joshua's last counsels and death.

The book starts off in chapter one with the repeated phrase "Be strong and of a good courage."

If you have followed along, you will remember that the congregation has already been divided into tribes and formations and have been trained in the signals of the trumpet. They know who will lead the charge and who is in charge of the ark and tabernacle. They are ready for battle.

After 40 years of walking in the wilderness and listening to the law and learning it. After, experiencing miracles at the hand of God and hearing of the land they would possess. This is it. They are going in. Joshua takes command with this verse.

v11 "Pass through the host, (he tells his officers) and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals: for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it."

He goes on to remind those who have taken land on this side of Jordan of their promise to Moses that they would fight along side their brothers to secure Canaan. v12-13.

Verse 16 lets us know that Joshua's position as leader has been accepted:

v16 "And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whitersoever thou sendest us, we will go."

In verse 18 they go on to tell Joshua that anyone who will not do as the above verse says will be killed by their own hand. A non-military man would not understand that statement. In the end, a military man is a servant of civilians. They will not tolerate weakness in themselves, insubordination being one of those weaknesses, neither will they tolerate it in others. You have to have been there to understand the mind of a military mind.

Israel is a military machine at this point in history. They are going to war and it is serious business. "Be strong and of good courage" is their battle cry.

Psalms 18:14 "Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them."

Israel, Bible Study, Joshua, milton southerland, Old Testament

Monday, January 21, 2008

Summary Genesis thru Deuteronomy

Over a year ago, we started in Genesis with a Bible study that I hoped would continue through the entire Bible eventually. I have not tried to hurry. Truth is I've learned quite a lot from this study. I wish there had been more discussion but regardless I know some have read along from time to time and I appreciate it.

In Genesis we read about the creation. That much denied event that is so wonderfully told. Some say it is not possible that God could create everything in six days. Yet, scientist are still trying to understand the weather, so how can they be an authority on how long it would take God to do something.

Sadly, though, in Genesis the human race was infected with sin and innocent blood was shed to provide a covering for them. Some would deny that sin exist but that really takes a big leap of faith. How is it possible to deny that sin exist when there is so much meanness in the world? Yes, sin exist and the denial of it is part of it. So since man is a sinner because of his rebellion in the garden, we have started on a journey with Abraham.

Exodus found the descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob in Egypt, first sheltered by Joseph and then enslaved by an unfriendly king. Moses is rescued from being killed, by an ark and is raised by the kings daughter. He remembers he is Hebrew and after a failed attempt to defend them ends up in a desert watching after cattle. There he is called by God to go back to Egypt and get His people. The Lord brings them out by the hand of Moses with great wonders. Then they wonder for 40 years after rebelling at the very edge of Canaan. The law is given and repeated in the following books to where we are now. Again, we are at the door of Canaan and Moses has died. Joshua is set to take them over in three days.

Underneath this story is the story of redemption. Israel being taken out of Egypt is an example of redemption. It compares to the Christian being saved from the penalty of sin by Christ.

So our story is not just the story of Israel but the story of Christ. The sacrifices of the animals, of innocence blood, is an example of the sacrifice of Christ.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Moses' Death Deuteronomy 34

Deuteronomy 34:4 "And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither."

v5 "So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.

v6 "And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, v7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty ..."

Moses was not allowed to enter Canaan because he struck the Rock when he was told to speak to it. There is no mention of this in this chapter, just that he cannot go over.

v7"...his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated."

Mention is made of Joshua taking command then a compliment is paid to Moses.

v10 "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, .."

Moses is now gone. We have covered quite a lot of history:

Genesis to Abraham
Abraham to Moses
Moses to Joshua

Redemption started with Moses when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt. It is brought to victory in the book of Joshua. The predicted apostasy is ahead of us and the carrying away into captivity. Then for a brief time, Israel is restored so the promise of Christ could be fulfilled. Then Israel is conquered again. This brief period was under Gentile rule however. We must wait for when Israel is gathered home and King Messiah rules with righteousness.

Psalms 32:1 "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."

Bible study, Moses, milton southerland

Friday, January 18, 2008

Blessing Tribes Deuteronomy 33

Deuteronomy 33:1 "And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death."

Compare to Genesis 49 where Jacob blessed his sons (the tribes).

The tribes are noted by the name of Jacob's sons who started them. There is a short mention of some of them while others have several verses devoted to them. Levi has a long mention and is related to teaching the law. Joseph, obviously beloved, has several verses devoted to him. Such as, v17 "His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns..." Benjamin is honored with this statement v12 "...The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him, and the LORD shall cover him all the day long..." I noticed Asher where he said v24 "...and let him dip his foot in oil." and wondered exactly where they settled and if the reference could be to oil production or is it just that Moses wished him to be comforted with oil on his feet.

But all the tribes are under God's watchful eye as we see in the following verse:

v28 "Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. v29 Happy art thou, O Israel, who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD..."

Moses has had his say. He has acknowledged in teaching the people that they are stiff necked and rebellious. He also reminds them that they belong to the LORD and that they are under his everlasting care and protection. The LORD said in previous verses that He would bring any vengeance on Israel as he saw fit and no one else. He has also said that even though they would be punished for wrongdoing, that he would gather them back and put his law in their hearts.

And so we have Moses' final words in the last part of v29 "...the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places."

Psalms 133:1 "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

keywords: Israel, Bible Study, milton southerland, Old Testament, Moses

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Song of Moses Deuteronomy 32

Deuteronomy 32:44 "And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he and Hoshea the son of Nun."

Hoshea (God is help)is the name Joshua had before Moses changed it to Joshua (Je-hoshua meaning Jehovah-Saviour).

This song tells the story of Israel. It tells of the choosing of Israel from all the nations as the Lord's portion.

v9 "For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance."

It goes on to explain how the LORD took Israel as an eagle takes her young upon her wings.

v11 "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings, So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him." v12

But then the song changes as though it is looking back from some time in the future to when Israel became comfortable and fat and turned to other gods. It is a song to remind them that they belong to the Lord. Someday when they are scattered and have forgotten the law, this song will remind them of who they are and who their God is.

v29 "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!"

The Bible calls it a calamity that would come upon Israel. But there is hope for them in the end. There will be an end to the suffering for the people the LORD loves and has chosen.

v43 "Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people."

Then after 40 years Moses makes an end to speaking and is taken to a place where he can see the land he has been leading the people toward.

v52 "Yet thou shalt see the land before thee, but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel."

We have two more chapters. It is as if Moses lingers with the people before he goes to the point to view Canaan.

Psalms 20:1 "The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Apostasy Forewarned Deuteronomy 31

Deuteronomy 31:16 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and this people will rise up and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. v17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them...v18 And I will surely hide my face in that day..."

The LORD has already seen the warning signs that Israel will turn away from the teachings so carefully given to them. I heard someone say once that sin will rub off on you quicker than you will rub off on it. In other words, when going out into the streets and byways to witness, be careful that you are not tempted and drawn away.

Israel will forget where they came from, how they are blessed and who blessed them.

v27 "For I know thy rebellion and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD: and how much more after my death?"

The LORD told Moses to teach Israel a song that would be passed down through the generations. It was a way for them to remember their story after they have ignored all the law. When they are in a strange land, far from home, they can sing this song and remember.

v30 "And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended."

Sin makes God angry. It brings to mind the great sermon by Jonathan Edwards Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. We know him now as the tender one from Nazareth but there will come a day when we stand before Him as judge.

Psalms 18:10 "And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly; yea he did fly upon the wings of the wind."

Milton Southerland, Bible Study, Moses.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Life and Death Deuteronomy 30

If you vote on the survey, I know someone has been here. Thanks.

Deuteronomy 30:19 "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:"

Moses here gives a final warning to Israel. The thing is, if they will obey God they will live long on the land but if not they will be scattered.

Later, we will study about how they were carried away in captivity. They did not obey.

Even if they are dispersed there is hope, for the Lord says he will bring them back when they return to the Lord in their hearts.

v10 "If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul."

It is like Moses is saying 'I know you are going to go after other gods but I wish you wouldn't for your own sakes'.

Generations of people seem to loose their way as time goes on. These people who are crossing over Jordan are a different generation from those who were carried away captive. We go from Jordan to the kings and find that some of them were not true to the LORD. ' But before we reach the fulfillment of that prophecy (II Kings 24-25), we get to see some glorious days when Israel did honor God.

Psalms 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Secret Things Deuteronomy 29

Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law."

This chapter is an introduction to the Palestinian Covenant (as called by some). It, again, gives a brief summary of the journey from Egypt through the wilderness to now.

Here we are reminded of the miracles of the wilderness v5-6. Moses said your clothes did not wear out and your shoe did not get old and you were fed with bread from heaven.

v3-4 "The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles; Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day."

v15 He says the covenant is not just for those who hear him but for those ""...also with him that is not here with us this day;"

If they do not do right, there will be shame brought upon them and all nations will see it and scoff at the sight v24 and know that it was because Israel forsook their God. v26

Then in verse 29 Moses gives a hint that even with all his extensive teaching of the law, there is still more that they do not know. Those secret things belong to God but what God has revealed belong to them. I believe these secret things speak of the coming plan of salvation and the gospel reaching out to the Gentiles and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 2:9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. v10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."

So, I see a gradual progression of revelation to man of the things of God. We have a much clearer understanding of the whole picture now than they did at the time of our study.

I Peter 1:10 "Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; v11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow."

Psalm 22 gives a perfect description of the sufferings of Christ, but even as David wrote the psalm, I doubt that he fully understood what was written. He, no doubt, trusted in the Lord's salvation but was not permitted to understand all the details.

Daniel was very concerned about the future of Israel and prayed for many days while fasting. Many things were revealed to him. Our study of the book of Revelation would be difficult without the writings of Daniel.

Not only is the plan of salvation very amazing, but the plan to achieve it is very amazing. There was an attempt to kill Moses before he ever led the children of Israel out of Egypt. There were attempts to destroy Israel by leading them into sin. Then there was the blindness that existed during the time of Christ to the love of God. Who would have thought that the death of the Messiah was part of the plan of God until, on the third day, when he arose.

There could be no preaching of victory over sin and death until one came and achieved this victory all in his own power. Now, we know that victory is possible. In Jesus, victory is possible.

Here in Deuteronomy 29, we can only see that there is something 'not revealed'. We do not need to know all the things God knows. We do know that which applies to us. Paul saw things which he could not speak of, but we will know all in good time.

In Corinthians Paul, somewhat mysteriously, tells of being caught up into the third heaven and seeing things.

II Corinthians 12:2 "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (Whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth:) such an one caught up to the third heaven v3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth:) v4 How that he was caught up into paradise and heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man to utter."

I find it very exciting that there are still things to come that we do not yet know about and things to see that we have not yet seen. I do not see us having one boring day in heaven!

Psalms 49:15 "But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Blessings or Not Deuteronomy 28

Deuteronomy 28:2 "And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God."

v15 "BUT it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day: that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:"

In this long chapter of 68 verses blessings and cursings are listed. We will be reminded of these predictions in later books of the Bible. It deals with the dispersion as well. We know the history now but at the time of this writing it must have been a shock to hear, just as they were about to enter a land flowing with milk and honey. What a prize to loose!


v1 The blessings for obedience
v15 the curses for disobedience

See the previous post called 'Pause' for scripture references to study this subject more.

Psalms 79:1 "O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled: they have laid Jerusalem on heaps. v4 We have become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us."

Pause - Deuteronomy 28

In going through this study, I often refer to CI Scofield's notes. While I do not necessarily agree with all he says, his notes do give good guidelines for study and he was much more learned than myself.

That being said, he gives a list of seven covenants from the Old Testament concerning Israel. They are: Edenic Gen 1:28 Adamic Gen 3:15 Noahic Gen 9:1 Abrahamic Gen 15:18 Mosaic Ex 19:25 Davidic 2Sam 7:16 Heb 8:8 and the one we are currently studying Palestinian Covenant.

His thoughts are that Israel enters Canaan under the Palestinian Covenant and that the Abrahamic Covenant is yet to be fulfilled. The Abrahamic Covenant is this:

Genesis 15:18 "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram (Abraham) saying, Unto thy seed have I given the land from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites and the canaanites and the Girgashites and the Jebusites."

I'll take Mister Scofield's word that this has not be fulfilled as yet. And from looking at ancient maps, it appears to be the case. It would be interesting for anyone to round up a Scofield Reference Bible and study the verses he gives. I will not infringe by quoting his entire list.

Another view, one which I formulated while studying this is that the so called Abrahamic Covenant is the map of the promise of Abraham's seed. Israel had two options: one was to follow the Lord and receive the promise or not follow the Lord and received the judgments. They failed before the promise could be completed and it is therefore to be completed in the future. In the mean time there is a time of the Gentiles. A time when we are able to take part in the promise of Abraham and be numbered in the 'all nations' part of the promise.

Thank the Lord for this time of grace.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Memorial Stones Deuteronomy 27

Deuteronomy 27:1-3a "And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, Keep all the commandments which I command you this day. And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, that thou shall set thee up great stones and plaister them with plaister: And thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law..."

Gradually a couple of things have been ingrained into Israel's conscienceness : 1) 'when you cross over and are on the other side' 2) the elders are brought into the picture along with Moses when commandments are made.

There should be no doubt in the minds of the children, by now, that they will cross over Jordan into the promised land. For that last many chapters, we have seen instructions for what they are to do on the other side. There is little, if any, discussion of things to do on this side of Jordan, perhaps with the exception of those who claim land there.

Also, Moses will soon be dying and the elders are given prominence in the command structure so the children of Israel will be able to make it through the transition. It will also give Joshua support when he takes command.

The instructions in this chapter are to set up rocks that are not hewn (No tools are to be used) to write the law on. It will serve as a memorial and a reminder of the ground rules on which they enter Canaan.

Then, a pronouncement is made. Since in the previous chapter we see that the people have avouched for God and God has avouched for Israel, verse 9 is declared to Israel: "And Moses and the priests the Levites spake unto all Israel saying Take heed, and hearken, O Israel: this day thou art become the people of the LORD thy God."

I'm a little baffled with a few verses that follow. Some of the tribes are to be blessed and some are to be cursed. If I find any explanation of this I will pass it on. I referred back to the blessings of Jacob (Israel) on his sons and found that some were to prosper while some had less glorious prospects for the future. These are found in Genesis chapter 49. These are described as prophetic in nature which leads me to think that Jacob was not making certain things happen but rather predicting them.

Then, there is the list of things a person might be cursed for. Unlike the ten commandments, the people are required to agree with each individual item as they are proclaimed. There was no doubt left as to what they should and should not do.

Psalms 34:7 "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."

keywords: milton southerland, Bible Study, Old Testament, Moses, Jordan, Israel

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Avouched Deuteronomy 26

Deuteronomy 26:17 "Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways and to keep his statutes and his commandments and his judgments and to hearken unto his voice."

v18 And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments."

avouch means to declare positively. Webster.

Israel is to offer the first fruits of the land to the Lord, then as the basket of the offering is placed they are to recite certain words concerning their history and declarations of obedience.

An agreement is made and refreshed in this chapter between Israel and the Lord. It has been brought up before but now just as they are about to cross over Jordan it is reaffirmed and the word avouch is used for the first time (that I remember).

The story of how Israel got to this point is reviewed:

v5 "And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God. A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there with a few and became there a nation, great, mighty and populous:"

The Lord has asked only for obedience and for Israel to recognize Him as their only God. In return, he takes them as his peculiar people and makes a promise to care for them.

v19 "And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made in praise and in name and in honour and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God as he hath spoken."

We know from history that Israel rebelled again and the prophets came warning of a dark future but also of a restoration of the glory under a new king, the Messiah.

Psalms 36:11 "O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee, and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. v11 Let not the foot of pride come against me and let not the hand of the wicked remove me."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Not Muzzle the Ox Deuteronomy 25

Deuteronomy 25:4 "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn."

Let the scripture explain.

I Corinthians 9:9-10 "For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written that he that ploweth should plow in hope and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope."

I Timothy 5:17-18 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And The labourer is worth of his reward."

Punishment for crimes is covered in part in this chapter. There is a caution to not overdo the punishment. In this case when stripes are administered. The limit is forty stripes. v3 The punishment should reflect the crime and not disgust for the individual. v3 "...lest he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee."

v5-10 In the case of two brother's and one dies without children, the other brother is to take the wife of the first and raise up a firstborn to carry on his brother's name in Israel. Should the brother refuse, he is to appear with the brother's wife at the gate and be judged. Refer to the book of Ruth 4:7.

Fair weights to measure with are required. v14-16. Cheating with false weights is called unrighteousness.

Amalek in verses 17-19 is called to remembrance. He was the one who attacked Israel but not the army. He attacked the back of the group killing the weak and feeble among them. The most defenseless were murdered. The Lord said wipe out their name but remember what they did.

Psalms 8:4 "What is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him?"

Monday, January 07, 2008

Leprosy Deuteronomy 24 part2

Deuteronomy 24:8 "Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently and do according to all that the priest the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do."

You can go back to Leviticus 13 and 14 to read the original instructions referred to in this verse. I'd like to point out the saddest part of this disease as I see it. It is found in Leviticus 13:46 "All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled: he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be."

I heard a good sermon this weekend on this very subject at Eleventh Avenue Baptist Church
go to web cast and then the morning service of 12/30/07. It is well worth a listen.

In Matthew (the text of the above message) Jesus has compassion for one of these lepers. When the man came to Jesus, he showed his faith by telling Jesus he knew he could heal him if only he would. Here is the story:

"When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And behold there came a leper and worshipped him, saying Lord if thou will thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand and touched him, saying, I will be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleaned."

Here is a disease for which there was no cure. The alternative was to separate the person from the rest of the congregation to prevent it's spread. It was a hopeless life and one of loneliness. The family was left back in camp and all the victim could do was wait as their body wasted away.

But along came Jesus. I can see the leper hiding from the multitudes as Jesus preached in the mountain. I see him as he listened from behind a rock or a bush to the words of the Lord. He saw hope in the teacher. Then, he must have found a place along the route he knew Jesus must take when he came off the mountain. There he spoke to the Lord and made his plea.

I find it so wonderful to know that there is hope for everyone in the Lord Jesus. The key here is that the man asked Jesus to help him.

The outline for this chapter follows which contains many other regulations for daily living for Israel:
v1-Of divorce
v5 A new married man goeth not to war (Interesting, and shows the importance of marriage)
v6,10 Of pledges
v7 Of manstealers
v8 Of leprosy
v14 The hire to be given
v16 Of justice
v19 Of charity

(Helps from the Topical Reference Bible by Dugan, Scofield reference Bible)

Keywords: milton southerland, Bible Study, leprosy, Deuteronomy, Bible, Baptist

Psalms 16:1 "Preserve me, O God, for in thee do I put my trust."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Divorce Deuteronomy 24 part1

Deuteronomy 24:1 "When a man hath taken a wife and married her and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house."

The law is not grace and grace is not the law. When Jesus came, he preached the gospel of selflessness, of putting others before ones self. Jesus, after all, is the word (John 1). As I've said, the law was very stern and given to a stiff necked and rebellious people. The law was not invalidated because Jesus came, rather, he fulfilled the law in every way. He became the sacrifice that the law required and so was qualified to offer this new way. His words concerning divorce are recorded:

Matthew 5:31 "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement. v32 But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."

Matthew 19:3 "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? v4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. v5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they twain shall be one flesh?

v6 Wherefore they are no more twain but one flesh, What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder.

v7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command, to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

v8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives but from the beginning it was not so."

Jesus in this magnificent exchange with the professors of law, went back to an earlier precedent to explain their question.

Paul goes into law and grace in great detail in his writings. The book of Hebrews would be good to read and Romans. He dealt with those who wanted to follow Jesus but still practice the law. Reference I Corinthians 7:11 and beyond.

I Corinthians 6:2 "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? "

Friday, January 04, 2008

More Regulations Deuteronomy 23

Deuteronomy 23:25 "When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn."

As the disciples did , it is okay for a person to eat of his neighbor's field if he is hungry but harvesting it is stealing and not allowed.

Luke 6:1 "And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands."

The same rule applied in the vineyards. v24


-v1 Who may or may not enter into the congregation
-v9 Uncleanness to be avoided in the host
-v15 Of the fugitive servant
-v17 Of filthiness
-v18 Of abominable sacrifices
-v19 Of usury
-v21 Of vows
-v24 Of trespasses

Keeping ones word was commanded here in v23 "That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform..." In days gone by business was conducted on a handshake but no more.

Charging interest on loans was not to be done with their brethren v19 "Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother..." but they could charge a stranger interest v20 "Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury..."

Psalms 1:1 "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. v2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD: and in his law doeth he meditate day and night."

Brotherhood Deuteronomy 22

Deuteronomy 22:1 "Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother."

Included in the chapter are various instructions for day to day living. Details from a sitting bird to the conduct of man and woman are discussed. Here is an outline:

-v1 Of humanity toward brethren
-v5 The sex is to be distinguished by apparel
-v6 The dam is not to be taken with her young ones
-v8 The house must have battlements
-v9 Confusion is to be avoided
-v12 Fringes upon the vesture
-v13 The punishment of him that slandereth his wife
-v20,22 Of adultery
-v25 of rape,
-v28 and of fornication
-v30 Incest

One can see from this outline that many subjects are covered in this chapter. Israel is truly treated as a child by the Lord in that all the basics are covered. It is important, for they are going into a land where the people apparently have no standards to live by and I expect Israel had little in the way of good examples while they were slaves in Egypt. It is mature reading but necessary for the time.

Psalms 116:12 "What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?"

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Place Deuteronomy 12

(Out of sequence)
The Place Deuteronomy 12
Deuteronomy 12:10-11 "But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety: v11 Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there, thither shall ye bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes and the heave-offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye now unto the Lord:"

In this chapter we learn why Jerusalem is so important to Israel. It is the place designated by the Lord for the burnt offerings and other activities mentioned. They can not just pick another place because they do not have full access to the site of the temple. I know of no scripture that has rescinded this command to offer the burnt offering only in Jerusalem.This chapter does not specify Jerusalem but we now know that was the place chosen by the Lord for that is where Solomon built the temple with the Lord's blessings. We will read later how the glory of God filled the temple.Getting into politics would not be in keeping with this study. It is however unavoidable to discuss the impact of Jerusalem on prophecy both past and future. When Jerusalem was taken from Israel, they could no longer offer up sacrifices for their sin. Since Christ was rejected, there remains no other sacrifice for sin.Israel waits for the Messiah to come and restore the temple. There are many events surrounding the restoration. Christians await this event because it has great affect on our beliefs as well and the event known as the rapture of the church. There are in depth studies of this relationship on other websites and those men are better qualified than I to discuss it. Perhaps by the time we get through the prophecies we will know much more.Back to our chapter. The children of Israel are required to destroy all the graven images and any indications of the false gods that those now living in Canaan worshipped. Then warned not to inquire after them. In other words, destroy them and don't be curious. v2, v3We get further insight as to why the Lord destroyed those already living in Canaan in verse 31"Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods, for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.These were some really bad people and the judgment of God has come upon them. The land given to another. (Often, passages are repeated. This chapter is no exception. Remember Moses is teaching. It is a common practice to repeat when teaching. Modern classes are no exceptions.)Little by little we are learning details which help us understand the balance of the Bible. It takes patience, but I must say, I've studied for years, but this study has really helped me understand some things.

Psalms 123:1 "Unto the lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens."

Idolatrous Practices Deueronomy 18 Part 2

(out of sequence)
Idolatrous Practices Deuteronomy 18 Part 2
Deuteronomy 18:9 "When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations."A list is given of these abominations. Some are common practice in the United States and around the world. God has not changed his mind about what is right and wrong.Here is the list taken from v10-11:-any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire-that useth divination-an observer of timesan enchanter-a witch-a charmer-a consulter with familiar spirits-a wizard-a necromancer (bringing up the dead to reveal the future)These were the practice of the nations ahead of Israel which were to be driven out of the land. Judgment day has come for them.v12 "For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD; and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee."Psalms 27:14 "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."

Slain Deuteronomy 21

When a slain man is found and there are no witnesses, who is responsible for the killing?

Deuteronomy 21:1 "If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him:"

Who is responsible?

v3 "And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain man..."

When a question arises in reading the Bible, often it can be answered simply by reading the surrounding verses. One can become greatly misinformed by picking out just one verse and not understanding the context it is used in.

In this case, a body is found but no one saw the killing. The priests are to measure the distance to the surrounding cities and the nearest city to the body must take responsibility. There is still no killer identified however but the blood of the man must be compensated for.

v4 "And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley...strike off the heifer's neck...v6And all the elders of that city ...shall wash their hands over the heifer."

Then a prayer is prayed. They shall declare their innocence of the death of the man and ask for God's mercy that the sin be not charged to them.

v9 "So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD."

v10-17 deals with domestic issues, particularly, that of husbands and wives. An example is given of a man who marries a woman he has found among captives. If he decides he does not like her, she may leave without any penalty.

Also covered is a situation where a man has two wives, one he loves and another he does not. The issue is inheritance. If the one he does not like has the firstborn, that firstborn will keep the position of firstborn regardless of his feelings for that wife.

v18-23 is a stern law for the disobedient son. It leaves no question that a child is to obey his parents.

Hebrews 8:6 "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises."

I find no place where the law is said to be a bad thing. It is just that Christ has made a better way for us. I think of the law as the warden who kept us in, but grace as the counselor who set us free. We have liberty that must not be misused.

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

keywords; Milton Southerland, Bible study, Old Testament, law, marriage

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Warfare Law Deuteronomy 20

Name one reason, from this chapter, a person might be allowed to leave the battlefield?

Deuteronomy 20:3 "And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them: v4 For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."

All the weapons in the world are no good if the troops are afraid or preoccupied with things back home. They must know the enemy can be defeated and have their mind and heart in the battle.

Our verse gives us several degrees of anguish over the enemy: 1) let not your hearts faint, 2) fear not, 3) do not tremble and 4) neither be terrified.

Answer: Then, we have several verses that deal with things that might keep the fighter's mind off the battle: 1) v5 if he has built a house and not dedicated it 2) v6 if he has planted a vineyard and not eaten from it 3) v7 if he has a new wife and has spent no time with her and 4) v8 if he is fearful and fainthearted.

The above men are to leave the battlefield and return home. The first three are so he will reap the labors of his hands and not another. The fourth is so his fear does not spread to others. "...lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart."

v10 "When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it."

There are commands as to what to do if a city surrenders and if they must take it by force. Siege seems to be a common battle tactic. The future of the land was not overlooked. They were forbidden to cut down trees that gave fruit to eat. Others could be used to build bulwarks v10-20. "...for the tree of the field is man's life..."

It appears that every possibility is covered for Israel before the battles start. All details are worked out and explained.

Psalms 142:4-5 "I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living."

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Cities of Refuge Revisited Deuteronomy 19

Deuteronomy 19:2 "Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it."

The cities of refuge were a safe place for the innocent to flee to escape the rage of someone they may have killed by accident i.e. while working in the woods.

The guilty could also flee there but it was no refuge for them. They were to be brought back to face the law concerning intentional killings.

Two facts were important for the innocent: the killing was accidental and he did not hate the individual who was killed.

Likewise, the guilty was the reverse: the killing was on purpose and he hated the individual killed.

v4 "And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;"

v11 "But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities;"

When the one guilty of premeditated murder flees to the city and he is found out he is to be brought back.

v12 "The elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood that he may die."

There is to be firm witness against the guilty.

v15 "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."

Other discussion is made concerning the matter of two disagreeing to the point that it comes before the judges. If the accuser is found to be guilty of falsely accusing his brother, the accuser will suffer the same judgment as the one he accused. v15-21

So the day to day problems are addressed in the law so that there might be order in the land and that men fear the Lord.

v20 "And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall hence forth commit no more any such evil among you."

The judgment was as much a deterrent for the people as it was a punishment for the guilty.

The law was a very stern document. I find that the law was an outward force to direct the people while grace is an inward force that changes the heart and makes a person want to do right.

Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. v4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever; for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength."