Friday, May 31, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 21 Friday

Numbers chapter 6 

This chapter deals with the vows of the Nazarites. Jesus was not a Nazarite. He was a Nazarene, which means He was from the town of Nazareth, but there are several examples of Nazarites in the Bible, some of whom kept their vows and some who broke them.

Samson is the prime example of a Nazarite who broke his vow. Actually, he broke it several times and in every way that God mentioned.

Samuel and John the Baptist are examples of men who kept their vows. They were separated for God's use prior to their births which means they did not voluntarily make the vows but voluntarily kept them!

Paul mentioned in Acts 18:18 that his coworker Aquila had shaved his head because he had completed a vow. This could possibly have been a voluntary Nazarite separation that he had recently fulfilled.

Does God make any promises in this chapter?

  • God promised to bless the Hebrews if they willingly took His name kept His commandments.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Sometimes people think that Jesus was a Nazarite, but this is not so even though the Nazarite vow pictured Christ who was separated for God's service. The grape and its vine were to be avoided (respected) by the Nazarite, perhaps because it pictures Jesus. Jesus said that He was the vine and that we, as Christians, are the branches. Paul tells the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 6:17 that Christians are to keep themselves from unclean things which means that we are sanctified in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • At the end of the Nazarite's time of separation, sacrifices were to be offered for the Nazarite. Since the sacrifices are all pictures of Christ, Jesus' sacrifice was the culmination of a Christian's attempt to live a life separated from worldly things.
  • God promised blessings on the Hebrews who put His name upon them and kept His commandments. Jesus is the fulfillment of this. We take His name on us (that's why we're called Christians!) and Jesus Himself said that we would only be His disciples if we kept His commandments. It is through Jesus that we are blessed and will be blessed.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • If the Nazarite vow of separation pictures the Christian life (and Paul seems to say that it does), then the sacrifices of burnt offering, sin offering, peace offerings, and wave offering have been offered for us to show that we (through Christ) have fulfilled the vow when our life on earth has ended.
  • The blessings of God that were promised to His people are everlasting. They are extended to the followers of Jesus Christ, the people who can be identified as those who keep His commandments. Many of the blessings are yet to be realized!

Does God issue any commands?

  • God gave instructions for those who were called to separate themselves or who voluntarily did so as Nazarites. They were not to drink or eat anything produced from grapes or grapevines. He or she was not to cut his hair while the time of the vow or touch any dead body. When the vow was completed or somehow broken the man was to shave his head on the seventh day of cleansing. On the eighth day he was to bring pigeons to the tabernacle for the sin offering and the burnt offering and a lamb for the trespass offering because the vow was not completed.
  • The Nazarite that had kept his vow throughout the agreed upon time of separation was to offer a lamb for a burnt offering, a ewe for a sin offering, a ram for peace offerings, and unleavened bread, cakes of flour and oil, wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and the meat and drink offering. Then he would shave his head at the door of the tabernacle and put his hair into the fire under the peace offering sacrifice.
  • God gave Moses words to say as a blessing to the Children of Israel, "The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 21 Thursday

Numbers chapter 5

Does God make any promises in this chapter?

  • God would dwell within the camp if it was not defiled.
  • God implied that He would directly judge with the sentence of guilty or not guilty when any woman suspected of adultery was brought before the priest by her jealous husband.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the trespass offering. (Discussed in previous posts.)
  • Jesus is the jealous husband espoused to His bride. (See notes below for examples.)

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God often used the marriage relationship to teach about relationship with Him. Just as the individual women were tested to see if they were faithful or unfaithful to their husbands, God punished the unfaithful Israel, the nation He betrothed to Himself, by sending her into exile. In Ezekiel chapter 16 God called Israel a harlot deserving of punishment. In the future, His bride will be restored and will be pure and spotless.
  • The same analogy could apply to individuals. Jesus, the righteous judge, will either bless us or curse us for our faithfulness to Him. There are only 2 verdicts at the judgment: eternal punishment or eternal blessing. The only way anyone can be judged a faithful spouse is through the redemptive work of the Groom. The bride can never be faithful in her own power. 

Does God issue any commands?
  • God commanded that they follow the rules of ceremonial cleanliness and put anyone who was unclean outside of the camp.
  • God commanded that if anyone trespassed against another person restitution be made and 20% added to it. But if there was no one in the family to receive the restitution the trespass be given to the priests along with the ram given for the atonement and the offerings that had previously been described as being set aside for the LORD and the priests.
  • God commanded that a woman whose husband suspected that she had committed adultery he was to bring her and her trespass offering without oil or frankincense to the priest so that she could be set before the LORD Who would reveal whether or not the deed had taken place. The woman's veil was to be removed from her head, her offering placed in her hands, and bitter water given her to drink. If the woman was guilty God would make her belly to swell and her thigh to rot. She would be an outcast from the people. But if she was not guilty, God would bless her instead of curse her by giving her children.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 21 Wednesday

Numbers chapter 4

Does God make any promises in this chapter?

  • None specified, but the promise of death to anyone who was careless with the tabernacle equipment must also imply that those who were careful would live and be blessed through the experience of serving God and His chosen dwelling.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • As mentioned in journal entries that covered the patterns of the tabernacle and its furnishings from Exodus and Leviticus, all these things represented Jesus and His ministry. In this chapter we see that these things were to be handled with respect, solemnity, and the kind of reverence that one would show God Himself.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God ordained work from the beginning of the creation. There is nothing sinful about work. And work done in God's way is not burdensome. Just as God planned the work of the tribe of Levi to be orderly and done in community we might reasonably expect that productive work for God will be done decently and in an orderly fashion and without undue burden upon anyone's ability.

Does God issue any commands?
  • As part of the continuing census of the Levitical tribe, God commanded Moses to take the total of the sons of Kohath who were between the ages of 30 and 50 years old and able to do the work of the tabernacle.
  • God detailed the work that Aaron and his sons would do when preparing the camp to move. Everything was to covered with certain cloths and carried upon certain sticks and frames and by certain people. All items were to be secured for carrying in such a way as to protect them and those carrying them because anyone who touched them during transit would die.
  • Eleazer, the son of Aaron, was in charge of the oil for the lamps, the incense, the daily meat offering, the anointing oil, and the oversight of everything within the sanctuary of the tabernacle.
  • Also as part of the census the family of Gershon within the tribe of Levi were to be numbered. The men were to be between 30 and 50 years of age in order to perform tabernacle duties.
  • The men of Gershon were to carry the curtains and all the door hangings of the tabernacle as well as all the cords.
  • The men of Merari from the tribe of Levi who were between the ages of 30 and 50 were also numbered in the census.
  • The men of Merari were to carry all of the boards, pillars, and sockets that made up the tabernacle.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 21 Tuesday

Numbers chapter 3

Now that the rest of the people have been counted and organized into camps by tribes God turned His attentions back to the tribe of Levi for final instructions which included a census of the males of the tribe, including infants as young as 1 month!

Does God make any promises in this chapter?

  • The inferred promise is that God would accept the substitution of the Levites for the firstborns of the people.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Just as the Levites took the place of the firstborns of the people in the service of God, Jesus became the substitute for each of us.
  • The number of the overall firstborns was higher than the males of the tribe of Levites but God considered the substitution to be equal. As has been said, "We owed a debt we could not pay while Jesus paid a debt He did not owe." That is pictured by the Levites being taken on behalf of the firstborn of the people.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • None really, but just as the Levites were counted as substitutes for the firstborn, we will someday stand redeemed before God because Jesus counted as our substitute.

Does God issue any commands?

  • The men of the tribe of Levi were to present themselves to Aaron in order to be counted and given duty assignments for the service of the tabernacle. They were to be given for Aaron's service in the place of all the firstborns of the Israelites (see Exodus 22:29 and Exodus 34:20). A stranger was not officiate in the priests' offices.
  • The males from the age of one month and upward were to be numbered in the census of the Levitical tribe.
  • The people of the family of Gershon were to encamp to the west of the tabernacle. They were put in charge of the courtyard hangings and textiles of the tabernacle.
  • The people of the family of Kohath were to encamp on the south of the tabernacle. They were put in charge of the the ark, the table, the candlestick, the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary.
  • The people of the family of Merari were to encamp on the north side of the tabernacle. They were in charge of the boards, pillars, sockets, pins, cords, and various tabernacle vessels.
  • Moses, Aaron, and Aaron's sons, Eleazer and Ithamar, were to encamp to the east of the tabernacle.
  • A census and tally of all the firstborn males of all the people was taken and then the tribe of Levi and their cattle were substituted for the obligations of the firstborns of the people and cattle of the other tribes. The people were to pay the redemption money to the treasury for the upkeep of the tabernacle and the priests.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 21 Monday

Numbers chapter 2

Does God make any promises in this chapter?

  • None specifically mentioned.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The tribe of Judah was the leading tribe and was the tribe from which Jesus descended so it was no surprise that it should be noted as the tribe designated to lead the new Hebrew nation on the journey whether it be in camping, marching, or into battle. The captain of this tribe was Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, an ancestor of Jesus.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The chapter itself does not mention that the insignia of Judah was a lion, but Jacob described his son, Judah, that way in his prophetic blessing upon his sons. Jacob called him "a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk." (Genesis 49: 9-12) The Lion from the tribe of Judah will open the sealed book that John saw in his Revelation because He (also called Shiloh by Jacob) prevailed against sin, death, hell, and the grave. (Revelation 5:5) He will one day gather all His people.

Does God make any commands?

  • The tribes were arranged around the tabernacle. God's arrangement was for camping and for marching. Each side was to have a banner, or standard, with identifying insignia  The tribes on the east: Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun with Judah being the primary tribe of this group. The tribes on the south were Reuben, Simeon, and Gad with Reuben being the primary tribe of this group.  The tribe of Levi was to be within the center of the camp. The tribes on the west were descended from Rachel: Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin with Ephraim being the primary tribe of this group. The tribes on the north: Dan, Asher, and Naphtali with Dan being the primary tribe of this group.
  • The children of Israel were numbered by tribes except for the tribe of Levi which traveled and encamped in the middle.

TAKE TIME: Reading Assignment for May 27-June 1, 2013

Introduction: Lists: everybody makes them. Now that the national census had been completed God arranged the people into a formation by tribes for the march toward the Promised Land. He also took a census of the Levites and assigned worship responsibilities to them by families. Further instructions were then given for separating unfit individuals. Our reading this week ends with a long, repetitive chapter detailing the list of offerings that were given by tribe when the tabernacle was erected for the first time.

Reading Assignment:
  • Monday - Numbers chapter 2
  • Tuesday - Numbers chapter 3
  • Wednesday - Numbers chapter 4
  • Thursday - Numbers chapter 5
  • Friday - Numbers chapter 6
  • Saturday - Numbers chapter 7

Memory Verse

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - This week take time each day to praise God for order and arrangement. God never misplaces anything or anyone.
  • Confession - We often are disorderly and do things in confusion. This is often as a result of sin.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for His organizational skills. He never loses track of anyone or anything!
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.

Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?

Putting the Word into Action

God does things decently and in order. After a year of camping in the wilderness God wanted His people adequately arranged and prepared for the next phase of their journey. Our journey through life often gets bogged down through disorder. If this is a spiritual situation rid yourself of unnecessary clutter that could hinder worship. (Spiritual clutter can include worry, anger, fear and other emotions that oppose faith.) If it is physical clutter that causes disorganization or waste of time continue to organize and give away excess to those who can use it.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Psalm: Covenant Keepers!

Psalm 50

1 The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. 3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. 4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. 5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. 6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. 8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. 9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? 17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. 18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. 19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. 20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. 21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. 22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. 23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
Psalms 50:1-23 (KJV)

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 20 Saturday

Census Abstract segment
Numbers chapter 1

Now that the rules are in place for the new national government it is time to take the census of all the citizens!

Does God make any promises in this chapter?

  • Anyone who was not of the tribe of Levi who presumed to touch the tabernacle equipment would be put to death. (The error of Uzza in the time of King David comes to mind.)

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The New Testament says that all of the heavenly angels are at Jesus' disposal. It also mentions in Revelations that the saints of God (those who have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb) make up His army when He comes to battle Satan and his army of demons.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God keeps records of each individual, especially those who are His people and are soldiers for His cause. The  Book of Life that records all the names of those who have trusted Jesus as the atonement for sins is just such a book and by it each person will be judged to see if their citizenship is in Heaven. 

Does God issue any commands?

  • Moses was told to take the number of every male 20 years old and older by family groups in order to determine the number of men available for battle. God gave specific instructions as to which man of each of the tribes should serve with Moses and Aaron as census officials. Only the tribe of Levi was not to be counted.
  • God commanded that the Levites only be responsible for the carrying, setting up, taking down, and packing of the tabernacle and its furnishings.

Read Through the Bible in 2013: May 27 - June 1

Take Ten

5/27/2013      I Samuel 25, 26 Acts 23, 24
5/28/2013      I Samuel 27-29 Acts 25
5/29/2013      I Samuel 30, 31 Acts 26
5/30/2013      II Samuel 1-3 Ephesians 1
5/31/2013      II Samuel 4, 5 Ephesians 2, 3
6/1/2013      II Samuel 6, 7 Ephesians 4, 5

For more information concerning the New Testament book of Ephesians and the Old Testament book of II Samuel click here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 20 Friday

Leviticus chapter 27

The school year around Mount Sinai is coming to an end. God has given them physical, mental, and spiritual instructions as well as those necessary for setting up their government including the executive branch (God Himself), the legislative code, and the judicial system. The last chapter concerns evaluating the worth of property and individuals dedicated to God's use, probably in the care and upkeep of the tabernacle and the priests. There were also instructions concerning what could be redeemed and what could not.

Does God make any promises in this chapter?

  • None specified, but the implication was the same as in previous chapters: do good and be blessed; do bad and be punished.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus redeemed us. It is He that gives us value in the sight of God.
  • Before His crucifixion Jesus told His disciples in John chapter 14 that He was preparing a place for them. "Place" might mean legal standing (as in status) as well as the inheritance that He provides for us as the Children of God. Both ideas are relevant when compared to this chapter.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Because Jesus has gone to prepare a "place" for us we have high value in status, or legal standing, before the Holy God and we have a "place," or dwelling, as our inheritance which God will give to us for our eternal possession because Jesus redeemed it for us.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God gave instructions for placing value upon consecrated individuals according to gender and age.
  • God gave instructions for valuing an animal given to the Lord's work.
  • God gave instructions for valuing a house set apart for the Lord's service. If the owner wished to redeem it back for his own use he had to add 20% to the original appraisal.
  • God gave instructions for placing value upon fields given for the Lord's work based upon how much seed could be sown upon it and how long it was until the next Jubilee. If the owner wished to redeem it for personal use he had to add 20% to the original appraisal. If the original owner sold the rights of redemption to another he could not redeem it again for himself but at the Jubilee it became the permanent possession of the priests for their use. If the rights were not sold to another it would revert back to the original owner at the Jubilee.
  • The firstborn of clean beasts were to belong to God but the firstborn of unclean beasts were to be redeemed by estimation with 20% added. If the owner did not want to redeem it then it must be sold for its value.
  • Nothing that was devoted to the work of the LORD could be sold or redeemed.
  • The tithe (firstfruits) of the land: seed and fruit, were the LORD's. If a man wanted to redeem them (perhaps he needed them to feed his family?) then he must buy them back with hard currency and add 20% to the payment.
  • 10% of the flocks belonged to the LORD whether the animals were of good or bad stock.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 20 Thursday


Leviticus chapter 26
Cause and effect, blessings and cursings: God told the people exactly what He wanted them to do, exactly how He would bless them if they obeyed, and exactly how He would curse them if they disobeyed. He could not have been any clearer than the statements He made that could fall under the heading "If this . . . then this . . . ." Anyone who has read the Old Testament knows what is going to happen in spite of the warnings that were given.

Does God make any promises in this chapter?

  • God promised that if they would keep His statutes He would send the rains at the appropriate times so that crops would be abundant. 
  • God promised that if they fulfilled His statutes they would live safely in the land without fear because He would help them be rid of their enemies and wild beasts.
  • God promised that if they kept His statutes He would have respect for them, give them children, and establish His covenant with them.
  • God promised that if they would keep His statutes His tabernacle would be in the middle of them and He would walk among them.
  • On the obverse side, God promised curses to those who would not listen to Him: those who despised His commandments and break the covenant. They would suffer from terror, diseases, and famine.
  • As part of the curse of disobedience God promised that there would be no safety from their enemies and that He would have no respect for them. In fact, He would turn away from them.
  • God promised that if they would not repent as a result of the curses upon them He would punish them seven times more for their sins in order to break their pride and their strength. This would result in such starvation that it would even turn them to cannibalism for survival (which happened during the siege of Samaria in 2 Kings 6:29). God did not condone this evil practice any more than He condoned the evil practice of sacrificing their children to idols. As a matter of fact, it was their disregard for God's command not to subject their children to the one evil practice that eventually led to the other.
  • God promised that instead of love toward them He would abhor them for their wickedness if they disobeyed Him. He would then abandon them to their enemies who would kill them upon the altars they built to their idols. And He would not take notice of the sweet incense and sacrifices made to Him. 
  • God promised that if they would not let the land have its sabbaths He would scatter them and let the land have its rest.
  • God promised that if they would confess their iniquity and accept their punishment He would remember His covenant with Jacob and Abraham and would return them to the land after the land had finished its sabbaths of rest.
  • God promised that He would NEVER forget His covenant with them and totally destroy them even though they would forget their part of the covenant. He would be faithful for the sake of their ancestors which He brought out of Egypt. (Which are the very people He is speaking with at that moment.)

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the fulfillment of verse 13. He broke the bonds of our slavery to sin. (He said that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.)
  • Although the people did not keep their part of the covenant, Jesus, as Emanuel, which means "God with us," came to dwell and walk among them. "10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not."  John 1:10-11 (KJV)
  • Jesus came to fulfill the covenant that the people were unable to fulfill. Humanly, He was of the lineage of Abraham, Jacob, and of the people who came out of Egypt. He was the only representative of the Hebrew family that was able to keep the Jewish covenant agreement with God. He fulfilled the covenant with His blood (see Hebrews 13:20 - quoted below).

Does this chapter teach anything about still-future events?

  • The crops (food supplies) will be abundant when sin is no longer present. "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Rev 22:1-2 (KJV)
  • Everyone will dwell in safety and without fear when sin is no longer present. "4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev 21:4 (KJV)
  • God will have respect for His people when sin is no longer present in their hearts. "7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."  Rev 21:7-8 (KJV)
  • God will live and walk among His people and His tabernacle will be in their midst.  "3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." Rev 21:3 (KJV)
  • All sin has been abolished and the covenant with Abraham will be honored and enjoyed throughout eternity.  "20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Heb 13:20-21 (KJV)  and "16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."  Heb 10:16-17 (KJV) - See also Luke 1:68-79.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God restates His former commands not to make any idol, not to build a statue for worship, not to forget to keep the sabbaths, and not to fail to reverence His sanctuary. He commands them to keep His statutes!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 20 Wednesday

Leviticus 25:8-55

Does God make any promises in this passage?
  • God said that He would bless the crops in the year prior to a sabbath year so that there would be enough bounty to last until the crops were harvested in the year following a sabbath year.
  • God promised that if they would treat each other fairly and observe the Jubilee they would live safely in their land.

Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • This passage contains the first mention of a kinsman-redeemer, this time for the land.  In 2 Corinthians 4:4 Satan is called the "god of this age" which means he exerts influence over people and their possessions. This can truly be seen when it comes to how the nation of Israel has been treated through the ages! The land needed a kinsman-redeemer and that was Jesus. God never gave up possession of the land but has allowed Satan to "roam to and fro like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour" (paraphrase of 1 Peter 5:8) since the introduction of sin onto the earth. Not only did the death and resurrection of Jesus provide for the redemption of people, but also of the land. This will be proven when the earth itself will be restored (or resurrected). It is now groaning and travailing as one in pain as a laboring woman ready to give birth (paraphrase of Romans 8:22) but will be resurrected into a New Earth totally redeemed by Jesus (see Revelation 21:1). Then the New Jerusalem (Jesus' Capitol in Israel) will come down as a bride adorned (also Revelation chapter 21).
  • The Year of Jubilee is a picture of grace received through Jesus. All who believe on Jesus as their redemption will become part of God's people. Then mankind will return to the world that God originally meant for them to inhabit, one free of sin and death. This can happen because all debts will be forgiven. 

Does this passage teach anything about future events?
  • God said He owned the land of Israel and so does He own the land that He has promised to share with all His children. This would include the heavenly dwelling and the coming New Earth. 
  • The redemption, resurrection, and restoration of all things will result in the eternal reign of Jesus, the son of David, assuming His throne. The "god of this age" will be deposed and Jesus will rule and reign forever. (see above)
  • The humanitarian laws concerning masters and employees were based upon loving a neighbor as oneself recognizing that people belong to God. If we work together in eternity on the New Earth it is obvious that there will be no labor disputes due to mistreatment on either side. There is no need to be worried about verses that say there are those who rule and reign in the eternal kingdom since sin will not hinder working relationships.

Does God issue any commands?
  • Every 50th year was to be proclaimed as a Year of Jubilee beginning on the Day of Atonement. Every man was to return to his family lands, and servants were to be returned to their family. The land was to be left fallow that year just as it would have been the year before (a sabbath year).
  • The people were not to oppress each other in matters of money and servanthood when they knew a Jubilee year was approaching but were to be generous.
  • God commanded that the land never be sold. It was His land and He allowed them to live on it with Him.
  • God commanded that a rich relative who wished to redeem the land for a poor relative may do so in order to restore the land to the family. (This would particularly be important if there were many years before the next Jubilee year when the land would revert to the previous owner automatically.)
  • God commanded that a man selling a house within a walled village could have a full year to redeem it. If he did not, then the new owner would possess it. It would not go back in the time of Jubilee. 
  • The exception to the above rule concerning the sale of houses within walled villages was the houses of the Levites. The Levites could redeem their possessions at any time. Everything within the cities designated for the use of the Levites would revert to them at the time of Jubilee. Their fields were NEVER to be sold!
  • God commanded that they lend to their fellow-Hebrews without interest. They were to be compassionate to the poor. They also were not to enslave other Hebrews or treat them with cruelty but could hire them as paid servants until the Year of Jubilee when all debts were to be forgiven because they were God's servants and only loaned to each other for temporary service. The laws of release in the time of Jubilee did not extend to foreign slaves. If a Hebrew was sold unto a rich foreigner living within the Hebrew nation the Hebrew man or woman could be redeemed by another family member. The kinsman-redeemer would pay the master a price based upon how many years remained until the time of the Jubilee. If there was no kinsman-redeemer the slave would be released from the foreign master (who was living among the Israelites) at the time of the Jubilee. In other words, foreigners living among the Hebrews were required to follow the laws of the land,which were God's laws.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 20 Tuesday

Leviticus 24:1-25:7

The people were to be holy, righteous, and set apart. Their hearts were to be ready to worship the God that was leading them to the land He had promised them. In the middle of these instructions for celebrating holy days (now rendered as the word holidays) and the ones for keeping supplies handy for the consumables used in the tabernacle is the story of the man who blasphemed God while fighting with another man. So much for loving the Lord thy God with all they heart, soul, and mind, and thy neighbor as thyself! The man was placed in confinement until the Lord passed sentence upon him.

Does God make any promises in this passage?

  • Not explicit, but the implication for the sabbath year of rest on the land is that God would make the harvest prior to the sabbath sufficient to provide food for two years.

Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • In the worst moments of His life, the time of suffering upon the cross or the agony of spirit in the Garden prior to the event, Jesus never cursed God for what He was going through. He was never guilty of blasphemy against His Father.

Does this passage teach anything about future events?

  • It does not teach us anything about what will be in our eternal home but it tells us plenty about what will not be there: death, blasphemy, hatred, strife, injury.
  • As caretakers of God's earth, it is possible that the New Earth will observe a sabbath year of rest each seventh year.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God reminded the people through Moses that they were to donate olive oil for the continual lighting of the candlestick in the tabernacle.
  • God commanded them to resupply the table of shewbread with 12 loaves each week and told them how to line them up in two rows with frankincense.
  • God commanded that Shelomith's son, who blasphemed the name of God, be stoned.
  • God commanded that a murderer be put to death.
  • God commanded that anyone who killed an animal (presumably one owned by another) make restitution by giving a similar beast to the owner.
  • God commanded that if someone intentionally caused injury to a neighbor that he be similarly injured.
  • God commanded that the laws He gave should be followed by strangers in the land the same as the citizens.
  • God commanded them to observe a sabbath year of rest for the land each seventh year where they would neither sow nor reap their fields or prune their vineyards. Even volunteer fruit was not to be harvested.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 20 Monday

Leviticus chapter 23

God reminded Moses of the days that were set aside for holy feast ceremonies. Several of the days were to be days of rest. All pointed to the Messiah.

Does God make any promises in this chapter?

  • God promised days of rest if they followed His feasts.
  • God promised to cut off anyone who would not afflict himself on the Day of Atonement. (All who will not repent of his sins and trust the atonement that was made by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God will be cut off forever.)

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The sabbath day of rest pictures Jesus. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Matt 11:28 (KJV)
  • The Passover pictures Jesus. "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29 (KJV)
  • The Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures the sinless life of Jesus. "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Cor 5:7-8 (KJV)
  • The Feast of the Firstfruits pictured the resurrection of Jesus. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." 1 Cor 15:20-23 (KJV)
  • The Feast of Pentecost happened 50 days following Jesus' resurrection and 10 days after His ascension was when the Father sent the Holy Spirit to the believers as Jesus said He would. "These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:25-27 (KJV)
  • The Feast of Trumpets was a memorial holiday (holy day)  leading to the Day of Atonement. The feast might celebrate the coming of the Messiah when believers are raised from the dead, certainly a trumpet blowing event! Or it might celebrate the coronation of King Jesus when He rules His Kingdom. Trumpets have signified the presence of royalty throughout history. As Supreme Judge, Jesus has been given the authority to judge each person. Specifically, He will be the final authority over who will spend eternity with Him and who will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Jesus will judge on only one condition: whose sins have been atoned for by His shed blood (His elect). "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor 15:51-57 (KJV)  Also "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matt 24:30-31 (KJV)
  • Jesus is our atonement! "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:1-2 (KJV) Our Day of Atonement was the day of Jesus' crucifixion!
  • Jesus took on a "tabernacle" like ours, which means a human body. It is possible that this was the actual time of year that He was born and not in the winter. At the time of harvest, the Feast of Tabernacles followed the Feast of Trumpets (Attention, everyone! Your Messiah is coming!) and the Day of Atonement (Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world!) "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14 (KJV) 

Does this chapter teach anything about future events?

  • The events that the Feast of Trumpets commemorate are still future. Resurrection and judgment are coming! And Jesus will assume the Throne and rule the world!

Does God issue any commands?
  • God restated His commands concerning the Sabbath.
  • God commanded Passover to be observed the 14th day of the first month.
  • God commanded the Feast of Unleavened Bread to begin on the 15th day of the first month and continue for 7 days.
  • God commanded that they begin celebrating the Firstfruits when they came into the land.
  • God commanded the Feast of Pentecost to be celebrated 50 days after the wave offering was made during the Firstfruits.
  • God commanded that they celebrate the Feast of Trumpets on the 1st day of the seventh month in preparation for the Day of Atonement.
  • God commanded that they observe the Day of Atonement on the 10th day of the seventh month.
  • God commanded that they observe the Feast of Tabernacles on the 15th day of the seventh month. This was to last for 8 days and commemorated their Exodus from Egypt.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

TAKE TIME: Reading Assignment for May 20-25, 2013

Introduction: The newborn nation of the Hebrews is still encamped around Mount Sinai and being schooled by God in holiness. It has been a little over a year since they left Egypt and the curricula has been intense! These lessons touched every part of their lives. Some of what we read sounds very harsh, but these lessons were meant to be that way. The main point to the law of holiness is that a person cannot keep it on their own. Each requires a savior. The final exam was graded with either a PASS or FAIL. It still is! (Everyone FAILS! That's why we need to repent and trust Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, as savior in order to receive God's grade of PASS!)

School is almost over! The roster is being compiled! Final exams are on their way in God's school. This week we will even see that God set a few holidays for them on His calendar. We will complete the reading of Leviticus and begin the book of Numbers, which starts with a census.

Reading Assignment:
  • Monday - Leviticus chapter 23
  • Tuesday - Leviticus 24:1-25:7
  • Wednesday - Leviticus 25:8-55
  • Thursday - Leviticus chapter 26
  • Friday - Leviticus chapter 27
  • Saturday - Numbers chapter 1

Memory Verse

The land shall not be sold forever: for the land is mine for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.. Leviticus 25:23

Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - This week take time each day to praise God for being a landowner! Nations are always coming and going, but God says that He owns the land  forever and moves people around in it. That is a very comforting thought when the world is in turmoil. ( He specifically mentions Israel but He owns the whole earth and establishes nations at His will.)
  • Confession - We just think we own our land and possessions but really we are only borrowing them from the Lord! Ask God to forgive you of anything you want to selfishly hold back from Him.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for providing for you. If He owns everything then He will distribute it as He sees fit. Does He supply your needs and some of your desires, too? Then thank Him!
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.

Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?

Putting the Word into Action

God owns everything but He graciously allows us to use His possessions. In fact, it has been that way since creation. Because He is gracious He wants us to be gracious, too. This is a good time to look over the things that you consider "your" possessions and get rid of the excess. Find a homeless shelter, a community service organization, or other place that takes donations and share with them out of your abundance so that they can help others. Or, sell some of your excess at a yard sale, consignment shop, or second chance store to convert some of God's blessings from material goods into cash. The Godly are good at giving!

Sunday Psalm: God Prefers Obedience to Sacrifices

Psalm 40

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. 12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. 13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. 14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. 15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. 16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. 17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

Psalms 40:1-17 (KJV)

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 19 Saturday

Leviticus 21:16-22:33

Does God make any promises?
  • God promised to kill the priests that profaned the regulations given for the sacrifices and the use of them in feeding the priests and their families. (The sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, come to mind.)

Are there any references to Jesus?
  • Jesus was perfect. He was not handicapped or maimed. Therefore, the male descendants of Aaron had to appear without any obvious physical disfigurements or infirmities in order to picture the Messiah. Even the leprous and infectious men were prohibited from eating the offerings since disease is a result of the sin curse and Jesus was not touched by sin until He took it upon Himself at the cross.
  • Since Jesus was a willing sacrifice that was offered and was not an unsuspecting victim of predatory men, nor did He die of an infirmity, He could not be portrayed by the animals that died or were slain by hunters further up the food chain. That is why the priests were forbidden to eat such animals.
  • Jesus is the only One that could partake of the cup given Him by His Father for the payment of sins. This was portrayed by the fact that only the priestly family (or those of his household servants) could eat the portion reserved for the priests. There really is exclusivity in God's plan!

Are there any references to future events?
  • There was nothing profane allowed about God's meals. And He was very specific and exclusive in His instructions about who would eat it. That same specificity and exclusivity will be present in eternity. No unclean person will partake of it! (Jesus told the parable about those who were invited but refused to come.)

Does God issue any commands?
  • God commanded that any male descendant of Aaron that was handicapped or disfigured could not serve as a priest although he could eat of the bread and offerings that were given by the people for the priest and his family.
  • God commanded the priests to separate themselves from the things the people dedicated to God. (My understanding of this phrase in 22:2 is that just because the people had given something for use in the tabernacle did not mean that it automatically belonged to the priests. There was to be a separation between the things that belonged to the center of worship and things that belonged to its ministers. The priests belonged to God. The things dedicated to God did not necessarily belong to the priests!)
  • God did not allow any leprous male descendants of Aaron or any afflicted with oozing discharges on their skin to eat the offerings that were given. 
  • The priests that were temporarily unclean (contaminated) through touching an unclean animal or insect could not eat the ceremonially offered food until the time of uncleanness had expired. Then they could dine at the table.
  • The priests were forbidden to eat clean animals that had died of unknown causes or had been slain by other beasts.
  • No one else was allowed to eat the holy food set apart for the priest and his family. But if they did accidentally they could give an offering similar to what they ate and add 20% to it.
  • God repeated the instructions that animals offered for sacrifice could not be blemished or maim.
  • God commanded that newborn animals were not to be offered until the eighth day and that the mother and baby animals could not be offered on the same day.

Read Through the Bible in 2013: May 20-25

Take Ten
5/20/2013     I Samuel 11-13 Romans 9
5/21/2013     I Samuel 14, 15 Romans 10, 11
5/22/2013     I Samuel 16, 17 Romans 12, 13
5/23/2013     I Samuel 18, 19 Romans 14, 15
5/24/2013     I Samuel 20, 21 Romans 16
5/25/2013     I Samuel 22-24 Acts 21, 22

Friday, May 17, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 19 Friday

Leviticus 20:1-21:15

Today's promises are mostly in the form of curses which are not exactly the kind of promises we want fulfilled, but the kind deserved by those who fail to keep God's statutes. The same God who promised good to those who obey Him promised punishment for those who disobey Him.

Does God make any promises?
  • God promised to turn His face away from any man that profaned His name and defiled His sanctuary by sacrificing his child to an idol.
  • God also promised to turn His face away from anyone who knew someone who did the wicked act of sacrificing his child to an idol and did nothing about it!
  • God promised to cut off the individual that would seek the advice of fortune tellers and demon possessed individuals.
  • God promised that if they would follow His standards of righteousness they would inherit the land and live in it safely but if they would not the land itself would spit them out much like what was happening to the current inhabitants.

Are there any references to Jesus?
  •  Romans 5:8-9 says that Jesus died for us while we were sinners (the type of people who did the unholy works that made God angry) and justified us so that we need not fear the wrath of God (those promised punishments).
  • The priests were commanded not to grieve in an unholy manner. To do so would signify anger toward the will of a sovereign God and would also be a demonstration that the bereaved did not believe in the resurrection. If anyone should exhibit hope in immortality it should be the spiritual leaders of the people! Jesus said that He is the resurrection and the life. Death and resulting grief are our biggest enemies and Jesus conquered them. God's people are not to grieve in the same manner as those that have no hope.
  • God promised to turn His face away from the wicked. Jesus had no wickedness but took ours upon Himself. The result was that God turned His face away from Jesus when He became sin for us.
  • The priests' marriages were to pure. This was a holy picture used with meaning both in the Old and New testaments. God described Himself to be the bridegroom and Israel His bride (who proved to be unfaithful: see Hosea  and Ezekiel chapter 16); Jesus is compared to a bridegroom in His relationship to the New Jerusalem in Revelations chapters 21 and 22, to the churches in Ephesians chapter 5, as well as to each individual believer in John 3:29 and Matthew 25:1-6. 
  • As our high priest, Jesus was above reproach in manners of relationships. That is one reason why  conjecture about Jesus being married to a mortal woman and having children as a result of that union is blasphemous.
  • Jesus made it clear in His teachings that we cannot become citizens of His kingdom unless we become like little children. Whenever He was near them He treated them kindly and cared well for them. He obviously had a high opinion of them and their place in life, considering them an important picture of what His followers should be like. Is it any wonder then that God would be angry with anyone who would abuse children especially parents who would sacrifice them to devils or imaginary gods?

Are there any references to future events?

  • None of these profane circumstances will be part of our life in eternity. Unholiness will no longer exist because the High Priest, Jesus Christ, abolished them. Then the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, will reign in righteousness forever and we, His subjects, will no longer bear the torment of sins within our mortal bodies.

Does God issue any commands?
  • God commanded that any that put their children to death as a sacrifice to Molech should be stoned to death themselves.
  • God commanded the Hebrews to be set apart and holy by refusing the abominable practices of child sacrifice and divination.
  • God commanded death to anyone that cursed his parents.
  • God commanded adulterers to be put to death. This included other marital relationship sins such as incest, same gender relations, and animals.
  • God commanded that they abstain from marital relations during a woman's menses. 
  • God commanded that those who were possessed by spirits be put to death.
  • God commanded that the priests not be defiled for any of his deceased family members except for those of his immediate family. (This command concerns touching a dead body.)
  • God commanded the priests not to cut their flesh, shave their heads or beards, or do any of the other things that the ungodly did at the time of grief. 
  • The priests were not to take a wife with a notorious past.
  • God commanded that the high priest not be defiled for any person, even in the death of an immediate family member.
  • God commanded the high priest to take a wife from among women who were without reproach.
  • God commanded the high priest to abstain from any profanity when it came to his children. Purity was to be the standard!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 19 Thursday

Leviticus chapter 19

What did holy living look like? It looked pretty much like Jesus affirmed it to be in the gospels. First, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And second, because you do love God, love your neighbor as yourself.  Until God spelled it out in minute detail no one had any idea how to go about it. Even when we do have the minute details we are incapable of doing them! Sin still distorts our ability to perfectly follow God's description of holy living.

Included in God's plan for holy living and loving the neighbors was a welfare system that allowed anyone who needed food to gather it out of designated areas in nearby fields or vineyards. What a great idea! God designed the original Food Bank! If landowners left some of the harvest out in the field, orchards, and vineyards for the poor and the poor would gather it for themselves, all would be adequately fed from God's sufficient bounty.

Does God make any promises in this chapter?
  • Those that followed God's guidelines would be considered holy. (No human could follow them perfectly, however, except the God/Man Jesus Christ. And that was the point God was making.)
  • Those who ate the peace offering sacrifice on the third day would bear their iniquity because the hallowed sacrifice would be profaned. (In other words, God promised there would be no peace!)

Are there any references to Jesus?
  • As previously mentioned, Jesus was holy and exhibited actions that demonstrated all of the criterion necessary to be declared holy.
  • The peace-offering sacrifice was not to be eaten on the third day but was to be burned. As stated in previous posts, Jesus was the peace offering and He arose on the third day. Any death sacrifice that portrayed the Messiah could not be used longer than the length of time Jesus spent in the tomb! (Plus, there is that problem of corruption, or decay. Jesus' body was not allowed to suffer corruption.)

Are there any references to future events?
  • These standards of righteousness will be the law when Christ reigns on the earth in the Millennium. Most of them will no longer apply on the New Earth since no one could be poor and there definitely are not going to be any physical defects like blindness. But those that deal with getting along well with neighbors and honoring God completely will be standard behavior. (We really have no idea what it is like to even have thoughts cross our minds, let alone how to interact with our God and our neighbors, apart from the sin nature that permeates our being! It makes it difficult for us to picture eternity unhindered by sin!)

Does God issue any commands?
  • First and foremost God commands the people to be holy because their God is holy. A list then is given of what the actions would be that indicate holiness: respect of parents, keeping the sabbaths, not worshiping idols, making free-will peace offering to God
  • The corners of the fields should be left for the poor to reap and that some of the grapes in the vineyard be left for the poor to gather. This work-fare system was God's way of providing welfare for the poor.
  • God commanded honesty in all dealings including not stealing, not lying, not defrauding, not withholding pay to a hired laborer, and not falsely swearing using God's name as a witness.
  • No one was to make the deaf or blind the target of practical jokes.
  • God commanded honest judgment untainted by bribery.
  • Gossip was not allowed!
  • Hatred and retaliation were forbidden.
  • Animals were to be kept purebred and not hybridized.
  • Seed for planting was not to be hybridized.
  • Fabric was not to be of mixed yarn, specifically linen and wool.
  • A man that seduced a bondwoman had to offer a trespass offering and the woman was scourged.
  • The fruit of newly planted fruit trees was not allowed to be eaten at all for three years, the fruit of the fourth year was to be offered to the LORD, but the fruit from the fifth year onward was allowed to be eaten.
  • Witchcraft and astrology were forbidden.
  • Disfiguring marks on the head, cutting oneself in grief, and tattoos were forbidden.
  • Their children were not to be sold into prostitution.
  • The elderly were to be honored and respected.
  • Strangers were to be allowed to live safely and treated hospitably. 
  • Scales and measures were to be honest.