BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 30

Hey all,

As all of these are personal questions, I won’t be posting my answers here.  I’ll just give you all a summary of what I learned for the year.  This will be my Sharing Day so to speak.

I learned that God only desires our faith in Him and obedience.  That’s it.  Later, it’s changed to faith in His son, Jesus Christ.  It’s so simple that most people are tripped up by it.

I learned how truly amazing Moses was.  Everyone knows about Moses but most people just know him as the guy who parted the Red Sea and turned some water into wine (this was my impression at least).  But Moses was so much more.  He was the closest to God a person can be.  He did amazing things for 40 years for millions of people.  He had a heart for God.  He stumbled and paid the price like we all do.  But his life was extraordinary.  It gives courage to those of us who live ordinary lives.

I learned how incredibly stubborn God’s people were and how this explains much of how we are today.  Man’s nature never changes.  Neither does God’s.  Repeatedly, the Israelites fell. Repeatedly, they rebelled.  Repeatedly, they turned away.  Always God picked them up.  Always God forgave them.  Always grace prevailed.  God is amazing and loving and awesome. Compassionate, forgiving, and omnipotent.  Protector.  Provider.  Comforter.  The story of the Israelites journey out of Egypt is a story of grace and God’s goodness.  His will in all.

I learned about the importance of helpers.  How we all need them.  Asking for help is okay. Humbly receiving it is even better.

I learned how God’s grace and judgment are not to be questioned.  We all know His ways are not our ways.  We all deserve death.  Anything we receive in our walk on earth is all by Him.  Every breath is by His grace alone.  One day we will all take our last when He deems it so.  What would happen if we all lived out that truth?

The Study of Moses was a struggle for my kids, especially the giving of the laws.  The first half of Moses they loved.  Full of heroic stories and deeds.  The second half was a drag.  Archaic laws that went over their heads.  But they came and they had fun and I know they got something out of it. Even if they don’t realize it until later on down the road.

Anytime I read God’s word my faith is strengthened.  Moses is a man after God’s own heart. Knowing more about him helps me to know more about what God wants for me.  Moses’s walk was an extraordinary one.  I only hope I can lead one half as well!

Final Link:  Just a little summary in a nutshell of Moses’s life and some important lessons to glean:

http://www.gotquestions.org/life-Moses.html

Thank you all for studying with me, for sharing your thoughts, for being my “group”.  It was amazing.  I can’t wait for Revelation!  Bring it on!  Have a great summer break and God bless!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 2: Deuteronomy 33:1-5

Summary of passage:  Moses blesses the Israelites before dying.  He says God loves them and is with them.  The people bow before Him and receive the law.

Questions:

3)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My friend because through the tough times she still gives God the glory.

4a)  He came, dawned, and shone forth.  He loves the people.  They bow down.  He teaches them.  He is king.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He is king, Lord of all.  He is with you.  He teaches you.  He loves you.  He is always there.

Conclusions:  Didn’t see the point to this lesson with only one factual question.  What I got out of it was from the commentary I read online.  The questions did nothing to further my knowledge of this passage.

End Notes:  This reflects Jacob’s blessings on his 12 sons in Genesis 49.  Scholars believe since Moses was the one who recorded Jacob’s blessing that he modeled his blessing of the 12 tribes (note how instead of 12 individuals we have 12 groups from those individuals) after Jacob’s.

Verses 1-5 of this blessing speaks of the glorious majesty of God.

Note how “the man of God” is in the third person tense.  This indicates that Moses did not record this blessing.  Scholars believe Moses’s writing stops at Deuteronomy 31.

Note how also “the people” does not include the Gentiles.  The Gentiles are not extended an olive branch until Jesus comes.  Every time we read “people” in the Old Testament, it is the Israelites, God’s first chosen people.

Moses does address himself in the third person in verse 4 (this part is quoted)–very unusual in the Hebrew language.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 28, Day 5: Deuteronomy 32:44-52

Summary of passage:  After Moses sang the Song, he told the people to take his words to heart and live by them so that they will prosper in the new land.  That same day the Lord told Moses to climb Mount Nebo and view the Holy Land before his death.

Questions:

10a)  To take all of his words to heart.  Moses said to love and serve God with all of your heart and soul.  He said God would circumcise your hearts in order to love Him.  Because the heart is what matters to God.  We all will sin.  But are we truly sorry for our sin.  Do we have a heart for God?  Or do we not truly care about our actions?  God wants our hearts.  Once He has that everything else falls into place.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  When you love and serve God, God happens.  Blessings happen.  To you and to others.  Peace happens.  Fulfillment.  God’s plan happens.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God’s words are our life.  His commandments.  His will.  Without God’s word and His Holy Spirit within we have no life.  We are empty shells.  For His word is Him.

12a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is just.  Moses didn’t physically enter the Promised Land but Moses is in heaven in a much, much better land than here on Earth.  That’s what matters.  Not what happens to Moses down here.  He was probably the most faithful man to ever walk the earth.  It is not for me to judge God’s judgements.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The part of my thinking that is selfish and all about me.  The part of my thinking that is not from God but from Satan.  The thoughts that need to be of God instead of of the world.

Conclusions:  Personal Day here.  12a was redundant.  We were asked before when Moses was first judged by God whether we thought it was just punishment or not.  The only question I liked was the non-personal question (10a).  I liked how we did examine the heart for that is what matters to God.  Whether we desire Him or we are indifferent to Him.  Moses knew what God wanted and he desperately tried to impart that to the people before he left.  Again, a man after God’s own heart who spoke face to face with God.

End Notes:  Moses is to “be gathered to your people”, which was the ancient Israelites way of saying going to heaven before Christ came to allow them to go to heaven.  I’ve posted about what this means before.  You can read HERE if interested.

Others who were “gathered to their people” in the Pentateuch:  Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and Aaron.

Quick Reminder of where Israelites are:  http://www.keyway.ca/gif/nebo.gif

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 28, Day 4: Deuteronomy 32:15-43

Summary of passage:  A continuation of Moses’s song.  Moses says how Israel will grow lazy in their blessings and worship foreign gods.  So God will hide his face from His people, and God will send calamities upon them and scatter them.  Moses pleads for the people to understand what will happen and correct it before it occurs and before the Lord brings judgement upon them.

Questions:

8a)  Part-personal Question.  My answer:  Israel abandoned God and turned to false gods instead.  Mine is to remember God always and obey.

b)  God.  The people themselves.

c)  It says “their”, meaning others.  Their rock (false gods) is not the Israelites’ Rock (One, True God).  Their teachings (wine) is as fatal as poison.

d)  The Lord will have compassion on His people “when he sees their strength is gone and on one is left.” God will take vengeance on his adversaries when “he sharpens his flashing sword and his hand grasps it in judgment”.  God will do this because He loves us and offers us grace and mercy and forgiveness.  God will “make atonement for his land and people” ultimately through the sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Conclusions:  Not like 8a.  Answer is obvious.  This lesson was hard for me to dig deeper than the surface meaning.

End Notes:  Israelites turned on God; in turn, He turned on them.  Not being enough, God punishes the people through calamities in order to turn them back to Him again.  Then God pleads for them to return.

Verses 15-18 is the first true apostasy (abandonment or renunciation of God) by the Israelites.  The golden calf was a sin but at least the people worshipped the golden calf as God.  Here, they abandoned God, completely rejected Him, and sacrificed to false gods.

Jeshurun means “upright one.”  We see it used again in 33:5; 33:26 and in Isaiah 44:2.  It’s a term of affection for Israel.

Paul quotes verse 21 in Romans 10:19.

Excellent explanation of the Song of Moses (Moses wrote at least three recorded songs scholars believe in the Bible) HERE.  If you were like me and didn’t get much out of this song, then this link explains succinctly what it’s all about.  Highly recommended.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 28, Day 3: Deuteronomy 31:30-32:14

Summary of passage:  Moses spoke his song to the people.  Moses proclaims God’s greatness and the people’s sins.  Remember the days of old and what God has done for His people.  He cared for them and nourished them.  He alone.

Questions:

5)  Let his words fall like rain, descend like dew, shower new grass, and abundant rain on tender plants.

6a)  God is first in his life.  It’s the first thing he talks about is how great is the Lord, how faithful and just and perfect.  He talks of God’s character with very intimate words.  His love for God is obvious.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By speaking of all of the blessings upon me and not complaining.

7a)  Even when the people acted corruptly and foolishly, God cared for His people, giving them the land, bringing them through the desert, shielding them and guarding them, and letting them take flight while watching over them to make sure they didn’t fall.  He fed them with the fruit of the fields, nourished them with honey and gave them labs and goats and rams and wheat and drink.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Lessened my fear of my husband’s job being lost.  Blessed me with a free gym membership.  Given me more time to write.  Things are winding down (school and BSF) so I will have more time to write.  I thank Him in prayer, living out my life like Jesus, and doing His will as much as possible.

Conclusions:  Love the prayer model of proclaiming who God is, what He’s done for us, and who He is. Good stuff!

End Notes:  Moses asks for attention from Israel and all of creation, praising God for who He is and what He has done.  He calls attention to the Israelites’ sin, and speaking of God’s love and grace, he hopes to call the people back.

Fun Fact:  This is the first time God is called “the Rock” in Scripture.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 28, Day 2: Deuteronomy 31:1-29

Summary of passage:  Moses, at 120 years old, tells the people Joshua will be their new leader and the Lord will go before them and destroy their enemies. He tells the people to not be afraid for God will never forsake them.  Moses wrote down the law, placed it beside the ark of the covenant, and commanded the people to read it every 7 years so all will know it.

The Lord appeared to Moses and Joshua in a cloud over the Tabernacle and told them that the people would turn from Him and worship other gods.  When the people did this, God would turn His back on His people.  He taught Moses a song to teach the people so they would know why God turned on them.  Moses warned the people of the evil they would do and consequences of the Lord’s anger against them.

Questions:

3a)  He commanded the people to be strong and courageous and not to be afraid or terrified because the Lord goes with them and will never abandon them (the promise).

b)  Joshua had some big shoes to fill so I’m sure leading the people was daunting, challenging, and scary. God wanted to make sure Joshua knew he could do it because He Himself was with him and would never leave him.  God Himself would defeat His enemies, and Joshua had nothing to fear.  He was chosen by God for this task like Moses.  Confidence is what Joshua needed–in himself and in the Lord.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s comforting.  When no one else is there, God is.  He knows my pain, my heartache, my struggles, my passions, my frustrations, my joys, my sorrows, my victories, my failures.  And He shares them.  He works them for His purposes.  And I just need Him and faith.

4a)  God commanded Moses to write down the law and keep it in a safe place and once every 7 years for the law to be read to all the people so they would know God’s laws.  It was a resource for the Levites, who were the spiritual leaders, so they could look back and learn God’s laws as well and teach it accordingly.

b)  It would serve as a warning so the faithful would be aware of what was to come and perhaps spot the temptation and turn away before they sinned.  Perhaps they could warn others and turn them away as well.

Conclusions:  Love how God appeared to Joshua personally to commission him and reassure him that he could do this monumental task and that God would be his strength and his rock.  God’s care for us is unfathomable!  I like how everyone from young to old was gathered to hear the law once every 7 years.  I wonder how many of us read God’s word every 7 years.  Can you imagine our society if we did?

End Notes:  The people needed to know God was with them.  All most of them had ever known was Moses.  The people needed to know God was bigger than one man and God was enough.

God does His work through people–God’s work is the giving of the Promised Land and Joshua would be the one God would use to accomplish His work.

What a blessing Moses is to Joshua!  He encouraged him in his walk.  How many of us have wise counselors to encourage us to do the great things God has in store for us?

The first recorded reading of God’s law to the people is in Nehemiah 8:1-8.  It is recorded three more times in the Bible of the law being read to the people (Joshua 8:30; 2 Chronicles 17:7; 2 Chronicles 34:30).  Between these readings are hundreds of years.  Certainly, the law could have been read and not recorded but scholars say that the fact the reading of the law is recorded with so many years in-between was because it was such a rare event.  Can you imagine how history would be different if the people had obeyed and read the law–like today if we did as well?

Deuteronomy 32 is the song Moses wrote down for God’s people.

Here we see the completion of the first five books of the Bible (also known as the Pentateuch which means five scrolls in Greek or the Torah in the Jewish tradition) in verse 24 written by Moses.  It is assumed by scholars that the last three books of Deuteronomy were written by Joshua (or by a scribe he appointed) to record the end of Moses’ life.

Note how the Ten Commandments is inside the ark but the first five books of the bible is beside the ark. I see this as so it’s readily available to the priests for teaching purposes.

God’s word is also a witness against us.  We often think of the Bible as our helper, which it is. It is also our condemner as well when we don’t read it, don’t follow it, and don’t obey.  For it is right before us and we choose to turn the other way.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 27, Day 4: Deuteronomy 29

Summary of passage:  Moses again tells the people to follow the covenant and the people will prosper.  He warns against turning away from God as disaster will follow.  If they worship idols, God will abandon the covenant and curse them.

Questions:

7)  That God is their God and they are His people.

8 )  Not to turn away from God and worship idols.

9a)  The secret things are secret; we don’t know what they are.  It’s the knowledge, wisdom, judgments, and paths of God that we He had not revealed to us.

b)  God’s law

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sin is inevitable.  Even the best of us sin (Moses).  But God forgives that sin.  That God is faithful.  He is the provider.  He is there always.

Conclusions:  I don’t know about you all, but I’m tired of Moses’s repetition and warnings.  Ok, fine, we get it.  Obey or face God’s wrath.  We all know the Israelites didn’t obey and were punished by God despite Moses’ 10,000 warnings.  At least Moses can say, “I told you so.”  It makes these passages very dull reading.

End Notes:  This is the confirming of the the Covenant with the new generation that Moses had performed back in Exodus 24:7-8 with the old generation.

As we’ve seen, seeing miracles hasn’t changed the hearts of the people.  They need a miracle of the heart.

There is no peace for the sinner for God will turn His back on them.

God’s judgment on His people if they sin will be an example to all nations of what happens with disobedience and an example to all generations as well.

God reveals only what we need to know.  Therefore, we must embrace this knowledge and live it in our lives.  That is His desire for us.  It’s like a parent.  We do things for our kids for reasons they cannot understand at different ages in their lives.  The same with God.  We trust God like we trust our parents.  We love God like we love our parents.  We have faith that they have our best interests in their hearts for us.  Just like God does.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 27, Day 2: Deuteronomy 27

Introductory Notes:  Each day is a chapter so much more manageable than last week.  Still, give yourself some time to complete each lesson.

Summary of passage:  Moses commands the people to write the law onto stones and set them upon Mount Ebal once they cross into the Promised Land.  Build an altar on Mount Ebal and offer sacrifices to God.  Moses said the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin will stand on Mount Gerizim and offer blessings to the people.  The tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali will offer curses to the people from Mount Ebal.

The curses are:  anyone who carves a graven image or idol, one who dishonors his mother or father, one who moses his neighbor’s boundary stone, one who leads the blind man astray, one who withholds justice, one who commits adultery, one who has sex with animals, one who sleeps with his mother-in-law, sister, or daughter, one who kills, one who accepts a bribe, and one who doe not uphold the law by carrying them out.

Questions:

3a)  Set up some large stones coated with plaster and write on them the law.  He also commanded them to set up an altar to offer sacrifices to God.

b)  To rejoice in the presence of God, to thank Him for bringing them to the land, and to remember the laws.

4a)  Moses then commanded the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin will stand on Mount Gerizim and offer blessings to the people. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali will offer curses to the people from Mount Ebal.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  No specific times come to mind but just reading the Bible daily imbues life lessons and warnings that I carry around in my heart that I hope arise when needed.

Conclusions:  Reading easy, but I wish we’d just get on with it and enter the Promised Land!  Again, repetition and warnings to obey God’s commands faithfully.  This seems to be the most important thing God wants from the people.  Obey Him.

End Notes:  Joshua carried out Moses’s instructions for these blessings and curses in Joshua 8:30-35.  Mount Ebal had special significance for the Israelites who believed that Abraham first worshipped God near here after receiving the original promise of the land (Genesis 15).

By commanding no iron tools be used, God was ensuring all the glory went to Him and none to the stone-carver.

Deuteronomy is a contract between the king and His subjects.

The command to curse and bless the people was also fulfilled by Joshua in Joshua 8:32-35.

Amen means “so be it.”  Hence, when someone was cursed, this was uttered.

Note that the altar is built upon Mount Ebal, which is the mountain from which curses are pronounced.  Why not build an altar on Mount Gerizim, the mountain of blessings?  Because even in our sin, there is God, waiting for us to repent with a sacrifice and come to Him.  Awesome!

Note now we cannot be cursed–Jesus took all of our curses upon himself.  God does not punish nor curse us under the New Covenant.  What grace!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 26, Day 5: Deuteronomy 17-26

Survival Tip of the Day:  If you just read Deuteronomy 17, 18 & 26, you’ll be able to answer the questions fairly quickly.

End Notes: My end notes will only cover the passages we are asked questions about. It is too much to do them all in one week.

Summary of passages:  Deuteronomy 17:  A person should be stoned if they are found guilty by two or more witnesses of doing evil in violation of His covenant or bowing down to other gods.  Have your cases judges in difficult circumstances and abide by the judge’s rulings.  If you want to appoint a king over you, it must a king of the Lord’s choosing and a native.  He must not be greedy and go back to Egypt for horses nor accumulate great wealth.  He must not take many wives.  He is to copy the law and read it always.

Deuteronomy 18:  Review of the offerings the people are to give the Levites.  If a Levite moves towns, he is to minister in the new town and receive a share of the offerings.  God warns against detestable practices, which would turn that person to detestable if they practiced it (child sacrifice, divination, etc).  God says He will send another prophet to speak for Him (Jesus).  A false prophet who says things that doesn’t come true must be put to death.

Deuteronomy 19:  Review of cities of refuge (Numbers 35).  Need more than one witness to convict a man of a crime.  False witnesses are to be killed.  Exodus 21:24 is repeated “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

Deuteronomy 20:  Do not be afraid in war for God will be with you.  The priest shall offer up a pep talk.  The officers will allow soldiers with new homes, a fiancee, new vineyards, or just plain scared a chance to go home if they choose (very unconventional for that time).  Before battle, the Israelites are to offer the people peace.  If they accept, they all will become slaves.  If they don’t, lay siege to the city, kill all the men and the rest is plunder.  However, the cities that are your inheritance, you are to kill everyone and anything that breathes.  This is so all the detestable things will not infect you.  Do not cut down any fruit-bearing trees for use in battle; only use non-fruit-bearing trees.

Deuteronomy 21:  If a man is found murdered and the criminal is unknown, the priests must make atonement for the shedding of blood with a heifer that has never been worked.  The Israelites may take a captive woman as a wife after a month of mourning and she may leave if you are not pleased with her.  The firstborn son receives the inheritance despite which wife bore him.  A rebellious son is to be stoned to death.  Don’t desecrate the land God is giving you by leaving a hung man hanging from a tree.

Deuteronomy 22:  Various laws described here including returning your neighbor’s stray animals, not wearing the other sex’s clothing, not capturing a mother bird, building a parapet for your house, etc.  A man may not slander the name of his wife because he is displeased with her.  However, if the wife did have premarital sex, she must be stoned.  If you commit adultery, both the man and woman must die.  Rape is punishable by death.  A man must marry a girl he rapes if they are both unbetrothed.  A man must never marry his father’s wife.

Deuteronomy 23:  No one emasculated may enter the assembly.  No one born out of wedlock may enter.  No Amorite nor Moabite nor descendants for 10 generations may enter as punishment for Balaam.  Keep the camp clean by disposing of waste products in the ground.  Avoid anything impure.  A list of miscellaneous laws including give refuge to a runaway slave, don’t become a shrine prostitute, don’t charge a brother interest, keep your vows, and eat of your neighbor’s vineyard and grain but do not take any with you.

Deuteronomy 24:  A continuation of miscellaneous laws from Deut 23.  Do not re-marry a spouse.  Do not take away a man’s livelihood to pay a debt.  Don’t kinda an Israelite or you will be put to death. Follow the priests in the case of dealing with leprous diseases.  Do not take advantage of employees, orphans, foreigners, or widows.  Leave sheaves of grain, olives, and grapes behind for the poor to reap.

Deuteronomy 25:  More miscellaneous laws:  Take disputes to courts before a judge to decide.  A man should marry his brother’s wife if he die  without an heir.  Cut off the hand of a woman who touches a man’s private parts.  Use accurate measures and weights.

Deuteronomy 26:  Review of first fruits from Numbers 18:12 but this was a special one right after the people celebrated their harvest after entering the Promised Land.  (Leviticus 23) and tithes (Deuteronomy 14; Leviticus 27).  Moses tells the people one of the first things they must do when they enter the Promised Land is make an offering to the Lord of their firstfruits in thanks for what the Lord has done for them.  Set aside the tenth for the Levite, widows, orphans, and foreigners in the third year.  Walk in the Lord’s ways as His treasured possession.

Questions:

11a)  The king must be one God chooses and a native.  He must not acquire a great number of horses nor return to Egypt to get more.  He must not take many wives nor accumulate vast wealth.  He is to write a copy of these laws on a scroll and carry with it and read it daily so he can follow the Lord’s decrees all of his days.

b)  Solomon

12a)  Part personal question.  My answer:  Sacrificing sons and daughters in a fire, practice of divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, casts spells, is a medium or a spiritist, or someone who consults the dead.  No.

b)  Jesus.  (Also see Acts 7:37)

c)  If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken.

13a)  As a giving back to the Lord what He has given them.  As a goodwill offering for God’s promise of bringing them to the land of milk and honey.  As a celebration of God.

b)  Joyful (verse 11).

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Work harder.  Sleep even less.  Remove my complacency and lack of motivation that has set in the last few weeks.

Conclusions:  Raise your hand if you knew the answer to 12b was Jesus without having to look it up?  Great nuggets in here that we just don’t have time to study (I highlighted some below:  care for animals and trees and the poor).  Loved Deuteronomy 24:5  “For one year he (newlywed husband) is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.”  God so loves marriage and knows a strong bond is needed to endure.  Isn’t this awesome?

End Notes:  Deuteronomy 17:  Reflecting Exodus 21-23, the first part is directed towards judges.

By requiring the witnesses to be the first to cast the first stone, this ensured they were absolutely sure of what they saw and were testifying about.  John 8:7 refers to this.

Here we see the Biblical validation of appellate court system and contempt of court.

God knew 400 years into the future Israel would demand a king.  1 Samuel 8:6-9 records the moment.  It appears to be that God did not want an earthly king for He alone is king.  Furthermore, I’m sure “as all the other nations have” didn’t please God either since they were supposed to remain apart.  We see the difference immediately in following God’s word:  Saul versus David.  Which one was chosen by God and which wasn’t?  Maybe a king would do better since the Israelites history is not all that good.

Solomon broke all of God’s commands despite His closeness with God.  He wanted power, pleasure, and money–the sins that trip most of us up.

No better advice in the Bible is found here.  Carrying the word around with you, reading it and studying it daily, revering the Lord, staying humble, and knowing right from wrong.  There is no better way to keep one from sinning than reading and praying and studying God’s word.

Fun Fact:  Martin Luther once said he’d rather live in hell with the Bible than in Paradise without one.

Fun Fact:  The name “Deuteronomy” comes from this chapter and it’s a result of mistranslation.  “A copy of this law” used to read “this second law”.

Deuteronomy 18:  Witchcraft is a broad term here that could mean any thing dealing in the occult.  It is the same word used in Ezekiel 21:21.  Witchcraft is the work of Satan.  Period.  This includes so called “benevolent” witchcraft such as Wicca.

Astrology is forbidden as well since it encourages people to trust in things of creation (stars, moon, etc) instead of the Creator.

Those who “interpret omens” are the psychics.  The word omen means “to hiss” or “to whisper”.

A sorcerer is one who uses drugs to gain knowledge, which alters the mind.  Modern-day drug use is classified as this as well.  Same word seen in Micah 5:12.

A medium stands between our world and the spirit world and claims to channel both.

All are powers of the darkness and God does not look upon these sins lightly.  This is one of the reasons the Canaanites were judged so harshly by God.  Other cultures sinned, but not all of them engaged in the powers of darkness.

If God tells us something, that doesn’t mean we are commanded to speak it.  Prophets knowledge will come true if it is from God.

Deuteronomy 20:  A great example of God’s care for all of His creations–the trees!  He ordered His people to leave the fruit-bearers alone.  God is practical.

Deuteronomy 22:  This is the most interesting thing to me in these chapters:  Leave the mother bird alone!  Can you imagine out of all the animals in the world God chose this?  God’s love for all His creations shines through here.  Even more reason we should all be animal lovers.

Deuteronomy 24:  Gleaning is still practiced today even in America.  Religious organizations contract with farmers to harvest what is left after the harvest in order to feed the poor.

Deuteronomy 26:  Even though Egypt was a pagan society God chose it to grow the Israelites into a nation.  Why?  The Egyptians were racists and looked down upon the Israelites so much that they would not intermarry with them.  They could be completely isolated per se; yet still in a protected place to grow.

The firstfruits offering was a way to worship the Lord as are our tithes.

Follow God with your HEART.  That is the message of Deuteronomy.

DEUTERONOMY WRAP-UP:  In Deuteronomy 4-26 Moses has reminded Israel of God’s commands.  He has warned of disobedience and encouraged in obedience.  He has done everything in his power to prepare the people before he leaves them.  He has instructed, reminded, and encouraged.  The rest is up to them and God.

Although Deuteronomy repeats large portions of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, Deuteronomy focuses on why people should obey the aforementioned laws:  because God loves them.  God asks for obedience in return.  15 times Deuteronomy says to love God.  Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 as the greatest commandment to Love God.  Important, wouldn’t you think?

Moses emphasizes the laws are for our good.  There would be no excuse from man about what was required of him.  Obeying the rules would be a whole other matter.

Christians often wonder why bad things happen to them when God promises so many good things.  Christians often get the Old Testament mixed up with the New Testament and forget that once Jesus came he changed everything.

The Old Testament covenant was only with the ancient Israelites.  It was nulled when Jesus came.  God promised prosperity beyond their dreams, protection, and even free from disease IF the people obeyed.  God said, “Do good; get blessed.  Do evil; get punished.”  Well, we all know they didn’t obey; hence, they never received the fulfillment of God’s promises.

We cannot apply Old Testament promises that were not made to us–to us!  Jesus promised certain rewards for Christians, most of which are not of this world.  He spoke of poverty, rejection, and persecution.  Our reward is eternal life in heaven.  Could we ask for anything more worthy?

Time Fact to Complete This Lesson: 3 days and 5 hours.

Total Time and Days to Complete This Lesson:  7 days and 18 hours!  I’m wore out!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 26, Day 4: Deuteronomy 12-16

End Notes: My end notes will only cover the passages we are asked questions about. It is too many chapters to do in one week.

Summary of passages:  Deuteronomy 12:  Moses tells the people to destroy all the altars to other gods, burn their Ashram poles, and cut down their idols.  Don’t worship God in the way the pagans worshipped their gods.  The people shall rest once they have finished defeating the pagans.  Then God will chose the place they will worship Him and they are to bring their offerings to Him there.  Moses says they may kill animals but never eat their blood.  They are to eat their tithe only in the presence of the Lord.  Do exactly what God says to do without adding or detracting in any way.

Deuteronomy 13:  Do not believe false prophets who try to lead you into worshipping other gods.  This is a test sent by the Lord to test your heart.  That prophet must be put to death for his crimes.  If your brother, sister, son or daughter try to lead you to other gods, they must be put to death as well.  If people in your town are leading you astray, they must be killed and the town destroyed along with all the livestock as a burnt offering to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 14:  Lists clean and unclean food the Israelites could eat (repetition of Leviticus 11).  Moses reminds the Israelites about tithing.  Set aside one tenth of your produce each year for the Lord to eat in His presence or exchange it for silver if you live far away to but items at the tabernacle to be consumed in the Lord’s presence.  Every three years the tithes are to be stored for the Levites, aliens, orphans, and widows to live on.

Deuteronomy 15:  Review of Jubilee year (Leviticus 25), freeing servants (Leviticus 25), and setting aside the firstborn animal for God (Exodus 13).

Deuteronomy 16:  Review of the Passover Festivals, Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23).   Moses tells the people to appoint judges for each tribe in every town.

Questions:

9a)  Destroy completely all the places where the nations worshipped their gods.  Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, and burn their Ashram poles.  Cut down their idols and wipe out their names from those places.

b)  Because only in that place would the presence of God dwell.  The people are to worship in His presence.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be worshipping with God.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Worship is to be taken seriously and if God is not invited in and not present, then it’s meaningless.  We are to worship Him and He is to receive it.  Going through the motions is unacceptable to God.

10)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  False prophets, relatives (brother, son, daughter, wife or other relatives), and townspeople (wicked men).  Honestly, they don’t trouble me because I don’t associate with them.  False prophets are easy to spot.  My relatives are mostly believers and the ones that aren’t aren’t close to me.  I also don’t associate with friends who would lead me astray (Admittedly, I don’t have much contact with the outside world so my connections are limited).

Conclusions:  Loved the emphasis on worshipping God where He is and taking it seriously.  Question 10 was a toss-out.  I am a very strong personality, very strong beliefs, and am very opinionated and not afraid to say it.  So it’s hard for me to be influenced by others.

Much of this passage was review of Leviticus.  Thank goodness!

End Notes:  Deuteronomy 12:  The destroying of the places of worship went completely against contemporary practice.  In the ancient world, it was difficult to build buildings and time consuming.  They had only simple tools and machines.  Nothing like we have today.  So the ancients would re-use buildings and if one empire conquered another, they’d simply remove the old temple’s accessories and replace it with theirs.  Not here.  God wanted no part in a building not meant for Him.

As usual, the Israelites did not fully follow these rules and tear down the places.  Hundreds of years later in a temple renovation a priest discovered the Book of the Law (scholars believe it was a copy of Deuteronomy), which resulted in a renewed vigor for God (2 Kings 22-23).  God’s work never ceases to mystify–how He uses disobedience for obedience hundreds of years later.

The Israelites had been doing their own thing with regards to worship.  “No more,” God says.  “Once you are settled, there will be a place dedicated to me.”  Rejoicing is commanded, both here and in the New Testament (Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16).

Animals could be killed for purposes of meat only.  It didn’t have to be just for a sacrifice.

Tragically, the Israelites were infected by the Canaanite worship of their god, Molech, that demanded children as sacrifices.  From Solomon on, the worship of Molech is recorded and was a systemic problem throughout Israel’s history.  One can only wonder what would have happened if the Israelites had done as the Lord said–destroyed the people and their places of worship and followed Him whole-hearted.  Wonder if earth would be any better off?

Deuteronomy 13:  It is rare for God to speak solely through a dream.  One must look for confirmation of that dream.  Deuteronomy 18:22 speaks of the easier one to discern:  a dreamer whose prediction does not come to pass.  Here we examine a dreamer whose prediction does come to pass but then tries to turn you away from God.  This is a test from God of your heart for Him.

Jesus warns in Mark 16:17 that signs follow believers; believers are not to follow signs as Satan will arrive, performing miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

We must remember ancient Israel was a theocracy where the civil laws matched the religious laws.  Hence, some penalties that seem harsh to us today were permitted by God before Jesus came and ushered in the New Covenant.  Israel was the only true theocracy sanctioned by the One, True God.  Some say some Islamic countries are theocracies but non of them are pure–some secular laws are in existence there.

As we studied in Matthew 10:37 last year, God is above family.  The same is here.  Leading someone away from the Almighty is punishable by death since God is the giver of eternal life, you essentially have damned them.  Again, casting of the first stone is seen here as well.  (See also Matthew 18:6).

“Detestable” used to be translated “abomination”, which is a much stronger word and much more correct in translation.  It meant anything God could not stand and was impure, unholy, and unclean.

By destroying all within the city, it ensured no one would profit from the ruin of the city.  This deterred false reports.

The city was to remain a ruin forever.  Archaeologists believe these ruins (known as tel or tells) are the towns mentioned here.  Click HERE and HERE for examples.

Map Showing the King’s Highway and Israel’s Camp:  http://www.biblenews1.com/maps/moabcamp.gif

Time Fact to Complete This Lesson:  3 days and 4 hours.