Saturday, December 9, 2023

December 9, 2023

God told the Israelites that if a person was evil, on the word of two or more witnesses, they were to be stoned. Imagine how peaceful our country would be if we had a few stonings. Evil has wrought our nation and spread like gangrene, and some of the most innocent-looking people are corrupt and have fallen to the enemy’s unholy intentions. This world will not be perfect until Jesus returns to rule and reign, but a semblance of peace might be had if justice was done and perpetrators were dealt with as they should be. God intended for the Israelites, as families, to take care of the evil among them and not allow an outsider to administer judgment. At this point, it seems like there is no going back, and we will not have real peace until God brings it to us and administers his justice.

Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. Deuteronomy 17:5

In this same chapter of Deuteronomy, God explains that he is the one who will choose the king. Remember, even evil kings or presidents are chosen by God to serve a purpose. We need to wait with anticipation to see the good that will come from the current treasonous traitor that occupies the White House. I guarantee you it will be good! Wait for it; it will surely come!

Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: onefrom among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. Deuteronomy 17:15

Friday, December 8, 2023

December 8, 2023

Deuteronomy 16 covers Passover and the yearly feasts. I find it unusual that God tells us through Moses that during the Feast of Weeks and Feast of Booths, the men were to bring their whole family plus their servants and the Levites, but he doesn’t mention their wives. Isn’t that interesting? I’m sure God included them because the husband and wife are considered one in his eyes. 

And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there. Deuteronomy 16:11

At the end of the chapter, he tells them not to set up groves near the altar of the Lord. When they were in Egypt, the Egyptians would set up an altar with statues or images for worship and would plant trees or a grove, probably to hide the illicit things they were doing. Though we don’t have the altar of the Lord to go to, nor do we need it because we have Jesus, we shouldn’t be ashamed of our worship. Worship God in spirit and truth from the depth of your heart. 

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:23

Thursday, December 7, 2023

December 7, 2023

Yesterday’s post reminded us to tithe, but it seems as though the sacrifice is no sacrifice at all except for the travel time, being you were to eat it in the place designated by the Lord. If the place he selected was too far away to herd or carry your sacrifice, then you were to sell it in exchange for money so that it was easy to carry. Then, when you arrive at your destination, you are to buy whatever your heart lusts after and eat or drink it there, remembering that it was dedicated to the Lord. A portion must be shared with the Levites. See Deuteronomy 14:23-26. The cow or sheep sacrificed to God had to be firstlings without spot or blemish; if it had issues, it could be eaten as regular food. 

For any animal they ate, their blood must be poured out on the ground before consumption. It reminds me of Jesus and his blood pouring onto the ground for us. In light of these passages, it makes sense why he said to eat his body and drink of the cup as his blood as he presented the bread and wine at Passover. He covered every type of offering that could be made, but most notably, he was our sin offering. He is why there is no worthy sacrifice. You cannot do works enough to pay to cover yourself because none is greater than what Jesus did for us on the cross. 

All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep. Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household. Deuteronomy 15:19-20

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

December 6, 2023

I had finished all my running around yesterday, not realizing that I had written our tithe check out of an empty account, which meant that I wasn’t done and had to return to the bank to correct my mistake. Thank goodness Richard noticed what I had done, so our check didn’t bounce. That would have been embarrassing. 

Deuteronomy 14 explains how the Israelites were to tithe; it’s like a three-step process, which I’m not entirely clear on; even after reading several commentaries, I don’t get it. However, I know that even as a gentile servant of Jesus, we must do our best to contribute to our church. One of the verses alludes to tithing out of fear. I can assure you that, from experience, if we mishandle our tithe, our finances seem to go wonky. During one season, we had our tithe automatically withdrawn from our account, and without noticing, it had stopped being taken out. We started having issues with our tenants not paying and our properties needing repairs, which was unusual. After we realized something was wrong, I started looking for the cause; that’s when I found the mistake in our tithing. Was this a coincidence? I don’t think so! We paid up, and things began to get better. 

If your finances are sketchy, try tithing and see if it improves. God says he will open the window of heaven and pour out blessings, so much that there won’t be room enough to receive it! It is worth a try! Plus, fear comes in when you rob God!

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:8-10

And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. Deuteronomy 14:23

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

December 5, 2023

Something that fascinates me is that the Israelites are right on the edge of the promised land, Canaan, so close that they could probably smell the fragrance from the fruit trees blooming, and yet God would not allow them to go in until he corrected their behavior. It may be a good idea to ask God if anything within you is keeping you from a blessing that he has waiting for you. 

Moses warns about false prophets in Deuteronomy 13; they were not to be tolerated, and if you were their victim, you were to be the one to strike the first blow in their execution. Anyone who tried to draw a person away or convince them to turn away from God to worship a false god was to be killed, even if they were your close friend! Life would be much easier if we didn’t have false teachers around. They are so cunning and persuasive that many fall for their lies. 

Remember when Peter tried to convince Jesus that he shouldn’t suffer and be killed? 

Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. Matthew 16:22

Jesus called him out as a spokesman for Satan! So, I believe he repealed this law in the New Testament. If he hadn't, we would probably all be in jail for killing a person trying to persuade us against God. However, we should still call out false prophets and reject anyone who tries to convince us to follow someone other than the one true God. 

Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 13:3

Monday, December 4, 2023

December 4, 2023

Did you know that God loves to see us happy? So much so that when we come before him with an offering, he wants us to cover the altar with gladness rather than tears. Look at this verse:

And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. Malachi 2:13

We have much to be grateful for because God gives us everything we need, so when it comes time to make an offering of praise and worship him, we should be happy and not ruin our offering by complaining before him because of all our woes. Bringing sorrow before him shows him our lack of faith. Remember, his plan will succeed no matter what your emotions are. Today, if you are feeling down, do your best to turn your heart toward God, reach down within, and find a bit of joy to refresh your soul and show God how grateful you are for all he has given you. 

Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Psalms 100:2

And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee. Deuteronomy 12:7

Sunday, December 3, 2023

December 3, 2023

In Egypt, they had to irrigate the land to grow crops. They dug trenches from the Nile River during the seasons that it overflowed. However, in Canaan, now Israel, God cared for the land himself by watering it with rain. It has various soil types, making it ideal for growing crops like corn, grapes, and olive trees, but he also watered the fields for grass for the cattle. All they had to do to obtain and retain possession of the land was keep God’s Commandments. If they turned away from Him to serve other gods and worship them, the rain would stop. Israel lost possession of God’s land a couple of times; He warned them before they even entered. 

The current government of Israel is no better than the one we have and may even be more corrupt than the U.S. if that’s possible. Was it God who gave Israel back their land in 1948 or someone whose motives were not good? I don’t know enough about history to be sure; those who do know have to rely on someone else’s account, which may or may not be accurate. They had to fight to get it back, which goes against what God says about possessing it initially. When they were released from Babylon, they walked back in with little resistance because they had begun to follow God’s commands again. I can assure you that we don’t know all there is to know about the current conflict, but we should keep praying for the innocent people who continue to follow God’s commands and have been caught up in a war they didn’t create. 

For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Deuteronomy 11:22-23