Monthly Archives: January 2017

Jan. 31, 2017, psalm 32:1-5, Deuteronomy 8, psalm 32:6-11 (19)

God provided everything they needed. It appears that they had no scarcity, clothes that did not wear out. While in the wilderness, they were a community and shared many thing. This led us to a discussion of how our parents saved and hoarded things. This was another test of obedience. Although there were times when people thought things were pretty good but when they heard of Canaan they were anxious. We hear about the struggle with suffering but awaiting the promise. Pries sang the magic penny about faith increases if you give it to others. Some people think God gave them land and they fight to keep it. Our Muslim speaker last Sunday was very articulate. A couple scoffed at what he was saying and walked out. It is confusing to study the Trinity and more straightforward to believe in one God. They believe Jesus wasn’t crucified but was taken to heaven.

January 24, 2017 Psalm 144:1-8. Deuteronomy 7, Psalm 144:9-16 (20)

Israel must destroy everything about the stronger foes completely. No inter marrying and do not worship at their altars. Don’t even use the gold and silver left over from the idols. The meaning of the word hornet here is uncertain, possibly it means a plague. In v 21 they are told to destroy the kings one at a time lest the wilderness overtake them. Canaan refers to the area of Phoenicia¬†and Egypt rules this area for 5 centuries. Possibly this explains the Hebrew story of being under Egypt and they ran into the desert to escape. The Hebrew people were sent into the wilderness to preserve their uniqueness and their civilization. Then when they were ready they came back to wipe out the other tribes. Does God change asks bill, Paul Tillich says the answer is Jesus. The Muslims believe all that happens is always caused or allowed by God. Jesus says only if you exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, can you come to heaven. Gene says I am lost. But bill says the righteousness of Pharisees is self righteous and hence you can easily exceed them. Our perception of God changes, from one who punished us for falling short, to a view that I can’t do enough but have the promise of God to save us despite our failures.

January 17, 2017 Psalm 142, Deuteronomy 5:22-6:25, Psalm 143 (17)

God wanted the people to fear him. They knew of his commands to kill all of their opponents and he seemed to elicit fear of what he might do to them if they crossed him. Verse 4-9 are most repeated verses in the OT because Jews recite them each morning. It is a real change to go from the wilderness into the Oasis west of the Jordan. The sources for chapter 6 are primarily from sources J and E. The 10 commandments are very similar to other laws at that time. The first 3 commandments are spiritual.

January 10, 2017 Psalm 83:1-8, Deuteronomy 4-5:21, Psalm 83:9-18 (14)

God is setting up the way we live righteously. Neither add to nor take away from the law. There are always loopholes in the law. Here we are nation building as the israelites take over a new land and have to live with new lands. They had to get used to live in close terms of avoiding the religions of others. They didn’t have to worry about these things after life being by themselves in the wilderness. Joseph got the people into Egypt and Moses got them out. In the same way Jesus went to Egypt then came back across the Jordan to be baptized by John. By whose authority do ministers go to the pulpit. Moses gained his authority by the burning bush but cemented it by leading the people out of Egypt.
We moved into chapter 5, the commandments. The third commandment has had more rules written about it. The 3rd commandment has a lot of explanation while other commandments don’t offer this kind of explanation. Other people have these kinds of rules on a day off every 7 or 8 days.

January 3, 2017 Psalm 49:1-9,, Deuteronomy 3, Psalm 49:10-18 (16)

This describes the taking of the east bank of the Jordan from Sihon, king of Heshbon. He also took over the land of Og of Bashon. God says that they should kill all men, women, and children as they took over the land. They could take over all of the belongings of the 2 conquered kings. How do we interpret this text for us today. It shows the voice of God and the obedience of the people to God. God said you are my chosen people so therefore anything goes. We do have to remember however that when you conquered a people you had to kill the enemies. Is it any different today with rulers like Assad of Syria or Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein. Lots of enemies were destroyed by these leaders. Archeological studies don’t show the devastation that the Bible describes.