This is a rant about how badly his friends thought of him and how treacherous they were to him. Interesting to hear the dietary restrictions of the levites. The intention is to support the Levites but not too well. Advice is given about how to recognize a prophet. If what he says doesn’t happen, he is a false prophet. Divination is finding the future and that is an abomination to the Lord. What is it about foretelling the future that makes it evil. Is it because they took advantage of the people or was it because it was a challenge to God. Thomas Merton met Buddhist monks to find their revelation and wisdom. The glue holding the people together was religion, but others may have similar thoughts. There are Beal hymns among our hymns. Is a false prophet one who takes advantage or makes people do bad things. We like right on our side. A pastor Sinn sad he grazed in all pastures but gave his perspective to what was being said. The Lord said that they should designate sanctuary cities for people to take refuge when they commit involuntary manslaughter. Otherwise, others may avenge the death. They lived in an era of blood dishonor. Were they setup to protect the Innocents? Were the levites happy to be priests?
This is a calendar of religious activities. Four festivals of unleavened breads, harvest, weeks, and booths. The calendar for Passover was set to be when the barley is ripe. (7 times 7 weeks till the barley is at the right level of ripeness. Some people see Jesus in these festivals. We followed some sort of calendar which may follow some sort of these kind of festivals. Al said that although Constantine made ok to be christian, it was at Thessaloniki when christian Jews became untaxed. This was when lots of people became christian. Moses imposed an order on the people and is really the beginning of Judaism. In chapter 17, a judicial system is established with punishments and hierarchy of rulers. Hither to the Lord has chosen us. God said they could have kings, but this was actually written in the time of kings. Look in Exodus 20:22-24 for more about kings. There are penalties for not obeying the Lord.
We read about the tithe and remember the poor and homeless. Notice that the Levites had no part of the tithe. Chapter 15 is about the year of Jubilee. They incorporate both northern and southern concepts, merging the Moses tradition with ideas of David and Solomon. This text is interesting because of the concept of Jubilee. Eldon said they is not good for bankers. It says the poor will always be with us. Is this reference to something like affordable Care act. Why not provide universal care for all. How do we care for people. The level of care in the US will decline. How do we address the issues of unfairness whether it be health care or lack of shelter, food, etc. The lack of justice is the problem with care of any kind.
Moses wrote this but it seems to be different voice from what needs to be done. This is to kill people who didn’t believe. Pastor Pries read from a member who recounted a discussion he had had about Muslim jihad against infidels. In this text there is their God but he appears to be other gods as well. In the mega churches, they have the same sense of community. At Parkview they interview people to decide on the group they should join. Also the mega churches promise wealth as does this chapter. Muslim children have to beg for money in the community. Is this where the Mormons get the missionary practice? Are we more likely to be tolerant of those who are tolerant of us. In our society we teach our children autonomous and independent but then they belong to be part of community. We had a discussion about prayer and what it means when prayer isn’t answered. Possibly it has become a place of resting and personal peace in God.