10-6-2016 Jewish Special Days

In God’s Law through Moses, the Israelites were given annual special days in Leviticus 23 which were given to them as reminders that God had delivered them out of Egyptian bondage:  1) Passover; 2) firstfruits of harvest and Pentecost; 3) Day of Atonement; and 4) feast of tabernacles (or booths, or tents).  These are meaningless to Christians, for “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Galatians 3:13 NKJV): 1) “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV); 2) On Pentecost, Peter commanded: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 NKJV); 3) God’s mercy “made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5 NKJV); 4) Jesus ministers “the true tabernacle” (Hebrews 8:2 NKJV).  Jews keep the “old days,” Christians keep the New!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#israelites, #passover, #pentecost, #special-days, #tabernacle

8-11-2015 The Israelites’ Example

God delivered the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, leading them through Moses. “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land(Hebrews 11:29 NKJV). The Apostle Paul said they “all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:2 NKJV). But they refused to enter the Promised Land, and rebelled against God. Concerning those “twenty years old and above” (Numbers 14:29), God swore “that they would not enter His rest…who did not obey…So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:18-19 NKJV). (1) No one was saved without being baptized; (2) Baptized believers could become unbelievers; (3) “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:11 NKJV). No “once-saved-always saved” here!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#baptized, #israelites, #once-saved-always-saved, #rebelled, #slavery, #unbelievers

3-3-2015   Today’s Jews Are Not God’s Chosen People

In Antioch of Pisidia, Paul preached Jesus Christ: “through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39 NKJV). “The law of Moses” was given only to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 5:2-3) and only until Jesus Christ came: “[the Law] was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made” (Galatians 3:19 NKJV). That promised “Seed” is Christ (Galatians 3:16). Concerning Moses’ Law, Jesus “has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Since Jesus’ death, none of the Jews can claim to be God’s Chosen People. God said, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Luke 9:35 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#christ, #cross, #israelites, #jews, #moses-law, #seed

in the presence of God

Exodus 32 chronicles the building of the golden calf made by Aaron when the Israelites began to miss Moses. Their leader seemed to have disappeared, and his second-in-command either did not know the law or did not have the spine to stand up to the people in their error. He made the idol, and according to verse 6, the people “sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”

Fast forward to chapter 33. The people have been rebuked for their sin, and many were executed. God has withdrawn His presence from the people because He does not want to destroy them. A tradition begins of Moses meeting with God in his tent outside the camp.

And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the Lord would speak with Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. (verses 8-10)

Here is an interesting contrast: in the presence of the idol, the people ate, drank, and rose to play. In the presence of Jehovah, the people rose to worship. The point? What is our demeanor when we assemble for worship, and what does that say about our understanding of what is taking place? If we feel no sense of awe at the presence of God, and therefore demonstrate a lack of reverence in the assembly, then perhaps there is some kind of idol inhibiting our communion with the Creator.

Lord, open our eyes in the assembly; remind us that You are in our midst during worship, for only then can we begin to show the reverence You demand.

#aaron, #book-of-exodus, #christianity, #god, #golden-calf, #idolatry, #israelites, #presence-of-god, #reverence, #worship

incessant grumblers

Being a teacher requires a certain resolve. It doesn’t matter how intriguing or boring your lesson topic is for the day, there will be students who just won’t open up to it. Sometimes I say, before giving instructions for an assignment, “Everyone listen closely, because I am only going to explain this once.” By the end of the day, on a good day, I have explained it at least four or five times. This holds true no matter how simple the task–even writing down notes I am speaking verbatim. At times it can be exasperating, leaving you exhausted after a simple activity.

Exodus 16 makes me think of my classroom. It shakes out like this: In verse 2, the people grumble against Moses and Aaron. In verse 4, God says He is going to test them to see whether they will follow His instructions. In verse 14, they see the first manna. In verse 19, Moses tells them not to leave it til morning. In verse 20, they leave it til morning. In verse 25, Moses told them they would not find any manna because it was the sabbath, so don’t go looking for it. In verse 27, the people went looking for it. At this point the Lord seems exasperated, for He exclaims, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions?” Finally in verses 29 and 30 they get it right.

Lord, sometimes it takes us a little while to catch on. Please be patient with us while we learn to walk in Your instructions.

#christianity, #classroom, #exodus, #instructions, #israelites, #manna, #moses, #obedience, #test

Psalm 105

Vs. 1-6 remind God’s people to keep their focus on God;

Vs. 7-15 remind them of His provision for their fathers;

Vs. 16-23 remind them of how He got them into Egypt;

Vs. 24-38 remind them of how He got them out of Egypt;

Vs. 39-45 remind them of His original plan to get them into the Promised Land.

Psalm 105:1-15 is quoted in 1 Chronicles 16:7-22 where it is attributed to David who gave it to “Asaph and his brethren to thank the LORD.” It recounts the history of Israel recorded in the inspired Bible Books of Genesis-Joshua. The lesson is that this history is part of remembering “His marvelous works which He has done,” in other words, preaching the Bible to strengthen our faith.

Verses 1-6: The Bible is all about God and His dealings with mankind, Psalm 104 starts at “the beginning,” and Psalm 105 takes it from there to the Israelites settled in their Promised Land. “His name” (verse 1) is behind “His deeds; His “wondrous works” cause singing and rejoicing (verses 2-3); security is found in “His strength” (verse 4); faith is based upon “His marvelous works,” “His wonders,” and His “judgments” (verse 5); surely Israelites should have learned to obey Him (verse 6).

Verses 7-15: God made “judgments” “in all the earth” (verse 7); so certainly He “remembered His covenant forever,” which is “a thousand generations” (verse 8); “He made with Abraham” (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:15-18), “oath to Isaac” (Genesis 26:3-5), “Jacob for a statute” (Genesis 28:13-15; 35:9-15) for “an everlasting covenant” (verses 9-10). This promised them “the land of Canaan” (verse 11) when they were few in number and not native to it (verse 12; Genesis 34:30). Verse 13 covers the time in Genesis 12-36, while verses 14-15 include incidents showing God’s protection as written in: Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-18; 21:22-34.

Verses 16-23: The story of Joseph (verses 16-23) is detailed from Genesis 37:1-36; 38:1-50:26.

Verses 24-38: Verses 24-25 condenses the narrative in Exodus 1:1-22; verses 26-36 covers the plagues that released the Israelites in Exodus 2:1-12:30; verses 37-38 recaps Exodus 12:31-36 and the desire of Egyptians to let them go with some of their silver and gold.

Verses 39-45: Verse 39 is in Exodus 13:21; verse 40 is in Exodus 16:1-36; verse 41 is in Exodus 17:1-7. God led Israel, though they murmured and complained about their situation, He kept “His holy promise” (verse 42), and delivered them “with joy” and “gladness” (verse 43). They conquered the Land of Canaan (verse 44; Book of Joshua), to give them opportunity to “keep His laws” (verse 45).

Thought: This narrative in Psalm 105 leaves out the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 13:17-15:21), their lack of faith by sending 12 spies into the land first and their consequent 40-year wilderness wandering (Numbers 13:1-14:38), or their failed attempt to attack anyway (Numbers 14:39-45). Psalm 105 emphasizes God’s plan, provision, and protection for Israel in keeping His part of the covenant, rather than dwelling upon Israel’s disregard for their part of the covenant. After all, faith in God is worthy of praise and strengthening to a believer’s faith, instead of hovering over the example of failure of the Israelites.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #israelites, #promised-land