HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS PEOPLE IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS – Lesson 4 of 8

Exodus 20:18-26—GOD CONTINUES TO GIVE HIS LAWS.

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 

20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

Continue reading HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS PEOPLE IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS – Lesson 4 of 8

HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS PEOPLE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE NEW: Lesson 3 of 8

ISRAEL BEGAN TO BE A NATION WHEN IT CROSSED THE RED SEA

  • They needed a law to govern the people. (What happens to a people without a law? 2 Chr. 15:3; 2:12; 1 Cor. 9:21)
  • Two weeks later ( 20:1-17), God gave them the Law (only ten of the commandments at that time) on Mt. Sinai.

THE OLD TESTAMENT LAW IS MORE THAN JUST THE 10 COMMANDMENTS.

Continue reading HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS PEOPLE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE NEW: Lesson 3 of 8

HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS PEOPLE IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS: Lesson 2 of 8

Lesson 2

Deut. 5:1-4

  1. And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.
  2. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
  3. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
  4. The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,

Note particularly in verse 3 that God did not make the covenant with anyone but Israel.

Deut. 7: 12-15 says “IF ye hearken….

12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers:

13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

14 Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.

15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.

Deut. 11:22-28—IF ye shall diligently keep all these commandments….

22 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;

23 Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.

24 Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

25 There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.

26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;

27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:

28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What law were the Israelites under when they first entered Egypt (Gen. 47:11)?
  2. Which law did the twelve tribes of Israel submit to while they were in Egypt for 400 years (Gen. 47:11)?
  3. What law were the Israelites under the first day they crossed over the Red Sea?
  4. What would happen to any nation if it had no national laws?
  5. What law did God give to govern the physical nation of Israel (Deut. 5:1-3)?
  6. What did God call the law that He gave to the nation of Israel (Heb. 8:7-9)?
  7. For whom did God make the Law of Moses (Deut. 5:2)?
  8. For whom did God not make the Law of Moses (Deut. 5:3)?
  9. Did God give the Law of Moses to anyone but the physical nation of Israel (Gal. 5:1-4)?
  10. What did God promise the Israelites He would give them if they kept his covenant (Deut. 11:22-24)?
  11. Which non-Israelite prophets, who prophesied before or during the time the Jews, were not under the Law of Moses? The non-Jewish nations (Gentiles) were not under the law of Moses, but God dealt with them through prophets.  Which prophets (specific prophets) would this have included?

You might think of a timeline which would look something like this:

  • Prophets ============================================>Christ
  • Mosaic (OT) Law =====================>Christ
  • Christ ===========>Today
  1. Consider that Abraham is our example of faith. Was he under the Law of Moses?  You may have to use the timeline here.
  2. Of all the examples of faith in Heb. 11:1-40,  how many of those lived under the Law of Moses?
  3. Reading from 1 Cor. 10:1-5,  what put the Israelites “into Moses?”

HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS PEOPLE IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS: Lesson 1 of 8

LESSON 1

People have been puzzled for generations about whether both Old and New Testaments are still in effect today. Do we have to obey both of them? Do we still have to go to Jerusalem three times a year? Do we still have to offer animal sacrifice for our sins? There is an Old Testament and a New Testament (Heb. 7:22; Heb. 8:1-5; Heb. 8:6-13; Heb. 9:14-15; Heb. 12:24).

Continue reading HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS PEOPLE IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS: Lesson 1 of 8

THE PRICE OF A LIFE

As a teen in high school, I became an avid reader, fascinated by the earliest of English literature with its accounts of the surfs and lords—presumably displaced Christians running from persecution—willing to serve in order to live. My curiosity and imagination went beyond my classmates’ because of Biblical accounts I related to the literature. Terms like “man price” and “wergild” immediately conjured relationships to Biblical laws regarding “cities of refuge” or the “avengers of blood.”

A classic literary example of a dispute over the wergild of a slave is contained in Iceland’s Egil’s Saga.

In the Story of Grettir the Strong, chapter 27, “The Suit for the Slaying of Thorgils Makson”, Thorgeir conveys to court Thorgils Arison’s offer of wergild as atonement for killing Thorgils Makson.

We read in the epic poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, that he comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (in Heorot) has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. Beowulf paid wergild from his father to Hrothgar by killing the monster Grendel and his mother. Grendel and his mother were believed to be descended from Cain. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel’s mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland.


Fair Use and Attribution

The modern novel, The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, is another example of “man price” being paid. The journal of Isildur reveals that he was justified taking the One Ring as a wergild for the deaths of his father and brother in battle. Appendix A of The Return of the King also mentions a rich wergild of gold sent by Turin II, Steward of Gondor, to King Folcwine of Rohan, after the death of his twin sons in battle.

How do these secular accounts relate to Christian evidences and our need to see where these practices originated?

CITIES OF REFUGE

Six Levitical cities were set aside to provide shelter and safety for those guilty of manslaughter. Of the 48 cities assigned to the Levites, six were designated as cities of refuge, three on either side of the Jordan River (Numbers 35:6-7; Joshua 20:7-8). The three cities of refuge west of the Jordan were KEDESH in Galilee, in the mountains of Naphtali (Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:32); SHECHEM, in the mountains of Ephraim (Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:21; 1 Chronicles 6:67); and HEBRON, also known as KIRJATH ARBA, in the mountains of Judah (Joshua 20:7).

The three cities east of the Jordan River were BEZER, in the wilderness on the plateau, or plain, of Moab, and assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 20:8; Joshua 21:36), RAMOTH GILEAD, or Ramoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad (Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 20:8; Joshua 21:38); and GOLAN, in Bashan, from the half-tribe of Manasseh (Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 20:8; Joshua 21:27).

In the ancient Near East if a person were killed, it was the custom that the nearest relative became the “avenger of blood” (Numbers 35:19; Numbers 35:21-27; Deuteronomy 19:12). It became his duty to slay the slayer. However, if a person killed another accidentally or unintentionally, the cities of refuge were provided as an asylum, “that by fleeing to one of these cities he might live” (Deuteronomy 4:42).

The regulations concerning these cities are found in Numbers 35; Deuteronomy 19:1-13, and Joshua 20. If the manslayer reached a city of refuge before the avenger of blood could slay him, he was given a fair trial and provided asylum until the death of the high priest. After that the manslayer was permitted to return home; but if he left the city of refuge before the death of the high priest, he was subject to death at the hands of the avenger of blood.

According to Scripture, who or what was the avenger of blood?

Deuteronomy 19:12—Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.

Joshua 20:3—That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.

Joshua 20:5—And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.

Joshua 20:9—These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.

What were the cities of refuge?

Numbers 35:11—Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares.

Numbers 35:14—Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge.

Joshua 20:2—Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:

1 Chronicles 6:67—And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs,