Deuteronomy 9: The Lord is a consuming fire

Deut. 9 starts with the refrain “Hear O Israel.” This time God is not declaring His own unity, or telling the children of Israel what they need to do. This time, God is telling the children of Israel what He will do for them: “Know therefore today that it is the LORD your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the LORD has spoken to you.” (Deuteronomy 9:3 NASB)

Thought Questions
Continue reading Deuteronomy 9: The Lord is a consuming fire

Matthew 24 — Interpreting the ‘signs of the times’ by studying the lessons of the past

Reader: Daniel Agee
Teacher: Jeff

Continue reading Matthew 24 — Interpreting the ‘signs of the times’ by studying the lessons of the past

Aaronic & menorah blessings

Kathy De Fever sings these two blessings every Shabbat.

Aaronic blessing

Num. 6:24-26

The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.
Amen.

Blessing of the menorah (seven-branched candleholder of Israel)

Blessed are You, oh LORD our God, King of the world,
Who has sanctified us by Your commandments,
And Who has commanded us to be a light to the nations,
And Who has given us Yeshua, the Light of the world.
Amen.

Joshua 23-24

Reader: Jeff
Teacher: Daniel Agee

Thought questions

  • Which part of the Book of the Law (Genesis–Deuteronomy) did Yehoshua (Joshua) contribute to?
    • How do we know?
  • What is meant by Yehoshua’s rock bearing witness?
    • How is this related to Abel’s blood crying out from the ground?
    • What does this say about the importance of history in faith?
  • What have they people seen in the several years since Israel moved from the wilderness east of the Yarden (Jordan) River in the Promised Land west of the river?
    • Which key figures were continually presente when all these miracles were happening?
    • What two situations weren’t Moshe (Moses) and Yehoshua involved with?
    • What then is Yehoshua’s dilemma when he faces his death? (See Deut. 23:3.)
    • Who will the people look to for guidance?
    • What then is the object of Yehoshua’s speech in Josh. 23-24?
    • Why did he point out certain details?
  • How long did Moshe and Yehoshua live?
    • Didn’t God promise to bless Yehoshua as much as Moshe?
    • Did that mean Yehoshua wasn’t as good enough in doing his mission?
  • Why wasn’t Yehoshua to live as long as Moshe, according to Deut. 18:18?
    • Who is referred to in that prophecy?
  • Was Yehoshua supposed to have all Moshe’s blessings?
    • Does that indeed mean Yehoshua wasn’t good enough?
  • What were the shortcomings for each tribe in fulfilling their duties in conquering their territories (Deut. 23:5-10)?
  • What were Yehoshua’s three tasks mentioned in Josh. 1?
    • Be strong and courageous.
    • Love God.
    • Don’t waver.
  • Did he fulfill them?
  • What does "cling" mean in relation to the people’s relationship with God? (See Deut. 23:8.)
    • What were the shortcomings later for the tribes of the northern Kingdom of Israel in this relationship?
    • What were two consequences of "clinging" to other nations and their gods? (See Deut. 23:11-16.)
      • Was the deal a no-winner for Israel?
      • When was Israel’s "point of no return" in deal-making with God?
  • Did Yehoshua assemble Israel in Shechem or Shioh? (Compare Josh. 24:1 with Josh. 22:12.)
  • What is the history of Shechem?
    • What does the Hebrew name mean?
      • What Bible concept is connected to that city?
    • What did Abram do there when he arrived from Mesopotamia? (See Gen. 12:6-7.)
      • What was the element of his past?
    • What did Jacob do there on his return? What did he bury? (See Gen. 35:1-5.)
    • What happened to Yosef (Joseph) there? (See Gen. 37:13.)
      • How was Yosef associated with idols with his dreams and life in Egypt?
      • What did Yehoshua tell the people to do with Yosef’s bones and the people’s idols? (See Josh. 24:32.)
    • Where did the Samaritans do in Shechem 1,300 years later? (See Jer. 41.)
      • Were they exclusive in their devotion to the LORD?
      • What did they build there in addition to the one built in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem)?
    • What two significant mountains of worship were on either side of Shechem?
    • What did the kings later do there related to idols?
    • What was Shechem’s father’s name?
      • What does Hamor mean?
      • What does the donkey represent in the Bible?
    • What was Shechem used for in its whole history as a place of worship?
      • What was so unique about its location?
    • How many times did Moshe and Yehoshua reaffirm God’s covenant with Israel?
    • How does choice at Shechem to leave behind their idols relate to Messiah’s warning to "count the cost" of following Him?
  • Why doesn’t Yehoshua bring up the rebellions and failings of the people in his final speech?
    • How does that speak to God’s forgive-and-forget approach?
  • What was Yehoshua’s response to the people’s agreement to follow God because of the blessings they’ve received? (See Josh. 24:15.)
    • Didn’t the people of Israel earlier agree to put away their idols?
    • How soon after Yehoshua’s death did the people go after idols?

Lessons from the book of Joshua

  • Josh. 8: Achan sins at Yerikho and many in the army dies at Ai. The deal was to follow God. The sin of the few can affect many.
  • Josh. 9: On the mountains of Ebal and Gerazim the choice is, Who will you serve?
  • Josh. 10: Gibeonites make a deal. What didn’t Yehoshua do before making the deal?
  • Josh. 11: The sun stands still so Yehoshua can complete the fight. A miracle for an individual can affect people around you and perhaps the world.
  • Josh. 12: A seemingly boring list of names contains a prophecy of Messiah. Lists in the Bible are there for a purpose.
  • Josh. 13: The northern tribes encounter troubles. Pray that God will expose enemies so they will be cut down.
  • Josh. 14: Caleb lives large. He took Hebron, which was occupied by giants. With God on your side, you can do anything.
  • Josh. 15: The Promised Land is distributed. The tribes fell as a nation because they did not conquer all cities and chose slaves and money over hard work.
  • Josh. 16-17: Shiloh is established. Simeon and Levi are divided among the tribes to fulfill prophecy of Gen. 48.
  • Josh. 18-19: Once the territories are established, justice is established.
  • Josh. 20: Cities of refuge were set up so there would be no personal vengeance.
  • Josh. 21: Reuben and Gad set up a replica altar east of the Yarden River of the one in the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They show that though separated by the river they are connected to the people of Israel and their mission.