Why is this dissertation of ancient livestock breeding techniques recorded? How does Ya’akov’s faith in and obedience to God come through? How does Laban learn to fear God?
Actively trusting God’s words — called “faith” and “belief” — is what makes one righteous.
Yeshua told the devil, “We are to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4, quoting Deut. 8:3). The words of God are not limited to the “New Testament,” as a number of Christians assume. Yeshua said, “If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15, context John 14:14-16).
We believe with all our hearts that Yeshua and the Father are “one” (John 10:30; cf. Deut. 6:4-5). We understand that the words of the Torah are Yeshua’s words (1st Cor. 10:1-3), just like the Sermon on the Mount/Plain are Yeshua’s words.
Deuteronomy is not just repeating the prior books like a parrot but adding and elaborating on earlier teachings. It shows us not just the words of God but the heart of God. When you love someone you want to know what is in their heart.
In Deut. 5:6-21, Moses reiterates the 10 commandments to the children of Israel, the second generation of those who left the land of Egypt.
Moses says that he is going to remind them of the statutes (חֹק choq, Strong’s H2706) and judgments (מִשְׁפָּט misphat, Strong’s H4941) of God. He wants the people to “ learn them and observe them carefully.”
A statute is a prescribed task. We don’t come up with our own idea, it’s something that is pre-appointed. For example, the freeway speed limit is a statute. It’s a rule that has been predetermined and specifically required. The law pre-ordains that when a person travels on a particular road, they can only travel up to a certain speed. If a vehicle travels even one mile above that limit, the statute has been broken, regardless of whether a police officer cites the driver or not. The speed limit is not up to interpretation.
Wisdom is not head-knowledge. It is knowledge in action. When Yeshua tells His follows they are to be the light of the world, He is telling us that we are to show people the Gospel in our actions, not our words.
A judgement is what comes when a person fails to perform a specific task properly. Justice is first, then mercy and last is faith. Faith is not our faith, or faith in ourselves but faith in God’s faithfulness — that God’s rules are correct, that His is correct when he rebukes us and that God is faithful to forgive us when we repent. When God is a part of our life, He is closer to you than your own mother. Just as you know who your mother is and how she deals with life, we are also supposed to know God that intimately.
Moses also reminds the people that when God spoke at Horeb, aka Sinai, He was sealing a covenant (בְּרִית brit, Strong’s H1285) with them. God was creating a confederacy with the people of Israel, they were to be His people. The primitive roots of the word covenant add some insight into the importance of this covenant and what God was doing for the children of Israel. A possible root meaning is to feed or to eat (בָּרָה bara, Strong’s H1262). Another is to create or to cut down (בָּרָא bara, Strong’s H1254). God had cut them off from Egypt and made attached themselves to Him. They are no longer slaves in Egypt and they are to work for Him instead.
1st commandment: Getting in God’s face
There was a preface to this covenant, called the 10 commandments. When God says to “have no other gods before Him,” it actually means that you are not to have any other gods “in his face” to put them as equal to or above Him.
2nd commandment: Idol worship
When God says that you are not to have any idols or representations of God, He spells out three things. They are not to make any idols of anything in the heavens above them, the earth below their feet or in the waters below the earth.
We are told that God is “jealous” (קַנָּא qanna, Strong’s H7067) and we don’t like that word. The word translated as jealous only applies to God. No human being can do this. God will not have any rival. He destroyed all the elohim of Egypt so He would not have any rival in the hearts of the children of Israel.
When God shows mercy (חֶסֶד chesed, Strong’s H2617), He shows kindness, faithfulness, deeds of devotion. We need to be on God’s side, not God’ being on our side. When we bow our head to God, He lifts up our head. Yeshua “bowed down” and washed His disciples feet because God is not arrogant. He will show thousands of generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.
3rd commandment: ‘Taking God’s name in vain’ is more than using His name in coarse talk
The third commandment is important to consider, it tells us not to use the name of God “in vain.” The word in Hebrew is shav (שָׁוְא, Strong’s H7723). It means emptiness. When people take God’s name in vain, they are demeaning His name. When we carry God’s name, we are to be careful, when we take God’s name in vain, we are carrying it recklessly. Paul explains the breaking of this commandment as “the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you” (Rom. 2:24; cf. Isa. 52:5; Ezek. 36:22). When we claim to carry God’s name on us but act in a manner that is 180 degrees contrary, we are defaming His name much more seriously than mere cursing.
4th commandment: Labor vs. work on Shabbat
When it comes to keeping the sabbath, there are two different words we will look at: labor and work. Is there a difference? Labor in Hebrew is עָבַד abad (Strong’s H5647), which is to work for someone else. The word for work is מְלָאכָה melakah (Strong’s H4399), which is an occupation, what you do to bring in money or do for business. The Sabbath moratorium is on occupational work.
We are not to work on the Sabbath but we are still able to serve God and each other on the Sabbath. We are called to allow our servants to rest from serving us on the Sabbath. The Hebrew word is yanuach, from נוּחַ nuach (Strong’s H5117). Some of the other meanings include to abandon, to give comfort and to be settled and be satisfied. We are to give them a break, to allow them to refresh themselves.
Why did God say that the Sabbath is a picture or a sign between Himself and the people? We are called to remember God is our creator. God delivered them out of Egypt, which was a false, wicked taskmaster and call them to work for Him, the gracious and loving taskmaster.
5th commandment: Weighing your parents’ worth
The fifth commandment is to honor one’s parents. What is it to honor them? The Hebrew word for honor is כָּבֵד kabed (Strong’s H3513). It literally means to be heavy, weighty and of great value. When you put gold on a scale, it’s very heavy. We have this phrase in English about a person’s words carrying weight. For example, the words spoken by the President of the United States have greater “weight” or importance than the words of the Vice President.
10th commandment: Desiring another’s wife vs. desiring his stuff
The 10th commandment is the law against coveting. The first thing He names is that a man is not to covet or desire another man’s wife. The Hebrew word is חָמַד chamad (Strong’s H2530), which literally means “to desire” or “take pleasure” in something. When you look at a woman with lust, you are taking pleasure in her and breaking this commandment (Matt. 5:28).
The next part of this commandment actually is about “coveting” — desiring — a man’s house, etc. The Hebrew word here is a different: אָוָה ’avah (Strong’s H183), which means to be greedy for someone else’s property.
Speaker: Richard Agee. Reader: Dave De Fever. Summary: Tammy.
An important part of the everlasting, single-side, faith-based contract God made with Abram involved this strange and graphic “vision” of animals cut in pieces, scavengers, darkness and God appearing as a smoking oven and a torch. Many scholars explain this away as a common form of ancient deal-making. Continue reading Genesis 15 — Abram’s strange vision of animals cut in half & God as an oven & torch
Angels as described in the Bible are mysterious. They have great power and a dazzling appearance. Today, some are so enraptured with angelic beings that they seek to commune with them, and the situation wasn’t much different in the first century. Was Messiah Yeshua simply one of the mighty angels, elevated above the others for a certain role? The Book of Hebrews explains. Continue reading Book of Hebrews, part 2 — What is meant by ‘angels’?