Joshua 23-24

Joshua 23-24

Chapter 23: Keep the Commandments and Love God

Joshua speaks to Israel and encourages them to be courageous in keeping the commandments of God. He advises that the Israelites keep the commandments and LOVE God. He commands them not marry the remnants of the Canaanites, for if they do they will be brought down and destroyed for the evil that they have committed. If Israel serves other gods they will be cursed and destroyed.

We must follow the laws of Moses: Verse 6. But do we have to follow them today? I would say no. But can we learn a lot from the laws? Yes. Many things like eating of pork and other animals are not an issue today. But the general laws of doing good in the sight of God is something we must hold to.

Chapter 24: Serve the Lord God

Joshua gathers Israel and recalls how the Lord has blessed and led Israel throughout the years. Joshua and all the people make a covenant to choose serve the Lord only and no other gods. Joshua and Eleazer die. Joshua dies at the age of 110 (verse 29). The bones of Joseph are taken from Egypt and buried in Shechem.

I am including the actual text from chapter 24, only because I think it serves as a great summary of what the Lord has done for Israel since the beginning. Verses 1-13;

                “And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand. And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand. And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.” (Joshua 24:1-13)

                Joshua asks the Israelites “…choose you this day whom ye will serve…” (Joshua 24:15). Joshua warns that if “…ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, they he will turn and do you hurt… after that he hath done you good” (Joshua 24:20). I find this to be very true, if we chose to disobey God’s commandments and serve other gods (which can be putting material things before him) then we will be hurt. We can take a look at the world today and see that people are suffering everywhere… why? Because they are not following the commandments of God. Don’t have sexual relations outside of marriage… and then when people do that and get diseases and have unwanted pregnancies they look to God and say “there is no God” or that “How could God cause such horrible things to happen?”

You want to know the answer? He doesn’t cause bad things to happen, he always warns us, but if we don’t listen… WE ARE THE ONES LETTING BAD THINGS HAPPEN!! God hates to see us suffer, but like in the end of the verse “…he hath done you good.” (Joshua 24:20). Why has he done you good, by hurting you? Because you have to learn. Just like a parent telling their child to not touch the stove, but after the constant pursuit to touch the stove, the parent gives up and lets the child do what they want. The result? A crying child. God sees us the same way. Honestly we are all a bunch of crying babies in his eyes, and if we want something bad enough, eventually he won’t intervene, in fact he gave us agency to choose for ourselves. Remember Adam and Eve? He let Adam make his own decision. We too can make our own decision, as long as we are prepared to face the consequences of our decisions.

Joshua 5-6

Joshua 5-6

Chapter 5: Israel Keeps the Commandments

Inhabitants of Canaan fear the children of Israel. All the uncircumcised males in  Israel are taken to be circumcised. Israel keeps the commandments and completes the Passover, where they eat the fruit of the land, the Manna that the Lord had given to them ceases. The captain of the Lord’s host appears before Joshua.

Chapter 6: Jericho is destroyed

Joshua prepares the Israelites for war against Jericho. Seven (7) priests are given seven (7) trumpets of rams’ horns. They are to surround the city of Jericho and sound the horns for six (6) days, and on the seventh day to make a long blast with the seven (7) horns to start the war.

Joshua commands the people: “…Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice… until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout” (Joshua 6:10), here Joshua is telling his people to be quiet until the day that they need to scream. But this reminds me of churches today that scream and dance around… think about it… how can the spirit be there?

Anyways…  on the seventh day; Joshua speaks to the Israelites and tells them; “…Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city. And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her house, because she hid the messengers that we had sent. (see Joshua 2)” (Joshua 6:16-17)

                Joshua, as a war rally, tells them to be careful of what they touch, because it is evil within the city. But the silver, gold, brass and iron are to come into the Treasury of the Lord. The people shouted and charged the city, the walls of the city fell flat and all was “utterly destroyed” (Joshua 6:21). Joshua commands the 2 spies from Joshua 2, to go in and get Rahab and her family from the city, before they burn Jericho to the ground.

Joshua sends a warning and a curse for anyone who decides to rebuild the city of Jericho. The Lord was with Joshua and the fame of him was spread wide throughout the region.

Deuteronomy 5-6

Deuteronomy 5-6

Chapter 5: 10 Commandments

Moses calls all of Israel to come and listen to him regarding the statutes and commandments, by which they must follow. Moses reminds them that they must not only learn the commandments, but also keep and do them. So it is not as simple as “I know the commandments” and then keep them for a while and forget about them… it is a commitment. It is a covenant.

Moses reminds them all that THEY made this covenant with the Lord, not their fathers but THEY, all of those who are alive as Moses speaks to them. He reminds them that they made these covenants to follow the commandments of the Lord in Horeb and that they talked with God FACE TO FACE, Moses being there intermediary.

Moses then recaps the 10 commandments (as listed in Exodus 20):

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. – Worship God and no other person or thing.
    1. Moses notes that God said: “Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them (idols), nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Deuteronomy 5:9)
  2.  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. – You should not bow down/serve them, for God is a jealous God. Showing destruction to those who hate him and mercy unto those who love him.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain – don’t say God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, etc. Unless you are speaking of them. Do not use them as cuss words.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. – Sunday is to be observed to serve others,  read the scriptures, and attend church and rest. You should avoid working on Sundays if you can, and should always avoid making others work on Sunday, by shopping.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother – Respect your elders!
  6. Thou shalt not kill
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. – Law of Chastity: No sexual relationships outside of the bonds of marriage.
  8. Thou shalt not steal
  9. Thou shalt not bare false witness. – Do not lie.
  10. Thou shalt no covet. – Do not be jealous of what others have.

Moses goes on to state that these words were spoken to them in the mount out of the midst of fire and cloudiness of thick darkness. These commandments were written on two stones. Blessings flow from obedience.

Chapter 6: Keep the Commandments/Love God

Moses continues to tell the congregation of Israel to not only keep the commandments, but to Love and fear God.

“…thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy sould, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

We must serve God and Love him and if we do this (knowing that we must follow his commandments and be afraid of his power) than he will show us his love and make us prosper.

We need to always be doing what is right and just, if we succeed with this than we will prosper in the land.

Leviticus 25-27

Leviticus 25-27

Chapter 25: Jubilee

The Lord speaks to Moses in the Mount Sinai. He tells him that for seven years the children of Israel are to reap and sow the land. But in the eighth year they are to not dress the fields or prune the vineyards, but are supposed to let the land rest. In that same eighth year (or every eight years) the Lord will provide more meat in the wilderness for them to eat, because for that eighth year they will eat an increase in meat.

For every 50 years something special happens, the Jubilee! Every 50 years in the 10th day of the seventh month during the week of Atonement, shall the Jubilee trumpet sound.

The laws of the sale of lands and homes are revealed and Usury is condemned by God.

Chapter 26: Keep the Commandments

Temporal and Spiritual blessings can be for the children of Israel if they follow the commandments of God. If they choose to disobey, then they will be followed by cursing, scourging and desolations in the land. When people repent of their wrongdoings the Lord will have mercy upon them.

7 times more plagues for walking contrary to the laws and commandments of God. (Leviticus 26:21)

Chapter 27: Tithing

Properties are consecrated unto the Lord. Israel is commanded to pay 1/10 of all their increase in crops/flocks and herds. (Leviticus 27:32)

Leviticus 19-20

Leviticus 19-20

Chapter 19: Commandments/ Laws of God

  • Be holy as God is holy. (Leviticus 19:2)
  • Keep the Sabbath day holy. (Leviticus 19:3)
  • Do not worship idols or other gods. (Leviticus 19:4)
  • When you make a sacrifice of peace offerings, it must be done under your own will. The meat from the offering must be eaten within two days or it is abominable before the Lord. (Leviticus 19:5-7)
    • What we can learn here, is that sacrifices in the days of Moses meant sacrificing animals for Atonement of your sins. Today, after Jesus Christ took upon him our sins through Atonement we must confess our sins and do what we can to make a restitution of our sins. But if we do not do it with the right hear then it truly is abominable before the Lord.
  • When you collect your harvest of grapes or any other harvest, you must collect most of them, but still leaving behind some that are not picked for the poor and the strangers passing through the land. (Leviticus 19:8-10)
    • What we can learn here, is that since the days of Moses the Lord has put in some sort of Welfare program to help those in need.
  • Do not steal. (Leviticus 19:11)
  • Do not lie. (Leviticus 19:11)
  • Do not swear by the name of God falsely. (Leviticus 19:12)
  • Do not defraud your neighbor. (Leviticus 19:13)
  • Do not curse the deaf. (Leviticus 19:14)
  • Do not put a stumbling block before the blind. (Leviticus 19:14)
  • Do not judge someone who is poor by disrespecting him. Do not honor someone just because they are rich or mighty. But with righteous judgment will you judge people. (Leviticus 19:15)
    • It is not our place to judge, especially if we do not know someone. We might learn that someone who is poor, is a good person that fell into hard times and find that someone who is actually a respected individual has a closet full of dark secrets.
  • Do not gossip. (Leviticus 19:16)
  • Do not avenge nor bear any grudge against someone. (Leviticus 19:18)
  • Do not eat anything with blood. (Leviticus 19:26)
  • Do not cut or print on your skin. (Leviticus 19:28)
    • Piercings and Tattoos. Think of it this way, your body is a temple, right? So therefore we should not modify it or put things on it that were not intended.
  • Do not prostitute out your daughter, that she may become a whore. (Leviticus 19:29)

Chapter 20: Sexual Sins

The first 9 verses of Chapter 20 talk about not sacrificing children of the congregation of Israel to a superstitious man named Molech. The Lord is warning Israel once again about the dangers of worshiping false gods. The remainder of the chapter talks about Sexual Sins.

  • If a man commit adultery he and the woman shall be put to death.
  • If a man or woman commit incest in any form, those participating shall be put to death.
  • If a man lie with another man; homosexuality in general both men shall be put to death.
  • If a man or woman lie with an animal; bestiality in general then both the man and the beast shall be put to death.

Exodus 19-20

Exodus 19-20

Chapter 19: Israel; A Chosen People

Israel travels from the wilderness of Sinai and then from Rephidim to the desert of Sinai, where they pitched their tents. This being 3 months from the time that the Lord delivered them from the land of Egypt.

Moses goes up to God on the mountain and the Lord tell Moses that if the children of Israel obey and keep their covenants, that God will make them a “peculiar” people, and a “treasure” above all people, a holy nation.

The Lord appears on Mount Sinai amongst fire and earthquakes. Moses and Aaron go unto God, but the rest of them people are not able to go and see God.

Chapter 20: 10 Commandments

Moses speaks to God on the top of the Mount Sinai. Here he gives Moses the 10 Commandments.

The Ten Commandments:

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. – Worship God and no other person or thing.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. – You should not bow down/serve them, for God is a jealous God. Showing destruction to those who hate him and mercy unto those who love him.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain – don’t say God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, etc. Unless you are speaking of them. Do not use them as cuss words.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. – Sunday is to be observed to serve others,  read the scriptures, attend church and rest. You should avoid working on Sundays if you can, and should always avoid making others work on Sunday, by shopping.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother – Respect your elders!

6. Thou shalt not kill

7: Thou shalt not commit adultery. – Law of Chastity: No sexual relationships outside of the bonds of marriage.

8: Thou shalt not steal

9: Thou shalt not bare false witness. – Do not lie.

10: Thou shalt no covet. – Do not be jealous of what others have.