Hebrews 8

Hebrews 8: Christ Sacrificed for Sin

                Paul explains to the Hebrews that the Old Covenant has “…waxeth old [and] is ready to vanish away.” (Hebrews 8:13) Paul urges the Hebrews and everyone who can read this letter (either then, or today) should; “…teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:11-12)

Essentially Paul has reminded us that God is merciful.  This means that is DOES NOT matter if we have sinned in the past, as long as we put it in the past. Those who come to Christ, will have their sins and wickedness be forgotten by Him.

Galatians 4

Galatians 4: Heirs of Christ

                Paul opens by explaining how a servant cannot inherit anything of their lord. However, because of the Abrahamic Covenant we all become adopted under the seed of Abraham. God sent His Son, so that we may be redeemed, for we “…were in bondage under the elements of the world:” (Galatians 4:3) Therefore Paul asks the Galatians; “…how turn ye again to the weak and beggearly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:9) The reason Paul asks this is because he clearly points out that all those adopted under the Abrahamic Covenant are “…no more a servant, but a son… [and] heir of God through Christ.” (Galatians 4:7)

                If we turn away from the worldly things and instead turn to Christ we can be made free from the misery of the world. We learn from Alma, a Book of Mormon Prophet who lived in Ancient America, that “…wickedness never was happiness.” (Alma 41:10; The Book of Mormon) Therefore those who choose to follow God and His commandments will be made free from the bondage of the evil that oppresses the earth.

Paul urges the Galatians to be like him and follow his example, as he follows the example of Christ. Paul then explains how Abraham had two sons, one was born of a bondwoman and the other was born of a freewoman. Ishmael was born of the flesh and unto a bondwoman, which represents the old covenant. Isaac was born of the spirit and unto a freewoman, which represents the new covenant. Those who do not follow the spirit, but rather follow the flesh shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Psalms 105-106

Psalms 105-106

Chapter 105: The Covenant of Abraham

“…Give thanks unto the Lord… Sing unto him… Glory ye in his holy name… Seek the Lord… seek his face…” (Psalms 105:1-4)

                We learn in the first four verses the importance of not only giving thanks to the Lord, but also praising his name… and seeking Him constantly.

“…Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” (Psalms 105:15) This is an important verse, because throughout all generations in time… the Lord’s servants have been attacked and this is a warning for those who try to hurt the anointed or servants of the Lord… basically… DON’T.

The rest of this Psalm goes through and reminds the reader of the Covenant the Israelites made with the Lord and reminds us of all the marvelous works and wonders the Lord did throughout time… but most importantly those miracles performed in the presence of the Israelites, when they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Remember the commandments and KEEP THEM!

Chapter 106: Moses helped Israel

The author of this Psalm reminds the reader of the ancient Israelites, who when faced with adversity cursed the name of God. However, when in dire need of rescue the Lord would save them from their enemies. We are reminded of the amazing works of the Lord and how He parted the Red Sea and yet within a very short period of time they “…forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.” (Psalms 106:13-14)          

                How often to people forget the Lord? Especially after having witnessed miracles in their own lives or the lives of others? We as human beings are quick to forget. But like the people of old, we too go on to worship idols and because of this it causes much bloodshed and sorrow. Our worship of idols today can include money or the idol worship of celebrities. We need to take strict heed to this and stay away from idols.

1 Chronicles 17-18

1 Chronicles 17-18

Chapter 17: Covenant Between David and God

David was sitting in his house when he turns to Nathan the prophet and tells him that he sits in a house built of wood, while the temple of the Lord is still a tent.

The Lord comes to Nathan to deliver a message to David. This message is that David needs not to be worried about building the temple, because the Lord has moved from tent to tent and from congregation to congregation since the time that the He brought up Israel.

David’s son will build the temple, the triumph of Israel is foretold and David thanks the Lord for his goodness to Israel.

Chapter 18: David Subdues all the adversaries of Israel

David smites the Philistines and subdues them so he can take Gath and all the surrounding towns from the Philistines. David kills the King of Zobah (Hadarezer) and takes from him thousands of chariots, seven thousand horsemen and twenty thousand footmen.

David took the shields of Gold and took them down to Jerusalem and from cities like Tibhath and Chun, David took brass, which Solomon used to make the brass sea (baptismal font).

When Tou, king of Hamath heard how David had done all these acts, he sent his son Hadoram to meet David and congratulate him. So David dedicated everything to them also. Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew the edomites in the valley of salt, which was 18,000. David ruled over all of Egypt.

 

2 Kings 23-25

2 Kings 23-25

Chapter 23: The Book of the Covenant

The King sent for all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem to come unto him. The King then went up into the house of the Lord and read out to them all the words of the Book of the Covenant. Then the King stood by a pillar and made a covenant there with all the elders to God that they would follow the words of the book and do well in the eyes of the Lord.

So the King commanded everyone to take anything that belonged to the worship of Baal and burn it in a field.  In the eighteenth year of King Josiah a Passover was held to the Lord in Jerusalem.

The King of Egypt decides to go up against the Assyrian Empire, but King Josiah went up against him and his servants carried him dead from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. The people then took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and made him king in his father’s stead. Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he began to reign and he reigned for 3 months in Jerusalem and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.

The King of Egypt; Pharaoh-nechoh put king Jehoahaz in band at Riblah in the land of Hamath that he might not reign in Jerusalem. Instead the king of Egypt put Eliakim the other son of Josiah king and renamed him; “Jehoiakim” and took Jeoahaz to Egypt where he would later die. Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he began to reign and he reigned for 11 years in Jerusalem and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.

Chapter 24: Jerusalem Taken by Nebuchadnezzar

Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon comes up and makes Jehoaikim his servant for three years. But Jehoaikim rebels against him. Jehoaikim gets some help from the Chaldees, Syrians, Moabites and the children of Ammon. Jehoaikim dies and his son Jehoiachin reigns in his stead. Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he began to reign and he reigned in Jerusalem for 3 months and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.

The King of Babylon comes and besieges the land and takes Jehoiachin and his household and also carried away all the treasures of the house of the Lord, including vessels of Gold that King Solomon had made in the Temple. The king of Babylon also took over 10,000 captive and brought them back to Babylon, he then appointed Mattaniah his father’s brother, whose name was changed to Zedekiah to reign in his stead.

Zedekiah was 21 years old when he began to reign and he reigned in Jerusalem for 11 years and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

Chapter 25: The Fall of Jerusalem

In the ninth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon he came to Jerusalem and pitched against it and build forts all around the city. Because of the surrounding armies, the city of Jerusalem started to go hungry for the lack of bread. Here is where things really get interesting, and where the Book of Mormon can help us understand more of the story from the Bible….

“And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain. And the army of the Chaldees took him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him. So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him. And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass and carried him to Babylon.” (2 Kings 2:25)

                According to this story all of the sons of Zedekiah were killed, however in the Book of Mormon it talks about how one of his sons… named Mulek fled and came to the Americas! See Helaman 6:10 and 8:21.

“…the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land of the north…” (Helaman 6:10)

“And will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yea, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us, and they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem?” (Helaman 8:21)

This is something that is very interesting and really helps us to understand the purpose of both the Bible (New and Old Testaments) and the Book of Mormon. The Bible is the word of God, but with the Book of Mormon we realize that God has more to say than just what is written in the Bible and had spoken with people of the Old world (middle east) and the New world (the Americas). Nebuchadnezzar with the help of his captain Nebuzar-adan burnt down the house of the Lord and the houses of Jerusalem. The remnants of the people flee to Egypt. Jechoiachin is released from prison and is favored by the new king; Evil-merodach the king of Babylon.

Numbers 9-10

Numbers 9-10

Chapter 9: Commanded to Keep the Passover

Israel is again commanded to keep the Passover. We also learn again, that the congregation of Israel moved when the cloud descended upon them and they journeyed every time the cloud went up.  (Numbers 9:17-21)

Chapter 10: Ark of the Covenant

The Lord speaks to Moses and commands him to make two trumpets, for the purpose of calling the assembly for the journeying of the camps of Israel. The trumpets will be used not only for assembly but for calling the princes of each tribe to gather together and to sound the alarm for war.

In the 20th day of the second year the cloud lifted up and the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.

Each tribe with their standard was lifted as they marched forth in a prescribed order. The Ark of the Covenant, however always went before them.

Genesis 16-18

Genesis 16-18

Chapter 16: Hagar and Ishmael

Sarai goes to Abram and tells him to go to her maid, Hagar and have children with her, because Sarai is unable to, and wants children. Abram does as his wife asks, this all happening 10 years from the time that they established themselves in the land of Canaan. Sarai after seeing that Hagar was pregnant with her husband’s child, gets worried that God will judge her. Sarai speaks with Abram and asks what she should do, Abram responds that she should do as she “pleaseth” with Hagar, so Sarai deals “Hardly” with Hagar and Hagar flees.

Hagar, having fled is visited by an angel of the Lord, who tells her:

  • That she needs to return to Sarai and submit to her.
  • That she will bear a son, and his name will be Ishmael.

This all happened by the fountain in Shur, which is later named “Beer-Lahai-Roi” – between Kadesh and Bered. Hagar has the child and Abram names his new son, Ishmael, as the Lord had told Hagar he would.

Chapter 17: Abrahamic Covenant

When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared unto him and Abram and God conversed (they talked and walked with each other). God tells Abram that he will no longer be called by Abram, but now by a new name: Abraham.

God tells Abraham that he will make him “exceedingly fruitful” and establishes his covenant with him. Men, starting at the age of 8 days old will be required to be circumcised, removing the flesh of the foreskin. Abraham is also instructed of the Lord to no longer call his wife Sarai, but by her new name: Sarah. God promises Abraham that through his wife Sarah, they will have a son and his name will be Isaac.

God promises Abraham’s son Ishmael that he will also be blessed, having 12 princes born unto him, making him and his posterity a great nation.

At the age of 99, Abraham and his son, Ishmael (age 13) are circumcised.

Chapter 18: Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

The Lord appears unto Abraham in the plains of Mamre, three holy men also appear unto Abraham and ask for water and bread. Abraham also fetches a young, tender calf for them to eat.

These three holy men tell Abraham that his wife Sarah will conceive a son, Sarah over-hears this and laughs in her heart, Sarah being old an unable to have children thought that this was impossible.

The Lord tells Abraham about Sarah laughing in her heart after over-hearing that she would conceive a son unto Abraham. The Lord asks Abraham; “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” – but the Lord assures Abraham that Sarah will indeed bare Abraham a son, even in her ripe old age. Abraham confronts Sarah and asks her why she had laughed in her heart, and out of fear, Sarah denies that she had laughed in her heart..

We learn that Abraham will command his children to do justice and judgment in the world.  The Lord also appears unto Abraham and discusses the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham does not want Sodom and Gomorrah to be destroyed and asks God; “…If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city…”  (Genesis 18:26) then will you not destroy the city? God tells him that he will not, if he can find fifty righteous men within the city. But Abraham does not stop there, he continues to ask the Lord (essentially hypothetical questions) if smaller and smaller amounts of righteous men can be found, if the Lord would still spare the city. He starts with 50, then goes to 45, 40, 30, 20 and then finally 10, each time the Lord responds that he will not destroy the city, but cautioning him to not make him angry by his constant demands.