THE HARLOT SHALL LIVE

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PREPARE TO MARCH ORDER 

God has been known by the nations and now he wants Israel to remember their ritual sanctification of circumcision.   

And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.  At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.  And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.  And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.  Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.  For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.  And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.  Joshua 5:1-7 

This new generation is now free of the past and of the wilderness wandering.

And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole.  And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.  And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.  And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.  And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.  Joshua 5:8-12 

When the mamma no longer came from above they would receive a new visitation of the bread from heaven. 

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?  And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?  And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.  Joshua 5:13-15 

The captain of the host; is this another manifestation of Jesus in the Old Testament?  Joshua is willing to comply with his request in any case.  Now the Lord speaks to Joshua, which seems to connect the captain of the host as being the Lord too. 

Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.  And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.  And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.  And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.  And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.  Joshua 6:1-5 

There was to be no surprise attack, no stealth warriors here.  The world would know that they came with trumpets and ceremony.   

And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD.  And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.  And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.  And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.  And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.  So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.  Joshua 6:6-11 

A pattern is established, a ceremony without shouting, and the city will not be alarmed when they return to do the same the next day. 

And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.  And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.  And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.  And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.  And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, 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 in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.  And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.  But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.  Joshua 6:12-19 

Israel expects victory, but they are warned not to fall into defeat by sin.  They are to avoid the cursed things of the city. 

So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.  And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.  But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.  And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.  And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.  And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.  And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.  So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.  Joshua 6:20-27 

It is amazing that Rahab lived to mother the line of Jesus.  But it is also an act of grace from God that her house did not fall with the rest of the wall.   

Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.  Joshua2:15 

God has always had a plan for gentiles like Rahab and I, just as he had a plan for the children of Abraham.  God loves the world and would prefer that they love him.

TWELVE STONES OF MEMORIAL

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THE CROSSING 

Joshua prepares instructions for Israel to see the work of the Lord.

And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.  And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;  And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.  Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.  And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.  Joshua 3:1-5

God will make Joshua a leader as he did for Moses. 

And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.  And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.  And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.  And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.    Joshua 3:6-9 

Joshua prophesies a miracle to prove the Lord to the people. 

And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.  Behold, the ark of the covenant of the LORD of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.  Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.  And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the LORD of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.  Joshua 3:10-13 

Even flood waters were not enough to prevent the displacement that allows Israel to pass over on the dry river bed. 

And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;  And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)  That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.  And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.  Joshua 3:14-17 

Now the Lord appoints leaders to carry stones for a memorial marker. 

And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,  Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,  And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.  Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:  And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:  That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?  Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.  Joshua 4:1-7 

So the stones are piled in mid-river as a marker.   

And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.  And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.  For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until everything was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.  And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.  And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them:  About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.  Joshua 4:8-13 

As the armed men of Israel leave the Jordan river bed, the priests are commanded to bring the ark out too.  As they step ashore, the river returns to it’s normal flow. 

On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.  And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,  Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.  Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan.  And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.  And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.  And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.  And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?  Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.  For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:  That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.  Joshua 4:14-24 

The stones are also removed, and placed on land as a memorial to all nations of God’s deliverance.  So to this day, twelve tribes are remembered, as are twelve disciples who were placed as a memorial of Messiah.

THE SCARLET THREAD

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THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD 

God now addresses Joshua with the care of Israel in the Promised Land.

Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,  Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.  Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.  From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.  There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.  Joshua 1:1-9 

Joshua has received directions from God, so he passes the order to march on to the people.  They are all reminded of their obligations for service. 

Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,  Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.  And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,  Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.  Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;  Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’s servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.  Joshua 1:10-15 

The people accept his leadership and exhort him to courage also. 

And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.  According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.  Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.  Joshua 1:16-18 

Now he prepares for the battle by sending spies into the enemy territory.  Notice that Joshua remembers that only two good men are needed.  He and Caleb were not helped by a large group on their spy mission. 

And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.  And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.  And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.  And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were:  Joshua 2:1-4 

Their secrecy failed as they were discovered going to a harlot’s house.  She directs the king’s men in the wrong direction, while hiding them. 

And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.  But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.  And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.  Joshua 2:5-7 

After she lies to protect them, she explains to them why she was helping them. 

And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;  And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.  For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.  And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.  Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token:  And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.  Joshua 2:8-13 

Even if Israel forgets the testimony of the Lord, the nations around them know the fear of God.  This woman is looking for salvation for herself and her family.  She will receive even more in time as we will see.  This is an ancestor of Messiah. 

And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.  Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.  And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.  And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.  Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.  And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.  And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.  Joshua 2:14-20 

This protection would be honored later when Israel came to the city for war.  Joshua heard the testimony of their new ally, and the fear of God that ruled the nations ahead of them. 

And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.  And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not.  So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them:  And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.  Joshua 2:21-24 

The nations later will not faint for fear, but rejoice in deliverance that Israel will bring.  And Rahab becomes the mother of Boaz, husband of Ruth, and great-grandmother of David, the ancestor of Jesus.  This gentile woman will provide the savior who opens God’s salvation to all nations.  And both her son Boaz (Booz) and his future wife Ruth will bring gentile blood to the kingdom of God.  And Ruth too is a gentile! 

And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;  And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;  Matthew 1:5-6 

Thus a scarlet thread becomes a thread that ties the two testaments together with the common blood of Jesus, a gentile and Jewish union.

RETIREMENT

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FAREWELL MESSAGE 

This man Moses has been driving the law home for many years.  Israel could be weary of the message, but they know how God has used this man.  After God himself pronounced warning that they would eventually fail, Moses leaves them with this blessing. 

And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.  And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.  Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.  Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob.  And he was king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people and the tribes of Israel were gathered together. (1) Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few.  Deuteronomy 33:1-6 

He continues to address the blessing of the other tribes. 

And this is the blessing of (2)Judah: and he said, Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people: let his hands be sufficient for him; and be thou an help to him from his enemies.  And of (3)Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah;  Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant.  They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law: they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar.  Bless, LORD, his substance, and accept the work of his hands; smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.  Deuteronomy 33:7-11 

Levites will be the teachers of faith to Israel. 

And of (4)Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.  And of (5)Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,  And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon,  And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills,  And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.  His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.  Deuteronomy 33:12-17 

Benjamin and Joseph were loved by their father as the only children of Rachael.  The children of Joseph are also blessed here. 

And of (6)Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents.

They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.  And of (7)Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.  And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.  And of (8)Dan he said, Dan is a lion’s whelp: he shall leap from Bashan.  And of (9)Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour, and full with the blessing of the LORD: possess thou the west and the south.  Deuteronomy 33:18-23 

Dan had a different projection from his father Jacob: 

Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.  Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.  Genesis 49:16-17 

And of (10)Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil.  Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.  There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.  The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.  Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew.  Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.  Deuteronomy 33:24-29 

This blessing seems to cover only ten tribes…unless you count the sons of Joseph.  If this seems curious, compare this to the tribes named among the 144,000 sealed in Revelation.  Notice any missing names?  Any new ones?   

And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan,  And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea,  And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.  And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.  So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.  And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.  Deuteronomy 34:1-6 

This seems to say that the Lord buried Moses.  But he did die, so he is not missing because of being caught up like Enoch.   

And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.  And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.  And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.  And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,  In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land,  And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.  Deuteronomy 34:7-12 

Moses passed without weakening or illness.  His replacement Joshua was anointed to lead Israel beyond their experience with Moses.  Some of Israel have never moved beyond Moses to this day.  Another Joshua, Yeshua, will one day unite Israel again.

THE SONG OF MOSES

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CHANGING OF THE GUARD 

Moses now prepares Israel for his departure from this life.   

And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel.  And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.  The LORD thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD hath said.  And the LORD shall do unto them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them, whom he destroyed.  And the LORD shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you.  Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  Deuteronomy 31:1-6 

Joshua will lead them and God will deliver them in battle as he has before.   

And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.  And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.  And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.  Deuteronomy 31:7-9 

The Levites have the law written now, and are charged to refresh the memories of all of Israel on a regular basis. 

And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.  Gather the people together, men and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:  And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.  Deuteronomy 31:10-13 

They are to read the law before the people in the year of jubilee.  Their children will learn the law and fear God.  The role of Moses is drawing to a close now. 

And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.  And the LORD appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud: and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle.  Deuteronomy 31:14-15 

Now God alerts Moses to prepare Joshua for his new assignment.  He already knows the course that the people will choose to follow. 

And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.  Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?  And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.  Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.  For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.  And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.  Deuteronomy 31:16-21 

God knows that his chosen people will turn against him in the future.  He leaves a song with Moses to testify against them in that day. 

Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.

And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.  And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,  That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,  Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.  For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?  Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.  For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.  And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.  Deuteronomy 31:22-30  

THE SONG OF MOSES: 

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.   My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:  Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.  He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.  They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.  Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?  Deuteronomy 32:1-6 

Moses sings praise and proclaims the greatness of God to the world.  His song declares the foolishness of a perverse generation. 

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.  When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.   For the LORD’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.  He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.  As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:  So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.  Deuteronomy 32:7-12 

Jacob, Israel is the inheritance of God, sheltered and carried as by an eagle.  He has no strange God, only the God of his father Abraham. 

He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;  Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.  But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.  They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.  They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.  Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.  Deuteronomy 32:13-18 

While Joshua lived on the fat of the land, his children will grow fat and have rebel against God.  They will turn to serve demons instead of God. 

And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.  And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.  They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.  For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.  Deuteronomy 32:19-22 

God promises to provoke Israel to be jealous of a nation that is not even formed yet.  He will judge them by people who are not wise to the people of Israel.  Yet God will choose this nation to be their torment. 

I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.  They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.  The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.  I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:  Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the LORD hath not done all this.  For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.  Deuteronomy 32:23-28 

This punishment is a time of fear and torment to extremes as described here.  Indeed Israel was scattered around the world by the Romans, even after the Babylonian captivity.  Yet the nations that destroy them are not allowed to claim that their own strength has done what God ordained. 

O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!  How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?  For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.  For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:  Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.  Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?  Deuteronomy 32:29-34 

If Israel had chosen the wisdom of God they would have been the victors, chasing away thousands of the enemy.  Those enemies were given to demons and the serpent, and did not know the Rock of Ages.  Moses considers his own assurance of treasures in heaven to be a sealed promise.  He may have stricken the Rock a second time, but he knows that the assurance of God’s mercy is real.

THE CHALLENGING CHOICE

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CHOICES FOR THE WILDERNESS AHEAD 

Moses reminds the children of Israel of the many ways God has delivered them over the last forty years.  Do you think he has made these choices clear enough yet?  This Old Testament is the perfect place for Christians to learn though.  We are often just as slow to learn as any of these Jews ever were.  Let us remember the deliverance we have seen. 

These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.  And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land;  The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles:  Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.  And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot.  Deuteronomy 29:1-5 

Israel has already conquered enemies, even before crossing the river Jordan.  These lands were given to three tribes of Israel already. 

Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God.  And when ye came unto this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, came out against us unto battle, and we smote them:  And we took their land, and gave it for an inheritance unto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half tribe of Manasseh.  Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.  Deuteronomy 29:6-9 

Moses has Israel assembled to charge them to keep the commandments.  They are invited to enter a covenant with God to become his people.   

Ye stand this day all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel,  Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:  That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day:  That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.  Deuteronomy 29:10-13 

All of these are gathered to a great promise, rich, poor, young and old.  Foreigners and workers, leaders and followers are all aware of the errors of other nations they have seen.  The also share an open door to a great prosperity in the covenant of God. 

Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:  (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by;  And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)  Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;  Deuteronomy 29:14-18 

The temptation of idolatry should always be repulsive to them, as a disease or rottenness.   They should not be attracted to that which will bring sin and death. 

And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:  The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.  And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:  So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it;  And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:  Deuteronomy 29:19-23 

The destruction and suffering God warns them of can come if they abandon the commandments in rebellion and idolatry.  The land will return to barren desert if they ignore the deliverance of God. 

Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?  Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:  For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:  And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.  The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.  Deuteronomy 29:24-29 

With the loss of this injury will come the insult of humiliation before the nations of the world.  They will know that Israel had served a real god by the evidence of his power in punishment.  Yet the world will also see the power of God to show mercy and forgiveness. 

And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,  And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;  That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.  If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:  Deuteronomy 30:1-4 

Israel has this promise that their captivity can be repaired if they remember to turn to the Lord their God.  God has promised to bring the lost sheep of Israel home if they seek him. 

And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.  And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.  And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.  And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.  Deuteronomy 30:5-8 

When you have a promise like this from the creator himself, how can you miss?  A nation is appointed to prosperity for simple obedience. 

And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:  If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.  For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.  It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.  Deuteronomy 30:9-14 

This is a nation set aside and protected by God, chosen from a righteous father.  Their generations have been weeded out to eliminate the rebellion of their fathers.   

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;  In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.  But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;  I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:  That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.  Deuteronomy 30:15-20 

Here in the word of God is the record of heaven an earth that Moses has offered the free will choice of life or death to Israel.  God is their life, and he knows what they will choose already.  The righteous man Abraham has given his children an inheritance from the creator himself.  Will the children reflect the righteousness of their father Abraham?  The flesh of man has a great challenge ahead to meet the demands of the law. 

For the Christian the Old Testament shows us how well believers grow in faith.   We can gain the understanding of God without gaining the ability to perform it.  We understand the letter of the law, but not always the spirit of it.  These patriarchs will show us both. 

SIMPLE DECISIONS

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OPPORTUNITY FOR WHATEVER 

From the mountains of blessing and cursing Moses gives encouragement and warnings.  This is the generation of Israel who survived their parent’s sins, and who will enter the Promised Land. 

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:  And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.  Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.  Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.  Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.  Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.  Deuteronomy 28:1-6 

They have assurances of being first among nations by the hand of the Lord. 

The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.  The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.  The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.  And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.  Deuteronomy 28:7-10 

God will allow them to grow mentally, physically, spiritually, socially, and financially if they will obey him. 

And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.  And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:  Deuteronomy 28:11-13 

The church still has this assurance to be the head.  Why do we believe the world that calls us weak?  They are often such poor workers as to allow us to look good by default.  We should be doing great exploits in Jesus name.  Michael Faraday was the father of modern electronics, but he gave the credit all to God.  Yet we read that five of ten virgins will be without oil when Jesus comes.  Even Christians must be obedient and prepare. 

And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.  But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:  Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.  Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.  Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.  Deuteronomy 28:14-19 

Israel was charged to be obedient, even while God knows that our flesh is weak.  Their failure will pain them even as a child is hurt by touching the stove.  Why do we still have to have our own proof of God’s warnings? 

The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.  The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.  The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.  And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.  The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.  Deuteronomy 28:20-24 

God makes these discomforts to awaken them to their danger, but they may still continue to rebel until death.  War, disease, and hunger will not spare them.

The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.  And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.  The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.  The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:  And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.  Deuteronomy 28:25-29 

These warnings will become reality in Israel’s rebellious future.  They will have times of honor, but flesh will bring them times of dishonor as well. 

Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.  Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.  Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in thine hand.  The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:  So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.  Deuteronomy 28:30-34 

God will eventually raise up a nation and a king that will serve God by punishing the sins of Israel.  They will eventually lose their faith in God and turn to idols.

The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.  The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.  And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.  Deuteronomy 28:35-37 

This Old Testament trial will come with repeated warnings from prophets, yet the people will grow more rebellious over time.  They will watch their prosperity be given to others.  Our world is watching it’s prosperity being turned over to thieves and incompetents today too.  Does anyone remember these warnings to Israel today? 

Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.  Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.  Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.  Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.  All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.  Deuteronomy 28:38-42 

God’s people, who should be leaders, will become servants in debt to the world.  Poverty will become the brand that identifies the rebellious.  Debt imprisons those who turn away from the Lord. 

The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.  He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.  Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:  And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.  Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;  Deuteronomy 28:43-47 

A military disaster is waiting for the transgressions of Israel, as God will prepare Babylon to serve his plan.  They are well warned in advance, but who worries about the ancient prophesies in this modern age? 

Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.  The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;  A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:  And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.  And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.  Deuteronomy 28:48-52 

How low could this great nation sink in the face of this great siege?  Their children could become meat in their eyes during the distressing hunger of war. 

And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:  So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:  So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.  The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,  And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.  Deuteronomy 28:53-57

Even the plagues of Egypt will manifest in the wrath of an angry God.  There are dire consequences to pay for those who miss the hope of blessing. 

If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;  Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.  Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.  Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.  And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.  Deuteronomy 28:58-62 

What part of “thou shalt not” don’t you understand?  These are young people who hear quickly, right?  By now they may get the idea, you would think.   

And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.  And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.  And among these nations shalt thou find no ease,  either shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:  And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:  In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.  And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you. Deuteronomy 28:63-68 

We should hope that such a trial will not come against our nation.  Our nation’s founders understood the fear of the Lord as well.  Our generation has seen gifts of healing and evidence of God’s mercy in famine and wars.  Surely this nation that sent missionaries to the third world will not forget the warnings of God now?

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