MOSES CONTINUES HIS REFRESHER COURSE IN THE LAW.   

This is more than a parental nagging to remember God.  These people are about to go into battle.  This time they will participate in the battle, not just witness it.  God will not do it all for them this time.  They will have to face their fears.  They need more than a reminder; they need a revival.  They need to be strong against temptations and false teachings.  Moses gives instructions for how to deal with a liar who follows another God.   

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;  Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.  Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.  And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.  Deuteronomy 13:1-5

Even if the prophesy is fulfilled, but leads to false gods, we must reject it and the prophet who spoke it.  The dark side of the spirit world has power, but we must not follow it.   

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;  Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:  But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.  And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.  And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.  Deuteronomy 13:6-11 

Remember, these are the children of those who left Egypt.  They have not all seen the miracles God has done to get them this far.  They will be easily influenced by false prophets.  Their fathers had seen Egyptian magicians demonstrate spiritual powers.  They too will be impressed by false prophets if not prepared.  They must be ready for the battles ahead of them. 

If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;  Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;  Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.  And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.  And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;  When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.  Deuteronomy 13:12-18 

Any city offering temptations to false teaching is to be destroyed, and the livestock,  people, and materials of it.  The place cannot be rebuilt for Israel to dwell in. 

Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.  Deuteronomy 14:1-2 

Don’t ask me…I went to the web for some thoughtsThis Jewish scholar seems to have good points and other scriptures about that. 

However, when the prohibition to cut one’s hair is repeated in Dt 14:1-2 we read: “…you shall not cut yourselves nor shall you place baldness between your eyes, for the dead.” Since most people do not have any significant hair “between the eyes” this phrase is usually understood as meaning the hair on the front of the head above the eyes. Bearing this in mind, we learn two things from Dt 14. Firstly, we learn that the prohibition is not necessarily a bowl-cut, but making any baldness around the edges of the head. Secondly, we see that the prohibition is specifically in the context of mourning. That is, one is prohibited to make baldness in the head as an act of mourning “for the dead”. In ancient times, when someone died the surviving relatives were so distraught that they cut their skin until they bled and shaved bald spots on their head.  

While cutting one’s hair may sound like a strange act of mourning to the modern reader, this was a common practice in the ancient world. In fact, the Torah even permits non-Israelites to perform this despised mourning practice in certain contexts. Thus we read regarding the captive Gentile woman: “and she shall shave her head… and she shall cry over her mother and her father for a month of days” (Deuteronomy 21:12-14). As an act of mercy, the Torah allows the heathen women to shave her head while she mourns her recently killed father and mother (cf. Dt 20:13-14).   the Karaite Korner   

 http://www.karaite-korner.org/shaving.shtml  

Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.  These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.  And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.  Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you.  And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.  Deuteronomy 14:3-8 

The Kosher diet is well known now, but again this generation is being reminded of the law of  their diet.   

These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:  And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.  Of all clean birds ye shall eat.  But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, And every raven after his kind, And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.  And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten.  But of all clean fowls ye may eat.  Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.  Deuteronomy 14:9-21 

Again this is a refresher course in the law we read earlier.   

Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.  And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.  And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:  Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:  And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.  At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:  And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.  Deuteronomy 14:22-29 

We are reminded to remember the underprivileged and the pastoral workers.  A day will come when they can remember you to your Lord, and you will rejoice in their testimony.    

At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.  And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’s release.  Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release;  Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:  Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day.  For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.  Deuteronomy 15:1-6 

Showing charity to others and releasing debts will lead to your prosperity.  Obedience to God brings you the authority of leadership.  How much could our national leaders prosper from this?  Shouldn’t we invest in people instead of stocks?  The Amish have no insurance policies, but their neighbors will rebuild their barn after a storm.  Are YOU in good hands? 

If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:  But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.  Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.  Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.  For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.  Deuteronomy 15:7-11 

Foreign manufacturers have a reputation for keeping their employees, even in hard times.  Ours are noted for hiring temporary workers, and sending work overseas.  Our workers have little insurance coverage, and many have no paid holidays or retirement plans.  Do you wonder why these industries do not prosper?   

And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.  And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:  Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.  And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.  Deuteronomy 15:12-15

The Jews could buy servants who were also Jews.  God required them to release these slaves in the year of Jubilee.  They were also required to give the released servants some material rewards when they released them.  God had caused Egypt to give the Jews their jewelry and treasures when they were released from bondage.  This was another reminder lesson for this new generation.  We need to remember that we too were released from the bondage of sin when we deal with others who come to faith in Jesus.  We should give credit as God does, and see with his eyes of faith. 

And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee;  Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.  It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.  Deuteronomy 15:16-18 

A well treated servant may chose to be joined to our household if he is well treated.  A lost soul who is well treated will gladly join the Kingdom of God.   

All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep.  Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household.  And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God.  Thou shalt eat it within thy gates: the unclean and the clean person shall eat it alike, as the roebuck, and as the hart.  Only thou shalt not eat the blood thereof; thou shalt pour it upon the ground as water.  Deuteronomy 15:19-23

Finally there is this reminder to give to God’s work from the best offerings.  Obedience is a sacrifice, but it is more than that.  It is an investment in your own hope.

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