Deuteronomy 15:1-23 Sabbath Year

This applies to more than just money and more than just “brothers” and “sisters”.

God commands that every seventh year is to be a year of release. This includes releasing debts to your “brother” and Hebrew servants.

God does a lot of things in groups of seven. Seven days of the week. Seven trumpets. The Seven churches. Seven times seventy for forgiveness. And the seventh year of release. These are just the ones that I came up with off the top of my head. I’m certain there are more if you wanted to do a study on it.

Like the seven days of the week where the seventh day is commanded as a day of rest, the seventh year is also commanded to be set aside as special. But this specialness applies only to transactions between “brothers”; members of the children of Israel. Read more »

Deuteronomy 14:22-29 Tithes

Bring the tithe before the Lord and celebrate Him when partaking in it.

Moses tells the people how to honor the Lord with their yield. They are to bring a tithe to the place God chooses as His own.

A portion of everything that God blessed Israel with was to be set aside to honor Him with. The practice that Moses commands here is different from what I had learned. I was always taught that a tenth of your increase belonged to God and was to be given to the church. But that’s not what Moses says. “And before the Lord your God, in the place that He will choose, to make His name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wind, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always” (verse 23). Read more »

Deuteronomy 14:1-21 Diets & Death

God had His reasons for His rules.

Moses begins going over the personal activities that God expects of the people. He touches on death rituals and dietary restrictions.

I find it interesting that these two topics are put in the same category in this chapter. The subtitle on this section doesn’t even hint at the first issue covered; death rituals. I was curious and went looking at death rituals to find out who did what but all I found dealt with the care of the dead body and their belief on the afterlife. I did read that Egyptians would shave their eyebrows as part of death practices. They also treated a pet’s burial the same as a person’s.

God didn’t want His children following the pagan rituals in any area of their lives. I’m wondering if His instructions regarding death practices has more to do with life after death. Was God essentially telling them not to engage in self-marring practices because the person was only “sleeping” until Jesus’ work was done? They were allowed to mourn and grieve but not do any temporary or permanent damage to their own bodies. God doesn’t address how to deal with the remains of the person here, only the behavior of those in mourning. Read more »

Deuteronomy 12:29-13:18 NO Idols

If only they were this easy to recognize.

Moses warns the people in the strongest language possible to NOT follow other gods. The one who entices another to do so is worthy of a death sentence.

This sounds harsh but God was determined to protect His people. God would not tolerate ANYONE enticing His people away from Him. He knew the dangers that “god shopping” can create.

God isn’t insecure or afraid some other god could offer something He couldn’t. He knows the lengths Satan will go to in order to separate us from the truth. God knows how slippery it can be for us to go “exploring” other options. Read more »

Deuteronomy 12:1-28 A Special Place

God’s Tabernacle would find a place of rest too.

Before God even took the children of Israel across the Jordan He had a place in mind for His dwelling place. It would be a special place to all the people.

While the people were wandering in the wilderness, wherever they set up the Tabernacle was where they made their sacrifices to God. The people were also following their own heart in how they served God according to what I hear Moses saying. “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes” (verse 8). It appears that once the people have taken full possession of the land that the rules of worship and sacrifices tighten up. Read more »