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29 April - Deuteronomy 16; Ecclesiastes 8; Acts 7


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Posted 29 April 2008 - 11:24 AM

First Portion

Deuteronomy 16


16:1 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to Yahweh your God; for in the month of Abib Yahweh your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night. 16:2 You shall sacrifice the Passover to Yahweh your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which Yahweh shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there. 16:3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it. You shall eat unleavened bread with it seven days, even the bread of affliction; for you came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that you may remember the day when you came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. 16:4 No yeast shall be seen with you in all your borders seven days; neither shall any of the flesh, which you sacrifice the first day at evening, remain all night until the morning. 16:5 You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates, which Yahweh your God gives you; 16:6 but at the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell in, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at evening, at the going down of the sun, at the season that you came forth out of Egypt. 16:7 You shall roast and eat it in the place which Yahweh your God shall choose: and you shall turn in the morning, and go to your tents. 16:8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to Yahweh your God; you shall do no work. 16:9 You shall count for yourselves seven weeks: from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain you shall begin to number seven weeks. 16:10 You shall keep the feast of weeks to Yahweh your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give, according as Yahweh your God blesses you: 16:11 and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates, and the foreigner, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are in the midst of you, in the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there. 16:12 You shall remember that you were a bondservant in Egypt: and you shall observe and do these statutes. 16:13 You shall keep the feast of tents seven days, after that you have gathered in from your threshing floor and from your winepress: 16:14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite, and the foreigner, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates. 16:15 You shall keep a feast to Yahweh your God seven days in the place which Yahweh shall choose; because Yahweh your God will bless you in all your increase, and in all the work of your hands, and you shall be altogether joyful. 16:16 Three times in a year shall all your males appear before Yahweh your God in the place which he shall choose: in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tents; and they shall not appear before Yahweh empty: 16:17 every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of Yahweh your God which he has given you. 16:18 You shall make judges and officers in all your gates, which Yahweh your God gives you, according to your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 16:19 You shall not wrest justice: you shall not respect persons; neither shall you take a bribe; for a bribe does blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. 16:20 You shall follow that which is altogether just, that you may live, and inherit the land which Yahweh your God gives you. 16:21 You shall not plant for yourselves an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of Yahweh your God, which you shall make for yourselves. 16:22 Neither shall you set yourself up a pillar; which Yahweh your God hates.

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 11:25 AM

Second Portion

Ecclesiastes 8


8:1 Who is like the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed. 8:2 I say, “Keep the king’s command!” because of the oath to God. 8:3 Don’t be hasty to go out of his presence. Don’t persist in an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him, 8:4 for the king’s word is supreme. Who can say to him, “What are you doing?” 8:5 Whoever keeps the commandment shall not come to harm, and his wise heart will know the time and procedure. 8:6 For there is a time and procedure for every purpose, although the misery of man is heavy on him. 8:7 For he doesn’t know that which will be; for who can tell him how it will be? 8:8 There is no man who has power over the spirit to contain the spirit; neither does he have power over the day of death. There is no discharge in war; neither shall wickedness deliver those who practice it.

8:9 All this have I seen, and applied my mind to every work that is done under the sun. There is a time in which one man has power over another to his hurt. 8:10 So I saw the wicked buried. Indeed they came also from holiness. They went and were forgotten in the city where they did this. This also is vanity. 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 8:12 Though a sinner commits crimes a hundred times, and lives long, yet surely I know that it will be better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him. 8:13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he lengthen days like a shadow; because he doesn’t fear God.

8:14 There is a vanity which is done on the earth, that there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked. Again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be joyful: for that will accompany him in his labor all the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.

8:16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on the earth (for also there is that neither day nor night sees sleep with his eyes), 8:17 then I saw all the work of God, that man can’t find out the work that is done under the sun, because however much a man labors to seek it out, yet he won’t find it. Yes even though a wise man thinks he can comprehend it, he won’t be able to find it.

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 11:27 AM

Third Portion

Acts 7


7:1 The high priest said, “Are these things so?”

7:2 He said, “Brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 7:3 and said to him, ‘Get out of your land, and from your relatives, and come into a land which I will show you.’* 7:4 Then he came out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and lived in Haran. From there, when his father was dead, God moved him into this land, where you are now living. 7:5 He gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on. He promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when he still had no child. 7:6 God spoke in this way: that his seed would live as aliens in a strange land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years. 7:7 ‘I will judge the nation to which they will be in bondage,’ said God, ‘and after that will they come out, and serve me in this place.’* 7:8 He gave him the covenant of circumcision. So Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

7:9 “The patriarchs, moved with jealousy against Joseph, sold him into Egypt. God was with him, 7:10 and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He made him governor over Egypt and all his house. 7:11 Now a famine came over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction. Our fathers found no food. 7:12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers the first time. 7:13 On the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers, and Joseph’s race was revealed to Pharaoh. 7:14 Joseph sent, and summoned Jacob, his father, and all his relatives, seventy-five souls. 7:15 Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, himself and our fathers, 7:16 and they were brought back to Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver from the children of Hamor of Shechem.

7:17 “But as the time of the promise came close which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 7:18 until there arose a different king, who didn’t know Joseph. 7:19 The same took advantage of our race, and mistreated our fathers, and forced them to throw out their babies, so that they wouldn’t stay alive. 7:20 At that time Moses was born, and was exceedingly handsome. He was nourished three months in his father’s house. 7:21 When he was thrown out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and reared him as her own son. 7:22 Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He was mighty in his words and works. 7:23 But when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. 7:24 Seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him who was oppressed, striking the Egyptian. 7:25 He supposed that his brothers understood that God, by his hand, was giving them deliverance; but they didn’t understand.

7:26 “The day following, he appeared to them as they fought, and urged them to be at peace again, saying, ‘Sirs, you are brothers. Why do you wrong one another?’ 7:27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 7:28 Do you want to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ 7:29 Moses fled at this saying, and became a stranger in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

7:30 “When forty years were fulfilled, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. 7:31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight. As he came close to see, a voice of the Lord came to him, 7:32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Moses trembled, and dared not look. 7:33 The Lord said to him, ‘Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. 7:34 I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning. I have come down to deliver them. Now come, I will send you into Egypt.’

7:35 “This Moses, whom they refused, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—God has sent him as both a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 7:36 This man led them out, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. 7:37 This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord our God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me.’ 7:38 This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living oracles to give to us, 7:39 to whom our fathers wouldn’t be obedient, but rejected him, and turned back in their hearts to Egypt, 7:40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods that will go before us, for as for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.’ 7:41 They made a calf in those days, and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands. 7:42 But God turned, and gave them up to serve the army of the sky, as it is written in the book of the prophets,

‘Did you offer to me slain animals and sacrifices
forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
7:43 You took up the tabernacle of Moloch,
the star of your god Rephan,
the figures which you made to worship.
I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’

7:44 “Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern that he had seen; 7:45 which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered into the possession of the nations, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, to the days of David, 7:46 who found favor in the sight of God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob. 7:47 But Solomon built him a house. 7:48 However, the Most High doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says,

7:49 ‘heaven is my throne,
and the earth a footstool for my feet.
What kind of house will you build me?’ says the Lord;
‘or what is the place of my rest?
7:50 Didn’t my hand make all these things?’

7:51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do. 7:52 Which of the prophets didn’t your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers. 7:53 You received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn’t keep it!”

7:54 Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 7:56 and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

7:57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed at him with one accord. 7:58 They threw him out of the city, and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 7:59 They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 7:60 He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:13 AM

29 April 2009

Deuteronomy 16
Ecclesiastes 8
Acts 7

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 09:24 AM

29 April 2010

Deuteronomy 16
Ecclesiastes 8
Acts 7

"REMEMBER THE DAY"

We all have memories; bad things we try to shut out of our memory, good things we try to retain and bring to the fore. Moses told the people all the things they should retain; "all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt" [Deuteronomy 16:3] The Passover Feast was set up to aid that memory, to cement it in their consciousness. The generation that had witnessed the miraculous deliverance had failed to do that; they had died in the wilderness because of their faithlessness. Now Moses is delivering the message to the next generation, those who had been teenagers and children when they came out of Egypt.

The particular message in today's chapter is of the feasts that they are to keep when they are living the promised land. As well as remembering the actual deliverance, through the Passover feast, there are 3 other feasts associated with farming the land and the reward of harvesting. This they would experience for the first time in their lives and they were not to "appear before the LORD empty handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD" [Deuteronomy 16:16-17].

Deuteronomy 16:20 is another blunt 'punch line' message, "Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you."

Now look at our days, the climax of all that God has planned to give to all those who truly believe in and love Him is close at hand. The storm clouds of calamity are gathering for this world. The challenge to all those who seek to "escape all the things that are going to take place" [Luke 21:36] is to "remember the day" when they made the commitment to join the Lord's side and accepted his "deliverance" by being baptised. If you have not yet experienced such a day– ask yourself – very seriously - why? Don't let "that day come upon you suddenly like a trap" [Luke 21:34] so that you fail to enter a far greater "promised land"
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Posted 29 April 2011 - 04:13 AM

29 April 2011

Deuteronomy 16
Ecclesiastes 8
Acts 7

“YOU MAY REMEMBER THE DAY WHEN … ”

We all have memories; bad things we try to shut out of our memory, good things we try to retain and bring to the fore. Moses, in conveying a final message to his people before he died told them all the things they should retain; “all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt” [Deuteronomy 16:3].

The Passover Feast was set up to cement the memory of that day into their consciousness. The generation that had witnessed the miraculous deliverance had failed to do that; they had died in the wilderness because of their faithlessness. Now Moses is delivering the message to the next generation, those who had been teenagers and children when they came out of Egypt.

The particular message in today’s chapter [Deuteronomy 16] is of the feasts that they are to keep when they are living in the promised land. As well as remembering the actual deliverance through keeping the Passover there will be 3 other feasts associated with farming the land and the reward of harvesting which they are to now keep. They will experience harvesting for the first time in their lives and they must not “appear before the LORD empty handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD” [Deuteronomy 16:16-17]. Deuteronomy 16:20 has another blunt ‘punch line’ message, “Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”

Consider life around us now! The climax of all that God has planned to give to all those who truly believe and love Him is close at hand. Greater and greater storm clouds of calamity are gathering for this world. The challenge to all those who seek to “escape all the things that are going to take place” [Luke 21:36] is to “remember the day” when they made the commitment to join the Lord’s side and accept his “deliverance” by being baptised. If you have not yet experienced such a day – ask yourself – very seriously - why? Don’t let “that day come upon you suddenly like a trap” [Luke 21:34] so that you fail to enter a far greater “promised land”
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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:21 AM

29 April 2012

Deuteronomy 16
Ecclesiastes 8
Acts 7

“YOU STIFF-NECKED PEOPLE”

Stephen’s speech (in Acts 7) before the Jewish Council is a history lesson! Why? For what purpose?


He reviews all that had happened since the time of Abraham. Didn’t the members of the Council know their history?

As we read the chapter we see Stephen is tracing the things God had instigated since he called Abraham from his homeland in Ur. The lesson is clearly that his people should be aware and awake to the actions of God, If they are they will respond in faith. His lesson then looks at the experiences of Joseph in Egypt when God acted and miracles occurred. Next there are the incredible events when they Egypt - and more drama at Mt Sinai and the 10 commandments are given and a tabernacle created. Then comes the establishment in the land under Joshua and the days of David. His final point is the great Temple built by Solomon, which was rebuilt by Herod just before the time of Christ, 46 years of work! His audience evidently gloried in the sense of prestige the Temple gave them in the eyes of the people. The tragedy is that the thinking of his audience was focussed on themselves more than on the Creator they claimed to serve.

God is far far greater than just dwelling in a temple, the climax of his speech is to quote Isaiah, “Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool” [Acts 7:49] That was the climax of the history lesson, which had aimed to portray the real lessons for them of the relationships with God that they should have learned from the failures in history.

Stephen suddenly challenges them, “You stiff necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit (God in action) as your father’s did … ” [Acts 7:51] He accuses them, you “betrayed and murdered … the Righteous One” [Acts 7:52]

What brave words … and now they murder Stephen, but that event was in time to be the catalyst in the conscience “of a young man named Saul” [Acts 7:58] who was to become a “chosen vessel” and lead to an incredible life of dedication, “for all things work together for good (of God’s purpose) for those who are called according to his purpose” [Romans 8:28]. This is the lesson of Scripture for us as we trace the outworking of these events.

Can you see God working in your life? Are you co-operating?
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Posted 29 April 2013 - 10:38 AM

29 April 2013

Deuteronomy 16
Ecclesiastes 8
Acts 7

“REMEMBER THE DAY”

We all have memories; bad things we try to shut out of our memory, good things we try to retain and bring to the fore. We read today how Moses told the people to look back on; “all the days of your life (that) you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt” [Deuteronomy 16:3] The Passover Feast was set up to aid that memory, to cement it into their consciousness. Most of the generation that had experienced the miraculous deliverance had failed to do that and had died in the wilderness because of their faithlessness. Now Moses is delivering the message to the next generation; whose leaders had been teenagers and children at that time.

Today’s chapter details the feasts they are to keep when they start living in the promised land. As well as remembering the actual deliverance, through the Passover feast, there are 3 other feasts associated with farming the land and the reward of harvesting. This they would experience for the first time in their lives. The key lesson is they are not to “appear before the LORD empty handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD” [Deuteronomy 16:16-17].

Verse 20 has another blunt ‘punch line’ message, “Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”

Now we consider our own journey in life, how close are we to the climax of all that God has prepared for all those who truly believe in and love Him? Is the crossing of the Jordan close at hand for us?

We must face up to today’s challenges and make sure we “escape all the things that are going to take place” [Luke 21:36] as the Almighty prepares to cleanse the earth of its’ evil. Let us “remember the day” when we made the commitment to join the Lord’s side and accepted his “deliverance” by being baptised. If you have not yet experienced such a day – ask yourself – very seriously - why? Don’t let “that day come upon you suddenly like a trap” [Luke 21:34] so that you fail to enter a far greater “promised land”.
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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:55 PM

29 April 2014

Deuteronomy 16
Ecclesiastes 8
Acts 7

“… FULLY SET TO DO EVIL”

That is not an inviting heading for our thoughts, is it! Solomon observes in today’s chapter in Ecclesiastes that “the heart … of man is fully set to do evil …” because the “sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily” [Ecclesiastes 8:11] It made us think of the protracted system of so called justice today in this country. As each year passes the hearts of humans are more and more focussed on self-centred ways of living with any thought of there being a God vanishing out of their minds. How true it now is that “man’s trouble lies heavy upon him” [Ecclesiastes 8:6] – and it’s going to get heavier.

Written near the end of his life, Solomon appears to be in a depressed, but totally honest, state of mind. Despite all his wise sayings and wisdom in ruling, the nation is not in a good state – and disaster will soon follow after his death. How does this compare with today – as genuine study and belief in the Bible is nearly dead?

There are some comparisons of thought with the history lesson Stephen gave the religious leaders in Jerusalem after they arrested him. We read this today in Acts 7 and saw how they totally missed his point – and stoned him to death. His lesson was about the actions of God in interfering at different times in past events in Israel – so as to bring about his purpose. The hearts of his hearers had been “fully set to do evil” – and so they crucified their Messiah – and now they stone Stephen to death.

Now consider how God always acts to bring good out of human evil! Think of the events that followed. Even more, we need to think of our own troubled times, evil, godless times. We are on the threshold of God’s ultimate dramatic act – to deal with evil – and shock a world that is more “fully set to do evil” than ever before. How blind our world has become – few consider the possibility that there is a God, especially a God who sees all and knows all.

We have no Apostles to challenge us – only Bibles – but most of these are simply gathering dust! Does yours? There is no point in reading them – unless they provoke us to action to set our feet on the narrow way – for, said Jesus, “the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction …” [Matthew 7:13] – and the time of destruction appears to be fearfully close.
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