And the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did they.Numbers 1:54 (KJV)
Commanded – This word in Hebrew is tsavah ( צִוָּה ) which is the primitive root of mitzvah (commandment). It is used about 500 times in the Old Testament. Commands are given from a father to a son (1 Samuel 17:20), a farmer to his laborers (Ruth 2:9), a king to his subjects (2 Samuel 21:14). YHVH commands His people by issuing kingship and instructing obedience to His rules.
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How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin.Job 13:23 (KJV)
Know – Job is the figure we all think about when in turmoil. We might liken his suffering to our own and reason that if we maintain our faith, we will surely overcome. However the text reveals a difference between Job and us. Job was righteous and without sin.
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And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.Leviticus 8:6 (KJV)
Washed – Baptism is frequently thought of as a Christian event. The first form of New Testament baptism is found in the story of John the Baptist. But John wasn’t a Christian, he was a Jew. Why would John practice baptism if baptism was a Christian thing, especially at a time when Christians weren’t yet a people?
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And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.Exodus 12:13 (KJV)
Where ye are – The first quarantine was established by God during the time of a plague. He instructed all of Israel to stay in their homes while a plague ravished the land. And here we are today, on the verge of Passover, practicing quarantine to remove ourselves from a virus spreading throughout the land. How fitting.
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All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.Leviticus 13:46 (KJV)
Without the camp shall his habitation be – God teaches the method of quarantine when it comes to infectious diseases. He doesn’t say that spiritual people won’t be infected. He doesn’t say that your faith will shield you from diseases. In fact, the ONLY way to completely avoid disease, at least the diseases in Egypt, is to keep the law.
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And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:Deuteronomy 17:19 (KJV)
Read – In the early 400s AD, St. Augustine wrote about a man named Ambrose who, when he read, did not vocalize the words or move his tongue. This was apparently shocking for St. Augustine to witness so much so that he noted it in his journal.
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A couple of months ago, I had a great conversation with an older fellow believer. He was concerned that I had become too legalistic in my obedience to the laws of God. Although, he didn’t outright say that, I could tell based on his attempt to have me reconsider not fasting from leaven during Passover. He knew that my family and I didn’t eat leaven during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but he did. And similarly to many Christians, he prided himself on being spiritually obedient and living according to the spiritual commandments written on his heart. This is a very noble effort indeed.
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Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:Genesis 12:1 (KJV)
Get thee out – God tells Abram, lech lecha (לֶךְ-לְךָ), get thee out. As is much of the Hebrew Bible, this is another play on words. The words may sound identical, but actually mean two different things: “go” and “to yourself.” The implication is that although Abraham must undergo a traumatic departure from his native land, he is actually traveling to find his more authentic self. Once Abraham enters the land, his true relationship with the one Lord can grow.
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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.Deuteronomy 15:19 (KJV)
Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the Lord’s firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: it is the Lord’s.Leviticus 27:26
So which is it? Should you, or shouldn’t you sanctify the firstling of beasts? If you take these two verses verbatim as they’re written, this is an obvious contradiction in the text. Deuteronomy states that you should sanctify the firstling, but Leviticus states that you should not.
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13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.Genesis 22:13-14
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
Jehovahjireh – This word literally means “Yehovah will see to it,” or as many say, “God will provide.” It’s a common saying in Christianity today and this may very well be the root of it. Christianity has really gained some mileage around this feel-good saying. I think we use it for just about any trial as a beacon of hope. And it bears some truth too. God does provide … until the time He doesn’t.
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