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- Ep 125: Of Law and Torah – Deuteronomy 5:1-6:3
We have a problem when we read the Bible. We are modern people and the Bible was not written to us. The Bible was written to an ancient people. People who did not think or act in the same ways that we do. And that leaves us behind when it comes to Biblical application. We have, in our Modern Western Culture, a concept of what law is and how it is to be used and applied. But when we search the historical record and the Bible itself, we discover that our modern understanding and application of law misses the mark when it comes to understanding and applying Biblical law.
- Ep 124: Kingdom Necessities – Deuteronomy 3:23-4:49
Deuteronomy as a whole paints a picture of a kingdom. A vast kingdom with a Suzerain or a high king, and with each person being a vassal king in their own right. But a kingdom doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are four things that are absolutely necessary for a kingdom to exist, and this parsha covers all four.
- Ep 123: The Enemy Without – Deuteronomy 2:1-3:22
Here at the beginning of Deuteronomy we read what could be called the historical prologue of a Suzerain Vassal treaty. Last week we saw how Israel sabotaged themselves on their journey to the land. In this parsha we read of another class of enemy. The enemies that exist outside of Israel that they have faced so far on their journeys to the east side of the Jordan. From here we get a grasp on the enemies that we face in our day to day lives.
- Ep 122: The Enemy Within – Deuteronomy 1
The book of Deuteronomy takes the form of a Suzerain Vassal treaty. An ancient document that is laid out in a very distinct and recognizable way. This treaty outlines the relationship between a Suzerain of High King and the kings that serve under the high king as his vassals. In this episode we begin to dig into this treaty or covenant that God made with Israel by examining the first two parts of the treaty. The preamble and the historical prologue. What can these sections tell us about our own relationship with God?
- Ep 121: Refuge for the Disenfranchised – Numbers 35:9 36:13
As we close out the book of Numbers we discover a new class of people that God provides for and cares for. A class of people that are not vulnerable in the classical sense, such as the widow, orphan, or stranger. Rather a class of people that is vulnerable in a completely different way. People without representation, but not guilty, or vulnerable. The disenfranchised. And nestled in these instructions for their care is a glimpse of the gospel that demonstrates perhaps the most important dividing factor between those who are part of the Kingdom of God and those who are not.
- Ep 120: Boundaries – Numbers 34:1-35:8
On the east side of the Jordan, before the conquest, a challenge suddenly presents itself. Two tribes have decided that they do not want to proceed. They are happy where they currently sit and the land to the east is perfectly suited to their circumstances. And so they come to Moses with a request. Let us stop here and now. We don’t want to take the land. There is contained in their request a hint of something deeper. A motivation that we can all identify with, and one that we can all learn from.
- Ep 119: Where We Have Been – Numbers 33
Nothing bores us more in scripture than endless lists of various sorts, and in this chapter we encounter a list that is unique in scripture. A list of place names that Israel passed through on their journeys in the wilderness. And as we examine the list we discover that many of the places named in this list are found nowhere else in the Bible, and others are places with history. A lot like life itself. And from this we gain insight on something important. The interaction of our past with our future and necessity for remembering where we have been.
- Ep 118: Settling – Numbers 32
On the east side of the Jordan two tribes approach Moses and they ask for a favor. They desire to settle on the east side of the Jordan and not enter into the land of promise. They desire for their road to be over. After some haggling they get their way and are allowed to settle. To settle for less than what God had promised them. The lessons that we can learn from this episode provide a warning, and an encouragement.
- Ep 117: The Binding Word – Numbers 30-31
Once again in the course of Numbers we find a series of chapters and seem completely disconnected from each other. The text shifts from the topic of holidays and sacrifice from last week to keeping vows and then a military exercise of vengeance. But when we slow down and consider what is truly occurring in the themes of these chapters we discover that these chapters are not disconnected at all. Rather they reveal one of the most important aspects of bearing the image of God.
- Ep 116: A Time of Sacrifice – Numbers 28-29
Once again in the book of Numbers we find a section of text that seems completely disconnected from the things that surround it. Two chapters on sacrifice and the Biblical holidays. A bunch of stuff that we simply don’t connect with. But hidden inside of this combination of sacrifice and holiday there is a plan. A plan for the world and a plan for you. And when we dig just a little deeper we discover that this section of text is not so disconnected from the rest as we originally thought.
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