Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ: The Parable of the Prodigal Son

By Edmund Clowney

How to develop a text using the Poythress method:
1) Static- the meaning of the text
2) Dynamic- the way in which the text describes a speaker, message and a recipient
3) Relations- how the elements of the text to other portions of scripture

Monday, 22 December 2008

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting Down to Earth Part Two

By Tim Keller

3 macro-Strategies for applying a text
1) Critique religion as well as irreligion (read notes from part one)
2) Aim at heart motives as well as the outward behaviour
3) Look at the text through three application perspectives

2) Aim at heart motives as well as the outward behaviour
Self-justification is the doctrine of the Pharisees. If Christ is not your righteousness something else will be. You can avoid Jesus by avoiding sin.

Religion is more of a subtle enemy of the gospel than irreligion practised by the open rebellious person because religious behaviour looks like holy behaviour.

Irreligious people need to be shown that they are practising self-justification.

A Basic Outline for Aiming at the Heart:
i) Speak about what the narrative tells us to be- what standard is the Bible setting for us?
ii) Speak about how that standard is unreachable- we are all sinners who miss the mark
iii) Speak about how problem is resolved in Christ- He obeyed, He loved God perfectly etc
iv) Speak about how the people should rest in what He did to do the same through His power- we can obey because He obeyed

In every text of scripture there is a moral standard to reach. The good gospel preacher illuminates the tension between man’s effort and scripture standards. The preacher then should move the focus off of the people and onto Christ. The gospel preacher should be showing people that all sufficiency is found ultimately in Christ. Our inability is not down to bad effort but rather a lack of faith in the gospel.

The job of the preacher is to get people to wish that Jesus were true.

3) Look at the text through three application perspectives

According to Vern Poythress you can only understand a text if you:
i) Understand the original meaning of the text (normative element)
ii) Work out how the text applies to us today (existential element)
iii) Work out where the text is within the context of redemptive history (situational element)

The three application perspectives are:
i) The doctrinalist approach- looks at the text to see how it supports sound doctrine
ii) The pietistic approach- looks at the text’s relation to experience (eg how does this text change my prayer life)
iii) The cultural transformationist approach- looks at how the text affects culture

Vern argues that preachers need to use all three application perspectives to give the people balanced application.

Example: Luke 4:31-37
Doctrinalist: The passage teaches the deity of Christ, it demonstrates His sovereignty over evil spirits and shows the grace of God towards people.
Pietist: The passage teaches that Jesus will work if I let Him and once I’m delivered I have to tell my friends.
Cultural transformationist: The passage teaches that Jesus is working in the world liberating people from oppressive structures.

All three perspectives are needed to be balanced. The perspectives are not opposing each other- if you go deep enough into one perspective you get to another.

Example: Esther
Doctrinalist: God is the only real King. He is sovereign over all things including evil making everything work for His glory and our good. God’s plan of salvation works even when God is not mentioned.
Pietist: If God seems to be absent in your life- He’s not. God uses a woman from the outskirts of society to bring redemption. God uses weakness to shame the wise.
Cultural transformationist: God calls us to serve Him with redemptive work in the secular world. Believers are needed to be a light and witness in the secular system.
God calls us not only to change individuals but also to change society.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting Down to Earth Part One

By Tim Keller

Faith in the saving work of Christ is the only tool to dismantle sin in our lives.
We are sanctified by faith, not just justified by faith.

3 macro-Strategies for applying a text
1) Critique religion as well as irreligion
2) Aim at heart motives as well as the outward behaviour
3) Look at the text through three application perspectives

1) Critique religion as well as irreligion
Say that the gospel is neither morality nor immorality. The gospel is the third way
Religion says ‘if I work hard on biblical principles God will bless me.’
The gospel says ‘God will bless me through trusting in His Son, this gives me power to work hard at biblical principles.’
Functionally the churchman’s heart tends to religion.

Reasons why this method is useful:
a) Many professing Christians are not Christians
b) We constantly need our practise aligned with their theology
c) Some people who reject Christianity reject it because they believe it to be religion

If we preach: ‘immorality bad and Christianity good’ people tend to think that Christianity is the opposite of immorality and

Moralism tends to stress truth over grace
Immoralism tends to stress grace over truth

Truth without grace is not truth. Grace without truth is not grace. Christ came full of grace and truth.

Religious people don’t believe that the God of wrath has been propitiated. The religious man has to keep on working to gain the blessing of God.
Immoral people don’t believe that there is a God of wrath to be propitiated. Immoral people do not feel accountability towards God.

If we preach the gospel we will offend the religious like Christ did: ‘Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.’ (Matthew 21:31)

In Gal 2:14 Paul deals with Peter’s racial pride. Paul does this by exhorting Peter to live by the implications of the gospel and not by quoting a rule. This is the best way of dealing with racism.

‘The truth of the gospel is the principle article all Christian doctrine most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.’ – Luther

Applying the gospel to discouragement:
Moral approach: You’re breaking the rules, repent
Immoral approach: Enjoy yourself it’ll be fine
Gospel approach: If I’m downcast it’s because something is more important to me than Christ

Applying the gospel to family life
Moral approach: Obey the family values. In the moralistic mindset the family is important.
Immoral approach: There’s no need for family loyalty
Gospel approach: If God is my ultimate Father than I am freed from being too dependent or hostile to my parents!

Applying the gospel to guilt:
Moral approach:
Immoral approach: Loosen the standards so you don’t feel guilty any more
Gospel approach:

If the real god of your life is to be a successful businessman and you don’t become successful you will feel guilt without the hope of forgiveness. This is the god of the Pharisees- a god of wrath who wants to satisfied by works that can never be propitiated.

(To be continued in part two)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ: Telling God's Story, Narrative Analysis

By Ed Clowney

Example of Narrative Preaching from Matthew 17:1-9
Christ is the one with greater authority than Moses and Elijah. God the Father affirms His authority by saying ‘hear Him’. The Father’s declaration proves the Father’s unity with Him. The Son declares the will of the Father. Moses brought to us what God said to him, Christ is the incarnate word, God’s word become flesh, He is God speaking.
Christ speaks and the dead comes forth, His own sheep hear Him and they follow Him.

The preacher’s task is to bring into remembrance the words that Jesus spoke. The congregation are to hear the message and hear Christ speaking through the preacher. The glory of God is made evident through Christ.

Peter suggests building shelters for Jesus, Moses and Elijah thinking that this was the last feast of booths.

The glory of the true tabernacle is shown at transfiguration.

Christ comes to do his true work of conquest. Overcoming the Devil’s temptation whereby he offered Christ all kingdoms on top of the mountain in the wilderness. Now Christ is showing his royal conquering glory at the top of a different mount.

Moses was willing to die with Israel- have his own name blotted out. Moses was a mediator. Elijah also was a mediator calling down fire from heaven and hearing God’s quiet whispering voice. Christ is a better mediator, the eternal mediator between God and man.

Christ did not use His royal power to save Himself. He didn’t ask for legions of angels to take him down from the cross. He used His royal power to save us.

We need to hear Him in our lives so others will hear Him in our preaching.

Tips on Telling Bible Stories
1) Get the story right
You don’t know the stories you think you know! Record yourself telling the story without the Bible to see if you actually understand the story.

2) Use definition by contrast
We understand a concept by describing what the concept is not as well as what the concept is. Ask these questions:
What is most like this?
What is most different to what is most like this?

3) Ask: what actually happened?
List the events in the passage.

4) Do not take direct quotations and turn them into personal prose.

5) Is the theme of the narrative indicated in the text?
Sometimes we are told the theme of the text indirectly through hints in the text. Watch for clues and labels. Ask why places are named such. Many OT stories are identified by the name given to a place or person (Eg Hosea’s children from Hosea 1).

6) The text must be understood in its setting

7) Use Bible Dictionaries and Atlas’ to Establish Original Context

8) Use vivid realism
Visualise the story, paint the picture of the story, speak about was felt, seen, heard and experienced.

9) Tell stories suggestively
Use repetition (especially for children).

10) Stay with the main structure of the story

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in through the Structure of Redemptive History Part Three

By Ed Clowney

The individual obedience of Isaac and Jacob is portrayed through the seed of the promise leading us to Christ. There are concepts in structure that naturally flow to Christ. This is typology.

The meaning is presented through its significance in symbolism.

Christ speaks in parables to teach us spiritual truth through natural reality.
Symbolism brings in the feel of the meaning. Symbolic language can be more effective than illustrations.

A metaphor is found in a sentence and not in a word. A metaphor brings together two different worlds; two different images.

Example: Amos 3:8-
A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?

The spoken word of the Lord is paralleled with the fierce roaring of a lion. We apply attributes of the familiar concept to the more abstract concept. The roaring of the lion is similar to the speaking of Yahweh.

Metaphors act as a form of contextualisation. Metaphors should be used to tell Bible stories as real stories- applying modern methods of description to give a detailed and relevant meaning to the audience.

Hebrews 8:5 = Vertical Typology- we are presented with a copy of heavenly things by an earthly pattern
Romans 5:14= Horizontal Typology – Adam is a type of Him who was to come

A good metaphor takes the preachers application to the listeners adoration.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting to Christ

By Tim Keller

Justification and Sanctification by Faith Alone
We’re not only justified by faith- we are also sanctified by faith. We need to exhort people to faith in Christ wherever they are at! Power to live a holy life comes by faith in the cross. We shouldn’t exhort people to right living without giving revealing to them the key: faith.

Sanctification is orienting yourself towards justification. We need to feed off our justification to be sanctified.

Actual righteousness is produced by embracing the means by which we gained our imputed righteousness. Faith preserves us form self inflicted moralism.

Idolatry by Faith Alone
‘All those who do not at all times trust God…but seek His favour in other things or in themselves is breaking the first commandment.’- Luther

The first commandment is broken when you fail to believe in justification by faith. If you’re not trusting in Christ you are trusting in something else.

All people sin in general. Why do we sin in any particular instance? Any sin is rooted in inordinate lust for something other than God. We always make something our functional saviour though faith when we sin.

Moral effort in which people say ‘obedience produces blessing’ restrains the heart but does not change the heart. It produces moral behaviour out of self-interest.

What makes people virtuous?
Most people are virtuous out of self-interest. How does God keep the world from being such a bad place? Common grace. Morality is produced, virtue is seen but this virtue and honesty is what Edward’s calls common virtue. Common virtue is a restraining of the heart not a changing of the heart. Common Virtue can be produced by fear or pride. Fear because I’m afraid of what people think of me. Pride because I want people to look up to as an example.

If sermons become moral exhortations then we are strengthening the roots of sin.

What is true virtue?
True virtue is when you’re honest not because it profits you or makes you feel better. It comes about when you’re captured by the beauty of God and love truth for the sake of God. True honesty grows when we see Christ being faithful, keeping the promise He made to us.

Thomas Chalmers: The Expulsive Power of a New Affection
Old and sinful affections rule the heart until the object of the hearts desire becomes good. The sinful desire can only be expelled from the heart when another object of greater value and satisfaction replaces it. The hearts desire to have an object is unconquerable. The heart is always seeking happiness.
Therefore it is not enough to speak to the conscience and show that a particular action is wrong. Showing people the beauty of Christ will change desires leading to holy lives.

Preaching David and Goliath
What’s the meaning of the narrative to us? Without Christ the message becomes: the bigger they come the harder they fall. The story tells us that the Israelites can’t defeat Goliath. David- a weak, young man can do the job. We are in the crowed. We are portrayed as the Israelite who needs a substitute. David points to Christ as the only conqueror of everyone one of our enemies.
We can conqueror our giants because Christ faced and defeated the largest giants of life.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Introduction to Christ-centred Application

By Tim Keller

Keller defines 4 ways of getting to Christ from the text organically

Theme Resolution

Inter-canonical themes are themes that cut across the Biblical canon, for instance the theme of Kingdom or law or grace. The theme develops and thickens as scripture progresses.

Broad themes:
1) The King and the Kingdom
The freedom and glory of God’s kingdom is lost when Adam and Eve sin
The people throughout the OT needed a good Kingship
Only the creator Himself is a satisfactory King because the problems of His people are too deep for any human King to deal with.

2) Grace and Law
This theme asks the question: How can God remain holy and gracious with a rebellious people?

Approaches to this theme:
Conservative: God commands obedience for the receiving of every blessing
Liberal: God loves everyone no matter what they do
The conservative approach is exclusively set on the holiness of God while the liberal approach is only focuses on the love of God.

Isaiah highlights the tension in his writing when describing a strong King and a suffering servant.
Christ fulfils the covenant so we can be saved by grace through faith. Perfection is needed to satisfy God’s holiness.

Narrow themes:
Worship: How can we be in the presence of God?
The presence of God is experienced and removed in the garden and then restored by Christ through the cross administered into the church.

Righteousness and Nakedness: How can we look good in God’s eyes?
We are spiritually naked as a result of the fall. Christ clothes us with His righteousness.

Marriage and Faithfulness: How can we know love and intimacy?
The love of God is obscured by sin.
Christ’s wins the love of His spouse by

Image and Likeness: How can we become fully human?
Humanity has been degraded through sin. Christ is the ultimate image of God restoring the image of God back to the people by sanctification.

Rest and Sabbath: How can we find harmony with those around us?
Enmity with God and others is brought on by sin. Christ reconciles us back to God by His death and back to people within the context of church.

Judgement and Justice: Will justice ever been administered?
Bad things happen to good people because of sin. Christ was a judge who was judged to secure ultimate justice for eternity.

When preaching about the psalmist’s desire to go to the sanctuary you shouldn’t say ‘that’s the reason you should want to come to church on Sunday’. Instead say ‘we have more access to the presence of God than the psalmist as we are the temple of God.’ We should allure people to obedience rather than just enforcing it. We need to make obedience look attractive.

Law Completion
This is preaching Christ from one ethical principle. Gal 3:24 tells us that the law leads us to Christ. Preach Christ from ethical principles by showing that He completely does all of what we should do. Jesus is the only way to take the law seriously. The law is saying ‘you can never fulfil me, you need a saviour.’

Say to the people: unless Christ has saved you, you’re stuck.’ Then take people to the generosity of Christ. Melt their hearts be Christ’s love to move people to faith.
Christ exemplifies and fulfils every law.

Story Insertion

Take the story you’re looking at and put it into the bigger story. Look for pictures of Christ in the text.
All individual stories point to Jesus. Jesus is the true Adam, Abel, Abraham….
Every story is about Jesus.

This principle is also true of cooperate story lines:
Jesus Christ is the true creator- we were created through Him. The creation story teaches us that
Temptation in the wilderness: The fall points forward to the active obedience of Christ.
Moses took the people out of political bondage; Jesus redeemed the people from spiritual bondage.
Jesus is the true Israel. Jesus earns the blessings of the covenant to all who believe.

Another sort of typology sees Christ from the narrative pattern of the text: God working through the weak, God bringing life through death, God working through defeat.

Esther sacrificed to save Israel as Christ sacrificed Himself. The acts of Esther and Ruth mirror the way in which Christ brought salvation to us.

The order of the Exodus and the law giving teaches us about Christ. The law is given after redemption. Obedience is demanded after grace is received.

Symbol Fulfilment
Every major figure points us to Christ. The non-personal symbols point us to Christ. The entire sacrificial and temple system points us to Christ. Etc

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in through the Structure of Redemptive History Part Two

By Edmund Clowney

In this lecture we will look at the structure of a sermon preached by Edmund called
The Life of Joseph: From Pit to Palace the Lord’s Blessing through Testing based on Genesis 37.

1) God’s blessing on Joseph, the Lord was with Him
Through the favour of the Father
Through the dreams speaking of his future that God gave him
God’s constant presence was with Joseph. This resulted in his success
He was faithful in the service of all people. He was faithful to Potiphor’s officer. He was faithful to Pharaoh.
Joseph gained favour in the eyes of Potiphor. Potiphor gave him authority over his state. God blessed Potiphor because Joseph was there. Wherever Joseph went blessing went.
Potiphor’s wife took a liking to Joseph- this led to Joseph’s imprisonment. The officer in charge of the prison began to like Joseph. Joseph was given power to run the prison. Joseph interprets dreams successfully in the prison.

There was constant success in everything he did.

2) Everything Joseph did well led to more testing.
He tells his dreams to his brothers and they start to hate him. They plan to kill their own brothers. Judah wants to sell him to the Midianites.
Potiphor’s wife wants to sleep with Joseph. Joseph refuses, she screams and Joseph gets imprisoned.
Joseph is betrayed in prison when the butler forgets about him for two years.

Troubles come as Joseph continues in faithfulness. Every betrayal was necessary for God’s blessing.

3) Everything Joseph did worked for ultimate God
How did Joseph get from pit to palace? Through trials. God blest the nations through Joseph’s trials. Egypt is blest by Joseph. Joseph’s family are blest primarily by the revealing of their own sin. They were brought to repentance through Joshua’s trials. God meant in all for God (Gen 50:20).

4) How does all this relate to Christ?
Christ fulfils this story by purchasing redemption through trials and sufferings.
Jesus succeeds constantly because God is constantly blessing and helping Him.
Jesus Christ was constantly tested in His ministry when betrayed by the people of Israel, Pilate and Judas.
The triumph of the cross looked like weakness and at the same time was a sign of ultimate success over all our enemies.

5) How does all this relate to us?
The story of Joseph shows us that we can’t be shortsighted in our sufferings. Our union with Christ changes the emphasis of our sufferings. Our trials are part of what God is doing in the good of His Kingdom. Sufferings work for our good and the good of the Kingdom. Christ gave His life so that the success of the plan of God might be worked out in our lives.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ through the Structure of Redemptive History Part One

By Edmund Clowney

We must see scripture as a whole. When Christ met with His disciples leaving Jerusalem in Emmaus they were discouraged. Christ says that the disciples didn’t understand the whole of scripture. They didn’t understand that the concept of spiritual redemption came from the Jewish scriptures. Christ showed them that Old Testament is all about Him. The disciple’s hearts burned within them.

In scripture we have one complete story with Christ being the completion of this story. We live in the time of climax. He said ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30).

The Lord in His own redeeming act initiated redemptive history
The Exodus was a move of liberation on God’s part. The Israelites were delivered by the power of God. God didn’t only bring them out of Egypt; He brought the people into covenant relationship and the promised land of Canaan on eagle’s wings (Exodus 19:4).

In Leviticus 26 God promises to walk among His people and be their God. He promises His presence through the construction of the tabernacle.

The people become a stiff-necked. God be in the midst of them because of their sin. He went ahead of them. The people were dismayed. Moses prays to 1) know God’s name and 2) see God’s glory.

God met with the people in the tent of meeting outside the camp. When Moses cried out and prayed God answered. This showed that God was willing to forgive their sins and dwell among them.

The prayer of Moses (Exodus 34:9) asks God to go in the midst of the people even though they were a stiff-necked people. Moses repeats what God said He couldn’t do. Moses says ‘go in the midst of us because we are a stiff-necked people’. He’s asking God for the forgiveness of sins. God responds and the tabernacle is perfectly built. The glory cloud came down and filled the holy of holies.

When Christ says ‘destroy this temple…’ Christ refers to His body as greater than the tabernacle. Christ was full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

Exodus 3:15 talks about the name of God revealed at the bush. Moses takes off His shoes because of the holiness of the place. The name of the angel is revealed as the Lord Himself- YHWH. The Lord Himself leads the people and dwells among them. YHWH binds the people to Himself.

The covenant is too often simplified to a legal form. This covenantal treaty has an emotional depth to it.

‘I am the Lord your God…you shall have no other God’s in my presence.’ This is not legalism. The perquisite to obeying the law is having a God that delivers and leads! Obedience is the response to salvation. Redemptive history shows us that we do not have a basis for legalism.

The people are tested in the wilderness (Deut 8). Israel’s testing gives us a shadow of the testing that Christ endures. The judgement of the wanderings teaches the people to be humble and submit to Him as God.

Deut 7:7-9 ‘I love you because I loved you’. God loves with an electing non-valuing love. Redemptive history is against moralism and legalism.

The OT is a record of God’s covenant faithfulness and Israel’s unfaithfulness. Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel etc ask the question ‘How are the people responding to God’s love?’.

Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones shows us the power of God demonstrated for His glory. The bones were dry and scattered.

The OT tells us that the people are so bad and that there is little solution- God must come and bring the only deliverance possible. The incarnation is too much to believe that God is that personal. He is willing to love and show patience to a sinful person. He came in the person of His Son and then gave His Son.

Ezekiel 34 =God must comes as a shepherd
Isaiah 59 = God must come as a warrior

In Exodus 17 we see the people getting angry thinking that God has broken the covenant with them. They want to stone Moses as they can’t stone God. God instructs Moses to pick up the rod of judgement (Isaiah 34) with a panel of judges and go to the rock. Moses is to hits the rock on which God stands. God takes the punishment for the sin of the people.

God’s servant will come (God’s anointed) as the shoot out of the root of Jesse. God’s anointed comes as Lord and Servant.

The Word of God
1) The Power
When God speaks it happens. His word is declarative and regulative. Everything responds to Him as He commands it and everything acts within His will. God is deliberate in His guiding of all history. The plan of God is expressed in the Word of God. The Word of God produces man in the image of God. Man is made and upheld by God’s word for the worship of Himself. Man the rebel speaks the word of man to create His own God in man’s image. Man worships his own God, which is his own being.

2) The Promise
Salvation is promised and represented as God’s initiative.
The people in Babel wanted to build a stairway to Heaven. Man wanted God to come down on his own terms. God did come down but in an unexpected way. God comes and curses the people by making their language diverse.
In the dream of Jacob God comes down the stairway and promises to never leave cheating Jacob.
The NT is full of OT images. We must know the OT well as Christ did to exegete the text properly.

3) The Presence
From the Babel story we can say that to encounter God’s presence we must come to Him on His own terms and not try to make ways of reaching him ourselves.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Introduction to the Christ Centred Model of Preaching

Lectured Tim Keller

In order to prepare a good sermon the preacher should be asking:
What does this text tell me about the person and work of Jesus?

In preaching the preacher should be asking the people:
How am I failing to rejoice in and live as if this text is true about who Jesus is?

The preacher should be showing that people are poor due to their lack of faith in Christ.

The aim of every sermon is to experience Christ through the text. You need to get people to adore and enjoy Christ through the text. We shouldn’t preach principles or example to live up to but re-assure people that living a holy life is derived from faith in Christ.

In a lecture the aim is to transfer information.
In a sermon the aim is to be get the listener to worship on the spot.

Three types of questions to evaluate a sermon:
1) Was it a sound sermon? Was Jesus the climax of the text?
2) Was it practical? Was Jesus presented as the solution to spiritual problems?
3) Was there a sense of God? Was Jesus made visible or only talked about?

Three types of emphases in preaching:
1) Doctrinal Preaching
Too much expounding
Hits the intellect and not the heart
Doesn’t lead the hearers to worship

2) Practical Preaching
Hits the will
Doesn’t challenge the mind
It majors on application
The sermon acts like a manual on how to live
Little theology and passion

3) Devotional Preaching (Narrative Preaching)
Goes straight to the emotions
Misses the mind
Lack of theology

The Christ-Centred Model
A Christo-centric model is where Christ is the centre of all these factors. When you show that Christ is the centre of the sermon the aim of the sermon becomes worship and not information giving or life improvement.

Applying this Model to David and Goliath
Chuck Swindoll talks about the faith it takes to pull down giants in your life.
A better way is to say that David points to a greater ancestor like this:
‘David is a federal head. David represents his people. The victory of David is the victory of the people. The people get credit for David’s victory. Christ is a greater David dieing for our sin in our place, you get the victory and the righteousness from His work.
Why are you having problems? Because you haven’t seen that Christ has the victory for you. David is pointing to an attribute of Jesus. Your problem is that you’re not living as if that attribute and victory is true.’

If you ever tell a particular Bible story without fitting it into the main Bible story (the message of Christ) you’re losing the meaning. The sermon then illustrates an example to live up to or a principle to obey rather than an exhortation to live by faith in Christ.

Scripture is about Christ not us. Christ is David in the story; David does not represent us trying to conquer giants. The Bible is not a book about us.

Genesis Through Joshua- Dueteronomy: The Ratification and Succession

27-30 The Ratification of the Covenant
31-34 The Succession from Moses to Joshua

The Ratification of the Covenant (27-30)
27:1-26 deals with the future ratification to happen in Canaan
28-30 deals with the current ratification at Moab

Chapter 27 tells us that Israel is to have a covenant renewal ceremony after entering the land.
Certain tribes line up on one side and the other tribes on the opposite side. In the middle the levitical priest attends the ark.

The building of the alter for the sacrifice
The law was to be written on stones
The people remind themselves of the blessings and curses.

The process is fulfilled in Joshua 8.

Chapter 29 starts with a prologue reminding the people of their history.
Then we see an emphasis on stipulations and careful obedience.
(29:15 = this ratification is a model to come)
If the people continue in sin they will be exiled.
30:1 there can be restoration after exile if the people repent.

30:11-19 = An exhortation to accept the terms of the covenant.
The obedience is not too hard with God’s help. In Romans 10:8-10 Paul paraphrases this passage. The makes the point that the OT gospel is the NT gospel. It is not too difficult for us to continue in the gospel.

The Succession from Moses to Joshua (31-34)
Preparations fro Joshua
Deposition of the law
1) Moses song
2) Moses final blessing on the tribes
3) Moses death and the transfer of power to Joshua

1) Moses Song
The Lord tells Moses that Israel will rebel against his ways in the future.
31:21- Moses teaches a song to keep them in obedience. The song is found in chapter 32:1-43.
There is a severing sentencing of Israel (32:1-33) and a future of hope from God (32:34-43).
32:46 – ‘take to heart these words. They are your life.’

2) Moses blessing on the tribes of Israel (33)
Chapter 33 lists the promised blessings and gifts for the tribes.
The chapter ends with the praise of God 33:26-29.

3) The Transfer of Power to Joshua
Moses dies 34:1-8.
34:9 Joshua is filled with the Spirit of wisdom through the laying on of hands.
34:10-12 gives praise to Moses as a unique prophet- he saw God face to face.


Just as Israel renewed their covenant in Moab the people in Canaan must also renew the covenant. Christians must renew their covenant with the Lord by confession, repentance and obedience. The church stands on the foundation of the Pentateuch. Jesus re-affirms these first five books of the Bible. We must study, love and obey them.

Genesis Through Joshua- Dueteronomy: Stipulations of the Covenant

Introduction and Reminder
Chapter 34 indicates that the book was written for the time after the death of Moses.

1:1-4 Preamble to the book
1:5-4 The Historical Prologue – God recites the blessings He had given them to call them to obedience

In this lecture we are going to be looking at chapters 4:44-26:19

Structure of 4:44-26:19
1) Introduction (4:44-49)
2) General Stipulations (5-11:32)
3) Specific Stipulations (12-26:15)
Conclusion (26:16-26:19)

1) and 2) Introduction and General Stipulations (4:44-11:32)
Introduction (4:44)
i) The Ten Commandments (5)
ii) Loyalty to God (6)
iii) Lessons from the Past (7-11)
iv) The Call to renewal and commitment (11:26-32)

i) The Ten Commandments
There are differences between the two recordings of the 10 commandments

Exodus 20:10-11 Hebrew word = ‘to remember’
Deuteronomy 5: 12 Hebrew word = ‘to keep’

Motivations for keeping the Sabbath:
Exodus 20:10-11- Keep the Sabbath because it is a creation ordinance
Duet 5:12-15 – Keep the Sabbath because you were slaves in Egypt and God brought you out of slavery

Exodus 20:12- Honour your parents so that you may live long in the land
Duet 5:16- Honour you parents so that your days may live long and that ‘it may be well with you’. Moses expands on the original command.

There are differences are down to Moses’ paraphrase.
Moses also may be applying the 10 commandments to the people in a new way specifically for the 2nd generation.

ii) Loyalty to God
Shamah (‘shaw-mah’)= ‘hear or listen’ (Duet 6:4)
6:2 Laws are in place so the people may fear God
6:4 is the call to fidelity and faithfulness. The emphasis of Deuteronomy is not the unity of the Godhead but rather an emphasis on the uniqueness of God. YHWH alone is meant to be Lord and the recipient of devotion. See 6:13.
6:5 To love God is to speak of covenant loyalty. The word obey is not to be substituted with the word love. Our love should involve affections and desires.
Matthew 22 sees a variation in this command. Mark 12:30: ‘heart, soul, mind and strength.’ These words are metonyms. The emphasis is not on the faculty of the person but that every person should worship with all that they have.

6:7 = teach the children. God does not just want one generation but all generations!

iii) Lessons from the Past (7-11:25)
The wonders performed by God in Egypt showed the Israelites that God had power to conquer the enemies of the land.
The humbling experiences had by the Israelites in the wilderness warn the people against pride.
The rebellion at Sinai warns against self-righteousness.

iv) The Call to Renewal and Commitment (11:26-32)
Moses instructs the people to perform a ceremony when they enter the land. This was obeyed in Joshua 8. The people read out the blessings and curses on Mount Gerizim and Ebal.

3) Specific Stipulations (12-26)
The stipulations in this section are disconnected and slightly random.
We’re going to look at two topics featured:

i) The topic of warfare 20:1-20
V1 Move forward and don’t be afraid
V2 the preliminaries.
V10-18 strategy

The Israelites was not to attack whoever they wished. The people outside the land were to be destroyed if peace is
People inside the land were to be killed.

20:19-20 = In a siege the people were to be careful not to destroy the trees.

ii) Prophets (18)
There is a prohibition against sorcery.
18:15 – a promised prophet. The word in Hebrew is a collective singular. The word is talking about a group of Prophets following Moses.

Acts 3:22-23 – Peter believes that Jesus is the great Prophet of all prophets.
The original meaning is talking about a whole group of people. Duet 18 is not talking about Christ exclusively.

18:22 = If a prophecy does not come true
The prophets sometimes gave warnings to people telling them to change and avert judgement. He would prophecy this judgement. If the people changed than the prophecy would not have been fulfilled. Therefore some words from the mouths of Prophets did not come true. This did not mean they were false prophets. (See Jonah and Shamaiah from 2 Chronicles 12)

Moses says that Israel will always have spokes persons to represent God to them.

We are called to having God as the only God. Israel was to be loyal to the only one true God. The specific regulations indicate that God wants loyalty in detail. We are also not only to love God and be obedient in a general way. We must apply scripture to all of our lives to please Him.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Dueteronomy: Preamble and Historical Prologue

We are looking at chapters one through four.

1:5-4:43 functions like a historical prologue. This acts as an ancient near-eastern treaty working to remind the people of all a King has done to cultivate respect, loyalty and obedience to that King.

1:5 = An introduction to a prologue. Before this we see a recital of the history of Israel.

God has Moses recite what happened to the Israelites in order to call Israel to respond with loyalty. On the basis of His gracious benefits God expects His people to respond in worship.

The Prologue begins with the time at Sinai and ends with Joshua as a leader.

The Recital of History (1-3)
1) Literary Structure
1:6-8 The call of God to leave Sinai,
1:9-46 Establishment of leaders, spies sent into the land
2:1-23 the wanderings of the first generation
2:24-3:20 the victories of Israel across the Jordan
3:21-4:43 Joshua is established as leader to replace Moses

2) Overview
God assures Israel that He will give them the land
1:9-18 the establishment of leaders
1:9-11 = the blessing of leader. God increased Israel’s number showing the blessing previously promised. V15 shows that God commands justice for Israel.

1:19-46 The land is described as God. God became angry because the people refused to trust God.
1:35-36 God gives promises that one will enter the land as a blessing of obedience. God blesses despite sin.

2:1-23 we see the wanderings
2:2 God forgives
2:7 God provides
2:16-18 God calls to Israel to the land again

God reminds the people of the victories over Sihon and Og.

Joshua is raised up as a leader. The Lord will fight not just Joshua in his own power.

3) The Original Meaning
The purpose of these stories was to show Israel that God was gracious despite rebellion. The readers of the book should gain grateful hearts for the past blessings.

The Call to Obedience (4)
The content of this intended to instruct Israel to be careful to obey all that God commanded.

1) Literary Structure
4:1-2 = Israel are taught to keep the commands to gain the land
4:25-31 = A threat of exile and hope of return from exile
4: 32-33 = A Review and re-statement of Israel’s purpose and call

4:3-9 indicates that the unfaithful are destroyed and the faithful live. Follows God’s law shows wisdom and understanding demonstrating the wonder of God’s nearness.

4:10-20 is remembering the days at Sinai. Moses teaches that God appeared not in the form of an idol. Israel is not to turn to idolatry of any kind when they go into the land.

Moses speaks about the future of Israel in 4:25. If idolatry comes in the future God promises to exile Israel.

4:29-31 we see a word of hope. If the Israelites were to seek God then God would bless them.

4:30 ‘in latter days’ becomes a technical term that the Prophets use. These days are the days after the exile.
Moses speaks about creation, Sinai and the plagues and says that these events happened to show the people that there is only one true God. Moses exhorts Israel to obey this one true God (v39).

Genesis Through Joshua- Dueteronomy: Overview

The Extrinsic Agents
1) Critical Viewpoints:
Some say that there are old legal traditions that form the book of Deuteronomy (proto-Deuteronomy). It was composed by defecting Levites moving to Judah. These Levites brought with them laws. The proto-Deuteronomy was composed for Josiah’s reforms. The book is apparently found in 2 Kings 22. They claim that the people composed it in the days of Josiah.

The conservative view argues for Mosaic Authorship.

2) Mosaic Authorship
The book contains sermons and events that Moses witnessed. (1:1)
Did Moses pen every word in the book? Chapter 34:1-12 features the death of Moses. From a plain reading of the text with have a portion written after the death of Moses. The sermons of the book are authentic Mosaic sermons. The sermons were taken and published after his death.

3) Date of Final Composition
The book was composed after the time in Moab and before the death of Moses.
The book has a focus on Joshua as a leader of God’s people.

The Redemptive Historical Observations
Israel was at Sinai. They went through the wilderness and are now standing at Moab reading to conquer the land. Deuteronomy tells the people to reflect on the past and recommit to prepare for the future.

Literary Structure
The first second and third address
Historical Prologue
Stipulations of the covenant
Blessing, cursings and ratification of the covenant
Succession of the covenant

1) The Original Application
The book was written to instruct the Bible to follow Joshua’s leadership and continue in the Mosaic covenant.

2) Today’s Application
The Church should look back to the Mosaic covenant as authoritative for today. We must believe in the continuation of the covenant. There is a continuation in Christ.
The book calls of renewal under new circumstances. We must re-affirm these structures under Christ in our new covenant circumstance.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Numbers: The Second Generation Army

Structure of Numbers
1-10 The constituting of the 1st generation army
10-25 The failures of the 1st generation when marching towards the land
26-36 The constitution of the 2nd generation army

The Basic Content of 26-36
The new army is constituted 26-32
A call to conquest 33-36

The New Army 26-32
God is forming the second generation into an army as he did with the first generation

1) Literary Structure
The count
A military census
A new leader
In 28-31 we see the centrality of the tabernacle

2) Similarities and Differences in comparison with the first generation army
The first generation consisted of 603,550 people. The second generation were counted to be 601,730. Why did God have Moses put these numbers in this book? The similarities in these numbers show us that the second generation were to replace the first.

In sections 1 and 3 of Numbers (see structure above) the movement of the narrative is the same. First we read about the census secondly we read about the centrality of the tabernacle.

In the first section of the book Moses talks a lot about God’s presence with the army. In the material of the second generation we read of the inheritance regulations (see 27:12-23 and 32). There is a focus on the inheritance of the land. Why does Moses make these differences? Moses knew that the second generation would take the land.

3) The Meaning of this Content
Numbers 26-32: The new army of Israel is asking questions of itself. Moses is telling them that they are like the old army but with more. God expects the army to inherit the land.
The second generation replace the first generation army and has instructions for the future.

4) The Centrality of the Tabernacle
Burnt offerings were to be given every day (28). This has to do with the structure of Israel round the tabernacle. There are specific tabernacle regulations that Moses gives. Moses is showing his readers that tabernacle should be central to their understanding.

5) The New Leadership
The people are about to see Moses die. The first generation were expecting to follow Moses into the land. Numbers 27:12-23 shows us that Joshua is to lead the people into the land. Moses writes this story to demonstrate that Israel is to have a new leader called Joshua. Joshua is to be followed as Moses was followed.

6) The Inheritance Regulations
See chapter 27. Moses is including one example of inheritance regulations as a symbol telling the second generation to set their eyes on the land (see also chapter 32).

The Call to Conquest 33-36
Moses is saying to Israel that they have been formed as an army and are called to take the land.

1) Literary Structure
The travels of Israel
The call to holy war
The specific inheritances

Moses is emphasising that the second generation must do what the first generation failed to do.

2) A call to war
In chapter 33:50-54 we find a call to war. Israel is to drive out enemies, remove the idols, posses the land distribute it appropriately.

The warning to the second generation is found in 33:55. The holy war we have been given have extensive instructions as well. We cannot rest or be calm or satisfied. We must take the gospel to every nation and person.

3) The Inheritance
In 34:1-12 we see how the land is to be divided. The division of land was to be done by representatives.

4) The Cities of Refuge
35:2 = The Levites had towns within the tribes. They didn’t have a self-contained place for the whole tribe. The Levites owned the cities of refuge. If someone struck someone else by accident this person could run to the city and be safe.

The tribal boundaries are non-negotiable. The inheritance of the land was to be a permanent arrangement for Israel.

5) The meaning of this content
Israel must not fall short of God’s direction in how to deal with the holy law and inheritance.

The Modern Application

Despite the failures of the church in the past God is still faithful to His chosen people. He will not utterly forsake us.
Israel was called to a future warfare that was extensive. Our warfare is extensive covering every area of life.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Numbers: Constitution and Failure of the First Generation Army

The book of Numbers was written for the 2nd generation to help them to re-commit themselves to taking the land of conquest.

1-10 The constituting of the 1st generation army
10-25 The failures of the 1st generation when marching towards the land
26-36 The constitution of the 2nd generation army

We are going to look at chapters 1-25 in this lecture.

The Constitution of the Army 1:1-10:10
Israel at Sinai is constituted into an army
The army is then counted and arranged in a theocentric process
The tabernacle personal and services
A description is given of God’s presence with Israel.

i) Literary Structure
1-2 The counting and arrangement of the army
3-9 The centrality of the tabernacle
9:15-10 The presence and future of the tabernacle

ii) The counting and arrangement of the army
The 1st generation census in chapter 1 parallels with the 2nd generation census in chapter 26.
The censuses were designed to give a picture of the army that was formed for the conquest.

iii) The total number of fighting men
In Numbers 1:46 we are given a total number of fighting men over the age of 20. The number recorded is 603,550.
People then estimate that the population of Israel was 2 million. This is a large amount. How do we interpret it?
a) take the number at face value
b) we have a textual problem
c) the word thousand could mean family divisions
d) the word thousand could mean chiefs
e) Moses could be using obvious exaggeration

iv) The arrangement of the tribes
The camps of Israel were positioned around the tabernacle like a wheel with the spokes pointing inwards. This represents the nature of Israel’s army- they were to be God-centred.

v) The Tabernacle for the 1st and 2nd generations
Chapters 3-10 give the Levitical orders for worship are established
Chapter 9 gives instruction for the celebration of the Passover
9:15-23 A blessing is given in response to the appropriate activity.
God gave the blessing for obedience. This model gave the 2nd generation motivation for following the obedient path as the 1st generation did.

vi) The Original Meaning of chapters 1-10
The 2nd generation must imitate the order of the 1st generation to have God’s presence with them in battle.

The failures of the 1st generation when marching towards the land (10:11-25)
The first generation moves towards the land of Moab.

i) Literary Structure
10 The march begins
10-12 The army’s sin whilst travelling
13-20 The wandering
21-25 The later travels

Looking at Numbers 10:14-28 we see that the arrangements of the camps have changed. This is because Israel has turned into a marching army. At the head of the tribes was the ark of God (see 10:35-36). This war was a supernatural war. The presence of God was travelling before Israel.

ii) Rebellion and Protections
Chapters 13-14 show the heart of the rebellion.
One representative from every tribe goes out to spy on Canaan. Joshua and Caleb give a positive report. The rest of the spies refuse to go out of fear.
14:2 = All of the Israelites grumbled. They want to choose a leader and go back to Israel. The Lord wants to destroy the disobedient Israelites. Moses intervenes for the Israelites (14:13). God forgives them (14:20). God decides that He will preserve Joshua and Caleb but let the nation continue wandering. God

iii) God’s protection against Balaam
23-24 Balaam is asked to put a curse on Israel. God intervenes via a talking donkey. Balaam understands that he is not to curse Israel but bless her.

The first generation army rebelled even when being blessed by God.

The Message of chapters 10-25

The second generation are to be grateful for the grace given to the people and understand the warnings.

The Application of chapters 10-25
Christ is the head of the spiritual army that is the church. The constitution of the first army spoke to the 2nd generation and it speaks to us. We must learn about the failures of the first generation to avoid them and know how to be blessed in our travels through the world.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Numbers: Overview

The Extrinsic Agents
1) Critical Views
Critics claim that ‘J’ (see JEDP theory) the 10th century writer wrote numbers to support David’s Kingdom.
The final edition was the work of P the priestly writer from the 6th century. He was concerned about returning to the land.

2) Mosaic Authorship
We believe that Moses wrote the book. Moses would have experienced direct revelations from God (1:1).
22-24 Could have been a separate story reported to Moses by human agents
33:2 At the Lords command Moses recorded the stages of the journey.
21:14 = direct reference to another source. This book is likely to be a book of poetry and adoration to God. It was named ‘the Book of the Wars of the Lord.’

The Hebrew of Numbers has been updated from the Hebrew that Moses wrote in.
Numbers 12:3 says that Moses was a humble man. How can he be humble if he wrote it? It could be that Moses wrote what God told him to write. It could also be an addition under the Spirit of God.

3) The date of final composition
‘Across from Jericho’ occurs nine times in the book. This hints that Israel is looking ahead to taking the Promised Land in the plains of Moab. The book was written to the 2nd generation of Israelites on the plains of Moab

Redemptive Historical Observations
The book follows the story of the Israelites from the constitution made with the 1st generation at Sinai. We read Moses account of the first generation travelling through the wilderness and their destruction (minus 2 Israelites). The book continues describe the constitution made with the second generation in the plains of Moab.

Literary Structure
1-10 The constituting of the 1st generation army
10-25 The failures of the 1st generation when marching towards the land
26-36 The constitution of the 2nd generation army

The Message of the Book of Numbers
1) Original Application
What was the original meaning of the book of Numbers?

Chapters 1-10 deal with the first generation being formed into a holy army.
In chapter 1 we read a long census for the purpose of counting the number of soldiers available for fighting. Regulations are given to the new army.

Chapters 10-25 tell the story of the failures of the first generation. The whole generation with the exception of Joshua and Caleb died in the wilderness.

Chapters 26-36 show the second generation being formed into a holy army.
We are left with a question. What will the 2nd generation do? Will they fail like the 1st generation did? The book of Numbers was written to get the 2nd generation going into the promise land

The second generation should learn to be God’s holy army from the failure of the first generation army.

2) Contemporary Application
The Israelite army was not established for a human just war. The army existed to depend on the miraculous power of God in fighting.
The army was regulated by holy orders. They were to be separated from the world. Israelite had to be faithful to God to be successful.

Eph 6:10-28, 2 Cor 10:1-6 tell us about the NT army.

Eph 6 tells us that our holy war is a battle against spiritual powers. We are not called to fight a physical war. The OT army fight a physical war. WE need to be putting on the Messiahs armour to win the holy war.

2 Cor 10 tells us that we do not wage war as the world does. Our weapons are not physical weapons they are spiritual weapons full of power from the Holy Spirit. We fight against demonic belief systems.

The church today is regulated by holy orders to be successful in our spiritual battles.

The OT people fought a physical and a spiritual war. In the NT covenant these dimensions are separated. We fight the same spiritual war without the physical elements.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Leviticus: Blessings, Curses, and Vows

Structure of Leviticus
1-7 Sacrifices
8-10 Regulations for Priests
11-16 Regulations of uncleanness and cleanness
17-25 General regulations for holy leaving
26 Blessing and cursing
27 Regulations of Vows

In this lecture we will look at chapters 26 and 27.

Through this book God was calling Israel to recommit themselves to the right way to worship.

The Basic Content
1-25 Sacrifices, cleanliness and holy living
26 Blessings and Curses-the conditions of the covenant
27 Vows- recommitment to the covenant

The concluding chapters (26 and 27) provide motivation to the laws. Blessing and curses appear at the end of other lists of stipulations. See Exodus 23:20-24 and Deuteronomy 29.

Blessings and Curses (26)
1) Literary Structure
26:1,2 Introduction to the material with a re-iteration of previous material
v3-13 Blessings for obedience
v14-45 Curses for disobedience
26:46 parallels with the beginning of the chapter

i) Blessings
26:12- I will be your God
26:46- God brought them out of Israel

ii) Curses
Disobedience produces diseases and bad crops
26:18 – multiplied punishment for sin

v27-39 the threat of exile worked to teach the people of Israel about their sins. This happened to bring the Israelites back to repentance and then restoration.

2) The Covenant Relationship between God and Israel.

a) 2 types of Covenant people:
i) True believers- these had saving faith. These people received eternal blessing through repentance.
ii) False believers- these people usually defied the covenant by refusing. See Romans 11:11-24. The false believers in the covenant were cut off from the tree of the covenant and the elect gentiles were grafted in.

The difference between the non-Christian and Christian cannot be paralleled with the covenant people of Israel

b) 4 types of people in the OT:
i) Regenerated person who keeps the covenant and is born into Israel.
ii) A Person who is born into Israel but doesn’t exercise saving faith.
iii) This person comes into the visible Israel with a regenerated heart by a profession of faith as a gentile.
iv) This is the person outside of the covenant who is not offered the covenant.

Obedience to God’s covenant helps us to work out our salvation. The true Christian will endure to the end. Assurance increases as obedience is evidenced.

The Vows (27)
People perform vows in times of trouble or heightened expectation. The taking of vows was not a day-to-day event. They demonstrated repentance and devotion.

1) Literary Structure
Vows concerning persons and animals
Vows concerning houses and land
Other vows concerning the firstborn and tithing

People think that Jesus warns against taking any kind of vows from Matthew 5:33-37. Actually he is condemning the Pharisees over-use of vows. This confirmed by Paul’s actions.

Moses is leading the people to re-commit themselves to the Lord.

We must learn that our relationship with God in Christ is governed by blessings and curses. In Christ we must take vows and take our vows very seriously.

The Overall Book Meaning of the Book
We look at this book and remember that Christ fulfils these regulations in His own body. We must remember that obedience is the response to grace and is important for blessing. We must continue to worship in holiness and cleanliness for God’s glory.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Leviticus: Cleanliness and Holy Living

Structure of Leviticus
1-7 Sacrifices
8-10 Regulations for Priests
11-16 Regulations of uncleanness and cleanness
17-25 General regulations for holy leaving
26 Blessing and cursing
27 Regulations of Vows

Basic Content
1) 11-16 Rules for Cleanliness
2) 17-25 Holiness Regulations

1) Rules for Cleanliness
i) The Contents relationship to the Context
1-10 Sacrifice and the Priests.
These chapters deal with specifics of holiness.

11-25 deals with how living become acceptable as worship. We are looking at holy living and cleanliness. Our concerns have broadened as Leviticus progresses.

ii) Cleanliness
10:10 we get 4 words: holy, unholy, common, and unclean.
3 things are holy 1) God, 2) clean persons devoted to God, 3) clean things devoted to God

Common things are not holy. These things can be clean or unclean. If clean they can be used in worship even though they are not holy. An unclean thing cannot be brought before the Lord.

Through purification something unclean can become clean. It then needs to be dedicated to become holy.

iii) Literary Structure
11-15 speaks about cleanliness and uncleanness in foods, childbirth, skin disease, mildew, and bodily discharges.

11:1-8 earth animals
11:9-12 water creatures
11:13-23 flying creatures
If you eat an unclean animal you become unclean until evening.

12:1-8 deals with skin diseases
Sacrifices to be made v6-8

13:47-59 specific regulations regarding mildew.

15 deals with bodily discharges. These aren’t just female discharges. Male discharges are also a sign of uncleanness.

iv) Why was God concerned about all of this?
Physical health concerns- pork is can be bad if not cooked well
Symbolic reasons
To separate Israel from Pagan practises

The Israelite audience would have immediately understood many of the regulations given.

The passages are not saying that particular inanimate objects/diseases are in themselves bad.

v) The Day of Atonement: Lev 16
This day happened once a year on the 10th day of the 7th month for fasting. The people gathered in Jerusalem for a Sabbath day

The ceremony:
A burnt offering of a bull or ram takes place.
The blood from a bull or ram is sprinkled on the ark
A scapegoat is chosen (by lots). The priest lays hands on the goat and the goat leaves to go into the wilderness.
Cleansing and sacrifice of a bull and a ram

This was done for the cleansing of Israel as a whole nation.

9:11-28 the day is a foreshadowing of Christ. The sacrifices in the OT were an illustration of the day when Christ died

2) Holiness Regulations: Chapters 17-25
Holy = ‘to be separated’ or ‘to be devoted’
The morally unclean are taken out of the world and are made clean by being dedicated to God.

What made Israel holy? The practises of the Israelites made them holy. God was teaching Israel how to be different from their neighbours.

In chapter 25 we see two events: Sabbath years and jubilee years.

i) 25:1-7 = the Sabbath years. No planting, nature produce only, servants were to be freed (Exodus 21:2), and debts cancelled (Duet 15:1-11).
This year forced Israel to trust in God. The Israelites were to know that their lives were not dependent on their own efforts but dependent on the work of God. Rest for the land had environmental benefits.

ii) 25:8-17 = the day of Jubilee, the 50th year.
In this year the Israelites were to regain lost property. The Israelites were to celebrate God’s provision.
25:10 there is proclamation of liberty in Israel.
In Isaiah 61 the year of Jubilee is used to refer to a specific event in the future. The promise is of release from exile. Jesus quotes this passage in Luke 4:18-19. We receive our permanent inheritance through Christ.

Meaning of the Text
1) The Original Application
Israel was to think about the matter of cleanliness for the purpose of observing the purification rituals for cleanliness in tabernacle worship.

2) Our Application
NT people do not follow these rules. We do observe the symbolism to be acceptable before God. We need to be purified. No one will see God without holiness. The outward things of the world can defile us. We need to be separate from the world. Christ teaches the regulations of Leviticus to us.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Leviticus: Sacrifices and Priests

Structure of Leviticus
1-7 Sacrifices
8-10 Regulations for Priests
11-16 Regulations of uncleanness and cleanness
17-25 General regulations for holy leaving
26 Blessing and cursing
27 Regulations of Vows

In this lecture we will be looking at chapters 1-10

The Holiness of Sacrifice 1-7
a) Literary Structure
1-6:7 the role of lay people in the sacrifices
6:8-7:38 the role of Priest in the sacrifices

Order of the sacrifices featured:
1-6:7 (lay people) = burnt, grain, fellowship, sin and guilt
6:8-7:38 (priests) = burnt, grain, sin, guilt, fellowship

b) Types of sacrifices
i) Burnt.
The sacrifice went up in smoke. These sacrifices happened every morning and every evening. Extra offerings happened on other holy days.
Exodus 29:39-42 tells us that burnt offerings were to happen every day
Burnt offerings used cattle, sheep or goats, dove or pigeon.

Rituals of the burnt offering:
Lay people brings the animal into the courtyard, worshipper lays hands, the priest accepts the offering, the worshipper kills the animal, priest collects the blood and sprinkles it on the alter, worshipper skins the animal (except for birds), priests burns the various pieces, worshiper washes the legs, the whole animal is burnt with the priest keeping the skin.

Purpose? 1:4 tells us that the laying on of hands transfers the guilt of the worshipper. Makes the worshipper acceptable by freeing him from guilt and it satisfies the divine wrath of God (expiation and propitiation).

ii) Grain 2:1-16, 6:14-23
A present given from one person to another. These offerings usually followed the burnt of offerings. Used in the first fruits time and adultery situations (Num 5:15)

2 types: Cooked/Uncooked. No yeast, honey, salt, oil or incense was used.

Worshipper prepares the grain, the worshipper takes the grain to the priest, the priest burns a portion of the offering, and then the priest eats the remainder of the offering.

It’s purpose was to demonstrate gratitude to God. The Priest benefits by eating the remaining food!

iii) Fellowship (also called peace) Offering
The offering was voluntary. Confession/free will offering/ vow would happen.
Different types: cow, sheep, goats or bread.

The ritual: The offering was taken to the courts, the worshipper would lay hands, priest would accept the offering then sprinkle blood and burn the fat, the priest would receive the breast and thigh of the offering. The worshipper, family and friends would eat together portions of the sacrifice. Other instructions are found in Lev 7:16-27
The purposes include communion with God and the celebration of God.

iv) Sin
Used in certain specific events and festivals (Numbers 28 and 29).
If a sin offering of the high priest = bull
If for a ruler = male goat
If for a commoner =female goat/lamb
If for the poor = flour

The Ceremony:
Lays hands on the hand
Blood is caught the rest of the blood is put at the foot of the alter
If for the priest the blood is sprinkled on the veil
If for the commoners the blood is put on the altar of burnt offerings

If for the Priest the fatty parts are burnt on the altar
If for laity the fatty portions are burnt on the altar. The Priest then eats the remainder of the offering.

It’s purpose: to cleanse for sins and make atonement. Forgiveness is provided through the sin offerings (Lev 4:26,35).

v) Guilt:
Guilt offerings are needed for times when restoration is necessary in the life of the worshipper. Examples include violation of holy things and theft or cheating (5:14, 6:2-5).

The worshipper makes restitution with a fine if necessary (6:4-5).
The animal is brought to the court, the worshipper confesses the sin, and makes restitution, worshipper kills the animal, priest sprinkles the blood on the altar, the priest burns the fat and entrails, the priest cooks the meat and then eats it, the priest uses the skin.

Purpose: to demonstrate repentance and make restitution through forgiveness.

Why write all these details?
The laity and the priest are both given instructions so that they know that the sacrificial system is sacred.

The Holiness of the Priesthood 8-10
a) Literary Structure
i) Moses consecrates Aaron and his sons as priests
ii) God approves of Aaron and his sons as priests
iii) Aaron and his sons learning how serious the being a priest is

i) Moses concretes Aaron and his son as priest
8:36 Aaron and his sons do everything Moses commands

ii) In chapter 9 God approves of Aaron and his son
9:23-24 God approves in a dramatic way
Moses and Araon go to the tent of meeting. They bless the people. Fire consumes the burnt offering. The people respond by shouting for joy.

iii) Aaron and his sons learning how serious the being a priest is
10:3 Nadab and Abihu brought unauthorised fire before God. Both Nadab and Abihu die.
10:8-11 gives a warning about alcohol and worship. Maybe Nadab and Abihu were drunk when giving the sacrifice?
10:12-20 the sons of Israel must recognise the holiness of God

Sacrifices Today
The OT sacrifices on earth have been shifted to heaven (Mark 10:45, Hebrews 7:27).
We do not need to make atonement for sin anymore. Christ is the final sacrifice given once for all.
We do give some sacrifices. These are not atoning sacrifices but gratitude sacrifices. See 1 Corinthians 9:13-14. The priest benefited from the OT sacrifices. The same should work today. Preachers should be paid a wage from the congregation

Hebrews 13:15-16 tells us that we should give a sacrifice of praise.
1 Peter 2:5 tells us that we are a living temple who give a sacrifice of worship (see also Romans 12:1-2).

God has accepted the atoning sacrifice of Christ. He expects Christ’s followers to make a continuous sacrifice of praise. God requires holiness in worship today, as the OT priests were to be holy.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Leviticus: Overview

The Extrinsic Agents
1) Critical Viewpoint
Some critic’s claim that Leviticus was written by P (a priestly writer).
P apparently lived during the exile and after the exile. He reflected the mood of the day’s worship-ritualistic and legalistic. He claims that Leviticus wasn’t written in the time of Moses. Moses had liberation and freedom.

2) Mosaic Authorship
We believe in the inerrancy of scripture so we believe that Moses was the author.

3) The sources
1:1 Moses received revelations. Some of the book was written form Moses’ memory.

4) The date of final composition
The book was written anytime after Sinai but before the death of Moses.

5) Redemptive historical observations
The book doesn’t deal with history. It deals with rituals and laws.
The divine King gave Moses rules to instruct Israel and form them into a national theocracy. The book gives the standards of holiness for the people.

Suggested Literary Structure
1-7 Sacrifices
8-10 Regulations for Priests
11-16 Regulations of uncleanness and cleanness
17-25 General regulations for holy leaving
26 Blessing and cursing
27 Regulations of Vows

Meanings of the Book

1) Israel’s meaning
The book tells us about the regulations of holiness. These include rules about the sacrifices and the priesthood. The book ends with a list of blessing and curses. Moses lays out the rules to get people to obey the rules.

‘The future of Israel depends on compliance with the regulations of holiness that God gave at Sinai.’

2) Our meaning
Jesus drove a wedge between the OT regulations and us. There has been a fulfilment of Levitical laws in Christ. Jesus is the hermeneutical bridge between the OT and us.

Let’s divide the book up to find the meaning:
i) OT sacrifices ceremonies
These have heavenly realities that are alive and working for us today (Hebrews 9).
OT sacrifices must be remembered to point us to the greater sacrifice that is Christ.
The tabernacle was a small replica of the heavenly tabernacle.

ii) Regulation for Holy Living
The holiness rules are not to be obeyed explicitly but are to be lived out today as principles. .
Mark 12:30-31: Christ quotes Deuteronomy chapter 6. ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ comes from Lev 19:18. Leviticus contains the 2nd most important commandment in the whole of scripture.

iii) Blessing and Cursing (Chapter 26)
Can we be cursed as NT believers?
We believe that people who are truly regenerated will never lose their salvation. But there are many who appear Christians but inwardly they don’t know God.
The visible church is threatened with the danger of apostasy. Continuation in sin brings the curse of God (Hebrews 10:26-31). When people who have joined themselves to the covenant by profession of faith turn away they are under the curse of the covenant.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Exodus: Worship under Moses

The Basic Content of 25-40:38
Tabernacle Instructions 25-31
Rebellion and Renewal 32-34
The tabernacle construction 34-40

Tabernacle Instructions
The tabernacle was patterned after something. Where did Moses get the idea to build a tabernacle in this way? God told him to. How did this happen? God gave him a vision of the heavenly tabernacle.
As Israelites worshipped on earth they reflected the heavenly worship.
The tabernacle was similar to some aspects of the cultural in the day.

1) The tabernacle layout
Larger court had bronze alter, basin.
Inner structure had a holy place and the most holy place or the holy of holies.
The inner sanctum is where the King would sit.
Courtyard where the Priests would work
Outer court.

It was a portable, movable place for the King of Israel.

2) The content legitimates Moses
The material in 25-31 was to show the Israelites that Moses was in legitimate authority
27:21, 28:43- lasting ordinances for generations to come. These things were not oly for the time of Moses.

29:44-45 the tabernacle brings the presence of God. Maintaining the tabernacle was a lot of trouble.

31:18 the giving of the 10 commandments was done in conjunction with the giving of the priestly instructions.

The Israelites should obey because these are commands that have been set down by God not only Moses. What God put in place carries on. We obey these commands through the fulfilment of Christ.

The Rebellion and Renewal

1) Rebellion and Punishment
Aaron and the people put together the golden calf. It illustrates a violation of Mosaic worship structures. God decides to destroy the Israelites. Moses acts as a mediator. God sends a punishment (32:15). Moses comes down hears the noise and rebukes the people (32:25). Moses goes up to the Lord in verse 30. He asks for forgiveness in verse 32. God promised to blot those from the book who have sinned.

God decides that He is not going to be present with the people. Moses pleads and God decides to go with them (32-34).
Sin brings the threat of destruction. Israel continues because of Moses’ intercession.

The tabernacle construction 34-40
1) Literary Structure
34 Sabbath Issued and discussed
35-39 Building materials, offerings, tabernacle, courtyard, priests being put in place
39 Inspection of these things, erection of the tabernacle and the final descent of glory.

Moses did exactly what God had constructed. 39:42-43 ‘Just as the Lord had commanded.’

40:36-38 whenever the cloud lifted they left the tabernacle.

When Israel followed Moses instructions for the tabernacle they were blessed. The second generation must do this as well.

2) Moses Legitimacy
God was with His people because Moses had followed God’s commands.
If the 2nd generation Israelites wanted the power and presence of God with them then they should follow God’s commands.

3) Our meaningWe worship God as Christ has instructed pre-figured in Moses. We lose the blessing of God when we fail to worship according to Christ’s way.

Genesis Through Joshua- Exodus: Modern Perspectives on the Mosaic Law

The Challenge
The OT laws were gifts from God for Israel. How can we apply these laws today?

1) The Problems
The law is a complicated issue because OT laws are complicated. We need to exercise humility when applying the OT law to modern life.

2) The Controversy
The diversity in opinion over the law has always existed. You can find a dominant tendency but not an anonymous voice in history.

Major Trends among Evangelicals regarding the Law
1) Dispensationalism
2) Reconstructionism
3) Traditional Calvinism

1) Dispensationalism
i) The variations among dispensationalists
There are many different threads of Dis. Among the more extreme include Schofield and Darby. The Old Schofield Bible represents a strong view of Dis. The New Schofield Bible moves away from the extreme viewpoints represented by the previous Schofield Bible.

ii) Segmentation of Redemptive History according to C.I. Schofield
These ages are separate divine economies:
Eden- the age of innocence
Fall to the flood- the age of conscience
Noah to Babel- the age of human government
Abraham to Egypt- the age of promise
Moses to John the Baptist- the age of law
Church Age- age of grace
Millennium- age of the Kingdom

Fundamentally each age has its own way of defining the relationship between God and man.
Dispensationalism has been known to say that sinners can be saved by keeping the law in the dispensation of ‘Moses to John the Baptist’.
What about transferability? Can we transfer the law of Moses to the Church age?
Answer: Yes if the teachings of the older age are re-affirmed by the teachings of a later age.

Dis say that 9 out of the 10 commandments are to be kept. The Sabbath principle is not re-affirmed in the NT therefore not to be obeyed.

iii) The Authority of OT Law
The OT law is an inseparable unity. The whole of the OT law will be re-instituted in the millennium. This means the temple must be re-built and animal sacrifices will be re-instated.

iv) Evaluations of this view
Views on the separation of the law
The focus that Dis. have on the effect of Christ’s coming. They take the question ‘What did Jesus do?’ very seriously. They claim He changed the divine economy dramatically.

The segmentation of the Bible. The Bible represents itself as an organic unity.
Dis. tend to have a negative view of the law.

2) Reconstructionism
i) Variations
Moderate = Greg Bahnsen ‘Theonomy in Christian Ethics’
More extreme = Garry North

ii) The unity of Redemptive History
The Bible is like a seed. It grows into a tree. Scripture is one unified revelation of God growing throughout time. Each age builds cumulatively throughout time.

iii) Transferability
Everything from a previous age transfers over unless a revelation from a newer period specifically modifies old principles.
Civil authorities should respect and follow the judicial and moral OT laws with proper sanctions and restrictions. The ceremonial laws are not to be obeyed

iv) Evaluations of this view
The unity of the Bible
They have a positive view of the law

They separate the judicial and ceremonial laws.
They don’t have a high view of Christ’s coming in terms of Christ’s expansion and application of OT principles

3) Traditional Calvinism
i) Unity and diversity of Redemptive History
See chapter 7 of the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Covenant of Works (pre-fall)
Covenant of Grace (promised after the fall and fulfilled in Christ)
The Covenant of Grace is differently administered. The OT is full of the shadows of Christ. The NT is full of the substance of Christ.
The OT and NT are similar and separate. About the two testaments: ‘same substance, different administration’ –Calvin.

ii) How does the Law relate to NT believers?
The WCF divides the law abruptly between the judicial, ceremonial and civil laws.
The moral law binds all people at all times. Christ doesn’t take away from the law. He strengthens the 10 commandments.
Christ is the fulfilment of the ceremonial laws. All worship is given in a new way.
Christ is the fulfilment of the judicial laws. We are no longer a theocracy.

iii) Evaluations of this view
One covenant with different administrations
Christ brings a new way of life
The OT law is looked upon as a positive law

It assumes a sharp distinction within the law.

Dr Pratt’s Position
Dr Pratt leans towards traditional Calvinism. The NT makes out that the OT moral law is given to us today as NT principles.
The Kingdom of God is not a theocracy anymore. From the judicial laws we learn principles of equity and justice.
We learn from the ceremonial laws general principles of holiness and worship.

OT laws are for today but must be understood in the light of Christ.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Exodus: The Original Meaning of the Law

Suggested structure of Exodus
1-18 Deliverance of Israel under Moses
19-24 The Covenant law under Moses
25-43 Covenant worship under Moses

Unity and Variety within the OT Law
1) The traditional 3-fold division of the law
i) Moral 10 commandments
ii) Judicial Law (social/political structures)
iii) Ceremonial Law (worship regulations)

The OT gives a special status to the 10 commandments. See Exodus 1:18 it is written with the finger of God.
Duet 10:5 = The 10 commandments we’re exclusively put in the Ark of the Covenant.

2) Problems with the 3-fold division
The 10 commandments have judicial and ceremonial elements. 20:16 refers to the court.
Exodus 20:4 refers to a ceremonial law.
31:14-17 = the tabernacle law includes moral aspects.

3) A more integrated approach
There are implications that connect all three types of the law. The background to the ceremonial and judicial law is the moral law. The judicial and ceremonial laws are applications of the moral law. All the laws are cross defining. When dividing the law we have to speak in terms of emphases. When cannot separate the law into mutually exclusive elements.

The 10 Commandments 20:1-17
1) The Basic content
10 commandments are a brief set of principles.
The J and C laws are applications of the 10 commandments. The 10 C’s are a summary. We cannot ignore the judicial and ceremonial laws. To understand the 10 C’s we need to look at the other laws. To understand the J and C laws we must look to the 10 C’s.

2) The two-fold goal of the 10 Commandments
See 19:4-6. God says: ‘If you obey you will be my treasured possession.’
i) God is pulling out of the world a people for Himself- glory for Him
ii) Those who obey become blessed. The 10 C’s bring honour to the believer.

The 10 C’s are not saying ‘Obey me because I told you so’. God gives commandments for our benefit.

When you chase false God’s you get disappointed. When you pursue the real God you get satisfied!

Keeping the Sabbath?
We get relief from labour for worship and our rest.

When we see God commands honour us we gain motivation to obey.

The first 4 commandments focus on God
The last 6 commandments focus on humanity

3) Problem Areas in the 10 Commandments
The 2nd commandment prohibits idols. See Exodus 37. There was a great deal of art in the tabernacle. To what extent can a church go to when using symbols in worship?
What’s the focus of the Sabbath command? Is it rest or worship?
Calvin argues that Is 58:1-14 isn’t prohibiting lawful recreation on the Sabbath. It’s prohibiting sin on the Sabbath.
Is deception lying? Rahab deceived

The Book of the Covenant 20-23

1) The structure of the Book of the Covenant
Ancient-Eastern law codes weren’t normally structured.

i) Beginning: Worship regulations (20:22)
ii) Cases involving: servants, capital crimes, injury, property and possession, idolatry, oppression, loyalty to the divine order, and legal procedures.
iii) Exhortation to obedience 23:20-33
iv) The book closes with worship regulations (23:10)-Sabbath laws and the three annual feasts.

2) The Relationship between the B of C and the 10 C’s
The B of C is the application of the 10 C’s. Why did the OT have so many capital offences? The Bible sees human life as very sacred.
As we look at the B of C we must ask what

3) The Forensic Function of the Book of the Covenant
The book is highly selective. The book of the covenant features case laws. The law was used to show situations where the 10 commandments were applied.

4) The Restrictive and Prescriptive Dimensions of OT Law
Many customs and traditions existed when God gave the law to Moses. The ancient world had many
The Mosaic Law did not give Israel the ideal laws to follow. These laws were accustomed to Israel the laws given were the maximum that Israel could have borne at that time. See Matthew 19: Moses permitted divorce because of hardness of heart.
The command to give a divorce certificate was a command of accommodation. We need Jesus’ hermeneutic when we interpret the Old Testament. The OT we’re not the ideal.
Exodus 21:20 – we can wrongly interpret this, as ‘it’s ok to beat a servant, if he dies that’s ok.’ Instead God was regulating the beating of slaves in Israel. Slavery was not part of human life from the beginning. The ideal from the beginning is that of equality. God is not giving permission for miss-treatment. God is restraining the sin of Israel. This law is a restrictive law not a prescriptive law. A fuller revelation was needed.

5) Problem Areas
People use the OT law as a justification of slavery. ‘Bondservant’ is a person who gives himself willingly to being a slave.
Lev 25. People can become slaves permanently through the possession of law.
The African-American slavery is condemned because of the kidnapping and brutality involved.
Capital punishment is a maximum sentence. Numbers 35:31 speaks of a first-degree murder. We conclude that there are varying degrees of murder and so varying degrees of punishment.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Exodus: Divine Authorisation of Mosaic Law

Suggested structure of Exodus
1-18 Deliverance of Israel under Moses
19-24 The Covenant law under Moses
25-43 Covenant worship under Moses

The Basic Content
Looking at 19-24:11
19: Covenant ceremony
20: Ten Commandments and book of the covenant
24: Another covenant ceremony

The Mosaic Covenant
1) The Basic Idea
God gave an agreement to Israel through Moses (19-24).

Initial covenant agreement 19:1-8
Moses is exalted by God as mediator
Giving of the 10 commandments
Moses is exalted by the people as mediator-giving of the book of the covenant
Ratification of covenant 24

2) The 2 Covenant Ceremony’s
(i) 1st ceremony (19:1-8)
God calls Moses to come to the mount by addressing him first
God wanted the Israelites to remember His grace (v3-4)
Stipulations (v5) Israel must obey the covenant for reward

This is a covenant of grace. It has been initiated by God’s grace.
God’s grace precedes the giving of the law.

V8 The Israelites promise to obey
Moses returns to the Lord

(ii) The second Covenant Ceremony (24)
Moses and others are called to the mountain
V3 the people want to obey (24:7)
Moses writes things down and makes a sacrifice. The blood is sprinkled on the people.
V10 Moses and others saw the God of Israel. They ate and drunk the peace offering. This involved the worshipper eating part of the sacrifice.

The covenant agreement was of benefit to Israel. All people agreed to the covenant.

3) Divine and Popular Authorisation of Moses
19:9-25 there is a discussion between God and Moses.
God promises to come in a cloud and display His power so the people will listen to Moses as an authorised figure.

A similar thing happens in chapter 20:18-21
The people become frightened at God’s presence. The people want Moses to mediate.

God and Israel decided Moses role as mediator.

4) The 10 Commandments
(i) Types of covenants in the ancient near east.
The first is the parody covenant. Two peers make an agreement and bargain over it. These two are equals.
The second is where a superior dictates the terms of the covenant to the subordinate.

(ii) The covenant tablets
All 10 commandments are on the front and back of both tablets. Both copies are kept in the same place- the meeting place.

(iii) Theological implications
The law was benevolence and a mutual bond between God and His people.
The law is positive and good.

The 3 uses of the law
1) Reveal and incite sin
2) Restraining sin by the threat of punishment
3) The moral guide of believers

The law was not given to let Israel know how to earn salvation. God did not expect them to earn their salvation by obedience. The law was given out of God’s grace.

The law was given in 20:1-17
The book of the covenant is given in 20-23

All people were to be equal under the law. The human King was under the law (Duet 17:18-20).

5) The book of the covenant and its organisation
There is little logical order in the book of the covenant.

The book includes teaching on:
The worship of God 20:22-26
Sacred seasons and rituals

Hebrews servants, bodily injuries, how to deal with the poor, reverence for God’s order, sexual sins etc… these will be discussed in a later lecture

(ii) Theological implications.
The law was over all the people
The book of the covenant is not exhaustive. It doesn’t tell us all we need to know.
All these laws were of benefit to Israel.

1) Past meaning
Moses must be obeyed because he mediated God’s will

2) Our meaning today
We must obey Christ because He is our mediator.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Exodus: Divine Authorisation in Deliverance and Travelling

Purpose of the book:
To depict Moses as someone authorised by God to establish the law and worship regulations

Suggested structure of Exodus
1-18 Deliverance of Israel under Moses
19-24 The Covenant law under Moses
25-43 Covenant worship under Moses

The Basic Content of Exodus 5-18:27
2 sections:
· The deliverance from Egypt
· The travelling to mount Sinai

Deliverance from Egypt 5-15
1) Literary Structure
First encounter with Pharaoh
Deliverance under Moses
Last encounter with Pharaoh

2) Analysis of the deliverance
Moses is honest about his attitudes and the attitudes of the Israelites
Egyptians take away straw making the work harder.
5:2 = Pharaoh’s attitude to the Lord
6:9 Moses reports what God says to the Israelites but the Israelites disbelief the word of God

6:10-11 God re-commissions Moses to speak to Pharaoh
6:12 Moses loses vision

Israel begins travel
God guides with smoke and fire

14:29-31- God kills the Egyptians in the red sea

15- Celebration of the red sea
A display of hope and confidence in the Lord

The Israelites went from saying ‘Can God deliver us?’ in Egypt to ‘Yes God can deliver us’ after the red sea.

Message to the 2nd Generation:
The story affirms Moses divine authorisation. They should trust in Moses and God.

3) Deliverance through Miracles
1st miracle snakes
3 series of miracles happen with warnings at the Nile- 3 plagues each time.
1st series: Magicians of Pharaoh are put down compared with Moses’ miracles.
2nd series: A distinction between Israel and Egyptians becomes clear. The Egyptians are affected by the plagues.
3rd series: Remarkable distinction between Israel and the Egyptians.
Last miracle of the Passover

The plagues on Egypt show that God supported the authority of Moses on Israel.

4) The Passover Celebration
The Lord sends an angel to pass through the town and kill the first born so of the house that didn’t have blood sprinkled on the doorposts.

11:1-10 Commission, warning, refusal of Pharaoh
12:14-28 Moses speaks to the audience directly
12:43-51 direct instructions for the future (for the 2nd generation)
13:1-16 Commandment to consecrate the first born

Moses is telling the story of the Passover because in the story we see regulations for how the 2nd generation Israelites are to live.

The Travelling to Sinai 15-18
People doubt Moses leadership and wisdom. These stories vindicate the leadership of Moses.

15:23 The Israelites grumble against Moses and refuse to obey. Moses cries out to the Lord
15:25 the water becomes sweet by Moses actions.
The Lord tests them and then re-affirms that He is the God who heals. The Israelites doubt Moses. Moses leadership is vindicated by the miracle and God’s own words.

16:2-3 in the desert the community grumble again.
16:6-8 Moses and Aaron speak to the Israelites and promise that they will see the glory of the Lord. ‘You are not grumbling at us but against the Lord’.
16:13-14 Miracle of manna and quail.

17:2-4 the Israelites were without water. The people test the Lord through Moses.
17:5-6 the miracle takes place at the rock of Horeb.

17:8-16 When Moses hands grew tired the Israelites started losing against the Amalekites. When Moses arms were lifted the Israelites prevail.
17:14 this is an event to be remembered.

18:20-21 Moses is supposed to teach the law and establish officials to teach the law.

The original Israelites should believe in the Mosaic leadership because God worked through the hands of Moses.

We should follow Moses and Christ because their leadership was vindicated.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Genesis Through Joshua- Exodus: Divine Authorisation in Moses' Birth and Call

We want to understand how the first 4 chapters of the book contribute to the rest of the book.

Moses writes this book to defend his authority and programme.

Remember the structure previously mentioned:
1-18 Deliverance of Israel under Moses
19-24 The Covenant law under Moses
25-43 Covenant worship under Moses

Basic Content
1:1-2:10 Moses Birth
2:11-4:31 Call of Moses

Moses Birth 1:1-2:10
Why did Moses write about his birth the way he did?

1) 3 failed oppressions
1-1:14 Israel multiplies under oppressive suffering
1:15-1:21 Pharaoh orders the midwives to kill the children -the midwives disobey
1:22-2:10 Pharaoh orders his men to throw the children in the Nile-story of Moses birth

2:10 = Moses is named

2) Ironic Reversal of Oppression
Pharaoh tries to stop the multiplication. He decides that working them hard would stop them increasing. The Israelites multiply all the more.

Pharaoh wants to oppress the Israelites by the midwives. The midwives makes a bad excuse. They say the Israelite women have children with speed! Pharoah accepts the explanation. More multiplication.

Pharaoh orders genocide. Moses is placed in the Nile. Pharaoh’s own daughter rescues Moses and names him. ‘Moses’ = he was drawn out of the water (this is the Hebrew explanation). The Egyptian word for Moses means ‘Son’.

Moses message: ‘My birth was the climax of God’s ironic reversal of decrees set against us’. It all worked for his good!

Moses’ call to lead Israel
Moses kills a man through anger at the oppression and so has to leave Egypt. Flees to Median. God then calls him by a burning bush. Moses comes back to Egypt.

1) Moses flees Egypt
The story shows that Moses was concerned about his own people. Moses identifies himself with Israel.
2:14 ‘who made you a ruler….’. Moses runs.

2) 2:15-2:22 Moses leaves to go to Midian.
2:21 Moses and Zipporah have a son called Gershom. Moses says ‘I have become an alien in a foreign land’ (NIV). KJV writes the verse in the past tense.
While Moses was in Egypt he was a foreigner. Moses is re-iterating that he is happy in Median. He does not see Egypt as his home. Moses is affirming to the Israelites that he belongs with them. He is defending his right and authority over the Israelites.

3) God remembers and has compassion.
Moses leadership was in fulfilment of the covenant that the Lord made with the patriarchs (2:24-3:1). Moses introduces his call as an act of God’s compassion and will.

4) 3:1-4:17 God calls a reluctant Moses.
Again Moses is defending his role as the leader of Israel. An angel of the Lord calls Moses.
Moses didn’t think of himself as adequate for the job. His position of leadership was not his desire. He has a lack of confidence in his natural skill and ability.

3:11 = Moses questions ‘Who I am?’. God promises a sign- worship on the mountain (Sinai). The readers knew this had happened.

3:14 = ‘I am who I am’ this could be translated ‘I cause to be what I cause to be’.
God is revealing Himself to Moses as a divine warrior leading the armies to battle. See 3:20. God is promising to act as a warrior.
15:3 = ‘The Lord is a warrior’ God enforces the promises of the covenant.

Moses is represented as one who is forced by God to take a leadership role.

5) Preparations for the tasks
4:19-20 Moses leaves Midian.
4:24-26 Moses fails to keep the covenant so Zipporah circumcises their Son.
Moses is humble admitting his mistakes.

6) Moses Returns to Egypt with Aaron
4:27-28 Moses and Aaron were a team

Summary Meaning
All of these stories tell the Israelites that Moses does not want to exert his own authority over the people. He only wants to respond to the calling of God.

Meaning for today
The church should look to Christ as their divinely ordained leader. The NT shows us that Christ is qualified for this work. Therefore we should trust him.