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.