You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous.
God via Moses tries to impart this wisdom upon the Israelites. God knows what man is. God knows that governing produces power, which produces wealth, which produces greed and covetousness.
To those of you who put your faith in government I say read again Deuteronomy 16:19. Continue reading
For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
Moses is giving the Israelites the commandments of God before they make their trip into the Promised Land, a trip which Moses will not make.
These verses hold a special meaning for me. Continue reading
For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.
“…but you shall not borrow…”
I believe God is advising Israel on how to stay wealthy and self-sufficient, as a nation and a people. I believe God is advising us, on a personal level, on how to stay in control of your life.
I’m not going to get into the amount of debt we have as a country, nor the amount that other countries owe our country. I guess I just wanted to write about another example of advice and wisdom that has transcended through the ages. Continue reading
Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I sat down this morning and randomly thumbed through the pages of my Bible, stopping and reading the first few verses that my finger landed on. The is where my finger landed.
I thought this fit with my post “It’s In Our Hearts” which is about Deuteronomy 30:11-14, especially verse 14 which reads:
The word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart so that you can do it. Continue reading
If you read some of my previous posts such as, Hokum for Profit and So Much Hokum, you will know how I feel about today’s so called “psychics”.
During my current read of the Bible I came across these verses.
There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.
Now the first part of verse 10, “anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering”, that’s something we all can agree on, it’s not OK to sacrifice your kids.
What I wanted to write about today was the second half of verse 10 and verses 11 through 12: Continue reading
A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established. If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
I read this and thought how far we have moved away from this basic law, rule, guideline, whatever you choose to call it.
The purpose of this law in the ancient times of Israel is self-evident.
You can’t accept the accusations of one person against another. As humans we all, at some point have had an ax to grind with someone along the way. And malicious or not we all just blurt out stupid nonsensical things. Continue reading
Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
Sabbath – a day of rest as commanded by God in the Ten Commandments. So important is the concept of rest and renewal, that is was in the top five of all the laws given to the Jews by God.
As a child I remember how everything, except for a few restaurants, shut down on Sunday. It was one day during the week you knew everything was closed and if you were a working man it was the one day you were sure to have off. Continue reading
You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the corn.
Here is the commentary of biblical scholar Matthew Henry in regards to this verse.
“This is a charge to husbandmen. It teaches us to make much of the animals that serve us. But we must learn, not only to be just, but kind to all who are employed for the good of our better part, our souls.”
“Be kind to all who are employed..” Continue reading
See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
These six verses are what follows the verses I wrote about in my previous post It Is In Our Hearts. In verse 11 through 14 Moses tells the people of Israel that the word of God is very near. It is in your heart and in your mouth.
In verses 15 through 20 Moses continues by letting the Israelites know how simple life really is. Continue reading