Ouch! That’s what they should be saying about me/Christians

[FYI…For titles, I choose a line or a thought resulting from my daily reading. I am still in the introduction parts of the ESV Bible. Tomorrows reading is from the “Introduction To Genesis”. It’s long so I’ll probably divide into two. I am defiitely a SLOWWWWWWW reader.]

12.30.11
The PENTATEUCH consists of the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). The Hebrew term for it is TORAH (“law” or “instruction”).

The Pentateuch as Foundational to the Whole Bible
1. Orientation. Sets the tone, “polytheism” (multiple God’s) is not where it’s at.
2. Divine Purposes. Adam and Eve’s sin sets back the divine program but does not defeat it. God later calls Abraham.
3. Theology and ethics. Gives insight into God’s character and ethical standards. It illustrates both his benevolence and his righteousness.

Content
Center of gravity is the law-giving at Sinai. The central section suggests that at its core is God’s filling the newly built tabernacle as a visible demonstration of his choice of and intimacy with Israel—a restoration of the situation in the Garden of Eden, where God walked with Adam and Eve.

[My own thought: WALK WITH ME. Daily, God is still wanting to take walks with us like He did in the garden with Adam and Eve. Sadly, the chaos and noise of life fail to enable us to hear the daily invite.]

[My own thought: IT’S A BIG DEAL. The temple was a place of both beauty and fear. Beauty as God’s dwelling place full of silver and gold. The inner courts, as I imagine them, you did not enter into lightly. The last thing you would want to do is defile the temple. If I am the dwelling place of the Lord, how seriously do I take it…how much do I value it?]

Moses was only granted a vision of the promise land.

[My own thought: LIFE IS A RELAY RACE. We are clearly only running a portion of the race…and that race is NOT A SPRINT OR A MARATHON, but a RELAY RACE. The question is, “How well am I running my portion…and…how well will I had off the baton.]

The first avalanche of sin led to the universal judgment of the flood (Noah-before Moses).

[My own thought: LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN. Was the flood like a Second Genesis (or declaration of a false start) and in the end, after a failed second attempt, did God throw up his hands and say, “Ok, let’s just work with what we’ve got and we’ll tweek it/them along the way. Probably not. I am quickly understanding why it takes me FOREVER to read anything…mind-driftttttting]

Time Span
Archbishop User calculated the creation of the world occurred in 4004 B.C. Exodus is believed to occur around 1447 – 1270 B.C. [Really, no one knows]

Theme
God promises Abraham four things: (1) Land to live in; (2) numerous descendants; (3) blessing for himself; (4) blessing through him for all the nations of the world.

Each time God appears to the patriarchs, the promises are elaborated and made more specific. The fulfillment of these promises to Abraham constitutes the story line of the Pentateuch.

[My thought: Interesting TOUGH START: The patriarchs’ wives – Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel – all have trouble conceiving. But when they take the first census, they total 603,550 fighting men (Numbers 1:46).]

The Pentateuch is a story of divine mercy to a wayward people. (Abraham lied about Sarah and allowed her to be taken by a foreign king, the pair escape, greatly enriched. Jacob cheats his father but returns with great flocks and herds to a forgiving brother. Israel breaks the first two commandments by making the golden calf, yet God still dwells among them in the tabernacle.)

However, alongside this account of God’s grace must be set the importance of the law and right behavior. The opening chapters of Genesis set out the pattern of life that everyone should follow: monogamy, Sabbath observance, rejection of personal vengeance and violence.

Israel was chosen to mediate between God and the nations and to demonstrate in finer detail what God expected of human society, so that other peoples would exclaim, “What great nation has a god so near to it…? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law…?” (Deuteronomy 4:7-8)

[My thought: OUCH! THAT’S WHAT THEY SHOULD BE SAYING ABOUT ME/CHRISTIANS.]

To encourage Israel’s compliance with all the law revealed at Sinai, it was embedded in a covenant. These covenantal principles—that God will bless Israel when she keeps the law and punish her when she does not—pervade the rest of the OT. The book of Joshua demonstrates that fidelity to the law led to the successful conquest of the land, while the books of Judges and Kings show that Israel’s apostasy to other gods led to defeat by her enemies.

Jesus is the second Adam. He is the true Israel (Jacob), whose life sums up the experience of the nation. But preeminently Jesus is seen as the new and greater Moses. As Moses declared God’s law for Israel, so Jesus declares and embodies God’s word to the nations. As Moses suffered and died outside the land so that his people could enter it, so the Son of God died on earth so that his people might enter heaven. It was observed that the filling of the tabernacle with the glory of God was the center of the Pentateuch. So too “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory” (John 1:14).

The goal of the entire Bible is that humans everywhere should glorify the God whose glory has confronted them. Lost sight of in Eden, this goal reappears through Moses, on its way to final fulfillment through Christ.

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