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I've been away from the OYB this week due to a church and culture conference (www.serioustimes.com) I attended in Charlotte, NC, so I haven't had time to post anything. But I have kept up with some of the comments that have been shared. Again, I often wonder why some of us as more 'experienced readers' have a tendency to come down hard on those asking questions. The mark of an inquisitive mind is that it does ask questions. I"ve been following Jesus for 33 years and I have more questions today than I did when I started. Is that wrong?
I have a group I study with that are either pre Christians or relatively newer followers of Jesus. They are constantly bombarding me with questions which keeps me on my 'spiritual toes'.
We spent a whole year traversing the beautiful landscape of the gospel of John, and we used the Gospel of John dvds as well as readings. However,I knew I had to get them to the Old Testament someday but they were all very reluctant. I decided to propose we use Philip Yancey's remarkable "The Bible Jesus Read book and video teaching series in our small group. Yancey addresses five books of the Old Testament to his readers, one of which is Deuteronomy. My friends who study with me are mostly professional people of some sort, and they can't wait to get to the study. I would recommend this book to anyone who is stumbling their way through some of the harder parts of Deuteronomy.
Another reference book we have used that is helpful is historian Thomas Cahill's The Gift of the Jews (not written by an evangelical) but has some very helpful material on why we need to appreciate all that we have received from our Jewish ancestry as followers of Jesus.

ONe other thought regarding the choosing of the Jews which may have come up in an earlier reading but let's remember the deuteronomic version of the 'great commmission' "See, I have taught you decrees and laws as hte LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take of possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations who will hear about these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wsie and understanding people" What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to hae such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?" deut 4:5-8

Whatever else it means for Israel to be chosen, we must never forget it was never to be an itself; Israel's way of life (much like the church today) is to point to God and the unique difference God makes in people and in culture as they live their lives under His Lordship.

I promised not to bring up Bible controversies over here. But some things are so striking that I would rather post them here for all than write about them in emails. And this one is no controversy anyways. I just cant understand these verses...?? Here is a perplexing verse. I remember reading it 2 years back and wondering what it meant... (Why would God want human child? ...as a sacrifice?)

Exodus 22:29,30 ''Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on eighth day.''

Your comments or reflections are welcome in email or on here.

Luciano, Thank you for your comments today. Those of us who do have questions may want to discuss them here. Some of us may think we had found something wonderful we wanted to share and have gotten shot down on this blog. Thus, we quit posting.

Emberglow: Keep studying with the intent to know and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Deuteronomy 7 (NKJV)
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.

Deuteronomy 8 (NKJV)
“And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

These are excellent focus verses, on the PURPOSE of why I am on earth.

I am here to be HOLY to the Lord, to DEVELOP my intimate relationship with Him, to GLORIFY Him, and to be His VESSEL of LOVE, TRUTH, and BLESSING to others who will receive it

*** I am NOT here for myself. I am NOT chosen just so I can rejoice in being “chosen”, and then do nothing.

I am CHOSEN for a purpose.

IN A MATERIALISTIC AGE, it is a tremendous challenge to TAKE TIME TO SEEK THE LORD, and to TAKE TIME TO BE HOLY. But, this is my primary calling.

We are CHOSEN to be MODELS of GRACE ACTIVELY WORKING in our lives… to be a LIVING testimony to those around us.

IF I KEEP my priorities straight, GOD’S INTENTION is to bless His people – spiritually and materially – so we CAN GIVE TO THE LORD THE FIRST AND BEST of our monies and time. In doing that, then we WILL PRIORITIZE OUR MONEY to FINANCE the Gospel to the world.

We are called to this: “He [GOD] gives you power to get wealth, [so] that He may establish His covenant [on the earth].”

THAT COVENANT is the covenant OF salvation through GRACE – which is only received through knowing the truth about Jesus, and repentance and faith in His Name to allow GRACE to operate in the lives of unbelievers.

Money IS ALWAYS a spiritual issue, and a spiritual weapon. It is a weapon FOR us or AGAINST us… depending on the state of our heart.

Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

I can use money to FURTHER ESTABLISH my heart in the Lord if I am careful to GIVE THE BEST of what God has allowed me to make to the Lord.

I can NOT give to the Lord, which will further reveal the hardness of my heart against the Lord. In that case, money will be my god and not the Living God.

God WILL… if we let Him… give us wisdom to truly prosper – that is to give us WHAT WE NEED to ACCOMPLISH HIS WILL in our lives and IN our world – to be AGENTS of the Gospel.


Thanks for the encouragements in your emails to us....I hope if anyone has fallen behind they can just pick up where we are today!

Let's make sure that we don't discourage each other as we are all trying to get to know and experience Jesus through our daily bible readings.

one thought for all of us, which includes me, who have questions is to go to some helpful websites such as www.gotquestions.org and check out if there are some possible answers to our specific queries. The fact is, reading the Bible does make one 'question a lot', but then again, I am reminded of what mark Twain said, "It's not the parts of the Bible that I don't understand that bother me, but it's the parts I do understand that I am having a hard time with." How true!!


Exodus 13:11-16 explains it in more detail. Also talked about in Exodus 34.

The first born animal is sacrificed.

The donkey (unclean) is redeemed with a lamb.

The first born son is redeemed with a sacrifice. The sacrifice is on the eigth day, which I believe is also the day for "circumcision".

The reason for all this is in Exodus 13.

"Because the sparing of the Israelite firstborn was not a matter of merit, but of grace, God owned them. Since He had spared their lives, He possessed them. The rite of redeeming the firstborn was a constant reminder to the Israelites of all subsequent generations that the firstborn belonged to God, and that this was due to the sparing of the firstborn at the Exodus."


Deuteronomy 7-8:20

It’s not what you know or even what you do, as in the Old Testament, in the New it is who you know.

The Lord did not set His love upon you and choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the fewest of all people. But because the Lord loves you and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know, recognize, and understand therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps covenant and steadfast love and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations, (Deuteronomy 7:7-9 AMP)

But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless]. (Romans 11:6 AMP)

The grace that has been granted to Believers comes by way of Jesus Christ. He is the One we know.

There is something I just saw in the act of deliverance, Israel’s deliverance from her enemies as she entered into the promise land, that may explain why we find ourselves struggling with some things, which seem to keep us entrap as we struggle to walk the walk. There more than likely is a spiritual parallel of God’s Words to Israel, that we can apply to our lives.

Remember the great contests to which you were eyewitnesses: the miracle-signs, the wonders, GOD's mighty hand as he stretched out his arm and took you out of there. GOD, your God, is going to do the same thing to these people you're now so afraid of. And to top it off, the Hornet. GOD will unleash the Hornet on them until every survivor-in-hiding is dead. So don't be intimidated by them. GOD, your God, is among you--GOD majestic, GOD awesome. GOD, your God, will get rid of these nations, bit by bit. You won't be permitted to wipe them out all at once lest the wild animals take over and overwhelm you. (Deuteronomy 7:19-22 MSG)

While we struggle with our “stuff” God is telling us to not let said “stuff” intimidate us that He will drive them out little by little. There are things, it seems, that when we first accept Jesus Christ, we are immediately delivered from it’s effects; however, we seem to fall into traps that we struggle daily to extricate ourselves from. Yet in the above four verses God is speaking to me saying, I know that those things are there just remember how I delivered you from the first things, I will deliver you from these also. Don’t give up!

Grace and peace,

If we truly believe that Bible is the Word of God than we must be fearless of all queries as they will surely be settled. There is no question of getting discouraged. Understanding Bible is first step to understand God and have a relationship with Him.

For this very reason, we are reading the Word of God in English language and not in Hebrew or Greek. Because that's the way we understand it.

Deut 8:3-4
"He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years."

Forgot about clothes not wearing out. From Calvin Klein to Walmart - this would not make retailers happy should it happen again :)

I always thought the swollen feet had to do with all the walking the Israelite nation did in Desert.

Turns out swollen feet are a sign of malnutrition. So perhaps God is pointing out that the manna was nutricious. While addressing their spiritual needs, their physical needs were "completely taken care of in the Desert.


John--Swollen feet can also come from a genetic form of "flat feet," causing the ligament that connects the inside right ankle to the big toe. Swelling from that comes when the ligament is streatched because of “heal strikes” against the ground from walking and or running a lot. I think waling around 40 years in the desert qualifies. I don't know what the medical condition is called. Your find is very interesting. S, not only needs of spiritual and physical were addressed but their medical and physiological needs were addressed.

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