christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

we are moved

Christine’s Bible Study has a new permanent home at A Little Perspective | Bible Study. The post for the chiastic structure for torah portion bo, “go,” Exo 10:1-13:16, is posted there, and the torah teachings index for this Sabbath is also posted there. Please make a note of the new address, as new Bible study postings are not being posted here any longer.

The new post for this morning: that it may go well with you – the purpose of torah obedience. I am in the process of moving this entire blog to its new home at my own website, I will post the link when I have it all set up. :)

That it may go well with you ...

hebrews 7, our better hope

By so much more, Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

Read Hebrews 7 at Bible Gateway.

With Jesus as our High Priest, we have a better hope, and are living in a better covenant. It is not that the “old” covenant has passed away – Paul taught us that a covenant enacted later cannot nullify a covenant which was ratified earlier (Gal 3:17). In our better covenant, instead of the blood of bulls and goats needing to be offered daily to atone for sins, the blood of Messiah Yeshua was offered once for all to atone for sins (Heb 7:27). In our better covenant, instead of the Law of God being written without us on tablets of stone, that same Law is written within us by the power of the Holy Spirit, on the tablets of our hearts (Jer 31:33). Now we are not compelled to obedience from without, out of fear or some other motive; now our own heart compels us to obedience from within, out of love for God.

When the writer of Hebrews says, “Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood” (Heb 7:11), what is he talking about?

The purpose of the Levitical priesthood was to attend to the sanctuary. The purpose of the sanctuary, was so that God could dwell among Israel, even with Israel’s imperfections. The Levitical priesthood offered sacrifices for sins, to make atonement for the imperfections of the children of Israel. Aaron was charged to do the work of his priesthood, that no more wrath come upon Israel (Num 18:5).

However, the Levitical priesthood did not erase Israel’s imperfections. It did not make perfect. But through them, atonement was made for Israel’s imperfections, that no more wrath came upon Israel. So the Law concerning the priesthood and the sacrifices made nothing perfect. Obedience to the Law did not make perfect – it does not solve man’s fundamental problem of the sin nature.

However, making perfect, salvation, setting a person in right standing before God, was never the Law’s purpose, and I believe there was a misunderstanding about this ingrained into the Hebraic pysche and culture of Jesus’ day. You can see this misunderstanding manifest in Jesus’ clashes with the Pharisees, and Paul’s subsequent clashes with the circumcision party. The misunderstanding was that salvation can be obtained by obedience to the Law. They believed perfect obedience perfected, or made one perfect before God.

As we have seen over and over in Paul’s epistles, justification, right- standing, or salvation cannot be obtained by obedience. Salvation is a free gift of grace, not something that we earn or deserve. The Levitical priesthood cannot perfect, for the Law made nothing perfect.

However, just because obedience to the Law does not save a man, this does not mean obedience to the Law has passed away and is without a purpose. Moses was very clear to explain the purpose of obedience all through Deuteronomy, the book in which he undertook to explain this Torah (Deu 1:5).

To be continued …

exodus 10:1-13:16, bo “go” chiastic structure

Read Exodus 10:1-13:16 at Bible Gateway.

The paragraph divisions for bo are posted here. This torah portion forms its own chiastic structure:

Exo 10:1-13:16 {s+p+p+sx3+p+s+p+p+s+px3}
1a) Exo 10:1-2, I perform these signs before Pharaoh that you may tell your son the mighty things I have done;
1b) Exo 10:3-29 {s+p+p} “Let My people go that they may serve Me,” to be accomplished by the Lord’s outstretched arm;
1c) Exo 11:1-3 {s} Pharaoh will drive you out/ favor in the sight of the Egyptians:
— 1) Exo 11:1, One more plague, afterward Pharaoh will let you go/ drive you out;
— 2) Exo 11:2-3 {s} Ask silver + gold/ the Lord gave them favor in the sight of Egyptians;
1d) Exo 11:4-10 {s+s} At midnight I will strike the land of Egypt and the all the firstborn shall die;
1e) Exo 12:1, Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying;
1f) Exo 12:2-14, Passover instruction:
— 1) Exo 12:2-11, Choose + kill unblemished lamb/ its blood on the doorposts + lintel;
— 2) Exo 12:12-13, For I will pass through Egypt + strike the firstborn/ when I see the blood, I will pass over you;
— 3) Exo 12:14, This Passover a memorial feast to the Lord throughout your generations by everlasting ordinance;
1g) Exo 12:15-16, Eat unleavened bread for seven days/ whoever eats leaven will be cut off;
1h) Exo 12:17a, You shall observe Unleavened Bread;
central axis) Exo 12:17b, On this day I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt;
1h) Exo 12:17c, Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance;
2g) Exo 12:18-20 {p} You shall eat unleavened bread for seven days/ whoever eats leaven shall be cut off;
2f) Exo 12:21-27, Passover commandment:
— 1) Exo 12:21-22, Choose + kill the Passover lamb/ its blood on the lintel + doorposts;
— 2) Exo 12:23, The Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians/ when He sees the blood, He will pass over the door;
— 3) Exo 12:24-27, You shall observe this Passover as an ordinance for you and your sons forever;
2e) Exo 12:28 {s} The children of Israel did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did;
2d) Exo 12:29-30, At midnight the Lord struck the firstborn of Egypt, and they died;
2c) Exo 12:31-36 {p} Pharaoh drove them out/ favor in the sight of the Egyptians:
— 1) Exo 12:31-34, Pharaoh let them go/ Egyptians drove them out in haste;
— 2) Exo 12:35-36 {p} Israel asked silver + gold/ the Lord gave them favor in the sight of Egyptians.
2b) Exo 12:37-51 {p+s+p} Israel ceased their sojourn in Egypt:
— 1a) Exo 12:37-42 {p} At the end of 430 years—on that very same day—all the armies of the Lord went out from Egypt;
— 1b) Exo 12:43, And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover;”
 — central axis) Exo 12:43b-49, The regulations for the ordinance of the Passover;
— 2b) Exo 12:50 {s} Thus all the children of Israel did; as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did;
— 2a) Exo 12:51 {p} On that very same day, the Lord brought the children of Israel out of Egypt according to their armies;
2a) Exo 13:1-16 {p+p} Ordinance of the firstborn / Unleavened Bread a testimony to future generations.

So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.I find it interesting that remembering the Lord’s mighty outstretched arm in accomplishing deliverance for Israel as a testimony to future generations is a key highlighted at the open and close of this parashah.

Now the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.” Exo 10:1-2

So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is  this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ Exo 13:14-15

The purpose for telling these things in the hearing of our sons and son’s son, is that we and they may know that God is the I AM, YHVH. YHVH means, the Greater One than all the false gods of man- made religion; YHVH means Savior to the uttermost by the blood of our Passover Lamb, Messiah Yeshua; YHVH means Bringer out of whatever darkness and bondage the enemy has us trapped in, and complete Deliverer.

(Please notice that the LORD did not deliver Israel from Egypt so that they could now be anarchists, living in whatever manner they chose for themselves, but so that Israel could serve YHVH rather than serving Pharaoh, He brought them out, Exo 10:3.)

Perhaps we lose 90% of our children to the world, precisely because as the body of Messiah, we have been taught to ignore these remembrances and scoff at these observances with all their attendant regulations, which are an ordinance forever? Perhaps our children do not learn the meaning of “I am YHVH” for themselves because we have ignored the wisdom prescribed by God to transfer the faith from one generation to the next? Perhaps when we do not observe this Passover and Unleavened Bread, we are declaring by our non- observance, that we are not grafted in to the olive tree of Israel (Rom 11:17)? And perhaps, when we realize these things, and repent and return, and submit ourselves to the Lord our God, He also has mercy on our sons and our sons’ sons, and returns them to us, just as we have returned ourselves to Him.

torah teachings index for sat 28 dec 2013

And Elohiym spoke to Moses and said: "I am Yehovah the Lord. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God."If you are reading the annual Torah cycle, this Sabbath’s Torah reading is Exo 6:2-9:35, annual  parashah  va’era,  “and I appeared”  (index of study notes). This is the new post for this torah reading.

If you are reading the triennial Torah cycle, this Sabbath’s Torah reading is Gen 44:18-46:27, triennial cycle vayigash, “and he drew near” (index of study notes).

hebrews 6, two immutable things

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.Read Hebrews 6 at Bible Gateway.

Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. Heb 6:17-18

Immutable: unable to be changed; not capable of or susceptible to change. – Webster’s

The first immutable thing, is that every word of God is true. He spoke a promise to Abraham, and that promise was as good as fulfilled, since it is impossible for God to lie. God’s word is immutable, once spoken. It not simply that God won’t change His mind … His promise is not capable of or susceptible to change. He cannot change His mind.

The second immutable thing, is that God further confirmed His promise with an oath, in which He swore by Himself, since there is no one greater than Himself. To us oaths might not carry much weight, simply because people break their oaths all the time. But in time past, oaths were sworn in the name of the gods, or God (“by Jove,” “by Jupiter,” “by God,”). The one making the oath, invoked the name of the god or God he feared, who would require it of him should he break the oath. Therefore oaths taken in the name of a greater were not broken, from fear that the greater would bring retribution on the oath-breaker’s head, to preserve the honor of the name in which it was taken.

Now God, in making such an oath, did not do so for Himself, to keep Himself from breaking the oath. He is never tempted to break His word, and He needed no such encouragement. But He made the oath for our sakes, so that we would know just how sure a thing it is that His promise is as good as fulfilled. There is no breaking it.

Do you have a sure promise from God and His word today? It is as good as done, as it is impossible for it to be changed. Therefore do not fear to take strong consolation in its accomplishment, but rejoice in hope that at the right time you will see the fulfillment of all He has promised!