Date:         Tue, 14 Feb 1995 20:10:13 +0100
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 18
     1.    Weekly reading, Exodus/Shemot 34:28-29
     2.    Psalm Ps.72:18-19
     3.    New Testament, Hebrews 10:19-39, part 2
     4.    Books
  1. Weekly reading, Exodus/Shemot 34:28-29
  And he  was there  with the  LORD forty  days and  forty  nights; he  did
  neither eat bread,  nor drink  water. And  he wrote upon  the tables  the
  words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
  And it came to  pass, when Moses came down from  mount Sinai with the two
  tables of testimony  in Moses' hand,  when he came  down from the  mount,
  that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he  talked with
  This is a remarkable story.  Moses was on the mount with  the LORD during
  forty days, without eating, and when he came down, his face shone.
     To  understand  it, we  need to  read  it well,  follow the  text, and
  compare it with other texts in the Bible.
     Moses  was on the mount  Sinai "with the  LORD". Moses was  so great a
  prophet, that he, like a friend with his friend, spoke with the LORD, and
  was with  Him. The LORD  Himself says of  Moses: "With  him will I  speak
  mouth  to mouth,  even  apparently, and  not in  dark  speeches; and  the
  similitude of the LORD shall he behold." (Num.12:8)
     He was there with the LORD during "forty days and forty nights; he did
  neither eat bread, nor drink water." No common man can live  without food
  and drink for so long a time, forty days and forty  nights. Moses however
  did, through God's  extraordinary power. This was to show the more to the
  nation Israel, that Moses was  not a common prophet. He was  not a common
  man, but he  had an extraordinary  function. He received  the Law on  the
  mount.  This Law was not a common law, like the heathens have, but it was
  given  from heaven, from  God. Moses had  been so long  without food, and
  showed thereby the truth of the Scripture,  which says "that man doth not
  live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of
  the LORD doth man live." (Deut.8:3)
     Afterwards, Moses came down from the mount. While doing so, he did not
  know that his face shone. The  text says, that it happened "when  he came
  down  from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone
  while he talked with him." Moses had been during forty days with the LORD
  on  the mountain.  There, he had  seen His  glory. See herein,  what will
  happen with the people who live close to God. Their face will shine forth
  a remnant of God's glory. Moses' face shone like that of an angel. God is
  a  Light, and He is  excellent. Moses had been forty  days with the LORD,
  and his face  shone. How much the more will  the chosen people shine, who
  will, not forty days, but eternally be  with Him in heaven. At the  other
  hand, how great will the darkness  be of the disobedient, who are  thrown
  away from God's excellency and glory.
     Who has received  eyes, to see the glory of God,  also sees some glory
  in the common  things of the world.  Listen to David, that  holy prophet.
  This man says:  "O LORD our Lord,  how excellent is  thy name in  all the
  earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens." (Ps.8:1) David believed
  in God, loved Him through God's grace, and therefore saw God's excellency
  "in all the earth", yea, "above the heavens".
     May God  give also to  us His  grace, in  order that we  also see  His
  glory. When we  see His glory,  what will be  the result in  us? Will  we
  become  proud with it? No,  far from that. Listen again  to David, in the
  same Psalm.  He says, as  a result of  having seen God's  glory: "What is
  man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest
  him?"  (Ps.8:4) He  knows that  a  man is  only like  dust of  the earth,
  nevertheless, God visits  him, and gives him  all what he needs.  What is
  man, that insignificant being, o LORD, that Thou are mindful of him? That
  is the result of  having seen God's glory. We  exalt God to the  highest,
  and humble ourselves to the deepest.
     Reader, ask  God  for grace,  that He  shows His  mercy  also to  you.
  Without  having  seen a  little  of  God's  glory,  and without  humbling
  yourself, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.
  2. Psalm Ps.72:18-19
  Blessed be  the LORD  God, the  God of  Israel, who  only doeth  wondrous
  things.  And blessed  be his glorious  name for  ever: and let  the whole
  earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.
  The Psalm containing our text is  spoken out by David, for his  successor
  Solomon. David says glorious  things about his  son, like for example  in
  verse eight: "He shall have dominion  also from sea to sea, and from  the
  river  unto the ends  of the  earth." (Ps.72:8). Further  that they shall
  fear  him as long  as the sun  and moon endure. "They  shall fear thee as
  long as the  sun and moon endure,  throughout all generations." (Ps.72:5)
  We  know however,  that all  these, and  other things, have  not happened
  during  Solomon's life. Also  not during the  other kings of  Judah or of
  Israel. Therefore, we conclude that David in this Psalm, besides speaking
  about Judah's  kings, also  speaks about  the Greatest  of the  kings  of
  Judah, the  Messiah, Who will be King over  the whole world. His dominion
  shall  truly be "from sea tot sea", and "unto the ends of the earth". His
  kingdom  shall endure  as  long as  the  sun  shines and  moon is  there,
  throughout all generations.
     When we now go to the end of this Psalm, our text,  we see that David,
  who  begun with  saying things  about  Solomon, now  fully  has addressed
  himself to the LORD God. "Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who
  only doeth wondrous things." He calls his  God blessed, the God Who cares
  for Israel. He  has done "wondrous things" while saving the land from the
  hands  of  the enemies.  David  has  experienced and  seen  this,  and he
  believes and knows that God will do  the same in the future. In  God lies
  his  belief, that  Israel's  kingdom will  endure  forever.  This earthly
  kingdom has ceased  now, but it continues  in the Person of  the Messiah,
  thus fulfilling  this Psalm. Had  the Messiah not  come, Israel's kingdom
  now being ceased, this Psalm had not been fulfilled. It says that David's
  kingdom will endure forever, not that it will cease after some centuries.
     "And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be
  filled with his  glory; Amen, and Amen." In  Exodus, we saw and  heard in
  this week's  reading, that God's glory was on the mount Sinai. Therefore,
  Moses face  shone, namely  to show this  glory. God's glory  has extended
  from that place  to the nation Israel, especially in the temple. But now,
  David goes  further in this  Psalm. Let God's  glory be, not  only in the
  temple, and in Israel, but in the  whole world. "And let the whole  earth
  be filled  with his glory." God's glory only being in Israel, that is too
  little an  honour. Therefore, let now the whole  earth be filled with His
  glory. David prophesied this, and we know that this has happened now. The
  whole  world is filled  with God's  glory, through  the preaching  of the
  gospel. It  may be that the  people not accept God's  Word, nevertheless,
  the gospel shines like a light in a dark place, and it shows God's glory.
     Let the whole earth be filled with God's glory; Amen, and Amen.
  3. New Testament, Hebrews 10:19-39, part 2
  The apostle  here begins the second part of the letter to the Hebrews. In
  the first part,  he wrote  about the  excellence of the  Persons and  the
  offices of  Christ, using a very  godly style. This second  part contains
  the incentives to  the due obligation of the believers,  namely the faith
  and the christian conversation.
  In the rest of this tenth chapter, he urges them to
  - boldness in the belief (19-22),
  - firmness in the confession (23-31),
  - patience in the oppression (32-39).
  The previous time, we came to verse 24, which will be repeated here.
     24 And let  us consider one another  to provoke unto love  and to good
  This word "consider" means in Greek to spy on, and that word "to provoke"
  means to drive in an unfavourable sense. So, in the world, to spy on each
  other leads to provoke to angry words and envy. This must  not go thus in
  the christian congregation.  There we must well  consider one another, to
  make each other the more zealous in love and good works. The congregation
  considers each other for a better purpose than the world does.
     25 Not forsaking  the assembling of ourselves together,  as the manner
     of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see
     the day approaching.
  Let we not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. These assemblies
  are the christian  meetings, set up  to hear God's  Word, do general  and
  public  prayers, and  use the  holy  sacraments. Some  examples  of these
  assemblies: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and
  fellowship, and in breaking  of bread, and in prayers."  (Acts 2:42) "And
  upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break
  bread,  Paul preached  unto  them, ready  to depart  on  the morrow;  and
  continued his  speech until midnight."  (Acts 20:7) The  apostle warns us
  not to forsake  these holy assemblies, but  to attend them. Some  had the
  bad manner to  forsake them. Why did  they so? This is  not written down,
  but we can imagine that some left the truth because of fear of  the Jews,
  or through  negligence, or because of  a proud feeling of  themselves, or
  that  they through  "the cares  of this world,  and the  deceitfulness of
  riches, and the lusts of other things,"  (Mark 4:19) began to forsake the
  meetings. This happens often. The people forsake God through several vain
  excuses, and  walk after  the lusts  of their  flesh.  These people  will
  receive their reward of God.  Let we not do so, but "exhort  one another"
  to God's service  in faith and repentance. After having said that we have
  to exhort one  another, the apostle adds: "and so much the more as ye see
  the  day approaching". He speaks about "the  day". So, it must be a great
  day,  when  it simply  is called  "the  day". He  means here  the  day of
  judgement, the last day of the world. This day is also called "the day of
  the Lord". "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in
  the  which the  heavens  shall pass  away  with  a great  noise, and  the
  elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the  works that
  are therein shall be burned up." (2 Pet.3:10) In this very important day,
  The Day, everybody will be judged after his works, good or evil. This  is
  so very important, because here  falls the definitive, eternal  decision.
  Let therefore  everybody prepare himself  for this day!  Let we therefore
  exhort  one  another,  and  so  much  the  more,  as  ye  see  "the  day"
     26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of
     the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.
  When  we  wilfully sin,  having  received  the  knowledge  of the  truth,
  forgiving  is impossible.  What this  sin  is, the  apostle  will further
  explain it in verse 29. For  now, it is enough to know that, who wilfully
  sins, wilfully falls  away from  the belief he  had accepted before.  The
  apostle does not speak  about all sorts  of sin, but  of this sin,  which
  Jesus  Christ calls  the  sin of  slander against  the  Holy Ghost.  "And
  whosoever speaketh a  word against the Son  of man, it shall  be forgiven
  him:  but whosoever  speaketh against  the  Holy Ghost,  it shall  not be
  forgiven  him, neither  in this  world, neither  in  the world  to come."
     "After  that we  have  received  the knowledge  of  the truth".  After
  somebody  knows the truth,  and is convinced  of it, and  then falls away
  from it, that  man wilfully sins,  and commits the  sin against the  Holy
  Ghost. For him,  "there remaineth no more sacrifice  for sins". For there
  was one sacrifice for sins,  namely Jesus Christ's sacrifice. Who rejects
  this sacrifice, has no more another. This sacrifice of Jesus was the one,
  the only, the complete. No other is there to expect. When  you not accept
  this sacrifice through the belief, there remains not another. When you do
  this,  what  can you  expect?  Without  forgiving  of  your sins  through
  Christ's sacrifice, you  will expect God severe  and fiery judgment, like
  is written in the next verse.
     27  But  a   certain  fearful  looking  for  of   judgment  and  fiery
     indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
  What will happen  to the  disobedient? What  do they have  to expect?  "A
  certain fearful looking for of  judgment and fiery indignation." God will
  punish the  disobedient. Who rejects  God will  be rejected  by Him.  Who
  rejects the  only sacrifice of  Jesus Christ, accomplished  on the cross,
  has to expect God's severe judgement. "It is a fearful thing to fall into
  the  hands of  the living  God." (Heb.10:31)  The fiery  indignation will
  devour the  adversaries. Do not  think easy of  it, for it will  be awful
  judgement, and  a burning fire  which will consume  you, when you  are an
  unbeliever. When you wilfully reject  Jesus' offering, and His doctrine -
  terrible will it be! The "adversaries" meant here are the enemies of God,
  the apostates of the truth, the persecutors of God's people.
     The apostle  continues to clarify  his doctrine, using Moses'  law. He
  is, in his  letter, not  inventing something  new above the  law, but  he
  applies the same law. Look therefore at his comparison.
     28He thatdespisedMoses' lawdiedwithout mercyundertwoor threewitnesses.
  Despising of Moses'  law costs one his life. Despising the law means that
  he wilfully rejects it, wilfully forsakes it, wilfully denies it. Here is
  not  a matter of sinning by accident, or  sin which one confesses, but of
  designedly sinning. That man will die under two or more witnesses.
     29 Of  how much  sorer punishment,  suppose ye,  shall  he be  thought
     worthy, who hath trodden under foot  the Son of God, and hath  counted
     the  blood of  the covenant,  wherewith he  was sanctified,  an unholy
     thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
  Moses had a certain  value, but the Son  of God has infinite  more value.
  When one  rejected Moses' law,  he was put  to death.  Of how much  sorer
  punishment will he  be worthy, who  rejects the Son  of God. So  infinite
  more as Jesus is then Moses,  so infinite heavier will the punishment  of
  the unbelievers be. The despising of the law was punished with death. But
  when one rejects the Son of  God, the punishment will be much sorer. When
  the  apostle writes that one "has trodden under  foot the Son of God", he
  means that one has rejected Him,  and counted Him of no worth. For,  what
  we  reject are we wont to tread  under the feet. When one not believes in
  the salvation, offered  by Jesus' blood, then he counts that blood of the
  covenant an unholy thing. Doing so, he also does despite unto  the Spirit
  of grace. For that Spirit offers the blood of God's  Son to everybody who
  hears the gospel. When you then not accept His offer, you do despite unto
     The  apostle is  here speaking  about those,  who have  confessed with
  their mouth  their belief  in Jesus  as the  Son of  God, but  afterwards
  apostated  from that  faith. They were,  as it  were, sanctified  by that
  blood, but afterwards counted  it for an unholy thing. When  one, who has
  been a  christian, afterwards falls  away from that  belief, how dreadful
  will it be for him!
     30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will
     recompense,  saith the  Lord.  And  again, The  Lord  shall judge  his
  The apostle quotes the Old Testament to show that God is terrible for the
  disobedient.   First,  he  quotes:   "To  me  belongeth   vengeance,  and
  recompence."  (Deut.32:35)  The LORD  promises  that  He will  avenge His
  people  on  their enemies,  and  that  He  will judge  them  against  all
  persecutors and oppressors.  The LORD will protect  His nation, and judge
  the hypocrites and  the apostates. And  again: "The LORD shall  judge his
  people." (Deut.32:36) Or:  "The LORD will judge  his people." (Ps.135:14)
  The LORD  will judge  His people  to their  profit. He  will protect  the
  righteous,  but  the  false  believer  will  be  judged  to  his  damage.
  Therefore, reader, take heed. Keep in  mind what a judging Lord we  have.
  Do not play with Him; serve  not the world; do not sin wilfully;  believe
  in the LORD, and in His Son Jesus Christ.
     31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
  It  is very fearful  for the  sinner when he  falls in  the hands  of the
  righteous  God. The  God Who  cannot see any  spot without  punishing it.
  Sinner! Look out, for  it will be fearful to meet that  God in the day of
  judgment, when you are still  not reconciled with Him through Jesus. "The
  sinners in  Zion are afraid;  fearfulness hath surprised  the hypocrites.
  Who among  us shall  dwell with the  devouring fire?  who among  us shall
  dwell  with  everlasting  burnings?"  (Isa.33:14)  The  sinners  and  the
  hypocrites in Zion were afraid, for  they saw something of how fearful  a
  thing it is to fall into the hands of that living God.
     32 But call  to remembrance the former  days, in which, after  ye were
     illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
  "After  ye  were illuminated".  What  is  this? Being  illuminated  means
  becoming a believer, and  afterwards being incorporated in the  christian
  congregation  through  baptism.  It  is  Jesus' work  to  illuminate  the
  believers, "to open their eyes, and to  turn them from darkness to light,
  and  from the power  of Satan unto God."  (Acts 26:18) The  sense of this
  sentence  is therefore:  Remember the  former  days. After  you  began to
  believe, you  endured many afflictions.  How much the more  must you, now
  believing during a long time, be steadfast.
     33  Partly, whilst ye  were made a gazingstock  both by reproaches and
     afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were
     so used.
  This verse, and also the next, are examples of what the apostle had  said
  in the previous. There, he  made mention of their former distress, saying
  "ye endured  a great  fight  of afflictions".  In  this verse,  he  gives
  examples of  it. The  two examples  go about  two sorts  of  afflictions.
  Partly own suffering,  and partly sharing others'  sufferings. They "were
  made a  gazingstock, both  by reproaches  and afflictions". Being  made a
  gazingstock  means that  their sufferings were  public to  everybody. The
  christians  were often  made a  spectacle, being  thrown in  the theatres
  before the beasts. See  Paul, who fought against  the beasts: "After  the
  manner of men I  have fought with beasts at Ephesus."  (1 Cor.15:32) They
  were  also,  in the  public,  in the  synagogues and  courts  of justice,
  scandalously displayed and badly treated. Christ has foresaid this. "They
  bring you unto  the synagogues, and unto  magistrates, and powers." (Luke
  12:11)  "But before  all these, they  shall lay  their hands on  you, and
  persecute you,  delivering you  up to  the synagogues, and  into prisons,
  being brought  before kings and rulers for my  name's sake." (Luke 21:12)
  Also the apostle  Paul has  said this of  himself and of  others. "For  I
  think that God hath set forth us  the apostles last, as it were appointed
  to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to  angels, and
  to men." (1 Cor.4:9)
     34 For  ye had compassion  of me  in my bonds,  and took  joyfully the
     spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a
     better and an enduring substance.
  Also in  this verse,  we  see two  sorts  of afflictions,  namely  having
  compassion  with  others,  and  own sufferings.  They  had,  though being
  persecuted  themselves, compassion  of  the other  people  in  the bonds.
  Moreover,  while  their  goods were  robbed,  they  joyfully  accepted it
  instead of mourning about that, as the world does. Those early christians
  took joyfully  the spoiling of their goods, for they knew that they had a
  better  good in heaven.  Who not  believes that  his better  and enduring
  substance is in heaven, he will  cleave unto his earthly goods. But  now,
  through the belief, they were able to bear all afflictions and robberies.
  This all  according to Jesus'  commandment and promise:  "Blessed are ye,
  when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of
  evil against you  falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be  exceeding glad:
  for great is your  reward in heaven: for so persecuted  they the prophets
  which were before  you." (Matt.5:11,12) Also the  apostles gave this good
  example:  "And they  (the apostles)  departed  from the  presence  of the
  council, rejoicing that  they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his
  (Jesus') name." (Acts 5:41)
     Reader,  the true belief  will loose  you from  your goods,  from your
  seeking of honour, from your pride, from your maintenance of yourself. On
  the other hand, it will give you patience in the afflictions, hope for an
  enduring good in heaven, true faith in God and His Son to your salvation,
  firmness in the  midst of the enemies, love  to your brothers, compassion
  with the  persecuted and afflicted,  offering yourself to  the service of
  God, and  the hope  on eternal life.  Choose then.  Choose the  life, and
  forsake death, so that  you may live. Choose life by  believing in Christ
     (to be continued)
  4. Books
  Thomas Watson, The Lord's Prayer
  This  volume  is one  of  Thomas  Watson's  complete  "Body of  Practical
  Divinity" One of the most precious of the peerless works of the Puritans,
  and those best acquainted with it prize it most.
  ISBN 0 85151 145 7
  300pp. Large Paperback.
  Price around $10,00.
  Ordering:  ask  your  local  bookstore  or  reply  this  description   to  - Your  order  will  be  forwarded  to  a
  bookshop. When ordering  by reply, include your  full name, address, ZIP-
  code and state and/or country.
     Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
              Editor: Teus Benschop  -
                      No copyrights on this publication
            Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands

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