Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 09:11:31 +0100 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 30 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Contents ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --- 1. Weekly reading, Leviticus 23:3, The Sabbath 2. 1 Chronicles 13:12, The ark of God 3. 1 Corinthians 2:2, Jesus Christ, and him crucified 1. Weekly reading, Leviticus 23:3, The Sabbath ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --- Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work [therein]: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. This third verse of Leviticus is one of the many cases, wherein mention is made of the holy Sabbath. Many things are said of the Sabbath, in this verse. "Six days shall work be done." God gave us six days to do our work therein. It concerns our daily work, necessary for the maintenance of our life on earth. "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work." (Exodus 20:9) "But the seventh day is the sabbath of rest." The sabbath of rest is given us, because God rested on the seventh day, after He had created heaven and earth in six days. "In six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:11) The hard workers, who laboured during six days, may rest on that day. "Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed." (Exodus 23:12) "An holy convocation." On the sabbath-day, we have to go up to God's house, to listen to the preaching of His Word. This convocation is not profane, but "holy". Holy people will behave themselves also holy in that convocation on the sabbath-day. They consider that the sabbath is a holy day, and reject vain talking and doing vain things. Looking around us, we discern that against being holy is sinned very much. In the convocation, many talk about their worldly employments, their holidays, about eating, and many other vain things. You will scarcely meet one, who is truly holy. The holy convocation, truly holy, is separated from the profane world. Otherwise, they are not holy. Holy men live in the world, but they do not participate in its sins. Of course, we cannot and may not withdraw ourselves from this world, because we have our divinely appointed task here. But yet, we ought to be holy, and behave ourselves holy therein. "Ye shall do no work [therein]." On the sabbath-day, we shall do no work. Many agree with this, at least, they say so. But when it becomes dangerous, or unfavourable to rest on the sabbath-day, or when there is to earn some money by working on the sabbath, they barefacedly transgress. The farmer will be busy in the harvest, yet the Scripture says that they also shall rest "in earing time and in harvest". (Exodus 34:21) The service of God, not working on the sabbath, is more important then some harvest, which may get soaked in the rain. "It is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings." The sabbath is not some day, appointed by the government, to rest in it. No, it is a day of the LORD. And, it is added, "in all your dwellings". So, when you are on holiday, you also will observe the sabbath. When you are by your friends, you also will observe it, going to the church, being holy, etc. The sabbath-day is the day of rest. After six days hard work, there is day of rest. On that day men must withdraw from all business of the world. It can be asked now, if there is rest on this day? Is there true rest in this world? Is everybody observing the sabbath, not only with words, but also in deeds, and with an upright heart? We know, that there has never been such a sabbath in this world. The sinners sin on that day, the feigned feign to rest, but are busy in their hearts. The reprobate shamelessly work on that day. Wars continue. Society also continues. But true rest? Also the Israelites of old, when they came in Canaan, had they the complete rest? No, true rest hasn't been there until now. Therefore, we expect another rest. The obedient expect the heavenly rest. Amidst all difficulties of this world, they hope on God, Who truly rested on the seventh day. Waiting for God's spiritual rest, we are still in this world. Being here, we have to obey God's will. The sabbath of rest typifies spiritual rest from sin, and our rest in God, during this life on earth. We rest from our works, to let God work in us, renewing our understanding, will, and our whole life. 2. 1 Chronicles 13:12, The ark of God ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --- And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God [home] to me? (1 Chronicles 13:12) David was afraid of God, after the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, who put out his hand to hold the ark, and was killed. David was afraid, and did not know how to bring the ark of God to him. Let we now look at this history. The beginning of our chapter shows us David, consulting with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader of Israel. He said unto all the congregation if Israel: If it seem good unto our brethren everywhere, who are in the land of Israel, that they may gather themselves unto us. He said: Let us bring again the ark of our God to us; for we enquired not at it in the days of king Saul. We see David, who already at the beginning of his reign began to restore the service of God, bringing the ark to Jerusalem. Let we learn from this, when we begin something, that we begin with the service of God. No sooner they had made David king over all Israel, or he restored the ark. In his speech to the congregation of Israel, he also said that they not enquired at the ark in the days of Saul. They offered in Gibeon, but the ark was in Kirjath-Jearim at that moment. So, there was not a little negligence in them, in the days of Saul. A half service is not very pleasing unto the LORD. Let we therefore, thoroughly search the Scriptures, lest we worship God according to the general custom of our days, not according to His will. That was the error of Israel of that days. Everybody followed everybody, but only a few followed God. David has proposed his suggestion unto the entire congregation. What is their answer? "And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people." (verse 4) Through the working of God's Spirit, they came back from their negligence, and considered it right to get the ark unto them. So, David gathered all Israel together, to bring the ark of God from Kirjath-Jearim. They went up, and all the people, to Kirjath-Jearim, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, That dwells between the cherubim, Whose Name is called on it. They put the ark of God in a new cart, out of the house of Abinadab, where the ark stood. Uzza and Ahio drove the cart. David, and all Israel had great delight in bringing up the ark; therefore they played before God with all their might; with singing, with harps, psalteries, and other instruments of music. Herein we see the delight of their heart. Rejecting any false shame, they played in the public before the LORD. It is said, in verse eight, that they played "before God". We must understand this so, that God showed His presence above the ark. There was visible some divine glory, what is called: the face of God. But now, the gladness was suddenly disrupted. Verse nine says that they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, and that the oxen of the cart stumbled. The ark was in danger to fall on the ground. Therefore Uzza put forth his hand to hold it. It was, however, written in the law, that nobody should touch the ark except the priests. "They shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die." (Numbers 4:15) Only the priests were allowed to touch any holy thing, like the ark was. Who was not a priest, would die. Uzza, in his carelessness, not being a priest, touched the ark. Maybe, he was so careless in studying the law, that he now knew this. Howbeit, the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and He smote him, because he put his hand to the ark. And there he died before the face of God. We see herein, that, especially in holy things, we must be holy. The LORD is holy. Maybe the people had forgotten that too much, and acted as if God was one of them. David was displeased, because the LORD had smitten Uzza. He not only was displeased with this happening, but also he began to fear the LORD. That is our text, which says: And David was afraid of God that day. Before, he had acted to familiarly with God, but now, he was put back in the right attitude of mind: the fear of the LORD. "And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?" After this accident, David was afraid of God, asking how he should bring the ark of God home unto him. Asking himself this, he began to pray, and to study the Scriptures, and there he found the answer. He also found there, what he had done wrong. He had put the ark on a cart, but the Torah commanded that it had to be borne by the Levites. "The sons of Kohath shall come to bear [it]: but they shall not touch [any] holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation." (Numbers 4:15) In the fifteenth chapter, David says this: "Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever." (2 Chronicles 15:2). We see that the anger of God was needed, before David began to study the Scriptures. He began too rashly, in his delight, to take the ark unto Jerusalem. But God requires order in His service, not rashness mingled with negligence in the knowledge of Scripture. This time, David and all Israel brought the ark unto Jerusalem, with gladness, and with offerings, according to God's will. 3. 1 Corinthians 2:2, Jesus Christ, and him crucified ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --- I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Paul, the holy apostle, determined not to know any thing among them, save Jesus Christ,and Him crucified. This is the plain truth: Jesus Christ crucified. Paul well knew that "the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom." (1 Corinthians 1:22) The Jews refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, but require a sign. The Greeks seek after wisdom, and the simple preaching of Christ, they considered as having too little worth. When Paul sought after human honour, He would have polished up his sermons. He could try to give the Jews signs, and to make his preaching seem more wise, for the Greeks. But now, Paul, being a faithful servant of God, rejected the unbelievers, and preached Christ crucified. He said: "We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness. (1 Corinthians 1:23) When they stumble over Christ, let them stumble and fall. When they consider Christ foolish, let them think so, and perish. The truth will not be changed by the unbelievers. Let the false prophets seek much converts by their distorting of the gospel; I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Maybe many Jews stumble over Christ, and many Greeks consider Him foolish, yet, unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, I preach Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. The wisdom of God is too high for natural men; they stumble over it, or they consider it foolishness. But they, who are called with a calling which brings salvation; they have gotten an eye to see the wisdom of God, and to admire at it. I determined not to cherish my flesh, like many ministers do, but I determined to preach Christ crucified. The knowledge of this Christ is so exceedingly excellent, that I count all things but loss for this knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. Many preach their own knowledge, when they speak out the pulpit. They show in their sermons their own knowledge. But I determined not to preach any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Some become preachers for the pay; other become ministers, for "then can you move house to another place, now and then". Some become preacher, because they were unfit for any other work. But Paul suffered all things, to preach Christ crucified. Preaching Christ crucified means that he explained the work of Christ. He was crucified for the sins of His people, to pay for them. He underwent the death in their stead. They had sinned against God, and therefore, as the law says, are to be put to death. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:20) Jesus underwent this punishment, and died for them, in order that they might be redeemed. Jesus also, through His obedience, earned eternal life for them. That is it, what I preach. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3) The thousands of law-preachers deceive their audience, when they represent the law as the way to life. How can the law be a way to life, when it is not kept? There has never been one, who has kept the law as it should. The law, which was the way unto life in Paradise, has still this function, but because of our wicked nature, nobody walks in that way, neither will anyone ever be able. All the people, who try to do the law, know in their conscience that they fail each day. Therefore, I preach not the law, but Jesus Christ crucified, the Son of God. Let the law-preachers deceive their audience. May God open their eyes. Though they delude their people, I determined to do not so, and therefore I know nothing among you save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. The false and blind prophets preach the law, but the true preach the belief in Christ. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --- Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Bible to Israel Editor: Teus Benschop - email@example.com Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands End of The Scriptures opened, 30 -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-030.txt .