Date:         Tue, 9 May 1995 09:11:31 +0100
Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel 
From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 30
To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP 

   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
      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  -
   Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands

     End of   The Scriptures opened, 30

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-030.txt