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Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 46 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Contents ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Deuteronomy 18:15-19 - The Prophet 2. 2 Samuel 7 - The prophecy of Nathan, part 1 1. Deuteronomy 18:15-19 - The Prophet ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Reading: Deut.16:18 - 21:9 15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; 16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well [spoken that] which they have spoken. 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him. What we have here is, in short, a prophecy of the Messiah, Who will be a Mediator between the people and God. He will speak God's Words, and anyone who shall not hear to Him, will be punished. These things will be explained more thorough. The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; Moses tells the people that there will be raised up from their midst a great Prophet, like unto him. This prophet is the Messiah, and in the book of Acts, it is applied to Jesus Christ, the only true Messiah. "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you." (Acts 3:22) According to Moses' words, the prophet must be like unto him. Now, we know that in the entire Old Testament never any prophet is risen up, who was like unto Moses. Moses was the greatest prophet of the Old Testament; nobody surpassed him. But in the New Testament, Jesus is set before us. He is a very great Prophet, not only like unto Moses, but much greater. And God expressly requires of us, that we shall hear Him: "Unto Him ye shall hearken". So, reader, you know what God asks you to do. Hear unto Jesus, the greatest Prophet, taken from the midst of the Jews, risen up by God. It is said that the Prophet, namely Jesus Christ, will be like unto Moses. This appears from the following points. 1. Moses was real human, from the seed of Abraham. Also Christ was a real man, from the seed of Abraham. 2. Moses led the people out the slavery of Egypt. Also Jesus led His people out of the slavery of sin. 3. Moses stood between the people and God in the covenant of the law. Also Jesus stood between the people and God, in the covenant of grace. 4. Moses was faithful in his entire office. Also Jesus Christ was faithful in all His works. 5. Moses was a great prophet. Jesus was the greatest Prophet, yea, the Head of all prophets. So, we see that it is said with enough ground, that Jesus was a Prophet, like unto Moses. According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. When the LORD God gave the Ten Commandments, He let that happening be accompanied by such terrible phenomena, that the people feared exceedingly much. "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off." (Exodus 20:18) All those things, the thunderings, the lightnings, the noise of the trumpet, the smoking mountain, all these were too much for the people. They exceedingly feared. They no longer dared to hear God's words directly, but they asked that Moses might be their mediator between God and them. God's majesty was too high for them; too terrifying. They were not able to hear the words of God without great dread. They said to Moses: "Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not." This is God without Mediator: Fire, Lightning, Dread, Thundering, Smoking, Trumpet-noise; in short, a devouring Fire. "Moses", said the people, "please be our mediator between God and us, lest we die". And the LORD said unto me, They have well [spoken that] which they have spoken. When the people asked Moses to be their mediator between God and them, the LORD gave their desire: "They have well spoken that which they have spoken", namely that they wished a mediator. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. Moses was their mediator during their time in the desert, but the LORD promised another Mediator, namely the Messiah. "I will raise them up a Prophet:", namely Jesus Christ, the LORD and Messiah, "from among their brethren", like unto Moses. God would put His words into His mouth. So, that means that Jesus spoke God's words. "And He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him". As we know, the New Testament contains the words, which God put in the mouth of Jesus, the promised Prophet. Listen then to Him, reader. Approaching God directly has never been possible without great terror. The people of old had God's prophets, speaking to them. But these prophets no longer live. Instead of them, we have Jesus, a Prophet given by God. Do not imagine, that you can without Him, since, when you approach God without Him, you will experience an unbearable terror and dread, according to Scripture. If you then think to pray to God without Jesus as a Mediator, and you experience no terror, it is sure that you pray not to God, but to nothing. Don't deceive yourself by praying to nothing. Without Mediator, you will experience terror; when you experience it not, you pray not. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him. Whosoever will not listen to God's words, which Jesus shall speak in His Name, God will require it of him. So, all despisers of Jesus, they have to expect God's punishments. He is the great Prophet given, greater then Moses, promised of old, taken out His brethren, speaking God's Words, being a necessary Mediator between God and us, being the true Messiah. "Whosoever will not hearken unto My words", says the LORD God, "which He shall speak in My Name, I will require it of him". So, what is there to do? If there is anybody, who cannot believe that Jesus is the Messiah, let Him pray to God, if He will reveal the truth unto Him. Who prays in all sincerity, who expects his salvation from nobody else but God, who prays in true faith - it is sure that God will reveal the truth concerning the Messiah to him. 2. 2 Samuel 7 - The prophecy of Nathan, part 1 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Outline of the chapter: 1-2 David has settled down, and wishes to build a house for the LORD. 3 The prophet Nathan praises this. 4-7 But God immediately forbids David's plans, through Nathan. 8-17 God repeats the great benefits which He has bestowed on David in the past, and gives a promise of a still greater future. His son Solomon will build the house of the LORD, and the Messiah would arise from his seed. 18-22David is very surprised at this, he rejoiced in it, and he heartily thanks the Lord. 1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; 2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. 3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that [is] in thine heart; for the LORD [is] with thee. "And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies". David was a king of wars, but at the moment, the LORD had given him a while of rest. In the previous chapters, we read about wars. Also in the next chapters, there are wars enough. But for now, the Lord had given him rest. We know, that all wars and all rest comes to us from the hand of God. There is nothing, but it is done by Him. When we read, that God gave him rest from "all his enemies", than we understand that there were many enemies round about him. Israel was surrounded by the enemies. The heathen continually attacked the true people of God. Until this day, matters have not changed. Also now, all who wishes to serve God, will find an abundance of enemies round about him. But, as in the time of David the Lord gave rest, He also now is able to give us rest for a while, that we may rejoice in God, and have a short while of peace. Often, the Sabbaths are for us days of rest, amidst of the struggle of this life. And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest, "that the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains." While David had some rest, and was at his ease, he sat in his house. He looked to his house, and he saw the great difference between his own luxurious house, and the humble house of God. He dwelled in a house of cedar, wood of durable quality, wood of a pretty brown colour, and giving a sweet smell of resin when it is still new. David saw his high state, and the low state of God's dwelling-place, namely within the curtains. The ark of God stood still in the tabernacle, a tent of curtains. David was now settled down, but the ark still showed the journey through the desert. David was but a human king, but he lived princely. God, the King of kings, dwelled in a humble house of curtains. David saw this difference, and felt that this was not good. That was it, what he meant, when he said to Nathan, the prophet: "See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within curtains" He still had not said, that he therefore wished to build a temple, but Nathan immediately understood him. Therefore the prophet said: "Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee." Nathan also had seen the difference between the royal palace, and the low tabernacle of God. Therefore, without asking God's word, he approved of David's plans. 4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, In the night, after Nathan had approved of David's plans to build a temple, the word of the LORD came unto Nathan. Nathan had, without asking God's approval, agreed with David in the building of the temple, and he would have continued herein, when not the Lord had come to him, saying that he was wrong. It was, of course, not wrong to wish to build a house for the LORD, but it was wrong to do that without asking God. David and Nathan wished to honour God by building a house for Him, but they forgat that honouring God must happen according to His will, and not according to our considerations. But the word of the LORD came to Nathan, to prevent him from doing things with good intention, but too rashly. The word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, 5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? 6 Whereas I have not dwelt in [any] house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. Thus says the LORD, "Shall you build Me a house for Me to dwell in?" That means, "You shall surely not build a house for Me." It is said, that God dwells in some house, when He exhibits Himself there more then anywhere else. When He dwells in a temple, His glory is there, and will be experienced. When He dwells in a church, during the preaching of the Word of His grace, the hearers will experience it in themselves, that God dwells there, and that He gives the power to the Word. David, says God, you shall not build a house for Me. For, I have never dwelt in a house since the time that I brought up your fathers out of Egypt, to this day. But I have walked in a tent, not dwelt therein. I have walked in a tabernacle, and not dwelt at rest. 7 In all [the places] wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel, spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar? The sense of this verse is, that God had never given any command to any, to build Him a house. So, why should David now, without command, build one? Yes, God commanded the children of Israel to build Him a house of curtains, but not one of cedar. David, you understand now, that there is no reason for you, to build any house for Me. We learn from this, that nothing without any express command, is acceptable for the LORD. When we wish to serve the Lord, let we listen to His will, revealed in Scripture, and obey Him according that rule. Let nobody imagine to serve God by any human-made rule. "In vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:9) 8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: In this verse, we see how David must learn to be nothing before the LORD. Let nobody think that he is somewhat, since everybody is nothing. Not David will do something for God, but God has done all for David. God, the LORD of hosts, says: "I took you from the sheepcote, and made you a ruler over Israel". I took you out of a humble condition, with the sheep, to set you in a honourable place, to be ruler over Israel. "I took you from following the sheep, and set you one going before all Israel" You were walking after the sheep, but I made you walking before the people. David, you must learn that you are but a man, and that God is God. It was but My favour, David, why you now sit in such a high place; you have nothing of yourself. Let then everybody of us, who has reached a high position, ascribe no honour or power to himself, so as to ascribe it to his intelligence, or to something else of him. Let nobody glory in himself, but let we all glory in the LORD. "Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23,24) 9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great [men] that are in the earth. Not David was strong in the wars, but the LORD was mighty. Not David cut off all enemies, but the LORD fought for him. Not David, through his manifold victories, made himself a great name, but the LORD gave him that name. Why was David prosperous? Because the LORD was with him, whithersoever he went. And that is also the thing, whereof we have need. When anyone decides to do something, let him or her first be sure, that it is the will of God. And secondly, let him be sure that the LORD is with him. For, when He is not with us, what will we do? All what we begin will fail. "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain." (Psalms 127:1) But when God is with one, he will prosper in all his doings. "Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings." (Isaiah 3:10) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Teus Benschop -- firstname.lastname@example.org Listowner of email@example.com "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel" Institute Practical Bible-education Web: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/ipb-e/ipbe-home.html ------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-046.txt .