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Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 48 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Contents ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Deuteronomy 27:26 - Cursed is the transgressor 2. 2 Samuel 7 - The prophecy of Nathan, part 3/3 1. Deuteronomy 27:26 - Cursed is the transgressor ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Reading: Deut.26:1-29:8 Deuteronomy 27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. The meaning of this verse is, that he, who not confirms the words of the law by doing them, will be cursed. This being cursed, when forsaking the whole law, is the opposite of being blessed, when keeping the law. Some verses further you will find this blessing: "And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God." (Deuteronomy 28:2) He, who rejects the law, will be cursed. And all the people shall say, "Amen". That is, they all will confirm it. They all confirm, that, when they forsake the law, they will be cursed. The law has to do with God's will. It is His will, that we do what is written in the law. God is very holy, nay, He HehddddDCDsssdddddddjasdooousadosHe is the Holiness itself. Also His law ought to be kept perfectly. Not one yod of it will fall at the ground. The law is not a rule, which asks not more of us, then we can perform. The law is not to be winked at. It is the expression of God's will, not the description of what we are able to do. It is the original law, which was already in force before the fall of the first man. God's will changes not; so His will was the same, both before and after the fall of Adam. He gave commandments, such as, do this, and do that not. And, all what you do, do it with your whole heart. The law then is holy, and good. All who confirm not the words of it, are cursed. There is no man, who does the law. We all transgress, as Solomon said: "If they sin against thee, (for [there is] no man that sinneth not,)" (1 Kings 8:46) Nobody does the law. However, many think they do the law, since they have made the law powerless. They have first deprived the law of its original power and holiness, and then they think to keep that powerless one. But the real law, nobody keeps. Since nobody keeps the rule of God, nor is able to do so, everybody lies under the curse, as is written: "Cursed be he that confirmeth not the words of this law to do them." Can we be freed from that curse? Yes, we can. Moses said: "Who will keep the law will live". So, one might think that keeping the law is the way to life. But, as we have already seen, this way is shut up. For, nobody can keep the law, as Solomon said. Keeping the law was originally a way to life, but after the fall of Adam, this way is made impossible through the weakness of our flesh. Keeping the law is still a way to life, but nobody can go on that way. There was One, who walked on this way. And that was Jesus Christ, Who kept the whole law. He walked on the way of righteousness. Not a defective righteousness, but a complete one. Jesus had no sins, and fulfilled the whole law. But for us, sinful people, the way of life through the law is shut up for always and ever. Only he, who is found in Christ, shares in His righteousness. His way to life lies in Christ. Through faith in Him, one is in Christ, and is counted righteous in Him. That is our way to life. Believing in Christ, Who kept the whole law, without blemish. If our way to life, and our way to escape the curse of the law, lies in Christ through faith, then the question arises: How can one get this faith? The answer to the question, how to get the faith, is easy. Scripture says that faith is given by the Father to whom it pleases Him. "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8) Through grace, one escapes the curse of the law. Cursed is he that confirms not the words of the law to do them. But blessed is he that has escaped the curse, through faith in Jesus Christ. He will be restored in the favour of the Father, through Christ the Mediator. Who is in Christ, is saved from the curse of the law. Let then the law try to rage against us. If we are in Christ, then the law rages against Christ, and not against us. We, being in Him, are protected against that tempest. Who remains in Christ will be safe, but who forsakes Him, will soon experience the curse of the law, and perish. Only in Jesus you are safe; nowhere else. We have so severely sinned, and greatly transgressed, that it is nowhere safe for us, except in Christ. Everywhere, death and curse threaten us, except in Christ. He will protect them, who are given Him by the Father. 2. 2 Samuel 7 - The prophecy of Nathan, part 3/3 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. Continuation of last week's part. 18 Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who [am] I, O Lord GOD? and what [is] my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? After David had received the promises of his eternal kingdom, and of his seed, sitting on the throne for always, and of the Messiah, who would spring from him, he went in the house of the LORD. These promises were too great for him, then that he could speak. He could but say: "Who am I, O Lord God?" He means, that he is nothing, so, why has God given those great promises to a worthless man? David had not merited such benefits. "Who am I, and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me hitherto?" Both I and my house are nothing. It has pleased Thou, O God, to do us well. It is only grace. 19 And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come. And [is] this the manner of man, O Lord GOD? "And this was yet a small thing in Thy sight, O God. Thou have brought me and my house hitherto. But that is not all, for Thou have also spoken of my house for a great while to come. Thou have not only protected me until now; Thou have not only given me the kingdom; but Thou have also spoken of the far future." "And this the manner of man, O Lord God". Literally, "and this the law (torah) of man". What does this, "the law of man", mean? There are three possibilities. The first one is, "this is [according to] the law of man". Then God would be speaking of David's future, like the people are wont to speak of the future through their last will and testament. Another explanation is, "this is a teaching of man". This means, that God, though He was majestic, spoke with David in a friendly manner. He spoke through Nathan with David in a manner as is common among men. The third explanation is the one found in our translation. "Is this a manner of man?" That means, is this the way to deal with man? No, this is not the common way wherein God speaks with man. Commonly, God does not reveal His will to man. But here He does. He spoke of the far future, and that was very uncommon. 20 And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant. David is so overwhelmed by God's great deeds and words, that he is unable to speak out what is in his heart. But though he is unable to put into words what he wishes to say, God knows His servant. God knows what is in the heart of David, and that is enough. 21 For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know [them]. God has promised all these great things, concerning the eternal kingdom and the Messiah. Why? For David's sake? Was David such a good king, who merited all these things? No, the answer is, that God has done all these great things for His Word's sake, and according to His own heart. He has done these great things for His Word's sake. That is, according to former promises, God has renewed them. It pleased God, not for any human merit, but because He loved to do so, to do all these great things. But when God intends to do something in the future, and He does not tell it to the people, His plan is still hid for us. We cannot rejoice in the promise then, for we still don't know it. But now, He has told His will to David. That is why the king says, that God has done all, "to make Thy servant know them". 22 Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for [there is] none like thee, neither [is there any] God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. Lord, Thou are great, for Thou have brought David and his house hitherto, though that house had no meritorious value in itself. Lord, Thou are great, for it was but a small thing in Thy sight to bring David and his house hitherto; Thou have also spoken of the king's house for a great while to come. Thou are great, Lord, for it has pleased Thou to come down from heaven, and speak all these things in a friendly way to me. Thou are great, o God, for my heart is not hid from Thee, and Thou knows all what is in it. It also has pleased Thee to do all these great things, to confirm the former promises. Wherefore Thou are great, O Lord God: "for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside Thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears." We have heard with our ears all the great wonders God has done, and all His greatness. None of the idols of the heathens did so. There is no other god beside Thee, O God. 23 And what one nation in the earth [is] like thy people, [even] like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, [from] the nations and their gods? God went to redeem Israel, to make them a nation for Himself. Israel has then to keep in mind, that they not are of themselves, but of God. They cannot decide what is good, and what they will do. The decision is not theirs. God will do, for He is the God, Who has redeemed them from Egypt, to make them a people for Himself. With no other nation God dealt the same. 24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel [to be] a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God. God has 1confirmed Israel to Himself, to be a people for Him forever. And the LORD became their God. Let the people then love their God, Who so merciful dealt with them. He redeemed them from Egypt. He led them through the desert. He gave them a good land. He gave them the hope on Him. Let the people then obey God, and love Him. 25 And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish [it] for ever, and do as thou hast said. 26 And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts [is] the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee. "And now, O LORD God, Thou have spoken such a good word concerning me, Thy servant David, and Thou also have spoken such a good word concerning the house of David; and now, establish it forever. The things Thou have promised, O God, carry them out as Thou have said to me." David not only asks for the establishment of God's words concerning his house, but he also asks that God's Name may be magnified forever. Let we then learn, that we live to the honour of God. That is the goal of our life. Lord, may Thy Name be magnified, everywhere on this earth. David also asks if his house might be established "before God". That means, that he wished that also his seed might live before God. He hopes that also they will belong to God's people. For, he knows that this God is the true God, and that all the rest are hand-made. 27 For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee. We see that David found this prayer in his heart. Why? Who laid the prayer therein? It was because the Lord of hosts has revealed His goodness to David. As Paul wrote "that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance", (Romans 2:4) so also here we see that the goodness of God lead David to prayer. "God, Thou have revealed Thy pleasure to me, therefore I have found this prayer in my heart". 28 And now, O Lord GOD, thou [art] that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: David totally depends on God. Since it is God, Who has promised this goodness unto him, David is sure, since God will remain the same, that His words will be fulfilled in their own time. 29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken [it]: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever. Let the house of David be blessed forever before God. Let it subsist for ever and ever. For the LORD has said it, and that means, that it is true. The house of David, and his kingdom, still subsist. It has existed from David's time until now. The question may arise, where it is now. For, soon after David's death, the kingdom began to crumble off. It became smaller and smaller. Where was the promised glory? Would not David's kingdom subsist for ever and always? Yes, for God had promised it. But, where is David's kingdom now? We don't see it in its original form. The answer on the question, where David's kingdom is, is easy. The Messiah is David's seed, and the new King. His kingdom endures forever. Jesus' kingdom is present. All who submit themselves to Him, belong to His kingdom. The kingdom of heaven, as the name already intimates, is not of this earth. It is a kingdom of heaven. That is the continuation of David's kingdom, and it exists for ever and ever, like God had promised it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 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-048.txt .