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Date:         Tue, 30 Apr 1996 08:44:24 +-200
Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      ChrExp, The Scriptures opened, 81
To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP 

1. Leviticus 24:11-14,23 - The blasphemer stoned
2. Song of Solomon 1:3,4 - God draws people
3. Matthew 11:28         - Christ's rest

1.  Leviticus 24:11-14,23 - The blasphemer stoned

Weekly reading: Leviticus 21 - 24

Leviticus 24:11-14,23
11  And  the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the  LORD,
and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses. [...]
12 And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed
13 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
14 Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that
heard  him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation
stone him.
23  And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should  bring
forth  him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones.
And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.

The  man,  in his madness, blasphemed the NAME. That is, he blasphemed
the  Name  of  the LORD. What we have translated with "he blasphemed",
actually  means  "he  pierced", or "he injured".  The  man,  with  his
terrible  words, as far as was in his power, pierced the Name  of  the
LORD.  They  brought the criminal to Moses, and put him in ward,  that
the  mind  of the LORD might be showed them. Moses asks the LORD,  and
the  divine answer is that the blasphemer should be stoned by all  the
congregation.  And those that have heard the curse, should  lay  their
hands upon his head. By this ceremony, they testify that he indeed has
blasphemed; that their accusation was true.

The  sin  of  blasphemy  is  very  great.  Stoning  is  the  commanded
punishment  thereof.  All  of  us  that  ever  did  likewise,   should
understand what reward they deserve. The piercing through of the  Name
of  God  should be punished by the same: the piercing through  of  the
person that did so. One that curses the Name of God - let his own name
be a curse for always.

The  word we have translated with "to curse" means "to esteem  light".
This  man  esteemed  the  Name of the LORD so  light,  that  he  dared
blaspheme  Him. This light estimation of God's Name is  possible  when
the  fear of the LORD is lacking. The fear of the LORD saves  us  from
many  sins. When this fear is lacking, we sin more easily. Because  of
the fear of the LORD, we dare not sin. We think of the high God; he is
so  high and righteous and majestic and fearful, that we dare not  sin
whenever  we think of the consequences it will have for us. Therefore,
when we are not restrained by this fear, we will blaspheme Him without
fright.  This is what David says us: "The transgression of the  wicked
saith  within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes."
Ps 36:1. And elsewhere we read: "The fear of the LORD is a fountain of
life,  to  depart  from the snares of death." Prov 14:27.  This  verse
means that we, because of the fear of the LORD, depart from sins; that
is, we depart from the snares of death. And again: "By the fear of the
LORD men depart from evil." Prov 16:6.

Let's  therefore  not  blaspheme the LORD, as this  man  did  and  was
stoned.  Maybe  we are not stoned while in this life, but  our  reward
will  once be given us by God Himself. Let the fear of this LORD  make
you depart from the snares of death. When you curse God in your heart,
no human will hear it, but God knows the inner parts of your heart and
your  thoughts.  Nothing is hid from Him. "Whosoever curseth  his  God
shall  bear his sin. And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD,  he
shall surely be put to death".

2.  Song of Solomon 1:3,4 - God draws people

Song 1:3,4
Because  of  the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as  ointment
poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. Draw me, we will run
after thee.

The  servants of God bring forth a very good report of their  God  and
Father  in  heaven. Through their preaching, they elevate  and  praise
God's  Name.  Their sermons smell good because of the good  report  of
God's  virtues they give to their hearers. Their speech  is  like  the
savour  of  good  ointments. Whenever you hear  them,  you  smell  the
goodness of God in their words. As soon as they open their mouth, they
produce  pleasant and sweet words about their Lord and  Saviour  Jesus
Christ,  the Son of God. They represent Him so lovely and  good,  that
several  hearers are impressed by it. They then say with the bride  in
Songs:  "Because of the savour of Thy good ointments, Thy Name  is  as
ointment poured forth". They fall in love with that good God.  Such  a
good  God  and Father, and such a lovely Son, would they not  fall  in
love  with  them? Because of the savour of God's good  ointments,  His
Name  is  as  ointment poured forth: "therefore do  the  virgins  love
thee". Yes, those that have not given their promise to the world,  are
virgins.  They have no man. But as soon as they hear the good  report,
they  love Him. Many love the world, and play the harlot with it.  But
those that are spiritually pure, the virgins, as soon as they hear  of
the  eternal love of God in Christ, it is said of them: "therefore  do
the virgins love Thee".

"Draw me, we will run after thee." The virgins are drawn after Christ.
They  feel  themselves inwardly bound with Him. By the sweet  smelling
Person of Christ, they feel themselves drawn. As soon as they come  in
His  presence,  or  when  they hear Him speak  in  the  Word  and  the
ordinances, they feel themselves drawn. "Draw me", they say,  and  "we
will  run after Thee". The virgins love Christ. There is none on earth
that  is  more  fair in their eyes. He is fairer than the  other  men.
Christ, Who gave His life for those that love Him, is better and  more
pleasant than other men. Draw me, and we will run after Thee. As often
as  Christ is preached in the gospel, the virgins will run after  him.
As  often  as He is represented in the Lord's supper, His  bride,  the
church,  again  experiences His sweetness. They are  drawn,  and  will
always  follow  Him. They follow Christ, because they have  heard  His
voice: "come, take up the cross, and follow me." Mark 10:21.

3.  Matthew 11:28 - Christ's rest

Come unto me,
all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.

Who  is so busy with all kinds of things, that he never has rest?  Who
has  wearied himself in seeking to enter heaven through works? Who  is
there,  that has opened eyes, so as to see and feel the heavy pack  of
sins on his back? "Come unto Me", says Jesus, "all ye that labour  and
are heavy laden; and I will give you rest". For those that labour, and
never  succeed, there is rest. It is gratis, because Christ  will  not
sell it, but give it you, freely, out of His grace. He gives rest  for
no  price. He gives rest to all those that labour and are heavy laden.
Who is restless? Who is persecuted by his own vices? Who has satan  as
a ceaseless pursuer? Who is driven forth by his own desires, and never
can  fully  satisfy them? Who is kept in prison by  satan?  Come  unto
Jesus,  all you that are restless, and He will give you rest. And  His
rest  will  be pleasant and very good. Then those that are  weary  may
rest. They may lay off the burden of sin and vice. The heavy load will
be  taken from them. Come unto your Messiah, o restless people. People
that seek salvation by performing the works of the law, come to Christ
and  He  will give you rest. The law is very cruel. It gives  nothing,
unless  you  fully and perfectly perform it. If not,  then  your  only
reward is death. Are you still labouring under the unbearable yoke  of
the law? That cruel thing, which requires of you what Adam was able to
do,  but you aren't? Come unto Christ, and be clothed with His perfect
righteousness and fulfilment of the law. You are restless at  present,
but  as soon as you come to Christ, you will be given rest. Have  your
fathers told you, being misled themselves, that you should keep  those
human  laws of your tradition? Are you trying it, and labouring  under
them? Come unto Christ, and He will give you rest.

Ho,  every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath
no  money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without
money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is
not  bread?  and  your labour for that which satisfieth  not?  hearken
diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let  your  soul
delight  itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me:  hear,
and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with
you,  even the sure mercies of David." Isa 55:1-3. "Look unto me,  and
be  ye  saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and  there  is
none  else." Isa 45:22. Come unto God, all ye that labour! Your labour
will die with you, it will take both your strength and life; come unto
God, you that are heavy laden, and Christ will give you rest.

Many  are  there  that have their days filled. In  the  morning,  they
arise, wash themselves, take breakfast, and go to work. The whole  day
they  are busy with several things, and at the end of this day,  their
head  buzzes  of all what they have heard, said and thought.  They  go
home  again, and there they eat, give their attention to their family,
do some necessary duties, go to bed and fall asleep. This goes on, day
after  day,  week after week, year after year. Rest?  No;  they  spend
their life without God. They care not for God. But they know not  that
they  not  live, but are lived. Serving God? No. They labour  day  and
night, without rest. And at the end they die. Their bodies rest in the
grave,  but  they  will  arise again, and be  condemned  because  they
haven't served God in their life, nor obeyed and loved Him.

Therefore, if you will have life, come to Christ, and He will give you

"A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel"
Institute Practical Bible-education
Written by Teus Benschop  --  t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl

file: /pub/resources/text/so: s-open-081.txt