"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Monday, April 17, 2023


Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez, and James Fire

DEUTERONOMY 16: REMEMBERING GOD’S GOODNESS by Sonny Islas; check out the complete teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: At this point in the history of the Nation of Israel, Moses reminds God’s people to faithfully keep three major feasts once they’ve entered the Promised Land – Canaan. These three major feasts are called 1. The Passover Feast. 2. The Feast of Weeks. 3. The Feast of Tabernacles/Booths.

DEUTERONOMY 16:1-8 The Passover Reviewed
1 "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 "Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to put His name. 3 "You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. 4 "And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight until morning. 5 "You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you; 6 "but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. 7 "And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the LORD your God chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. 8 "Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a sacred assembly to the LORD your God. You shall do no work on it.

As a way of reminder, the Passover points back to Exodus 12 when God sent the tenth plague on the land of Egypt, where every firstborn in Egypt would be put to death by God as an act of judgment on Pharaoh, Egypt, and their false gods.

Everyone who applied the blood of the Passover Lamb on the door frame of their houses (which was symbolic for Jesus’ future death and blood shed on the cross) would have their firstborn spared (But God did NOT spare His own Son out of love for us – ROM 8:32).

In EXODUS 12:13b God says,
“…when I see the blood, I WILL PASS OVER you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

In the same way, when we place our trust in “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” the Passover Lamb (1 COR 5:7b) - Jesus and His sin-killing cross – God’s wrath passes over us and lands on His Son instead.

By faith, we gave Jesus our sin, and He gave us His righteousness.

Jesus died and rose in our place; in order for us to live forever with Him in glory. Jesus took our penalty on that rugged cross in order to save us from God’s just and eternal wrath!

Israel was to celebrate The Passover Feast in the month of Abib/Nisan which is our March/April. Abib was Israel’s first month of the year. So, they were to kick off every NEW YEAR with a feast, a celebration in a sense, in honor of God’s salvation from Egypt’s cruel tyranny and slavery. They were to recount and rejoice in the power of God displayed at the Red Sea.

When it was time to sacrifice the Passover Lamb and to celebrate and remember God’s goodness, they were to no longer kill the lamb in their homes, but at the Tabernacle, then eventually Solomon’s Temple. God didn't want Israel sacrificing unto Him everywhere like the Canaanite pagans did to their many false gods. For Israel, there was one place of sacrifice in honor to the One and true living God.

When Jesus instituted The LORD’s Supper just before being sacrificed by God (sacrificed by God the Father - murdered by men), He along with His disciples and the entire Nation of Israel were celebrating The Passover. When it comes to the Church of Christ, there was a transition that took place where The LORD’s Supper replaced The Passover Feast [or one could say that the Supper fulfilled the prophetic meaning of the Passover].

While religious Jews today still celebrate Passover (minus the animal sacrifice) – the rescue from Egypt, us Christians partake of the LORD’s Supper every so often to celebrate a greater salvation than that of Egypt – an eternal salvation from God’s wrath in His prison called hell!

God wanted Israel to never forget and to always remember the exact day that God brought them out of the land and bondage of Egypt. We see this in:

“…that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.”

Again, today we’re called to partake of The LORD’s Supper as a way to remember Jesus’ cross and our marvelous salvation. Referring to the LORD’s Supper, Paul says, that Jesus said,

“This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’’

Israel was to also eat unleavened bread with the Passover lamb, and they were to do this for seven days. In the New Testament, leaven is symbolic of sin. Like leaven makes bread puff up, sin makes us puff up with pride.

Moses told Israel in EXODUS 12 that if anyone eats their bread with leaven, they will be cut off from the Nation of Israel. This could mean that would be thrown out of the camp of Israel or even worse - face capital punishment.

Regarding a perverted incident in the local church Paul says in,

6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven (undealt with sin) leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

In EXODUS 12, Moses also says, make sure that there is no leaven in the entire house during the 7-day feast. That all should be carefully swept out. In 1 CORINTHIANS 5 we see that this young man who slept with his father’s wife was that “leaven that was to be swept out” of the church house to cleanse the local church in Corinth.

This is a picture of that point in time when we are justified by faith in Jesus, the sanctification process begins. When we initially get saved, God wants us to purge out all leaven - all sin.

True saving faith has a fight against sin included.

DEUTERONOMY 16:9-12 The Feast of Weeks Reviewed
9 "You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 "Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you. 11 "You shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide. 12 "And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.

The feast of Weeks was also called The Feast of Harvest and eventually Pentecost.

At this time in Israel’s Nation, everyone was to take of their first fruits/of their first wheat and grapevine harvest and offer a joyful free will offering to honor the God of creation. The God who provides work and food.

There is a New Testament application here because seven weeks after Jesus died on the cross as the Passover Lamb, on the Day of Pentecost (50 days after Passover/the crucifixion) the Holy Spirit was poured out and this brought about a harvest of souls for God through the preaching of the Apostle Peter. Thousands came to God through the gospel of Jesus.

Here we can see that God wants us to rejoice in His faithful provisions, but He also wants us to rejoice when souls are saved and added to the Church.

It is said that God gave The Law on Mount Sinai 50 days after the Passover Lamb was killed in Egypt.

In the New Testament, God gave us His Spirit in order for us to obey His laws with a heart of love and gratitude. Not to be saved but because we are saved.

DEUTERONOMY 16:13-17 The Feast of Tabernacles Reviewed
13 "You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. 14 "And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. 15 "Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice. 16 "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. 17 "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.

This Feast consists of remembering God’s goodness during the wilderness wandering. During the wilderness years (40) Israel lived in tabernacles or tents and the entire time the LORD provided for all of their needs. He preserved their clothing and sandals so that they don’t wear out. He provided water from a rock. He caused manna (sweet wafer like bread) to fall from heaven for them to eat. He fed them quail. God did so many wonderful things for them while in the desert.

Even today, when Jews celebrate the Passover, followed by the Feast of Tabernacles, they make little tents with palm leaves, sticks and such all over Jerusalem and sleep in them. Some do this in their homes to remember God’s goodness in the times of the Exodus.

It’s good for us to count our blessings – if you can of course because if we’re honest, there are far too many to count. Remembering God’s goodness in our lives serves as good heart and mind medicine.

PSALM 103:2 says,
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: (blessings)”

DEUTERONOMY 16:18-22 Justice Must be Administered.
18 "You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment.19 "You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 "You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you. 21 "You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to the LORD your God. 22 "You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which the LORD your God hates.

Our God is a God of Law and Order. A God of Justice for the protection of all peoples.

God wanted to make sure that the Jewish leaders when electing Judges and all kinds of officers (kind of like our police officers) that they could not be crooked. That they should be men who know God’s Law (Word) and could not be bought or bribed. Men who love what is good and right were to lead the justice system. Then, this chapter ends with a warning about idolatry. They were to remain faithful to God above all else and never mingle with the pagan filth of the Canaanites.

For more on DEUTERONOMY 16, check out the David Guzik study!

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