Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 9
DEUTERONOMY 26-34: JOSHUA 1-4: RAHAB
Let’s get right back in Deuteronomy Chapter 28 starting at verse 63. Last lesson we were talking about the conditions of blessings or curses that God puts before the Israelites. If they would be obedient, he would richly bless them. But, on the other hand, if they would turn their back on Jehovah, and be disobedient, then God listed the curses that would befall Israel. Now verse 63:
“And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to naught; (or to nothing) and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.”
Remember they are still sitting out here on the plains of Moab, just east of the Jordan River and east of Jericho. These are in the final days of Moses’ life and he is passing this on, now, to the nation ere they go into Canaan. Now let’s look at verse 64.
“And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other;…”
As we read this, keep reminding yourself, isn’t this exactly what happened? This is written almost 1,500 B.C., and here we are almost 2,000 A.D. 3,500 years and it has come to pass to the exact word. Now I don’t know how many of you are acquainted with the author, James Michener, but I remember reading the forward of his book, “The Source” that he wrote several years ago. “The Source,” you remember traced Jewish families from all the way back. Michener is great on research, there’s no doubt about it. He usually doesn’t even start a book until he lives in the area. But in that forward, if I remember correctly, he made the statement that, as he researched that book, he found evidence of Jews in every culture around the globe, including (and this surprised me) the Eskimos. That’s why I remember it so definitively because he mentioned it. The Book said that they would be scattered from one end of the earth to the other. Now verse 65:
“And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:” Can you imagine this? I’ll give you a statistic in a little bit that will bear this out.
“In the morning thou shalt say, `Would God it were even!’ And at even thou shalt say, `Would God it were morning!…'”
In other words what were they doing? They were wishing their life away. It wasn’t worth living. Now I want to show you the other side of the coin; the better part. So skip over to Chapter 30:
“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,”
Do you see what God is telling them before it ever happens? Because of their disobedience, and unbelief, they are going to end up scattered from one end of the earth to the other. But God says.
“And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then (when Israel has gone full circle through the blessings and curses, then God will finally remember them) the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.”
This is then called the Palestinian Covenant. It is still a part of the Abrahamic Covenant, but it is a Palestinian Covenant; that the area of Palestine, the land of Canaan is still going to go back to the Jew. If only our politicians could understand this. That regardless of what they may try to do, regardless of how they may try to pacify the other nations of the Middle East, they might as well get it straight, that God has mandated one day the Jew is going to have her land back. Now you have to know history, and we know that after the destruction of the temple by Titus in 70 A.D., not only did God permit the Temple to be totally destroyed, but He permitted the Nation of Israel to be dispersed again. That was an act of God. A Sovereign act whereby He scattered them into every nation in the world.
But in our own time, what are we seeing? We are seeing God fulfilling His Word. He’s bringing them back. And they are going to have it. No one is going to drive them into the sea. They are there for good, because The Book says they are. We will be looking more at that when we get into prophecy in about one or two more lessons. Let’s go to Deuteronomy Chapter 31. This is in the final 30 days of Moses’ leadership. Now we come to the very end:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, `Behold, thy days approach that thou must die (you know when I read these things, I try to put myself in their shoes. How would you feel, if all of a sudden the Lord could just somehow speak to you, and say, “Now Les, get ready. You have about 3 more days and that’s it. I’m going to bury you.” You see, that was Moses. He was just as human as we are. This is what God told him, and he is writing it before it happens. So the LORD told Moses to): call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge,’ And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.”
“And the LORD appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud (God is approving of this event): and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle. And the LORD said unto Moses, `Behold thou shall sleep with thy fathers; and this people (watch this; this is God telling it before it happens) will rise up and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land,…” Now the Bible uses that word quite liberally. And it is not so much the physical as it is the spiritual. Always remember that adultery in the physical is that which brings together that which has no business being brought together. In the spiritual realm, you are bringing two religions together that have no business being together. In this case it is Judaism, or the Mosaic system, and any kind of pagan system. When they commingled, then it was a spiritual adultery, and God hated it.
It’s no different today. When the true Church, the Body of Christ, begins to commingle with other doctrines (and here again the New Age Movement is going to come into the picture; you can’t help it) and when the true church starts embracing these New Age things, then it becomes spiritual adultery. And God is going to judge it. He will not let it escape, so never forget that. God already knows that they are not going to literally destroy them. They will become soft hearted, some of them will trick them, but by hook or by crook, Satan, with all his power, is going to cause Israel to do what God said they would do. “…whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.”
“Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them,…” Now come down to verse 21:
“And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.”
I told you I was going to give you a shocking statistic. I’ve shared it with some of my classes already. I just read it in a national magazine, and again I have to trust the people who write these things, that they know what they are talking about. In the last 800 years, one out of every two Jews have been murdered; have faced a violent death. That is 50%. Think about that. It is hard to believe. But nevertheless, God had foretold before they even crossed the Jordan River, that all these things would happen to them:
Come over to Chapter 32. Moses now quits his speech, and has given his song for Israel to remember. Now God says in verse 48:
“And the Lord spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying, `Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession; And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people.'”
After all that Moses has gone through, why in the world can’t he lead them into the Promised Land? He’s not old so far as his activity is concerned. It says that his eye wasn’t dimmed, and his physical strength hadn’t wavered. He still had everything going for him, I suppose, like a 40 year old. So it wasn’t because he was getting decrepit. Let’s read on and see what happened. Verse 51:
“Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.
Then he tells him in verse 52 that he could see the land from Mt. Nebo. It is up here just east of the Dead Sea. And so he’s going to get a glimpse of the whole area which is now the land of Israel. He’s going to get a glimpse of it but look at what he says:
“Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land, which I give the children of Israel.”
Let’s go back to Exodus Chapter 17 and see what happens. This has been one of the questions that has come up over the years, “What was it that kept Moses from going into the Promised Land?” It wasn’t a big thing. It certainly wasn’t worshipping an idol or being part of the golden calf or having any immoral activity. But it went deeper than that. Let’s look at Exodus 17. And in this Chapter, of course, they have just come out of Egypt. They are out there in the desert with all their multitude of people and flocks and no water. And they begin to murmur and complain. You remember the story. Now let’s look at verse 5:
“And the Lord said unto Moses, `Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river (remember when he had the Nile turned to blood), take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock (he was to strike it one time), and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”
Go back to the New Testament, in the book of Corinthians. All through the Scripture, any reference to the Rock refers to Christ, unless the text definitely indicates something else and that of course is possible. Look at I Corinthians Chapter 10 and verse 1:
I Corinthians 10:1,2
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; (what’s he referring to here? Going through the Red Sea; the Exodus) And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; (that’s usually a half hour lesson on the word “baptism.” This is not water baptism in any way. The word indicated a placing of the nation of Israel under the leadership and authority of Moses) And did all eat the same spiritual meat (manna); And they did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
When Moses took that shepherd’s rod and smote the Rock, who was he smiting? Christ! Absolutely he was, because, you see, it’s the smitten Christ. Now, a verse just comes to mind and it’s in Isaiah and I think it’s Chapter 53. What does it speak in Isaiah 53 concerning Christ? “He was smitten for our transgressions.” That’s referring to the Cross. Now then, as a result of the work of the Cross, what can God now pour out on the human race? Living water! But how many times was he crucified? Once! And the book of Hebrews says that so emphatically. “For this he did ONCE;” never more than once. And the lesson is, those high priests did this over and over again. But Christ entered in ONCE. Let’s read that scripture over in Isaiah 53, and I like the terminology. It’s the same word:
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”
This whole Chapter 53, of course, is a prophetic statement concerning the work of the Cross. Now I always have to qualify that. Do you think Isaiah knew, and could picture, the crucifixion as he wrote this? No way! Now a lot of people like to say that he did, or that the Old Testament believers saw the Cross out there in the future. No, they didn’t. But God had Isaiah write this so, after the fact, we could go back to it, especially for the benefit of the Jew. Even today, the best place to start is Isaiah 53, and show to him (the Jew) that out of his Old Testament, God had the work of the Cross in mind all along. So now, let’s go back to Exodus just a second. Chapter 17 again:
“…smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it,…” Not only for those millions of people, but for all their livestock. In fact, as we pointed out, it was shortly after that river of water began coming out of the rock, that even old Amalek came and tried to make war over that water.
Let’s go to the thing that brought Moses down and kept him from going in. Let’s go to Numbers, Chapter 20. Now this is many years after their coming out of Egypt and they are in their 40 years wilderness journey. They are down in that area of the Sinai, which is just that, it’s just wilderness and it’s a lot of desert. Sometimes in the rainy season, they may have the waddies full of water, but usually it was dry. They had to depend on wells. But at this particular instance, there was no water. Now, again, with all that livestock, everything was crying, bellowing, and bleating for a drink of water. Let’s look at verse 2 of Chapter 20:
“And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people chode (complained) with Moses, and spake, saying, `Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!'”
“And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them. And the Lord spake unto Moses saying (watch it carefully), `Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou and Aaron thy brother, and speak (not smite. Underline that word) to the rock before their eyes and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock; so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.’ (now remember, this Rock is Christ) And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, `Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock (what is Moses’s attitude here? Well, he’s angry.)?'”
What’s the pronoun here? Who is he leaving out? He’s leaving God out. He’s not saying, “now look, God has instructed me to speak to the rock and you will have all the water you need.” That’s what he should have done. But instead in his anger, and wrath, he says, “Alright, you want Aaron and I to bring you water? Watch us!” What does he become? I think he becomes arrogant. This is unlike Moses. He was the most meek man that ever lived. But here in a moment of weakness, and listen, we can’t condemn him. Because we would have probably done the same thing. We would have run out of patience long before this. But here Moses finally reaches that breaking point. Now let’s look at verse 11:
“And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice:…”
Now what was he destroying? The type, the picture that Christ was smitten once. And after the finished work of the Cross, how do we approach Him? Not with another smiting, but by communicating. We beseech Him, talk to Him, ask Him. The word in Romans 10:13 is “call upon the name of the Lord and thou shalt be saved.” Do you see the picture? And Moses destroyed that. And so let’s look at verse 12:
“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, `Because ye…” What’s the next word? “Faith.” Isn’t it amazing that it always comes down to that same one word, “faith,” What faltered? His faith. What faltered? His obedience. And isn’t it the same with us. We can be so stalwart and strong and yet in a moment of weakness, what fails us? Our faith! Every time a sin besets us, what’s the problem? A lack of faith. Because if we know what God has said to us then we’re not going to let these things befall us. But it’s a lack of faith. Let’s go on:
“…Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.”
Come all the way back to that last Chapter of Deuteronomy now where it says that Moses was 120 years old, and he died, and God buried him there in Mt. Nebo. What did I say at the end of Genesis? God buries His servants, but never His program.