26 APR 15
TOUCHING BASE, PART 272
Come and eat, Grandma!
Come and eat Grandma!
This is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
This morning we start a new series called The Book. Over the next several months we are going to be teaching out of all the sections of the Bible and seeing how it’s put together, seeing common threads that connect the books of the Bible to make up The Book. Look below and think about what sections you are most familiar with and least familiar with. Where do you like to read? What parts are less engaging or harder to understand?
This morning we are starting with the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch (Gk. “five-volumed”), from Genesis through Deuteronomy. The Hebrew term for it is torah (“law” or “instruction”), so this is how the New Testament refers to it (Gk. nomos, “law”).
The theme of the Pentateuch is announced in Genesis 12:1–3, the call of Abraham. Each time God appears to the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses), the promises are elaborated and made more specific.
Note what God says in Genesis 12, that he wants to bless, build and make a great nation that will ultimately bless the world through the coming of Jesus. The question is, how will He build and make a great nation? The answer can be found in Deuteronomy 4:7-8
7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
Note that God is with Israel, in relationship, and we see this in the creation of man. But He also gives mankind instructions (Torah) - directions on how to live and build a life.
God’s Instructions Are For Our Construction - You will note that whether as a theocracy in the OT, or even in modern times, God’s word is meant to build. Remember what Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:15,16. Check it out. The book builds!!
So what do we have in common with these folks who were the original audience - Jews having lived in captivity in Egypt and now being lead by Moses? Not only is it true that God’s Instructions Are For Our Construction but it is also true that God’s word creates a whole bucket-load of tension because there were (and are still today) other “instruction manuals” out there telling us how to build a life.
Question: What will they have to come to terms with? What are we coming to terms with these days?
1. A PLETHORA OF IDEAS
If you were a Jew listening to the account of creation according to Genesis you would immediately note that the biblical account is different than the account of your old landlords the Egyptians. Several means of creation are used interchangeably in the Egyptian accounts including sneezing spitting and masturbation. Does that sound different than Genesis 1 and 2?
The Egyptian worldview consisted of thousands of gods as did the Canaanites’ worldview. Canaan was the new real estate God was giving them under Moses.
In light of these many gods remember what Deuteronomy 6 says?
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
These are just a few examples, but one needs to realize that the Torah was different in many ways, regarding its view of creation, God, and mankind.
We are no different today. To prove my point, discuss the following questions. These are questions that every worldview answers. What are the biblical answers and what are the plethora of answers coming from other worldviews - Atheism, Islam, Hinduism, Naturalism, Materialism?
How did the universe all get started?
What is ultimate reality?
Who are we?
What’s the meaning of life?
How should we live?
What’s our destiny?
2. A BATTLE OF IDEAS
It is interesting that in the book called the Torah (instruction, law), in one of the very first scenes, we already see a battle over the instructions. Go to Genesis 3 and note,
3:1 “Did God really say that?” Doubt.
3:4 “You will not surely die” Counter Perspective
3:5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Independence
Check it out!
The same three temptations were used in the wilderness with Jesus, except that, fully understanding with whom he was dealing, the tempter camouflaged the temptations (see Matthew 4:1–11).
God’s Instruction Is For Our Construction. However, the enemy will flip it to make us think that God’s instruction is for our destruction. Thus we will embrace the counter perspective and move away from dependence on God.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
- How do you see the three temptations mentioned above working themselves out in your life or in others?
- What issues represent the greatest battlefield for you, your kids or friends?
- Are you anchored in the word so as to even know when the enemy is proposing a counter perspective?
- What helpful books have you read to help you better articulate a Biblical worldview in light of all the so-called options?
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact our Director of Worship and Discipleship Amanda Van Halteren email@example.com
DID YOU KNOW?
• A lot of movies show Moses looking surprised when he finds out that he was adopted… don’t believe it for a second! Having been circumcised by his godly Jewish parents at the age of 8 days (as commanded to Abraham by God), it would have been… err… “evident” to him that he wasn’t like the Egyptians around him :-) . This is confirmed in Exodus 2:11 when we read about Moses going “out to where his own people were”.
• There seems to be much argument these days about the authorship of the Pentateuch, some saying that Moses wrote it, others saying he had nothing to do with it. While that’s an interesting idea, it means you must dismiss everything Jesus said about Moses in connection with the Law (about 38 times in the Gospels!)
Arthur, Kay. Teach Me Your Ways: The Pentateuch (New Inductive Bible Study Series) Harvest House Publishers, 2002. ISBN: 978-0736908054. Begin at the beginning - Creation, marriage, sin, civilization. Then learn about God's continuing lovingkindness and faithfulness to His covenant people, even when they let Him down.
Koukl, Greg. How Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Christians today? Available at the Stand to Reason website at http://www.str.org/articles/how-does-the-old-testament-law-apply-to-christians-today#.VTpOJSFVikp
Redford, Douglas. The Pentateuch. (Vol. 1, Standard Reference Library: Old Testament). Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing, 2008.
Schreiner, Thomas. 40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law. Kregel Publications, 2010. (ISBN 978-0825438912) – all that Law… what still applies to us? What doesn’t? Why or why not?