The Pentateuch: Part One of the Jog through the Bible

Here is the overview of the first section of my copyrighted “Jog through the Bible. If you would like the study material that goes with it, please contact me separately.

The word Pentateuch means “five books” and has to do with the first five books of the Bible:  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  Each one has to do, one way or another, with the Suzerain King Who makes treaties with His people.  He makes a Creation treaty in Genesis 1 and 2.  In Genesis, He also makes treaties with Noah and Abraham (with restating of the Abrahamic treaty with his descendants Isaac, Jacob/Israel, and Joseph.

Exodus opens with the treaty of Redemption as God calls Moses to deliver the people of Israel from bondage in Egypt.  The rest of Exodus includes the establishing of the Law as promulgated by the Suzerain King to His people. 

Numbers has to do with genealogy and other important matters while Israel is in the wilderness.  Leviticus continues Law information including the establishment of a priesthood and looking toward the day when there will be a temple in a central location.

Deuteronomy involves a restatement of the treaty when Israel is on the verge of entering the Promised Land. 

“Jog through the Bible”

Over the years I have shared my “Jog through the Bible” with people. Rather than repeat myself, here is the opening part of the introductory study. If you would like a copy of the entire work, please email me, message me, text me, call me or call the churchy at 661 792-2232.

What is this study about?

We will study the seven major sections of the Bible (Pentateuch—first five books of the Bible; the Historical Books—Judges through Esther; Poetry/Wisdom—Job through Song of Solomon; The Prophets—Major and Minor, based on length; Gospels/Acts; Letters—Paul and others; Revelation.

Each week we will look at a major section using a unifying/integrative interpretive key.

What is an interpretive key?

It is a way of understanding sections and books of the Bible based on a theme that explains the purpose of the books, sections, and entire Bible.  It is a key that is in harmony with the Bible, not at odds with it.

What interpretive key is used in this study?

That of the LORD/YAHWEH making Suzerain (total royal) treaties with His people.  It begins with the Creation treaty in Genesis 1 and 2 and runs through the last two verses of Revelation (“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.  Amen.”

Another verse that explains this interpretive key is the phrase, “I will be their God; and they will be my people.” (Ezekiel 37:27; 2 Corinthians 6:16; and elsewhere).

Having a Regular Quiet Time

Today I prepared a brief guide on how to have a regular Quiet Time. I share it with you now. I hope it will be a blessing to some. If you want to interact with me about it, you may email me, message me at my facebook page, or leave a message on the church phone 661-792-2232.

SOME TIPS ON SPENDING TIME WITH GOD

Or, How to Have a Regular “Quiet Time” with God

What is a regular Quiet Time?

The phrase “quiet time” simply refers to spending a focused period of time in the presence of God—reading the Bible, praying, and perhaps keeping a journal.

How long is a quiet time?

It can be 5 minutes.  It can be 50 minutes.  The point is that you are focusing on getting to know God better.

When is a good time to have quiet time?

Any time.  Whatever is best for you.  Some people like to have it first thing in the morning.  Some during the day.  Some before bed.  Some have “three meals” of God’s “bread,” the Bible a day.

Where is a good place to have a quiet time?

Again, whatever works best for you.  It can be your bed room.  It can be in a food court at a mall!  Wherever  you can be without the distractions of phone (as much as possible), social media, etc.

What are the tools for a quiet time?

A minimum of two:  the Bible and prayer.  A third possible one is a journal where you write down your thoughts, your prayers, your questions, etc. 

What do I read in the Bible?

You may talk with Pastor Phil about this, but here are some suggestions:  read one chapter of a Gospel a day; 5 Psalms and one chapter in Proverbs a day; 1 chapter a day of Paul’s letters, starting in Romans.

What questions do I ask of the text when I read it?

After asking the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your heart (Ephesians 1), you can ask questions like this:  what do I learn about God in this passage?  What do I learn about others?  What do I learn about myself.  Or, in this way—Is there anything here that leads me to praise God? To confess sin? To act on in my life and with others?

What is the purpose of a Quiet Time?

To know God and make Him known.

Here is a key verse:  “let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”  Jeremiah 9:24, English Standard Version.

Please See “Father” Movie This Week

Yesterday my wife and I saw the movie, “Show Me the Father.” It is outstanding. I strongly urge you to go and take as many people as possible. The catch is it only runs through this Thursday evening.

So, please go to the movie website and type in your zip code. The theaters nearest to you that are showing it will pop up.

It is outstanding on many levels. It spoke to me on several levels, but most of all as a son. My father died when I was eleven. I had a stepfather for 9 years. At one point a comment is made, “If your father left you, your Heavenly Father won’t. If your stepfather wasn’t there, your Heavenly Father will be there.

Something else that struck me was that there are no professional actors in the movie. The only amateur “actors” are a few near the end of the movie who hold up glass panes to the sky.

Oh, and wait for the amazing surprise that happens about three fourths of the way through the movie. Again, these are all true stories.

Throughout the movie you learn about your Heavenly Father and how He wants to make all things new. The movie title is from people asking Jesus to “show us the Father.” His response is, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” Elsewhere He says, “I and the Father are one.”

So, please gather up family and friends and go see (by Thursday) the movie “Show me the Father”!

“I will sing to the Lord ’til I die”

This morning I heard a sweet Christian song that I thought was a spiritual. It turns out it was written in the 20th century, but it certainly had the sound of a spiritual.

Before and during slaves sang spirituals. Often times they had at least two levels. One was the yearning to be free. At times the word freedom was used. Sometimes the theme was a little big veiled such as in “Go Down Moses” with the words “Let my people go!”

And of course the spirituals included worship of God.

The song I heard concluded with “I will sing to the Lord until I die.”

I checked and the song is called “I will trust in the Lord until I die.” It was written by Reverend C. L. Franklin, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit. He was also a Civil Rights’ activist, so the verse that says “I will stay on the battlefield until I die” may well be referring to that involvement.

I could not find the phrase “I will sing to the Lord until I die.” The last verse sums up each of the verses of Rev. Franklin’s song: “I’m goin’ to watch, fight, and pray until I die.” The first verse is “I’m going to trust the Lord until I die.”

Rev. Franklin was said to have a “million dollar voice.” He had several children, one of whom inherited his singing ability. You can hear her sing her father’s song on YouTube. Growing up in Detroit as she did she was a founding participant of the MoTown sound. She was and always be “The Queen of Soul.”

None other than Aretha Franklin.

And now you know… the rest of the story!

“The Fruit of the Spirit”

As I mentioned in my previous post I likened the fruit of the Spirit to a bunch of grapes–individual grapes attached to one small vine. If we have the Holy Spirit within us (along with God the Father and God the Son), He helps us exhibit/show all the fruit.

It won’t work if you try to play whack-a-mole: working on one or two of the fruit while neglecting the others. It just doesn’t work that way. We can’t live them out by will-power. It must be the Holy Spirit working in and through us.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

“Give me patience… right now!”

Recently I was thinking about patience. A couple friends were delayed getting into another country. They texted they were learning patience.

I have had three delays for a procedure this year. Will it happen in September? We’ll see.

This morning I was looking forward to posting several blogs after a few week delay due to other valid demands on my time. Then I received an important phone call. I got to my office and wound up needing to work on a phone matter for a family member. That took me an hour and a half or so. The two company representatives were friendly and did a great job and I was glad to do it, but it was more delay.

Then I tried to get into the admin part of this site to start catching up on my blog posts. Buy I couldn’t get in. What I had for user name and password didn’t work the two times I tried it.

Give me patience, and give it to me now!

When I got back from a couple hours in Bakersfield, I tried again. Definition of insanity. I had one try left for today. I checked another area and discovered that my user id was different than I thought.

So I got in on the last chance for the day! Here I am! Not very patient. Francis of Assissi said, “Show me how much patience a man has when others are doing the exact opposite of what he wants–he has that much patience and no more!”

And then there is the fruit of the Spirit. It is like a bunch of grapes. The bunch is singular but there are different grapes on it. That is why the Apostle Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit– the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

The Power of Forgiveness

Have you ever asked someone for forgiveness? Has someone ever asked you for forgiveness? Either way, asking and giving forgiveness is a profound gift from God. Once you have asked forgiveness, you have done your part. It is much more beautiful if the other person forgives you, but you have no control over that. God is pleased with your doing the difficult and right thing.

Forgiveness originates in the heart of God. “For God so love the world that He gave His only Son…” The cross is where we find forgiveness full and free for our sins, if we but confess to God our sins and that we are sinners.

While on earth, Jesus never spoke the words, “I forgive you,” but we see powerful examples of forgiveness. To the woman caught in adultery (what about the man caught in adultery?), Jesus says, “Neither do I condemn you. God and sin no more. Both grace and forgiveness as well as a call to follow God in her life.

To the ostracized woman at the well (who had had four husbands and was currently living unmarried with a man), Jesus lovingly yet firmly guides her through to the fact that He provides living water and that He is the Christ/the Messiah. How does she respond? She races to the town where she is an outcast and declares, “He knows all about me [and still loves and forgives me]. Could this be the Messiah?” The entire town goes to meet Jesus and they decide for themselves to follow Him as the Messiah.

Paul explains forgiveness in Romans 4:7. “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”

And back to Jesus, He hits us between the eyes with the qualification for our being forgiven by God. “Forgive us our sins AS we forgives others.”

Yes, forgiveness full and free comes from the cross, but we are to keep short accounts by forgiving one another. When we do–whether asking for or receiving forgiveness–we feel like, “Wow! I feel whole, the way God intended! I AM whole. I am experiencing God’s shalom, peace.