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Showing posts from September, 2010

QQC: Your Bloody Clothes

QQCQuirks, Queries and Commentary—Exodus 24:8
In God's kingdom, blood is an important commodity.  We can see this in the New Testament where the blood of Jesus is frequently referred to.  In fact, at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), of the four Levitical laws Gentiles were required to keep, two were about blood: "abstain from...the meat of strangled animals [if strangled, the animal's blood would stay in the meat] and from blood." (vs. 20)  
Blood is a spiritual cleansing agent.  Revelation 7:14 says that the survivors of the Great Tribulation will have their clothes "made white in the blood of the Lamb"; Hebrews 9:14  talks about how the blood of Christ cleanses our consciences and Hebrews 9:22 asserts that nearly everything needs to "be cleansed with blood" and that there is no forgiveness without blood.
This helps to explain why, after he had read the Book of the Covenant to God's people at the foot of Mt. Sinai and after the people responded …

QQC: They Will Be a Snare to You

Quirks, Queries and Commentary—Exodus 23:31, 32
Israel was a nation God created for himself.  They were a holy people because they were different, set apart from all other people groups.  God wanted them to stay that way.  There were a number of things that made them different, separate, holy.  For one, they were not to worship the gods of other nations or even have the likenesses of other gods in the country.  They had an entire day out of seven in which they relaxed and did no work.  When they came to the tabernacle to worship, they turned their backs to the sun--a deity for many peoples--and faced God and his dwelling place.  They had rules about what they could and couldn't eat, what they could and couldn't wear, who they could and couldn't have sex with.  There were rules about cleanliness, health and relationships.
God wanted his people to stay separate, different, holy and so he warned them sternly, "Do not let them (the people they were to drive out of Canaan) l…

QQC--Don't Come Empty-handed!

Quirks, Queries and Commentary—Exodus 23:14, 15
God gave his people three festivals to celebrate each year: Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Harvest and Feast of Ingathering.  Each festival was to be celebrated at the place where the tabernacle or temple was located.  For most of Isreal's history, that place was Jerusalem.  Each time, they were to bring an offering.  "No one is to appear before me empty-handed," God told them.  
I wonder why.  God certainly didn't need any of their gifts or offerings.  Later in the Bible he says that he desires mercy, not sacrifice, yet each time the people of God came to the place where he dwelt, they had to bring something with them.  Yes, some of what they brought was to help sustain the priests and Levites serving at the tabernacle/temple, but I think God had another purpose in mind as well.  Could it be that he was teaching his people to be a generous people?  To hold loosely in their hands the things God gave them and to remem…