The Accursed Thing! #4

Monday, January 17, 2022

But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel (Joshua 7:1 KJV).

Just what is this “accursed thing?” How will it affect the Israelites here in “time past?” What does this say about their fate in “the ages to come?”

Having inflicted capital punishment on the culpable party (Achan and his family), the LORD commands Israel to attack Ai once more, with the Jews finally overthrowing the city (Joshua 8:1-29). We will recall Israel’s prior beating at Ai was because of Achan’s sin concerning the “accursed thing” (re-read Joshua 7:11-13, if necessary). For now, what we need to take away from these passages is this simple fact: until Israel’s sin is addressed, she will not have any victory. (We will expand upon this concept later.)

Let us go back to Achan’s confession. What exactly did he do wrong? We let him tell us: “And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it” (Joshua 7:20,21). Yet, Joshua’s instructions had been: “But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD” (Joshua 6:19). Achan took the precious metals he found in Jericho, and he kept them for himself instead of giving them to JEHOVAH God. He coveted, stole from God, and lied to cover it up (Joshua 7:11), before being ultimately forced to tell the truth when it was too late.

Yet, re-read Achan’s admission of guilt again. He also took a “goodly Babylonish garment,” something quite beautiful… an object connected to Satan (!) worship….

The Accursed Thing! #3

Sunday, January 16, 2022

But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel (Joshua 7:1 KJV).

Just what is this “accursed thing?” How will it affect the Israelites here in “time past?” What does this say about their fate in “the ages to come?”

The following morning, the LORD identifies and condemns the guilty party to death (verses 14-18). Continue reading: “[19] And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. [20] And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: [21] When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

“[22] So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. [23] And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. [24] And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. [25] And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. [26] And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.”

Now, Israel is no longer cursed….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Exodus 8:9, ‘Glory over me…?’

The Accursed Thing! #2

Saturday, January 15, 2022

But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel (Joshua 7:1 KJV).

Just what is this “accursed thing?” How will it affect the Israelites here in “time past?” What does this say about their fate in “the ages to come?”

Having conquered mighty Jericho, Israel attacks a smaller city, Ai. The verses following today’s Scripture read: “[2] And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. [3] And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few. [4] So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai. [5] And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.”

Strange! Ai, weaker than Jericho, should have lost to the Jews yet did not. The LORD explains: “[11] Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled [lied, pretended] also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. [12] Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. [13] Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.

Israel is in trouble….

The Accursed Thing! #1

Friday, January 14, 2022

But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel (Joshua 7:1 KJV).

Just what is this “accursed thing?” How will it affect the Israelites here in “time past?” What does this say about their fate in “the ages to come?”

When the Jews entered the Promised Land from the east under Joshua’s command, the first city they conquered was formidable Jericho, on the western banks of the River Jordan. This is chronicled in chapter 6 of the Book of Joshua, complete with the famous account of the wall of Jericho miraculously falling down after Israel marched around it for seven days. Just prior to the fall of the wall, Joshua issued some solemn advice to his nation.

“[17] And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. [18] And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. [19] But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.”

Now, verses 23 and 24: “And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel. And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.” Alas, as today’s Scripture indicates, Achan was quite foolish in his dealings with Jericho, and all Israel will suffer for it….

Waxing of Numbers—Waning of Numbers

Thursday, January 13, 2022

So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel (Numbers 1:45 KJV).

What can this fourth Book of Moses tell us about the detrimental effects of sin?

Numbers derives its name from two censuses taken once the Israelites escaped Egyptian slavery. In chapter 1, the LORD commands Moses and Aaron to count every Jewish man 20 years old and above: “So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel; Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty(verses 45,46). That is, 603,550 such Jewish men are reckoned as living.

Toward the end of Numbers, chapter 26, another tally was taken: “And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers’ house, all that are able to go to war in Israel…. These were the numbered of the children of Israel, six hundred thousand and a thousand seven hundred and thirty(verses 1,2,51). Now, a mere 601,730 Jewish males qualify for war.

What is most startling is the realization these two figures were recorded 40 years apart! Once Israel rebelled against the LORD God in chapters 13 and 14, her people died off in unbelief as they spent four long decades wandering in the wilderness. New generations were born, but, overall, it did not matter. According to the data collected during the second census, the nation itself actually shrank by 1,820 men during those 40 years. Just think how large the nation would have grown had they entered the Promised Land in faith four decades prior! In short, sin took its toll, indubitably affecting future generations—it just took time to become apparent. Never forget, sin’s consequences, though delayed, surely come (Numbers 32:23)!

Our first Bible Q&A for 2022: “What does ‘peculiar’ mean in the King James Bible?

Bowed Together! #8

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

“And he [the Lord Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity” (Luke 13:10-12 KJV).

What lesson is the Holy Spirit conveying through this passage of the Holy Bible?

Recall the Sabbath Day was to serve as Israel’s weekly reminder to contemplate God’s work during the Creation Week and subsequent rest (cf. Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11). Every Saturday, the Jews were to stop their labors and remember God’s purpose and plan for Creation. Why had the LORD rested that first Sabbath? His work completed, it was time for Him to enjoy the Heavens and the Earth! Alas, sin entered the world through Adam in Genesis chapter 3. Whatever God intended for Creation has yet to be fulfilled. Israel had been formed to take Adam’s place in the Earth, but she too rebelled and willfully followed Satan!

Sabbath rest ultimately looks toward Millennial Kingdom rest, when all Creation is delivered from Satan and sin, and God’s original purpose in Creation is finally brought to pass (see Hebrews 3:7–4:11). Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ performed a series of Sabbath miracles—including the healing of the “bowed together” woman—to highlight the deliverance connected to His earthly kingdom.

Upon hearing God’s wonderful promises to sinful Israel, Satan objects in Isaiah 49:24, “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?” Verses 25 and 26: But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour [!] and thy Redeemer [!], the mighty One of Jacob.

“And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him” (Luke 13:17).

Bowed Together! #7

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

“And he [the Lord Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity” (Luke 13:10-12 KJV).

What lesson is the Holy Spirit conveying through this passage of the Holy Bible?

Although the disabled woman “glorified God” because of her healing (verse 13), the ruler of the synagogue “answered with indignation” (verse 14). He is angry the Lord Jesus has violated rabbinical traditions, religious rules that forbade the rendering of medical aid on the Sabbath unless in life-and-death situations. “Jesus should have cured her yesterday or tomorrow! Her condition was not urgent enough that He had to help her today!”

Verses 15 and 16: “The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” Wow! Now there is a rebuttal involving great thought. Here these Jewish religionists would work by freeing their animals to drink water even on the Sabbath, but they had the audacity to criticize the Lord loosing a human hostage and leading her to wholesome life on the Sabbath!? Whereas they pitied beasts, they were callous toward their fellow people! Such confusion and nonsense are found among the “animal rights” activists today, with human life meaningless but animal life exalted.

Christ identified the woman’s—and Israel’s—overall problem. Through his lie program, Satan has “bound” her, made her his prisoner by placing her in shackles or chains (sin and false religion). Yet, God can and does free her: “Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.” In fact, notice she is “a daughter of Abraham” (verse 16), a Jewess. Jesus’ earthly ministry is to liberate Israel from Satanic captivity, and there is no better day than the Sabbath Day to teach such a lesson….

Bowed Together! #6

Monday, January 10, 2022

“And he [the Lord Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity” (Luke 13:10-12 KJV).

What lesson is the Holy Spirit conveying through this passage of the Holy Bible?

Continue reading the verse following today’s Scripture: “And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” In addition to declaring the powerful words of God—those which impart life and health—the Lord Jesus touches the infirm woman with His hands. Here are the mighty hands of the Creator at work! “Immediately,” she is recovered from the effects of sin and Satan’s evil world system. Unlike the “miracles” of modern “sideshow Christianity,” this is no gradual healing that takes hours, days, weeks, months, or years to realize. No, instantly, her chronic disability is corrected.

How do those in the synagogue respond to this miraculous demonstration? Verse 14 relates: “And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.” This caretaker of the synagogue and organizer of its services is outraged. Vaguely appealing to Exodus 20:8-11 and Genesis 2:1-3, as well as Judaistic traditions, he exclaims, “Jesus, today is the Sabbath Day, and this is to be a time of rest not work! Furthermore, as you know, according to rabbinical interpretations of these passages, medical aid is not to be rendered on the Sabbath unless in the case of life-threatening situations! You should have let her come on a non-Sabbath day to heal her! How dare you work on the Sabbath!”

Of course, hypocrisy and confusion abound in these statements of the synagogue ruler. Like his apostate nation, he has taken the position of doubt not faith. Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ cleverly answers him in a most unexpected way….

Bowed Together! #5

Sunday, January 9, 2022

“And he [the Lord Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity” (Luke 13:10-12 KJV).

What lesson is the Holy Spirit conveying through this passage of the Holy Bible?

Luke states the “folded” woman of today’s Scripture has lived with her debilitating medical condition for “eighteen years.” The significance of this is simple. In Bible numerics, 12 represents Israel and six indicates man. Israel coupled with man’s abilities or religious efforts results in incapacity not righteousness! Whereas Israel sees herself as “okay”—lavish Jerusalem Temple, humbling ceremonies, pious rituals, complicated rites, copious amounts of rabbinical traditions, strict rules and regulations—the Lord examines her to find a dreadful sight. All He sees is perversity, crookedness, inability. In her own “strength,” she is weak, incapable of being upright, powerless to become God’s kingdom of priests in the Earth.

Thankfully, the Great Physician has not only correctly diagnosed her, He also has the cure she so desperately needs. Re-read today’s Scripture: “And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.From the lips of the Lord Jesus, the living and life-giving words of God go forth: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful…” (Hebrews 4:12). In these spoken words of the Creator, there is health for the “folded” woman—yea, Israel! Through the Divine revelation given her, her spine is restored, she straightens up, and she walks naturally for all to see!

What we have here is a lesson most plain: Israel’s justification is through the New Covenant, not the Old Covenant. She will be declared righteous or right in God’s sight, not by her reliance on her sinful flesh but by depending on the LORD imputing His own righteousness to her. Through His grace, the Lord Jesus Christ unburdens His beloved nation, doing for her what she could never do for herself….

Bowed Together! #4

Saturday, January 8, 2022

“And he [the Lord Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity” (Luke 13:10-12 KJV).

What lesson is the Holy Spirit conveying through this passage of the Holy Bible?

Never are we to suppose Jesus performed healing miracles simply to make people’s lives nice, sweet, and carefree. He was imparting spiritual knowledge, spiritual wisdom, and spiritual understanding to those willing to see with spiritual eyes, hear with spiritual ears, and believe with humble hearts!

The folded woman of today’s Scripture lacked uprightness, unable to walk uprightly because sin has crippled her body. Likewise, instead of possessing righteousness, honor, and rectitude (justification), national Israel is sinful, crooked, and perverse. “They have corrupted themselves, their spot [fault, blemish, defect, stain] is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation(Deuteronomy 32:5). O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you?” (Matthew 17:17; Luke 9:41). A similar expression, “a crooked and perverse nation,” is used to describe heathen or Gentiles under sin’s control (Philippians 2:15).

Furthermore, Israel is burdened with vain works-religion, weighed down and crouching even more!! The Saviour cries out, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30)! “For they [works-religionists!!] bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers” (Matthew 23:4). “And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers” (Luke 11:46). Again, “…and [she] could in no wise lift up herself!!!”

That woman and Israel, they need the Great Physician….