St. Irenaeus Ministries
Scripture Studies brought to you by the St. Irenaeus Center.
St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

The Hebrews were called to grieve differently and eat differently as a reminder that they were a people set apart for the Lord.  Bacon is not inherently sinful to eat, but it was set aside as something the Lord expected His people not to eat.  Christ did not abolish the ritual kosher laws for the Jews, but clarified that they did not apply to Christians.  However, the moral laws set down in the Old Testament still very much apply to Christians today.  God expects a tithe:  He expects His people to return a gift of a portion of everything that the He has given them. The Lord specifies laws meant to care for the poor.  Parts of the Lord's tithes were to be shared with widows, and lending laws were such that the poor could not be kept as permanent slaves to debt.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode17.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 10:45am EDT

The eating of innocent blood is forbidden.  These temple practices are emphasized for correct worship of God but also a guidance even in our lives to recognize the sacredness of life designed by God.  The Israelites (and we) are warned against apostates who try to lead us away from the Lord and from the Torah, even if they are close family and friends. Hebrew law lays out dire consequences for such people, but only in the context of rigorous judicial review.  In our case we do not have a theocratic system, but are still exhorted to reject such temptation.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode16.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Israelites are told to destroy the places of worship of rival religions.  This is because their existence is a temptation to idolatry, one to which many Hebrews would eventually give in.  There is one God, separate from all other religious influences.  Worship of the Lord is done in one central location set aside by Him: a special, sacred place. All sacrifice and offering to the Lord will not be done at local shrines, but at His chosen location. This will help prevent His worship from being diluted by local practices.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode15.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Canaanites will be defeated due to their wickedness.  Israel's righteousness or strength will have nothing to do with it, however, as Israel has frequently disobeyed the Lord through their stubbornness. But God is merciful and gracious. This is just as true in the church today as in ancient Israel.  If we repent and be receptive to the love of the Lord, He will redeem us with His infinite love and mercy.

In addition I (the editor of these podcasts) greatly apologize for the unannounced hiatus.  I will endeavor to make sure there is a smoother release schedule in the coming months.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode14.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 9:39pm EDT

The Canaanites would be destroyed gradually, as a test of sustained faith.  They were not to take the gold and treasure of the Canaanites because it was full of temptations to idolatry.  The meaning of the word "abomination" is briefly discussed.  The repetition of Moses' exhortations throughout this text are defended--Moses seeks in this final speech to solidify the importance of the lessons of God's care for His people and of His commandments.  The Israelites are on the eve of entering a rich and abundant land, from decades of time in the desert.  They are warned to remember that it was not their strength, but God's that brought them to this land.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode13.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Hebrews are called to completely destroy their rivals in Canaan--man, woman, child, and artifacts of worship.  This is a difficult passage to accept.  However, God explicitly wants to protect His people from the temptation of idolatry that would be constant if the Hebrews lived among Canaanite religion (The Hebrews would later fall prey to this very temptation).  Despite this seemingly harsh judgement, God offers hope to the innocent and righteous.  Furthermore, if Israel keeps God's commandments, he will lavish great reward.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode12.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

All of our actions are meant to be put into the effort of loving devotion to God--teaching our children constantly and binding His Word in our heart. God is loyal to His people, and He insists that we be loyal to Him.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode11.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The remainder of the Ten Commandments are reviewed.  While on the surface they are concerned with man's responsibility not to bring harm upon one another (through honoring his parents, not killing, stealing, sowing falsehoods, etc,) they ultimately come back to God.  God is our Father, and dishonoring our earthly father is as an affront to Him.  God values life, and killing, stealing, and bearing false witness against our neighbor are attacks on that life.  The more these commandments are reflected upon, the more they yield applications in our love of God AND our love of neighbor.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode10.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

In this episode, we begin discussing the Ten Commandments.  In particular, we discuss the first three--God's commandment against idols, His commandment against taking His name in vain, and His commandment to keep the Sabbath holy.  These commandments are often broken and avoided, even by Christians, but if we do not honor them we do not honor God.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode9.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Moses treats the text of Deuteronomy as not just a legal code, but instruction to be preached to Israel in order to be faithful to the Lord.  Both the Ten Commandments and the various statutes and decrees are relevant to us today, and wisdom on how to obey God can be gained from studying them.  God wants to be with His people, but as long as they exist in mortal flesh a mediator is required for His covenant.  Moses was that mediator in the Old Testament, and Jesus Christ was in the New.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode8.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT