St. Irenaeus Ministries
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Moses appears with the elders that will take his place to exhort the people one more time. The people are ordered to write the Law in a stone memorial when they cross the Jordan. They will sacrifice offerings to the Lord and share in a meal with one another to rejoice in the Lord. Each person in Israel has individually committed to serving and loving the Lord. They commit specifically to being cursed if they perform one of 12 violations of God's Law. Many of these violations can be perfomed away from human eyes, but God sees all. Atonement must be made for these sins, and if it is truly earnest than God will forgive.

In addition, your humble editor apologizes for missing an episode last week.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture29.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This episode is a short meditation of the laws in the previous lessons, and how we take their message and incorporate these laws into our faith.  We need to correctly know and understand these laws, then digest them, pray on them, and let them into our hearts.  These laws are supported, expanded upon, and taught by Jesus and the writers of the New Testament.  These laws,rightly understood, are how we love God and love our neighbor.  Rather than just experiencing our faith through words and feelings, we can put it into action in service of the Lord.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture28.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

When harvesting crops, forgotten fruits are meant to be left for the poor and needy rather than carefully recovered. The property is the Lord's, and the Israelites are mere stewards of that property.

If a man dies without bearing a son, his brother is meant to marry the widow and bear a son for him. This is not only so that the man's heritage is preserved, but also so that the widow may be cared for by these sons. The younger brother does not profit from this arrangment, but serves his duty to their family and averts selfishness.

Finally, the firstfruits of crops are offered to the Lord and to the poor. All of this is written to remind us to constantly consider the Lord and the poor when we have abundance. Moreover we are called not to follow the minimum requirements, but extend them as FAR as our heart and soul can bear!

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture27.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Some laws of sexual purity are discussed, strongly punishing adultery and false accusations of adultery. Men cannot use women physically and then forsake them.

Some of the more curious legal codes should be interpreted in light of being God's revelation, created for our benefit. For example, loaning to one's brother at interest is banned. In this time period, loans were not for business investment, but for recovering from financial hardship. Charging interest is taking advantage of one's brother (as forbidden previously).

The law of divorce is discussed. Jesus forbids divorce among Christians, but for their 'hardness of heart' this law exists in the law of Moses. This law of divorce was provided by God in Mosaic Law as a practical consolation for the weakness of man, but in a people set alight by the Holy Spirit as the Christians are, it should be unnecessary. This law sets a lower bound, while a much loftier standard is sought.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture26.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

"You must love your neighbor as yourself." To the Hebrews this includes people who are not Hebrews. You must help prevent the loss of his animals, garments, or property; or take advantage of his loss. This must be done as a brotherly obligation without payment. This help must not be withheld. This is an obligation of LOVE. The law is bound together with the Lord's will that people love one another.

God reminds us of responsible care of life and to not carelessly let it be wasted.

Finally, several laws, seemingly arbitrarily, prevent mixtures of plowing animals and mingled clothing fibers. These boundaries are set in place to define proper pious witness in the Jewish faith.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture25.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Laws in these chapters describe particular situations, but seek to impart general principles. Laws regarding inheritance are discussed, and while not every permutation is accounted for, the proper procedure can be derived from what is provided. A particular case where a son with a criminal disregard for authority is discussed.  While it technically opens the possibility for punishing such a child with death, such a decision is practically impossible to reach.  Yet it puts a law on the books that this kind of rebellion is displeasing to the Lord. Finally, a law is laid out to limit the time executed criminals are "hung" on a tree, as this defiles the land.  When applied to Christ, this law highlights the gravity of His taking on our sin and hanging on the cross.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture24.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

These chapters lay out practical law for the Hebrews that are not simply legal codes, but guides to live a moral life obedient to the Lord. Rules for atonement for the spilling of innocent blood are layed out. Women who are captives of war are to be wives, not concubines, sex slaves, or rape victims.  This policy is more humane than even more modern attitudes to powerful men taking advantage of disadvantaged women.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture23.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

War is conducted on the understanding that the Lord, not the Hebrews, will be the cause of victory.  Only a small number of loyal soldiers are required.  Finally, the religious culture of Deuteronomy and the Gospel is discussed.  The culture is different from, and sometimes irreconcilible with, typical modern American sensibilities.  God is to be uncompromisingly trusted and obeyed. Yet He loves and desires to have mercy on us, that we may love Him in return.  This is not a tolerance for sin, but a reminder of the gravity of his forgiveness.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture22.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Deuteronomy foretells of a prophet and mediator between God and the Jewish people.  This is seen as foretelling the ministry of Jesus Christ, through whom God reveals His love of mankind. Some guidance is given for how to distinguish real prophets from false ones. Rules carefully delineating manslaughter and murder are laid out. Despite the fact that we do not live in a theocracy, we should have a mind to purge evil from our midst.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture21.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

When there are accusations of idolatry, it must be ascertained through credible evidence.  The punishment is designed to be decisive and JUST. The witnesses are involved in the execution in order to discourage false accusations.  A judicial system is carefully created to ensure due process, allowing Levitical priests and higher courts to take care of matters too difficult for local courts. Some cases are taken to the tabernacle, before the Lord, if they are judged too difficult for mortal understanding. Some regulations regarding kings are outlined.  Importantly, kings are to be chosen by God and they are not to be above the Law.  Priests are ordered not to engage in human sacrifice and divination.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture20.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT