This episode explores Kadesh Barnea, where the Hebrews break their covenant with God and accuse Him of murderous intent as they are about to enter the Promised Land.
The Hebrews, led by Moses, have reached the Jordan river after 40 years of wandering in the desert. After 40 years, the generation who had disobeyed God has died out, leaving their children. Moses seeks to pass on the law of the Lord to the Hebrews before they cross and take the Promised Land, warning them against the mistakes of their fathers and laying out a basic governmental framework.
Deuteronomy is the roadmap through with the Hebrews were called to live their life. It is useful for “teaching, reproof, and correction,” and preparation “for every good work,” but is not a tool to justify themselves before God. The law, defined in the Old Testament, is not obsoleted in the New Testament but instead fulfilled through Jesus Christ.
The Lord exhorts the Hebrews present at the Jordan to follow His law, unlike the generation of Sinai. The law is more than a dated legal code applicable only to this ancient people. Careful study of this book brings a deep understanding of our faith. Deuteronomy was well studied by Jesus and Paul, and its study is strongly encouraged by the Psalmist.
We will soon begin a special short study, beginning the week after Thanksgiving. It will run only for the first two weeks of December. We offer it as an Advent meditation and in preparation for the Jubilee year. The great mercy of God in Christ is our subject. What a subject!
In our study we will examine the scriptural underpinnings of Pope Francis’ call for a Year of Mercy (which begins on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th). Our objective will be to take this key biblical theme more deeply to heart and to offer practical steps to enter more fully into the spiritual potential of this Jubilee year. As usual classes will be held in three locations: Tuesday nights at St. John Fisher college from 7:15 to 8:45, Wednesday nights in Charlotte from 7:15 to 8:45, and Thursday mornings at the St. Irenaeus Center from 9:30 to 11:00.
You should be getting a flyer on this in the mail. Please let us know if you don’t. And please consider joining us for this Advent meditation.
The dating of the book of Deuteronomy is discussed. Archaeological and Biblical evidence is considered, as well as its literary style in comparison to Suzerain treaties of the time.
Deuteronomy is the book of God’s law, written for the benefit of His people–both the ancient Hebrews and the Christian disciples of today. More than a mere legal code, it is God’s continuing marriage covenant.
In chapter 3 Paul tells Christian what they are to put off. “Members of the Earth” refers to all of our worldly passions and appetites, in particular sexual sin, idolatry, greed and malice. Paul tells us to decisively put to death what is Earthbound in us.
The practical exhortations of this chapter of Paul’s letter contains many guidelines for the Christian life. We are enjoined to live in peace with one another, approaching our interactions with fellow Christians with a sense of empathy and kindness.
The third chapter of Colossians invites us to consider the practical applications of Paul’s spiritual message. Paul pulls things together, the various elements of this letter, in the third chapter. There is a certain logic to Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, wherein each chapter builds on the previous chapter and drawing on several key themes. The first of these is reorienting ourselves to our true life in Christ.
Following this section are two parallel sections. The first has to do with putting off the old man, putting off the old nature and all that inhibits us from growing closer to God. This is where many Christians falter today.
The next section deals with what we are to put on. We are to put on our life together, our common life with other Christians. We are not meant to merely associate with one another or sit next to each other in the pews. Paul speaks to our corporate Christian life which contains a light that is to be manifest to the world.
Finally, Paul tells of the mundane, everyday tasks that involve us living out our life in Christ.
We will soon begin our fall Scripture study, ten weeks in the Book of Deuteronomy. We begin the week after Labor Day.
Let me say that I am very excited about this particular offering and have long looked forward to the right time to present it. I know that many modern readers find this a difficult book to get into. But oh what treasures it holds when rightly read! It is one of the books most often quoted books by Christ – and with good reason. It was clearly meant for everyone and it is foundational to all biblical thought and our most basic ideas of a covenant relationship with God.
So I hope you will able to join us as we unlock some of the treasures of this keystone book.
Please check out this flyer for more information. I think that it has a particularly beautiful graphic.