About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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chapter 3

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ch. 3:1-11   ch. 3:12-20      ch. 3:21-29  

Defeat Of Og, King Of Bashan (ch. 3:1 - 11)


We note in verse 2 that God told Moses not to be afraid of Og, for He had handed him over to Israel.  Here we see God intervening in the affairs of secular, or pagan, nations on the behalf of Israel.  How God handed Og over to Israel we don't know.  The text does not say.  I would suggest that to the natural eye, no one would see Og being handed over to Israel.  The same is true today.  God may act on behalf of Israel , or even possibly another nation.  He may be active in the affairs of the nations of men, but it is behind the scenes and the natural or secular man can't see what and how God is doing what He is doing. 


Israel went to war in 1967.  The war lasted only 6 days.  It's very possible that God was acting behind the scene, causing Israel to win her battle. 


I strongly believe that God is not sitting back.  He is involved in the national affairs of nations.  He might well have been involved in 911.  Personally, I think He was.  Christians aren't Deists.  A Deist is someone who believes in God but believes that He created all things and then sat back and let all things evolve and progress without any involvement by Him.  


Verse 4 tells us that Israel took 60 cities from Og.  This was no small battle.  God had made a promise to Abraham to protect Israel and give them a certain piece of land, and He would help Israel fight to get the land.  He will help them fight today, as inpolitically correct as that sounds.      


Notice in verse 6 that Israel killed men, women and children.  They saved the livestock for themselves.  They were ruthless.  People struggle with such violence, especially because the Bible claims that God was a part of this violence, but this is part of the nature of God.  We just need to accept it.  Jesus Himself is portrayed as a mighty man of war in the first chapter of the book of Revelation.  Again, this sounds so foreign in our secular and tolerant world today.  When I speak like this, I'm sure people think of religious extremists, and possibly even terrorists, of which I'm not. 


Division Of The Land (ch. 3:12 - 20)


I will not comment on this section.  I will only say one thing.  We need to remember that Moses, while speaking these words was on the east side of the Jordan River. Upon the request of the Reubenites and the Gadites, Moses gave them the land east of the river if they would fight with the rest of Israel to gain the land on the west side of the river.  Half of the tribe of Manasseh also received land on the east side of the river.  I'm sure there is significance to this, but what that may be, at the moment, I don't know.


Moses Forbidden To Cross The Jordan (ch. 3:21-29)


In verse 22 Moses says that "the Lord your God Himself will fight" for Israel.  Here again, we see God intervening in the affairs of pagan nations to provide for His people.  The word "Himself" emphasizes this point. 


In verse 24 Moses says, "what god is there in heaven".  He is comparing other gods to the greatness of His God.  I don't think that Moses is suggesting that he believes there are other gods in heaven.  I think he understands that there is only one God, and that is Yahweh.  What he is recognizing is that other people believe there are other gods in the heavens, but His God is the greatest, and really, the only true God.


For the second time in the book of Deuteronomy, we read in verse 26, that Moses blamed Israel for God being upset with him and thus not allowing him to enter the promised land.  God told Moses a few years earlier to speak to a rock so it would produce water for thirsty Israel.  They had been complaining because there was no water to drink.  Moses was upset with Israel and instead of speaking to the rock, he hit the rock with a stick, and for that, God was angry with him.  For this reason God would not allow Moses to enter the promised land.


It is my thinking, that I don't think it was ever God's will for Moses to enter the land of Canaan.  Moses represented the Law of Moses.  The Newt Testament links Moses with the Law, and Paul makes it clear that the promise of salvation does not come from the Law, does not come from Moses.  Salvation comes through Jesus, and the New Testament portrays Joshua as a type of Jesus.  Only Joshua, who was prophetic of Jesus, could, or ever would, lead Israel into the promised land.  Again, I think that was God's plan all along.  Law, of which Moses represented, can never bring about the promises of God.  


In verse 27 God told Moses to go up on a hill and look towards all parts of the land He had promised Israel.  He wanted Moses to take a good look at a place where he would never have the chance to live in.  I can't imagine how Moses must have felt.  After all these years, being the leader of Israel, he doesn't participate in the prize.  That being said, I don't believe God was finished with Moses.  He was a man of God.  We see Moses again in the New Testament, when Jesus spoke with him and Elijah on the mount called "Transfiguration".  We aren't sure what the three spoke about. Many people have guessed, but I strongly believe because of the appearance of both Moses and Elijah, that they have more ministry to perform, somehow. Many people think that these two men are the two prophets spoken of in the book of Revelation, and it would not surprise me if that was right.

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