Directed by Moses before he died, Israel was to set the blessings on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal, after they had reached the Promised Land. On that day, Moses set before Israel a blessing and a curse- the blessing if they obey the commandments of the Lord, and the curse if they did not obey the commandments of the Lord their God. He said, And when the Lord your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal (Deut. 11:29-30). The people were to hear the blessings from Mount Gerizim, when they obeyed the law and the curse from Mount Ebal when they disobeyed God’s law. The significance of these mountains, in particularly the Mount Ebal is relevant to us today in its symbolic prophetic meaning. The late Dr. Francis A Schaeffer, an American theologian, philosopher, an apologetic and pastor, a thinker of his time, suggested that these two mountains represented two life styles: obedience and disobedience. Consequentially, the mountains were to remind the people that keeping God’s law was as if they lived on mount Gerizim. From there, God’s blessing would fall on Israel. But an altar was to be built on Ebal mountain when they sinned against God. Shechem, a city of long history, is found between these two mountains. There, the Patriarch Abraham built the first altar to the living God; Joseph, his great-grandson, sought for his brother in Shechem; his bones were buried there many years later after Israel’s exodus from Egypt. Jacob dug a well near the city and many years later, YAHSHUA providentially met a Samaritan woman there with a message of salvation. The Samaritans, after hearing what the woman had to say about YAHSHUA, said, Now we no longer believe just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves and we know that He truly the Savior of the world, the Messiah. Many more believed Him, because of His personal message (John 4:42,41). The city of Shechem, was a silent witness of past history and of the spiritual meaning they carried, according to the words Moses spoke to Israel before they entered the Land.
Forty stripes may be given him but not more, lest, if he
should be beaten with many stripes, your brother should seem low and worthless
to you (Deut. 25:3).
At Pilate’s decision to let YAHSHUA go, the Jewish vehemently cried, Crucify Him! Not wanting to do that, Pilate said he would scourge Him and let Him go. YAHSHUA would then be under the mercilessness of the Roman hand of judgment. The Roman government laws were independent of the Jewish laws. In this case, we read, forty stripes may be given him (the guilty man) but not more… Let’s compare the two and once and for all delete from your mind that YAHSHUA was beaten forty stripes. That is an erroneous teaching.
I am the Lord your God… you shall have no other god before Me (Exodus 20:2). And now, Israel, what does the Lord God require of you but to fear the Lord your God – to walk in all His ways and to love Him and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with you entire being to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good? (Deut. 10: 5, 12.13)
Law showed the nation of Israel the holiness of the Lord, the need for them to
desire it for themselves through obedience to God’s commandments as their part
of the covenant. No one outside the Law’s requirements was able to please God’s
holiness. In holiness, our God is righteous, and righteousness is the
foundation of His throne (Psalm 89:14a). From the beginning men adopted many
gods to satisfy their spiritual hunger, since they were created with a
spiritual need for God. The Law was given with the purpose to point men to the
One True God and His attributes. There are two aspects of the Law: ceremonial
and moral. The ceremonial rituals served to point to the ultimate sacrifice of
God’s Son, ending all the sacrifices of animals for the atonement of men’s sin.
The blood of God’s Son poured out for the forgiveness of sin was more than
sufficient to ratify the agreement of the new covenant- covenant of blood.
The Light has come into the world, and people have loved the
darkness rather than and more than the Light for their works were evil (John
We all have experienced some time in our life, one way or another, the effect of physical darkness. Voided of light, darkness grabs and handicaps us with fear, panic, and anxiety. We feel lost, not knowing where we are and how to get somewhere. People associate darkness with the presence of evil, as in Satan and his demons, rightly so. The feelings of fear, panic, anxiety attacks are feelings that express the presence of evil spirits in the environment. For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind (I John 4:18). Darkness is blindness. When we are used to the darkness, we find difficulty adjusting to the light. The eyes water and hurt to some extent until we become accustomed to the light. In other ways, light exposes evil deeds. It hides nothing that seems invisible.
Israelites, while living in Egypt, were undefined as a nation. They were a
family composed of twelve brothers, whose numbers grew greatly, as God was
preparing them to make a nation out of them. The 430 years that they remained
in Egypt, they grew to a staggering number, causing the Egyptians to kill their
babies and force hard labor on them, bringing them to a slave’s status. Jacob, his
wives, and sons were living in Canaan before they sojourned to Egypt until the
famine took them to Egypt in search of food. These were days of uncertainties
in the mind of Jacob, as he made decision to move to Egypt, a distance of 121
miles from Canaan, their Promised Land; they were already there, but not in
fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham in the space of time ordained for it to
happen. Many years had to pass, many things had to happen in their lives,
including in Moses’ life. A nation to be
a nation is required for a good number of people to fill the spaces. A nation,
out of seventy people is hardly enough to be formed into one. God’s plan was
for them to grow and multiply before He took them out of Egypt for the purpose
to form a nation unto Him- a royal race.
commandments for the nation of Israel were established in the wilderness of
Sinai on the third month after they had left Egypt on their way to the Promised
Land. They constituted a covenant of spiritual and moral dimensions between God
and Israel. This was a very significant period in their journey, for the
commandments were to connect the people to God, and to distinguish them from the
rest of the other nations.