Conversations on the revelation of Yahweh/God to his chosen people and other books

The writings of David Guzik and, David J. Zucker have been a good source of information. I appreciate Chabad.org and Rashi’s Commentary for their insights into what the traditional thoughts are on the Torah. I am especially thankful to Zola Levitt for the love he spread through his T.V. program and writings. He made me fall deeper in love with my God and that is what I am trying to do with these conversations – I want my readers to fall deeper in love with our God, Yahweh, with every reading – as I am doing with every writing. I am indebted to the authors of “The Torah, An Introduction for Christians and Jews” by David J. Zucker for sharing his insight; and all the other authors of my reference material. Most of all, I am eternally grateful to Pastor Richmond B. Stoakes of the Grand River Valley United Methodist Church, Parachute, Colorado whose wonderful sermons have been my delight since I came to Mesa Vista.

I have published eight fiction books, a devotional, a defense of my faith, , a conversation/ bible study on the book of Revelation, and four books of conversations on the revelation of Yahweh to his chosen people. I have been posting them here as I write them.

My preface to the first book says:

Genesis is not a science book, nor is it a history book.49 It is an introduction to who Yahweh is.

As we study the book of Genesis we will not impose any modern issues on the text. We will be studying from the point of view of the ones it was first written to and from; therefore, we will have to have some understanding of how the ancients saw their world and where the information for the book came from. We know that Moses wrote it, but where did Moses get his information?

Moses was an educated man. He would have had the writings from the entire known world to study and compare. It is possible that he had access to records brought to Egypt by his ancestors. Perhaps Abraham brought them from Ur. Or, God could have dictated them to Moses. That; however, will not be our focus as we study this book of beginnings.

In the beginning Yahweh created the heavens and the earth and the Word – that Word that later became flesh and dwelt among us – was with Yahweh – and he was Yahweh. Yahweh is the third person of the verb heyah “To Be”. Whether in the first or third person the word expresses our God as THE (one and only) Self-existent One responsible for all existence including his own –the great I AM.

“All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made.”1

My preface to the second book says:

There are those who postulate that the Exodus of Israel from Egypt as recorded in the Bible never happened. There are also those who hypothesize that Moses didn’t write the book of Exodus.[1] Because our purpose is to learn more about the character and purpose of our God, Yahweh, we will not try to prove that this book is a factual account written by Moses – we will assume that it is in order to discover what it is that Yahweh wants us to know about himself. He is the hero of the book of Exodus.

The family of Promise had lived out of the Promised Land for approximately 12 Biblical generations. Some of them would have heard the story of how their God, Yahweh, set their father, Abraham, apart and promised him that his family (descendants) would be as many as the sand of the sea and would possess the land in and around the place where he lived. They would have been told that they were their God, Yahweh’s, chosen people through whom he would use to bless the whole world. Some of the offspring of Abraham wouldn’t have been as familiar with the history of their family in relation to their God and, as a result, may not have been as Yahweh conscious, as they should have been.

[1] http://www.reformjudaism.org/exodus-not-fiction
http://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2015/03/was-there-an-exodus/
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-Exodus-Does-archaeology-have-a-say-348464

My preface to the third book says:

Joe Rooks Rapport says, “Leviticus is, by all accounts, “an acquired taste” filled as she is with complex laws of purity and sacrifice. Leviticus is an ode to rite and ritual in an age when tradition itself is often ignored and even denigrated. And yet, for the careful eye and the willing heart there is much to be learned within her pages.”

Leviticus has been called the heart of the Torah because of its placement at the center of the text and for its central locale, which is set at Sinai. Nevertheless, on a deeper level, Leviticus is truly the heart of the Torah because her central message is the search for holiness, which is at the heart of our desire to read the Torah and to live a life that is guided by its teachings.[1]

When a religious teacher asked Yeshua, “Teacher, which command in God’s Law, is the most important?” “Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.[2]’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”[3]

[1] http://www.reformjudaism.org/learning-love-leviticus

[2] Deuteronomy 6:5

[3] Matthew 22:36; 5:43; Romans 13:9: Galatians 55:14; James 2:8

My preface to the forth book says:

Preface

In the beginning Yahweh created the heavens and the earth and the Word – that Word that later became flesh and dwelt among us – was with Yahweh – and he was Yahweh. Yahweh is the third person of the verb heyah “To Be”. Whether in the first or third person the word expresses our God as THE (one and only) Self-existent One responsible for all existence including his own –the great I AM.

“All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made[1].”

Exodus covered a year; Leviticus only a month – but Numbers encompassed more than 38 years.

The book of Numbers is more than a book of census. It demonstrates the importance of holiness, faithfulness and trust and is the climax of the story of the exodus of Yahweh’s chosen people from slavery in Egypt and their preparation to take possession of The Promised Land. The Hebrew name of the book – בְּמִדְבַּר‎, Bəmiḏbar, means “in the desert” – or in the wilderness – Yahweh’s proving ground for his people on the way to The Promised Land.

“Promised Land people are very different from slave people. Israel emerged from Egypt a slave people, basically unsuited for the Promised Land.”[2]

[1] John 1:3 KJV

[2]https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/guz/numbers-1.html

My preface to the fifth book says:

This book is the fifth book in the Torah[1] – the books of Moses. The Hebrew word Devarim means words, matters, or things. It is a reaffirmation and review of the covenant between Israel and their God, Yahweh. It is an establishment and examination of Israel’s human experience. It is personal and reproduces to the ancient Israelites – and us today – the events and words as a single event to be experienced in this current moment. “The complete range of human experience is brought to life and salvation by the full revelation of God: Live this! Now!”[2] The emphasis is on teaching and learning. It presents Yahweh as the one and only God[3] and instructs his chosen people to unwaveringly hold fast to him. It establishes Yahweh as spiritually connected to his chosen people with no physical presence, but a dwelling place for his name[4]. It reiterates the fact that Yahweh’s relationship with his chosen people entails specific obligations that were mutually agreed upon and have consequences. Yahweh created his chosen people, redeemed us from bondage and guides us safely through the wilderness of sin. He created Israel, redeemed her from slavery in Egypt, guided her through the wilderness, and brought her safely to the Promised Land. Like Israel, we have an obligation to cooperate with Yahweh so we won’t be “plucked off the land” – the path that he is leading us on – and be scattered “from one end of the earth to the other” – get lost in the confusion of worldly wisdom. As you read this book consider it spoken directly to you. Look deeply into the heart of your God, Yahweh. Inspect your own heart – your actions and motives – judge yourself and be careful not to judge others. Judging others is Yahweh’s job and he doesn’t need our help.

 

[1] Torah means many things, but especially in this context it means teaching – not law.

[2] Eugene H. Peterson, The Message, NAVPress, 2005, introduction to Deuteronomy, page 223

[3] Deuteronomy 6:4

[4] A name is a term used for identification. Yahweh’s name identifies him as the one who is who and what he is and will be what and who he will be – not a being that can be manipulated.