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Out of Zion Podcast

When Everyone Does As They See Fit

After the Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground, saw the walls of Jericho tumble down, and then experienced victory after victory as they possessed much of the land of Canaan, one would think their lives would be blessed and all would go well with them. However, they failed to possess all of the land given to them and did not wipe out the pagan worship there as God had instructed.

God saw this failure as rebellion on their part and declared that their remaining enemies and pagan gods would become a snare and a thorn in the side of the Israelites. The book of Judges tells how over some 300 years, they fell into a cycle of sin—idolatry would lead to apostasy and result in oppression by their enemies, and then, after they repented, God would raise up a leader to defeat their enemies and usher in a period of peace—only for the cycle to begin again. The very last verse of Judges sums up that period in this way: “Everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25b NIV).

The lesson of this period of Israelite history—when we depart from the ways of God, life breaks down and disintegrates on every level—is painful. It is a lesson, however, that every generation of believers must learn. We need to keep our lives pure and free of sin so that we will be pleasing to the Lord and can walk fully in His blessings. Yes, as Christians, we walk in the grace of the Lord who has forgiven our sins through Christ Jesus. But unchecked sin still affects us and leads to bondage and oppression. Jesus paid the price not so that we can continue living in sin but so that we would use His power to overcome sin and break its hold on us.

To better understand God’s dealings with His people, join me for this Out of Zion podcast episode, “When Everyone Does As They See Fit.” Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away! Invite your friends and family to join us! I can’t wait to Walk Thru the Bible with you!

WEEK 12: WHEN EVERYONE DOES AS THEY SEE FIT

This week we read the entire book of Judges covering a period of over 300 years when the children of Israel went through cycles of sin, resulting in oppression by enemies, then after their repentance God would raise up a leader to defeat their enemies and usher in a period of peace, only to have the cycle begin again. The highlight from this period is the beautiful story of love and grace found in the book of Ruth. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for April 19-25, covering Judges and Ruth.

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GOING DEEPER IN WEEK 12: THE TABERNACLE AT SHILOH

Susan interviews Dr. Scott Stripling, Director of Excavations at ancient Shiloh. He describes the exciting archaeological evidence he has uncovered pointing to a sacrificial system at Shiloh and verifying the history of the city found in the Bible.

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Each Generation's Choice

The world is changing rapidly around us, and our children and grandchildren are growing up in an America that is very different from the one we grew up in. But if they turn to the Lord and dedicate themselves to Him, He will be with them, and they, too, can do mighty things in Him.

They can reach their generation and world. Our responsibility is to pass on to them a knowledge of God and His mighty works in history. We learn this lesson from the story of the Israelites.

God first revealed Himself to the patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then the family ended up in Egypt due to famine. Centuries later God had to reveal Himself to a whole new generation of people—one that was broken and abused—and He freed them from slavery. Due to their disbelief, they had to wait and wander in the wilderness for 40 years until a new generation was in place God that could work with.

Moses then reviewed the covenant with this faith-filled generation, and they dedicated themselves to it. After miraculously crossing the Jordan River, they dedicated themselves again to both of God’s covenants— the covenant with Abraham when God had promised the Land and the covenant given through Moses when they became the people of God.

However, after all that, Judges 2:10 tells us the faith-filled, land-possessing generation had passed away, and the new one did not know God nor what He had done for Israel. They led the nation into apostasy and away from God for generations to come.

God clearly understood the need to reveal Himself to generation after generation. The problem seems to be that the previous generation had not prepared their young people with a knowledge of God who wanted to initiate a relationship with them. And they fell away.

The lesson for us is to teach the younger generations about God, His ways in history, and His desire to walk in fellowship with them. He is the same generation to generation.

To better understand how God deals with His people, join me for this Out of Zion podcast episode, “Each Generation's Choice.” Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away! Invite your friends and family to join us! I can’t wait to Walk Thru the Bible with you!

WEEK 11: EACH GENERATION'S CHOICE

This week we hear the miraculous story of the fall of Jericho and why that ancient city was the first on God’s list to conquer. The Israelites then go on to take the Land and divide it up amongst the tribes. Only problem is they did not teach the next generation about the mighty acts of God and set the stage for apostasy. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for April 12-18, covering Joshua 9-24; Judges 1-5.

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GOING DEEPER IN WEEK 11: EVIDENCE OF THE CONQUEST

Susan interviews Tim Mahoney, film producer of Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus and Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea. Find out about the archaeological finds at Jericho and other sites in the Israelite conquest of the land of Canaan as well as the controversy over their date.

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LINKS FOR WEEK 11:

Are you ready to enter your Promised Land?

After wandering in the wilderness for some 40 years, the Israelites were undoubtedly ready to move on and enter the promised land. Their time had been hard, but they had learned some important lessons along the way.

When Joshua sent spies into Jericho, therefore, they knew not to make the mistake of giving a negative report, like the previous 10 spies who had paid with their lives. This new generation of spies came back to Joshua with a faith-filled report that God was giving them the Land and they were ready to go in and possess it.

When it was time to start moving, Joshua instructed the Levites to take up the Ark of the Covenant and go on ahead of the people. God was leading the way—not through a pillar of fire or a cloud but the Ark of the Covenant, which now housed His presence.

When they arrived at the Jordan River, it was flooded, and the muddy waters were deep. But the priests were told to step into the water with the Ark. God was going into the waters first!

Are you standing at the edge of your own flooded and scary Jordan River? Is there a difficulty or obstacle keeping you from entering the promised land and experiencing the promises of God for your life?

The lesson here is to step into the waters because God has already gone in ahead of you. He is preparing the way before you, but you must step out in faith. Are you ready?

To learn how God prepared the Israelites to step out in faith, join me for this Out of Zion podcast episode, “Are You Ready?” Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away! Invite your friends and family to join us! I can’t wait to Walk Thru the Bible with you!

 

WEEK 10: ARE YOU READY?

This week Susan discusses Moses’ renewal of the covenant with a new generation of Israelites after 40 years in the wilderness. Joshua then takes over leadership and it is finally time to enter the Promised Land! Are you ready to step into the waters with God and see Him deliver all He has promised? This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for April 5-11, covering Deuteronomy 26-34, Joshua 1-8.

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GOING DEEPER IN WEEK 10: CROSSING THE JORDAN

Susan interviews Dr. Chris McKinny about the layers of meaning behind the 40 year wilderness wanderings and the crossing of the Jordan river. They also discuss prophetic insight into future events that take place at that very location of the crossing of the Jordan.

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What Can the Mosaic Law Teach Us?

Law is such a boring word! It sounds so strict and legalistic. But the apostle Paul said the law was our instructor or tutor. God was conveying key spiritual concepts to the children of Israel when He gave the commandments at Mount Sinai, and it behooves us to learn them as well.

Paul knew the word Torah meant “instruction” and said the purpose of the law it contained was to teach us our need for Christ. We tend to think that is because the law was too hard for man to obey perfectly, therefore we needed atonement in Christ’s death on the cross. And while that is true, the law actually demonstrated our need for atonement by providing temporary atonement. The annual Day of Atonement foreshadowed the day Jesus would die for our sins and the curtain of the Holy of Holies would be torn open.

The system of commandments given to the Israelites also revealed the holiness and righteousness of God and that His people needed to be righteous to approach Him. He cannot have fellowship with sin, so the law taught the Israelites how to purify themselves before they came before God. The purification and atonement requirements in the law revealed God’s grace and mercy. He loves His children and wants to fellowship with them and therefore provided a way to do so.

The ceremonial laws taught the people they should honor God with their firstfruits, offerings, and tithes because everything comes from Him. The Sabbath rest taught them that to be in relationship with God, they were to enter into His restful presence every seventh day. God designed the Feasts of the Lord to remember and commemorate His goodness and mighty acts in history while passing this knowledge onto future generations.

Along with its legal system, the Mosaic covenant reveals a loving and merciful God who wants what is best for His people. Most of all, He wants to dwell among them and fellowship with them from generation to generation. This is the God that has been revealed to us in Christ and that we have access to through the blood of Jesus. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

To better understand what God was teaching the Israelites through His commandments, join me for this Out of Zion podcast episode, “What We Learn From the Law.” Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away! Invite your friends and family to join us! I can’t wait to Walk Thru the Bible with you!

 

WEEK 9: WHAT WE LEARN FROM THE LAW

Torah is often translated “law” but literally means “instruction” and includes the first 5 books of the Bible as well as the Mosaic law. What was God teaching the Israelites with the law? The Apostle Paul said the law instructed us on our need for Christ. Learn about the other important lessons found in the laws of Moses. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for March 29 to April 4, covering Various Laws.

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GOING DEEPER IN WEEK 9: LOVING THE LAW

Susan interviews Rabbi Shmuel Bowman about his work as a Torah Scribe and what Torah means to the Jewish people. He describes certain commandments and how they are observed today.

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