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|Vol. 15 No. 9 September 2013||
Deuteronomy 29 is part of the discourse to Israel that Moses gives before his death. The discourse covers many topics associated with the covenant they made with God. In verse 12, he stated that they were gathered at this very moment to “enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day.”
The word translated “enter” is very interesting. This is the only time this Hebrew word is translated as “enter.” The word is most commonly translated by “passing” or “passed.” The word’s root meaning is “cross over.” Why would God have used this word in Deuteronomy 29:12? Was there something special that He was communicating?
The same Hebrew word is used in Genesis 15. This chapter records God making a covenant with Abraham. Abraham killed sacrificial animals and divided each animal into two equal parts. He then laid the parts end to end in two equal rows. When the sun went down, God passed between the rows of animal halves. In verse 17, it says that a smoking furnace and a burning lamp “passed between those pieces.” The word “passed” is the word we are considering. Perhaps God was telling the Israelites in Deuteronomy 29 that their covenant with God is as binding as God’s covenant with Abraham.
Later, God told the Israelites that their covenant was like Abraham’s. In Jeremiah 34:18-19, we find, “And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf.”
God wanted the Israelites to know that He took His oath with them as seriously as He took His oath with Abraham. He expected them to be as serious about it as Abraham was. God’s oath is always binding and always serious. Today, we have a new covenant with God. Anyone who enters into this covenant with God must make sure to stay serious about it.
Study your Bible. Learn what is involved in entering into covenant with God. Then, obey God. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
David R. Kenney
If one discusses Jesus with Jewish people, one may hear the comment that Jesus was a good man, just not the Messiah. Even atheists are willing to grant that Jesus was a good man. Have you ever heard anyone make this type of statement?
Ironically, the primary source material for knowing the character of Jesus is the New Testament. One can prove His existence outside the New Testament, but Jesus’ character is another matter. If the New Testament is accurate, then it is not possible to believe He was just a good man.
Jesus claimed to come from heaven. “I am the living bread which came down from heaven…” (John 6:51 NKJV). Jesus claimed to come from the Father: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). He claimed to be one with the Father: “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30). It is estimated that Jesus referred to Himself as the “Son of God” nearly 40 times (e.g., Matthew 16:16-17), a fact even proclaimed by demons: “And he cried out with a loud voice and said, ‘What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?’” (Mark 5:7). Jesus claimed to be the Messiah: “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He’” (John 4:25-26). He also claimed to be the Savior: “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them…” (Luke 9:56).
What is the character of a person who made such claims and deceived multitudes if he were an imposter? Certainly not good! Jesus is the Son of God and was more than just a good man.