The end of Chapter 16 spoke of the appointed Judges. We are going to read the book of Joshua and the following book is called Judges. (We can come back to this in a few weeks) Anyway, the chapter ended with the warning of setting up Asherah poles next to the altar for the Lord. This is the 4th time we have read about them, so let me give you a visual (because you are going to read about them 36 more times…clearly they ignore this warning!)
Asherah is the mother of Baal, another god who shows up throughout the Old Testament. She is a fertility god who gave birth to 70 gods. So the image they put next to the altar could vary according to the god they were worshipping.
Here are examples”
Chapter 17 clearly states three rules of evidence that are needed. I want to point these out because we will refer back to them when Jesus is on trial. Justice requires:
- a thorough investigation
- evidence must be supported by 2 or 3 witnesses
- the accuser must face the accused
Chapter 17:14 “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,”
God does not just appoint them a king….they ask for one! Oh no, that won’t be good. We already know we are to follow God, not a king. But God gives them a king anyway to show them they don’t need one.
The King must:
- He must be the one the Lord chooses
- He must not multiply his horses for military purposes
- He must not acquire many wives
- He must make a copy of the Law and have it with him at all times. He will read it every day.
Chapter 18:9-13 (Refer to Lev. 18 for recap)
Sacrifice their sons and daughters? This was a Canaanite ritual (that was common). Molech represented the male principle of life and reproduction while Ashtoreth represented the female principle of fertility.
Canaanites would sacrifice their children to this false god. A fire inside the statue would receive the newborn child and pass through to their god. But this should not be a problem BECAUSE we have read that when they enter the Promise Land they
will should destroy ALL of their pagan ritual sites, not take on their ways, or marry into their tribes, or partake in their sexual rituals to their gods……
Prophets- After reading that the Israelites should NOT listen to a fortune teller, a medium, or spiritist, they are introduced to Prophets. Well, how do we know one from the other? A True Prophet:
- will be Hebrew
- must speak in the name of the Lord
- what the prophet says must come to pass
18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.
Chapter 19 Cities of Refuge. If you skipped some of the readings click here for Numbers 35 post on this.
These chapters are amazing…Jesus on every page! Kings, Prophets, Priests….