"Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: For the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land." (Hosea 4:1)
Let us take a look through the scriptures, and see what has befallen man because of his lack of knowledge of the word of God. In this lesson, we will touch on some important issues to help you to understand God's relationship with man, and man's duty towards God. We'll look at the children of Israel and see for what purpose they became the chosen people of God. We'll start our search through the scriptures at (Genesis 25:19-26) with the birth of Jacob who is the father of the children of Israel.
Born unto Isaac, (the son of Abraham) were twin boys. The eldest named Esau, who is to serve the younger named Jacob. Also, we see where these boys are two nations, and two manner of people. (Reasoning will let us know that the boys were fraternal twins, not identical). (Continue at Genesis 32:28) We'll see where Jacob's name was changed to Israel, thus making his seed after him the children of Israel. Twelve sons were born unto Israel; (Genesis 35:22-26) Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher; thus we have the Twelve Tribes of Israel, whose seed is the chosen people of God.
"Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, you only have I known of all the families of the earth: Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." (Amos 3:1-2)
For what purpose did the Lord choose the children of Israel? (Exodus 19: 1-6) Let's look at the 5th & 6th vs.; "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (6th vs.) and ye shall be unto me a Kingdom of Priest, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."
What is the covenant that the Lord made with his people? (Deuteronomy 29: 10-15) "Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, (11th vs.) your little ones, your wives and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water: (12th vs.) That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day: (13th vs.) That he may establish thee this day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. (14th verse) Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; (15th vs.) but with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not with us this day:
What is the law that the people of God are to observe? (Exodus 20: 1-23) The Ten Commandments, God descended from heaven and spoke his commandments face to face with his people.
Is this law for the children of Israel only? No. (Leviticus 24: 22) "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: For I am the Lord your God."
How can one who is not of the lineage of Israel, become partakers of the covenant of God? (Ephesians 2:11-22) Let's look at the 11th through 13th verses. "Wherefore remember, that ye being in the time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called the circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (12th vs.) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (13th vs.) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."
What transgressions did the people do, to turn away the Lord from them? (Judges 2:11-13) "And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Ba'-a-lim: (12th vs.) And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. (13th verse) And they forsook the Lord, and served Ba'-al and Ash'-ta-roth."
What happened to the people of God for their transgressions? (Judges 2:14-15) "And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. (15th verse) Whithersoever they went out; the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: And they were greatly distressed." Also let's look at (Hosea 4:6-7) " My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me. Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (7th verse) As they increased, so they sinned against me; therefore I will change their glory into shame."
How can the people of God rectify their transgressions? (Hosea 5:15) "I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: In their affliction they will seek me early." Also (Acts 2:36-40) "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (37th verse) Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? (38th verse) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be Baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the Remission of Sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (39th verse) For the promise is unto you, and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (40th verse) And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save your selves from this untoward generation."
Who can save the people of God? (Acts 4:10-12) "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (11th verse) This is the stone that was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (12th verse) Neither is there salvation in any other: For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
What is the purpose of man? (Ecclesiastes 12:13) "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: For this is the whole duty of man." Also (Deuteronomy 10:12-17) "and now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (13th verse) To keep the commandments of the Lord and his statues, which I command thee this day for thy good? (14th verse) Behold the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is, (15th vs.) Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. (16th verse) Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart and be no more stiff-necked. (17th verse) For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward."
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