Advent Series - December 10
Right after Balaam blessed the Israelites, some of God’s chosen people began to do bad things. First they started to spend time with the Moabites. The Moabites were pagans who worshipped false gods, especially one called “Beelphegor” (or Baal of Peor. Many times we will see this false god Baal come up in the history of the Old Testament.)
Soon some of the Israelites started to worship the false god Baal too. They did all sorts of bad things right in front of the other Israelites. At first no one would do anything about it and God was very angry. Then Aaron’s grandson, Phinee, saw what was happening and right away, he stood up for God and punished the evildoers. As soon as Phinee started to do something, the others followed.
This is a good thing to remember. Sometimes when you are with others, it seems that you are the only one who wants to do the right thing. If you stand up bravely, though, you may be surprised that others will gladly follow you!
Remember what Jesus said, “He who confesses Me before men I will also confess before My Father in heaven.” If you stand up for Jesus, He will stand up for you too when you die.
Let’s all pray that we remain friends of Jesus.
It was so important that the Israelites kept the true faith. Without the true faith, the world would not recognize the Savior when He came, so after the Israelites fell into idolatry for the second time, God told Moses to write more laws so that His people would not turn away from Him again.
The laws that Moses wrote this time were part of the Deuteronomic Covenant God made with His people. They are found in the book of Deuteronomy.
The first 5 books of the Old Testament, then, are:
These 5 books were written by Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. We call these 5 books the “Pentateuch.”
At the end of Deuteronomy, we read how God showed Moses the Promised Land. Then, after blessing the Israelites Moses died at the age of 120; (having good eyesight and all his teeth!) (Deut 34:7).
Now we come to the book of Joshua (Josue).
After the death of Moses, Joshua became the leader of the Israelites. To show that He blessed Joshua as leader, God made another miracle.
God commanded Joshua to lead His people across the river Jordan into the Promised Land. The priests were ordered to carry the Ark of the Covenant into the Jordan river, and God made the waters of the river stop at the Ark, so that the people could cross on dry land!
Now the Promised Land had a lot of pagans living in it. The Israelites had to fight for their land, but God wanted them to depend on Him as their strength.
The first city in their path was Jericho. Jericho had huge walls all around it.
To take over Jericho, God told the Israelites to march around the city every day for 6 days. On the 7th day, God said to march around the city 7 times. The priests led the way carrying the Ark of the Covenant.
Then the people were ordered to blow their trumpets. Do you know what happened? When the trumpets blew, the walls of Jericho just fell down!
This lesson is VERY VERY important. All through the Old Testament we see God trying to teach His people to trust in Him as their strength. As long as they obeyed God, the chosen people were powerful, but when they tried to do things their way, they became weak and were defeated.
This lesson is just as important for all of us today. When Our Lord came to earth, He said the same thing, “Without Me, you can do nothing”. On the other hand, as long as we try to do things God’s way, what do we have to fear?
The rest of the Book Of Josue talks about how the Israelites conquered the land of Chanaan and divided it up among the 12 tribes. At the end, Josue died at 110 years of age.