PART 2 THE SPIRITUALITY PUZZLE

PART 2 The Spirituality Puzzle

What causes someone to become a child of God and have assurance of eternal life?                        

 

Chapter 2

Moses, Jotham, Jonah, King David

Did Each Of Them Believe In Yahweh And Walk With Him?

     The information gathered from the Age of the Gentiles has provided a good foundation of wealth from which to proceed. I wonder how many other people God approached with a future blessing or promise and they weren’t interested in what he had to say?

     The two questions we asked at the beginning of this study will be the same two we will ask again except what we have already learned about relationship and fellowship will be included here. If what causes an unbeliever to have relationship with Yahweh and for a believer to //*1/2 fellowship with Yahweh has changed, then these will be the new protocols for the dispensation we are looking at.

      The people we will take a look at next will be found in the next dispensation, called the Age of Israel (from the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt under Moses to the birth of Jesus Christ). The two questions we will seek to answer are the same ones asked in the previous dispensation concerning relationship and fellowship.

 

What causes an unbeliever to have a relationship with Yahweh?

     Will the answer in this dispensation be the same as for that which was found in the Age of the Gentiles, which was that the unbeliever believed in Yahweh’s blessing or what He had promised? Romans 4:3

 

What causes a believer to have fellowship with Yahweh?

     Likewise, will the answer in this dispensation be the same as the one found in the Age of Gentiles which was that the believer acted on what God told him16? Hebrews 11:7

     Are you ready to get started? The first person we will look at is called Moses. Did he have a relationship and fellowship with Yahweh, and if he did, what caused each? Let’s find out.

 

Moses

Suggested Reading: Exodus Chapters 2 – 14

     Through divine providence, Moses became the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. And because of such, he had all the privileges of royalty. Unbeknownst to Pharaoh’s daughter, his birth mother was hired to nurse him, so I’m sure as he grew, she made him aware of his Jewish heritage.

     When he became an adult, he observed his people being forced to do hard labor. In one instance, he noticed an Egyptian beating one of them. He took it upon himself to prevent this from continuing further by killing the Egyptian. News spread to Pharaoh of this murder, and so Moses hearing that his crime was found out fled to the land of Midian.

     Here he is alone and beside himself. But all is not lost. Seven daughters of a local priest came to a well where Moses was residing in order to provide refreshment for their father’s flock. However, at the same time animal herders of sheep and goats came and forced them to leave the well so that their livestock would be nourished first. Moses witnessing what was going on intervened and the women were able to provide drink for their animals.

     Moses, finding favor with their father, whose name was Jethro, was invited to come to their house and dine. It appears he was offered to take over the care of the flock to which he accepted and subsequently was allowed to live with this family. Over time, he fell in love with one of his daughters whose name was Zipporah, and they married.

     A day was soon to come that would change Moses life forever. While guarding the flock near the mountain of Horeb, he saw a bush aflame. He decided to draw near and get a closer look. As he did, what he saw captivated him. To his amazement, the bush was not burned. While beholding it, a voice called to him out from the bush, which I’m sure must have startled him. It was conveyed to Moses that One speaking is the God of his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He instructed him to go to the elders of the children of Israel and tell them that He would deliver them from their oppression as being slaves in Egypt.

 

Exodus 3:13-14

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

     It’s interesting to note that Moses understood what God wanted him to do but he needed some assurance that when the children of Israel were to ask him, what is the name of the God of their fathers that sent you, that he would have an answer? God told him to respond to them by saying, I AM THAT I AM, has sent me. If he obeyed God’s directive, then both the elders and all of the people would obey him.

Exodus 3:18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.

     Following this, Moses was asked by God to go before Pharaoh with the elders conveying to him that their God had met with them to request permission to leave Egypt. Moses wondered what might persuade Pharaoh that his God had really sent him. So, God (Yahweh) gave him a rod that when cast on the ground would turn into a snake which would provide proof of such. Moses was also told that Pharaoh would not initially let the children of Israel go, but after the Lord instituted great judgments on the land, he would change his mind.

Exodus 4:10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Exodus 4:14-16 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

     There would be one last impediment to address before God’s plan would be put into place and that was of the shortcomings of Moses himself. Moses thought that because he wasn’t a talker and had a tendency to stutter in his speech that someone else should convey God’s words to Pharaoh. So, God appointed his brother Aaron to be his spokesperson.

     We can conclude by saying that Moses believed God’s promises that the elders of the people would believe that He had sent him when he would respond to them by declaring His name when asked. We can also conclude that Moses believed that Pharaoh would eventually let the children of Israel go following devastating plagues that God would impose on the land. 

     So, did Moses have both a relationship and fellowship with Yahweh, and if he did what was the cause for each? As for what the cause was for him having a relationship with God this was not made clear. However, there is a verse in the book of Hebrews that will help us determine what was the basis for Moses having fellowship with Him.

Hebrews 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

     This verse tells us that Moses was faithful (of doing reliably the tasks associated with an office or title17) in all of God’s house as a servant (as one who served God in helping God’s people18) for a witness to the things that God would say in the future19.  Moses evidenced having fellowship with Yahweh by being faithful (of doing reliably the tasks associated with an office or title20). If you remember, this cause for fellowship is similar to that of the cause for fellowship of Noah during the Age of the Gentiles which was by faith (his will acted on what God told him21). Hebrews 11:7

     Is there someone else during the Age of Israel that might help us in determining what causes someone to have a relationship and fellowship with Yahweh during this dispensation?  The next person I am going to introduce is someone, whose name for most Christians is probably obscure. His name is Jotham. Have you heard of him? Do you know anything about him?

 

Jotham

Suggested Reading: 2 Chronicles 27:1-6

     He was the son of King Uzziah (the 9th king) of Judah. Believe it or not his father reigned for 52 years over the Southern Kingdom of Judah. This kingdom was comprised of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The kingdom was split in two following the death of King Solomon, who was the third and final king that reigned over all 12 tribes. The other part of the kingdom was called the Northern Kingdom of Israel that was comprised of the remaining ten tribes.

     While his father King Uzziah was still alive Jotham took over for him at the young age of 25 due to his father’s illness (leprosy). After living with this for seven years, his father died. Jotham would go on to reign for another sixteen years.

     What we know about him from scripture is very little. He completed an upper gate, which was an entrance and exit to the upper court of the temple. A wall, called the wall of Ophel, was built in Jerusalem. Various towns were built and rebuilt in the mountainous areas of Judah along with town defenses.

2 Chronicles 27:6 So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God.

     While what caused him to have a relationship with God was not revealed, however, he clearly fellowshipped with Him. He became mighty (strengthened himself), because he prepared his ways (ordered his ways; walked steadfastly before) the Lord his God. While the specifics of what he ordered his ways in are not revealed remember at this time the nation was to obey the tenets of the Mosaic Law which are:

Statutes - [the Spiritual Code-the ordinances of the Law (e.g. the Tabernacle, the Holy Days, the Offerings, the High Priest, the Meat Offering, the Trespass Offering, the Levites, etc. Exodus 26-31; 35-40; Leviticus 1-24)]

Commandments - the Moral Code which included not only the 10 commandments called the Decalogue (e.g. honor thy father and thy mother…Exodus 20:12-17) but more than 100 other commandments (e.g. thou shalt have no other gods before me; the Sabbath,…thou shalt not do any work…Exodus 20:12-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21; Deuteronomy 12)

Judgments - (the Social Code which are the laws belonging to civil government. (e.g. dietary, marriage, military, conservation, etc. along with the related consequences (punishment) Deuteronomy 14-28).

Testimonies - the laws directing the commemoration of certain events (e.g. Seventh year Sabbath rest; the 50th year, the year of Jubilee; the ordinance of the Passover; the feast of unleavened bread; etc. Exodus 12:43-50; Numbers 28:16-25; Deuteronomy 25-26).

     So, let’s continue on looking at a couple of more people concerning this idea of relationship and fellowship with God before we go on to the next dispensation. The next person we are going to look at is sent by Yahweh to prophecy utter destruction to a major heathen city. What had they done to procure God’s wrath? How long did they have until they would be destroyed? Did they turn from their ways?

 

Jonah

Suggested Reading: Jonah 3:2-10

     Jonah was a prophet of the 10 tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He was commissioned by God to go to a major city of Assyria called Nineveh and proclaim His message that the city would be destroyed (would not exist any longer22) in forty days because of their violence. You would think Jonah would be delighted to see foreigners turn from their sin to the Lord. But on the contrary, he detested them. I think this to be a strange response from a man of God. Initially, he made a decision not to go, but God had other plans. Jonah finally went to Nineveh, albeit reluctantly and proclaimed God’s message to them.

5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

     You think their reaction would be toward Jonah, who do you think you are telling us to change our ways? On the contrary, scripture tells us that they believed God. This means that they not only believed Jonah’s message, but recognized Yahweh as the true God23. Wow! I would say they had a relationship with God. Wouldn’t you?

     Furthermore, their belief in the message and the God of the message was evidenced by them in the following ways.

~ They proclaimed a fast to which everyone went without food purposely24.

~ They put on sackcloth. Sackcloth was haircloth, that was a harsh garment, irritating and afflictive to the body25.

~ They turned everyone from their evil way. They repented, by forsaking, each, one by one, his own habitual, favorite sin26.

     This an incredible occurrence. Here were heathen people that knew nothing about the Mosaic Law, the theocratic institution that God set forth for his own people, the Jews, to obey. And yet having been known by the world at that time as having beheaded people by the thousands and stacked their skulls up in piles by the city gates along with having followed a policy of killing babies and young children so they wouldn't have to care for them27, yet they believed a message and in the God of one of the prophets of a different nation.

     What was God’s response to their works of repentance?

Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

     He repented, he changed his mind, he changed his course, and punishment was averted. As for the Ninevites, their change in behavior disclosed their fellowship with God. They evidenced righteousness in conduct. One thing that resonated with me was, did the Ninevites become a proselyte to the Jewish faith? Unbeknownst to me, I didn’t realize there were two types of proselytes.

~ A "righteous proselyte" is a gentile who has converted to Judaism, who is bound to all the doctrines and precepts of the Jewish religion, and is considered a full member of the Jewish people. The proselyte, if male, is circumcised as an adult (milah l'shem giur), and immersed in a mikvah (a ritual bath) to formally effect the conversion.

~ A "gate proselyte" is a resident alien who lives in the Land of Israel and follows some of the customs. They are not required to be circumcised nor to comply with the whole of the Torah (the first five books of the Jewish Bible). They are bound only to conform to the Seven Laws of Noah (do not worship idols, do not blaspheme God's name, do not murder, do not commit fornication (immoral sexual acts), do not steal, do not tear the limb from a living animal, and do not fail to establish rule of law) to be assured of a place in the world to come28.

     The word doesn’t say that the Ninevites became proselytes. Were they invited to become so?      

     Well, that was very interesting. Let’s see if we can find one more example of someone having a relationship and fellowship with Yahweh. The next person we will look at could be considered the most famous of the kings of Israel. His defeat of an enemy champion has been passed on from generation to generations. I’m sure you know who he is.

 

King David

     King David was Israel’s second king. He evidenced some incredible spiritual qualities at times and yet at other instances he committed some grave sins.

     He grew up as a shepherd boy being the eighth and youngest son of his father Jesse. Unbeknownst to him, Israel’s first king, King Saul was having difficulty with his walk with God. One instance which seemed to be the final straw was when he was commanded by the prophet Samuel to completely annihilate one of Israel’s enemies who were called the Amalekites. Saul disobeyed and was subsequently told by the prophet that God had raised up someone else to be the next king.

1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

     Samuel was instructed by Yahweh to go and visit the family of Jesse. His true intentions for being there would be concealed by means of the offering of an animal sacrifice. When David was brought before him, he was anointed with oil, but there didn’t appear to be any communication set forth that this was in signification for him being the next king of Israel.

     What did occur at this time was the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. Did this signify that he had a relationship with God at this time? Possibly, but we don’t know for sure if this is when his relationship with God began. And we know the famous story that would occur next.

     The Philistines were set to battle the army of the Israelites. They send out a champion named Goliath to challenge someone from God’s army to fight him mano on mano and no one responded not even King Saul, nor any from his army, and even not one of David’s three brothers who were enlisted at this time. All of a sudden someone arrives in the camp who would save the day.

1 Samuel 17:37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.

     David is sent by his father to provide food nourishment for his three brothers and while there he hears the taunts of the giant. King Saul engages in a dialogue with him and heard from him how his God has come through for him in two prior occasions and that this encounter would be no different, which when you come to think about it reveals to us that David probably had a relationship with God during the time while he was keeping his father’s sheep.

     So, David goes out to meet Goliath in the power of the Spirit and the assurance of the word of the Lord and defeats him with a sling and five stones. Saul’s thankfulness changes quite quickly to jealousy because more military accolades were being ascribed to David. As such, the Lord caused the on-resting Spirit to leave Saul and brought upon him an evil spirit. David who was an excellent harp player would be called to the palace to play the harp before him so that he could be released from this oppression.

     Over time, his jealousy turned into an attempt to murder David. Fortunately, David was eventually appointed by him and subsequently sent forth away from the palace with a commission to be captain over 1000 men of the army. Over time, their relationship became so contentious that David removed himself entirely from the kings’ service and fled the country. Saul would reign 40 years over Israel before David would be anointed Israel’s next king. 

     When David came to power, he did some tremendous things. He retrieved the ark of the covenant from the house of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim, which had resided there for many years and brought it to Jerusalem. He had a new tabernacle built that would contain it. And he brought about again the ritual of divine service. Through military conquest, territory from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt, and from Gaza on the west to Thapsacus on the east, was under his sway29. (2 Samuel 8:3-13; 10)

     And then the unthinkable happened. He committed adultery with a woman named Bathsheba while her husband Uriah, one of his commanders, was defending his country against the Ammonites. While Psalm 32 talks about his transgressions, it also surprisingly talked about something else that was not easily recognizable. Do you know what it is? At first glance, I couldn’t tell.

Psalms 32:1-3 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.

     As I began to study further, I found these verses mentioned in the book of Romans and believe it or not they had to do with King David’s relationship with God. Let’s see what these have to say about this.

Romans 4:4-5 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

     A man who works will get paid for what he has done. However, there is a man who does not work for merit with God. He is someone that believes a person or thing, that they are true or speak the truth30 albeit in this context God, who justifies (acquits) the ungodly (the unbeliever), his faith (his act of faith in believing) is counted for righteousness (to be righteous and acceptable; to have a righteous standing bestowed on that person).  

6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

     The apostle Paul uses King David as an example of such a person. David is described as having blessedness (the desirable state of condition), unto whom God imputed righteousness (credited righteousness to him; treated him as a righteous man; admitted him to his favor) without works.

7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

     This blessedness is further illustrated when David said, blessed (spiritually prosperous) are those whose iniquities (violations of the Law31) are forgiven (put away), and whose sins (his innumerable deviations from the strict rule of truth and righteousness32) are covered (hidden from view; blotted out). In other words, a believer’s sins are put away and hidden from view once and for all at salvation or when they believe a person or thing that they are true or what they have said is true. And we are told that works had no bearing on God imputing to David righteousness. So, now we know that King David at some point in time believed in God or in what he had said and thus had a relationship with Him.

     Pretty exciting. Based on what we have found out about relationship and fellowship, let’s ask these two questions again and answer them again.

 

What caused an unbeliever to have a relationship with Yahweh?

     An unbeliever had a relationship with Yahweh by believing in Him or in what he had said and as such He would impute to him/her righteousness (credited righteousness to him/her; treated him/her as a righteous man/woman; admitted him/her to his favor). Romans 4:6

 

What caused a believer to have fellowship with Yahweh?

     A believer evidenced fellowship with Yahweh by being faithful (of doing reliably the tasks associated with an office or title33). Hebrews 3:5

     Now we are ready to proceed to a dispensation called the Incarnation of Christ. Instead of what it would mean to have a relationship and fellowship with Yahweh, we will now look at what would it mean to have a relationship and fellowship with Christ? Is what caused an unbeliever to have a relationship with Yahweh or a believer to have fellowship with Him be the same in respect to having a relationship and fellowship with Christ during the last three years of his public ministry on the earth? What do you think?

 

Endnotes

16The Bible Exposition Commentary.

17UBS New Testament.

18UBS New Testament.

19UBS New Testament.                                                                                                                                                                              

20UBS New Testament.

21The Bible Exposition Commentary.

22UBS Old Testament.

23Jamieson, Faucet, and Brown.

24UBS Old Testament.

25Barnes.

26Barnes.

27Bible Exposition Commentary/Old Testament.

28Proselyte. Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. ˂https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proselyte>.

29Easton’s Bible Dictionary Pc Study Bible version 5, 1998, 25 November 2018

˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.

30Vincent’s New Testament Word Studies Pc Study Bible version 5, 2005, 26 November 2018

˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.

31UBS New Testament.

32Adam Clarke.

33UBS New Testament.

 

 

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Synopsis
What caused Moses, Jotham, Jonah, and King David to have a relationship and fellowship with Yahweh?
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