PART 2 THE SPIRITUALITY PUZZLE

Tue, 01/17/2023 - 7:00am

PART 2 THE SPIRITUALITY PUZZLE

What Caused Moses, Jotham, Jonah, And King David to Have a Relationship and Fellowship with Yahweh?

 

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 who 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’ll ask again. What caused an unbeliever to have a relationship with Yahweh? What caused a believer to have fellowship with Yahweh? And the people we’ll take a look at next will be found in the dispensation called the Age of Israel (from the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt under Moses to the birth of Jesus Christ).

Are you ready to get started? The first person we’ll 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 her, 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. So, he took it upon himself to prevent this from continuing further by killing him. News spread to Pharaoh of this murder, and so, hearing that his crime was found out, Moses fled to the land of Midian.

Here he was alone and beside himself. But all was 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.

As a result, he found favor with their father (whose name was Jethro) and was invited to come to their house and dine. It appears he was made an offer to take over the care of the flock, which he accepted and subsequently was allowed to live with this family. Over time, he fell in love with one of the 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 and 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 out to him, which I’m sure must have startled him. It was conveyed to Moses that the One speaking was the God of his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He instructed him to go to the elders of the children of Israel and tell them that He would deliver them from their oppression of 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 the name of the God of their fathers that sent him, that he’d have an answer. God told him to respond to them by saying, “I AM THAT I AM, has sent me.” His name literally means I will be what I will be.16 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. When Moses came before Pharaoh and conveyed to him the words of the Lord, he decided not to allow them to leave. In response, the Lord instituted great judgments on the land, hoping that he would eventually change his mind. But before Moses came before Pharaoh, there was one main hurdle for him to get over.

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 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.

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

So, here’s the question to consider. Did Moses have both a relationship and fellowship with Yahweh? And if he did, what was the cause for each? The source for him having a relationship with God wasn’t made clear. However, there’s a verse in the book of Hebrews that will help us determine 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 verily 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 future.19 He evidenced having fellowship with Yahweh by being faithful (of [reliably doing] the tasks associated with an office or title20). If you remember, this cause for fellowship is similar to that of the cause for fellowship with Noah during the Age of the Gentiles, which was that his will acted on what God told him.21 Hebrews 11:7

With that said, is there someone else during the Age of Israel that might help us determine what would cause someone to have a relationship with Yahweh along with providing further evidence supporting what constitutes fellowship? The next person I’m going to introduce in this regard is someone whose name, for most Christians, is probably obscure. His name is Jotham. Have you ever heard of him? Do you know anything about him? Please turn in your Bible, if you have one handy, to the book of 2 Chronicles.

 

Jotham

Suggested Reading: 2 Chronicles 27:1-6

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

While his father was still alive, Jotham took over from him at the young age of twenty-five due to his illness (leprosy). After living with ill health for seven years, he eventually 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 by him in Jerusalem. Along with this, various towns were either constructed or rebuilt in the mountainous areas of Judah along with defenses.

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

While what might have caused him to have a relationship with God was not revealed to us, he clearly fellowshipped with Him. We’re told that he became mighty (strengthened himself) because he prepared his ways (ordered his ways; walked steadfastly) before the Lord his God. The specifics of how he ordered his ways aren’t revealed but remember, at this time the nation was commanded by God to obey the tenets of the Mosaic Law, which was comprised of four codes.

  • 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 Ten Commandments called the Decalogue (e.g., honor thy father and thy mother…Exodus 20:12-17) but more than one hundred 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 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 Fiftieth 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 looking at a couple of more people concerning this idea of relationship and fellowship with God before we go on to the next dispensation. This next person we’ll look at was sent by Yahweh to prophesy utter destruction to a major heathen city. What had they done to procure God’s wrath? How long did they have until they were destroyed? Did they turn from their wicked ways?

 

Jonah

Suggested Reading: Jonah 3:2-10

Jonah was a prophet of the ten 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 [no longer exist]22) in forty days because of their violence. You’d think Jonah would be delighted to see foreigners turn from their sin to the Lord. 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 toward Jonah would be, “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 God.23 Wow! I’d 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 purposely.24
  • They put on sackcloth. Sackcloth was haircloth that was a harsh garment, irritating and afflictive to the body.25
  • They turned everyone from their evil ways. They repented, by forsaking, each, one by one, his own habitual, favorite sin.26

This was an incredible occurrence. Here were heathen people who knew nothing about the Mosaic Law, the theocratic institution that God set forth for His own people, the Jews, to obey. And yet, they were 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. Also, they followed a policy of killing babies and young children so they wouldn't have to care for them,27 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?

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.

Jonah, we learned, repented, changed his mind, changed his course, and punishment from God 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 this: 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, has circumcision as an adult (milah l'shem giur), and immersion in a mikvah (a ritual bath) to formally affect the conversion.
  • A "gate proselyte" is a resident alien who lives in the [land] of Israel and follows some of the customs. [They’re] not required to be circumcised nor to comply with the whole of the Torah (the first five books of the Jewish Bible). [They’re] bound only to conform to the Seven Laws of Noah ([don’t] worship idols, [don’t] blaspheme God's name, [don’t] murder, [don’t] commit fornication (immoral sexual acts), [don’t] steal, [don’t] tear the limb from a living animal, and [don’t] fail to establish [the] rule of law) to be assured of a place in the world to come.28

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

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’ll 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 generation. 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 as far as God was concerned 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 significant for him being the next king of Israel.

What did occur 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 was when his relationship with God began. But what we do know is the famous story that would occur next.

The Philistines were set to battle the army of the Israelites. They sent out a champion named Goliath to challenge someone from God’s army to fight him mano a mano. No one responded, not even King Saul, nor any from his army, and not one of David’s three brothers who were enlisted at the time. All of a sudden, someone arrived in the camp that 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 was sent by his father to provide food nourishment for his three brothers, and while there, he heard the taunts of the giant. King Saul engaged in a dialogue with David and heard from him how his God had come through for him on two previous occasions and that this encounter would be no different. When you come to think about it, this reveals to us that David probably had a relationship with God during the time while he was keeping his father’s sheep.

So, David went out to meet Goliath in the power of the Spirit and the assurance of the Word of the Lord and defeated him with a sling and five stones. Saul’s thankfulness changed quite quickly to jealousy because more military accolades were being ascribed to David by the people. 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, Saul’s 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 one thousand men of the army. Over time, their relationship became so contentious that David removed himself entirely from the king’s service and fled the country. Saul would reign forty years over Israel before David would be anointed Israel’s next king. 

When David eventually 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 sway.29 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 David’s transgressions, it also surprisingly talks 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’s a man who does not work for merit with God. He’s someone that believes a person or thing, that [they’re] true or speak the truth30 albeit in this context God, who justifieth (acquits) the ungodly (the unbeliever), whose 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 used King David as an example of such a person. David is described as having blessedness (the desirable state or condition), unto whom God imputeth 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 they 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 is true or what they’ve said is true. And furthermore, we’re told that works had no bearing on God, imputing to David His righteousness. So, now we know that King David, at some point in time, believed in God or in what He’d said and thus had a relationship with Him.

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

 

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’d said, and as such, He would impute to them righteousness (credited righteousness to them; treated them as a righteous man/woman; admitted them 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’re 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’ll now look at what it would 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 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

16Adam Clarke.

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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