Saturday, July 21, 2007


Lord the Sword

Deut. 33:29

Deuteronomy 33:29Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places. (KJV)

29 Blessed are you, O Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will trample down their high places." (NIV)

That is the specific verse where this name is found. I really like the entire passage in the NIV:

26 "There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides on the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.
27 The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemy before you,
saying, 'Destroy him!'
28 So Israel will live in safety alone;
Jacob's spring is secure
in a land of grain and new wine,
where the heavens drop dew.
29 Blessed are you, O Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will trample down their high places."

These are the last words of Moses. Following this blessing upon the tribes and the entire nation of Israel, as God instructed, Moses climbed to the highest ridge of mount Nebo, called Pisgah, in the land of Moab. He climbed and God showed him the promised land from afar, never to visit there in person. . .at least Moses was able to see the land of milk and honey before he died. What a bittersweet day. . . knowing of your imminent death, seeing the land you have struggled to reach for some 40 years. . . seeing it only from afar, hours or moments before you die. What a poignant scene.

This is so interesting doing these little studies on the names of God. I use Esword software. It is a free software that you can download from the Internet. Using Esword, I searched for the Strong's number in the KJV with Strong's references version. I do it that way as sometimes the same Hebrew word will be translated into different English words and indeed in the case of the word 'sword', the Hebrew word is sometimes translated as 'tool' and I want all the references of the Hebrew word. I want the usages of the original Scripture writers, not the usages based on the decisions of a King James translator. I made a list of all the verse references and started going through them. Most of the references were just single references to a sword being used in the context of Scripture, such as the flaming sword barring the way back into the Garden of Eden. I noticed in Leviticus that the only place the word 'sword' was used in the whole book of Leviticus was in chapter 26 and it was used there 7 times.

This so interesting. We know of 1 Corinthians 13 as the love chapter of the Bible. We know of Hebrews 11 as the faith chapter, now a little discovery (for me anyway), Leviticus 26 might be called the Bible's God sword chapter. . . :)

This chapter is 46 verses long and it is divided into three parts. Verses 1-2 set forth God's requirements. Verses 3-13 tell of what God will do for us if we do as He says. Verses 14-39 tell of what God will do to us if we don't do as He says. The last of the chapter, verses 40-46 tell of what happens if we do wrong and then repent.

Here are His requirements:

1 " 'Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.
2 " 'Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD. (NIV)

Many of the requirements of Leviticus do no pertain to us. We are no longer bound by Mosaic dietary or ceremonial Law, but these verses speak of not worshipping other gods and keeping Jehovah foremost in our hearts and homes. The next section tells of what God will do if we follow his requirements:

3 " 'If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands,
4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit.
5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.
6 " 'I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.
7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you.
8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.
9 " 'I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.
10 You will still be eating last year's harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.
11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you.
12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.
13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high. (NIV)

If we do things that are pleasing to God, He will intervene upon our behalf. He will provide for our needs. He will protect us from wild animals and from people who would want to harm us. He will use the sword on our behalf. We will be blessed. . .

Now the greatest part of the chapter (God knew we wouldn't do those things which are pleasing to Him) is devoted to what will happen if and when we don't do the right things:

14 " 'But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands,
15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant,
16 then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it.
17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.

If you continue wrong doing. . .

18 " 'If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over.
19 I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze.
20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit.
21 " 'If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve. 22 I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted.

If you continue wrong doing. . .

23 " 'If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me,
24 I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over.
25 And I will bring the sword upon you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands.
26 When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will be able to bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out the bread by weight. You will eat, but you will not be satisfied.

If you continue wrong doing. . .

27 " 'If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me,
28 then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over.
29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.
30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you.
31 I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries, and I will take no delight in the pleasing aroma of your offerings.
32 I will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled.
33 I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins.
34 Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.
36 " 'As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them.
37 They will stumble over one another as though fleeing from the sword , even though no one is pursuing them. So you will not be able to stand before your enemies.
38 You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you.
39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers' sins they will waste away.

Jehovah-Chereb, Lord the Sword. . . He is our Lord. He is our ruler. If we act and do right in His eyes, then He is a sword on our behalf. If we do wrong, then He is a sword against us. The Old Testament is all about actions and consequences. Our God is a God of love. He will stop at nothing to bring us back to Him. His love knows no bounds. As is says in verse 33, He will draw out His sword and pursue us, ruining our land, destroying our cities in order that we might be saved. . . .

I love you God. I desire your sword on my behalf. I fear your sword turned against me. . .


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