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References of Theocratic Ministry School Review August 2014
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Theocratic Ministry School Review AUGUST 2014
The following questions will be considered at the Theocratic Ministry School during the week beginning August 25, 2014.
1. How can Leviticus 18:3 help us to avoid developing a twisted sense of right and wrong? (Eph. 4:17-19) [July 7, w02 2/1 p. 29 par. 4]
^ (Lev. 18:3) You must not behave as they do in the land of Egypt, where you were dwelling, and you must not do what they do in the land of Ca′naan, where I am bringing you. And you must not walk in their statutes.
^ (Eph. 4:17-19) So this is what I say and bear witness to in the Lord, that you should no longer go on walking just as the nations also walk, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are in darkness mentally and alienated from the life that belongs to God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the insensitivity of their hearts. 19 Having gone past all moral sense, they gave themselves over to brazen conduct to practice every sort of uncleanness with greediness.
^ ***w02 2/1 p. 29 Questions From Readers***
Not to be overlooked is our God-given conscience. All people are born with a sense of right and wrong, good and bad. (Romans 2:15) Their conscience tells them what is normal and proper and what is unnatural and offensive, unless it has been distorted or deadened by perverted practices. Jehovah alluded to this fact when he gave the Israelites his law against marriage between close fleshly relatives. We read: “The way the land of Egypt does, in which you dwelt, you must not do; and the way the land of Canaan does, into which I am bringing you, you must not do; and in their statutes you must not walk.” (Leviticus 18:3) Christians treasure their Bible-based conscience and do not allow it to be corrupted by the twisted sense of right and wrong of the nations.—Ephesians 4:17-19.
2. What does the command at Leviticus 19:2 teach us, and why should we strive to obey it? [July 7, w09 7/1 p. 9 par. 5]
^ (Lev. 19:2) “Speak to the entire assembly of the Israelites and tell them, ‘You should be holy, because I, Jehovah your God, am holy.
^ ***w09 7/1 p. 9 “I Jehovah Your God Am Holy”***
The command regarding holiness gives us valuable insight into the thinking and ways of Jehovah God. For one thing, we learn that in order to have a close relationship with him, we need to do our best to live in harmony with his standards of holy conduct. (1 Peter 1:15, 16) By holding to those standards, we can enjoy the best way of life possible.—Isaiah 48:17.
3. What does the principle behind the ancient law on gleaning teach us today? (Lev. 19:9, 10) [July 7, w06 6/15 pp. 22-23 par. 13]
^ (Lev. 19:9, 10) “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you must not reap the edge of your field completely and you must not pick up the gleaning of your harvest. 10 Also, you must not gather the leftovers of your vineyard or pick up the scattered grapes of your vineyard. You should leave them for the poor and the foreign resident. I am Jehovah your God.
^ ***w06 6/15 pp. 22-23 “How I Do Love Your Law!”***
13 The principle behind the law on gleaning has not changed. Jehovah expects his servants to be generous, especially toward the needy. The more generous we are, the greater our blessings will be. “Practice giving, and people will give to you,” said Jesus. “They will pour into your laps a fine measure, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing. For with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you in return.”—Luke 6:38.
4. Why can it be said that the law of “eye for eye” did not promote personal revenge? (Lev. 24:19, 20) [July 14, w09 9/1 p. 22 pars. 3-4]
^ (Lev. 24:19, 20) If a man injures his fellow man, then what he has done should be done to him. 20 Fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, the same sort of injury he inflicted should be inflicted on him.
^ ***w09 9/1 p. 22 When You Are Offended***
“Eye for Eye”
Some point to the Bible in order to justify their vengeful attitude. They say, “Doesn’t the Bible speak of ‘eye for eye, tooth for tooth’?” (Leviticus 24:20) On the surface, the law of “eye for eye” may appear to promote revenge. Actually, though, it served to curb or limit senseless acts of revenge. How so?
If an Israelite assaulted a fellow Israelite and put out his eye, the Law allowed for just punishment. However, it was not up to the victim to take punitive action against the assailant or one of his family members. The Law required that he take the matter to the established authorities—the appointed judges—for proper disposition. The knowledge that the willful perpetrator of criminal or violent acts against another could be punished in kind served as a powerful deterrent. But there is more to the matter.
5. Under what circumstances would it be wrong for an Israelite to charge interest on a loan, but when would the charging of interest be allowed? (Lev. 25:35-37) [July 21, w04 5/15 p. 24 par. 3]
^ (Lev. 25:35-37) “‘If your brother who is nearby becomes poor and cannot support himself, you must sustain him as you would a foreign resident and a settler, so that he may keep alive with you. 36 Do not take interest or make a profit from him. You must be in fear of your God, and your brother will keep alive with you. 37 You must not lend him your money on interest or give out your food for profit.
^ ***w04 5/15 p. 24 par. 3 Highlights From the Book of Leviticus***
25:35-37—Was it always wrong for the Israelites to charge interest? If the money was lent for business purposes, the lender could charge interest. However, the Law forbade the charging of interest on loans made to relieve poverty. Profiting from a destitute neighbor’s economic reversals was wrong.—Exodus 22:25.
6. Why is reference generally made to the 12 tribes of Israel when there were actually 13? (Num. 1:49, 50) [July 28, w087/1 p. 21]
^ (Num. 1:49, 50) “Only the tribe of Le′vi you are not to register, and you should not include the number of them along with the other Israelites.50 You should appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the Testimony and over all its utensils and over everything that belongs to it. They will carry the tabernacle and all its utensils, and they will minister at it, and they are to camp around the tabernacle.
^ ***w08 7/1 p. 21 Did You Know?***
Why is reference generally made to the 12 tribes of Israel when there were actually 13 tribes?
The tribes, or families, of Israel descended from the sons of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. This patriarch had 12 sons—Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. (Genesis 29:32–30:24; 35:16-18) Eleven of these brothers had tribes named after them, but no tribe was named after Joseph. Instead, two tribes were named after his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who received full status as tribal heads. So the number of tribes in Israel amounted to 13. Why, then, does the Bible usually speak of 12 tribes?
Among the Israelites, the men of the tribe of Levi were set apart for service at Jehovah’s tabernacle and later at the temple. Hence, they were exempted from military service. Jehovah told Moses: “Only the tribe of Levi you must not register, and the sum of them you must not take in among the sons of Israel. And you yourself appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the Testimony and over all its utensils and over everything that belongs to it.”—Numbers 1:49, 50.
The Levites did not receive a territorial allotment in the Promised Land either. Rather, they were assigned 48 cities scattered throughout the territory of Israel.—Numbers 18:20-24; Joshua 21:41.
For these two reasons, the tribe of Levi was not generally included when the tribes were listed. The tribes of Israel were thus usually numbered as 12.—Numbers 1:1-15.
7. What lesson regarding showing consideration to older ones can we glean from the account about Levite compulsory service recorded at Numbers 8:25, 26? [Aug. 11, w04 8/1 p. 25 par. 1]
^ (Num. 8:25, 26) But after the age of 50 years, he will retire from the service company and not serve any longer. 26 He may minister to his brothers who are taking care of the responsibilities at the tent of meeting, but he must not perform the service there. This is what you are to do regarding the Levites and their responsibilities.”
^ ***w04 8/1 p. 25 par. 1 Highlights From the Book of Numbers***
8:25, 26. To fill the positions of the Levite service properly, and out of consideration for their age, older men were commanded to retire from compulsory service. However, they could volunteer to assist other Levites. While there is no retirement from being a Kingdom proclaimer today, the principle of this law teaches a valuable lesson. If because of advanced age a Christian cannot fulfill certain obligations, he may engage in a form of service that is within his power to perform.
8. After their miraculous exodus from Egypt, why did the Israelites develop a complaining spirit, and what vital lesson can we learn from this account? (Num. 11:4-6) [Aug. 18, w953/1 pp. 15-16 par. 10]
^ (Num. 11:4-6) The mixed crowd who were in their midst then expressed selfish longing, and the Israelites too began to weep again and say: “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 How fondly we remember the fish that we used to eat without cost in Egypt, also the cucumbers, the watermelons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic! 6 But now we are withering away. We see nothing at all except this manna.”
^ ***w95 3/1 pp. 15-16 Living Up to Our Dedication “Day After Day”***
10 First, Paul warned us not to be “desiring injurious things.” (1 Corinthians 10:6) That may remind you of the occasion when the Israelites complained about having only manna to eat. Jehovah sent quail to them. Something similar had happened about a year earlier in the wilderness of Sin, just before the Israelites declared their dedication to Jehovah. (Exodus 16:1-3, 12, 13) But the situation was not exactly the same. When Jehovah provided quail the first time, he did not call the Israelites to account for their murmuring. This time, however, things were different. “The meat was yet between their teeth, before it could be chewed, when Jehovah’s anger blazed against the people, and Jehovah began striking at the people with a very great slaughter.” (Numbers 11:4-6, 31-34) What had changed? As a dedicated nation, they were now held accountable. Their lack of appreciation for Jehovah’s provisions led them to complain against Jehovah, despite their having promised to do all that Jehovah had spoken! Complaining about Jehovah’s table today is similar. Some fail to appreciate Jehovah’s spiritual provisions through “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matthew 24:45-47) Remember, though, that our dedication requires us gratefully to keep in mind what Jehovah has done for us and accept the spiritual food that Jehovah supplies.
9. What can we learn from the way that Moses responded when Eldad and Medad began acting as prophets? (Num. 11:27-29) [Aug. 18, w04 8/1 p. 26 par. 4]
^ (Num. 11:27-29) And a young man ran and reported to Moses: “El′dad and Me′dad are behaving as prophets in the camp!” 28 Then Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses from his youth, responded and said: “My lord Moses, restrain them!” 29 But Moses said to him: “Are you jealous for me? No, I wish that all of Jehovah’s people were prophets and that Jehovah would put his spirit on them!”
^ ***w04 8/1 p. 26 par. 4 Highlights From the Book of Numbers***
Lessons for Us:
11:27-29. Moses provides an excellent example regarding how we should respond when others receive privileges in Jehovah’s service. Rather than jealously seeking glory for himself, Moses was happy when Eldad and Medad began acting as prophets.
10. What valuable principle can we learn from the command given to the Israelites to “make for themselves fringed edges on the skirts of their garments”? (Num. 15:37-39) [Aug. 25,w04 8/1 p. 26 par. 7]
^ (Num. 15:37-39) Jehovah went on to say this to Moses: 38 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them that they must make for themselves fringed edges on the skirts of their garments throughout their generations, and they are to put a blue string above the fringed edge of the skirt. 39 ‘You must have this fringed edge so that you will see it and remember all the commandments of Jehovah and observe them. You must not follow your own hearts and eyes, which are leading you to spiritual prostitution.
^ ***w04 8/1 p. 26 par. 7 Highlights From the Book of Numbers***
15:37-41. The unique fringe of the Israelites’ dress was intended to remind them that they were a people set apart to worship God and to obey his commandments. Should we not also live by God’s standards and stand out as different from the world?
References consulted on: Watchtower Library 2013 CD‒ROM
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