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Predawn Thoughts From the Word

January 7, 2010

As I sit here before the light of the sun arrives, I am listening for the voice of another Son…the Son of G-d…Yeshua/Jesus. I have been reading through the psalms and trying to pay attention to what is being taught through them and noticing parallels with other scriptures.

As I look forward to my day, I want to carry with me the things I learn and hear from the Ruach/Spirit. Over and over again I see the same theme repeated. It is the righteous who are blessed. It is the ones who walk in Yahweh’s ways who He looks after…who He protects…who He covers. How many of us really think about that?

So many times I see people telling me that they don’t believe G-d is real because He does not answer prayer (translate…the way they want it answered). Or because He allows bad things to happen (disregarding that all bad things are done by people…not G-d)! Yet, how many of them really read the whole book and get ALL the facts? How presumptuous we can be…expecting Yahweh to deliver on His promises while ignoring the fact that so many of them have conditions.

Over and over He tells us to obey Him…but what does that mean to those who teach that the law is no more? We are told that we are covered by grace…and so we are! Praise Yah for that! However, that covering is not a license to sin. NO! It just means that…when we do stumble and sin…if we confess we are forgiven.

It is the law…the Torah (which I have heard is actually better translated as “teachings”)…that show us what is right and what is wrong. In order to obey there has to be something to obey! For those who think that Yeshua threw out the law…is it OK now to commit murder? To steal? To covet? To lie? To commit fornications? I find it ironic that most people would say the big 10 are still in place…yet they ignore the rest.

Now I am not saying that we have to follow every single teaching put forth in the Torah and Tanakh. After all, we don’t put parapets on our houses, do we? No…but then we also don’t need them for we don’t live on our roofs like they did in those days. However, there is a guiding principle there…make our homes safe places to be. That is called following the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. ALL of His teachings are for our good…even if they don’t seem to apply or make sense in our day and age.

So many people are sick, too. I hear them blaming it on the devil, but I rarely hear them blaming it on the way they eat! Yahweh teaches us what and how  to eat. If anyone would know what the human body should eat…isn’t it Him? He created us after all. Yet how many of us go on eating “junk” and non-food and then cry out to G-d when we get cancer and heart disease and diabetes? Even if we want to ignore what He teaches us regarding food…even if we want to live in “freedom”…there is enough evidence around us to show us that we are not eating right. The reality is we want to eat whatever we want in any quantity we want and then we wonder why we are overweight, why we are sick, why we are in pain and why He does not heal us!

We are a people who have been spoiled. We are greedy and have been trained to have an entitlement mentality. The world is ours for the taking. We want what we want and we want it now. The consequences of such thinking are pretty obvious. Our society is falling apart because of it.

So many people equate grace with the freedom to do anything they want…but anyone can see the dangers and fallacies of that if they just seriously look at it. I find it interesting how people will say it is obvious that we should not kill…but then don’t think twice about killing themselves with their lifestyle! Yet…Yahweh does actually speak to both! The thing is…we want what we want when we want it. If it does not obviously hurt another person…we are loathe to call it sin. No…instead we cry “freedom”! They want to live in “freedom”…but “freedom” does not equal no consequences.

Paul talks about the “freedom” we have. It is not freedom to do wrong…but to do right! He writes a whole section on that very subject. Grace does not mean license to ignore Yahweh’s teachings or ways. Do people really think that the G-d who created us…the One who gave us the law as a tutor…now says it is OK to just ignore the law? No…we need it to teach us what is right and wrong! We are still expected to do what is right and avoid what is wrong. Yet…we do what we want in the name of  “grace” and “freedom” and then wonder why we suffer the consequences.

Yeshua said that His yoke was easy and His burden light. I heard a teaching awhile back that the people He was talking to understood that the yoke was referring to the Torah. The people had become so burdened under all the added commands the leaders had given them. They had taken the Torah and added so much to it that, instead of it being a joy to walk in Yahweh’s ways, it had become a burden.

When Yeshua came He railed against the leaders for that, while also making it clear that He was NOT doing away with the law. He came to show us how to really do it and He raised the bar in the process! It was no longer just adultery that was wrong…it was lusting! It was no longer just murder that was wrong…it was hatred. No longer were only actions addressed, but now it was the heart, too!

Yet…hasn’t it really always been about the heart? When His people would turn aside to other gods it was always a heart issue that led to the actions…not the other way around. How many times does it say “this people’s hearts are not for Me” when they would go to the temple while sacrificing their children to a false god?

When my heart is focused on Him, following His commands becomes a joy…not a burden. They become an “I get to”…not an “I have to”. They become a way of me identifying myself with Him rather than with the world…to be different in a way that is fulfilling and shines a light. It is a very big way of showing the world that I know He is real when I apply His teachings to every area of my life!

I am still learning much about this as I was never really taught this. So much of what I learned I learned from people who had been taught that there was this huge separation between the Tanakh (Old Covenant) and the B’rit Hadashah (New Covenant). They have studied the old through Western eyes that have had no real understanding of Oriental thinking or of Hebrew/Jewish thinking. It was Yahweh who chose the Hebrew people through which to show the rest of the nations who He is and how we are to live for Him in this world. Yet, so much of what is taught in congregations today is taught outside of the understanding of what Yahweh was really teaching His people.

That is not to say that all teachings are invalid. Not at all! I have sat under some excellent teaching! It is just that I have found that something valid is missing from a lot of it.

Just as we have commentaries…which are NOT to be made equal with the written Word of Yahweh…so the Jews have had their commentaries. The problem was that they made their written commentaries equal to the Torah. That is wrong. That is what Yeshua railed against. Still…the commentaries are valid. Those commentaries, I believe, give us a better picture of what Yahweh is saying in the scriptures than many “Christian” ones do. They have centuries of walking with Yahweh in their history. What they have to say is valuable…but it is NOT the “Word” of Yahweh any more than the “Christian” commentaries are. I am especially wary of commentaries written by people who are anti-semitic or who believe that Yahweh has reneged on His promises to His Chosen people by replacing them with “Christians”. But that is another whole issue that whole books have been written about. Suffice it to say that I do not espouse what is called “replacement” theology.

Well…these are my thoughts today…such as they are. I hope they give some food for thought. It does not matter if we all agree. If we have accepted Yeshua/Jesus as our Messiah/Christ…we are in one family. How we understand all the details may vary, but it does not change our standing with Him and with each other. I love my siblings in Yeshua and pray the best for them. I also look forward to that day when we are together in His presence and we will all “know as we are known”. It will be interesting to see what…of all the things we “understand” and “believe” and “know”…will actually remain in place when we get there! I think we are ALL in for a big surprise!

Keep on keeping on. See you there!


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