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Rebooting with God: Shabbat thought

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Rebooting with God 
Re-orienting ourselves,  A Shabbat thought 

Source: – John Mark Fuller  

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

So how do we allow the Holy Spirit to bring us back to the beginning

          and reconsider His paths, studying out His intentions from the start?!

This week restarted the reading cycle that folks trace back to Ezra,

          and Yeshua used to announce the beginning of His ministry on earth.

          It begins with Bereshit (aka Genesis), Moshe’s account of creation

          up to where YHVH our Elohim had to prepare a reboot with Noah.

In other words, here we are in the midst of folks afraid of what is coming…

          “Is it the last days?” “Are you preparing for the worse?” or on the

           other side, “Are you ignoring the obvious and hoping it’ll pass?”

          And yet YHVH’s reading plan takes us back to the very beginning.

I’m reluctant to quote the cliché, considering the character of the source;

yet George Santayana, a bit ironic in light of his life, wrote:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

There is also irony in how many of us Christians quote George,

while failing to consider the source or context of what he wrote.

Not unlike the penchant of western Christianity to write off the OT.

So how do we allow the Holy Spirit to bring us back to the beginning

          and reconsider His paths, studying out His intentions from the start?!

          Would it help us to walk in a renewed sense of His purposes?

          Can we allow His Spirit to bring comfort to others through us?

Jews (and a growing amount of believers) around the world are re-reading

          Parashat Bereshit (Gen 1-6:8) this week along with 1st Sam 20:18…

Part of where men went awry is via jealousy/possessiveness; besides the

history of Qayin and Havel illustrates some of our core issues even

today – and yet, can we learn something from the prophetic

passage in Haftarah that they read alongside a brother’s murder?

And Yah’s-Gift (Yehonatan) said to him:

“Tomorrow is the new moon;

  because your seat will be attended to.

(being empty drew attention.)

And on the third day, descend quickly,

and come to the place there that you hid in the day of the deed,

and remain by the stone Departure (Azel).

And I will shoot three arrows to the side, as if I shot at a mark.

And hey, I will send the lad [נַעַר Na’ar]:

“Go, find the arrows.”

If I say to the lad:

“Hey, the arrows are on this side of you!”

Take them, and come;

Because there is shalom for you and no hurt, as YHVH lives.

And if I say like so to the boy  [עֶלֶם E’lem]:

“Hey, the arrows are beyond you!”

Go! Because YHVH sent you away.

And the Davar that we spoke of, I and you:

Hineh, YHVH is between me and between you until forever!”

          …as recorded in 1st Shmuel 20:18-23

Isn’t it redemptive that the first thing Yeshua did as He began to preach

          repentance, is to call two sets of brothers to become His students?

Now walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers,

Shimon called Keyfa and his brother Andrea,

casting a net into the sea, they were fishermen.

And He says to them:

“Come, follow after Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

And at once, having left their nets, they followed Him.

And having gone on from there, He saw two other brothers,

Ya’aqov, son of Yah’s-gift [Z’vadyah זְבַדיָה] and his brother Yohanan,

in the boat with their father Z’vadyah, mending their nets.

And He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father,

they followed Him. Mat’ 4:18-22

In both testimonies, we see a reference to Yah’s-Gift.

          In the initial account of Qayin and Havel, the disparity between

          how YHVH favored their gifts gave the enemy an opportunity.

          We have the same issue with our own families and congregations.

His good and perfect gift to us, however, can bring forgiveness and

          reconciliation between us. It helps to go back to the beginning

          and identify the reasons for the rift, repenting, and allowing the

          Holy Spirit to operate on our wounded hearts together.

Contemplating B’ 4’s tragedy with Qayin and Havel, then transitioning

to the self-sacrificing brotherly love of Yehonatan and David; and

comparing that to how Yeshua gathers in brothers for His ministry

of repentance and healing should help renew a right spirit in us.

And Yah’s-Gift said to David:

“Go for Shalom!

That we swore, the two of us in the name of YHVH, saying:

“YHVH will be between me and between you,

and between my seed and between your seed, until forever.””

          …from Ashkenzi Haftarah: 1st Shmuel 20:42

So He not only reconciles His people, yet there is also work to do…

So says EL YHVH, creating the heavens, and stretching them out,

Who spreads out the earth and it’s produce,

Who gives breath to the people on it,

and spirit to those for walking in it:

I YHVH called you in righteousness, and I strengthened your hand,

and I guarded you, and gave you for a covenant of the people,

to be light the Goyim;

To open blind eyes; to free from prison, captives;

From the jailhouse, those sitting in darkness.

I am YHVH, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another,

and My praise to images.

The first things, hineh, they came; and new things I tell of;

In of before they spring forth I will cause you to hear of them.

…from Sefardic Haftarah: Isaiah 42:5-9 


Adonai Yeshua, help us to understand Your first Words, from creation

          onwards, to discern and cooperate with Your perfect desires.

          Give us grace and forgiveness toward each other, not in some

          complicit conspiring, but speaking truth in love to one another.

Help us to not only follow after You, but to really allow that making

of our lives into the fishers of men, to be “for a covenant of

the people, to be light the Goyim; To open blind eyes;

to free from prison, captives; …, those sitting in darkness.”

Please strengthen us to walk in Your Righteousness and not our own.

          Thank You for all the waves around us, and for calling out to us.

          In Your awesome name, above all names, Yeshua our Messiah!

Blessings and Shabbat Shalom,
John Mark 

Righteous Meddling with the Rebellious …

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Meddle not with the rebellious… 
Shabbat thought 

In this time of pandemic and plague we are reminded what is set before us by God … 

“Are the gods not just?” 
“‘Oh no, child. What would become of us if they were?'” 
– Orual & the Fox “Till We Have Faces” (1956) C.S. Lewis –

There is a book “Lawyers without Rights” by Simone Ladwig-Winters originally written some two decades ago that details the expulsion of Jewish judges and lawyers after Hitler’s ascension as Chancellor in 1933.  If Jews wanted to continue to practice law, they had to re-apply and give allegiance to Hitler’s government, which meant that they accepted the legal situation of anti-Semitism, with no way to combat it legally. 

It shows how the rule of law and how we corporately or individually define justice can be a catch-22. We’ve asked for men as kings, having rejected His Torah, and are reaping the consequences as predicted.  If you name the name of Yeshua as your Master and Savior, then read on, but if not, don’t bother… 

The King of Kings, Master of the Universe, our Judge, spoke to His people and told us all: “Do not judge in order that you will not be judged!

In whatever judgment that you judge, you will be judged And with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured again to you!” Mat’ 7:1,2

This week’s Haftarah in Shoftim (Judges) 13 deserves an in-depth read considering our situation. And how people bandy about terms like legal, law, justice, etc. without being really concerned with His righteousness and justice being applied in and to our own lives… i.e. self-righteousness abounds!

Judge or Krino [κρίνω] goes back to our word Shafat in the Sept. for שָׁפַט, and also for דּוּן and רִיב; In Hebrew it has the sense of judging, governing, deciding controversy and even punishing. The rabbis decided for some reason to leave out the first verse of Shoftim 13 in the Haftarah; however, we should consider it rather important contextually both to Yisrael and to us:

א  וַיֹּסִיפוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לַעֲשׂוֹת הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה; וַיִּתְּנֵם יְהוָה בְּיַד-פְּלִשְׁתִּים, אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה.  {פ}      1 
And the sons of Yisrael increased to do the evil in the eyes of YHVH; and YHVH gave them into the hand of the Wanderers, forty years. 

In other words, YHVH is judging His people, and Keyfa (Peter) affirms this to those of us, who name His name and abide in His commands that we can expect this to happen… Beloved, do not be bewildered at the pyro-purge of proving (see Prov 27:21) as if something strange was happening among you,

But as you have shared in the sufferings of Messiah, rejoice! 
So that also in the unveiling of His glory, you all might rejoice exulting. 
If you are insulted for the name of Messiah, [you are] blessed, because the glory and Spirit of YHVH remains on you.  Indeed on their part He is reviled, however on you all He is glorified.

None of you should suffer as a murderer or thief or wrongdoer, or as a meddler, (the writer seems to refer to those who, with holy but intemperate zeal, meddle with the affairs of the Gentiles — whether public or private, civil or sacred — in order to make them conform to the Christian standard – Thayer’s Greek Lexicon) 

If you [suffer] as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify YHVH that you bear that name. 

For it is time for judgment to have begun with the house of YHVH; and if it is first with us, what’s the end of those disobeying YHVH’s good news? 

And, “If it is difficult for the righteous to be saved, what will be of the ungodly and the sinner?”

1 Peter 4:12-18 and in :18 Keyfa is quoting Proverbs 11:31, which follows:

לא  הֵן צַדִּיק, בָּאָרֶץ יְשֻׁלָּם;    אַף, כִּי-רָשָׁע וְחוֹטֵא.  
“Look, the righteous will be repaid in the earth; how much more the wicked and the sinner!”

It’s interesting how Keyfa quotes a verse in which we should consider the preceding verse also: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and a wise one wins souls.” Verse :30

In regards to our responsibility of fruit from verse 30, and what the consequences of 31 are, it’s a travesty that people who name the name of Jesus are meddling with false expectations, judging others according to a bankrupt legal system under judgment for corruption, hence being compromised with accusations and disobedient to the One who they claim to follow.

There was a way out for the Jews in Western Europe during the ‘30’s – Elie Wiesel among others documented this, when YHVH sent prophets to tell the Jews to get out and go back to Yisrael…most didn’t listen and perished – it doesn’t make the horror of Shoah right, but in order to fight evil and man’s depravity, we can’t do it on our own strength, wisdom, and self-righteousness…

There is a way out for the ‘followers’ of Messiah today in the West or wherever – pick up our crosses and follow Him daily, abide in His commands, don’t meddle in the world, or expect those who do evil to conform to some euphemistic standard or expectation we would establish…

Blessings and Shabbat Shalom,
John Mark 

Love our enemy word play

AHB (ahav, he loved, spelled alef,heh,bet) AYB (ayav, make an enemy, spelled alef,yud,bet) –

only difference between love and enemy in Hebrew is the heh and yud, which incidentally are YH, a spelling of God’s name.

When Yeshua commanded us to “love our enemy” he was using a Hebrew word play

A Yud is equivalent to 10, number of the ‘law’; whereas a Heh, = 5, speaks of ‘grace’ – a yud is originally a picture of a ‘hand’ and a heh is a picture of a ‘window’ (allows “spirit/breath” through) –

another correlation being between “striking the rock” with a rod in his ‘Y’ a scriptural picture of Yeshua being struck for our sin, becoming the ‘enemy’ on our behalf and (supposed to) speak (breath ‘H’) to the rock…