Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Judges 11
Sermon preached on 18 June 2010
Welcome to you all, I greet you in the name of our Master and Saviour Yahshua Messiah. Blessed be Yahweh our Elohim who has given us the privilege and honour to be together that we may praise His holy name, amen! The Scriptures tell us that the power of life and death is in the tongue – in other words the very words we speak are of vital importance. How often do we find ourselves so easily saying one thing and yet doing another? How often do you recollect on the promises you have made to keep and yet have found that you have simply forgotten you even made them? My message tonight is called, “The Words We Speak”, and I want us to be reminded tonight about how important the very words that come from our lips are! For it is out of the overflow of our hearts that we speak – and often a true indication of what is going on in a person’s heart is reflected in their words and how their actions line up with their words. Tonight, time permitting, we will do things a little different. I am going to share with you form the Word and then open up for a time of discussion around the very Word we will be looking at and so engage together in how this applies to each of our lives. Please turn with me to Judges 11. (Read)

This is the story of Yiphtah the Gil’adite. Now Yiphtah was someone from which we can learn some great lessons and as we can see from this chapter it starts off by telling us that he was a might brave warrior. Yiphtah is one of those mentioned in Hebrews 11 in the ‘faith hall of fame’, but what is it about him that got him mentioned? First up we are told, yes that he was mighty or brave, but also that he was a son of a whore – how is that for a nice description – possibly not something he would want to be remembered by, although he certainly did not have control over who his parents were. He was born out of an adulterous relationship and was rejected by his half brothers who told him he had no part in the family inheritance which caused him to flee from his brothers and hook up with some other worthless men. Israel was under threat from the Ammonites and Israel, as a result of their circumstances through disobedience, were crying out to Yahweh who told them to go and cry out to the mighty ones they had chosen in their disobedience and let them save them in their time of distress. Israel continued to cry out and Yahweh was grieved. Israel needed a strong leader to lead them and said that whoever would go and fight first would become their head, and now the elders of Israel went to call the very one they had been rejected. Yiphtah was the first born, and although born out of an adulterous relationship was still the firstborn and according to Torah was to receive a double portion of his father’s inheritance. His brothers had rejected him and twisted Torah telling him he had no inheritance, and so now when the elders asked him to come back and help, he confirms with them that if he does lead them that he would be made head over all in Gil’ad. In other words he was making sure his inheritance as firstborn would be restored. Just think how his half brothers must have felt – the man they had rejected and renounced was returning home to be their captain and leader of the land. Pretty similar to the account of Joseph who was also rejected by his brothers to only later be the one who would bring about their deliverance in the famine of the time. It took David 7 years to gain the full support of the 12 tribes of Israel. All of these events are wonderful foreshadows of Messiah Yahshua, who too was despised and rejected by men, by His very own and became the Saviour and is King of the armies of YHWH, that will come again and defeat the enemies of YHWH.
Yiphtah took up the role as judge and leader and we can see some great qualities that he displayed in his leadership. He was not just a hot headed guy who wanted to look for a fight – he first sought to resolve the issues, and we can see from this passage that he knew the Torah and the history of Israel.
The king of Ammon declared that he only wanted back what Israel had, under Moses’ leadership, stolen from them. And in response to the king of Ammon, Yiphtah presented four arguments to show and prove that the ammonites were wrong:
1 – He presented the facts of history: (v14-22)
You cannot deny facts - when we present the truth that the Catholic Church changed a whole lot by adding and taking away from the Word – you simply cannot deny that through the facts of history – we have been lied to!
He reminds the Ammonites that Moses and the leaders of Israel had asked for a safe passage through their territory, which was refused, and this led to war where Yahweh gave Israel the victory. Israel didn’t steal any land, they had captured it, and besides that the Amorites had taken the land from the Moabites, so their claim that the land was theirs was invalid. Yiphtah clearly knew the history of his people and the land in which they were dwelling. Yiphtah was a great leader – he was learned in the Torah and the History of Israel – he understood and knew the facts. As we lead people to Yahshua, we will do well to present ourselves as one who can rightly divide the Truth and present the facts of the Word through its purest form, knowing the historical and cultural context of the Word.
2 – Yahweh had given Israel the land: (v23-24)
Yiphtah was always careful in giving Yahweh the glory for any victories Israel had won, always remembering to give honour and praise to Yahweh who fights for us and gives us the victory. It was common among the other nations that when they would capture a territory they would claim that it was the ‘will of their god’ that had given it to them to possess and so now Yiphtah is declaring that the True and Only Elohim, Yahweh is the One who’s will was fulfilled in giving Israel the land. Yahweh the Living Elohim took possession of the land and so became Israel’s. We too can declare today that it is Yahweh who gives us the victory through Messiah Yahshua, amen! We must realise and always give recognition and praise that all we have is from Yahweh our Elohim!
3 – Israel had lived in the land for centuries: (v25-26)
Israel had lived in and around that area for 300 years – why now all of a sudden is the king of Ammon trying to claim it as theirs – they had no legal claim to the land. The work of Yahshua, done on the stake was done almost 2000 years ago and His promises are secure in His Blood, the enemy cannot steal that or take what does not belong to him!
4 – The Ammonites were actually fighting against Yahweh: (v27-28)
Yiphtah didn’t declare war on Ammon – Ammon declared war on Israel. Now if Yahweh had given the land to Israel then by Ammon coming against Israel they were coming against Yahweh, which would only lead to disaster. It is a dreadful thing to fall in to the hands of Yahweh, who Judges both the living and the dead.

So what we can see up to this point is that Yiphtah, who was now leading Israel, was clearly a man of courage and wisdom. He knew the Torah, the history of the nation of Israel and was bold to speak the truth, despite his past. Yahweh can and will use anyone He chooses, not based on their past, but on their ability to walk in obedience to His Word, one who can rightly handle the truth.
It is at this point in the text that we see the Spirit of Yahweh came upon Yiphtah. Yahweh is the One who qualifies and calls a person into service and not man. Filled with the Spirit of Yahweh he was now ready to go forward in great confidence and boldness. It is not by power nor by might but by the Spirit of Yahweh, amen! Yiphtah makes then a vow before Yahweh. Now a vow was always a voluntary decision, and was a definite commitment that was honest, sincere and holy. Some people argue that he made a rash vow and was stupid etc, yet we are just told that the Spirit of Yahweh had come upon him. Yiphtah made a commitment, which is an agreement or pledge binding oneself to do something. He was not under any obligation to make this vow or solemn promise to Yahweh but he did! And it was a conditional agreement – if you do this…then I will do that. We know that Yahweh fulfilled His part for He always keeps His promises.
Today there is a saying that say, “A verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it is written on!” In other words it has become the norm to realise that no promise, whether verbal or written, is of any value except in relation to the integrity of the one who makes the promise. So if there is a lack of true integrity then what do promises mean today!!! How many people make promises only to break them and feel nothing for changing their mind, simply because it doesn't suit them anymore?
In the past it would often be stated that, “A man’s word is his bond”, and sadly we do not see that today. That does not mean that the consequence of breaking our word has changed!!! If we make promises we ought to keep them – Yahweh never breaks his Word.
1 Kings 8:56 “Blessed be YHWH, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good word, which He promised through His servant Moses.
Yiphtah’s vow was a devastating commitment – how about us today? The ‘whatever’s’ of our lives!!! Whatever it takes Yahshua Messiah – I will follow. Do we realise the need to keep that commitment based on our own confession? how many make this commitment only to break it without blinking an eyelid? Too many today have forgotten their commitment to walking in teh footsteps of our Rabbi and Saviour Yahshua Messiah! How awesome it would be if people would just remember their vows!!! Yiphtah didn’t forget his vow to Yahweh. You see all too often we find that vows or commitments are made in the storms of life and are then quickly forgotten in the calms. When you are in a fix, you can easily commit to something that may help, but as soon as relief comes you abandon your part of the commitment – sound familiar? Yiphtah knew and realised he had to keep his vow to Yahweh no matter what – he made the vow after all!!!
Numbers 30:2 “When a man vows a vow to YHWH, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he does not break his word, he does according to all that comes out of his mouth.
Deuteronomy 23:21 “When you make a vow to YHWH your Elohim, do not delay to pay it, for YHWH your Elohim is certainly requiring it of you, and it shall be sin in you.
We must realise the power of our words of commitment we make and the accountability to keep them.
His vow was a defining commitment – this was a test of his commitment – would he keep his word? Would he obey YHWH? Was it just talk? Was he serious? Yiphtah shows us what it means to remain true to one’s word by following through with the appropriate actions. A man of words and not deeds is like a garden of weeds! You can pretty much fix a lot of things, but not a broken promise!
Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 “When you make a vow to Elohim, do not delay to pay it, for He takes no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you have vowed. 5 It is better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
There is a saying that says, “He who is slow in making a promise is the most faithful in keeping it.”
Proverbs 20:25 “It is a snare for a man to say rashly, “It is set-apart,” and only later to reconsider his vows.
We must think before we speak. Yiphtah realised and knew that he cannot go back on his word – he tells his daughter, “I have given my word to YHWH and I am unable to turn back!” When we say something we need to be ready to do it an follow through regardless of the circumstances!!! Yes, I suppose Yiphtah could have turned back like so many today would quickly do, however disobedience to YHWH was not an option to him, and that is a great lesson for us today!!!
Another thing we need to realise is that vows do not need to be vocalised in order to be in effect!!! As soon as we say it in our hearts, Yahweh knows and expects us to keep it!!!! Acts 5 is a great example for us in the account of Ananias and Sapphira – they made a vow when laying down the money as if it were all they had received for the land they sold, but it wasn’t and Yahweh saw it in their hearts! The interesting thing to note here too is that nobody forced them to sell the land – they made this vow voluntarily yet still did not follow through with total obedience and we know what happened as a result!!! 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that man looks at the eyes, but Yahweh looks at the heart!
Ananias was a fool, who not only wanted the praise of men, but also wanted the money that by his own vow was no longer his – he lied to Yahweh and paid the price for it. Back to Deuteronomy 23:21-23 “When you make a vow to YHWH your Elohim, do not delay to pay it, for YHWH your Elohim is certainly requiring it of you, and it shall be sin in you. 22 “But when you abstain from vowing, it is not sin in you. 23 “That which has gone from your lips you shall guard and do, for you voluntarily vowed to YHWH your Elohim what you have promised with your mouth.
We must be careful what we say and what we so commit to understanding the implications of not keeping our word.
How many today commit to walking in fellowship with others and as soon as the relationship demands a deeper level of devotion, especially to walking in obedience to the Word of Elohim, do many simply opt out as it would cost them something and so easily criticise forgetting their commitment they made to walk together - why? Because it got too hard for them and would cost them to step out of their selfish comfort zone! The charachter of supposed love is revealed and suddenly what seemed to be 'good fruit' has turned sour!!! Why? All becuase of broken vows!!! The words we speak will hold us accountable before Yahweh!
Matthew 12:35-37 “The good man brings forth what is good from the good treasures of his heart, and the wicked man brings forth what is wicked from the wicked treasure. 36 “And I say to you that for every idle word men speak, they shall give an account of it in the day of judgement. 37 For by your words you shall be declared righteous, and by your words you shall be declared unrighteous.
Yahshua teaches us that we must keep our word by letting our yes be yes and no be no!
Matthew 5:34-37 “But I say to you, do not swear vainly at all, neither by heaven, because it is Elohim’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Yerushalayim, for it is the city of the Sovereign; 36 nor swear by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. 37 But let your word ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’ be ‘No’ and what goes beyond these is from the wicked one.
What Yahshua was saying hear is not that you cannot make a vow, for He didn’t nullify Torah, but rather that when you make any form of vow do not do it falsely. Don’t say yes when you really mean no and vice versa. One thing we see today is that people keep there options open by saying maybe – we need to learn to commit to yes and no being yes and no, anything other than that is falsehood and falsehood is from the evil one! To swear falsely is to profane the name of Yahweh!
Yiphtah’s vow was twofold – ‘whatever’ would meet him when he returned home would be dedicated to YHWH, if it was a person; and if it was an animal it would be sacrificed! Why do I say that, well when you look at Scripture and understand that Yiphtah knew Torah then this passage makes great sense. He was met by his only daughter, and he gave her or dedicated her to Yahweh – to serve Yahweh at the tabernacle. We do know from Scripture that women did serve at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 38:8 / 1 Samuel 2:22). His daughter having been the first to greet him was now to remain a virgin, never marry, never have kids – never know the joy of motherhood and continue her father’s line of inheritance in Israel. This was enough to cause her and her friends to spend 2 months grieving. What did she mourn? Her virginity! Nowhere in Scripture do we see that Yiphtah actually killed his daughter, nor do we see anyone mourning her death. The emphasis is placed on the fact that she would remain a virgin. It is hard to believe that they would establish a custom to commemorate a sacrifice of a human being; but it is very clear that they would commemorate and celebrate the devotion and obedience of Yiphtah’s daughter in helping her father fulfil his vow. She certainly deserves to stand with Isaac as an example of a faithful child, willing to obey her father and Yahweh, no matter the cost. In verse 31 the word translated and is the Hebrew letter ‘ו’ (waw, pronounced – ‘vav’) which can be translated as ‘and’ but also as ‘or’. Yiphtah here is saying that whatever comes out – if it is a person they will be dedicated to service unto Yahweh ‘or’ if it is an animal it will be offered up as a sacrifice to Yahweh presuming that it is a clean animal that is!!! His daughter comes out and she is then dedicated to lifetime service unto Yahweh and she willingly obeys – she understood what Paul writes about in Romans 12 – that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Elohim – for this is our reasonable act of worship!
When we have accepted Yahshua as Saviour and Master, we must realise the cost of that commitment brought forth out of our hearts and spoken from our lips – our word to Him must be kept!!! As we can learn from Yiphtah – it doesn’t matter the circumstances of our upbringing or where we come from – we can know Yahweh and be used by Him!
What we have to understand in this account is that Yiphtah knew Torah and child sacrifices were against the Torah:
Deuteronomy 12:31 “Do not do so to YHWH your Elohim, for every abomination which YHWH hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones.
Deuteronomy 18:10 “Let no one be found among you who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire…
Human sacrifices were an abomination to Yahweh and Yiphtah knew this – he would not willingly make a vow with Yahweh that was an abomination to Yahweh! The law of vows permitted monetary redemption of persons vowed to Yahweh, but a person devoted to Yahweh could not be redeemed. Yiphtah committed his daughter to life long service to Yahweh at the tabernacle, and only priests would have been allowed to offer sacrifices, and Yiphtah was not a priest and the priests would not have sacrificed a human!
In verse 40 we see that every year the women would ‘lament’ for four days – possibly during one of the feasts. The word we have translated as lament is the Hebrew word “Tanah” which is only used twice n Scripture and should be correctly translated as celebrated or commemorate or praised and rejoiced. This leads us to correctly assume that the women would go every year to rejoice and celebrate with Yiphtah’s daughter who was serving at the tabernacle.
I have mentioned these critical points in order for us to understand that Yiphtah was not rash or foolish in his vows and then kills his daughter, no he was a man who knew the Torah, lived by it and followed it wholeheartedly by faith and that is what got him listed is the faith hall of fame in Hebrews 11.

Some lessons we can take from this great sequence of events in the life of Yiphtah, which I would like us to discuss together is:
1 – There may at time be in the life of true believers some doubt and distrust, but we ought to take heart that the Spirit if Yahweh is with us to lead and guide us. Yiphtah had the Spirit yet still hesitated a little and so his faith was tested by his vows. His faith was tested by the very confession of his mouth!
2 – It is not evil to make vows with Yahweh, especially when in pursuit or expectation of His mercy. To make vows to Yahweh in terms of acceptable service to him, not as a purchase for favour we desire, but as an expression of gratitude to Him and the deep sense we have of our obligation to render unto Him our complete worship according to what he has done for us, is good and pleasing – we must keep our word!
3 – We must be very cautious and well advised before making any vows, so that we do not get caught up in a present emotion of zeal where we end up entangling our own conscience and be forced to say it was an error!
4 – That which we have vowed to do, according to the Word, we must do! Do not make vows that go against the Word! We must embrace the sense of powerful obligation that Yiphtah displayed. “I have given my word, I cannot turn back!” Apply this to your commitment to follow Yahshua – he who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for service in the Kingdom of Elohim! In our vow to the Covenant of Grace made with sinners in the Blood of Messiah, we must follow Him and His Torah!!! We should commit to an obedient life of worship unto Him, born out of a love for Him!
5 – Yiphtah’s daughter is a wonderful picture of children obeying their parents in Yahweh and magnifies the 5th commandment.
6 – Our friend’s grievances should become ours as we carry each others burdens. Yiphtah’s daughter mourned her virginity and so did her friends. Those who will only rejoice with you and not weep with you are unworthy to be called friends!
7 – Yiphtah’s rough childhood didn’t affect him from following Yahweh faithfully, he held no bitterness of the past!
8 – He was a peacemaker and appealed to Yahweh for the victory rather than relying on the arm of the flesh – He knew where his help came from!
9 – Most importantly – he didn’t go back on his word and had a wonderful trust relationship with his daughter which would have been built through the knowledge of Torah, for she too knew Torah – He had taught his daughter well, bringing her up in the Word of Truth that would cause her not to hesitate in following Yahweh with her all!

I thought it would be a great time to ask a couple of questions and have a short discussion on what you glean from the account of Yiphtah’s calling, commitment and his vow:
1 – Do you know anyone like Yiphtah, who was treated like an outcast by their family? How has this affected them in their lives and walk with Yahshua?

2 – When the elders came to Yiphtah to ask for his help in fighting the Ammonites, what was his response? How do you respond when those who have wronged you suddenly need something from you? What is the right response?

3 – Why do you think Yiphtah made a vow? Was it to raise the moral of his men?

4 – Have you ever made a vow to Yahweh? Did you keep it or break it?

5 – How important do you consider the words you speak? Do you think before you speak or are you a motor mouth?

6 – What can you take from this chapter in Judges?

7 – Other questions?

Let us pray and ask Yahweh to teach us to guard our hearts and minds in Messiah Yahshua that the words we speak will not be in vain but carry with it great authority an power in His name binging forth the good treasure that by His Spirit and Truth is stored up in our hearts as we obediently listen to, learn and walk in his Word!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Numbers 16

sermon preached on Friday 11-06-2010
Praise YHWH tonight, it is always so great to come together. I know that world cup fever has hit with it starting today, but come on we have more to celebrate, amen! We have the privilege of being in YHWH’s presence together. Shabbat Shalom to you all as we remember to ‘keep’ His Sabbath ‘holy’.
Illus: A man went to a monastery and spoke only 2 words a year! 1st year – “bed’s hard”; 2nd year – “food’s cold”; 3rd year – “I quit”. The father of the monastery replied, “No wonder, all you’ve done since you got here is complain!”
How many of you like to complain? Now I know you won’t admit it, but boy do we all love to complain!!! My message tonight is called, “Complaining by Numbers!” Does that mean a lot of complaining or what – well if the shoe fits then listen carefully! We are going to look, listen and learn from the book of Numbers tonight and see how Israel too just loved to complain, and a little more than 2 words a year I might add!!! I am certain that most of you never like to complain, right? But you just can’t help it! Today people are complaining as much if not more than the Israelites did in the Wilderness. Today people complain in their jobs – about their bosses, their pay, their hours, their bonuses and benefits etc.
Illus: in Mexico there are regions where you will find hot and cold springs side by side, and this very convenient natural phenomenon has caused many women to come and bring their laundry, where they boil it in the hot spring and rinse it in the cold one right beside it. A tourist remarked one day that this is surely a much appreciated blessing from Yahweh, that He would provide so much free hot and cold water. The guide replied, “No, senor, there is much grumbling because He does not supply the soap!”
No soap – how is that! Well Israel was not much different – they were constant grumblers and yes they complained by numbers! I want us to briefly look tonight at some of the grumbling that took place in Numbers and learn from these examples.
1 Corinthians 10:10-12 “And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfilment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
Do not grumble – do not complain Paul instructed the Corinthians as he reminds us of how serious complaining is. Oh boy did you have to talk about complaining? Come on how many of you have complained lately?
Numbers 16 is part of this weeks Torah reading and there was a whole lot of grumbling going on in the Wilderness. One thing we have to admire as we read these accounts is the sheer humility and meekness of Moses who put up with a whole lot!
Let’s briefly look at some of the grumbling that led up to our passage for tonight –
In Numbers 11 the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of YHWH and the fire of YHWH consumed the outskirts of the camp. Moses cried out to YHWH and interceded for the Israelites and the fire died down at a place called ‘Taberah’ meaning ‘burning’. They complained when it got hard – now I know none of us do that, right? In the same chapter they also complained about their food conditions – they longed for the food from Mitsrayim (Egypt) where they remembered the fish they ate and the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic etc – listen you got to be desperate to remember how good veggies taste!!!
Now they were complaining about the manna they had to eat every day! Once again Moses cries out to YHWH and intercedes and they get quail, and a whole lot a quail too – they ate until it came out of their nostrils and became an abomination before YHWH, after which He sent them into a plague at a place called “Kibroth Hattavah” meaning “graves of craving’, because they buried the people who had lusted, craved and were killed in the plague!
These Israelites were just never happy – I mean you could have given them steak and they probably would have wanted roast chicken; they were not happy because they focused on what they couldn’t have. How true that is today –people are constantly moaning about stuff you cannot have – isn’t that coveting!!!
In Numbers 12 - Miriam and Aaron complained against Moses and what happened – Miriam became leprous, again Moses cried out after Aaron pleads with him and she is shut out of the camp 7 days before she can return healed.
In Numbers 13 the Israelites complained after the bad report they received form the 10 of the 12 spies that came back from checking out Canaan. We know that Joshua and Caleb were the only two that brought back an encouraging report, yet the people listened to the 10 and feared because of the giants! You see complaining is often a simple cover up for fear. When we are afraid, we tend to complain and grumble to justify the reason not to do something we should, am I right?
In Numbers 14 – the whole community raised their voices against Moses and Aaron, wanting to appoint another leader to lead them back to Mitsrayim (Egypt), Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes. YHWH told them they would now spend 40 years in the Wilderness 1 year for everyday they spied out the land and that generation except Joshua and Caleb would perish and not see the Promised Land. The 10 who gave the bad report died from a plague from YHWH!
This is some serious complaining going on – and yes complaining is serious and it is contagious! I mean if you just let 1 disgruntled employee get upset about something and start grumbling about and stirring up the rest, and soon you can have a strike on your hands. Just think about it 12 spies go out – 2 give a raving report and the other 10 a bad cowardly report and from the influence of 10 around 2, 4 million people complained!!! Complaining by Numbers is an understatement!
Now let us turn to our reading for tonight – Numbers 16 – and yes you guessed it – more complaining!! (Read)
Wow, these guys were seasoned complainers, I mean they have seen people die, seen people consumed by fire, swallowed up by the earth, they have seen the hand of YHWH in miraculous ways and they still complain – I would have kept my mouth shut and obeyed – how about you?
Now the people were complaining about their leadership. One of the biggest targets of complaints in any group of people is the leadership. Let me tell you if you want people to say untrue stuff about you, just become a leader, become a supervisor or a manager or shift leader etc. Leaders complain about their leaders! How many of you are in a leadership role of some sort? You know the reality is that as disciples of Yahshua Messiah we are all leaders – for the commission He has given us is to go and make other disciples, baptising them in His name and teaching them to obey His Torah as He promises to be with us and is with us by His Spirit – we are to lead people to Messiah! Well now you know you too are not just a potential leader – you are one - so start leading people to the Truth, amen! Try being a Pastor – you will get all sorts of criticisms – I know!!!
There are many out there, again it is always those out there – that will never submit to any form of authority and refuse to follow any form of leadership, and not allow anyone to lead them or tell them what to do – they just want to be left alone. They can never hold down a job or relationship too long and struggle to subject themselves to the leadership of another, and in their lack of submission can even cause others to follow their ways – like I said we are all leaders – are you aware of who or how you are leading others?
Ezekiel was told by YHWH twice in chapter 2 of Ezekiel to go and speak to the Israelites what YHWH had told him to whether they would listen or whether they would refuse for they were a rebellious house! We must realise that we may not always be well received when conveying the Truth, but that should not stop us and we do it in love! Today it is pretty much the same as in the Wilderness and in Ezekiel’s day, while they were in exile – people still today do not want to listen – especially to the Word – they want their ears tickled with lies as they bury their heads in the sand refusing to see the Truth that is right in front of them – and when they do see a glimpse of truth they complain about it, instead of embracing it and moving in the promises of YHWH.
In this chapter we see a two fold rebellion united into one. Korah, a Levite wanted more than what he had – he wanted the priesthood – he wanted to be high priest – he wanted Aaron’s position! He took with him Reubenites - Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliyab, and On son of Peleth and they rose up against Moses with another 250 leaders of the council. They assembled against Moses and Aaron and defied their leadership! Now again you have too admire the meekness of Moses – because this rebellion would have driven many a men to throwing in the towel, exhausting them beyond repair – but they failed to break Moses – why? Because Moses was the most humble man on the earth, but more than that, he was humble because he fully trusted in and fully obeyed YHWH and he showed great restraint and compassion in the face of much opposition! Enduring patience of this servant of YHWH shone brightly in the way he encountered these rebels.
What is it about the human heart that makes it so easy to simply ‘follow the crowd’ and disobey YHWH? YHWH had made it very clear who His appointed leaders were and that they were to accept that and respect their authority. It is a very dangerous thing to challenge YHWH’s order and promote themselves into premature leadership.
Jude 11 mentions the rebellion of Korah as one of the marks of false teachers in the last days – and we can all certainly agree that we see a united rebellion against the authority of Moses and the representation of the Aaron priesthood – which was a foreshadow of YHWH’s salvation by Blood. To top this rebellion off – Korah was a cousin of Moses!
To put this story in a nutshell it is plain to see that rebelling against Moses meant rejecting the Word of YHWH – and symbolises for us a rejection of the torah of YHWH. To rebel against Aaron meant rejecting the work of YHWH on the altar – symbolically for us today – rejecting the work of Yahshua in giving up His life as the Sacrificial Lamb!
Korah coveted Aaron’s role – he was not satisfied with the fact that he was already a Levite called out and separated from the congregation and brought near to YHWH, and serve in the dwelling place and stand before the congregation and serve – he wanted more! Moses then put this rebellion to the test by telling them all to bring their fire holders and to burn incense before YHWH. Moses knew what happened before with Nadab and Abihu when they offered profane fire before YHWH – they were struck down by YHWH! This offering of incense was the most coveted service of the high priest before entering the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement – so this was no simple task that was being used as a test to show whom YHWH had chosen! It was here that Moses exposed the hearts of Korah’s intentions – he was looking for the role of high priest. He wanted position and prominence and power – his heart was full of pride! YHWH gives grace to the humble but rejects the proud!
There was also a rebellion against Moses’ leadership like I said – Dathan and Abiram:
• They were upset that Moses took them from a land flowing with milk and honey – they twisted the words of YHWH and were saying Egypt was the land of milk and honey and they wanted to go back
• They did not want to die in the wilderness
• They did not like Moses’ leadership
• They wanted land, their inheritance promised and their vineyards Now!
In other words Dathan and Abiram were concerned with earthly matters. So we see hear two contrasting rebellions occurring simultaneously together as one! Korah wanted the priesthood and Dathan and Abiram wanted the good life on earth – two agendas joined into one – and may I say this still happens today as we see through the history of the Catholic Church in how the blending desire to hold the power of spiritual matters as well as the wealth of the world in one setting was birthed, in their plot to build a One World system of economics and worship! We see this today in the lives of many believers – they reject the Word, although they may confess that they accept the Word as all authority, yet do not obey it and they then trample on the work of Yahshua by walking wilfully in disregard for His commands. People today too want the world and all its desires and they want the power to tell others what to do. Let me tell you what happens with coveting what is not yours to take:
Dathan and Abiram had a problem with Moses and in their evil desires they were only interested in fulfilling the flesh and its desires – wanting wealth and pleasure no matter the cost or consequences of how they would try to get it and you know what? They wanted earthly desires and the earth swallowed them up!
Those 250, who were offering incense, seeking heavenly aspirations, although very misguided, were consumed by fire from YHWH for profane worship, just as Nadab and Abihu were previously – YHWH is consistent – He does not change! He is the same yesterday, today and forever!
These men had scorned YHWH, they treated YHWH with contempt – to know the will of YHWH and wilfully refuse to abide in it is rebellion against YHWH – Korah had rebelled against a divine order as laid down in the Torah. Today we see the same thing – people wilfully disobeying the Torah and unless they repent they will face the consequences of their rebellion!
As if enough hadn’t happened to these people that in verse 41 they end up complaining about the consequences of complaining! They blamed Moses for the 250 that were killed! They wanted to complain but did not want to be corrected! Boy is that true today! These accusations against Moses were so ridiculous – Moses didn’t kill them! YHWH opened up the ground and YHWH consumed those who sought premature positions of prominence.
Sadly the spiritually blind will always misinterpret the Word and Work of YHWH and come against YHWH’s own – take heart for we see how people treated Moses and how he handled the pressure. What we can also learn is that we cannot expect to sin wilfully and avoid the circumstances, we cannot expect to walk in wilful rebellion and think it is ok, we cannot reject the Word and expect to be blessed; although we do have a High Priest who intercedes for us and YHWH has promised us that if we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. These guys wanted to complain but didn’t want to accept any responsibility for their actions – no accountability – sounds familiar to many today! Let’s face it they complained a lot, but what did they want?
They wanted:
• Provision and plenty of it – they wanted to stock up and not rely upon YHWH – Yahshua tells us not to worry about tomorrow, about what we will wear or what we will eat or where we will sleep etc.
• Prestige – positions of prominence – they wanted to be looked up to – they wanted to be known and have an esteemed position – Yahshua says that we are to become the least and serve, be able to wash others feet!
• Peer approval – they wanted to fit in with the crowd – ‘keep up with the Jones’’ – They wanted to be popular and liked – Yahshua says that the world will hate you because it hated Him!
• Power – they wanted to tells others what to do and not be told – They wanted to shout the orders but not receive any – we are to be led by Yahshua – the very Living Word and abide in it
• To Place the blame on others – did not want to bear responsibility for actions – Yahshua tells us to carry each others burdens and we are told that by bearing each others burdens – that is loving each other we too fulfil the Torah of Messiah! Let us encourage each other and not blame each other!
Their complaining was a result of wrong motives in their heart. All they wanted to do was complain instead of seeking YHWH. What advantages are there of just complaining without cause – None! Again I say None!
The problem with simply complaining is that we tend to get into our own pity party and never take our cares to YHWH. Yahshua tells us that all who are heavy laden should come to him and He will give them rest. When we have a complaint or burden, we must take it to Him in prayer and allow his peace to fill us to overflowing joy that we may praise Him!
What were the consequences of their complaints by Numbers?
• Fire from YHWH destroys outskirts of camp
• Plague falls and grumblers are destroyed
• Miriam turned leprous and expelled for 7 days
• 40 years of Wilderness Wanderings – 1 year for every day the spies checked out the land!
• 10 negative spies killed
• 250 profane worshippers consumed by fire
• Dothan and Abiram and Korah swallowed up by the ground
• Plague destroys 14700 before Aaron stood in the gap to stop the plague

Warning regarding complaining:
As I looked at this passage this week, I thought that it was about leadership and following leadership – which it is but it also about a whole lot of complaining! These two go hand in hand:
Complaining happens when we don’t accept YHWH’s appointed leadership, be it in the assembly or in the work place, and we know that all authority is given by YHWH. We also find that leaders too complain and set bad examples for others to follow. We read that 1 Corinthians 10 reminds us that if we think we are standing we must be careful lest we fall!
Don’t let others pull you in to complaining, be content with what you have – Paul said that he had learnt to be content in every situation and we would do well to do just that! Be grateful for what YHWH has given you – he has given you eternal life in Yahshua and we are to live the abundant life of worship right here and now no matter what we face, expressing our gratitude and thanks in loving obedience to his Word – His Torah, declaring an offering of praise from our lips as we proclaim His name!
General lessons for us to from Complaining by Numbers:
1 – The greatest storm of trial will not overthrow the one who makes YHWH his strength! Moses began, carried on and finished his conflict with Korah with prayer, and hence his unfailing meekness – he truly was the most humble man!
2 – Sympathising and joining those who are walking in error and unrighteousness brings guilt on the whole community, and this displeases YHWH for it shows lack of faith – for without faith it is impossible to please Him and may bring down His discipline. YHWH disciplines those he loves – amen!
3 – Moses and Aarons endurance of abuse from the rebels and their successful and continued intercession for those who attacked them is for us a picture of our Messiah. Yahushua endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself and He prayed, “Father please forgive them” and thousands were forgiven. Messiah’s priesthood which men despised – is always greatly glorified in their salvation! Look at Shaul (Paul) –at one time against Yahshua and the Way, then touched by grace became a champion for Yahshua, bringing glory to His name!
4 – The best answer we can give to those who laugh at the legitimacy of our obedient worship unto YHWH is to stand in the gap in prayer as Aaron stood between the living and the dead. We have one who intercedes for us – Yahshua our High Priest forever and in Him we too can intercede for others.
Ok so a lesson on complaining – the key to avoiding the trap of complaining by numbers is the attitude of the heart! What is to be upon our heart – well as children of the Most High, we have written on our hearts His Torah and we are to walk in it, guarding our hearts in His grace! Whatever is in your heart will be evident in your life:
Proverbs 23:7 “for as a man thinks so he is
1 Samuel 16:7 “…YHWH does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outside but YHWH looks at the heart.
Proverbs 20:27 “The spirit of man is the lamp of YHWH, searching all his inmost parts.
We must guard our hearts and have attitudes of rejoicing and thankfulness as we look forward to the blessed hope of the return of our Messiah.
Let me end with these encouraging closing remarks from:
Hebrews 13: 5-9 &15 “Let your way of life be without love of silver, and be satisfied with what you have. For He Himself said, “I shall never leave you nor forsake you,” 6 so that we boldly say, “YHWH is my helper, I shall not fear what man shall do to me.” 7 Remember those leading you, who spoke the Word of Elohim to you. Consider the outcome of their behaviour and imitate their faith. 8 Yahshua Messiah is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. 9 Do not be born about by various and strange teachings. For it is good for the heart to be established by favour, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied by them. … 15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Let us confess His name, worship his name, revere His name, love His name, and proclaim His name, amen!
No more complaining by Numbers but instead let us adopt an attitude of praising by numbers, can you say with me halleluYah! HalleluYah!
What complaints do you have? What have you been complaining about lately? Your boss, your pay, your work, a relationship? What about obedience to the Word of Elohim? What about total submission to the work of Yahshua? Have you too been in rebellion against the very Word of YHWH, wanting prominence, position, power and prestige no matter the cost? Have you sought to ‘lord’ over others and refuse to be led grace in to obedient living? Take this time to allow your hearts to be open before YHWH and surrender your all to Him and allow your lips be turned to praise for His name as He fills your with His unfailing love! The Israelites complained by numbers as they went through the Wilderness, let us today learn from these events and as we look forward to the hope and glory of the return of our Messiah Yahshua, let us drop the complaining and rather praise by numbers, amen!


Joshua 2

sermon preached on Friday 04 -06 - 2010
If you could change something about yourself what would it be? Would you want to be taller, shorter, thinner, lighter, heavier, leaner, more hair, less hair, less freckles etc? Did you know that YHWH does want to change certain things about you? And it is not so much about what is on the outside; it is not the colour of your eyes, or the size of your feet, no – He wants to change what is on the inside. He wants our lives to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in order that we may know His good, pleasing and perfect will amen! He does not want us to be conformed to the pattern of the world – and what typically is that world pattern? It’s all about me! That is not what He wants – it is not all about you, He wants His Word to transform us – to transform our selfishness into selflessness – He wants us to turn our habit of worrying into a routine of trusting! We need to learn how to trust YHWH. Tonight I want us to look at the kind of faith that truly transforms – how faith in the true Living Elohim can bring about huge change. In order to do this I would like us to learn from the story of Rahab, for she certainly represents us who have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of Elohim, yet through faith in Him He works it all out for our good – for us who are called according to His purposes in Messiah, amen! In Joshua 2 we can learn a great deal from the extraordinary faith of Rahab – the kind of faith that got her listed in Hebrews 11 with Abraham and other great men of faith. She was, like Abraham, considered righteous for what she did in exercising her faith in YHWH.
Please turn with me to Joshua 2 and let us read: (Read)
I love the book of Joshua, it is such a great testimony of faith in YHWH that works, and is always an encouraging book to read that certainly stirs one’s faith. Today we are living in perilous times, certainly crime is reaching new levels and increasing daily; moral values have slumped to an all time low – pretty much like the days of Noah – Yahshua said that the end days will be as terrible as in the days of Noah – and I think we can all agree that the days are evil, and people have certainly become lovers of themselves rather than lovers of YHWH. So what does this have to do with the story of Rahab?
Rahab is a great example for us today on what true saving faith brings about, no matter what we face or the trials that may lie ahead.
Joshua is a great book for us to learn from as to how, even in the life of Joshua, YHWH used the pressures of slavery in Egypt, the humility of serving under Moses and the exposure to YHWH personally to mould him into the man who would lead Israel out of the Wilderness into the Promised Land. YHWH does the same with each of us today:
When we go through difficulties and face trials that don’t seem to make sense, we must realise that this is the very time that YHWH is doing His deepest work in us and like James tells us – we ought to rejoice! When it seems like the bottom of your world is falling apart – have reason to rejoice as YHWH is at work. Trials drive us to our knees in prayer as we are reminded of our absolute dependency upon YHWH. No matter what we go through – He can and will work it out for our benefit, even though it is hard to see it at the time. Just think about Joshua – when he was a slave in Egypt – do you think he thought about how YHWH would use this experience in the future?
As we look at the story of Rahab we see a woman who despite knowing what was about to take place – acted completely different than all the others in Jericho – she believed in the Living Elohim! She didn’t know much about YHWH – she certainly would not have known the Torah! Another example that the Torah does not save you, but it is salvation by grace through faith in the Living Elohim! She would have heard stories of what YHWH had done and that was enough to put her trust in Him! We too should learn from this!!! To fear Him is where it all begins!
Her fear and knowledge (although limited at the time) of YHWH, caused her to trust in YHWH, not run from Him!
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
She may not have understood all about YHWH yet she trusted Him enough to submit to Him:
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in YHWH with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, and in all your ways acknowledge Him.
All too often we see that we only want to trust in YHWH as long as we understand! When we don’t understand we easily distrust and it should not be like that – Rahab shows us that – that even with limited understanding of YHWH – little knowledge of the Holy One can bring us to a place of total trust in Him. Praise YHWH that He has given us His Word that tells us all about Him and by hearing His very Word will produce faith in Him.
Let us look at Rahab’s faith, perhaps better broken down for us into four categories or descriptions of her bold faith:
Hebrews 11:31 “By faith, Rahab the whore did not perish with those who did not believe, having received the spies with peace.
James 2:25 “In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them of in a different direction?
These two verses from the N.T. tell us that Rahab put her faith in YHWH when she welcomed the spies. She demonstrated faith similar, in essence, to the people in Thessalonica that Paul described in 1 Thessalonians 1:9, who had turned from serving their own idols to serve the True Living Elohim, unlike the people of Samaria who, centuries later, “feared YHWH and at the same time served their own ‘gods’ (2 Kings 17:33) – Mixed worship or mixing the true with the false is called compromise! Many today are compromising their worship – they say they fear YHWH yet they are still serving their own desires and whims and they want to worship YHWH their way and not His!!! Rahab was not compromised as she certainly displayed courageous faith. It takes great courage today to worship YHWH in Spirit and in Truth.
Courage, according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary is: “the mean, mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger or hardship”. It implies “firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty”.
Faith as we know from the Bible in Hebrews is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.
So then ‘courageous faith’ could be described as “Having the mental and moral strength to resist opposition and having firmness of mind and will in the face of extreme difficulties, by being sure of the hope we have in Messiah and the certainty that although we do not see Him He fights for us and He has already won the battle for us and we can claim the victory that is ours.” It is this kind of faith we need in today’s battles.
Rahab displayed courageous faith as the spies divinely land up at her door, letting them in and hiding them. She risked her life and demonstrated her faith in YHWH – her actions were proof that she believed in YHWH! This story is also a remarkable one in which we clearly see how YHWH in His grace can and will use people that we may not necessarily think he would.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 “But Elohim chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; Elohim chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

YHWH will use you when you live out your faith courageously for Him, despite your past, despite your position, despite your nationality or status, despite your limited knowledge – he is constantly looking to and fro for hearts that will be courageous in the faith in Him. Will you risk your life in living out courageous faith that does not mix worship and so compromise your faith?
As I have said in the past, faith is only as good as its object. Some people have faith in faith, thinking that just by believing hard enough they can make things happen. Others put their faith in lies, which is simply called superstition. In Jeremiah 16:19 we see how he cries out and says that in the day of distress, speaking of the time of the end, people from all nations will come and say that our fathers have inherited lies. Many are putting their faith in the centuries of lies inherited by our fathers of the past, and we need to repent and return to the true Living Word and put out faith in YHWH and His Word instead of the traditions of men that has twisted the truth of how we live to worship YHWH.
True saving faith involves the ‘whole personality’ of a person: That is that the (1) mind is instructed; (2) the emotions are stirred and (3) the will then acts in obedience to the Torah of YHWH – Obedience to His Instructions. You see keeping His instructions doesn’t save you – it is because we are saved that our confident faith causes us to live in total obedience, yes total obedience!
In Hebrews 11:7 it says that “By Faith Noah, being warned of things not yet seen (his intellect/mind), moved with fear (his emotions) and prepared an ark (his will/actions).
Rahab displayed this kind of faith too – She knew that YHWH was the True Living Elohim (mind); she feared for herself and her family when she heard about the great wonders YHWH had performed (emotions) and she received the spies and pleaded for the salvation of her family (will).
What we must understand is that unless the whole personality is involved, it is not saving faith as Scripture describes!
We must also realise that the mind does not have to be fully instructed in every aspect of Scriptural Truth before a sinner can be saved. If we just look at the woman who was bleeding for 12 years – touching the hem of Yahshua – touching His Tzit-tzit for there is healing in His wings – she simply acted on the little knowledge she had heard of Him and her faith was stirred to action that led to deliverance!
Rahab’s knowledge of YHWH was not much; she would have grown in knowledge as she heard the stories of all who had come and stayed at her inn. She acted on what she knew and YHWH saved her. Rahab showed more faith than the ten spies who, 40 years before, had brought back a negative report to Moses, when she said, “I know that YHWH has given you the land.” Her faith was based on facts and not just on feelings as she had heard of the miracles YHWH had performed starting with the parting of the Red Sea. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Elohim – Rahab had heard the Word of Elohim and believed! She was confident in her faith in YHWH. The report of YHWH had travelled to Canaan and the people were afraid; and this is exactly what Israel expected to happen as YHWH always keeps His Word. He said in Exodus 15:14-16 that the nations would hear and tremble and that Canaan would melt away and terror and dread would fall upon them. YHWH is faithful to His Word! He told Israel in Deuteronomy 2:25 that from that day He would put terror and fear of them under all the nations under heaven. They would hear reports and would tremble! Jericho was certainly trembling. Rahab confirmed this in verse 11 and declares by faith that YHWH alone is Elohim in the heavens above and the earth beneath. This was a great confession by a woman whose life had been imprisoned by pagan idolatry. She believed in the One Elohim and not in the multitudes of false ‘gods’ that was being worshipped. She declared by faith YHWH alone is Elohim. She believed that YHWH was a personal Elohim when she said to the spies, “your Elohim”, and understood that YHWH, a personal Elohim would work on behalf of those who trusted in Him. And so now she too put her trust and faith in the One True Living Elohim – YHWH the Elohim of heaven and earth.
The confidence that we have as children of the Most High comes from the witness of the Word before us and the witness of His Spirit within us. However, salvation is not simply based on what we know from Scriptures or how we feel in our hearts, but is also based on how we live – for if there is no change in one’s behaviour then they may not be truly born again.
Even the demons believe that He exists – we are to allow the Word change our lives, to transform our thinking and live to please YHWH. Without faith we cannot please Him and anything done without faith is sin and in 1 John 5:17 it says that all unrighteousness is sin. What is sin again? It is ‘missing the mark’ – it is separation from Elohim. Torah is ‘aiming in the right direction and walking in it’ – Walking in Torah is the opposite to walking in sin. Deuteronomy 6:25 it tells us that if we are careful to obey His commands before Him as He has commanded us to, that will be our righteousness. Praise Yahshua that we have become the righteousness of Elohim through Messiah and now as we walk in Him we too walk in righteousness by faith, obey all He commands us to, not to be saved, but because He has saved us, amen!
James 2:14-16 “My brothers, what use is it for anyone to say he has faith but does not have works? This faith is unable to save him. 15 And if a brother or sister is naked and in need of daily food, but one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” 16 but you do not give them bodily needs, what use is it? 17So also faith, if it does not have works, is in itself dead.
We must possess faith that works, amen! It is not enough to simply say, “Lord, Lord” or “Adonai, Adonai” or “Master, Master” – we must obey what He tells us to do! Many will come and call out to Yahshua by a title, having done all sorts of wonderful things – casting out demons, performing miracles, prophesying etc and He will tell them He does not know them and those who work lawlessness must depart from Him. Our faith must be an obedient faith, obedient to His very Word that stays the same forever!
Rahab’s obedience was evident of a changed life – and this was an act of grace – she was like the rest of Jericho who were destined to die, because Israel was about to destroy them. Rahab was a gentile, one who was outside of the covenant shown to Israel and here by grace through faith she was grafted in and brought near. She didn’t deserve to be saved, but YHWH had mercy on her.
This is a wonderful example to us of the awesome grace and mercy of YHWH toward all who put their faith in Him:
Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men) — 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah Yahshua you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Messiah.
Rahab truly experienced what Paul writes about in Ephesians 2, being made alive in Messiah and becoming One, being grafted in to the covenants (plural)of promise. Praise YHWH that we may possess and approach Him with confident faith through the blood of Messiah.
Rahab wasn’t just looking out for self; she was not only interested in her own welfare; because once she personally experienced the grace and mercy of YHWH she was burdened to rescue her family from what was coming! When you experience YHWH’s grace and mercy, you cannot but help reaching out for others to experience it too. When Andrew met Yahshua he went immediately and called his brother Simon to come and meet Yahshua (John 1:35-42). The leper who was cleansed went home and told everybody he net what Yahshua had done for him (Mark 1:40-45).
Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
Do you have a concerned faith – a faith that is concerned about others coming to the knowledge of our Saviour Messiah Yahshua? Rahab wanted assurance that when the city was taken she would be safe and the two spies gave her the assurance she would be safe by pledging their lives for hers – they became surety for Rahab.
What a wonderful picture here how Yahshua has become our surety – the guarantee of a better covenant. He died for us to take away the punishment for our sins, and now lives that we may live forever – we have eternal surety in Messiah, who is able to save all who come to YHWH through Him, for Yahshua always lives to intercede for us!
Rahab was not permitted to speak to anyone other than her relatives, otherwise the agreement would be cancelled. Today we as believers are to make known to everybody the price that Yahshua has paid – that redemption price –paid with His very own Blood so that all who call on His name shall be saved. In contrast if Rahab talked too much, her life was in danger, whereas today if we do not talk enough, the lives of many around us are in danger of destruction and death! I want to ask you – do you posses concerned faith for others? Or are you happy to save you own butt? We need to proclaim the Good News and tell as many as we come in to contact with. The days are coming when the wrath of Elohim will be poured out and we must tell others to come into the ‘house/family of YHWH’ – the house/family/people that is covered by the Blood Covenant of Messiah Yahshua!
A covenant is an agreement or contract between two or more parties, with conditions laid down for all parties to obey. The Covenants in Scripture were given a sign or token to remind the people of what had been promised. The Covenant with Noah was marked by a rainbow; the Covenant of salvation by grace with Abraham was sealed in circumcision, which today is circumcision of the heart through immersion/baptism into water. At Mount Sinai the Book of the Covenant and the people were sprinkled with blood, and Yahshua at the Passover Meal took the Bread and broke it and took the Cup as tokens or the Renewed Covenant, that through His Blood we have now been brought near to the covenants (plural) of the promise.
Rahab was instructed to hang a scarlet thread or cord/ rope in the window, identifying the ‘house of safety’ when the army of Israel would come attack. Scarlet reminds us of Blood, like the blood on the doorposts of the houses in Egypt that the angel of death would pass over, and here the scarlet cord marked the house that would be protected from destruction. Rahab let the men down by that scarlet cord and left it in her window as the sign of the covenant she asked for by faith. Rahab and her family were saved by faith in YHWH, and the fact that she hung the scarlet cord out of her window proved her faith in YHWH.
She was a woman of courage who had to tell all her relatives about the coming judgement and the promise of salvation for all who accept it. This was a dangerous thing to do, and she certainly put her life on the line for the sake of others.
This should encourage us today to not be ashamed of the Good News, to speak the Truth in Love, without fear of rejection. Some may listen, others may not, but as YHWH told Ezekiel to speak to Israel, whether they hear or whether they refuse, so too must we speak, amen! We have a secure covenant with YHWH in Messiah Yahshua and we have the responsibility to plant and water – to share the Good News.
Rahab was listed in Hebrews 11 in what you could call the ‘Faith hall of fame’. YHWH could use Rahab to great effect. Her life changed – from being a prostitute destined for destruction, by faith she believed in the true living Elohim who heard her cry and she was grafted in to Israel, was married to Salmon from Judah and so became one who was named in the lineage of the Messiah!
The lessons we can learn from Rahab is that she believed the news of YHWH’s wrath – do we believe that a time of tribulation is upon us? Rahab realised that YHWH was the only true and great Elohim – there was no other, and knowledge of her sin in the face of the truth caused her to repent and be saved by faith, and in so doing she interceded for her family. A true believer intercedes and petitions YHWH for others. Rahab obeyed the instructions she received, which marked her faith; we too must obey the very instructions (Torah) of Elohim given to us in His Word, written by His Spirit on the hearts of those who believe. You see, His Word is no longer on stone, but now written on the hearts of all who receive Him as Saviour, having the Spirit come and write on our hearts His Word. She then trusted in the promise given, and so she was given the assurance of her faith, she received deliverance from destruction and death; she received a place amoung the people of Elohim and the honour of being included in the line of Messiah.
We live in perilous times and yes there lies ahead days that will be similar to the days of Noah. The question is, will we be a people that just carries on as normal and ignores living true to the Word or will we be like Noah who faithfully proclaimed righteousness, which is living in obedience to YHWH by faith equipped by His grace?
Will we be like Rahab, who despite our past, accept by faith the joy and freedom of walking in obedience to His instructions and in doing so, tell others that they too may come into the House of Israel covered by the Blood of Yahshua and so escape the destruction that is coming to those who do not believe.
Rahab reminds us that it is what we do that demonstrates the reality of our faith. What are you doing as you daily live to demonstrate your faith in YHWH?
Is your faith courageous, confident, concerned for others and established in His everlasting Covenant?
It is never enough to believe that YHWH exists. That knowledge can terrorize as well as transform. The issue is, what will we do with our knowledge of YHWH our Elohim? Rahab made the right choice: she would turn to Him and trust Him. We need to help others who say “I believe” and see that “believing” is not faith until it becomes a personal commitment.
Be encouraged by the account of Rahab and don’t look back to your past but step in by faith into the promises of YHWH and start proclaiming His Kingdom rule right here right now. Be challenged to bring others into the fullness of the knowledge of YHWH as you hear the Truth, learn the Truth and live the Truth, amen!
Rahab’s faith was marked by scarlet – what about yours? Do people see the testimony of the Blood of Yahshua in your life?
I charge you all to live obediently unto YHWH, for this is love for Him; that we obey His commands and they are not burdensome. Let us be guided by the Yoke of Yahshua, His very Word and be marked by Him in the way we live, the way we love and the way we laugh, as we confidently and courageously declare praise to His name and shine His light in this dark world. I asked at the beginning that if you could change anything about yourself what it would be. May the story of Rahab cause your heart to faithfully be devoted to the Word of YHWH being transformed daily into His image.