Saturday, September 03, 2011
SING O BARREN ONE SING!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 54:1-10 / Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 25
Shabbat Shalom… Praise the mighty name of our Elohim and Saviour… יהוה of Hosts is His Name! It is good to sing praise unto our Maker and King, aměn! I will say that again… It is good to sing praise unto our Maker and King, aměn! How many of you find it hard to praise at times? How many of you find it difficult to muster up the ability to really give exceedingly joyous praise unto יהוה, especially when things are tough? Being faithful in praise may be hard, yet very necessary and critical to the individual believer who stays in Messiah! Praise and the ability to worship with much fervent song and rejoicing, as a body together, unto יהוה is vital and is so very important, especially in these days that we are living in!
Tonight in a message called, “Sing, O Barren One, Sing!” I would like us to be encouraged to do just that… and that is to SING! Please turn with me to Yeshayahu/Isaiah 54:1-10… This portion is part of this week’s reading from the prophets. (Read).
Well you can see straight up where my inspiration for a title for this message came from… no brain surgery needed… just the simple ability to heed the call here to sing! The question we ultimately must ask ourselves is whether we will heed this charge to sing or not as this passage speaks a great deal of encouragement to us today about the sure expectation and promise we have, that is secure in our Master יהושע Messiah. Yisra’ĕl at this point in their history was at a really low point. They had gone through a succession of wicked rulers who had led them astray from worshipping and serving יהוה with all their heart, all their being and all their strength, and had whored after other mighty ones of the nations around them. Yisra’ĕl had been divided and weakened – first the Northern Kingdom and then the Southern Kingdom had fallen to their enemies as they were led into captivity because of their wickedness. The land had been laid waste, the walls torn down. Even the Hěḵal of Elohim where they worshipped had been ransacked and destroyed by their enemies. With most of them having been taken captive to their enemies, there remained only a small remnant that remained faithful to יהוה – those who refused to worship idols. But when they looked around, everything was gone. Their Hěḵal, their city, their nation, and their people, now held captive throughout the enemy lands. And it was here that Yeshayahu/Isaiah the prophet of Elohim brought this Word of Elohim to them… with the urging charge to Sing, and not only sing but burst into singing!
The question was though… ‘Could the remnant sing?’ After all Tehillim/Psalm 137:1-4 gives us an idea of their mood and reluctance to singing:
“By the rivers of Baḇel, there we sat down and we wept as we remembered Tsiyon. 2 We hung our lyres upon the willows in the midst of it. 3 For there our captors asked us for the words of a song, and our plunderers for rejoicing, saying, “Sing to us a song of Tsiyon!” 4 How could we sing the song of יהוה on foreign soil?”
I am sure many of you can identify with this kind of mindset, especially when I am asking you to sing and burst into song while you are saying in your heart, “Yeah, sing…huh… how do you expect me to sing… you have no idea what I am going through… and you say ‘sing’… I can’t sing!” and you would be right in one sense … I may not know what you are going through… but I do know that it must not lead to an excuse not to sing unto יהוה!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah is saying that we can sing… and we can sing because of our expectancy in יהוה!
Who is the ‘barren one’ – it is Yisra’ĕl! When one thinks of a barren or sterile woman then people like Sarah, Raḥĕl, and Ḥannah come to mind, before they had borne sons miraculously by the mouth of יהוה! The children of the deserted one are more than the children of the married one – Yisra’ĕl now ‘deserted’ or widow (verse 4) or a divorcee will have more children than what she had when she was married. You have been divorced… but you will be brought back and have many children – this is exactly the picture of Hoshěa – in scattering the Northern Kingdom (10 Tribes) into the nations there will be an abundant harvest of children coming forth as He gathers His lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl!
We can sing and rejoice in Him as we enlarge our tent, lengthen our cords and strengthen our stakes! All of these give us a picture and reminder that we are but sojourners here, and points us back to the Covenant Promise with Aḇraham – who also dwelt in tents. Interestingly the word used here for tent is singular and the cords and stakes are plural! Tent here can also give the meaning tabernacle and as we know that we are the body of Messiah made up of many parts – the image given here is that we are an expanding body and we are to make room for those who are coming in to the ‘tent’, strengthening and being strengthened as one – for the promise is true for us that we shall inherit the earth – the nations will be ours – even though we are but now only sojourning as foreigners! And there is great reason to begin singing now!
יהוה has not forgotten Yisra’ĕl the desolate/deserted woman and we, His Bride, have hope because of who He is!!!
He is a Compassionate Elohim!!! Our Maker is our Husband, יהוה of Hosts is His Name; He, the Set-Apart One of Yisra’ĕl is our Redeemer and is called Elohim of all the earth!!! That is more than enough reason to sing!
יהוה’s plans are sure and secure and we know that he will restore us as a nation unto Himself – as His Bride – and no enemy can stop what He has planned, aměn! And this was the encouragement of this prophetic Word given through Yeshayahu/Isaiah.
The woman (Yisra’ĕl) was called to sing while still barren, without a child. Circumstances had not changed but Yeshayahu/Isaiah calls the people to sing, because יהוה’s plan will come true. It is not just a song of HOPE but also a song of FAITH - trusting what יהוה has spoken and prophesied will come true. He is going to bring His people back!!!
We sing because we have hope. We sing because we have a great future. We can rejoice in the midst of difficult circumstances because what יהוה has promised will come true. The journey may be tough, but the end point is SURE - we’ve a blessed future in Messiah! That is why Sha’ul can say in:
Romiyim/Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the esteem that is to be revealed in us.”
Today, amidst all the chaos and lawless mind-sets, we are to be the remnant that clings to יהוה, holding on to and meditating on His word and be a people of rejoicing – Singing unto our Maker!
We can sing because of the promise of deliverance – יהוה disciplines those He loves and in verse 7 when He says ‘though I have forsaken you, but with great compassion I shall gather you’ – we must understand that in the bigger picture 2730 years (that is 390 years of Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 4 multiplied by 7 (Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:28)) is such a small drop in the ocean compared to eternity with Him – His Covenant of peace will not be shaken!!!
Yisra’ĕl was in exile and were encouraged to sing and rejoice – and so too do we today need to be encouraged to sing and rejoice without letting circumstances stop us from partaking in the great joy of singing and praising our Lovingly-committed Maker and Saviour! Perhaps your current circumstances has some what caused you to let go of your need to hold on to Him and allow His joy to spring up in you in song – hear the call here to sing, o barren one sing – it may be that many of the things you have been labouring for have not come to pass and it feels as though they may just not be birthed at all – sing – this is the time to sing! Times may, in fact they will, get tough and יהושע told us that we would have some pressure but that we are to tale courage for He has overcome the world and as we walk in and stay in Him so too will we be more than overcomers, aměn! Sha’ul tells us in:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For this slight momentary pressure, is working for us a far more exceeding and everlasting weight of esteem. 18 We are not looking on what is seen, but on what is not seen. For what is seen passes away, but what is not seen is everlasting.”
Now in understanding the need and importance to praise I would like you to turn with me to Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 24 (read).
This is a chapter on ‘praise and singing’!!! Say what!!! You may be thinking, ‘What has this chapter got to do with what we have been discussing?’ Well, this chapter is in fact amazing and this is why…
This chapter is not just a boring old chapter with a long list of seemingly meaningless names, and what I want to do right now is show you just that!
We will look at each name and its meaning and see just how awesome this chapter is. Dawid separated men for the service of prophesy with music. This was not offices of a prophet but prophesy in the form of edifying the body! Now I know that we all may not have the gift and talent to play instruments and write songs etc. but we can all sing and praise, aměn! Music or the song of praise is a vital ministry in the House of Elohim and so the preparation of song and the coming to sing together should be approached and received with the same approach and reception as the proclaiming of the Word as they go together in fullness of service unto Elohim! What I mean is this – do not skip worship – do not miss out on a vital part of edifying the body into His presence with song!
Having said that, let us take a look at what we can glean from this chapter. Notice first off that they were called workmen – yes – workmen – as it takes work to worship and praise and sing to our King – and it must be a joyous work indeed – yet it is still work and not a pastime! I thank יהוה that He has gifted Marcia with the wonderful talent of bringing us new songs to sing – songs that are not corrupted and twisted; songs of edification (prophesy) for us that we can all SING unto Him. We may be a small group, yet we are so blessed to have the worship we have, aměn!
As we look at the name contained herein we will see with clarity the joy of worship and what power pure worship and song unto יהוה carries.
The men listed here were the sons of Asaph, Hĕman, and Yeḏuthun, and so we will start with them:
A – Asaph – אָסָף Strong’s H623 – and means ‘gatherer’
B – Hĕman – הֵימָן Strong’s H1968 – meaning ‘faithful’
C – Yeḏuthun – יְדוּתוּן Strong’s H3038 - meaning ‘praising/to laud with praise’ and come from the word H3034 - יָדָה yadah which means ‘to lift hands; to give thanks; confess, praise; make confession’
What we can see here is that the true worshippers or singers are those who will ‘gather, be faithful and lift hands and praise with great joy! If we are in Messiah then we too are to be about seeking the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl – being faithful to His Word by obeying His commands and do it out of reverence and an expression of joyous love for Him!
Now let us look at the sons of these three men with the meaning of each of their names:
SONS OF ASAPH – THE GATHERER:
1 – Zakkur – זַכּוּרStrong’s H2139 – ‘mindful’ – and comes from the word זָכַר zakar (H2142) – a root which means to ‘remember’. The true worshippers who gather will be mindful and remember the Covenant and walk in the Torah of יהוה!
2 – Yosĕph – יוֹסֵף Strong’s H3130 – ‘Yah has added/He increases’ – It is יהוה who adds and brings the increase – and he brings it to the ones who labour in Him and are gathering – we do this by planting and watering – He brings the growth!
3 – Nethanyah – נְתַנְיָה Strong’s H5418 – ‘given of Yah’ – All that we have is given of יהוה!
4 - Ashar’ĕlah – אֲשַׂרְאֵלָה Strong’s H841 – ‘Elohim holds/to be right with Elohim’ – walking in obedience we become the righteousness of Elohim in Messiah!
Sons of Asaph – the gatherers are mindful to remember His Word and that He adds, He gives and He makes right and they prophesy – that is to speak by inspiration, in word and in song, able to encourage and be encouraged through praise!
SONS OF YEḎUTHUN – LIFTED HANDS IN PRAISE
1 - Geḏalyahu – גְּדַלְיָה Strong’s H1436 – ‘Yah is great!’ – This is truly the declaration of one whose hands are lifted in praise unto יהוה, a sign of joyous surrender unto the King of kings!
2 – Tseri – צְרִי Strong’s H6874 – ‘built’ – Through a life of surrendered praise we are built up in the most set-apart faith!
3 – Yeshayahu – יְשַׁעְיָהוּ Strong’s H6874 – ‘יהוה has saved’ – we lift our hands to the One who saves, aměn!
4 - Ḥashaḇyahu – חֲשַׁבְיָהוּStrong’s H2811 – ‘יהוה has considered/ יהוה has taken account’. He knows who are His and has carefully considered us and accounted for everything!
5 – Mattithyahu – מַתִּתְיָה Strong’s H4993 – ‘gift of יהוה’ – Romiyim/Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the favourable gift of Elohim is everlasting life in Messiah יהושע our Master.”
6 - Shimʽi – שִׁמְעִי Strong’s H8096 – ‘renowned/ hearing’ – it comes from the word שָׁמַע shama (H8085) – ‘to hear’. Renowned means the one who is widely acclaimed and highly honoured – so, we in obedience to the Torah – hear, guard and do as we listen to the voice of the renowned, for He said ‘My sheep will know My voice’ and ‘those who have ears, let them hear…’. Hold on but where does Shimʽi come from? He is in verse 17 – the 6th son of Yeḏuthun.
The sons of Yeḏuthun – extend their hands in praise to the Great I AM who builds us, saves us, has considered us and freely given to us, that we may hear Him and known Him!
SONS OF HĚMAN – THE FAITHFUL: (He had 14 sons – the blessing of the faithful!)
1 – Buqqiyahu – בֻּקִּיָּהוּ Strong’s H1232 – ‘יהוה has emptied / proved by Yah!’:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:7 “in order that the proving of your belief – much more precious than gold that perishes, and proven by fire – might be found to result in praise and respect and esteem at the revelation of יהושע Messiah.”
He proves the faithful that it may result in praise!
2 – Mattanyahu – מַתַּנְיָהוּ Strong’s H4983 – ‘gift of יהוה’ – same as Mattithyahu!
3 - Uzzi’ĕl – עֻזִּיאֵל Strong’s H5816 – ‘My Strength is EL’:
Tehillim/Psalm 28:7 “יהוה is my strength, and my shield; my heart has trusted in Him, and I have been helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I thank Him.”
4 - Sheḇu’ĕl – שְׁבוּאֵל Strong’s H7619 – ‘captive (or returned) of EL’ – this comes from the root to return and repent and be led by Elohim – we who have returned to Him must remain faithful to follow Him in all we do!
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 10:9 “Though I sow them among peoples, they shall remember Me in places far away. And they shall live, together with their children, and they shall return.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:25 “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your lives.”
5 – Yerimoth – יְרִימוֹת Strong’s H3406 – ‘He is Most High’ – this is the declaration of the faithful!
6 – Ḥananyah – חֲנַנְיָה Strong’s H2608 – ‘Yah has favoured / Yah has been gracious’:
Tehillim/Psalm 84:11 “For יהוה Elohim is a sun and a shield; יהוה gives favour and esteem; He withholds no good matter from those who walk blamelessly.”
Tehillim/Psalm 5:12 “For You bless the righteous, O יהוה; You surround him with favour as with a shield.”
7 – Ḥanani – חֲנָנִי Strong’s H2607 – ‘gracious/favourable’ – “the favourable gift of Elohim is everlasting life in Messiah יהושע our Master.” (Rom 6:23b).
8 – Eliyathah – אֱלִיאָתָה Strong’s H448 – ‘Elohim has come!’ – the faithful know this and so they remain faithful until He comes again!
9 – Giddalti – גִּדַּלְתִּי Strong’s H1437 – ‘I magnify (Elohim)’ or ‘I make great’ – we magnify and lift up His name with extended hands in worship – (putting our hand to the plough) and He makes great His Promises!
10 - Romamti-Ezer – רֹמַמְתִּי עֶזֶר Strong’s H7320 – ‘I have exalted the Helper’ – what a perfect expression for one who lifts up/extends their hands in praise! – We exalt our Helper!
11 – Yoshbeqashah – יָשְׁבְּקָשָׁה Strong’s H3436 – ‘seated in hardness’ or ‘a hard seat’ and comes from the words - יָשַׁב yashab (H3427) which means ‘to dwell/abide/remain’ and קָשֶׁה qasheh (H7186) meaning ‘hard, severe, difficult’. We know that the faithful walk is not an easy walk and He who is seated sits now in a seat that was not easy to sit in! We who are seated with Him in high places must know that this is a call for faithful endurance on the part of the set-apart ones!
12 – Mallothi – מַלּוֹתִי Strong’s H4413 – ‘I have uttered / I have spoken’. We have the ‘spoken Word – let us remain faithful in walking in it as a sweet offering of praise unto Him!
13 – Hothir – הוֹתִיר Strong’s H1956 – ‘abundance’ and comes from the word יָתַר yathar (H3498) meaning ‘to excel, abound, leave a remnant, cause to abound’, and so we see the wonder and joy of His abundance being poured out to the remnant that He will cause to excel and abound!
14 – Maḥaziyoth – מַחֲזִיאוֹת Strong’s H4238 – ‘visions’ from the word meaning to look, sea, behold or prophesy. He shows Himself to the faithful and reveals Himself.
Amos 3:7 “For the Master יהוה does no matter unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
All that יהוה has done and that which He will still do He has revealed through His prophets – and so we have the Torah and the prophets to show us His plans for us and through His Word He enables us to see and behold His good plans for us as His called out ones!
It was the sons of Hĕman that were to exalt his horn – in other words ‘blow loudly’ and in the sense of horn representing ‘strength’ then ‘blow loudly’ and proclaim His strength and His Besorah – the Good News of the Kingdom! The Faithful are not quiet in boasting in יהוה – we are to proclaim His Name – loudly!!!
These were the name of the ‘singers’ if you will – that is the picture of the faithful, praising gatherers – יהושע said to His disciples in:
Luqas/Luke 11:23 “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”
This chapter is a lesson for us in having a ‘singing faith’ – as we take hold of the favourable gift of inheritance in Messiah!
Ok so now we have had a little tour of the names of the singers separated for service and just what it can speak to us, but as you will notice in the chapter, lots were cast for their duty and the order is not the same as it is given by each father’s house, and this is amazing, for when one breaks it down and sets it out, I believe that there is a great message in the order of these names as laid out according to their duty, for which I encourage you to go and spend time looking at and enjoying as you look with new eyes at a chapter that you perhaps previously would overlook to some extent.
When I see the order of these names, I also notice that each one mentions the number 12 – which for me represents that this is for the whole house of Yisra’ĕl – this is the joy of praise that the whole house can proclaim with great faith and exceeding joy! Each one in the House of Yisra’ĕl must carry the essence and understand the meaning of these names in helping us understand the magnificent work of our Creator, Saviour, Redeemer and king! As I looked at this while preparing I was blown away that I just wanted to SING!!! In breaking down the meaning of the names and seeing them in order I put together a short summary of what this speaks to us today, and is as follows (See layout of Names in their order according to their cast lot at the end as you read the following):
יהוה has added; יהוה is great; He is mindful and remembers us and we are built up in Him; we are given of יהוה; that is He has given us everlasting life in Him, being emptied of self as He proves us; and through יהושע makes us right toward Him, who saves us, giving us His gift of life, being renowned as we find our strength in Elohim, for He has considered us and caused us to return to Him in offering us His gift for He is Most High and Yah has been gracious toward us through the hard seat – the mercy seat that only he could satisfy – being gracious through His spoken Word and He has come in abundance and makes great as we see and continue to look to the Helper who has been exalted.
Please note that I am not adding to or taking away from the Word, I have simply used my own wording in putting together the clearer meaning of each name in its order in helping me apply this joy of praising the One who has called me out of darkness into His marvellous light, and when we begin to understand just how magnificent and awesome our Great Elohim is – there is but one thing to do – no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in – and that is SING and SING and SING!
Hear the call of יהוה through the prophet Yeshayahu/Isaiah – and SING – burst forth into singing and cry aloud to your Husband and your Maker and your Redeemer. Perhaps you have faced some fierce battles of late – know this – His Loving-Commitment is not removed from you and do not fear says Him who has compassion on you.
You may have been barren so to speak – SING, O BARREN ONE, SING!
Will you be a faithful, praising gatherer? Let us sing to Him O Bride of Messiah and let praise abound!
Diḇre haYamim Aleph / 1 Chronicles 25 – “Singing Faith / Rejoicing Faith”
Asaph – אָסָף Strong’s H623 – ‘gatherer’
Hĕman – הֵימָן Strong’s H1968 – ‘faithful’
Yeḏuthun – יְדוּתוּן Strong’s H3038 - ‘praising/to laud with praise’
Yosĕph – יוֹסֵף Strong’s H3130 – ‘Yah has added/He increases’
Geḏalyahu – גְּדַלְיָה Strong’s H1436 – ‘Yah is great!’
Zakkur – זַכּוּר Strong's H2139 – ‘mindful’
Tseri – צְרִי Strong’s H6874 – ‘built’
Nethanyah – נְתַנְיָה Strong’s H5418 – ‘given of Yah’
Buqqiyahu – בֻּקִּיָּהוּ Strong’s H1232 – ‘יהוה has emptied / proved by Yah!’
Ashar’ĕlah – אֲשַׂרְאֵלָה Strong’s H841 – ‘Elohim holds/to be right with Elohim’
Yeshayahu – יְשַׁעְיָהוּ Strong’s H6874 – ‘יהוה has saved’
Mattanyahu - מַתַּנְיָהוּ Strong’s H4983 – ‘gift of יהוה’
Shimʽi – שִׁמְעִי Strong’s H8096 – ‘renowned/ hearing’
Uzzi’ĕl (Azar’ ĕl) – עֻזִּיאֵל Strong’s H5816 – ‘My Strength is EL’
Ḥashaḇyahu –חֲשַׁבְיָהוּ Strong's H2811 – ‘יהוה has considered/ יהוה has taken account’
Sheḇu’ĕl – שְׁבוּאֵל Strong’s H7619 – ‘captive (or returned) of EL’
Mattithyahu – מַתִּתְיָה Strong’s H4993 – ‘gift of יהוה’
Yerimoth – יְרִימוֹת Strong’s H3406 – ‘He is Most High’
Ḥananyah – חֲנַנְיָה Strong’s H2608 – ‘Yah has favoured / Yah has been gracious’
Yoshbeqashah – יָשְׁבְּקָשָׁה Strong’s H3436 – ‘seated in hardness’ or ‘a hard seat’
Ḥanani – חֲנָנִי Strong’s H2607 – ‘gracious/favourable’
Mallothi – מַלּוֹתִי Strong’s H4413 – ‘I have uttered / I have spoken’
Eliyathah – אֱלִיאָתָה Strong’s H448 – ‘Elohim has come!’
Hothir – הוֹתִיר Strong’s H1956 – ‘abundance’
Giddalti – גִּדַּלְתִּי Strong’s H1437 – ‘I magnify (Elohim)’ or ‘I make great’
Maḥaziyoth – מַחֲזִיאוֹת Strong’s H4238 – ‘visions’Romamti-Ezer – רֹמַמְתִּי עֶזֶר Strong’s H7320 – ‘I have exalted the Helper’