Sunday, October 30, 2011
CALLING FORTH THE MIGHTY!
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 12
Shabbat Shalom family! Give thanks and praise the mighty Name of יהוה.
Tehillim/Psalm 35:18 “I give You thanks in the great assembly; I praise You among a mighty people.”
In Him and through Him and by Him we are a mighty people, treasured and belonging to a Mighty Elohim, aměn!
Life is a succession of moments and success is living each of those moments according to the will of יהוה our Elohim as He has clearly instructed us through His Word.
Yehoshua/Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.”
This was a charge given to a man who would lead the nation of Yisra’ĕl into the Promised land and was encouraged several times to be strong and courageous and be a mighty servant of the Most High EL! In a message tonight called, “Calling Forth the Mighty!” I would like you to turn with me to Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 12 where we will look a little closer at the characteristics of the mighty men who were gathered to Dawiḏ. (Read)
Dawiḏ was anointed by Shemuʼĕl the prophet to be king, yet was driven into a fugitive existence being continually pursued by a jealous king Sha’ul who was still reigning as king over Yisra’ĕl and had set up an established system to which he wanted to hold so tightly on to and not allow Dawiḏ to become king. Dawiḏ escaped to the cave of Aḏullam and was joined by his family as well as those who were in distress, had debt or who were bitter in being and he became head over them. In other words the down and outs came to him!!! Dawiḏ then fled to the land of the Philistines and came to Aḵish, sovereign of Gath and was then given Tsiqlaḡ and he dwelt there for just under a year and a half and was joined there by many of his mighty warriors, and it was also at Tsiqlaḡ that he received news of the death of king Sha’ul.
These mighty warriors that were gathered to him at Tsiqlaḡ became what we could call the ‘forerunners’ in being instrumental in the establishment of the king’s reign. These men, in effect, had ‘prepared the way’ for Dawiḏ’s ultimate establishment as sovereign over all Yisra’ĕl.
These men who came to Dawiḏ at Tsiqlaḡ were mighty in the sense that they went against what we could call the ‘Sha’ul system’ of a man driven fleshly kingdom; and they aligned themselves to Dawiḏ – a fugitive outlaw – one who had been rejected in a sense by his own; and by these mighty men joining Dawiḏ they in effect “burned their bridges” and there was no turning back! They had turned their backs on the ‘established order’ that had promised them security, a future, promotions and a reputation – all of course matters of the flesh! But what we can see from their motivation to go to Dawiḏ in the wilderness was that they showed their loyalty to the one which יהוה had anointed to rule and have an established reign forever upon the throne of Dawiḏ that would usher in the Messiah who would forever rule!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6-7 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His rule and peace there is no end, upon the throne of Dawiḏ and over His reign, to establish it and sustain it with right-ruling and with righteousness from now on, even forever. The ardour of יהוה of hosts does this.”
Dawiḏ symbolises for us the full manifestation of the emerging kingdom of Elohim and he represents for us a picture or type of Messiah and His kingdom reign that will firmly be established here on earth!
In Diḇre haYamim aleph/1 Chronicles 11 we are given a few of the accounts of the exploits of some of these mighty warriors and the immensely great victories they had, which I encourage you to read as I have spoken on this in the past and I will not go into the details now on these very great accounts of outstanding physical bravery. These men not only displayed physical bravery, but also displayed great moral courage in joining themselves to Dawiḏ by forsaking all the seeming comforts of the life in king Sha’ul’s court.
They had selflessly abandoned themselves to Dawiḏ and the very word of יהוה that was spoken over his life, and in one sense it could seem like a gung-ho approach of young, fit and eager men who were very daring. However it was more than that – yes they were very daring that is for sure – but it was a considered commitment to prophetically revealed destiny. They would have been fully aware of Shemuʼĕl’s word over Dawiḏ’s life, as well as the evidence of the Spirit of יהוה that was upon Dawiḏ, who would be crowned king over Yisra’ĕl. And what this awareness and discernment of the prophetic purpose did was nothing less that demand their all!!! The call of the coming kingdom reign wrenched them from their homes and all that was near and dear to them, and this is the same for us today who align ourselves with our Coming King, יהושע Messiah, as we abandon ourselves unto Him.
Luqas/Luke 14:26-27 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and his own life too, he is unable to be My taught one. 27 “And whoever does not bear his stake and come after Me is unable to be My taught one.”
Every relationship, every security and every personal right they had to have lain down in order to pursue the call of the king and his kingdom and this demanded a forsaking of the prestige and position in the ‘King Sha’ul’ regime and it is no different today!
They swam against the tide – they stood their ground while others retreated and they certainly did not go with the crowd! This display of courage and bravery of the mighty is the mark of a forerunner who in the face of impossible odds move into the ‘kingdom’ animated by a force of spirit that others do not possess:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:12 “And from the days of Yoḥanan the Immerser till now the reign of the heavens is violated, and the violent seize it.”
There is a battle on for worship and the calling forth of the mighty of יהושע is here to stand against those who violate the reign of the heavens by establishing it right here and now through total obedience to our King!
These mighty men of Dawiḏ, having responded to the voice of destiny had truly settled the question of ownership – they were no longer their own and were therefore able to be willing to lay down their lives in the heat of battle, offering themselves as daily living sacrifices as displayed in their sacrificial feats of bravery enabling them to see יהוה work on their behalf, and what we can learn from these men in our own lives is the fact that it is true that יהוה plus 1 is always a majority and a sure promised victory no matter the battle! With Him being with us we can walk in the triumphant procession of victory in Messiah declaring His praise and reign, aměn!
For these men, they discovered very quickly that what may have seemed impossible with the natural eye became possible, as king Sha’ul and his established system was taken out of the way and the Dawiḏic order was established in its place!
We can learn a great deal from the very characteristics that are attributed to these mighty warriors who came to Dawiḏ both at Tsiqlaḡ and at Ḥeḇron and I would like for us to briefly look at some of these in order to reflect the very attributes and characteristics that ought to be evident in our lives as we abandon ourselves totally unto our Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah!
Firstly if we look at the Gaḏites that were described in verse 8 we see some clear characteristics of a mighty warrior in the king’s army:
1 – SEPARATED TO THE KING
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.”
The Hebrew word used for ‘separated themselves’ is בָּדַל ‘badal’ – H914 and means ‘to divide, separate, sever, to set apart, to make a distinction, come over’.
Luqas/Luke 12:51 “Do you think that I came to give peace on earth? I say to you, no, but rather division.”
In Mattithyahu 10:34 the word ‘sword’ is used which carries the same meaning – and that is to cut, divide or separate – and it is His Word that does this!!! The call of יהוה separates the mighty who respond with great humility and faith from the stiff-necked who simply harden their hearts in rebellion in order to appease their satisfaction in the flesh and are unwilling to come out and be separate!
As we discussed, these mighty men counted the cost and risked it all and never looked back – how about you! What is important to note is that they separated themselves to Dawiḏ in the wilderness, as we have all discovered through our torah portions that it is in the wilderness where we who are separated unto Him learn to hear His voice and obey His commands. The Wilderness journey is often pictured as a coming out of known comfort zones of the flesh as we learn to be comforted by His very Word in Spirit and Truth!
2 – STRONG - MIGHTY BRAVE MEN
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 2:1 “You then, my son, be strong in the favour that is in Messiah יהושע.”
The two words used here are: גִּבּוֹר ‘gibbor’ H1368 which translates as ‘mighty man, brave man, and valiant warrior, powerful’ and חַיִל ‘chayil’ H2428 – ‘strength, efficiency, excellence, and men of valour, powerful’. This is a double witness of the strength of these men – not only physically but in their character of their fervent commitment to their king.
These were strong and courageous followers of the king – a repetitive call for all followers of Messiah – to be strong and courageous. To ‘be strong’ in Hebrew - חָזַקḥāzaq H2388 - carries the meaning of ‘the ability to seize or to fasten upon, to be strengthened and grasp between the ears and be devoted’ and ‘courageous’ - אָמֵץ amats H553 – means ‘to be alert both physically and mentally, be fully alert – awake and not asleep, be steadfast’.
These mighty brave men were hearers and doers!!! To be strong and courageous is to hear, guard and do the Word of Elohim!
3 – SKILLED
These guys were trained for battle and were not novices – they could handle both shield and spear with great precision and craftsmanship. The shield and spear represent for us both offensive and defensive weapons and speaks of their ability to handle any situation in standing firm in their belief!
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 4:2 “Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:15-16 “But set apart יהוה Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone asking you a reason concerning the expectation that is in you, with meekness and fear, 16 having a good conscience, so that when they speak against you as doers of evil, those who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Messiah, shall be ashamed.”
Being skilled in sword and shield is not simply a physical or bodily function but is also the ability to show great reverence through being skilled in one’s faith through the application and doing of the Word.
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise is profitable for a little, but reverence is profitable for all, having promise of the present life, and of that which is to come.”
These might brave men were skilled in their following the commands of their king and making their stand firm in every way.
We know that the shield pictures for us faith or belief and the sword as the Word and the two go hand in hand to be a skilled mighty child of the Living Elohim. It is the hearing of the Word that brings the belief and is lived out in the active doing of the Word. Ya’aqoḇ/James tells us that a man is declared right by works and not by belief alone! (2:24)
Skilled for the king is to be a doer of His Word and to do that you have to be trained in His Word and to do that you have to be immersed in His Word, diligently seeking and studying and meditating on His Word, aměn!
4 – SURE AND SECURE
Their faces were like the faces of lions – that tells me that they were fierce looking yet they showed a calm demeanour of men who were very confident in Elohim! They carried a countenance of fierce yet calm warriors – never panicked – and were very terrifying to their enemies. Listen, the enemy does not want to stand against a secure and confident warrior and we know that the enemy is not a lion but is like a lion seeking who he can devour – when we stand firm in the Word and reflect the very character of Messiah – the True Lion of the tribe of Yehuḏah then the enemy will flee when we confidently resist him as we submit to Elohim; and stand firm as the security and sureness of His Word enables us to be sure-footed. That is the other characteristic of these men – swift as gazelles on the mountains. The gazelle is a clean animal that we are permitted to eat and it has a split hoof that is completely divided into two parts enabling them to be sure footed even when the body weight seems to be out of proportion to their skinny legs! The picture of a sure footed clean animal with a hoof completely divided is a reminder to us of whether we are sure footed in His Word or not and do we rightly divide the Truth. In reference to His Appointed Times where we are required to go up 3 times a year is also expressed as ‘feet’ in Hebrew and is a reminder again to keep His Appointments. So to be as swift as a deer on the mountains speaks of being clean – be sure footed in His Word and adhering to His Appointments and be able to ascend rough terrain with confidence and ease!
These men were faithful and trustworthy and these were the guys who passed over the Yardĕn while it was overflowing – they were not afraid to get their feet wet so to speak and this is what is being called for today as we see the day of our Coming King approaching!
The progressive nature of this chapter shows the clear indication of how more and more came to join up with Dawiḏ, and after the death of Sha'ul Dawiḏ then went to Ḥeḇron and here at Ḥeḇron we see men from every tribe being gathered to the king.
It is very interesting once again to see the traits of these mighty men being described and as one looks at each of these tribes it is clear to see more and more the qualities and traits of what a mighty child of faith in Messiah ought to carry.
Here are some traits of a true servant of Elohim:
1 – Armed for battle – v24 – Yehuḏah ‘bearing shield and spear’. Eph’siyim/Ephesians we all know speaks of the complete armour of Elohim – belt of truth; breastplate of righteousness; feet prepared for the Good News of peace; shield of belief; helmet of deliverance and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of Elohim! Are you armed?
2 – Ready for battle – v25 – Shim’on – brave men – it is one thing to be armed but are you ready? Are you brave? As we have discussed!
3 – Leading through service!
4 – Brave and courageous – we have discussed much about that!
5 – Committed and loyal – v29 – ‘guarded the charge’ – Guard the good deposit and remain faithful to our King!
6 – Designated by name! – v31 – Men of Menashsheh were designated by name – well respected and well admired by all. יהוה has called us each by name and designated to us each our role and He has through His blessing paced His name upon us, aměn!
7 – Discerning – v32 – Sons of Yissasḵar ‘understood the times, to know what Yisra’ĕl should do’! I want to just stress this attribute a little more here. This speaks of having a deep understanding and keen awareness with sound discernment – and an understanding of the times! What have most of us come to understand? יהוה’s times!!! As we understand His Times and His calendar we begin to more clearly discern the Scriptures and be able to have a deeper understanding and insight as to what Yisra’ĕl (the Bride of Messiah) should be doing!!! By understanding the times we are no longer enslaved by the establishment of false man-made times and seasons and have greater ability to know the Torah and focus upon the will of our Creator, יהוה of Hosts, and enabled to lead others in the truth!
Hoshěa/Hosea 4:6 “My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children.”
Dani’ěl/Daniel 12:4 “But you, Dani’ěl, hide the words, and seal the book until the time of the end. Many shall diligently search and knowledge shall increase.”
These days knowledge is indeed increasing… but it doesn’t just fall out of the sky!!! It is as many ‘diligently search’ and reverently fear by walking in and not rejecting His Torah!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9: 10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.”
It is time for us to diligently seek יהוה:
Tehillim/Psalm 27:8 “To my heart You have said, “Seek My face.” Your face, יהוה, I seek.”
Are you ‘diligently’ seeking and increasing your knowledge of the Set-Apart One being then able to understand ‘the times’?
8 – Devoted and undivided – v33 – Sons of Zeḇulun – had all weapons, gave support with and undivided heart!
Unity is key – 30 walking in unity is far more effective and can accomplish more than 500 who are all acting apart and doing their own thing! Devotion is only strengthened when there is an undivided heart and mind. A man who is double minded is unstable in all his ways and when this happens there can be no unity. Devoted and undivided is a trait of a servant of the Most High!
These men carried sword and spear as well as all kinds of weapons and were always prepared for all. We too need to be always ready and armed for the fight we fight:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not fight according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, 5 overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
Another important aspect we see in this text is in verse 38 – they all ‘kept rank’. Each one knew his position and didn’t overstep any lines of authority – keeping rank is a sign of unity and respect and great service toward one another as well as the king who had enlisted them! And above all they all came with a perfect heart to set Dawiḏ up as king!
The word used for perfect here is שָׁלֵם ‘shalem’ H8003and means ‘complete, safe, at peace, blameless, whole, full’
Undivided hearts, at peace and safe in the leadership and guidance of their king!!! This resulted in the rest of Yisra’ĕl to have one heart in setting up Dawiḏ to reign.
The challenge for us is this – will we be like these mighty men as described in this chapter? Will we rather go with the flow of the established order or make the break from the ‘Sha’ul man-driven systems’? For us who are here tonight I believe I can confidently say that we all have made the break or at least I would hope so – in other words there is no going back to the ‘established order of man’! We can no longer pursue selfish ambitions but rather pursue and run with the high calling of kingdom living as a body together in unity with undivided devotion and a perfect heart before יהושע Messiah our King!
Will you continue to stand armed to fight the good fight of belief even as we may find ourselves standing in the face of a system or systems that are hostile toward יהוה? Will we truly submit to the circumcision of the heart that tears us away from the ‘King Sha’ul value system’ that is clearly headed for destruction?
There are many today who are looking for what is the ‘right way’ and are beginning to ask many questions as they begin to discover the ‘Sha’ul’ system as manifested through the church among others and is in fact flawed and will ultimately fall despite their attempts at putting up a fight for survival! And may we be aware that when it does fall there will be some who will come out of the woodwork and be joined to Messiah – in the context of this chapter - joined to Dawiḏ’s camp!
In this chapter there were 2 groups of people who gathered – those who came to Tsiqlaḡ and those who came to Ḥeḇron. There were fewer who came to Tsiqlaḡ than the thousands who came to Dawiḏ at Ḥeḇron. The difference – at Ḥeḇron it was after the death of Sha’ul. I believe that there will be many more who will come but we who are in the wilderness at this point are symbolic of those who came to the king at Tsiqlaḡ. Now all the men, whether those who joined at Tsiqlaḡ or Ḥeḇron were all mighty men – who were prepared to forsake reputation, prestige and position. Calling forth the mighty – will you be one and separate yourself totally to יהושע becoming strong, skilled, sure and secure in our Commander and King, able to fight and stand firm being sure-footed in Him, knowing that the crowing of our King is coming when He comes again as the conquering King and His reign be firmly established here!
Times will get tougher and the Sha’ul based systems of the flesh and enemy will constantly accuse and revile us – it is time to get serious and stand mighty in our True King and Saviour, and time to strip away all selfishness and pride and serve each other with great fervency and joy in our Maker and Commander of the Heavenly Hosts!
Calling forth the Mighty – be joined to Him and do not look back – Aměn!
I thought I would leave you with some very interesting insight with regard to the names of the men that separated themselves to Dawiḏ; as you will see below with all the meaning of these names of those mighty warriors that came to him at Tsiqlaḡ - and you will clearly notice that there is not one name that has a ‘negative’ connotation and the majority contain Yahweh or El!!! This is a great lesson for us and wonderful insight for us to embrace – that with His Name upon us we are ‘in Him’ mighty. In Him we find our strength, our help, favour and blessing and when we walk in Him and embrace his Torah we know that he hears us!!! It is a calling forth the mighty – and this will require you all – will you be counted among the mighty – it is worth it – do not be of those who harden their hearts and forsake the calling of the mighty for mere flesh and temporary ‘satisfaction’ but be a mighty child of the Most High Mighty One and joined to our Mighty King, יהושע Messiah, and be totally separated unto Him, aměn!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you His shalom! His Name is upon you – now be mighty in Him and be a willing forerunner in taking up the call and running with great endurance the race set before you in Messiah.
Names of the mighty from Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 12:3-13:
Aḥiʽezer - אֲחִיעֶזֶר H295 = ‘my brother is help’
Yo’ash – יוֹאָשׁ H3101 = ‘given by Yah/Yah is strong’
Yezaw’ĕl – יְזִוְאֵל H3149 = ‘assembly of Yah’
Pelet -פֶּלֶט H6404 = ‘deliverance’
Beraḵah - בְּרָכָה H1294 = ‘blessing’
Yĕhu - יֵהוּא H3058 = ‘Yah is He’
Yishmayah – יִשְׁמַעְיָה H3460 = ‘Yahweh will hear/Yah hears’
Yirmeyah –יִרְמְיָה H3414 = ‘whom Yahweh has appointed / Yah loosens’
Yaḥazi’ĕl – יַחֲזִיאֵל H3166 = ‘beheld of EL/EL sees’
Yoḥanan – יוֹחָנָן H3110 = ‘Yahweh has favoured/Yahweh has been gracious’
Yozaḇaḏ - יוֹזָבָד H3107 = ‘Yahweh has endowed’
Eluzai – אֶלְעוּזַי H498 = ‘El is my strength’
Yerimoth – יְרִימוֹת H3406 = ‘He is Most High’
Beʽalyah –בַּעַלְיָה H1183 = ‘Yahweh is Master’
Shemaryahu – שְׁמַרְיָהוּ H8114 = ‘kept by Yahweh/Yahweh has kept’
Shephatyahu – שְׁפַטְיָהוּ H8203 = ‘Yahweh has judged’
Elqanah –אֶלְקָנָה H511 = ‘El has taken possession/ El has created’
Yishshiyahu – יִשִּׁיָּהוּ H3449 = ‘Yahweh will lend’
Azar’ĕl – עֲזַרְאֵל H5832 = ‘El has helped’
Yowʽezer – יוֹעֶזֶר H3134 = ‘Yahweh is a help’
Yashoḇʽam – יָשָׁבְעָם H3434 = ‘the people will return’
Yo’ĕlah – יוֹעֵאלָה H3132 = ‘may he avail’
Zeḇaḏyah – זְבַדְיָה H2069 = ‘endowment of Yahweh/Yah has bestowed’
Ězer – עֵזֶר H5829 = ‘treasure/help’
Oḇaḏyah – עֹבַדְיָה H6552 = ‘servant of Yahweh’
Eliyaḇ - אֱלִיאָב H446 = ‘El is Father/my Elohim is Father’
Mishmannah – מַשְׁמַנָּה H4925 = ‘fatness’
Yirmeyah – יִרְמְיָה H3414 = ‘Yahweh has appointed’
Attai – עַתַּי H6262 = ‘opportune’
Eli’ĕl – אֱלִיאֵל H447 = ‘EL is EL/my EL is ELohim’
Yoḥanan – יוֹחָנָן H3110 = ‘Yahweh has favoured/Yahweh has been gracious’
Elzaḇaḏ - אֶלְזָבָד H443 = ‘El has given’
Yirmeyahu – יִרְמְיָהוּ H3414 = ‘Yahweh has appointed/Yah loosens’
Maḵbannai – מַכְבַּנַּי H4344 = ‘bond of Yahweh’