Saturday, January 28, 2012
Shalom family, all praise and esteem unto יהוה our Elohim who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light!
His Light is marvellous, aměn! In last week’s Torah readings we looked at the darkness that came over Mitsrayim, primarily in 2 stages – one was through the plague of locust that covered the land or rather the ‘eye’ being symbolic of Ra the sun deity of Mitsrayim that had been covered and then a thick darkness came over the land for 3 days – so thick that it could be felt, a darkness that symbolised the complete removal of the presence of Elohim, while in Goshen the Yisra’ĕlites had light, for יהוה was in their midst – a wonderful picture of a people who had been called out of darkness into His light – a people who would ‘draw near’ to Elohim at the sound of His voice (Goshen meaning to draw near) in loving obedience. His light is His presence and without such we would find ourselves in darkness. In drawing near to Him, who is The Light, calls for a pure and devoted response that is reflected in obedience to Him. In Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:8 we are told to draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to us and we are to cleanse our hands from sin, which is lawlessness and purify our hearts from double-mindedness – that is strip away the syncretism of mixed theologies and doctrines of man and the Truth of His Word and be single minded and steadfast to hear, guard and do His pure Word that will keep us in the Light of His presence!
We often declare His blessing over us as His children as He instructed Mosheh on how Aharon would bless the children of Yisra’ĕl and by doing so put His Name upon them that He Himself would bless them, and part of this blessing is, “יהוה make your face shine upon you…” which is a huge blessing in itself when we begin to understand the Light of His presence, which sadly for so many today is simply not a reality… yet! In a message tonight called, “Cause your face to shine upon us, oh יהוה!” I would like us to look at a wonderful Tehillim/Psalm and cry for His face to shine upon us as His children – please turn with me to Tehillim/Psalm 80 (Read).
This Psalm is a cry and an appeal to The Great Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl to save His people who had been given over to the discipline of being dishonoured by their neighbours. A call to The Great Gardener to come and restore the Vine that He had carefully planted in a good land, but through lack of lasting fruit was given over to be harvested and even destroyed by every passer-by who would pluck their fruit which was no longer cultivated and guarded according to His instructions, and now the cry was for Him to once again restore His people. This was a cry of repentance and an earnest plea to turn back to the One who had called them out of darkness and slavery and a desperate cry of help from sheep, which had been led astray, to their Good Shepherd.
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.”
This Tehillim was written at a time when the Northern kingdom had strayed and found themselves corrupted in their worship and having surrendered under the laws and ways of the nations that יהוה had driven out and also under the kings that they had set up for themselves, and in an earnest prayer for restoration and blessing and salvation, I firmly believe that we are once again in a time where this cry is being lifted up by a faithful remnant to our Good Shepherd and Light for His very face to come and shine upon us and with this cry comes great responsibility!
The emphasis of this Psalm is repeated 3 times and each time carries a progression in the call for His blessing and favour upon His children and called out ones!
There are a number of pictures for us in this Tehillim/Psalm and we can view it in a number of ways that give us great insight for us today how we are to truly be living as children of light and be done with darkness!
Verses 1-3 – The Appeal – after recognising the error of their ways the Psalmist makes an appeal, as I said, to the Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl – an acknowledgment in itself of who the True Leader was, and when we see the term ‘who dwells between the keruḇim’ we must realise that in the Hebraic mind-set this fully represented the sure presence of Elohim who always dwells between the Keruḇim, which would help them realise that He was in their midst and this is where they could come and receive His instructions:
Shemoth/Exodus 25:20-22 “And the keruḇim shall be spreading out their wings above, covering the lid of atonement with their wings, with their faces toward each other, the faces of the keruḇim turned toward the lid of atonement. 21 “And you shall put the lid of atonement on top of the ark, and put into the ark the Witness which I give you. 22 “And I shall meet with you there, and from above the lid of atonement, from between the two keruḇim which are on the ark of the Witness, I shall speak to you all that which I command you concerning the children of Yisra’ĕl.”
Verses 4-7 – The Discipline – As a result of disobedience יהוה had handed Yisra’ĕl over to their enemies in order to discipline them and cause them to return. This was a cry of a people defeated that only the Elohim of Hosts could cause them to have victory over their enemies. The one One they could truly run to for help.
Verses 8-14 – Removal of the Blessing – Obedience brings blessing, disobedience brings a curse! So many today want to claim all the wonderful blessings that are yes and aměn in Messiah, while they are ignorantly groping about in the dark as they are unwilling to walk in Him who is Light, giving them the lamp for their path by His very Torah! In the portions we have been going through on the plagues that came upon Mitsrayim, in this week’s portion in Shemoth 15 it says this:
Shemoth/Exodus 15:26 “And He said, “If you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim and do what is right in His eyes, and shall listen to His commands and shall guard all His laws, I shall bring on you none of the diseases I brought on the Mitsrites, for I am יהוה who heals you.”
Now when one looks a little deeper in Ḥazon/Revelation (especially chapter 16) it is very clear that these diseases or plagues of Mitsrayim are still very much in play for those who do not diligently obey the voice of יהוה and who do not guard His commands! It is when recognising that His blessing is removed that it can do one of two things – either cause you to repent and turn back to the Living El or become even more hardened and end up blaspheming Him as we see that many shall do as written in Ḥazon/Revelation in their unwillingness to repent!
Verses 14-19 – promise of obedience – the plea of this Psalm brings the Psalmist to the realised commitment to His word required by those who live ‘in’ the light of His presence.
It is when we are able to receive His discipline that He brings for those He loves, that we can allow His word to instruct us in the way and stay on the narrow path of life.
In three wonderful pictures of the need for walking in obedience we see a pointing to יהושע Messiah, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life!
In approaching the:
1 – The Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl - Yoḥanan/John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” The Psalmist recognises the Only One True Redeemer and Saviour!
2 – The Light – He that dwells between the Keruḇim ‘shine forth’ – Yoḥanan/John 8:12 “Therefore יהושע spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life.” The Psalmist affirms His recognition of the need for the Light and presence of Elohim.
3 – The Vine – Yoḥanan/John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener.” – We are to stay in Him and He will stay in us for without Him we can bear no fruit!
Now coming to the significant repetition and plea we see here in this Tehillim/Psalm we can find great encouragement.
Verses 3, 7 and 19 all repeat the same cry of repentance to obedience and a calling forth of the face of Elohim to shine upon them!
In recognising the urgency of this cry for His face to shine upon us, we need to understand the true essence and realisation of our strong plea before the Light of The World, who has now called us to shine the Light of His Truth, for as we stay in Him and in His good instructions we are the light of the world. We see this call for His face to shine upon us several times in the Tehillim/Psalms: Besides the 3 times here in this Tehillim we also find it in:
Tehillim/Psalm 31:16 “Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your kindness.”
Tehillim/Psalm 67:1 “Elohim does favour us and bless us, Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah.”
Tehillim/Psalm 119:135 “Make Your face shine upon Your servant, And teach me Your laws.”
When His face shines upon us we can find His kindness, salvation, favour, blessing and His good instructions!
What is very interesting in this Tehillim/Psalm 80 is the progression we see:
In verse 3: The cry and appeal to cause us to turn back is unto Elohim, then in verse 7: It is unto Elohim of Hosts; and finally in verse 19: It is unto יהוה, Elohim of Hosts!
From Elohim – Elohim of Hosts – יהוה, Elohim of Hosts!!!
There was recognition of who He is as Elohim, El Shaddai – Almighty El, besides Him there is no other. A recognition of the One True Elohim who is the Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl and then in a cry for deliverance from the enemy, He is recognised as Elohim of Hosts – Commander of the Heavenly forces – the One who fights for us and in whom there is assurance of victory and by verse 19 He has now become a personal El as His name is acknowledged – The Great I AM is with us – He is causes us to be – is not only the One True Elohim – but He has made Himself known to us as personal Saviour, Redeemer and King and it is when we come to this point that we recognise our True identity and call as children of light and be committed to Him in every way – for He is lovingly committed to us as a Covenant people in Messiah!
Now this is where I make my appeal as the Scriptures instruct us – let us too call for Him to make His face shine upon us each and every day, and in so doing be lovingly-committed to walking in Him, free from all darkness.
When Aḏam and Ḥawwah had sinned what did they do? They hid themselves from the presence or face of Elohim!
Berěshith/Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the sound of יהוה Elohim walking about in the garden in the cool of the day, and Aḏam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of יהוה Elohim among the trees of the garden.”
The Hebrew root word for ‘the presence’ here in Berěshith/Genesis is the same root word used in Tehillim/Psalm 80 for the words ‘cause your face’. Their sin caused them to hide themselves from His presence – from the very light of His face upon them.
When Ya’aqoḇ wrestled with Elohim and overcame he said:
Berěshith/Genesis 32:30 “And Yaʽaqoḇ called the name of the place Peni’ĕl, “For I have seen Elohim face to face, and my life is preserved.”
The word used here for ‘face’ is once again the same used in Tehillim/Psalm 80 and in the account of the Garden of Eden.
When יהושע was transfigured before Kěpha, Yaʽaqoḇ, and Yoḥanan His face shone like the sun and His garments became as white as the light (Mattithyahu/Matthew 17:2)! Can you imagine this moment – the very face of Elohim shining upon them!!! They had followed Him, believed Him, was taught by Him, saw Him do many miracles and now they say the ‘Light of His Face’!
In this urgent call to true repentance what the Psalmist was showing us here was that in the calling of Elohim to cause them to turn back was the recognition of who the Redeemer was and the pleading for His face to shine upon them was their response to His redemptive work in delivering them from bondage and sin, and the end result of that which they sought – so that they might be saved.
We too, who have acknowledged the redemptive work of Messiah, who died for our sin and was raised to life that His resurrection power may cause us to be raised to new life in Him, respond by walking in obedience to Him, working out our deliverance with fear and trembling by OBEYING!!!
In this Tehillim we see an echo of the song of Mosheh that was sung after the deliverance of Yisra’ĕl from Mitsrayim, by the Mighty Right Hand of Elohim, of which we too will hear the song of deliverance being sung by a people who overcome the beast and his image, his mark and the number of his name! (Ḥazon/Revelation 15:2-3)
What has struck me this week in looking at this awesome Tehillim is the need for us to be seeking the face of יהוה, that He may shine His Good presence upon us and cause us to walk firm in Him.
Tehillim/Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and right-ruling Are the foundation of Your throne; Kindness and truth go before Your face.”
Kindness and Truth go before His face – for His face to shine upon us we must be willing to walk wholeheartedly in His Truth, for listen what is says further:
Tehillim/Psalm 89:15-16 “Blessed are the people Who know the festal trumpet-call! They walk, O יהוה, in the light of Your face. 16 In Your Name they rejoice all day long, And they are exalted in Your righteousness.”
Are you walking in the light of His face? This is the heart of this message as a question to you tonight, or is there still darkness at work in you? Let us look at some vital instructions from Scripture:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and are not doing the truth.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:9-11 “The one who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in the darkness until now. 10 The one who loves his brother stays in the light, and there is no stumbling-block in him. 11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 “But you, brothers, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 So, then, we should not sleep, as others do, but we should watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But we who are of the day should be sober, putting on the breastplate of belief and love, and as a helmet the expectation of deliverance.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8-11 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth 10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Master. 11 And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:14-15 “Do all matters without grumblings and disputings, 15 in order that you be blameless and faultless, children of Elohim without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
Our loving-commitment and obedience to His commands will cause us to shine and we shall be blessed in having His face shine upon us giving us favour and shalom, so when you hear the blessing spoken over your life and you too ask Him to cause His face to shine upon you – let me ask you – are you shining? Or is His word and His presence been somehow removed from your life and your struggle to simply hear and obey – in other words you are not shining but sinning – walking in lawlessness – if so, then hear this call to repentance and to a walk of righteousness:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:14 “That is why He says, “Wake up, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Messiah shall shine on you.”
Wake up and He will shine upon you – may we never be found to be wasting the time as the days are wicked, let us redeem the time in righteousness and truth and too intercede for the rest of the Bride in crying out to יהוה Elohim of Hosts for His face to shine upon us.
Perhaps you have found yourself in a dark place or have been walking in darkness, draw near to Him now and let us all stand and I ask that you lift up your hands as I proclaim His blessing upon you, to put His name upon you – that He may bless you and by standing here before Him who dwells between the Keruḇim you too are declaring that you are not asleep but are awake to His call and will walk in total obedience forsaking all works of darkness that we too can walk the path He has set out before us in righteousness, for as it says in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”
WILL YOU SHINE?
יהוה bless you and guard you
יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you
יהוה lift up His face upon and give you shalom!
Saturday, January 21, 2012
A BASKET OF FRUIT – WHAT DO YOU SEE?
Shalom family, it is good for us to gather together as we gather in the Name of our Master and Saviour, יהושע Messiah, and enter into His Shabbat with great joy and delight for His presence, His Truth and His unfailing love over us, aměn!
Appearances can so often be deceiving as we many times encounter moments in our lives where that which we thought looked right and good and safe sadly turned out to be horribly wrong and even dangerous to our life in Messiah! It is also true that so many people spend much of their lives doing their best to put up an appearance of happiness and joy while inside they are riddled with fear, doubts and stress that is silently killing them while they put on a fake smile before others in order to avoid the confrontation of deeper issues that are conveniently supressed under the pursuit of fleshly lusts and worldly passions that consume their lives and leave no room for seeking out that which really matters and therefore neglect the need to walk according to the Spirit unable to see the need for change! When we each take a heartfelt look at our own lives, I often wonder how intensely we look into the mirror of the Word without forgetting what we see. And so, in a message tonight called, “A Basket of fruit – what do you see?” I would like us to look at Amos Chapter 8 where יהוה showed Amos a basket of summer fruit and asked him what he saw, and then what יהוה revealed.
A basket of summer fruit – a fitting message as we are hitting the heat of summer at the moment, and so as the heat of tests and trials hit you as much as the heat of the sun has been hitting us here in the Cape this past week, how are you coping and more importantly what do you see? Are you rejoicing and enduring under the heat of trials and bearing much fruit that lasts and is good or are you pretending that the fruit is good and in the process find that you are only covering up compromise and doing your utmost at keeping an appearance of a fruit filled life by going through the motions while inside there is some rotting going on because the fruit does not last?
In this chapter we have just read we see a clear message that is very relevant for us still today and I would like to break it down into three key areas that ought to clearly reveal much fruit of obedience. And while we might think that we see the fruit – what does יהוה see when He asks you? Are you prepared to see what He sees through the mirror of His Word and not just look at the surface of appearance but at the heart of obedience? And more importantly, if you find that there is some bad fruit, are you willing to change? As we look at the Word given to Amos may we take this opportunity to have a look into the basket of our lives that He has given us each to carry so to speak and inspect the fruit that is inside and do our utmost to ensure that we offer up to Him the fruit of righteousness!
A basket of summer fruit – we think of wonderful delicious and juicy colourful fruit that is fresh and tastes sweet and is refreshing and pleasing to the taste and the eyes, filled for all to enjoy and be nourished. Well on the outside that is what Amos saw – a basket of summer fruit – yet what had the appearance of fruit was quickly revealed by the words that followed – for this basket was certainly not pleasing to יהוה. At closer inspection what we actually get to have revealed to us was simply fresh fruit gone bad – and nobody likes to eat rotten fruit! The fruit of righteousness must be evident in our daily lives and must never become stale and rotten due to disobedience or lack of use or neglect but must rather be fresh every day!
This word was to Yisra’ĕl and as this word speaks to the scattered tribes often referred to as Ephrayim which means ‘doubly fruitful’ and they were anything but that – their fruit was stale and very displeasing to יהוה. They had the fruit of unrighteousness rather than righteousness and so as we consider the fruit of obedience in the context of this chapter let us look at 3 areas that were lacking that we would do well to heed and take great care to not be found in lacking the true fruit of righteousness and obedience. In verse 2 יהוה makes it clear that the ‘end has come’ – this is the same language used in Berěshith/Genesis 6:13 when יהוה said to Noaḥ that the end of all flesh had come just before the flood of judgement had come and Noaḥ was told to build an ark. There is coming again the time for fruit to be revealed as real or fake is coming when there will be no more pardon but only judgement for those who do not heed these words.
Let’s take a look at 3 Fruits of obedience:
1 – FRUIT OF WORSHIP (v 3)
In verse 3 יהוה tells Amos that songs of joy will no longer be heard in the Hěḵal that day – as there will be a wailing! For far too long Yisra’ĕl had been singing songs in the Hěḵal but were not living according to the words of worship they were singing! The very same thing still happens today where so many gladly sing-along to the tunes of worship and recite the words to a hymn or a song or psalm of praise while the fruit of their lives reveal the total opposite of what they declare with their lips in song to יהוה showing clearly to יהוה that their hearts are in fact far from Him!
We have been truly blessed with the gifts of song that Marcia has been, and is continually fruitful with in bringing us wonderful songs of praise, equipping us to worship our King as we sing unto Him new songs of His very Word. Let me ask you this – how many of the songs that we sing here do you simply recite – be it when we are together in corporate worship as a gathered assembly or in your car or at home – yet your lives somehow do not always match up to the words you are singing? Does the pure fruit of your worship resonate into your lifestyle and is evidenced in your walk of righteousness or are they words you have come to know and sing when you hear the tune while the effect of the words themselves have little or no impact on your life? I ask this simply because so many today do that – just think about how often you may go into a shop and hear a tune to a worldly song that may have horrific lyrics and before you know it you’re humming and singing along to a tune that does not line up with your character or walk? The same applies to many attempts at worship. When just reciting words of worship to a tune with no effect of pure righteous living then the ‘fruit of worship’ that you often may see in your basket may not be as fresh as you think, but rather be over ripened and of no use becoming a stench before יהוה instead of a pleasing fragrance. This kind of ‘cold-hearted’ attempt at worship will be turned to mourning and wailing in that day! Singing psalms and spiritual songs with the lips only while the heart is rotten and one’s life is full of compromises will be severely dealt with in that day when יהוה will rid His Bride of all false external worship!!!
When you look at the basket of summer fruit - and you see your fruit of worship as you are able to know many of the lyrics to the psalms and recite many of the songs – what do you see? As you look intently into the mirror of the Word – do you see what יהוה sees or do you see that which you want to see – is there true worship or is it simply a manufactured attempt at an external covering of compromise that no one but יהוה can see? May our lives be filled with fruit-filled praise unto Elohim and reflected in a life of pure and uncompromised obedience!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 15: 8-9 “This people draw near to Me with their mouth, and respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 ‘But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men.’”
May our worship, be it in song or in the words of our mouth – that is our daily speech – may it be pleasing to Him – no more crude jokes and filthy talk – throw it away that we may be found to have only that which is good come out of our mouths:
Tehillim/Psalm 19: 14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing before You, O יהוה, my rock and my redeemer.”
2 – FRUIT OF STEWARDSHIP (v4-8)
The next lot of fruit that was exposed for being bad was that of stewardship. How do you take care of ‘guarding and doing’ His Word – that is – how do you take care of walking in righteousness? As you look at Yisra’ĕl at the time they were being addressed here – they had certainly forgotten all that יהוה had done for them as they had been brought up from nothing to having abundance; having been delivered from slavery to dwelling in the Promised Land and established as a mighty nation – a chosen and royal nation! They had forgotten who they were and unto whom they belong and as you ask the question of what did they do with that which they were given the answer is a sad one! They had neglected to do righteousness. They had swallowed up the needy as their accumulation of wealth made them greedy and selfish and so refused to help the poor and took advantage of them. Overcome with such a great love for wealth, fleshly pleasure and self they did not even keep the Sabbath as the Sabbath as they were more interested at getting ready for business as soon as Sabbath was over. On the Sabbath they did not delight in יהוה – they thought about business and couldn’t wait to trade and do shady deals in order to get wealth for self through deceitful practices.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58: 13-14 “If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’ the set-apart day of יהוה ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in יהוה. And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Ya’aqoḇ your father. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken!”
How do you ‘guard’ the Sabbath? Do you delight yourself in יהוה, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words – if you do then the promise is amazing and sure – He will cause us you ride on the heights of the earth and feed you the inheritance of Ya’aqoḇ!
Here Yisra’ĕl were simply just going through the motions because they knew they had to keep the Sabbath, while their hearts were not interested in delighting in יהוה. Many are doing the same today – they may have come out of the false system of worship and have an attempt at keeping the Sabbath as a rule while their hearts have not embraced the pure joy of it – it is not only a rest from the daily work but it is a delighting in Him with His word together as a set-apart assembly growing in intimacy with an Elohim who loves us.
Delighting in Him will cause you to not want the day to end, soaking up every moment of His presence. Do you find yourself thinking about business and other matters on Shabbat? Let us learn from these mistakes that Yisra’ĕl were making and make every effort to delight in His Sabbath! Are you able to even switch off your cell phone, especially while we are gathered or does your mind think ‘what if someone needs to…’? Trust יהוה that when you delight in Him that He will take care of other things that you need not worry about!!!
The love of money and business gripped Yisra’ĕl that they eagerly waited for Shabbat to be over and they were also robbing their own people for unjust gain through deceit as they would falsify the value of goods being traded, hiking prices even for the needy among them and in the process they were robbing יהוה.
They used false scales, overpriced goods and even took advantage of the needy by scooping up their lands for next to nothing instead of helping them and would sell the ‘chaff’ of the wheat – kind of like today when you pay per kilo price for beef and half of it is bone or fat and you are buying that which is of no value. So when people bought with the chaff they were not getting pure grain and were getting what was defiled. This could also bring reference to selling the droppings of the fruit which was to be left for the needy and they would have no right to sell that which was יהוה’s.
It was all about the money no matter who was taken advantage of and in the process they were in fact deceiving יהוה.
Today it is no different when it comes to wealth among the people of Elohim. For many it becomes a task to see how they can minimise their tithing to as little as possible – what do I mean by that? Well think about it for a moment – if only true worshippers would all actually tithe on their increase that יהוה gives! Many who have their own businesses can cleverly, for their own conscience sake, devise well-crafted schemes of reducing the tithes of that which has been given by יהוה as they have been taught through a worldly financial system and try to apply worldly ways to pure fruit of stewardship unto יהוה. What many will do is pay all their bills out of their business and then ‘give’ themselves a much reduced salary for tax benefits and tithe on their declared salary to the tax receiver. Did not יהוה give the income of their business – each one must do their own math before Him as what is very obvious is that His ways are higher than the world’s and trying to have deceitful scales before Him using worldly schemes that do not line up with pure fruit of obedience in order to satisfy your own needs will find you coming up short!
יהוה gives us ripe resources and when you hoard them instead of using them while they are still fresh for His esteem then that fruit will begin to rot and open doors for decay!
Yisra’ĕl had let the fruit of stewardship rot through greed and selfishness and as a result יהוה would take away their prosperity. A life of obedience is evidenced in the good fruit of sincere worship and diligent stewardship of that which He entrusts into your care – keep your basket free of rotten fruit of compromise!
3 – FRUIT OF THE WORD (v 9-14)
יהוה had certainly given Yisra’ĕl physical blessing, but more than all the blessing they received physically – He gave them His Word through Mosheh and the Prophets. His Word was available to all His people and they were to bear the fruit of that. It is no different today – His Word is available to all! Yet here He tells Amos that He would turn their festivals into mourning – why? Because they did not eat of His Word! We too today have the abundant fruit of His Word available to us and if we do not eat of it – we will not bear any good fruit that ought to last. We are to eat daily of His Word – we cannot rely on past meals for today and expect to survive – although for many the only word they are seemingly eating is that which they hear on Shabbat – if their ears are open and they are not distracted by the world! If you do not eat of His Word it is an offense to Him and you will not be able to live fruitfully! יהושע said in Yoḥanan:
Yoḥanan/John 6: 53-58 “I am the living bread which came down out of the heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever. And indeed, the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” 52 The Yehuḏim, therefore, were striving with one another, saying, “How is this One able to give us His flesh to eat?” 53 יהושע therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Aḏam and drink His blood, you possess no life in yourselves. 54 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood possesses everlasting life, and I shall raise him up in the last day. 55 “For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. 56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood stays in Me, and I in him. 57 “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me shall live because of Me. 58 “This is the bread which came down out of the heaven, not as your fathers ate the manna and died. He who eats this bread shall live forever.”
He also said, quoting from Deḇarim while being tempted in:
Luqas/Luke 4:4 “But יהושע answered him, saying, “It has been written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of Elohim.’” (Deḇarim 8:3)
We live by EVERY WORD of Elohim – it is really sad for those who claim that the Tanak is not needed any longer – every word – without it we shall not live and have a fruitful life with a great basket of summer fruit that is real!
If you neglect His word He sends a famine for the hearing of His Word! They heard but it did not change them and so they would find themselves in a famine for hearing when what Yeshayahu says is true even still today: Hearing but not hearing!
In verse 11 the famine that would be sent because of the lack of pure fruit was not a hunger for bread or a thirst for water but for a hearing of the Word. We know that ‘bread’ represents the community or body of Messiah and ‘water’ speaks often of the teaching of the Torah as we are washed in the Word and cleansed. Yisra’ĕl had the Hěḵal and they had the Torah teachings yet they did not hear – guard and do! There is still today plenty of Bread and Water so to speak as there are many assemblies to choose from and there is plenty of Torah instruction available – yet what is lacking in a great way is true obedience to His commands!!!
Verse 12 goes on and says that they would wander from sea to sea – in other words many are knowledge hunters as they seek the latest teaching and will go a great distance for it too, or they will fall into the trap of rabbinical insights thinking it will enhance their learning, while some may even try to decode the Scriptures. The Word is not far off or hidden – it is simple and plain for those who will but hear. We have been amazed at how the Father has grown us as a family as we look back a year to the torah portions we are doing over and how we see that if we are simply obedient to hear and with hearing do the Word then the plainer the Word becomes for us.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30: 11-14 “For this command which I am commanding you today, it is not too hard for you, nor is it far off. 12 “It is not in the heavens, to say, ‘Who shall ascend into the heavens for us, and bring it to us, and cause us to hear it, so that we do it?’ 13 “Nor is it beyond the sea, to say, ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, and cause us to hear it, so that we do it?’ 14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.”
Sadly too many do not want to obey – that is to hear – guard – do!
In verse 14 the reference to Dan and Be’ĕrsheḇa represents for us false man-made attempts at worship that will fall! – These were two alternative worship sites that were not authorised by יהוה and many today are still swearing by alternative false religious practices as they make various golden calves of false security and prosperity and twisted morals of a perversion of the truth and these will all fall and never rise again!
Are you eating His Word – do you hunger and thirst for righteousness – that is to hear – guard and do His Word – do what you hear and do what you eat? Are you studying His Word or do you still have the religious mind-set that says it is for only a select few that must teach. The best way to avoid a famine of hearing His word is to Love His Word – Live His word and Share His Word!
Fruit of obedience – worship, stewardship and His Word – Keep them for yourself and they will rot – it is not meant for a display bowl only – they are to be eaten and shared – the more you eat and share the more you will have!
How is the Fruit of your Worship? Have you found that you are at times just going through the motions and is it a huge burden to be on time for when we worship together or are you truly living out that which you are singing and declaring back unto יהוה?
How is your Fruit of Stewardship? Are you faithful in bearing good fruit of stewarding faithfully that which He has given you and are faithful in stewarding your obedient lifestyle in adhering to His Word in every way through a loving obedience to His secure Love for us? Are you giving freely of your time and your resources or do you find that you at times have used deceitful scales before His eyes? Do you keep His Shabbat as Shabbat? Do you give freely with no strings or conditions attached? Are you cutting corners in your attempt at being a good steward of His Word in your daily life and find you neglect to eat of that which gives you life? Are you engaging faithfully in committing to working together in giving your all to building this community that He is calling for us to be faithful stewards of or is building community a big headache for you?
How is the Fruit of His Word? Do your love it – read it – study it – meditate on it – recite it – live it and share it? Or are you simply getting by with a small weekly dose of an hour or two on Shabbat – that is not enough!
יהוה has filled your basket so to speak with unspeakable riches and the fruit of such must be continually fresh through constant use of pure worship, diligent stewardship and earnest hearing and doing of His Word and not of a false appearance through an uncontrolled lifestyle of compromise after compromise.
When יהוה asks you like He did to Amos – “…. What do you see?” and you say a basket of summer fruit – what do you see? Do you only see that which you want to in order to appease your conscience through compromise or do you see what He sees as you look intently in to the mirror of His Word and if need be are you willing to change that which must be changed?
A Basket of Fruit – what do you see? Stay in Messiah and be found to have the very good fruit of righteousness that lasts – shalom!
Saturday, January 07, 2012
WISDOM vs. FOLLY – WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO?
Shalom family, we give all praise unto our Mighty Elohim, Saviour and Redeemer – unto Him in whom we boast – יהושע Messiah!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Thus said יהוה, “Let not the wise boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty boast in his might, nor let the rich boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am יהוה, doing kindness, right-ruling, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” declares יהוה.”
Don’t let those who think they know it all boast in their own accumulated and assumed knowledge – do not boast because you think you are strong – do not boast in your possessions or position, but rather we are to boast, if we boast at all, that we understand and know Him – the One doing kindness and right-ruling!
To understand and know Him!!! :
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-4 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
So many claim and even boast that they understand and know Elohim yet they have no regard for His commands!
The Wisdom of Elohim has been made known to us, because Messiah became for us the wisdom of Elohim:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 1:30-31 “And of Him you are in Messiah יהושע, who became for us wisdom from Elohim, righteousness also, and set-apartness and redemption, 31 that, as it has been written, “He who boasts, let him boast in יהוה.”
The Living Torah - יהושע Messiah – The Word made flesh is the incarnation of the wisdom and the will of יהוה. Wisdom, in Mishlĕ/Proverbs, is used as a metaphor for the commands/instructions of יהוה, which those who will hear His Words must actually obey them, for in it there is great provision, protection and promises that, in Messiah, are yes and aměn! Wise and Wisdom can in effect carry different meanings as we can clearly see today how there are many who have much earthly knowledge and are ‘wise in their own eyes’, yet they simply do not have the wisdom of Elohim. Because it is very clear – if you have the Wisdom of Elohim – you will obey Him! That is why He tells us clearly to ‘get Wisdom’. As one goes through Mishlĕ/Proverbs it becomes clear the need for Wisdom to keep us secure in Him, and wherever Wisdom is to be found there is more often than not another voice that calls out in doing its best to distract you from entering the house of wisdom and delighting in the true riches of True Wisdom; and that ‘other’ voice is of another house – that of folly! How many times have you found yourself, after having spent a great time in the presence of יהוה, find that almost immediately after you have ‘feasted’ upon His Word the ‘voice’ of compromise and temptation beckoning you to do something stupid? Folly is always waiting to lure even the most sincere ‘straight walkers’ off of the path of righteousness. Tonight in a message called, “Wisdom vs. Folly – Who are you listening to?” I would like us to go through Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9 as we can be encouraged to be on guard against the voice of folly and hold fast to Wisdom. Turn with me to Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9 (Read).
Such a great proverb that pictures for us two contrasting invitations to a feast, and in verses 1-6 we see ‘Wisdom’ is calling out to the ignorant to come to her banquet that has been prepared; while in verses 13-18 ‘Folly’ is inviting them to her counterfeit banquet; and between the 2 invitations we see in verses 7-12 the comparison between the scoffer and the wise. It has reached the point of invitation – the tables are set and the invitations are being cried out – Wisdom vs. Folly – who are you listening to?
In order to get a better understanding of the clear contrast between the two invitations we have, Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1 through 8 gives us great insight and warning against the counterfeit invitations that can, and so often does, sound the same as the real, yet they are very different from the True lifesaving call of wisdom, as manifested through our Messiah.
Before we look a little deeper into the two very different invitations that may, on the surface, have a similar looking appearance I thought it best to quickly run through Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1 through 8 and highlight the underlying messages that lead up to the point on discerning the difference between the two invitations or rather choices that we face every single day – and that is – Life and Death, which has been clearly set before us – and it is by the Wisdom of יהוה, that He implores us to choose Him – to choose Life – that which we find in our Saviour and King, יהושע Messiah!
For the purposes of time I will simply highlight for you some key themes or messages that run through right from the first Proverb of Shelomoh and show how it wonderfully leads us to this critical lesson of hearing and recognising the voice of Wisdom. Some themes repeat showing us emphasis, yet there is a continual flow of great insight for us, so let’s begin – for some of you who like to make notes in your Scriptures – it may help to take note of these sections that flow wonderfully in giving us a great encouragement, warning, and training in righteousness to hear, guard and do the will of יהוה.
Verse 1 – the Title – The proverbs of Shelomoh! This may be considered the title for the whole book, yet chapters 10 & 25 have their own titles – too the proverbs of Shelomoh, while Proverbs 30 is by another and 31 is unknown as King Lemu’ĕl which means ‘belonging to El’ may be a symbolic name for Shelomoh. What we do see is that Mishlĕ/Proverb 1:1 titles for us the collective message for 1-9.
Verses 2-6 – The Purpose of the Book!
What are the primary purposes of the Proverbs? From here we see 5 being mentioned, and they are:
1 – Knowing wisdom and discipline – to know wisdom is the literal translation in the Hebrew with the sense to ‘get’, ‘acquire’ or ‘obtain’ wisdom and with that the need for much required discipline, which is the strict practice required to reach a goal. Messiah is the goal of the ‘Torah unto righteousness’ to everyone who believes and it is through strict discipline that we press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of Elohim in Messiah יהושע.
We could translate ‘knowing wisdom and discipline’ as “These proverbs will teach you wisdom by obeying what they say,” or “These proverbs will make you wise if you command your heart to learn them.”
2 – Understanding the words of understanding – Understanding comes in the doing – and it is through strict discipline in walking in the Word that we grasp the insight of these proverbs – able to rightly divide the truth and discern right from wrong – which is critical in identifying the false voice of folly!
3 – Receiving discipline of wisdom, righteousness, right ruling and straightness – It is one thing to know and understand – but often so many people struggle to receive – which actually reveals that they do not actually know and understand! How many of you at times find it difficult to receive discipline of wisdom and righteousness? This only reveals some immaturity and show that you may not know and understand wisdom and the Word as much as you thought! Receiving instruction means that you allow yourself to be taught – “these proverbs will teach you – if you will allow yourself to be taught by them!” One of the dangers that plague so many who are unwilling to become disciplined in training themselves to be set-apart is that they harbour an un-teachable spirit that is unable to receive the right-ruling of the Word of Truth. We are to “know” – which is to get, “understand” – which comes in the doing and therefore allowing us to be enabled to receive correction and training, when needed, which in turn will equip to help others –
4 – Giving insight to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young – Being trained in righteousness that comes in knowing the King of Righteousness through obediently walking in His commands, obeying Him through our love for Him and able to receive correction and discipline will naturally result in us being able to give others greater insight as we become a light to the nations – a light to those who do not know and be equipped to teach they young in faith knowledge and discernment.
5 – Understanding a proverb and a picture, wise words and riddles – One thing that continues to grow in our doing of righteousness is our understanding – parables and riddles are made plain, as יהושע told His disciples that He spoke to the crowds in parables, but to them He spoke plainly and clearly – the closer you walk to Him the more clear and plain do His Words become equipping us further to remain in Him!
Knowing – Understanding – Receiving – Giving – Understanding deeper – the purposes of these proverbs!
Verse 7 – The Motto of the Book! - The fear of יהוה is the beginning of knowledge! Despise His wisdom and discipline and you are simply nothing more than a fool that will sadly follow after the voice of folly and be found sitting in a house destined for ruin and destruction!
Do not despise wisdom and reject her call – the results of which are death!
In setting the scene for the purpose of the book we see the greater speeches and instructions of wisdom that are to be heeded or else; and this is how it is in one way summarised as we jet through the first 8 Proverbs bringing us to invitations that have been called out:
I have labelled sections in order for us to gain a good understanding of the flow that we see – a flow that has been wonderfully constructed by the wisest man:
1:10-19 – Beware of sinners – Straight up is the warning to watch out for the lawless/sinners - do not be enticed by them or walk with them – stay far from their path!
1:20-33 – Wisdom’s speech – she calls out aloud calling many to repentance giving the warning to those who do not hear while a comfort to those who listen
2:1-8 – Seek wisdom – the voice of Wisdom has spoken – seek wisdom while wisdom may be found! Lift up your voice – cry out – seek and search as you would for silver or treasure – then you will understand the fear of יהוה and find knowledge of Him. So many do not understand the fear of יהוה as they are very clearly unwilling to truly seek Him as shown through their compromised lifestyles! We need more reverence in the body today – I often wonder if we have even half the reverence that the men of old that we read of in Scripture had. It is time for us to wake up, grow in reverence through our diligently seeking יהוה with our all and stop excusing our need to seek away with mundane excuses that are simply worldly and fleshly lusts calling for our attention and luring us away!
2:9-11 – Discernment will increase – You will know what is right and understanding would guard your way as you seek for Wisdom and grow in Wisdom!
2:12-15 – Avoid wicked people – discernment will help you stay clear of that which is not of Elohim – bad company corrupts good character – so watch who you become friends with – are you influencing them with the truth or are they influencing you in wickedness and unrighteousness?
2:16-19 – Avoid the immoral woman – avoid the harlot whore who has forgotten the covenant of Elohim! What does the ‘strange woman’ teach today – the Covenant is done away with – avoid this immoral teaching of the immoral woman!
2:20-22 – Rewards and Punishments – verse 22 is clear – the wicked will be cut off from the earth and plucked out! Verse 20-21 – those who guard the path of righteousness and walk in the Truth will dwell in and inherit the earth – the righteous are not going anywhere – they are staying here – if there is to be any form of so called rapture or taking away – it is the wicked – just think about the foolishness of the words of the woman of folly who falsely proclaim a rapture!
3:1-12 – 6 encouragements to walk right and refrain from what is wrong – each with a promise –
1 – Don’t forget the Torah, hear, guard and do – the reward is long life and peace (:1-2)
2 – Don’t let loving-commitment and faithfulness leave you – bind it on your heart – the reward is the favour and insight before Elohim and man. The Torah is to be upon our hearts and in our mouth – to do it – not to ignore it! (:3-4)
3 – Trust in יהוה with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding! In everything you do – know Him – that is everything you do – whether in word or deed – do it in the Name of יהושע Messiah – if His Name cannot be attached to that which you may want to do or say – then do not do it! There is far much today being done and spoken that in no way can be associated with having the name of Messiah attached too – too many coarse jokes and vulgar language – to much slander and criticism – too much worldly ‘fun’ that in nothing but crude – and this being done within so-called ‘torah-keeping’ communities! We need to ensure that we acknowledge Him in our all and this will clearly show in our daily lives if we do or not, and when we do acknowledge then we can deepen our trust in Him. The reward for complete Trust and acknowledgement of Him in ALL your ways is a straight path equipped to keep eyes focused straight ahead! When you lean on your own understanding it reveals that you are simply doing your own thing and following your own ways – for understanding comes in the doing – and when you follow your own understanding as you stubbornly follow your own ways you will find that you are unable to trust יהוה and only trust in your own ‘instincts or insights’ derived from your own understanding that when you ‘lean’ upon will fall! Understanding יהוה and His Wisdom will equip and enable you to fully Trust in Him and acknowledge Him in all you do! (:5-6)
4 – Don’t be wise in your own eyes – do not always think that you know it all and try and sound all intellectual as this is simply a means of belittling others instead of encouraging and building others – seek His wisdom – Fear יהוה and turn form evil – evil is anything that is not of Him. If you do not leave evil ways then you do not have the fear of יהוה! If you cannot leave those simple ‘compromises’ then your fear of יהוה clearly is lacking. The reward for fearing Him and not being wise in your own eyes, thinking you know it all, is this – healing to your wounds and an easing of pains! (:7-8)
5 – Esteem יהוה with your goods – give your tithes, gifts and offerings – it begins with tithes – it does not end with tithes!!! So many today think that they are doing themselves and others a huge favour when they give a little while neglecting their tithes! Do not withhold from Him that which He has entrusted to you – it is all His anyway – be a good steward and see the reward of plenty and overflow – an equation that may not always add up in the world’s ways of doing business – but it adds up in His ways and brings promises that are sure! How many times have we seen the so called world’s latest business scheme that will make one so rich only to find in time to come that it crashes and burns as maybe only a handful managed to suck some temporal reward that fades out of it? This is not so with יהוה’s way of doing business – His system always works even though in the world’s eyes makes no sense – well that is why He tells us that His ways are higher than ours – let us not forget that! Do not neglect giving – it will cripple you – give and He will bring the increase – esteem Him with all you have! (:9-10)
6 – Do not despise discipline or reproof – He loves you and delights in you and that is why He disciplines you – the reward for accepting his instruction and discipline is His intense love and delight over you!
3:13-18 – In praise of Wisdom – to find you must be seeking – to get you must be working – wisdom rewards and all who retain her are blessed.
3:19-20 – Wisdom and creation – Earth was founded by wisdom – In the beginning was the Word and all came to be through the Word as the Word was with Elohim and the Word was Elohim.
3:21-26 – Wisdom gives you a happy and blessed life - Walking in wisdom will keep you from fear and dread – because Elohim is with you!
3:27-31 – How to behave – these verses express ‘negative’ commands that encourage how to love your neighbour!
3:32-35 – How יהוה deals with good and evil – His curse is on the wrong and His blessing on the righteous!
4:1-9 – Listen to your father – Do not forsake the Torah – get wisdom and get understanding as you heed the words of instruction!
4:10-19 – Wisdom give you long life and protection – walking in righteousness is like a bringing forth of the dawn light that will shine brighter and brighter to The Perfect Day that is coming – the wrong walk in darkness and do not even know what they are stumbling in due to blindness and no light. Walk in Wisdom and you will not stumble!
4:20-27 – Remember wisdom and enjoy life – walk in the straight way – do not turn to the right or left and live the abundant life that יהושע has come to give us in Him as you watch over your heart with great diligence as you recognise that His Torah – now written upon your heart – contains the sources of life!
5:1-14 – Avoid adultery – do not forsake the covenant with our Bridegroom! Guard knowledge with your lips as you speak the Truth, having not the words of the ‘strange woman’ on your lips – even though they may drip like honey – yet in the end it is bitter as wormwood! The strange woman is as sharp as a double-edged sword – listen it is sharp, so sharp that so many are cut by her sword and led astray due to ignorance. We have the assurance that יהוה’s sword is ‘sharper’ than a double-edged sword (Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:12). Avoid the whore with her total disregard for the path of life and keep far from her and do not turn from the spoken Word of יהוה! The whore will speak smooth words – but stay away from her as you guard the Truth!
5:15-20 – Be faithful to your wife! – drink from your own cistern! – We have come to the well of Salvation – may we continue to draw with great joy from the True well of life in which there is living waters that will always quench our thirst and cause us to be satisfied! Do not drink that which is often very tempting yet very deadly – stay True to your beloved!
5:21-23 – Describes the fate of the wicked!
6:1-5 – Avoid being ensnared by the words of your mouth – do not get caught in making promises that will end you up in trouble – don’t become a guarantor for a friend or strike hands in a pledge with a stranger or foreigner!
6:6-11 – Do not be lazy!
6:12-15 – Once again – the fate of the wicked!
6:16-19 – 7 things יהוה hates
1 – Proud look; 2 – lying tongue; 3 - shedding of innocent blood; 4 – wicked schemer; 5 – those who are quick to do evil; 6 - false witness who lies; 7 – one who causes strife among brothers! Strife among brothers is hated as much by Him as innocent blood shed! Ever given a proud look when arrogantly looking down at someone you didn’t like or you did not like what they said? He hates that!!! Ever found yourself scheming only to find that you are only doing it for self with no regard of the outcome on others – He hates that! Be careful to not do the things He hates.
6:20-23 – Rewards for accepting teaching of the Torah and commands of Elohim
6:24-29 – Once again – call to avoid adultery
6:30-35 – The results of adultery
7:1-5 – Wisdom will protect you from adultery!
7:6-20 – A report of how a foolish young man becomes the victim of a seductive woman! A clear example of how easy it can be to fall prey to deception if one walks in foolishness!
7:21-23 – Youths have fallen into the trap of the seductive whore! They fall prey and do not even know it will kill them! The whore of woman of folly targets the youth – we clearly see it today!
7:24-27 – Avoid the seductive woman OR DIE!
8:1-11 – Wisdom speaks out and calls with a loud voice
8:12-21 – The qualities of wisdom – describes the attributes and virtues of wisdom and how she hates arrogance and lies, loves those who love her and gives wealth and esteem to all who find her!
8:22-31 – Origin of wisdom – wisdom is from the beginning as wisdom is with Elohim and it is with wisdom that the earth was founded. Before all was there was Wisdom – another picture of the clear metaphor of Wisdom picturing for us The Word in that Messiah became for us wisdom from Elohim!
8:32-36 – Choose life or death – If you love Him you will obey Him and choose life – if you disobey Him – you hate Him and choose death!
Ok – so that was a rather quick jet through the first 8 Proverbs of Shelomoh and in a nutshell this is what we have seen from Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1-8, summarised as follows:
The purpose of this book is to make you wise and begins with the fear of יהוה, beware of sinners, hear the words of wisdom as she speaks aloud; seek after her with your all in order to know what is right and in the process avoid wicked people and the immoral woman for there are rewards for the righteous and punishments for the wicked. Esteem the Wisdom of Elohim which is from the beginning and is forever; for wisdom will give you an abundant life, teaching you how to behave and showing how יהוה deals with both the good and the evil. So listen to Him, for His Wisdom will protect you, as you enjoy life in Him, avoiding adultery at all costs, remaining faithful as a spotless bride, for we know the fate of the wicked, so do not be lazy and know what He hates so as to avoid doing that which He hates; for in obeying him there is great reward – and remember to avoid adultery for the results of such have been decreed; and wisdom will keep you from adultery so as to not be a foolish youth enticed by a seductive woman who has already led many astray – so avoid her or die – for wisdom speaks aloud and is from the beginning. What is set before you is life and death – choose wisely!
That finally brings us to Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9 – the invitations that have been sounded – Wisdom vs. Folly:
Wisdom has prepared a meal:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:5 “Therefore, coming into the world, He says, “Slaughtering and meal offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.”
Yoḥanan/John 6:53 “יהושע therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Aḏam and drink His blood, you possess no life in yourselves.”
Folly has stolen her meal that she is so arrogantly offering!
Wisdom has mixed her wine – all is now ready – He offered the cup of His Blood and it is done – the invitation to enter has gone out!
Folly has ‘stolen’ water – that is she has muddied the waters of Truth through lies and hypocrisy and has counterfeited the offer with that which she has stolen and mixed with lies.
Wisdom sends out her servants – how many times do we read in the prophets – “I sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them…”
Folly on the other hand has simply been loud and noisy – simple and without knowledge – yet because of her loudness she lures many in! She is loud profane and … stupid! Yet so many listen to her at what she says - why? Because what she offers ‘looks good’, yet she does not tell you that it will kill you as we have clearly been shown in the preceding proverbs we have just overviewed! So many organisations today are causing the masses to flock to the house of Folly through that which tickles the senses of the people making them ‘feel good’ while they do not realise that they are being made drunk on the maddening adulteries through her cup of whorings!
What is interesting to note between that which is drunk at Pěsaḥ and that which the whore offers is this – the Cup of Messiah is the ‘Fruit of the Vine’ – pure and without yeast for the Feast of Matzot does not allow any yeast to be in the House – yeast as representing sin or lawlessness. The whore on the other hand – Folly – has mixed her cup with much yeast – much lawlessness – declaring that the Torah is null and void and the masses are drinking it up by the gallon and is intoxicated and headed for a destructive death!
Wisdom appeals to the mind – the intellect – as we renew our minds daily taking captive every thought and bringing it into obedience to Messiah – as we earnestly and diligently seek and learn and meditate day and night on The Torah and the satisfaction that wisdom brings is eternal.
Folly simply appeals to the senses, where it is easier to excite the senses of the flesh – and the truth is this – the pleasures of folly are only temporal.
Wisdom calls to those on the wrong path to walk in wisdom, to repent and get washed and walk in Truth!
Folly calls to anyone – be it those who are walking on the straight path or those who are already ignorant to come in to her and so has a ‘we accept all’ theology where sin is not dealt with and moral standards of righteousness are covered over with lies and a muddied mixture of deadly wine. She is undisciplined and allows for an undisciplined ‘feel good’ approach to worship so as to be able to be filling her house of whorings! We must avoid her and her secret bread at all costs, which is the tainted and corrupt theologies and doctrines of man that are designed to control the masses through the perceived inability of all being able to have a clear understanding unless they have been taught by those who have weaved webs in darkness and secret:
Qolasim/Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one makes a prey of you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary matters of the world, and not according to Messiah.”
Wisdom has built her house and has hewn out 7 columns – 7 as we know is a very significant number representing completeness and although we can relate many well founded pictures that could represent for us what these 7 columns are – I believe it simply represents the completed House that stands firm forever and if I had more time I could go on to give you various “7 pillar” presentations that would all be uplifting and beneficial – however after meditating upon this a great deal in seeking out 7 pillars of wisdom with such things like: Fear, Trust, Integrity, Generosity, Diligence, Community and Set-Apartness which are certainly great pillars of walking in wisdom as we too remember the Rock from which we have been hewn and of which we have clearly seen being taught and described in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1-8. However what I do see fit as what can represent the 7 pillars are in fact the 7 Feasts of יהוה, and why I say that is simply because of this – as we hear, guard and do His commands and keep His Feasts, His Appointed Times, so does our wisdom and understanding increase allowing us to be built together in Him as He brings His Body together – His House together according to His Appointed schedule. Pěsaḥ – Matzot – Bikkurim – Shavuot – Yom Teruah – Yom Kippur – Sukkot – 7 Feasts that I see as truly been that upon which we can be sure of a secure House built on a firm foundation, while we keep His Shabbat, which is also His Feast, weekly reminding us of what is to come – and eternal rest in Him, aměn! We must remember to keep His Shabbat – to guard it, delight in it and not be found doing our own ways! I found a very interesting verse in what is called ‘The Book of Thomas’, which I read this week and did various searches finding various translations that all agree – whether it be a restored names version or from multiple sources on opposite ends of the scales of differing theologies – all have the same wording with no discrepancies. Whether or not it is a valid translation of an original letter, there is nothing in there that disagrees with Scripture and what I found very clear is in verse 27 it basically says this: If you do not fast the world you will not see the Father; if you do not keep the Sabbath as the Sabbath you will not see the Father! Very striking words indeed that remind us just how important it is to live set-apart lives as we ‘fast’ the world and how critical the Sabbath is and we best be reminded of this fact – as today I fear that somehow many who are claiming and obedient Torah observant lifestyle are in fact neglecting the full importance of the Sabbath and the reverence we are to have in coming together in Him!
Despite having much more to share with you on this chapter – the essence of the message is this: Life and death have been set before us: Wisdom is Life; while Folly is death – and we each must choose which we will listen to and into which House we will enter in and feast at.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:21 “You are not able to drink the cup of the Master and the cup of demons; you are not able to partake of the table of the Master and of the table of demons.”
Both Wisdom and Folly make their call – while Folly may be loud – may we listen to the still small voice of Elohim and stay far from the door of the house of folly.
Wisdom vs. Folly – Who are you listening to? He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit is saying!