Tag Archives: torah
Apple of Whose Eye
(#048 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
But Yahweh said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. Yahweh does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart [center of intellect].” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Shaul (Paul) taught that we must take every thought captive and make it obedient unto the Messiah (2 Corinthians 10:5). He was revealing the Messianic allusion of the words of the great prophet. He says, “You judge by appearances;” (v. 7) you are looking at the outside, the physical, but it is the mind that truly matters (v. 5). Yes, the mind, and the command to take every thought captive, is magnificently congruous with the prophet’s Hebrew understanding of the heart, the center of intellect. People look at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart! Yahweh is looking for the mind of the Messiah in you. Oh yes loved one, [His] ways are higher than your ways and [His] thoughts [higher] than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
King David was a man after Yahweh’s heart; “the apple of His eye” (Psalm 17:8). Who was David? He was a murderer, an adulterer! Let there be no doubt; there are many “Davids” in the church today, who are lost in their iniquity, and yet who are madly devoted to the things of the Father. The church itself would deem these modern-day “Davids” as sinners, guilty, unclean, and even not fit for salvation. And they would accuse those sinners in their hearts, while at the same time singing praises to the “Lord” at weekly services, using words from the very Psalms written by David, the murder and adulterer.
The truth about David’s courage and lineage is preached, which of course leads to the Messiah. But, the preaching commences with fervor as does the condemnation of these modern-day Davids. And all of this is shielded under the umbrella of self-proclaimed righteousness. This disconnect is not because so much time has passed since King David walked the earth, as if time would heal the constructs of the ego. Time does not change the heart of man. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of the Almighty. (Romans 3:23)
This disconnect is due to the denial that the brand of “church” or practice of “Christianity” they preach does not coincide with the true intent of their thoughts, the wickedness in their hearts. Unforgiveness and condemnation is the manifest evidence. We love to acknowledge the Messiah’s greatness as He “forgives us even though we do not know what we are doing. (Luke 23:34).” And yet, it is a rarity indeed to witness a modern-day believer lay down his life for another, especially one who is “unworthy.”
Yahweh is looking for those who realize that if He only used “good” people to do His work on the earth, then there would be no one to use. Stop wrongly judging your living brother by appearances, while at the same time glorifying the dead heroes of the faith who were just like them. This, indeed, is a reality check for us all!
We Don’t Trust You
(#017 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Every thought, every desire, and every action that does not conform to the will of the Father can be sized up in one simple statement. “I don’t trust you Yahweh.” “How can that be,” you ask? It really is so simple that a child will understand. Whenever you decide to go your own way, a way other than the Creator’s, you are saying that your way is better than His. It sets a very dangerous precedent and makes the undeniable statement that you ultimately don’t prefer His will over your own. Sin is always the verdict when this mindset prevails; it is a mindset that proves your lack of trust in Him.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares Yahweh, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) If you could go forward in time and see what the Father has planned for you, certainly you would not choose your own path. You would not attempt to alter His plan. Every sin does just that. It alters or delays the speedy and bountiful result that He has planned for you. Yes, for followers of Yahshua the Messiah there is mercy and grace. However, you can choose the forty year journey or take the direct route and arrive in eleven days.
Repent! Realize that anything other than complete trust in the will of the Father alone is a sinful lack of faith. Sin always extends your journey and delays your arrival to the destination you so desire. Take time to seek His face (Matthew 6:33) and He will always reveal His perfect plan for your life. Yes, you may have to set out on your journey by faith, not knowing exactly how to get to your destination. However, your obedience to take the first step will be rewarded.
He is not like a man that He should lie to you (Numbers 23:19). His hope and future is what you were created for. The ability to reach your dreams in life is only limited by your recognition that Yahweh put them in your heart (center of intellect) in the first place, and your lacking faith that He will fulfill them. Delight yourself also in Yahweh, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) Delight yourself; Yes, it means to be soft or delicate toward, or in other words, to possess a soft heart toward Yahweh. He placed those desires in there and when your heart is soft (delights in Him), then He fulfills them. This is His plan; it cannot change. Only your heart can.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)
(#007 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I Am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18-19)
He opens up new paths in the wilderness; even in a desolate place you will find streams of living water. This is because; even in His chastisement He is tender. He does not destroy His children (Psalm 78:38).
Yahweh was well aware of the things that would bind you. Look carefully lest you fall short of the grace of the Mighty One; lest any root of bitterness springing up in you and cause trouble, and by this even many others become defiled. (Hebrews 12:15) Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. It only causes trouble. Dwelling on the past forms shackles that bind you; looking back nourishes roots that will grow the fruit of guilt, shame, unworthiness, greed, pride, and arrogance; anything but streams of living water.
“Behold, I Am doing a new thing!” says Yahweh. Not believing Me is what waters the bitter root. May I encounter you? May I take away the shackles in your mind? May I give you the mind of the Messiah (1 Corinthians 2:16)? Put aside emotion and listen to My voice. If I tell you I Am doing something new, I Am. I use all of your pain, all of your mistakes, and all of your disobedience to advance My Kingdom. If I wished not to use those fleshly things, I would have made you a spirit being entirely, like My mighty malachim (angels). Instead, I left you in the flesh so you would learn to fight for spiritual territory; My Kingdom suffers violence and violent men take it by force (Matthew11:12). It is My plan that you battle for righteousness.
Forget the former things; My mercies are new every day. (Lamentations 3:23) Even now, as you dwell on painful memories, release them into My care. My Son’s shed blood covers them all. I don’t mind your regret; reverent sorrow brings repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). But go no further than that; the rest is up to Me! Behold, I Am doing a new thing! Do you not perceive it?
Esther Becomes Queen
1 But after Xerxes’ anger had subsided, he began thinking about Vashti and what she had done and the decree he had made. 2 So his personal attendants suggested, “Let us search the empire to find beautiful young virgins for the king. 3 Let the king appoint agents in each province to bring these beautiful young women into the royal harem at the fortress of Susa. Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the harem, will see that they are all given beauty treatments. 4 After that, the young woman who most pleases the king will be made queen instead of Vashti.” This advice was very appealing to the king, so he put the plan into effect.
5 At that time there was a Jewish man in the fortress of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair. He was from the tribe of Benjamin and was a descendant of Kish and Shimei. 6 His family[a] had been among those who, with King Jehoiachin[b] of Judah, had been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. 7 This man had a very beautiful and lovely young cousin, Hadassah, who was also called Esther. When her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter.
8 As a result of the king’s decree, Esther, along with many other young women, was brought to the king’s harem at the fortress of Susa and placed in Hegai’s care. 9 Hegai was very impressed with Esther and treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven maids specially chosen from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not told anyone of her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had directed her not to do so. 11 Every day Mordecai would take a walk near the courtyard of the harem to find out about Esther and what was happening to her.
12 Before each young woman was taken to the king’s bed, she was given the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments—six months with oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments. 13 When it was time for her to go to the king’s palace, she was given her choice of whatever clothing or jewelry she wanted to take from the harem. 14 That evening she was taken to the king’s private rooms, and the next morning she was brought to the second harem,[c] where the king’s wives lived. There she would be under the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch in charge of the concubines. She would never go to the king again unless he had especially enjoyed her and requested her by name.
15 Esther was the daughter of Abihail, who was Mordecai’s uncle. (Mordecai had adopted his younger cousin Esther.) When it was Esther’s turn to go to the king, she accepted the advice of Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the harem. She asked for nothing except what he suggested, and she was admired by everyone who saw her.
16 Esther was taken to King Xerxes at the royal palace in early winter[d] of the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti. 18 To celebrate the occasion, he gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor for all his nobles and officials, declaring a public holiday for the provinces and giving generous gifts to everyone.
19 Even after all the young women had been transferred to the second harem[e] and Mordecai had become a palace official,[f] 20 Esther continued to keep her family background and nationality a secret. She was still following Mordecai’s directions, just as she did when she lived in his home.
Mordecai’s Loyalty to the King
21 One day as Mordecai was on duty at the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthana[g] and Teresh—who were guards at the door of the king’s private quarters—became angry at King Xerxes and plotted to assassinate him. 22 But Mordecai heard about the plot and gave the information to Queen Esther. She then told the king about it and gave Mordecai credit for the report. 23 When an investigation was made and Mordecai’s story was found to be true, the two men were impaled on a sharpened pole. This was all recorded in The Book of the History of King Xerxes’ Reign.
- 2:6a Hebrew He.
- 2:6b Hebrew Jeconiah, a variant spelling of Jehoiachin.
- 2:14 Or to another part of the harem.
- 2:16 Hebrew in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth. A number of dates in the book of Esther can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Persian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of December 479 B.c. and January 478 B.c.
- 2:19a The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 2:19b Hebrew and Mordecai was sitting in the gate of the king.
- 2:21 Hebrew Bigthan; compare 6:2.
Transgender or Transvestite My Thoughts
Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Justice
1 Then Elihu said:
2 “Do you think it is right for you to claim,
‘I am righteous before God’?
3 For you also ask, ‘What’s in it for me?
What’s the use of living a righteous life?’
4 “I will answer you
and all your friends, too.
5 Look up into the sky,
and see the clouds high above you.
6 If you sin, how does that affect God?
Even if you sin again and again,
what effect will it have on him?
7 If you are good, is this some great gift to him?
What could you possibly give him?
8 No, your sins affect only people like yourself,
and your good deeds also affect only humans.
9 “People cry out when they are oppressed.
They groan beneath the power of the mighty.
10 Yet they don’t ask, ‘Where is God my Creator,
the one who gives songs in the night?
11 Where is the one who makes us smarter than the animals
and wiser than the birds of the sky?’
12 And when they cry out, God does not answer
because of their pride.
13 But it is wrong to say God doesn’t listen,
to say the Almighty isn’t concerned.
14 You say you can’t see him,
but he will bring justice if you will only wait.[a]
15 You say he does not respond to sinners with anger
and is not greatly concerned about wickedness.[b]
16 But you are talking nonsense, Job.
You have spoken like a fool.”
- 35:13-14 These verses can also be translated as follows: 13 Indeed, God doesn’t listen to their empty plea; / the Almighty is not concerned. / 14 How much less will he listen when you say you don’t see him, / and that your case is before him and you’re waiting for justice.
- 35:15 As in Greek and Latin versions; the meaning of this Hebrew word is uncertain.
Single Dad Teaches Daughter Yahweh’s Word
Job’s Second Speech: A Response to Eliphaz
1 Then Job spoke again:
2 “If my misery could be weighed
and my troubles be put on the scales,
3 they would outweigh all the sands of the sea.
That is why I spoke impulsively.
4 For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows.
Their poison infects my spirit.
God’s terrors are lined up against me.
5 Don’t I have a right to complain?
Don’t wild donkeys bray when they find no grass,
and oxen bellow when they have no food?
6 Don’t people complain about unsalted food?
Does anyone want the tasteless white of an egg?[a]
7 My appetite disappears when I look at it;
I gag at the thought of eating it!
8 “Oh, that I might have my request,
that God would grant my desire.
9 I wish he would crush me.
I wish he would reach out his hand and kill me.
10 At least I can take comfort in this:
Despite the pain,
I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
11 But I don’t have the strength to endure.
I have nothing to live for.
12 Do I have the strength of a stone?
Is my body made of bronze?
13 No, I am utterly helpless,
without any chance of success.
14 “One should be kind to a fainting friend,
but you accuse me without any fear of the Almighty.[b]
15 My brothers, you have proved as unreliable as a seasonal brook
that overflows its banks in the spring
16 when it is swollen with ice and melting snow.
17 But when the hot weather arrives, the water disappears.
The brook vanishes in the heat.
18 The caravans turn aside to be refreshed,
but there is nothing to drink, so they die.
19 The caravans from Tema search for this water;
the travelers from Sheba hope to find it.
20 They count on it but are disappointed.
When they arrive, their hopes are dashed.
21 You, too, have given no help.
You have seen my calamity, and you are afraid.
22 But why? Have I ever asked you for a gift?
Have I begged for anything of yours for myself?
23 Have I asked you to rescue me from my enemies,
or to save me from ruthless people?
24 Teach me, and I will keep quiet.
Show me what I have done wrong.
25 Honest words can be painful,
but what do your criticisms amount to?
26 Do you think your words are convincing
when you disregard my cry of desperation?
27 You would even send an orphan into slavery[c]
or sell a friend.
28 Look at me!
Would I lie to your face?
29 Stop assuming my guilt,
for I have done no wrong.
30 Do you think I am lying?
Don’t I know the difference between right and wrong?
Eliphaz’s First Response to Job
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied to Job:
2 “Will you be patient and let me say a word?
For who could keep from speaking out?
3 “In the past you have encouraged many people;
you have strengthened those who were weak.
4 Your words have supported those who were falling;
you encouraged those with shaky knees.
5 But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart.
You are terrified when it touches you.
6 Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence?
Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?
7 “Stop and think! Do the innocent die?
When have the upright been destroyed?
8 My experience shows that those who plant trouble
and cultivate evil will harvest the same.
9 A breath from God destroys them.
They vanish in a blast of his anger.
10 The lion roars and the wildcat snarls,
but the teeth of strong lions will be broken.
11 The fierce lion will starve for lack of prey,
and the cubs of the lioness will be scattered.
12 “This truth was given to me in secret,
as though whispered in my ear.
13 It came to me in a disturbing vision at night,
when people are in a deep sleep.
14 Fear gripped me,
and my bones trembled.
15 A spirit[a] swept past my face,
and my hair stood on end.[b]
16 The spirit stopped, but I couldn’t see its shape.
There was a form before my eyes.
In the silence I heard a voice say,
17 ‘Can a mortal be innocent before God?
Can anyone be pure before the Creator?’
18 “If God does not trust his own angels
and has charged his messengers with foolishness,
19 how much less will he trust people made of clay!
They are made of dust, crushed as easily as a moth.
20 They are alive in the morning but dead by evening,
gone forever without a trace.
21 Their tent-cords are pulled and the tent collapses,
and they die in ignorance.