Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Life is a Test

Photo Courtesy of Dennis Moore

We ask the obvious questions...why did God want Moses to send out spies if God was going to give them the land?

Why did God allow Moses to pick who the spies would be?

In the original Hebrew it says, "Send for yourself men that they may spy...(Num. 13:2) the land of Canaan, how it can be captured."

In certain circles I've walked this would be called "setting them up for failure". 

King Solomon in Proverbs 
21:31 said, "The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but salvation comes from God."
The Land was Plentiful  

A person should do as much as possible, not relying on God to help him, yet he physically must do all he can do and rely on God in his heart. 
This may seem a bit contradictory but God is always testing us. 

Why? Because that is how we learn and grow stronger in our walk with Him. 

God tested Moses to see who he would pick and only 2 out of 12 came back with a good report. 

The spies were given power and became "elitists". The spies failed their mission by putting their wants before the needs of the people.
The spies were also tested and only 2 out of 12 passed. 

Some interpret God saying, "Send for yourself..." as being left up to Moses whether or not spies should even be sent, after all was it not God who said I will give you this land?
Even Shoev suggested that they wait for the cloud to move. 

Seems tricky doesn't it? Well no matter what you decide you are being tested...

The heart and the eyes are the spies of the body: the eyes see, the heart covets, and the body does the sin-Rashi.

Monday, June 12, 2017

This Weeks Readings

Shelach | שלח | "Send "
Torah: Numbers 13:
Prophets: Joshua 2:1-24
Gospel: Mark 10:1-45
Brit Chadashah: Heb. 3:7-4:1

I Die Daily

Photo courtesy of Dennis Moore
In Biblical times it was customary to be cleansed in a mikveh (ritual bath) fully immersing. This was likened to a dying out.
The interesting thing about a mikveh is the fact that you cannot stay under the water. You cannot live there, you would drown and die, this is where we get the phrase "watery grave" from.

Many ask the question, "If Jesus was without sin, why was He baptized then?"
The answer is that in that time, and still today, not only was the bride to be immersed, but the groom as well.
Now as far as the remitting of sins there was no need because we know that Jesus was sinless.

Was Jesus just setting an example for us whenever He prayed?

Photo courtesy of Gary Dornbach
There is a story of a teacher that was so pious that his students thought he was a blameless man.
He was an inspiring teacher loved by all.

One day a couple of his students were walking when they heard some weeping coming from the other side of a ridge. When they peeked over they saw their beloved teacher repenting.
Sneaking away they were dismayed and wondered what in the world would such a righteous man need to repent over?
Later on the students could no longer stand it and asked him about it.
He told them that it was something that he did everyday.

At one point in his life the teacher realized that all the attention he was getting about being a great teacher and a righteous man was actually hindering his walk with God for you see...

God must be served with joy, and without complete humility, joy is impossible.

This teacher decided he would regularly disguise himself and spend time in places where no one knew him. 
In his wanderings he stayed at an inn where he enjoyed pleasant evening chats with the keeper. In the mornings he would pray then eat breakfast and go on his way.

His students began to look for him and came upon an inn where their teacher might have stayed. They mentioned to the inn keeper that their great teacher may have come through the area. 
The keeper informed them that no one by that name had stayed at his Inn. 
They then described their teacher to the inn keeper whereby he realized he had just entertained this great teacher! 

He saddled up and pursued the teacher in the direction he had gone. He was relieved to catch up with him. He fell off his ride at the teachers feet and profusely apologized to the teacher. "If I had only known, I would have served you differently." 

What does this teach us? 

That we should repent and plead for God to forgive us of our shortcomings and failings in our service to Him daily. 

Each evening we need to review in our mind how we served God that day. 

             'If I had known about God in the beginning of the day what I know now, I would have served Him completely differently!'

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Oxygen...for Life

It is vitally important to have a routine of prayer. 
Prayer is what has sustained the Jewish people for thousands of years. 
"Hear O Israel..." is said everyday. 

Each morning, I don my small prayer shawl, a tallit, or "a little sanctuary" as it is known.
There is beauty in closing yourself away with God. 
Donning the tallit helps me focus on prayer. 

Your routine may be like mine...

Beginning with praise, acknowledging God's power, protection, and redeeming help.

I declare God's holiness and sanctify His name making known His greatness.

I ask God for wisdom then pray for repentance and ask for forgiveness. 
A wise person will always find their way to repentance and forgiveness.

Next, I reveal to God the needs of my family and redemption. 

I grab a bottle of frankincense anointing myself for healing while praying for others also in need of healing. 
Why me first? 
It is like we are taught when the steward instructs us on an airplane. 
They teach that if an emergency happens, the oxygen masks will drop down.
 You are to apply the oxygen mask to yourself before your children because you can't take care of others if you yourself faint for lack of oxygen. 

The next thing I pray for is abundance. 

What kind of abundance? 

It is a prayer that those who have abundance will share with those in need.  
Anointing once again with a blend of orange, frankincense, patchouli, clove, ginger, myrrh, cinnamon bark, and spruce. 

An abundance of oils for an abundance of needs.

I ask God to help those who are oppressed and bring about freedom in their lives.
I pray for righteousness and justice. 

This is a good time to pray for our leaders, "Bestow Your Spirit on the rulers of all lands!"

Photo Courtesy of Art Hodges
I pray against evil and ask God to bless the faithful.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Prayer for deliverance and even pray for prayer as He is a God who hearkens to prayer as it is our prayers that are forever before His throne.

At this point worshipping of the One True God flows naturally which leads to giving Him thanks for all he does in my life and the lives of my family. 
(Much time needs to be spent in this area).

Thanking God for peace and praising Him is the best way to finish your prayer time as you will walk away with praise still upon your lips...
A great way to start the day.

Monday, May 15, 2017

This Weeks Readings

Behar/Bechukotai | בהר/בחקותי | "On the mountain/In my statutes "
Torah: Leviticus 25:1-27:34
Prophets: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14
Gospel: Luke 13:1-33/John 10:22-42/Luke 14:1-15:32
Brit Chadashah: Matt. 21:33-46; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:9-11; 
Eph. 4:8

Thank You Gabrieli for supporting Hebrew Perspectives!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Mantle of Messiah

Photo Courtesy of Missionary Dennis Moore
The Bible has so many beautiful stories... none more beautiful than the passing of the mantle.

The scene of Moses laying hands on Joshua his disciple where the mantle falls to Joshua...
When God's Spirit fell it must have been fantastic...I can feel the charge in the air!

Then, there is the amazing telling of Elijah dropping his mantle and Elisha picking it up whereby he received the spirit of Elijah...it must have been an awesome moment!

In both instances a mantle was passed.   
The passing of the mantle is the giving of ministry from the teacher to his disciple. 

Some believe that each of these stories the mantle was a tallit or prayer shawl. 

It may have just been a simple piece of cloth or a cloak. Interestingly enough is that when a Jewish person dies his fringes (tzit-tzit) are cut off because he can no longer fulfill God's commandments.

Moses was buried by God and Elijah was taken up.

Now Jesus when He finished His ministry doesn't pass on a mantle, or so it appears....
If He did have a mantle, who got it?

Since Jesus is God robed in flesh, His mantle is too big for any one person to receive, but it was received by many.

He ascended and the Holy Ghost fell on 120. 
On the Day of Pentecost the 120 received the mantle of Messiah, then to others ... it still falls on us today.
When the Holy Ghost fell it was the mantle, it was the ministry that we all have. 
We have a part in His mantle, we have a part in His anointing. 

This is our calling, to have a part in His ministry, through the mantle of the Messiah.

"And the Lord, He it is who doth go before thee. He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee. Fear not, neither be dismayed.” 
Deuteronomy 31:8