Chayei Sarah Torah : Genesis 23:1-25:18| Prophets : 1 Kings 1:1-31| Gospel : John 4:3-14


Life is a Dash

 

 

 

 

Genesis (Messianic) — The Harvest

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 8 -THE ONE YEAR BIBLE READING TOUR- GENESIS 18:20-19:38; MATTHEW 6:25-7:14; PSALM 8:1-9; PROVERBS 2:6-15Women of the Bible: SARAH

8 Purposeful Lessons We Can Learn From Sarah In The Bible

Who is Sarah in the Bible and Why is She Important? - Beliefnet

Abraham And Isaac Walk Together Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

 

Jesus and Isaac's Submission to Their Fathers - Scott LaPierre

Sarah Dies so Abraham Purchases a Field & a Cave in Hebron | The Last Days CalendarLesson 29 A Covenant Marriage Genesis The L ORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife. - ppt download

38 Rebecca ideas | biblical art, bible pictures, bible

 

8 Purposeful Lessons We Can Learn From Sarah In The Bible

 

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Women of the Bible - Sarah - Springs Lighthouse

 

Hebrew In Israel | Haftarah Chaye Sarah – Learn Torah – Hebrew In Israel

I_Kings

Lesson 93 Empire of David and Solomon 1 Kings 1-10 And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies. - ppt download

 

071014 David Passing The Reigns 1 Kings 1 2 Dale Wells

 

 

Solomon At Davids Deathbed Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

 

THE QUEEN MOTHER IN THE DAVIDIC DYNASTY – The Marian Blogger

Is Messiah Found In The TaNaKH and Brit Chadashah? Part 2 · Mini Manna Moments

John 4:3-14

THE SAMARITAN WOMAN: her story in John's gospelWhat can we learn from the woman at the well? | GotQuestions.org

 

 

john 4:25 – I Live For JESUS !

 

 

 

 

John 4:14. A Destined Meeting at the Well - Wellspring Christian Ministries

 

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Women of the Bible - Sarah - Springs LighthouseBold Women of the Bible: Deborah - Just Boldly Go37 Deborah the Prophetess and Judge ideas | bible, bible women, judge

The Bible Story of Deborah-Prophetess - YouTube

 

 

The Judges: Victory in the Hand of Deborah | United Church of GodA Fearless Leader: A Bible Story About Deborah (Called and Courageous Girls) - Signed by the illustrator! — Eric Elwell Art

 

 

Women of the Bible – Jael | the Word chickWho Was Jael In The Bible? A Character Study | Jack Wellman

Old Testament & New Testament. Women of the Bible The Bible is full of women who became unexpected heroines and surprising instruments of God's story. - ppt download

 

 

Amazon.com: Psalm 46:5" God Is Within Her, She Will Not Fall" Bible Verse Quote Wall Art - Unframed 11 x 14 Woman's Face Watercolor Print - Inspirational Gift for Family & Friends

Women…

Mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, aunts…

infants, little girls, teens, youthful, young, vibrant…

young women, young mom’s, young wives…

elderly, wise, full of years, survivors of much…experience, insight, fearless…

Women…

God’s daughters….His beautiful crowning creation…

Trafficked, abused, marginalized, second class citizens…chattel, booty, prized possession, captive in a harem…

This is history. This is factual. This is a travesty.

But take heart dear one! He is restoring all things! He is not only restoring His Shabbat, Feast Days and Torah, but He is also restoring His lovely ladies to their role, design and function!

I want to share with you a show Keisha Gallagher and I did a while back and I want to share with you some other resources that may be a blessing to you! For my brothers, I urge you to ask Yah to help you to see the truth of false doctrinal teachings regarding women! I will post some resources that will assist you in your own studies on this topic!

Healing for the Nations with A Modern Day Samaritan Woman

A Life of One Day at a Time – Chayei Sarah

Abraham was old, come along in days”—Genesis 24:1.

This week’s Torah reading describes Abraham as being “old, come along in days.” What is the difference between the two? If one has already been told that Abraham was old, why is it necessary to add that he also lived many days?

The answer is that to be “old” means to have lived a long time, but says nothing about how one spent his time. To “come along in days” describes the manner in which a person’s life was lived. Abraham did not merely pass through life, racking up the years. His years were made up of much smaller units of time—days. He lived with the knowledge that there will never again be a time like this time right now. He had a sensitivity to the significance of each moment, and succeeded in actualizing whatever unique opportunities presented themselves. If I live my life right, then I am not just “x” amount of years old. I am the product of days, hours and minutes lived to their fullest G‑dly potential.

Even the smallest unit of time is a distinct creation never to be replicated againThere are some who push through life just trying to get from one day to the next. There are others who say that every moment is to be savored, not just endured. Abraham’s attitude surpassed both of these. He saw every moment as something to be put to use. Even the smallest unit of time is a distinct creation never to be replicated again. Today’s work is not tomorrow’s. The call of the hour is not that of the next.

When those of us in recovery speak about taking sobriety “one-day-at-a-time,” we don’t just mean breaking up time into manageable chunks. We mean that to stay sober, we need to stay in the moment. We have to be in the now; we need to know that we were brought to this place and time at this very second to serve a purpose and be of use to our fellow and our Creator. We need to be aware that we are being given a gift that will never be precisely replicated.

When we were drinking or drugging, the past dogged us with remorse and resentment; the future loomed before us with fear and dread. The present was barely tolerated or frittered away with procrastination. As sober people in recovery, we still have difficulty relating to time. But sober living, and the kind of spiritual awareness that it demands from us, have helped us to learn how to look with keen eyes at the opportunities for service brought by each moment.

Whereas aging takes no special effort or insight, truly living means to “come along” in days, hours, minutes and seconds—all put to good use in our service to man and G‑d.

VAYERA TORAH : GENESIS 18:1-22:24| PROPHETS : 2 KINGS 4:1-37| GOSPEL : LUKE 17:28-37


 

 

 

This week, as usual, we have many rabbit trails! (Some like to call them “rabbi trails).

 

Rabbit Trails are Good! - Homeschool Legacy

                                       We have much terrain to cover! Let’s get started!

Part A) Weekly Torah Portion: 04 VAYERA - HE APPEARED - GENESIS 18:1-22:24 - YouTube

                                            Is He not the God of the impossible?

Products Tagged "Is Anything Too Hard For the Lord" - GraceLaced

Sarah's Last Laugh – Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7 – Pastor Mandi

                                               OH!!! The tests we all go through!

What Does Genesis 22:7 Mean?

 

Torah Portion – Vayera “He appeared” | Oh Happy Daze

Game: Fast Forward | Family | BoardGameGeek

 

                                                                Sodom and Gomorrah

 

Genesis 19 - Holy Bible English - BibleWordings.comGenesis 19:1-3 Lot sat in gate of Sodom, and when he saw the two angels he invited them to spend the night at his house. Click for next slide. - ppt download

 

 

The Offering of Lot's Daughters (Interpret, Preach and Draw) - YouTube

**SEE BELOW FOR MORE INSIGHT INTO THAT TOPIC!

 

God's Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - YouTube

 

Don't Look Back, You're Not Going That Way!” – Jeanie Shepard MinistriesLot's Wife Drawing by James Robinson

 

                                                   There is nothing new under the sun! 

 

Jerks Of The Bible Series | Entry #5: Lot – Dust Off The Bible

 

Male RAPE by Women: Myth or Fact?13 Best Lot's Daughters ideas | lot's daughters, sodom and gomorrah, zoar

New Testament BCM 103 Dr. Dave Mathewson Gordon College/Denver Seminary. - ppt download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Are we vessels for His honor or do we bring dishonor to our King and His kingdom?

 

 

 

The Daughters Of Sarah Around The World13 Best Lot's Daughters ideas | lot's daughters, sodom and gomorrah, zoarPin on QuotesII Kings

VaYERA” / “HE Appeared” – (YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH) THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE Ministry Congregation, Glasgow (Scotland, U.K.)

Haftorah Portion

 

Luke BUT THE SAME DAY THAT LOT WENT OUT OF SODOM IT RAINED FIRE AND BRIMSTONE

Remember Lot's Wife" - Sermon - May 17, 2020 - YouTube

   ***EXTRA READING/VIDEO’S***

               No Looking Back

 As I looked in the mirror and saw the bunny trails returning, I thought “now what do I do about them” Those dreaded stinking bunny trials. When I got my last Botox injections, I knew it was only temporary, as with the fillers.  Only a temporary fix.  I told my husband and my anti-aging doctor I wanted the lifestyle lift.  It was more permanent than filler and injections and less invasive and expensive than a face lift. Less down time.  Made sense to me.   They both frowned.  So did I. I didn’t call the shots, the one with the money and the one with the needles did.

Here I am, in a shelter for women fleeing domestic abuse worrying about returning bunny trials….how stupid and superficial!  Three times I have left the destructive relationship, two times I have returned due to the financial situation…and dare I look back at the pleasures enjoyed?  The messages, the facials, the access to an anti-aging doctor, a good chiropractor`, manicures, pedicures.  A beautiful house, a house cleaner, good organic food.  Vacations, shopping sprees, what more could a woman want?

Reality.  Damage Control…Therapy, medications, stress so bad the chiropractic adjustments wouldn’t hold, the messages didn’t undo the layers of  knots in my shoulders, the manicures and pedicures were less than what I needed.  Botox and fillers couldn’t erase the added 10 years of aging in the less than 4 years of marriage.  I had to go back the The House.  No amount of exterior excursions could change the fact that I had to go back to The House. To The Abusive Husband.

As I looked at my traumatic chaotic life and the great losses, the Lord said, “do not look back”.  What? Was that You Lord?”  I was unsure. All through the day Lots wife came to my mind.  I pondered why she looked back as the Lord’s angel was delivering her and her family from destruction.  Did she, too, have a leisurely lifestyle and nice pretty clothes and a beautiful home?

I reviewed the reasons I returned to the relationship 2 times previously and also the outcomes of returning. There was no change in him thus no change in the marriage. Since returning from Florida the last time I left him I needed to take Xanax when I knew he was on his way home from the office. I took it on the weekends to keep calm around him.  Depression and anxiety were my everyday norms now. Did I want to continue living like this or was I willing to trust God and let Him lead me on a final Exodus journey into the life He wants me to live. 

This time there was no returning; no looking back. I was wasting my life on an illusion that my husband controlled.  When I pulled aside the illusion and tried to confront his fantasy world all hell broke loose.  I was the crazy one, I was the one on meds, I was the one that twisted things and abused him. I was the one playing the victim…well, no more!  I came to a decision…  No more games, no more lies, no more power and control over me. Enough was enough!

No looking back this time.  So let the bunnies run the trails on my aging face.  May I age gracefully free in the arms of the One who won my freedom.

                                        Now, a word from big brother Judah!

Vayeira (Genesis 18-22)

Don't Look Back

                                                        Don’t get stuck in the past.


We’ve all made mistakes and bad decisions in life and unfortunately we sometimes have a problem getting those mistakes out of our system. This week, the Torah warns us that looking back and focusing too much on the past can result in spiritual and physical stagnation.

Lot’s family was warned not to look back when they leave the city of Sodom, a city that was being destroyed for its total lack of morality (Gen 19:17). Instead of focusing on the past, they needed to focus primarily on the future.

Lot’s wife ignored the warning and looked back. As a consequence she was turned into a “pillar of salt.” Salt is the ultimate preservative; she is essentially mummified — frozen into the same position for all of eternity, never able to grow or change.

A person needs to be able to admit to his failings, make amends, roll his sleeves up, and start over. To focus any more than necessary on the past will inhibit the opportunities presented to us to maximize our potential and move forward into the future. King Solomon says it all when he teaches, “A bad person will fall once and never again get up, whereas a righteous person will fall seven times and get up again each and every time.”

(Based on the teachings of Rav Avigdor M

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VIDEO OF TORAH PORTION BELOW

 

https://www.alephbeta.org/playlist/real-sin-of-sodom-gomorrah

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“Lot and His Daughters” by Georg Pencz (Wikimedia)

Violence Against Women

Parashat Vayera offers many instances of abuse towards female biblical characters.

This extraordinarily rich parashah filled with violence — not just the obvious and dramatic violence of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the incipient violence of the binding of Isaac, but also various, more ordinary, forms of violence against women. Half-buried in the vivid description of the people of Sodom gathering around Lot‘s house and demanding the strangers staying with him is Lot’s reply, “Look–I have two daughters who have never been intimate with a man; let me bring them out for you, and do to them as you please.

But do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof” (19:8). While a later midrash will see Lot’s offer as evidence that he was infected by the wickedness of Sodom and picture him as having been punished (Tanchuma Vayera 12), the biblical text offers no explicit judgment on his behavior. The violence of the people of Sodom merits the destruction of the city, but the willingness of Lot to see his daughters assaulted and raped is apparently unworthy of comment.

Abraham & Sarah

At the beginning of Genesis 20, we have another form of violence: the second of two stories (or two versions of the same story; see 12:10-20) in which Abraham seeks to pass off his wife Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself. In this passage, Abimelech, king of Gerar, seizes Sarah, but her potential rape is averted when God keeps Abimelech from touching her. The similar tale will be repeated once again in relation to Isaac and Rebekah (26:6-11).

The three-fold reiteration of the narrative suggests that it might serve as a paradigm of the situation of Jewish women. The first two male ancestors of the Jews, perceiving themselves as “other” and therefore endangered in foreign lands, use their wives as buffers between themselves and the larger culture. The women become the “others’ other,” the ones whose safety and well-being can be sacrificed in order to save the patriarchs’ skins.

The story names a pattern that becomes a recurring part of Jewish history: male Jews, subordinated by the dominant culture, in turn subordinate women within their own cultures, doubling the otherness that partly mirrors their own. As in the case of Lot’s offering his daughters to the people of Sodom, the biblical text offers no comment on or protest against this situation. Unlike when God appears to Abimelech in a dream and threatens him with death unless he releases Sarah (Genesis 12), God does not explicitly chastise Abraham or Lot.

Sarah & Hagar

Then, in Genesis 21, we meet still another form of violence–this time Sarah’s violence against Hagar. After Sarah bears Isaac in her old age, she tells Abraham to throw the slave girl Hagar and her son Ishmael out of the house, so that Ishmael will not share in his father’s inheritance along with Isaac. The violence that is practiced by Abraham against Sarah, she now recapitulates in relation to the most vulnerable person in her own household. Thus, the cycle of abuse goes on. In this context, not only does the text not judge Sarah, but God is explicitly on her side, telling Abraham to listen to Sarah because her son Isaac will be the bearer of the covenantal line.

This Torah portion makes clear that our ancestors are by no means always models of ethical behavior that edify and inspire us. On the contrary, often the Torah holds up a mirror to the ugliest aspects of human nature and human society. It provides us with opportunities to look honestly at ourselves and the world we have created, to reflect on destructive patterns of human relating, and to ask how we might address and change them. In Lot’s treatment of his daughters-and in the Torah’s lack of comment on that treatment–can we see the casual acceptance, indeed the invisibility, of violence against women that is so ubiquitous in many cultures, including our own?

In Abraham’s seeming lack of concern about the fate of Sarah, can we see the ways in which marginalized peoples are all too liable to duplicate patterns of subordination from which they themselves have suffered? In Sarah’s banishment of Hagar, can we see the horizontal violence that oppressed people visit on each other as they jockey for what seems to them limited resources, rather than making common cause against the forces that suppress them? And what do we do when we see ourselves enacting these patterns in our own personal and political lives? How do we respond to and interrupt them?

It is striking that throughout the portion, God is implicated in the violence in the text. Except in the case of Lot’s willingness to sacrifice his daughters, God carries out or commands the violence (Sodom and Gomorrah; Isaac) or supports it (Abraham and Sarah; Sarah and Hagar). The representations of violence that the text holds up to us are ones on which the human and divine levels mirror each other. There is no cosmic relief, so to speak, from the reality of violence. Abraham’s challenge to God over the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah can thus be seen as a question to both God and ourselves. “Must not the Judge of all the earth do justly?” Abraham asks God. “Will You indeed sweep away the innocent along with the wicked?” (18:23).

The implication of these questions is that it is the judge of all the earth who creates the ethical norms that Abraham reflects back to God and to which he holds God answerable. But the moral voice in this passage is Abraham’s voice. What happens to that moral vision two chapters later when Abraham betrays his wife Sarah? Can we read these narratives in ways that strengthen our resolve to hold both ourselves and God accountable to standards of justice that we recognize and value-and yet continually violate?

Reprinted with permission from The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, edited by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea L. Weiss (New York: URJ Press and Women of Reform Judaism, 2008).

 

Female on Male Rape in the Bible

Lot’s Daughters: The men of Sodom, but they’re women

Valentine Wiggin

Jun 10, 2019·3 min read

Genesis 19:30–38, at least to me, is one of the most disturbing passages in the Bible. In this passage, Lot’s two daughters got him drunk and raped him in order to preserve his family line. Although this is just one of many horrible things people did in the Bible, this one stands out due to the fact that male victims of rape, especially by female rapists, go overlooked and are even ridiculed.

This incident inverts traditional power dynamics in a family unit. One would expect Lot, the father and the man, to be the rapist, but his daughters, the women his offspring, were the rapists. Some people might take this as a warning against allowing women to have power, but, this power was not delegated to them. Instead, they violently seized power from Lot while he was in a compromising position. Such is the case with all rapes no matter the gender of the victim or the rapist.

If Lot were female and raped by her sons in order to continue the family line, the rape would be acknowledged as such: a rape. However, other sources do not use the word “rape” to describe the incident. One source even suggests that Lot lusted after his own daughters and knew what happened to him, but that does not justify his daughters’ actions or make them any less serious. Others might try to point to the apparent lack of available men, but, again, consensual incest was the overlooked option. Their sons, Ben-ammi and Moab, even had names that referred to their mothers’ crimes; their descendants came to be hated by the rest of ancient Israel.

Ironically, before this happened, Lot offered his daughters to be raped in the place of his guests. However, it does not carry the same satisfaction that “eye-for-an-eye” moments typically do. Perhaps one could see Lot’s desperation as the men of Sodom surrounded his house or that the rape did not solve any initial problems or bring about any sense of justice. Instead, it left Israel with two hated tribes, both of which were banned from places of worship, and Lot probably feeling conflicted about his rape and unable to do anything about it because he was a man. Though they left the city of Sodom, the city of Sodom did not leave them, especially the two daughters.

The city of Sodom was not conducive to the development of healthy sexuality, not due to homosexuality as some have been taught, but due to the absence of consent and mutual enjoyment seen in both the men who wanted to rape the angels and Lot’s daughters raping their father. When sex is nonconsensual, it strips someone of their power in a way that humiliates the victim and disregards the value of the human body. I don’t know how it took me seven years to realize the connection between the men of Sodom and Lot’s daughters, but seeing it now made me realize how foolish I was to overlook the nature of Lot’s daughters as being like that of the men of Sodom.

Are You Living in Sodom? #MeToo

The biblical city had a culture of rape — and it wasn’t the victims’ faults.

 

#MeToo. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of women are saying it. I’ve said it too, in this blog.

I’ve told stories about home invasion. Police laughing at our report. An attacker on the ferry. A rude boss with an onion fetish.

These aren’t easy stories to tell. For 20 years I was afraid to sleep, afraid of my own bed. But I can speak now.

Because 20 more years have passed. My body no longer recoils when I remember.

And because these stories are straightforward. Even the most judgmental critics could agree. I was exactly where I should be: home, work, and public transit. Wearing what I should wear: pajamas, long-sleeves, a heavy coat. Doing what I should be doing: writing, sleeping, stacking boxes.

But I’ve got other stories, too. More recent stories. Stories I’m ashamed to tell – because I’m not sure they would be viewed as assaults. When I tell them, I second guess myself. They took place in men’s homes, offices and cars. Places I could have chosen not to go. Offers of hospitality I could have declined. By being a guest, did I implicitly consent?

No, says the Torah. No, no, no. A host may not assault a guest. Remember the story of Sodom? A city so horrid God planned to destroy it?

Two men — traveling angels in disguise — arrive in town. Through their eyes, we see the horror: Sodom has a culture of rape. No one but Lot will shelter the travelers overnight. A mob storms Lot’s house, yelling, “Give us the men so we can rape them!” Lot knows he ought not to surrender his guests. So he says, “Take my daughters instead.” The angels stop him and strike the mob with blindness. Early the next morning, they grab Lot’s wife and daughters and run. They save Lot too — an incomprehensible move until you read the conclusion of this grim fable.

Fire and brimstone rain down on the city. Mrs. Lot dies. Lot and daughters set up camp in a cave. Surely by now, Lot’s daughters hate him. “I wouldn’t want you as the grandfather of my children unless you were the last man on earth!” they must think. But guess what? Recent experience tells them he is the last man on earth. So they drug him and rape him — to harvest his sperm. Thus, they believe, they save the human race.

What’s the sin of Sodom? Our prophets Amos, Ezekiel,  and Jeremiah offer interpretations. Oppression. Idolatry. Arrogance. Adultery. But the peshat, the simple text of the story, is less delicate.

Sodom is a rape culture. Enter the city at your own risk. Accept hospitality and you’ve invited assault. One ethical man lives there. But he’s a rapist too. And he’s initiated his children into the culture.

I want to believe that we aren’t in Sodom. That women, men, and children are safe from sexual assault. That hospitality is sacred. That if my host attacks me, he, not I, has sinned. I want to believe.

But I don’t believe it yet. Because #MeToo keeps rolling in. We’re still discovering the painful truth. Too many of us feel we are in Sodom — unable to see the way out.

 

TORAH : GENESIS 12:1-17:27| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 40:27-41:16| GOSPEL : JOHN 8:51-58


 

Parashot Lech Lecha n.03 The Illustrated Torah Scroll - Studio in Venice

 

 

Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram,“Go forth from your country,And from your relativesAnd from your father's house,To the land which I will show you;

Parasha Lech Lecha (Go Forth!): Leaving Home to Go Home | Messianic Bible

 

Isaiah 46: 4 KJV | List Of Verses | Inspirational words, Isaiah 46, Book of isaiah

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord Our Strength – Isaiah 40:27-41:20 – The Little Church in the Vale

 

Jesus: The Way, The Truth, & The Life: Isaiah 40:27-31 - Applying the knowledge of God's greatness

 

Isaiah 40:27-31 "Do you not know?" - YouTube

I AM: The Light of the World | First Presbyterian Church

ARGUING WITH THE GREAT I AM (A WOMAN TRANSFORMED BY THE GOSPEL) PART I LESSON 5 - Dee Brestin Ministries

 

Father Wounds…

Takes time to heal…renewing our minds with His truth about us is one of the most powerful ways to be reprogrammed…renewing those old tapes takes time, I am still working on it…and many events in life give ample opportunity to the enemy to press play on those old tapes…we have the way of pressing stop!

We are His…His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.

Uncategorized – Page 21 – WGCK BETHANY WORSHIP CENTRE – ELDORET

Affirmation: I am worthy, enough & beautiful - ReflectandRespond

Sometimes, we really do need to leave our earthly father’s “house”…

his way of thinking, doing and even his perspective…

on life, on us ,on Yah

to follow the great I am that I am…

to become who He created us to be…

too many of us are still carrying father wounds…

but, we have a way out of the old country to the new…

out of darkness to light…

out of lies to truth…

Is it time for you to leave your fathers house to your Father’s house?

 

fathers | The Mighty

 

 

Absent Father Quotes From Son. QuotesGram

The Heartache of Father Wounds: Three Reasons to Embrace God as Father | Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Healing the Father Wound — Brya Hanan, LMFT

The Disciple and Trauma - Saturate

 

Pin on A Love Story: God for His People

Recovery wisdom from our older brother Judah:

Leaving Self to Find Yourself – Lech Lecha

“Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you”—Genesis 12:1.

This week’s reading begins with G‑d‘s command to Abraham to go forth from his birthplace and travel to the land which would eventually be given to him and his descendants. On a deeper level, this narrative describes not only Abraham’s geographical relocation, but tells about his spiritual journey of self-discovery. Implied in the words of G‑d‘s command is an instruction to Abraham that he abandon every aspect of self—and be willing to become something totally unknown to him.

Here is how the verse may be interpreted, in the context of a spiritual journey:

“Go from your land…”—The Hebrew word for land, eretz, shares a common root with the word for will, ratzon. G‑d told Abraham to surrender his own desires and leave self-will behind.

“…from your birthplace…”—G‑d also told Abraham to abandon all of his traits that were a product of his environment and conditioning—all of the effects of his ‘birthplace.’

“…from your father’s house…”—In Kabbalah, the capacity to generate new ideas is called ‘father,’ because the potential for insight is the progenitor of feelings and behavior. Thus, G‑d told Abraham to leave his intellectual pre-conditioning behind, and allow himself to grasp an entirely new way of thinking.

“…to the land which I will show you…”—G‑d did not specify to Abraham where he was heading, but only told him to leave where he was. He would be shown where to settle when he got there. There he would be shown an entirely new way of being.

For many of us, recovery from alcoholism and addiction has meant a discovery of a new self; but first we had to be ready to let go of everything we thought that made us who we were.

We need to examine the story of Abraham for inspiration and instruction—for our stories in recovery have followed this same pattern. Like Abraham, we had to leave our will, our habits and our mode of thinking behind. Common sense dictated that if were we to remain our old selves, it was highly unlikely that we would not return to our old using behaviors. We needed to seek G‑d’s help in changing ourselves (Steps 1-3). We even mustered up the courage to face the truth of exactly who we were (Steps 4-5). We even agreed that we were not just giving up alcohol—but most everything about our desires, our conditioning and our way of thinking (Steps 6-7). We were ready to let go of everything that made us who we were and become someone completely different. But, like Abraham, we had no idea where we were going and what we would become. We simply trusted in G‑d—that it was He who was guiding our path. After forsaking all that was known and comfortable to us, He would help us to arrive at the destination He had planned for us.

As we continued to follow the Steps, we found ourselves changing. Nature abhors a vacuum, and wherever we had pushed out our old self, G‑d came rushing in to fill the void. We slowly began to recognize our new selves, our true selves—an optimistic, confident and humble soul who could live life without the bottle or the pipe.

This amazing process of self-discovery also mirrors the journey of Abraham. “To the land which I will show you,” may also be read “to the land where I will show you.” So, it is not that G‑d just shows you the land; G‑d takes you to the place where He can show and reveal yourself to you. The bold venture into the unknown culminates with G‑d showing us who we really are. In order to get there, we need to pay attention to His call — to leave behind everything we thought we were.

B’reisheet Torah : Genesis 1:1-6:8| Prophets : Isaiah 42:5-43:10| Gospel : John 1:1-17


 

 

In The Beginning…

 

Have we been lied to? And if so, then what are the lies? How deep do they go? Let’s explore some of these topics in this week’s Torah Portion…

Note this…for me, flat earth is not a salvation issue, however, this has led many atheists to His Word and His Torah…

Note this…it DOES matter how He designed the first woman…I believe He is restoring all things…and this is one of them.

Do not debate, educate!

The Earth Is Not A Globe! – Hidden Peoples And false Doctrines Exposed

I want to share with you one of my favorite writers.Keisha Gallagher’s website is called Grace in Torah. This website has a series on the role, design and function of woman. There are other Hebrew Scholars that also help people to understand what He is saying to us about how He designed woman.

Role of Women

Another author, Skip Moen, also assists us in our endeavors to know His truth.

https://skipmoen.com/tag/guardian-angel/

And yet another resource for you to glean from!

https://godswordtowomen.org/bushnell.htm

Haftarah Instagram posts (photos and videos) - Picuki.com

 

We walk blindly, not knowing who we are, not knowing who each other is…shooting our wounded…telling them its their fault because of x,y and z…many tell women how wrong they are when they are actually walking out their God-given design…women are disrespected because they are not allowed to walk as she was originally designed to walk…imbalance is the result.

We are all out of balance, and will remain out of balance until we allow the Ruach Ha’Kodesh to teach us the truths so long ago hidden with words…twisted words.

Summertown Church of the Nazarene

Yom Kippur

What/Who am I to You, Yahweh?
King of Kings, Lord of Lords,
The Great I am that I am
Elohim above ALL Elohim

Why do you care for me?
As dirty and sinful as I am?

As many times as I fall
flat on my shameful face
because of these stubborn
ingrained
mindsets
behaviors
tumultuous feelings
manifesting as
pride
arrogance
selfishness

self this, self that

self-pity
self-rejection
self-centeredness
self-focused
self-neglect

self
self
self

deliver me from the bondage of

self…

You and only You can free me,
forgive me
purge me
renew me
regenerate me
heal me…

resetting my soul

before all the trauma
drama
chaos

hijacking my heart
my brain,
my very soul

morphing me
into this self-absorbed
wounded animal,

nursing my wounds…
creating a barrier around my heart
self-protecting
even from You, my Deliverer

Will I, even I?

be written in Your book of Life

or Your book of the dead?

 

Do you say 'Happy Yom Kippur'?

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Yom Kippur for Believers - Curt Landry Ministries

 

Pin on Inspirational Jewish Quotes

Tropical Talker on Twitter: "Close The Book Yom Kippur ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ # yomkippur #highholidays #reflection #cleartheslate #pages #story #bookoflife #newchapter #nextchapter #quotes #instamood #goodandbad #fasting #mindfulliving #blessings #gifts ...36 Best Rosh Hashanah Quotes - Inspiring Quotes About Rosh Hashanah

Pin on Christian Walk

Quotes about Confessing Sin (40 quotes)

Receive Abundant Blessings from the Lord during Yom Kippur! - Apostle David E. Taylor - Official Site

 


 

 

 

 

KI TAVO TORAH : DEUTERONOMY 26:1-29:8| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 60:1-22| GOSPEL : MATTHEW 4:13-24

 

Deuteronomy 27-28: Blessings and Curses before entering the Land – Hallel Fellowship

 

 

 

June 23rd: Bible Meditation for Deuteronomy 28 | Free Daily Bible Study

Green Street Beach, Hollywood Florida 8/21/2021 Deliverance Service preparing the Bride for the Fall Feasts! Please see below for information on two Torah Pursuant Deliverance Ministries for both education and deliverance!

 

May be an image of one or more people, people standing, body of water and nature

Isaiah 60:1 Inspirational ImagesJesus: The Way, The Truth, & The Life: Isaiah 60:14-22 - The glory of Israel in the Kingdom contrasted with their previous state.Isaiah 60 | Bible Teaching Notes

 

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons Words of Jesus | Words of jesus, Jesus heals, Jesus

 

Feast of Tabernacles, 2020 High Springs, Florida, I participated in another deliverance ministry session. Pastor Gil drove for many miles from his home in Miami, Florida to assist those who wanted to get free from strongholds and “lassos”. Those brave enough to be honest of their struggles with the demonic came forward and received ministry and deliverance.

Feast of Tabernacles 2015 was my very first Sukkot. I met a woman who was instrumental in my journey to true freedom. She helped me detox from prescription medications by taking me into her own home and nursing me back to health. During my stay at her beautiful farmhouse, I read a book called Unloving by Henry Wright. I was drawn to the title as it defined how I felt. I had just left yet another abusive marriage and was desperate for healing. My friend suggested I attend Be In Health in Georgia…long story short, it WAS the Ruach HaKodesh leading me to go, so I did…and what I witnessed was people getting free from demons…

My next experience was at the congregation I was a part of in upstate New York. The pastor brought a deliverance team from the state of Florida to conduct a weekend deliverance ministry. The small church was packed. I went in the direction of the Ruach HaKodesh. I was overwhelmed when some of the people I knew and respected began to manifest different demons…over the course of two days, I saw many manifestations of demons…this totally broke any denial still lurking in my mind!

My eyes were opened. Wide. I could NOT unsee and inexperience what I personally witnessed of my own deliverance and those of the other folks. I knew the body of Messiah was in big trouble. And, in denial of the reality of the spirit realm. And, how these very demons are the things that are causing such division in the body of Messiah, the conflicts and domestic abuse, porn addiction, child abuse, etc. within His body!

This past weekend, I and a friend drove to Hollywood, Florida, to participate in a deliverance immersion held by Pastor Gil of Torah Deliverance Ministry located in Miami Florida. Many from his congregation united at Green Street Beach on a hot Shabbat morning.

I had sensed strongholds from my ancestry stemming from the occult/freemasonry. My great uncle was a great man, a Yale graduate, one of America’s leading American History Historians, a Professor at Yale University for many years, and an Oxford Cambridge Fellow. My other uncle was a Professor at Cornell University and a Yale man also I believe, also, I believe, another Yale grad. My great-grandmother graduated from Havard/Radcliffe. My cousin, involved in some very dark secret societies was also a big question mark for me.  Yes, I sensed some things from my ancestors was still in operation in my life…I had felt cursed since I was a young child. My life was very difficult and seemed to attract demonic attacks since I was very young…suicidal from the tender age of eight, sexual abuse and physical abuse the driving force behind years of self-medicating that trauma with drugs, booze, numerous toxic relationships,  eating disorder, and a number of other self-destructive behaviors.

So… during this deliverance session in the cool waters of Green Street Beach, Hollywood Florida, the deliverance team was able to target the demonic strongholds rooted in my ancestors’ disobedience and involvement in the occult…a deep deep anger arose in me…up and out, you demon of darkness!!! You do not belong in a child of the Most High!!! Those tormenting, harassing spirits had to flee in the mighty name of Yeshua!!!

In my 3o years of pursuing recovery and healing from childhood trauma and various addictions, I have had seasons of deliverance. One does not walk where I have walked without opening portals for demons…childhood abuse is a portal the enemy takes full advantage of. Spirits of fear, lust, rejection, bitterness, and other spirits enter in, creating a lifelong pattern of relationship issues. How do I know? Because that is my own story. And the story of many others. Like Mary Magdalene…some of us need deliverance.

What shocks me and frustrates me is that so many people who come into an understanding of His Torah, feast days, and Shabbat deny that demons are still an issue! Let me give you a recent personal experience:

I have recently been attacked by two women on the subject of divorce and also regarding Christian Counseling. I have been accused of being used by the enemy to harm people. But yet, these women, who do not even know me, accused me,  disrespected the boundaries I set and continued to harass me. One went so far as to jump on a live Facebook show hosted by a marriage and family therapist who is Torah pursuant demanding the therapist provide scriptures to prove that Yeshua allowed divorce and remarriage. After the show ended she began harassing and attacking both the therapist and I. So, here are two women, supposedly walking in His Word, attacking, accusing, demanding. This is spiritual abuse, this is not loving one’s neighbor as commanded in Torah! One even told me I needed to repent for being a Christian counselor and leading people astray! Funny, I have never even been a “Christian Counselor. I share this with you to show you the insanity of what is going on even within our own places where we turn for fellowship! And this is being allowed!

So, Laura Lee, how do you handle it? I cried out to Him, asking Him to show me if I AM wrong. Just as in the past when I have been attacked by others (this is not the first time with one of the women) He has always rallied around me and whispered in my ear His love and He has shown me their wrongness…and He has shown me in scripture truth…

I repent of my own anger, my own hurt emotions, and I pray for those who spit in my face and accuse me of doing evil.

Sorry for the rabbit trail…let’s get back on track…

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Isaiah 61

He came to set the captives free! He came not only healing the sick but Also casting out devils and He commissioned His disciples to do the same!!! Do you consider yourself His disciple? Then you may be commissioned to assist others in getting free! We all have a calling, we all have been given gifts and talents to be used in these last days!

But! It is highly recommended that one deals with their own log first! IE…get delivered first! Make sure you are walking clean before Him, walking in obedience before one takes on this kind of ministry! The enemy knows us by name and he knows every wound that has been inflicted in us because he was the one behind that wounding! These are the very things he uses against us in every area of our lives!

The Sons of Sceva

11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all[a] of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

We live in the last day’s folks, time is short…the King IS coming!!! But first, there comes a time of great upheaval…many hearts will fail due to fear…Let us be strong in Him! Let us be about our Father’s business…let us get out of the boat and be water walking warriors filled with His Spirit…so filled with Him that we do those greater works He said we would do! Let us be His last day disciples!!!

Do not get me wrong…I do not follow Chabad, but I do not believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but brother Judah can teach us a few things about the Torah and recovery from addictions…so please give some grace!

Is Unhappiness a Sin? – Ki Tavo

“Because you did not serve G‑d with joy and a happy heart…”—Deuteronomy 28:47.

In this week’s portion, we find a lengthy description of the dire consequences to be faced by G‑d‘s people should they fail to serve Him properly after entering the Land. The results for untoward behavior include: desolation, famine, war, illness and exile.

Among the transgressions which bring on all these troubles is unhappiness. Yes, unhappiness! “Because you did not serve G‑d with joy and a happy heart…”

But is being unhappy a sin? How can one be punished for a thing like that? If G‑d punishes people for being unhappy, that would rather seem like kicking a man when he’s down.

Happiness is a decision. And like all decisions, it has consequences these questions, however, only arise from a fundamental misunderstanding of what happiness is. We tend to see happiness as an indicator of outside conditions. If things are going well for us, we are happy. If things are rough, we are – or have cause to be – unhappy. The word itself implies that happiness is something that happens to us; that when we are happy, it’s due to good fortune. Conversely, whenever we are unhappy it is because we have caught a bad break and suffered some kind of mishap.

But G‑d tells us that this is not so. Happiness is a decision. And like all decisions, it has consequences. And G‑d does not punish people for being unhappy. He warns us about the trouble that unhappiness can bring.

We alcoholics and addicts can testify to the disastrous consequences of unhappiness. Why else did we keep coming back for more of a beating from alcohol other than the fact that we were fundamentally unhappy? We found life to be a frequent source of disappointment and aggravation. It was never good enough to make us feel content and at ease. We were “men and women… [who] are restless, irritable and discontented unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p. xxvii)

Our spiritual program of recovery gives us the tools to change ourselves into people who are comfortable with life. It teaches us how to be happy; and that our happiness is not a result of what happens, but of the ideas, attitudes and actions we choose. If we do not use the tools of recovery, we find ourselves quickly growing weary and agitated with life. We steep in self-pity and rage and, eventually, we relapse. Then there is the resulting chaos, with the possible end results of destruction and death.

So, is unhappiness a sin? What difference does it make what you call it? The result is the same.

As for happiness, there is no limit to the blessings that being happy can bring.

Torah Deliverance Ministry

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thelivingtorahdeliverance.com%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR1QZftPwdLDoQb_EtNy6Lz37FaWBJ1MWQuVNRuPi1jzsky5ztHIBig_ngU&h=AT2dEfgwHk00z403IGPcRUazpa1Of64zFRpBqBxm5mMOPRAa2FBN4QZn3Lx_CNES4rqozBVjGJhOyfg19WmMDsL1IPOCVlE39CLMue1U0F-slh7I32ViotSVIW1Cx_U8OVKQIQ

KI TETZE TORAH : DEUTERONOMY 21:10-25:19| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 54:1-10| GOSPEL :Matt5:31=32: 19:3-12;Mark 10:2-12;12:18, Luke 20:27-38;1 Cor. 9:4-18: Gal. 3:9-14: 1 Tim 5:17-18


Torah Portion Ki-Tetze Complete - Wisdom In Torah Ministries - Rico Cortes

 

Wow! This week’s Torah Portion and haftorah along with the Brit Hadasha lead down many rabbit trails! This week on Hebrew Nations Radio/Healing for the Nations with A Modern Day Samaritan Woman, I have Dr. Robin Gould, LMHT, author and radio show host for Messianic Lamb Radio. Please see her information and the link to her show! And also I have provided for you the chat we did!

 

Rabbit trail warnings!

deuteronomy 21:10-25:19, ki tetze, “when you go” | christine's bible study

 

Ki Tetse - Faith of Messiah

 

Isaiah 54:1–10 (RSVCE) - "Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in travail! For..." - Biblia.com

Have you ever felt like the enemy of your soul used a bad marriage as a weapon against you? Maybe you have been in a marriage or marriages that almost destroyed you, maybe, like so many, you lived to tell!

From Shame to Honor — Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations

Rabbit trail___________________________________________________________________________________________

Next week, Rico Cortes from Wisdom in Torah will join me to chat about Honor and Shame! Stay tuned!!!

Yah allowed divorce because of the hardness of their hearts…life was not easy for women back in the Old Testament times, but have they ever been easy? How many women have suffered through the years due to spiritually abusive doctrines? These man-made doctrines have guilted them into staying in damaging marriages! How many scriptures have been twisted through the years to serve men with evil hearts…don’t get me wrong! There have been plenty of men who have been abused by women!  Those, too, are damaging to men, and to the children witnessing the abuse. Are we not raising yet another generation of traumatized people who carry soul wounds, only to hurt themselves and others? We are a generation who have the opportunity to say “enough is enough! I will be the one in my family who gets help and stops passing the abusive behaviors on to my own children!” There is NO excuse for not getting help, there are a plethora of resources to tap into! Feel free to reach out to either Dr. Robin or I and we will help you in any way that we can! The hour is late brothers and sisters! If these are the spots and the wrinkles on your wedding attire, it is high time to get them washed,  and pressed out!!!!

Next week my special guest is Rico Cortes! Stay tuned! Shalom!

Sermons: Though the Mountain May be Removed, Isaiah 54:1-17

Part One of my chat with Dr. Robin

Part two of my chat with Dr. Robin

Dr. Robins radio show!

https://www.messianiclambradio.com/shows/robingould

THIS WEEK SHOFTIM TORAH : DEUTERONOMY 16:18-21:9| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 51:12-52:12| GOSPEL : JOHN 14:9-20


 

Torah portion reading this week Shoftim Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

 

Torah Portion – Shoftim – “Judges “ | Oh Happy Daze

 

Kids Learning: Shoftim 5.5 Debarim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-21:9

Isaiah 51:12 | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir

 

What Does Isaiah 51:12 Mean?

 

 

Isaiah 51 - DailyVerses.net

 

 

20 Encouraging Bible Verses - Encouraging Words from the Bible

 

 

 

Isaiah 52:12 | Inspirational scripture, Isaiah 52, Isaiah

 

Isaiah 52:12 For ye sha... | Quotes & Writings by Joel Augustin | YourQuote

 

John 14 Inspirational Images

 

 

John 14:16-17 - Samoa Global News

 

I stumbled upon this incredible article and I wanted to share it with you! How amazing our Yah is!

 

YHWH and Marginalization: Israel’s Widows and Abuelita Theology

by Katrina Armas | January 30, 2021

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. The idea of human rights—fundamental rights for each human irrespective of his or her gender, social status, or origin1—is a characteristic of our modern world and a fruit of the Enlightenment. However, many scholars believe that the tradition-historical root of human rights is the Hebrew Bible, as its ideas of social justice remained subversively effective, impacting modern views of social justice.2 The theology of the book of Deuteronomy and the anthropology of the creation traditions of the Hebrew Bible had a deep impact on the formation of the modern world, particularly as it pertains to justice for the marginalized in society.

When it comes to human rights, ancient Israel was commanded by YHWH to protect and honor the dignity of one of society’s most vulnerable groups: widows. Today, Christian theology still expects care for the “least of these” (recall Matt 25:40), particularly those who may not seem to have anything to contribute to society. This not only has physical implications, but Christians are left to wonder about honoring the vulnerable theologically. What role do the vulnerable play in shaping theological understandings? Modern theologies, including womanist and mujerista theologies, have attempted to answer these questions.

In our modern contexts, poor, marginalized women or the abuelitas (grandmothers) in our midst are often overlooked for many of the same reasons widows were overlooked in the ancient world. These factors include age, physical vulnerability, social status, and gender. However, these abuelitas have historically served as unofficial theologians and backbones of the faith. This article will introduce and expand on a lesser-known theological concept, namely, abuelita theology. It will argue that YHWH’s instructions concerning widows in the Hebrew Bible are foundational to understanding abuelita theology as a theology that upholds the dignity of marginalized women.

The Basis for Human Rights and Dignity

When considering the dignity of humans, it is important to begin at the beginning, as the creation narrative sets a basis for how all persons—even those who do not seem to have anything to contribute to society—are to be understood. Much like the widow in ancient Israel, abuelitas often fall into a similar, marginalized category, as they are physically vulnerable and unable to provide for themselves. However, how does the imago Dei speak into the dignity of persons?

Yair Lorberbaum explains that the concept of human dignity and the sanctity of human life is historically bound up with the biblical idea of humankind created in the divine image.3 Similarly, Lorberbaum argues that the theological message underlying the first chapters of Genesis is that humanity is created or born in the image of the divine king (read with the backdrop of royal theology prevalent in the ancient Near East). Different interpretations offer a range of meaning for what it means to be made in God’s image. For example, one understanding is that God created for himself an image to serve as an extension of himself on earth. Other interpretations assume there is “a divine spark” in human beings that establishes humanity and grants humans unique status among God’s creation. This view assumes that the divine image is the basis for the equality in principle among human beings, for all are in the image of the Creator.4

Going further, some have likened human dignity to the imago Trinitatis, drawing out the relational dynamics of equality, mutuality, and reciprocity. Catherine La Cugna argues that this characterizes the intra-relationality of the persons of the Trinity.5 Dignity of human persons is to be understood in relationality. As James Hanvey argues, dignity has a social dimension: “in some way our dignity, qua our person and identity not just our status, is held in and by the ‘we’ of our relationships. In terms of theology, we encounter here the reality of solidarity which has both natural and supernatural dimensions.”6 The natural dimension that Hanvey refers to is the moral obligation we owe every person by virtue of our common humanity.

In On Human Dignity, Jürgen Moltmann encapsulates this idea of human dignity and common humanity, particularly the struggle between having dignity and actualizing it—the foundation for abuelita theology. Moltmann argues that,

Human dignity lies in the fact that each particular human being and all human beings are, in common, human . . . this presupposes the difference between the existence and the essence of the human being: The human being is a human being, and ought to be a human being. The being-a-human contains his or her humanity initially only as possibility, but not yet as constant reality.7

He then explains what happens when the hominitas (being human purely in the sense of belonging to the zoological species) and the humanitas (human nature, civilization, and kindness) are at odds, putting the humanitas at risk:

It can be actualized, but it can also be blocked. So the dignity of human beings consists in this, that they are human and should be human. Their existence is gift and task simultaneously. It presents them with the task of actualizing themselves, their essence, and thus coming into their truth.8

In our human likeness, it is essential to understand that where the imago Dei is degraded or humiliated in one of us, so it is for all of us.9 This is important to consider as it pertains to the most marginalized or vulnerable in society—including abuelitas, many of whom find themselves, like the widow in ancient Israel, without physical or financial support. The following sections will highlight the biblical case for widows and how it serves as a basis for understanding modern abuelita theology, a theology that presents marginalized women with the task of actualizing their dignity and essence, thus “coming into their truth.”

Family Structure in Ancient Israel

In order to better understand the plight of the widow in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is important to first understand how familial society in ancient Israel worked. While modern, Western culture echoes a similar importance of family, the “family unit” in ancient Israelite society played a unique role in how society functioned, comprising a central aspect of Israelite culture. Family profiles differed among three differently sized groups. According to Bunie Veeder, there is general agreement that the ancestral house was the central unit in a relationship diagram, comprising three generations or more.10 The next group was the clan, a kinship group composed of many households residing in close proximity. Lastly, the tribe, which was comprised of many clans.11 An individual’s identity came from this three-ring structure, with the household being the strongest connection, moving outward to the clan and the tribe.12 According to Num 36:6–9, women were required to marry within a clan of their father’s tribe in order to keep the holdings within the tribal boundaries. When married, women moved to their husband’s household.

Another factor to take into consideration is generational identity in the Israelite family. One can find laws requiring respect for both one’s mother and father (e.g., Exod 21:15–17; Deut 21:15–17, 18–21, 22:13–21, 23:1). Similarly, mothers were expected to be active participants in the legal procedures outlined in the Deuteronomic Law, as seen in both the requirements for the parents of the accused bride in Deut 22:13–21 and the parents of the rebellious son in Deut 21:18–21. Nonetheless, the mother and father did not typically have equal authority in these household matters. Danna Fewell and David Gunn suggest that, although the mother had some authority within the family hierarchy, systemic power resided with the father.13

Class differences proved to be an important factor in Israelite society. Women were usually protected by the male household head and transitioned through secure categories from daughter, to wife, to mother. However, some wives or mothers lost the economic support of a privileged Israelite male (this included husband and even sons). Thus, it was not uncommon that a widow was associated with a family entity. “From patriarchal to monarchic times her presence among Abraham’s descendants has been cited in the Hebrew Scriptures.”14 Losing protection of a male further marginalized a woman in society, making her part of the needy class.15 This is specifically apparent through the laws found addressing the widow, orphan, and stranger, three groups of people devoid of the economic support provided by the privileged Israelite male.16 The laws in Deut 14:22–29, 26:12–15, and 24:17–22 were put in place to eliminate the economic hardships of these groups of people who would otherwise have found themselves destitute in society. Similarly, as it pertains to the widow, the law presumed that she would be supported by her sons in the case of her husband’s death. If there were no sons available to provide for her, then the law of levirate marriage would apply.17 However, as Eryle Davies explains, “the pleas of the prophets on behalf of the widow are due to the fact that one of the most basic provisions legislating for her support [was] often, in practice, neglected.”18

Widowhood in Ancient Society and Hebrew Scripture

The protection of the widow, the orphan, and the poor was the common policy of the ancient Near East, although both in ancient Near Eastern literature in general and in ancient Jewish literature in particular, widows were not a prominent or even a well-defined group. Similarly, the plight of widows was not exactly the same everywhere.19 Nonetheless, protection for the widow, orphan, and poor was a policy of virtue of gods, kings, and judges that proved the piety of a ruler. Great Mesopotamian kings like Urukagina, Ur-Nammu, and Hammurabi boasted in their legal inscriptions that they had accomplished the principle of taking care of such needy persons.20 Keith Wessel points out that their boasting appears to have had primarily an economic focus, “set as it is in the immediate context of various initiatives to insure fairness and safety in commercial ventures.”21

Charles Fensham argues that the attitude taken against the widow, the orphan, and the poor is to be considered from a legal background. Because they had no rights or legal personalities, they were “almost outlaws,” as anyone could oppress them without the risk that legal connections might endanger their position. Fensham demonstrates that, in order to restore the balance of society, widows (and other needy people) had to be protected, making it necessary to sanction their protection by direct command of a god and to make it a virtue of the kings.22 He also states that the Israelites in later history inherited the concept from their forebears, some of whom had come from Mesopotamia, Egypt, or Canaan. “In the Israelite community this policy was extended through the encouragement of the high ethical religion of YHWH to become a definite part of their religion.”23

There is great concern for the just treatment of the widow in the Hebrew Scriptures. In biblical Israel the government of sacred law required the public to become generally responsible for the welfare of the marginalized. This is seen in the abundance of laws that placed a duty on every Israelite to care for the fatherless, the widow, the stranger, and the disadvantaged members of society in their midst.24 It begins with YHWH’s instructions in the wilderness (Exod 22:20–23), where widows are mentioned for special consideration as vulnerable members of society, often living at the mercy of others. In this passage, YHWH defends the widow against any ill treatment and warns perpetrators of possible dire consequences for those who might harm her. “Because newly freed Israelites travelling in the wilderness presumably lacked courts, hearing her cry (and theirs) God Himself would become the judge to pass sentence.”25 God champions the cause of the downtrodden when there is an absence of a human protector or a human judicial system to carry out justice.

Next, the plight of the widow is repeated in Moses’s final instructions (Deut 10:17–18, 27:19). Wessel argues that the book of Deuteronomy seems particularly concerned with the vulnerability of widows because there may have already been a large number of them in the camp of Israel at the time of the giving of the “second law” for a new generation of Israelites, shortly before their entrance into the promised land.26

Moses’s final instruction in Deut 10:16–18 is the focus of this article. This passage states,

So circumcise your hearts and stop being so stubborn, because the Lord your God is the God of all gods and Lord of all lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who doesn’t play favorites and doesn’t take bribes. He enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing. (CEB)

Walter Brueggemann argues that, in this text, the ritual practice of circumcision is transformed into a metaphor for intense loyalty to YHWH. Like the cutting away of the foreskin serves to make the organ more sensitive and responsive,27 so it is for the heart, making it more sensitive and responsive not only to YHWH, but to the vulnerable in society. Israel should be intentionally responsive to YHWH because of who YHWH is, one who reigns over all “gods,” lords, and powers of various kinds. The text describes this awesome, great, and mighty God as one who is “concretely and effectively involved in the affairs of the earth as advocate and protector of the vulnerable; one who cares about the specificities of justice and the victims of injustice.”28 This is a God who cannot be bribed by the wealthy and powerful but who attends to the necessities and desires of those in need, including widows. He is one who cares about the tangible execution of justice that has to do with fundamental necessities including food and clothing. Moses’s call for sensitive and intentional obedience is grounded in the assertion that the Most High God of heaven is completely engaged in the lowly and earthly work of justice. “Israel is permitted no escapist religion but is drawn into the exigencies of earthly justice, where YHWH’s own sovereignty has been most fully engaged.”29

Widow as Almanah

In order to fully grasp YHWH’s intent for this “earthly justice” for widows, it is important to understand the nuances encircling the term “widow” in the Hebrew Scriptures. The word translated “widow” is the Hebrew word almanah. References to widows in the Hebrew Scriptures can be seen in two different forms. Sometimes the widow is referred to alone, and other times she is cited as part of a group. An understanding of the biblical almanah can be gained more fully by examining the terminology surrounding her and the characteristics that describe her.

First, an almanah is most literally a woman who has lost her husband. However, there is nuance for how this word is understood against a biblical backdrop. For example, Chayim Cohen explains that almanah is a “once married woman who has no means of financial support and is therefore in need of special legal protection.”30 Harry Hoffner states that “the word almanah has a completely negative nuance. It means a woman who has been divested of her male protector (husband, sons, often also brothers).”31 As one without agency because of her loss of living relatives and money, and as one without influence, the widow is frequently associated with the stranger and the orphan. Seeking to capture a full import of the Hebrew word, another scholar has related almanah to “being silent,” because once her marital identification is broken she becomes a silent person without voice in the community’s legal or economic affairs.32

Because marriage in ancient Israel was framed as a union of two families, a widow remained attached to her deceased husband’s family even as both groups maintained their rights and obligations.33 However, if there was no existing male from that union to sustain her interests, then the woman became responsible for herself and free of male authority. Similarly, Paula Hiebert contends that a woman who lacked possibility of remarriage (typically a levirate marriage found in Deut 25:5–10) and who lacked a son to provide for her, was bereft of support. Naomi Steinberg addresses the economic implications that would ensue given the aforementioned circumstance. She explains that, “understanding widowhood in biblical Israel revolves around the existence or absence of ancestral land in the estate of the deceased husband.”34

Wessel argues that the tone in the Israelite legislation concerning widows in the OT (particularly in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy) is markedly different from the other ancient Near Eastern texts. “Different from the other Near East law codes, in the Old Testament there is an attitude—a motivation—that the Lord wishes to see in his chosen people as they fulfill the requirements of his law.”35 He claims that there is an attitude of hope in which widows are valued members of society. This can be seen in narratives like 1 Kings, where it is recorded that God extended his providence to Gentile widows, or those outside of Israel. In turn, ancient Israel was to form how they deal with the less fortunate with attitudes and actions indicative of how YHWH dealt with them. “In short, since unfortunate persons were considered valuable to God, they were likewise to be considered valuable members of the Israelite community as well.”36

Justice for All People

Thus, these Israelite principles intended to nurture an attitude among the population that the widows in their midst were valued members of the community. In most general terms, the major concern that can be found in the law code is that the marginalized not be deprived of justice. Thus, Deut 24:17 commands that the foreigner or the orphan not be deprived of justice, or not to “take the cloak of a widow as a pledge.” This was intended to command the Israelite men in patriarchal positions of leadership to not give in to the temptations to abuse their authority and, “in shameless self-interest, take advantage of those dependent upon the mercy of others.”37 This responsibility of the leadership is vividly emphasized at the closing of the Pentateuch, where YHWH threatens a curse for those who disobey. Abusing authority and wielding power over the vulnerable in society is akin to forgetting Israel’s plight and bondage in Egypt and consequently, forgetting YHWH’s mercy in rescuing Israel. Instead, the Israelites were commanded to constantly remind themselves “they were descendants of a patriarch whose family went from humble beginnings to being a great nation, but only by the Lord’s mercy.”38

Israel was not to bask in their favored position, but to be a light for the rest of the world. With this humble understanding of their standing before God, the Israelites were to show special concern for those in need of mercy and kindness: the widow, the orphan, the poor, the foreigner.39 One way that this kindness was to be shown was through the triennial tithe in Deut 14:28–29. In this passage, Israel is instructed to offer the third year’s produce, given specifically so that “the immigrants, orphans, and widows who live in your cities, will come and feast until they are full. Do this so that the Lord your God might bless you in everything you do” (Deut 14:29 CEB). Later, in ch. 24 of Deuteronomy, they are directed to leave some grain in the field so that the immigrant, the orphan, and the widow could have some means of support by gleaning from the remains left behind by the harvesters.

Not only were the marginalized in society said to be dear to YHWH’s heart, but he regarded them as equals to all other peoples of Israel. Deuteronomy emphasizes this not only in the aforementioned commands, but in the instructions given for national worship during the three major festivals of the religious calendar: Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles.40 During these times, all of Israel gathered together not only to recognize YHWH’s goodness, but also to acknowledge his sovereignty over them. Deuteronomy 16:11 states that every single Israelite was to rejoice before God at the place of God’s choosing, “you, your sons, your daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites who live in your cities, the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows who are among you” (CEB). Thus, the Jewish festivals were established as specific times to reiterate a truth that the entire Torah frequently emphasized, namely, that all persons were of equal worth and status before God.41

“While legislation affecting her is imbued with YHWH’s oversight, the rules about her care, quite interestingly, involve the entire population in something of an early social legislation for vulnerable people.”42 Treating the widow justly, for YHWH, was a communal task which alludes to Hanvey’s articulation that where the imago Dei is degraded or humiliated in one person, so it is for all persons.43

Old Testament Widows and Abuelita Theology

The way that YHWH cares—and consequently calls his people to care—about the downtrodden, and particularly the widow, is foundational to how modern-day Christians are to understand and live out abuelita theology, a theology centered on the grandmothers in our midst. The following section will explain what abuelita theology is and how it finds its roots in mujerista theology.

Mujerista Theology

First, mujerista theology is a reflective action that has its goal in liberation.44 It was coined by Cuban native, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, after serving as a missionary to Peru for three years. During her time there, Isasi-Diaz realized that not only is liberation necessary for justice and peace, but that one cannot be liberated at the expense of another or isolated from others.45 Thus, mujerista theology should not be understood as a theology exclusively for Latinas, but a theology from the perspective of Latinas.46It is a process of empowerment for marginalized women that begins with the development of a strong sense of moral agency. It then works on clarifying the importance and value of who these women are, what they think, and what they do. This process enables them to understand oppressive structures that determine their daily lives, and to understand that the goal of their struggle should not be to participate in and to benefit from these structures, but to work toward changing them radically.47

The goals of mujerista theology are to provide a platform for the voices of Latina grassroots women, to develop a theological method that takes seriously the religious understandings and practices of Latinas as a source for theology, and to challenge theological understandings, church teachings, and religious practices that oppress Latina (and all) women.48 It does not insist that liberation is something one person can give another, but instead it is a process in which the oppressed become protagonists—or protagonistas—of their own stories. As Moltmann argues, the dignity of humans consists in humans being human. This involves their existence, humanity, and essence being actualized and thus, “coming into their truth.”49

Abuelitas as Theologians

Similar to that of the widow in ancient Israel, abuelitas in our society often find themselves in a marginalized state, as they are physically vulnerable and unable to provide for themselves. One characteristic that is shared among abuelitas is the fact that many of them are immigrants—a vulnerable group similar to that of the ancient world. This puts abuelitas in multiple marginalized positions which includes their age (physical vulnerabilities), social status (poor, immigrant), and gender. Because of this, they are often overlooked, their stories remain untold, and they are not valued as genuine theologians.

Like mujerista theology, the aim of abuelita theology is to give these abuelitas a voice in which they become protagonistas of their own stories and participants in creating a different reality unlike their present oppressive one. It is a process in which the dignity of abuelitas is realized and actualized. For one, the basis of their dignity is to be found in the imago Dei and in the Christian understanding of the imago Trinitatis, which draws out the relational dynamics of equality, mutuality, and reciprocity. As Israel—collectively—was called to view the vulnerable as valuable members of society engaged in communal worship and theological engagement, so we are to view and engage the abuelitas in our midst—despite their powerless status—and consider them as a genuine source of theology. Thus, abuelita theology seeks to answer: what if the greatest theologians the world has ever known are those whom the world would not consider theologians at all?

Abuelita theology is birthed from the reality that in Latinx religious culture, matriarchal figures, such as abuelitas, within the home are the mainstays of preserving and passing on religious traditions, beliefs, practices, and spirituality within the family. The women of the household, specifically the abuelitas, function as “live-in ministers”50particularly because the privilege to receive formal religious instruction is often lacking within the Latinx community. Thus, abuelitas serve as the functional priestesses and theologians in Latinx familias51through the informal conversation that occurs within the space where many women are usually relegated, the home. Abuelita theology can be seen as a reclaiming of this space as a place where popular religious expression emerges and is preserved. The informal transition of religious understandings to the next generation of family members has led some to propose that Latinx popular religiosity has a matriarchal core.52 Thus, abuelita theology affirms abuelitas as gatekeepers of most of Latinx popular religiosity, with their lived experience taken into serious theological consideration. Old Testament examples include Ruth and Naomi, two widows whose story is celebrated and revered.

The praxis of abuelita theology is built around everyday life, or what Isasi-Diaz refers to as lo cotidiano. According to Isasi-Diaz, lo cotidiano constitutes the immediate space of one’s life, “the first horizon in which one has experiences that, in turn, are constitutive elements of their reality.53Lo cotidiano refers to how reality is understood and evaluated—both historically and culturally. It is necessarily entangled in material life and is a key element of the structuring of social relations and its limits, situating people in their experiences. It has to do with the practices and beliefs that have been inherited, and it is what makes the world of each and every person specific. Lastly, “it is in lo cotidiano and starting with lo cotidiano that we live the multiple relations that constitute our humanity. It is the sphere in which our struggle for life is most immediate, most vigorous, most vibrant.”54 Practically, abuelita theology is both a form of resisting oppression and a noninstitutional, nonacademic way of humans knowing about God.55Abuelitas transmit what Jeanette Rodriquez calls “cultural memory,” a way that lower-class, peasant women construct and make use of their world.56 This includes instructing through oral traditions (much like ancient Israelite culture) in popular religious beliefs.

Additionally, abuelita theology centers on overlooked and unnamed women throughout history, those whom—while unrecognized—have changed the course of history and provided us with the most profound examples of faith. It is a theology of survival, strength, persistence, and resistance. Its goals are to take seriously the religious understandings of abuelitas in our midst, assure that they are protagonists of their own stories who actualize themselves, their essence, and come into their truth, as Moltmann suggests. While the teachings of abuelitas are the starting points for many, there must be a continuous, ongoing, and communal effort to critically discern aspects of inherited traditions that have been colonized.57

The theologies inherited from these overlooked and often-unnamed abuelitas in our communities have given us a firm foundation of what it means to live out our faith and demonstrate love in the world. “These wise women taught us about the power of prophetic words and the responsibility we have to seek and hear them,” wrote Loida I. Martell-Otero, “they did not simply pass on el evangelio (the gospel) as a set of accepted dogmatic statements. They nurtured us with a keen sense of the Spirit’s ability to create anew.”58

Conclusion

This article has demonstrated the ways that the Hebrew Bible’s ideas of social justice established the foundation for how the ideas of human rights are to be engaged today. The theology of the book of Deuteronomy has impacted the modern world’s view of justice for the marginalized and vulnerable in society. This is seen in how ancient Israel was commanded by YHWH not only to protect and honor the dignity of widows, but to ensure that they were seen as equal to everyone else in society, partaking in theological engagement and participation.

In our modern contexts, we are to treat poor, marginalized women—or abuelitas—in our midst similarly to those of the ancient world, not overlooking them because of their age, physical vulnerability, social status, or gender, but honoring them as “unofficial theologians,” functional priestesses, and backbones of the faith. As a theological discipline, abuelita theology seeks to recognize the imago Dei in abuelitas, understanding that when the image of God is degraded in one, it is degraded in all. Abuelita theology also aims to empower abuelitas to resist oppression, serve as protagonists of their own stories, actualize their dignity, and come into their truths.

Notes

1. Eckart Otto, “Human Rights: The Influence of the Hebrew Bible,” JNSL 25/1 (1999) 1.

2. Otto, “Human Rights: The Influence of the Hebrew Bible,” 15.

3. Yair Lorberbaum, “Blood and the Image of God: On the Sanctity of Life in Biblical and Early Rabbinic Law, Myth, and Ritual,” in The Concept of Human Dignity in Human Rights Discourse, ed. David Kretzmer and Eckart Klein (Kluwer Law International, 2002) 56.

4. Lorberbaum, “Blood and the Image of God,” 56.

5. James Hanvey, “Dignity, Person, and Imago Trinitatis,” in Understanding Human Dignity (Oxford University Press, 2013) 224.

6. Hanvey, “Dignity, Person, and Imago Trinitatis,” 224.

7. Jürgen Moltmann, On Human Dignity: Political Theology and Ethics (Fortress, 1984) 9.

8. Moltmann, On Human Dignity, 10.

9. Hanvey, “Dignity, Person, and Imago Trinitatis,” 225.

10. Christopher J. H. Wright, God’s People in God’s Land (Eerdmans, 1990) 762.

11. Bunie Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow: Somewhere between Life—Hers, and Death—Her Husband’s” (D.H.L., The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2011) 10.

12. Stager, “Archaeology of the Family,” 20.

13. Danna Fewell, and David M Gunn. Gender, Power, and Promise: The Subject of the Bible’s First Story (Abingdon, 1993) 100.

14. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 30.

15. Moshe Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Eisenbrauns, 1992) 55.

16. Cheryl B. Anderson, Women, Ideology, and Violence: Critical Theory and the Construction of Gender in the Book of the Covenant and the Deuteronomic Law, JSOTSup 394 (T&T Clark, 2004) 54.

17. Levirate marriage is the modern term (levir is Latin for “brother-in-law”) for a marriage between the widow and a brother of a deceased husband/brother. Such a marriage served to provide economically for the widow and to prevent ending the family line of the deceased. The law is described in Deut 25 and lived out, for example, in the marriages of Tamar (Gen 38) and Ruth (where the custom extends to a more distant relative).

18. Anderson, Women, Ideology, and Violence, 55.

19. Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 68.

20. Charles Fensham, “Widow, Orphan, and the Poor in Ancient near Eastern Legal and Wisdom Literature” JNES 21/2 (1962) 129.

21. Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 74.

22. Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 139.

23. Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 139.

24. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 55.

25. Nahum M. Sarna, Exodus, JPS Torah Commentary (Jewish Publication Society, 1991) 138.

26. Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 86.

27. Walter Brueggemann, Deuteronomy, AOTC (Abingdon, 2001) 73.

28. Brueggemann, Deuteronomy, 73.

29. Brueggemann, Deuteronomy, 73.

30. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 56.

31. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 57.

32. John H. Otwell, And Sarah Laughed: The Status of Women in the Old Testament (Westminster, 1977) 125.

33. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 59.

34. Steinberg, “Romancing the Widow,” 327.

35.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 96.

36.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 96.

37.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 97.

38.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 98.

39. Bruce V. Malchow, “Social Justice in the Israelite Law Codes” WW 4/3 (Summer 1984) 306.

40.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 99.

41.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 99.

42. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 56.

43. Hanvey, “Dignity, Person, and Imago Trinitatis,” 225.

44. Ada María Isasi-Díaz, Mujerista Theology: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century (Orbis, 1996) 1.

45. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, En La Lucha: In the Struggle: Elaborating a Mujerista Theology (Fortress, 2004) 10.

46. Isasi-Diaz, Mujerista Theology, 1.

47. Isasi-Diaz, Mujerista Theology, 3.

48. Isasi-Diaz, Mujerista Theology, 2.

49. Moltmann, On Human Dignity, 10.

50. Mario T. Garcia, The Gospel of César Chávez: My Faith in Action (Sheed & Ward, 2007) 25.

51. Robert Chao Romero, “Abuelita Theology,” Perspectivas 14 (Spring 2017) 17.

52. Miguel De La Torre, Hispanic American Religious Cultures (ABC-CLIO, 2009) 34.

53. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, “Lo Cotidiano: A Key Element of Mujerista Theology,” Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology 10/1 (Aug 2002) 8.

54. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, “Lo Cotidiano,” 9.

55. Mario Garcia, Católicos: Resistance and Affirmation in Chicano Catholic History (University of Texas Press, 2008) 25.

56. Garcia, Católicos, 25.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.alephbeta.org/playlist/law-enforcement-in-the-bible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take It As It Comes – Shoftim

“Be wholehearted with your G‑d“—Deuteronomy 18:13.

In this week’s portion we are told, “There shall not be found among you… a soothsayer, a diviner of times, one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or a charmer…” We are then told – immediately in the next verse – to be “wholehearted” with G‑d.

What is the connection between the prohibitions against various occult practices and the commandment to be wholehearted with G‑d? And what does it mean to be wholehearted with G‑d?

First let’s understand the various prohibitions enumerated in this reading. As modern, so-called “enlightened” individuals, we may discount these warnings as something out-dated, something that was told to our ancestors—but does not pertain to us. After all, we think, who runs after soothsayers and sorcerers to tell them their fortune nowadays? But let’s examine the underlying psychology that drove the ancients to seek a stolen glimpse into the future. Are we really immune from the very same weakness—a preoccupation with what is yet to come?

Oh, the price we would pay just to have certainty about the future, but to no avail.We worry and fret about outcomes. We expend energy trying to secure that which cannot be guaranteed. Oh, the price we would pay just to have certainty about the future, but to no avail.

Thus, we are told to be “wholehearted” with G‑d—to leave the future up to Him and to accept life as it comes. After all, isn’t it enough just to know that He is in perfect control? Why should we prefer to have foreknowledge of His plans? Why don’t we realize that whatever He chooses will be best?

If we cannot give up our worries about the future, then it seems that our trust in Him is tenuous, conditional and half-hearted. What we are really telling G‑d is that our relationship with Him is conditional.

Think of a marriage. If your spouse were to suddenly whisk you away on an impetuous romantic getaway, would you first demand to know what the plans were? To do so would mean being more interested in how the time will be spent than with whom it will be shared. True love means that time shared with one’s beloved is always time well spent—whatever happens, whatever we are doing and wherever we go.

If G‑d were to speak to you and invite you to live in His presence, to follow Him at every turn, would you ask Him first where He plans on taking you? Before agreeing, would you first ask for an itinerary?

For those of us who recover from the spiritual illness known as alcoholism or addiction, we rely on our relationship with G‑d for our very survival. We cannot afford to let that relationship be half-hearted. We need to stay in the present and let the One who is above time worry about what is to come. Our wholehearted commitment to Him means that we are ready to joyfully and fearlessly accept whatever He may bring us, for we trust that ultimately, whatever happens, He is with us and He is running the show.

That is all we need to know.

 

TORAH : DEUTERONOMY 3:23-7:11| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 40:1-26| GOSPEL : LUKE 3:2-15


Voices…To Heed or Ignore?

 

Parasha Va'etchanan (And I Pleaded): Finding Comfort on Shabbat Nachamu | Messianic Bible

We sojourners, wandering through this experience called life, often can recall conversations with others that we did not heed…later regretting it, thinking, “so THAT is what they meant, augh, I should have listened!”. Or, am I the only one that has said that countless times throughout my 60 some years of traversing? Moshe did his best to communicate Yah’s instructions…Yah’s warnings, Yah’s encouragements. I do not think the reason for the tribe’s rebellion rested on Moshe…no…I am pretty sure it was the hearts of the people…stiffnecked and rebellious Israel!

Now, more than any time in history (in my humble opinion) is it imperative that we shema His instructions and have a relationship with the Shephard…be led by His Spirit…and be able to discern the hissing of the snakes…we are walking in a wilderness, coming out of Egypt just like our ancestors, but this time, oh! THIS TIME, we gotta get it right! I am not talking about legalistic hoop-jumping, no! I am talking about an authentic, intimate relationship with the True Shephard, the Lover of your soul…

Can you hear Him beckoning you? Can you hear the voices crying in the 21st-century wilderness “MAKE WAY FOR THE KING”!

SHEMA ISREAL!!! HEED HIS VOICE!!!

Moshe may have blown it at the end of his life, preventing him from entering into the Promised Land, but he will be in the New Jerusalem! Even that was part of Yah’s plan…I do not know about you, but I do not want to blow it! I want ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart that is pure and dedicated to my King!

 

https://www.alephbeta.org/playlist/why-moses-wasnt-allowed-in-the-land

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I ofter wondered how those who witnessed the demise of their fellow tribes felt. Did it make them want to run away from the Creator, from The Deliverer, or did it encourage them on the path of obedience?  I wondered if they were traumatized and if He comforted them as a Shephard comforts a frightened lamb. We live in a world that has been traumatized since the fall. and these days we need all the comfort we can get from The Comforter! And, we also need to be His hands and feet, and also His voice, providing comfort to the widows and the orphans, those who are poor and needy…be the hands of Messiah! Bring comfort to those in need, those in your sphere of influence…go into the byways and highways, seeking the lost sheep!

Intercessors for Israel Friday Prayer Points - JerusalemChannel.tvIsaiah 40:8 Inspirational Image

 

 

Isaiah 40:26 Inspirational ImagesPin on food

 

Isaiah 40 Scripture Images - Isaiah Chapter 40 KJV Bible Verse PicturesIsaiah 40 High Res Stock Images | Shutterstock

As I pondered this week’s Torah portion, I was led to Ezekiel 1-3. I have been led here over the years quite a few times, usually when I am about to speak to a group of people. It is as if Yah is preparing me for the rejection and insults. I also pondered a conversation from a ZOOM bible study I listened in on that discussed the issue of how women should act in the body of the Messiah. I was disappointed with the verbiage I both heard and read. The bible teacher did not want to hear anyone else’s opinion unless it validated his. He would not listen to any woman brave enough to challenge him,  unless they, too, believed in women being submissive to men…only a couple of folks mentioned the domestic abuse taking place and that men needed to be taught how to love and respect their wives. I mentioned that Hebrew scholars understand the Hebrew culture, content, and root words, which conveys a clearer picture of women’s role, design, and function. Has anyone heard of Ezer Kenagdo I wrote…no one even acknowledged my question.  I felt unheard.

I think Yeshua felt unheard, as did other voices speaking the truth.

John's Message of Repentance Luke 3:1-20 Luke 3:4-6 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every. - ppt download

Bible Quotes Facebook Cover Matthew 3:2 Download Repent,for the kingdom of heaven is at hand

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I wanted to share with you this article written by Tekoa Manning.

Madmen

 

 

This message concerns the Holy One’s prophets who were deemed madmen and at times labeled babbling fools. These were peculiar men. These were men whose voices boomed at times. Men who called down fire and shut up the heavens. Men on missions. I will tie this message to the 9th of AV and, as always, try and end with hope. 

Again and again the LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to His people through His messengers because He had compassion on them and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despising His words and scoffing at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD against His people was stirred up beyond remedy.

–II Chronicles 36:16

At times, Prophets see things they wish they had never seen. They hear words that terrorize them. What the prophets of old seen and knew was more than they could bear. They called it the burden of the word of the Lord. In II Kings, there is a shocking story that is heart-wrenching to read. Elisha has come to visit a king from Damascus who is very sick and he will give this King a strange message.

“Elisha came to Damascus. Now Ben-hadad, the king of Aram, was sick, and it was told to him, saying, “The man of God has come here.” And the king said to Hazael, “Take a gift in your hand and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?‘” So Hazael went to meet him and took a gift in his hand, even every kind of good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ loads; and he came and stood before him and said, “Your son Ben-hadad king of Aram has sent me to you, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’” Then Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You will certainly recover, but the LORD has shown me that he will certainly die.”

–II Kings 9:7-10

Elisha tells Hazael to speak to Ben-Hadad and tell him he will recover from his sickness, but he will also die. Elisha is a Seer and what he sees causes him to weep in front of a man standing in silence. Hazael thinks to himself, Who is this madman standing before me? This madman burning holes through me with his eyes as if he can read my thoughts. Indeed, Elisha stares so long the high-ranking official grows very uncomfortable. And then the Prophet begins to weep. Elisha, a man given a double portion of Elijah’s anointing groans intensely.

“And he (Elisha) stared steadily at him until Hazael was embarrassed, and then the man of God wept.” 

Elisha is weeping over what He sees, for he is a Seer. 

Jeremiah is weeping over what he sees.

“Oh, that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night over the slain daughter of my people.” (Jeremiah 9:1) Jeremiah saw so much he was deemed the weeping prophet. What would it feel like to warn people year after year that destruction was coming if they did not change their heart condition, only to be mocked and labeled a false prophet?

 

In the Gospels, we read that Yeshua wept over what he seen. The passage begins with Yeshua riding on a donkey. The people are shouting, ‘Blessed is the Sovereign who is coming in the Name of יהוה!’ Peace in heaven and esteem in the highest!” The Pharisees tell Yeshua to rebuke His taught ones. Yeshua responds, “I say to you that if these shall be silent, the stones would cry out.”

The stones indeed cry out, and every stone falls at the future destruction of the 2nd temple. The passage says that after this, Yeshua wept.  “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44)

Yeshua, like Jeremiah sees the destruction of Jerusalem. When his disciples expound on the majestic temple Herod had built. Yeshua tells them it will all fall. No stone left upon another. Meditate on that.

Yeshua warns the people that they did not know the time of their visitation. Can each generation miss their visitation? I think so. We need men and women who will weep. Men who will weep in front of men with titles and accolades. Men who will weep in front of men who are scribes, leaders, high ranking officials. OH, WE NEED MADMEN TODAY! Men who are so grieved over what they see and hear that they weep. They warn. They cry out like rocks. They walk the streets and inner cities. They run for offices in government. Men who have action.

A rugged prophet is standing before Hazael, weeping. It does not matter if the king has sent 40 camels laden with gifts, and Hazael thinks he is only standing in front of this man to get one answer for King Ben-hadad. Hazael, like all of us, if we were in his position, becomes quite uncomfortable to see such a man stand and weep. A man with a hairy mantle with a voice that pierces the soul. The passage states, “Elisha stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael felt ashamed. Then the man of God began to weep.” When Hazael asked, “Why is my lord weeping?” he answered, “Because I know the evil that you will inflict on the men of Israel: their strongholds you will set on fire, their young men you will slay with the sword, their little ones you will dash into pieces, and their pregnant ones you will rip open.”

No one wants to know or see this. No one wants to see the destruction that is coming on a nation and a people, their own people.

Then Hazael said, “But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do anything of such magnitude?” Elisha answered, “Adonai has shown me that you will be king over Aram.” Then Haza’el departed from Elisha and went to his master, who asked him, “What did Elisha say to you?” He answered, “He told me that you would surely recover.” But the next day, he (Haz’ael) took a thick cloth, soaked it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died. Then Hazael became king in his place.”

The God of Israel has His prophet anoint a man who will do horrific things to His own people. Judgment has begun. Haza’el of Syria and Yehu of Israel will run swiftly shedding blood. And the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has not only allowed it but has also orchestrated much of it.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. However, Adonai is long suffering wanting none to perish.

Oh, the weeping that must have continued for Elisha over what he had seen. Are there any prophets today weeping? Any lamenting Jeremiah’s? Any Deborah’s preparing for battle? Are there any men who look upon America and weep? Any men who weep for God’s chosen people Israel? Are there still men and women who will weep over their own condition and use action to change it? I pray we begin to see the Father’s true prophets arise and weep with anguish to warn and awaken a people, for I fear if we don’t, we may see worse than Covid. May we grieve over what grieves YHVH.

Shortly after this story concerning Haza’el, we read of another man who is anointed. His name is Jehu. A prophet from the company of the prophets is sent with an assignment. He is a prophet labeled a madman (shagah). “a wild fellow” running in haste with a vial of oil. Oh, if we had such men today. Men who had no business cards, no business suits, no ministries with itching ear words, but men on a mission. Men who were deemed strange. Men with the voice of Adonai coming out of their nostrils. Nostrils or nose – ‘aph (עף) – is the same word for anger and wrath and a sign of disgust and indignation. The Father was anointing men out of His anger. We do not see or hear of these prophets much today.

Why would HaShem save a people consumed with idolatry? Infused with baseless hatred? Do we need saved? Oh, yes, but I do not think it will look the way many envision. Will the Father anoint a Hazael and a Jehu to rid evil from Washington D.C without it affecting us? Many called Trump a Jehu. He was a man on a mission and during his term we also saw much destruction, riots, fires, and deaths in our nation. Men handed out bricks. Men were paid to destroy and cause division, but who sent them? Elisha anointed Hazael because the Father told him he would be king. The Father also showed him that this man would bring harm to the Israelites, set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children, and rip open their pregnant women. Horrific! The Father is bringing judgement. This is not satan. The God who sent a flood, the God who sent plagues, the God who sent famine, and the God who sent his servant Nebuchadnezzar is the same God on the throne at this moment in 2021.

Concerning the anointing of Jehu: Elisha does not anoint him but gives another prophet the strange assignment:

“Strap up your cloak, take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. When you arrive there, look out there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi. Then go in, get him to rise up from among his fellows, and bring him to an inner room. 3 Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, thus says Adonai: ‘I have anointed you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee—don’t wait around.”

The prophet is told to flee after anointing such a man as Jehu. Jehu will waste no time destroying the house of Ahab and Jezebel. He will drive like a madman after the anointing oil is poured forth, and he will get swiftly to work at destroying the house of Ahab. He is anointed to destroy!

“Thus says Adonai, God of Israel: I have anointed you king over the people of Adonai, over Israel. 7 So you will strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of Adonai shed by Jezebel. 8 For the whole house of Ahab will perish, and I will cut off from Ahab every male, slave or free, in Israel. 9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasa, son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs will eat Jezebel in the field of Jezreel, and there will be none to bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.

Then Jehu came out to the officers of his master, and one asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this crazy fellow come to you?” He said to them, “You know the man and his babbling.”

They knew the prophets. The prophets looked different. They spoke differently. They had a school/guild. They spent time listening to the thin silence Elijah heard when he had fled to a cave. They prayed together. They were distinct. 

A madman, a babbling man, a man in such haste comes with only one message. “Thus says the Lord of Hosts/ Adonai Tzva’ot.”  When will His prophets gather again with men and women who have no leprosy of Naaman clinging to them? No prophets with the desire of Gehazi who ran after Naaman’s chariot and lied to obtain wealth.

However, In Biblical times, the prophets were honored and given gifts. Ben-Hadad sent forty camels carrying gifts of fruit, nuts, berries, clothing, and his servant holding more than likely silver, gold, or money. A person would not inquire of a prophet without a gift. Saul was pressed to see the prophet about his fathers donkeys who had fled but told his servant he had no gift for the prophet. His servant offered to give and so they went to the Seer, Samuel. Today this has been abused so severely by the prosperity gospel; not many bring a blessing or even honor to those in leadership. Curiously, King Ben-Hadad  does.

Today, we must pray for the Voice of Elijah and Elisha to come forth. We must pray for the 5-fold (Ephesians 4) to be put in place. 

Jeremiah exclaims, “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and my people love to have it so.” (5:30-31). We need to expose this as Jeremiah did.

We have the power of Messiah in us. Messiah in us is the hope of glory. We are living stones. Our bodies joined together is one temple–His Body. Our temple is to be filled with His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy spirit). Our stones need unification, and we need to be full of hesed/ loving-kindness, mercy, compassion, and able to take and give correction. The prophet brings correction. If the prophets you are flocking to never correct you or use words that convict you, I would surmise they are no prophets at all, but beastly false ones.

 

Let us take our tent pegs and stretch them out as we build and labor to bring in the harvest and to build His House. The 9th of Av is to one day be a joyful day. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. We must walk and act in this manner. We need the manifestations of the Spirit of a Holy Father in the hearts and minds of men. Some people listened to the voice of Jeremiah and their lives were spared from death. Their children survived and escaped. Their name was carried forth. What are we doing right now that is effecting future generations? How can we weep not only for our Nation but our own households? And the person staring back at us in the mirror?

My grandfather who was born in the late 1800’s was a farmer raising 12 children in KY. He fed his children by the sweat of his brow and they worked right beside him in the field. He watched two sons go off to war to fight Hitler’s regime and he saw them both return safe. Robert Elmer Loy died when I was a baby. I learned later on that he was also a musician with a degree in music. I leave you with a song he wrote and published in a hymnal. Master, Here I Am, Send Me.

 

 

 

Verse by Verse - Luke 3:15-38 - YouTube

I do draw from brig brother Judah at times, here is an article was written by a Rabbi in recovery. Take what you want and leave the rest!

How Big is Your Higher Power? – Va’etchanan

“…There is nothing else besides Him…The L-rd is G‑d in heaven above, and upon the earth below; there is nothing else”—Deuteronomy 4:35; 39.

In this week’s Torah reading we are told twice in very similar terms that there is nothing but G‑d. These verses do not just mean to negate the existence of any other deity or higher power. What these verses tell us is that there is nothing that exists except for G‑d. G‑d is the only existence.

A question arises. If there is only G‑d, is the world an illusion?

Jewish teaching insists that our world is not an illusion, but neither is it an independent entity. To believe that the world is something separate, an entity unto itself, would be to accept that G‑d is not really everything. This would assume that He is one thing and that the world is another thing. In truth, however, there is only One thing. As the Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, said, “All is G‑d and G‑d is all.” G‑d is not only the Master and Creator of the world, He is the world. He is everything.

The merchant could not help but to state the bottom line—that G‑d is all there is. Indeed, the central prayer of Judaism, the Shema, states, “Hear, O Israel, the L-rd is our G‑d, the L-rd is One.” This does not just mean that there is only one G‑d, but that G‑d is “One”—an absolute Unity precluding all and any other existence besides Him.

Almost three hundred years ago in Russia, there lived a Jew, an ardent spiritual practitioner, who happened to be a lumber merchant by trade. One year, when tallying the annual accounts, he found himself writing on the bottom line: “TOTAL: Ein od milvado—”There is nothing else besides Him.” So real to him was this notion of G‑d’s complete “everything-ness,” that the lumber merchant could not help but to state the bottom line – even on his tally sheet – that G‑d is all there is.

There is an epilogue to this story. When a friend heard of what happened, he criticized the mystically-inclined lumber merchant for his absentmindedness, remarking, “There is a time for meditating upon the absolute oneness of G‑d, and there is a time for business. Belief is not a license to be careless in one’s practical dealings.”

The lumber merchant replied, “If one knew that during meditation, a businessman was thinking of the fair in Leipzig, nobody would be the least bit taken aback. So why should it be considered such an offense if during business he slips into thinking about G‑d?”

Those of us who recover from addiction, have come to see the need to apply our belief in G‑d to all aspects of life. This concept probably relates rather well to the lumber merchant. To quote:

“When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either G‑d is everything or else He is nothing. G‑d either is or He isn’t. What was our choice to be?” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 53)

The program does not dictate which Higher Power to believe in. The program does not favor one or any official theology. But it does tell us clearly that the One who has the power to help us recover from addiction is “everything.”

One can call G‑d whatever one wishes, which may be especially helpful if one was soured by negative religious experiences in the past. Ultimately, this idea of choosing your own concept of G‑d may be pure semantics—a rather unimportant word game, if you will: what real difference does it make if we call it “G‑d” or “Higher Power” or “the ultimate force,” etc.? As the wise old rabbi told the young, self-proclaimed atheist, “Son, the god you don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either.”

In any case, the Jewish concept of G‑d – if you are interested to know – is that people, places and things do not exist by themselves. G‑d is not just the Maker and Manager of all—He is the All.

He is not just a higher power. He is the Only Power. He is Everything.

Another great read!

https://messilife.com/f/read-the-warning-label-yom

TORAH : DEUTERONOMY 1:1-3:22| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 1:1-27| GOSPEL : Matthew 24:1-24

 

Enjoy the interview with Christene Jackman! Next week on Hebrew Nations Radio I will be bringing to you an amazing author, Onlilove Chika Alston!

 

Trust and Obey for there is no other way…to be happy in Yeshua…

Blessing vs curses….hmmmm….tough decision! Or is it? Well, this sixty-one-year-old woman sure has had a lifetime of curses and would much rather obey her Abba rather than the flesh…

RABBIT TRAIL AHEAD

Animal Tracks in Snow. Closeup Animal Tracks in Snow royalty free stock photos

I love how Paul shares his lament with us…Romans 7 starting with verse 7

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.
The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.
For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.
So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh, I serve the law of sin.
Paul had one hell of a war going on within himself…can you relate??? I sure can! The wonderful thing about this passage is that Paul TRUSTED his God…he KNEW Yeshua! Remember, Paul was a Jewish Rabbi and knew Torah frontward and backward…but he was a man…in a fleshly body, that was at war with his spirit…
But he KNEW his Redeemer!
End of rabbit trail…
let’s get started with this week’s Torah Portion

 

Deuteronomy 1:31 – The Bible Wallpapers

ISAIAH 1

1These are the visions that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. He saw these visions during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
A Message for Rebellious Judah
2Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth!
This is what the Lord says:
“The children I raised and cared for
have rebelled against me.
3Even an ox knows its owner,
and a donkey recognizes its master’s care—
but Israel doesn’t know its master.
My people don’t recognize my care for them.”
4Oh, what a sinful nation they are—
loaded down with a burden of guilt.
They are evil people,
corrupt children who have rejected the Lord.
They have despised the Holy One of Israel
and turned their backs on him.
5hy do you continue to invite punishment?
Must you rebel forever?
Your head is injured,
and your heart is sick.W
6You are battered from head to foot—
covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—
without any soothing ointments or bandages.W
7Your country lies in ruins,
and your towns are burned.
Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes
and destroy everything they see.
8Beautiful Jerusalem stands abandoned
like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard,
like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest,
like a helpless city under siege.
9If the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
had not spared a few of us,
we would have been wiped out like Sodom,
destroyed like Gomorrah.
10Listen to the Lord, you leaders of “Sodom.”
Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.”
11“What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?”
says the Lord.
“I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fattened cattle.
I get no pleasure from the blood
of bulls and lambs and goats.
12When you come to worship me,
who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?
13Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts;
the incense of your offerings disgusts me!
As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath
and your special days for fasting—
they are all sinful and false.
I want no more of your pious meetings.
14I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals.
They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
15When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look.
Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen,
for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
16Wash yourselves and be clean!
Get your sins out of my sight.
Give up your evil ways.
17Learn to do good.
Seek justice.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
18“Come now, let’s settle this,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
I will make them as white as wool.
19If you will only obey me,
you will have plenty to eat.
20But if you turn away and refuse to listen,
you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Unfaithful Jerusalem
21See how Jerusalem, once so faithful,
has become a prostitute.
Once the home of justice and righteousness,
she is now filled with murderers.
22Once like pure silver,
you have become like worthless slag.
Once so pure,
you are now like watered-down wine.
23Your leaders are rebels,
the companions of thieves.
All of them love bribes
and demand payoffs,
but they refuse to defend the cause of orphans
or fight for the rights of widows.
24Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
the Mighty One of Israel, says,
“I will take revenge on my enemies
and pay back my foes!
25I will raise my fist against you.
I will melt you down and skim off your slag.
I will remove all your impurities.
26Then I will give you good judges again
and wise counselors like you used to have.
Then Jerusalem will again be called the Home of Justice
and the Faithful City.”
27Zion will be restored by justice;
those who repent will be revived by righteousness.
28But rebels and sinners will be completely destroyed,
and those who desert the Lord will be consumed.
2

A trusting relationship…most of us have experienced them…only to be betrayed…or, maybe we were the one that did the betraying…either way…it leaves deep wounds…they say that time heals all wounds. I disagree…unless HE has removed the sting of the memory…
It matters not if we were the one betraying or the betrayed…it leaves deep regrets, deep longings of if only…a hole in one’s soul…a lingering sting…and a reluctance to trust again…the one betrayed and the one who betrays…both are broken, both need healing…both need a Savior…
Trusting again…after such deep pain, the mind plays games…
Most of us have been burned by others…we beat ourselves up, going over and over conversations, gestures, under a microscope we place all interactions looking for a clue that we miss and question ourselves how could I have been so stupid, so naive??
Then…we encounter a Man…a Man who claims He is not just a man…no, this time it will be different, this time He will never play games, betray, walk out, lie, cheat, steal, rage, be mean…nope, not Me, I am different… believe Me, trust Me…
And we want to…oh how we long to believe that there really is a Love like that…a Love that is real, genuine, a Love we can rest in, not have to be on guard, not hypervigilant…a Love that doesn’t manipulate and coerce…a Love that our very soul can trust completely.

We all have gone astray, we have all been rebellious, we all have need of forgiveness and healing…He askes us:

5Why do you continue to invite punishment?
Must you rebel forever?
Your head is injured,
and your heart is sick.W
6You are battered from head to foot—
covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—
without any soothing ointments or bandages.
You see, He wants us to return…to repent…to come back to His fold, He is the Good Shephard that will bandage up our wounds…He is the one that will hold our hearts til the wounds are healed…
He wants us to come out of denial and allow Him to apply the Balm of Gilead.
7 Bible verses about Balms
Oh, brothers and sisters, He longs to heal your heart…to restore you to who He created you to be! What a wonderful creation you are! Trust Him, believe Him! He wants to bless you!
Remember Peter? Remember how he betrayed His Master Yeshua? Remember, Yeshua restored him, offering Peter forgiveness and reconciliation. In 1 Peter

From: Kefa, an emissary of Yeshua the Messiah

To: God’s chosen people, living as aliens in the Diaspora — in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bythinia — chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obeying Yeshua the Messiah and for sprinkling with his blood:

Grace and shalom be yours in full measure.

Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who, in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for you in heaven. Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time. Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials. Even gold is tested for genuineness by fire. The purpose of these trials is so that your trust’s genuineness, which is far more valuable than perishable gold, will be judged worthy of praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Yeshua the Messiah.

Without having seen him, you love him. Without seeing him now, but trusting in him, you continue to be full of joy that is glorious beyond words. And you are receiving what your trust is aiming at, namely, your deliverance.

10 The prophets, who prophesied about this gift of deliverance that was meant for you, pondered and inquired diligently about it. 11 They were trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of the Messiah in them was referring in predicting the Messiah’s sufferings and the glorious things to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that their service when they spoke about these things was not for their own benefit, but for yours. And these same things have now been proclaimed to you by those who communicated the Good News to you through the Ruach HaKodesh sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things!

13 Therefore, get your minds ready for work, keep yourselves under control, and fix your hopes fully on the gift you will receive when Yeshua the Messiah is revealed. 14 As people who obey God, do not let yourselves be shaped by the evil desires you used to have when you were still ignorant. 15 On the contrary, following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life; 16 since the Tanakh says,

“You are to be holy because I am holy.”[a]

17 Also, if you are addressing as Father the one who judges impartially according to each person’s actions, you should live out your temporary stay on earth in fear. 18 You should be aware that the ransom paid to free you from the worthless way of life which your fathers passed on to you did not consist of anything perishable like silver or gold; 19 on the contrary, it was the costly bloody sacrificial death of the Messiah, as of a lamb without defect or spot. 20 God knew him before the founding of the universe, but revealed him in the acharit-hayamim for your sakes. 21 Through him you trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory; so that your trust and hope are in God.

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth, so that you have a sincere love for your brothers, love each other deeply, with all your heart. 23 You have been born again not from some seed that will decay, but from one that cannot decay, through the living Word of God that lasts forever24 For

all humanity is like grass,
all its glory is like a wildflower —
the grass withers, and the flower falls off;
25 but the Word of Adonai lasts forever.[b]

Moreover, this Word is the Good News which has been proclaimed to you.

AMEN!

I would like to share this resource with you…It is from a Jewish source, I do not believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I believe we can learn from our Big Brother Judah…

Hearing G-d’s Word – Devarim

“These are the words that Moses spoke to the entire people of Israel…”—Deuteronomy 1:1.

The book of Deuteronomy relates the monologue spoken by Moses just before the people entered the Promised Land. As it is stated, “These are the words that Moses spoke to the entire people of Israel.” Unlike the other four books, which are “the word of G‑d,” Deuteronomy is the “word of Moses”—that is, it is his final address to the people.

That does not mean that this book is of mortal invention, but rather that Moses delivered these words through divine inspiration. In the first four books of the Torah, Moses merely took dictation from G‑d, precisely relaying each word without regard to his own understanding. The words of Deuteronomy, however, were first integrated into Moses’ own consciousness; and only then were they spoken by him. This does not mean that the content of this book is somehow diluted or compromised by having passed through mortal understanding. Rather, what it means is that Moses attained a level at which G‑d’s word could be faithfully transmitted—not just through his mouth, but also through his brain. In his final days, Moses did not just transmit G‑d’s message; he first conceived it in his own mind.

Moses did not just transmit G‑d’s message; he first conceived it in his own mind there is a reason why this fusion of mortal and G‑dly intelligence occurred when it did, in the days just prior to entering the Holy Land.

After forty years of wandering in the desert, protected by miracles, the people were poised to meet their destiny and to face the “real world.” They would need to be able to take the rarefied spiritual concepts that they had learned during their forty years in the desert and apply them to ordinary life. They needed to put theory into practice and in order to do so they needed to hear G‑d’s word integrated and conveyed through the intellect of another human being.

“G‑d speaks through people,” is a common saying in recovery. Lofty spiritual concepts are worth little to us in dealing with everyday life if we never hear them spoken in simple, human terms, filtered through the mortal, finite mind of another alcoholic or addict.

Some of us may wonder how it can be that the very same thought that we had come across in our religious studies couldn’t help us overcome our alcoholism, but when heard spoken – in slightly different words – by another alcoholic, had a profound and transformative effect. If G‑d’s own word hadn’t worked on us, how could the word of a mere mortal?

The answer is, of course, that that is G‑d’s word—as understood and communicated by another human being who shares our disease.