You + Yah Can Take the Land
Parsha Sh’lach L’cha, Numbers 13-15, is centered on our first glimpse of the Promised Land after leaving Egypt. We read the exciting report that the scouts brought back, the good and the bad.
But I want to focus on just one verse – not even a whole verse, just one sentence. It’s a statement that is easily overlooked in the highs and lows of the story. It’s easy to miss the significance of it, because in most of our cultures today, it doesn’t carry the same meaning. However, in this case, it was life-changing and destiny defining. If we can capture the significance of this concept in our own lives, it can be the same for us. (more…)
Purim – A Reflection of our Own Faith
While not one of Yehovah’s commanded feasts, I believe Purim, the remembrance of the story of Esther in the Bible, is worthy of its annual celebration.
Purim is a microcosm of our own lifelong quests: to walk in Yehovah’s ways despite the pressures around us, to trust that his purposes are being manifest in the events of our nation and world, and to have the courage to submit to his sovereignty and will at every turn. In short, it’s about living a life of faith.
As you read the story and the following posts, you will see yourself and your circumstances, as well as Yehovah’s sovereignty and guidance in your own life.
Month 13 – Adar II: But Wait, There’s More!
There’s more time added on to the Hebrew year, and there’s more that Yehovah wants to teach us about this season. A 13th month on the Hebrew calendar only happens in leap years, so the 13th month is called Adar II. While the 13th month is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, the month of Adar or the 12th month, is mentioned eight times in scripture. Here’s how a leap year works and what these eight scriptures reveal about this season. (more…)
Why Count the Omer, Part 1: The First 40 Days
Counting the Omer – most are familiar with the culmination of the count, which is Pentecost, also called the Festival of Weeks. “Weeks” is taken from the Hebrew word “shavuot” and refers to the seven weeks that precede Pentecost. Leviticus 23:15 tells us to count the weeks between the Feast of First Fruits and Pentecost:
“From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks.”
You want me to do what?
Have you ever been in a situation in which you wondered what Yehovah was up to? You knew you were in a specific place for a reason, but not sure what it was. Or maybe you’ve felt you were meant for something more than you’re currently doing and have asked Yehovah to open new doors. You’ve prayed and waited on the Lord for your next assignment. But once you realize what it is he’s asking of you, it seems daunting, more or different than you had in mind. You might feel overwhelmed at the prospect, maybe reluctant or anxious.
Take heart, you’re in good company. Joseph, Moses, Noah, Gideon, even Yeshua – they’ve all been where you are.
Resting in God’s Faithfulness: My Shimetah Year
In my last post on this topic, I shared how Yehovah demonstrated his faithfulness to me very specifically over one year’s time. He replaced my fears with faith and changed my perspective to one that allows me to stay in his peace and rest every day.
A couple of years later I was working on new projects and new goals. I still had my new perspective and was still trusting God for all of my provisions, but I was still striving. (more…)
Hanukkah….A Time for Re-dedication
Most people identify Hanukkah celebrations with being Jewish. And with eight days of lighting an extra-long menorah (chanukkiah), eating extra oily potatoes (latkes), playing a game using Hebrew letters (Dreidel), it’s no wonder.
But don’t let its Jewish symbols fool you. Hanukkah is the perfect celebration for anyone who’s ever wished for good to overcome evil, a minority of principled people to triumph over a powerful, oppressive empire, a restoration of crushed cultural traditions, a chance to clear out the bad memories and start anew, and recommit to living by their values and beliefs. (more…)
Feast of Trumpets: “A day of complete rest for remembering”
On the Feast of Trumpets (also called Rosh Hashanah) we put aside our work and gather with other believers, share a meal, blow our shofars, present an offering and worship just as Yehovah commanded us in Leviticus 23.
But Leviticus 23:24 also tells us this is to be “a day of complete rest for remembering.” Remembering what, it doesn’t say. In fact none of the references to the Feast of Trumpets tell us what we’re remembering.
To get some perspective, let’s go back in time about 3,500 years when the observance of this day was first commanded. (more…)
Purim – The Story of Mordecai
Esther – Queen of Persia, intercessor for the Jews before the King, and the one for whom the book of Esther is written. Understandably, as the heroine of the story, most discussions of the book are meant to inspire people to emulate her. But how many people are going to get the chance to be a queen, and in a position to intercede for their people in front of a king? Re-reading the story this year, I realized Mordecai’s role in the whole affair is probably a more realistic picture of what people in any position could aspire to. (more…)
As Hanukkah’s Candles, You are the Light of the World
In my last post about Hanukkah, I explored how the Hanukkah candles symbolize our light in the world and how we partner with God to bring light to the darkness. Our focus was on Isaiah 60:1-3. As I continued my research into the Hebrew words used in Isaiah 60:1, it gave me a deeper understanding into my true power as a light in the world.
Isaiah 60:1 reads, “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.” In a literal Hebrew translation, this would read: “Arise-you! light-up-you! That he-came light-of you and glory-of Yahweh on you he-is-radiant.”
The Hebrew seemed to be a much stronger statement, especially the idea that Yahweh is radiant upon us. (more…)
Why Count the Omer? Part 2: Nine Days of Prayer
In Leviticus 23:15 God instructs us to count the seven weeks (49 days) that occur before the Day of Pentecost (the 50th day) also called the Festival of Weeks and Shavuot in Hebrew. But counting days with no explanation? Why would this be important to God and to us?
For the Israelites, it pertained mainly to their harvest cycle and offerings to be presented. For us living after the time of Yeshua, and the giving of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, we can see the spiritual implications of this count. We know that on the 50th day after Yeshua’s resurrection, something unimaginably wonderful happened: The pouring out of the Holy Spirit not only on the disciples, but on all those who come to faith in Yeshua as the Messiah! The implications of that day reverberate even stronger in these last of the last days. The 50th day is one I want to be prepared for every year. (more…)
Why Count the Omer? Part 3: God’s Spirit Poured Out
This 3-part blog series focuses on the Lord’s instruction in Leviticus 23:15 to count the seven weeks (49 days) that occur before the Day of Pentecost (the 50th day) also called the Festival of Weeks and Shavuot in Hebrew. For the Israelites, the count was about the harvest, thus the word “omer” which was a unit of measure used to count and track grain harvests. Yeshua taught us the spiritual meaning of “harvest” as those ready to receive the good news of the Messiah (Matt 9:37). That’s what the third phase of counting the omer is about.
In Parts 1 and 2, I laid out a three-phase structure for the 49-day count:
- The first 40 days
- Days 41-49
- The 50th day
The first two phases prepare us for what’s about to happen on the 50th day and beyond. (more…)
The Blessing of the 10 Commandments: A Case in Point
In an earlier post, we reviewed the lifestyle of following the 10 Commandments and the blessings it produces based on Deuteronomy 26:16-19. But God’s blessings go beyond human logic. It’s not only that if you do this, then that will happen. While that is certainly true in the natural realm, when we pursue God’s commands, the spiritual results are compounded beyond what we can imagine. (more…)
God’s Blessing and Provision, Part 2: We’re in the Family of The Provider
In my last blog post I discussed the balance between stewarding our resources while remaining completely dependent on God during the increase in economic instability or political turbulence, civil unrest and especially natural disasters.
A wonderful example of this principle is Joseph. His leadership during the great famine of his time not only demonstrates his response to and preparation for hard times, but has additional significance for us today because of the fact that he is a foreshadow of Yeshua Himself. I believe Joseph’s story provides us a glimpse of what’s ahead for Yeshua’s followers as end-time events escalate. (more…)
Our Spiritual Journey Inside the Tabernacle – Part 10: Inside The Ark of the Covenant
To this point in our journey, we’ve progressed from a casual recipient of God’s gift of faith, just barely inside the fence surrounding the tabernacle, to a partner in his business functioning as His very presence on earth, just as the Ark of the Covenant did in the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle.
If we are now functioning as the Ark did, what can we learn from the Ark about what God considers representative of His presence on earth? What’s inside the Ark provides us great insight in answering this question.
Hebrews 9:4 tells us there were three things inside the Ark: (more…)
Pentecost: 2000 Years Ago or 2023?
The Day of Pentecost – we remember the supernatural flames appearing in the room where Yeshua’s followers were gathered. Inside the room, there was the sound of a “mighty rushing wind” and the speaking of other languages they’d never learned. It’s the pouring out of God’s very spirit into mere humans (Acts 2). That’s plenty to celebrate and remember right there. But what’s the purpose in our noting it every year? (more…)
If MY People
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
I found this verse repeating in my head, so I posted it in a place where I’d see it every day, a place where I typically pray for my friends and family as I’m starting my day. I continued my routine of praying for various people, and the verse stayed on my wall for probably three weeks.
I came to understand the power of this statement: (more…)
Taking the Next Difficult Step is Easier Than I Thought
On a recent vacation, I decided to try rock climbing on the simulated rock wall. I had never done it, but watched several people in front of me, some succeeding to the top and some quitting part way up. With each one I could, I asked how they did it or what stopped them from finishing, trying to learn whatever might help me make it high enough to ring the little bell at the top, announcing my success.
When it was my turn, the attendant, Alex, roped me up and gave me climbing shoes to help me hold on. I took my first few steps on the holds and knobs. “This is pretty easy,” I thought. But like anything else physical, it got harder as I went along. (more…)
Faith is the Answer
Remember the story in Mark 5 of the woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years? She touched Yeshua’s clothing and was not only healed, but captured the attention of Yeshua despite the throng of people crowding Him. While obviously a great account of Yeshua’s compassion and supernatural power, this story leaves me with a few questions:
- Why did the woman think if she touched Yeshua’s clothes she would be healed?
- Why did Yeshua feel the power go out from Him when she touched Him and not everyone else who was crowding around?
- And after a wonderful miracle, why was the woman fearful of Him? (more…)