In this blog, we will meet a king who must flee his palace because his own son has planned a coup to overthrow his kingdom. David’s son Absalom has been quite successful in winning over the people with his charm. David and his men are not prepared with food and supplies to withstand such a battle. The King will have to go underground, and then he will have to operate using a secret informant to listen and give him the plans of his own son’s military tactics. The story seems remarkably close to our own situation in Washington.
In this blog, you will meet a man named Barzillai:
1. He can no longer discern what is good and what is not.
2. He can no longer taste.
3. He can no longer hear the voice of singing.
In 2nd Samuel 19, David learns that his son, Absalom, who tried to usurp the kingdom from him, is now dead. King David has already lost two sons. The son he had with Bathsheba and his son Amnon who raped Tamar, was killed by Absalom because David is not good at confronting situations concerning his seed. In chapter 19, word has come to the King concerning the death of Absalom. The King is weeping. Yes, David is crying out from the depths of his belly, “Oh, my son! My son, Absalom! How I wish I would have died instead of you. Oh, my son, Absalom!”
King David’s servants and all the people hide themselves in humiliation. But the king does not have time to weep or mourn; he, after all, is still the king. Joab comes to David bringing strong rebuke and correction.
“Today, you (David) have disgraced all your servants who have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, of your wives, and of your concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you! For you have made it clear today that the commanders and soldiers mean nothing to you. I know today that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead, it would have pleased you!
Now, therefore, get up! Go out and speak comfort to your servants, for I swear by the LORD that if you do not go out, not a man will remain with you tonight. This will be worse for you than all the adversity that has befallen you from your youth until now!” (II Samuel 19:5-7).
Have you ever loved those who hated you and hated those who loved you? We can often blindly do just that.
David straightens his crown and dries his eyes and sits at the gate. All the people come out to congratulate the king. Those who had left him to follow Absalom had fled to their tents, but with Joab’s wise advice, the king prevents possible anarchy. The text says all the people throughout Israel were arguing over whether David should still be the king. Does that sound familiar?
“And all the people throughout the tribes of Israel were arguing, “The king rescued us from the hand of our enemies and delivered us from the hand of the Philistines, but now he has fled the land because of Absalom. But Absalom, the man we anointed over us, has died in battle. So why do you say nothing about restoring the king?” (II Sam. 19:9-10).
Sometimes, we must restore the king, and sometimes the one usurping the kingdom hangs himself. Those who were deceived by Absalom’s charm are now in limbo. Before Absalom’s death, he sent spies to all the tribes and told them as soon as they heard the shofar, then they were to say, “Absalom is King!” Regardless of who is placed in the White House as president, Yeshua is still our King. He is King of King’s. No man will get His glory.
David’s son, who tried to take the kingdom from him, ends up hanging from a tree by his thick hair (pride). Joab, David’s commander in chief, took three darts and thrust them through Absalom’s heart, killing him. Absalom was usurping something that was not his. Absalom’s name means “My Father is peace.” Adonai does bring peace after this horrific situation.
David, who has been in hiding from his seed, is going to cross back over the Jordan and take back what is rightfully his. He has been cursed and pelted with rocks. He has lost another son. He is a broken man who no doubt is replaying Nathan’s words from Adonai in his head. Weeping and repenting as he goes. Before David approaches the Jordan, something peculiar happens. A man who is 80 years old comes out to meet king David as he is getting ready to cross over from exile. His name was Barzillai. II Samuel 17 gives us a description of this man:
Barzillai: “A wealthy Gileadite noble of Rogelim (meaning fullers), who, together with two other prominent chieftains of the east-Jordanic territory, met David at Mahanaim, when he was fleeing with only a few followers from Absalom, and provided the king and his weary men with food” (2 Samuel 17:27).
He was a noble from Rogelim (meaning fullers). Fullers were men who treaded on clothing to cleanse the garments. Fuller’s soap is used to scrub the wool of sheep. Think righteous garments. Rogelim also means feet, and feet represent our walk. He meets David (Beloved) at Mahanaim.
Mahanaim is an interesting place.
“Right before Jacob names the region Mahanaim, he is met by angels of God that motivates him to say, מחנה אלהים וה (“This is God’s camp”), using the word מחנה (mananeh)”(Abarim publications).
It is interesting to note that a man with crippled feet is also mentioned right before Barzillai. This man was Mephibosheth, meaning “one who DESTROYS SHAME. When he was five years old, a report came that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle, and when the boy’s nurse heard the news, she picked him up and fled. But as she hurried away, the nurse dropped Mephibosheth, and he became crippled (II Samuel 4).
Oh, the misfortune of it all. We do not hear much more about this young man again until II Samuel. David decides to bless anyone left of Saul’s house, the greatest enemy he ever had. David approaches Mephibosheth, and Mephibosheth says, “What is your servant that you take an interest in a dead dog like me?” How ironic that the name “Mephibosheth” means destroyer of shame, yet his crippled-up legs had brought him just that, shame. When Mephibosheth walked into a room, he was noticed, not for his beauty or even his heritage as the grandson of a king and the son of a mighty warrior, Jonathan. No, that is not what people noticed; they noticed his hobbling bent up legs.
When David searched for Jonathan’s son, and brought him to the palace, and placed him at his table, the King’s table covered his twisted legs that would not work right. The king’s table hid all his infirmities. He was under the shade of that table, and he was fed delicacies. One day, Mephibosheth went from thinking he was a dead dog to eating at the king’s table. One day we shall, too, eat at His Table if we do not lose heart and faint.
Barzillai had the same opportunity to go with David and be fed by the king, but he does not. He is prepared to die and be buried with his parents. However, this very wealthy 80-year-old man wants to escort the King over the Jordan. Meditate on the number 80 and the crossing of the Jordan.
“The Hebrew number 80 is Pey and represents the mouth. The Hebrew number 8: “Shemoni [f.], shemonah [m.] Literally to “make fat.” New beginnings, not just complete (like seven), but satiated. Becoming “fat” is having more than enough. Full to overflowing. Moves from natural to supernatural. Transcends natural time and space to supernatural realm. Figuratively, eight takes one through a full cycle of seven, and begins anew – the One Day – Yom Echad – of creation.” (Grace in Torah)
Moses is 80 years old when he is sent to lead the Children of Israel to cross over the Reed Sea. Barzillai is 80 years old when he comes to escort David over the Jordan.
In our story from II Samuel, David tells Barzillai that he will provide for him and give him a place in Jerusalem if he crosses over with him. His name means man of iron. Barzillai teaches us how to die, and there is quite a contranym in his message and age. Remember, the Jordon is the place Yeshua was immersed in by John. It means to descend downward, and after we descend into the waters of the Jordan, we are cleansed just like Naaman from his leprosy. Naaman had to dip seven times, the number of completions. But Barzillai is 80 years old, and he tells David something I have been meditating on all week.
“But Barzillai replied, “How many years of my life remain, that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king? I am now eighty years old. Can I discern what is good and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or drinks? Can I still hear the voice of singing men and women? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?
Your servant could go with the king only a short distance past the Jordan; why should the king repay me with such a reward? Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the tomb of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what is good in your sight.” (II Samuel 19:34-37).
He can no longer discern what is good and what is not.
He can no longer taste.
He can no longer hear the voice of singing.
Barzillai sends his servant—his son ChimHam instead. Chimham means to thirst, pinning, and having a great desire. “The verb כמה (kama) means to thirst but specifically expresses a desire for liquidity in the exchange of knowledge and wisdom (rather than the light of wisdom itself, or the eventual productivity that results from having wisdom). This verb also resembles the particle of comparison כמו (kemo), “as if” or “like.” (Abarim Publications). Chimham is mention in Jeremiah. It is the name of a town near Bethlehem, from which it would seem that David gave Barzillai’s son some land that was passed on to his descendants in his name. Barzillai sends his son over to Jerusalem, the one whose name means desire and thirst, a pinning to be in the Land. The man of iron cannot go. The man who can no longer discern what is good and what is not. The man who can no longer taste and see. The man who can no longer hear the voice of singing will remain on the other side of the Jordan. Jerusalem means rain of peace and a foundation of peace. Oh, how we need this today!
I pray this has blessed you. May we continue to keep our eyes on the King of Kings and the Lord of All.
Before we get to Rhoda, here is a little back story.
James, John Mark’s brother, has just been decapitated or put to death by the sword. Now Peter is awaiting his execution. The season is Passover.
On the very night when Herod was about to bring him (Peter) forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly. And his chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” (Acts 12:6-8, NASB).
While reading the passage, I heard another passage straight out of Exodus. “Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the LORD’S Passover.” (Exodus 12:11).
“And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” (Acts 15:9-11, NASB).
Peter arrives at Miriam’s house, the mother of John (Mark), where many had been praying fervently for him. Look at the next verse closely because it is my main point.
“When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda (name meaning rose tree/ Rosebush) came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her JOY she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate. They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel.” But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison.” (Acts 12:12-17).
What an interesting passage. Many times in scripture, it is the servant girls who are full of joy and who have great faith. A little servant girl told her master Naaman about the prophet Elisha and how he could be healed. I believe His handmaidens and servant girls are running to announce. They are not announcing that ‘Peter’ (pebble, a little stone) is at the gate, but The Rock, the Chief Cornerstone, is at the gate. These women are coming out to their posts, and their voices are going forth. Many in the assemblies will call them mentally ill or out of their minds–raving lunatics. They will try and stop them from prophesying, but Messiah will continue knocking on their hearts. His Holy Ruach Spirit wants to come in the house and minister.
With great JOY, these handmaidens and servants will run with the message–the Good News. Look for them! They have an aroma; it is the aroma of a rose bush. They have been pierced with his thorns. They have drunk from his cup, and they have waited, praying fervently to see his face.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne’” (Revelations 3:20-21, NASB).
Remember, it is not just the priest, pastors, Rabbi’s, and teachers who are being used in this hour. Let’s look at the order.
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:17-18—Joel 2:28-29).
Look for the prophesying maidservants. Look for Rhoda and taste her joy—inhale the rose bush with its thorns. Rhoda was told that she was “OUT OF HER MIND!” by those praying to see a miracle.
May we have the mind of Yeshua, Messiah. May we see and hear what Rhoda did.
Open the door– He is knocking. Make ready, prepare, a King is coming, yes, a King is here.
Note to readers: Obadiah’s Cave website is closing soon and many blogs will be transitioning to this site. If you’ve already read this, I pray it blessed you the second time around.
A note to my readers: Obadiah’s Cave will be closing soon, and I will be moving many of these writings over to my Tekoa Manning site. The blog below was originally written in 2019 at Obadiah’s Cave.
One of my favorite songs is by Jim Croce, “I got a Name.” When I was newly divorced, I would sing this song and think of my maiden name, My father and mother, and all those who went before me. Joseph went to Egypt before his family did. Like the shmita year of redemption, he would be delivered from Egypt by a prophet like Yeshua, Moses. In one part of the song’s lyrics, he says, “I got a name, and I carry it with me like my daddy did.” Those of us who keep His commandments and walk in His ways carry our Father’s Name. Bones are interesting.
David writes concerning Yeshua Messiah, “I can count all my bones.” Psalms 22:17.
The title of the passage is: For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David.
Aijeleth Hashshahar means “Deer/hind of the dawn,” and is said to be about Esther as well as our Messiah. Esther would have to enter a throne room and stand before a King. She was counting the bones of her people too.
Yeshua counts his bones. Isreal is counted throughout scripture. Each tribe and people numbered. Dry, dusty bones come to life and take on flesh. We are bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. He is fashioning us and preparing us. We will leap like a doe at dawn, but we must come fitly joined together. We need unity, honor, and respect. The children of Isreal went out of Egypt in 50’s. Many are afraid of the 5-fold structure, but it is the very structure that brings unity and maturity to all the Body–all the bones. Without it in place, we are off balance and prone to witchcraft.
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels” (Psalm 22:14, NKJV).
Out of joint. . .
When my children were small, we rented a humble house in a subdivision. One night, one of my sons knocked a lamp over that had no shade, and it fell on the comforter. The lightbulb smoldered and caught fire. I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to the scent of smoke and was thankful to find all three sons asleep in front of the television. I shut the door to the burning bedroom, grabbed them, and took them outside to my mini-van. Then called the fire department and proceeded to snatch my Bible and a photo album close by. When we exit a place, and we have little time, we grab our most treasured possessions.
Moses grabbed bones!
“And Joseph made the sons of Israel take an oath and said, “God will surely attend to you, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.” (Genesis 50:25, NASB).
“All my bones will say, “LORD, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?” (Psalm 35:10, NASB).
Our bones speak! They have a voice.
Bones are a funny thing. Without them, we would be a puddle on the floor. Yes, I’ve written about bones before, and the “Luz” bonethat cannot be burned, crushed, or destroyed, and how it relates to the resurrection of the dead. I want to pick a bone with you, not as in grievance but more like a crisply fried chicken bone, delicious bone broth—and how deep into every cell His Word is hidden if we hide it.
What are we soaking up in our bones?
Sunlight (Yeshua is the LIGHT) is the best natural source of Vitamin D– and is essential for healthy bones. The letter D in Hebrew is dalet and is a picture of a door. Yeshua stands at the door of our hearts and knocks.
From the very beginning in Genesis (Bereshit), we read of bones.
Adam said of Eve (Chavah), his wife,
“This is now bone of my bones, (The animals were not bone of his bones)
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23-24, NASB).
“According to the opinion of Rashi and many other medieval commentators, “woman” was created from one side of Adam, not from his rib bone. His side.
Abarbanel states that Chava (Eve) was not created from Adam’s foot so that he would not consider her a lowly maidservant, nor from his head so that she would lord over him. Instead, she was created from his side so that she would be equal to him.”
“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
Chavah (Eve) was in a deep sleep, resting while the Maker of All fashioned her. He is fashioning us, His Bride! And He will wake us up.
The second man Adam, Yeshua, will come with a voice of triumph, and the dead in Messiah will come forth out of the grave.
The Sages say that the seed of the body is in the bone marrow. One Hebrew word for ‘bone’ is (etzem) and also means self or essence. Our bones represent wisdom.
What exactly is bone marrow? How much does it weigh?
Adults have an average of 5.7 pounds of bone marrow. Five is the 5th feast, Yom Teruah, or Feast of Trumpets, a time when all our bones rise up, and seven is the number of completion. Five added to seven is 12, the number of the tribes.
Human marrow produces approximately 500 billion blood cells per day. This is how we get oxygen.
Other interesting tips:
Red blood cells don’t last long in your bloodstream, so they need to be replaced continuously by new cells, which originate in your bone marrow. The next time you have a rich bowl of bone broth, think on this.
The Word of Yah pierces our bone marrow.
Our bones hold resurrection glory. A crime scene can look at bones and tell if they were male or female, their age, if they suffered trauma, and much about their lives.
Yes, all our bones will say, “Who is like YOU? Oh, YAH!
“And it has been explained by the Masters of the Mishna that a wicked person has his sins (black) engraved on his bones. And so it is with a righteous person, his merits are engraved on his bones. Since his actions were connected with higher wisdom, the bones would be engraved as a bright light on white.”
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:12-13, NASB)
What can our bones tell us? It seems such an intricate Creator, who forms life in the womb and causes our very bones to grow, might have a massive plan for them. Joseph’s bones are his last request at death. Can you imagine? People prepare for death all the time. They buy caskets and plots, erect stones, and pick out clothing. Others say, cremate me. I’m dead. Who cares. They may even say, “I’m not going to be in there anymore; I’m floating to heaven.” But Joseph said carry my bones out of Egypt.
“Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely visit you and bring you up from this land to the land He promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” And Joseph made the sons of Israel take an oath and said, “God will surely attend to you, and then you must carry my bones up from this place” (Genesis 50:24, NASB).
Joseph, the dreamer–his brother’s hatred and jealousy sent him to Egypt, but his brothers would have to make sure he was carried out–later, their bones will come forth too. A whole army of bones will stand dressed in righteousness. Judah and Levi need Joseph too.
And 300 years later, Moses must carry up Joseph’s bones. Think about that. Ponder each generation discussing these bones and crying out for freedom. Ephraim had a name of doubly fruitful.
Think about a King on a cross whose bones could not be broken. If Adonai can raise the dead, can He not knit bones together again? Yes, but no flaw of any kind was in the spotless Passover Lamb, and no bone would be broken in His pre-resurrected body. May there be no brokenness between His people, just oneness. Make them one, Yeshua cries out to His Father–Make them one, as we are one.
Moses’s name means ‘he who draws out’ and ‘he who extracts.’ He was drawn out of the water, but he also drew the people out of Egypt. He extracted some special bones, those of Joseph, and carried them with him. Where is Joseph in the Body? What bread does he have during a famine? What bread did Elijah have? May the apostles, prophets and teachers all come together as one and learn from one another.
“And Jacob went down to Egypt, and there he and our fathers died. “From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem” (Acts 7:15-16, NASB). The name Shechem is identical to the noun שכם (shekem), meaning shoulder.
Joseph’s Tomb” by David Roberts, 1839.
“Since it would be 40 years or more before those bones finally were re-interred at their resting place in Sh’chem, it could also be reasoned that the same bones (or the merit of the man behind them) were responsible for other miracles that occurred in the wilderness. Indeed the oral tradition records that two arks were carried throughout Israel’s wilderness wanderings; one the Ark of the Covenant containing the tablets of the 10 Commandments; and the other, the coffin of Joseph. The same Hebrew word, ARON, is used to describe both.” Torah Voice in Exile.
Joseph, of course, is a picture of Yeshua in many ways. Both had very much in common. So carrying his bones up out of Egypt seems to display a broader picture.
There are some famous bones mentioned throughout scripture, but do they speak? Let’s look at this deeper.
“As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood up on his feet” (II Kings 13:21, NASB).
Oh, OUR BONES HAVE POWER! Even the bones of sick people.
“When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” (II Kings 13:14).
Jeremiah had to give a very stern word to a priest.
“When Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in the stocks that were at the upper Benjamin Gate, which was by the house of the LORD.”
Afterward, Jeremiah spoke of having this ‘fire’ shut up in his bones and how he had to release it. The prophets have to release things to the Body. Many times they are misunderstood.
” LORD, You have deceived me, and I was deceived;
You have overcome me and prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all day long;
Everyone mocks me.
For each time I speak, I cry aloud;
I proclaim violence and destruction,
Because for me, the word of the LORD has resulted
In reproach and derision all day long.
But if I say, “I will not remember Him.
Or speak anymore in His name,”
Then in my heart, it becomes like a burning fire.
Shut up in my bones;
And I am weary of holding it in,
And I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:7-9, NASB).
This fire is shut up in his very being.
Yeshua is like a refiner and a fuller’ that washes and engraves our bones.
Hebrew word ‘atsemot’ bones) comes from the verb ‘atsom, to be strong and mighty. There is a television show called Good Bones, where a team of people demolition abandoned houses and keep the skeleton of each to rebuild it. They often find the homes have mold (infection), bad foundations, plumbing issues, and electrical issues, but the skeleton is good so that they can rebuild it new.
“He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’ “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. ‘I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 37:3-6, NASB).
“Your dead will live;
Their corpses will rise.
You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy,
For your dew is as the dew of the dawn,
And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.” (Isaiah 26:19, NASB).
Our bones speak, they rattle, and they even have the power to resurrect the dead.
How’s your vitamin D levels? What are your bones absorbing? May we absorb His Word and power.
The Whole House of Israel:
“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” (Ezekiel 37:1-).
In part one, we looked at bewitching in the Body. I also discussed travel at the airport. I want to continue this theme as we look at other ways of being bewitched. Let’s start with popular airlines and see if we can explore more ways to fly the friendly skies.
Delta Air Lines—Delta means Born 4th—Comes from the Mississippi Delta region. Mississippi means “Father of Waters.”
JetBlue Airways—formally called New Air—Big Breath of Ruach.
The 4th Feast is Pentecost or Shavuot. This is the giving of the Torah and the outpouring of the Spirit. Hebrew number 4 means authority and government. Flying in a jet is flying with high-speed winds. Oh, how we need His Wind. This is when miracles take place, and people are transformed. It is also when we feel our Father’s grief or when we feel His Breath in the room, hovering and moving. When this happens to me, I usually weep in wonder that He would be mindful of us or change the room’s atmosphere and the sweet aroma of His presence. Blue is the color of the heavenly abode. Our Abba Father is loyal and faithful, and He longs for us to fly on His Spirit Airlines. Knowledge is a beautiful thing, but we need both, and I think we have to look at knowledge with different spectacles for a moment. “But knowledge puffs up while love builds up” (I Corinthians 8:1).
Wisdom and knowledge go together, and both should bring us to action.
When flying, we have to go through security to get on the plane. We must remove laptops/ and I-pads. Small phones, games, and our kindles are placed aside. We remove our shoes, coats, etc. But before this happens, we need our luggage checked in. We cannot soar with heavy baggage over 50 pounds unless we pay. Continue to think spiritually–the weightier matters require extra oil, extra cost, and action. Weightier matters can include baby lambs, widows, orphans, and the care of them. Deep introspection is needed, and this takes time and effort—a cost. On the flip-side, weighty baggage such as doubt, fear, and disobedience cannot be checked in. These get left behind to soar higher.
Before entering the Aircraft, at times, a person’s hands and feet may be tested for gun residue. We can’t fire shots at people and wound them with our words. Likewise, the priests had to wash their hands and feet on entering the Tabernacle or before approaching the altar of burnt offerings. The same is said for approaching a king.
“Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet from it; When they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they will not die; or when they approach the altar to minister, by offering up in smoke a fire sacrifice to the LORD. “So they shall wash their hands and their feet so that they will not die; and it shall be a perpetual statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations.” (Exodus 30:19-21).
Would we be so quick to come before Him, enter the Most Holy Place, and make our request known if we thought we would die? Do we act like coming before the Holy One is a taco bell drive-thru where we pray and ask for certain men to be put in office, or we ask Yahweh to give us a new house, car or to save our loved ones when our feet and hands are covered in gun powder and anger? Uncleanness? Do we run into throne rooms without the heart of Esther? Oh, friends, may we be humbled to know He is in the Heavens. “Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore, let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2, BSB).
On a plane, we can have a window seat or a seat in the aisle. Both seats have benefits. First-time flyers may need the window for extra vision. When we go to purchase our tickets, we must give our location and our destination. Some questions to ask ourselves would be: Where am I? Where am I going? Am I airborne? Do I have honor for my flight attendants who bring refreshing water or food? Correction? Do we have reverence for the pilot and those who work at the airport? Has the co-pilot removed Our Father and placed him or herself in the pilot seat? We must enter through the correct gate at the airport. The wrong gate will lead us to a different location.
What about this flight mentioned in Ezekiel– soul flight? Is that even possible? The other day, I heard, “Tell the people to Check themselves.” I saw an airport lobby and people lined up to go through the metal detectors and scanners. I heard this concerning witchcraft and the seats of authority, both politically, socially, and in His leadership. We must check ourselves and be scanned before getting on an airplane. We must go through airport authority but beware of authority. Remember, certain women during Ezekiel’s day had assigned themselves to positions of authority, and they were leading Abba’s people astray through witchcraft. They were called prophetesses.
We must remember Deborah and Huldah and others were called this. Not because they were fortune-tellers or gave prophetic oracles but because they were women who had much wisdom and Spirit concerning His Torah, and yes, they could foretell certain things and hear Abba’s voice, but they had more than this. When Josiah wanted to know whether the book of the Law found in the temple was authentic, Josiah sent a group of government officials, all males, to seek the word of a woman. Her name was Huldah. Male dominance was vital in this society, and these men could have gone to Jeremiah, but they chose a woman. But these prophetesses here in Ezekiel 13 are not who they proclaim to be. They bedazzled the people of Adonai.
For Ezekiel to spend so much time correcting these teachers or oracle experts, we know this was not just a small group. Remember the number of false mouthpieces Jezebel had at her dinner parties? Do we mock His mouthpieces or say what the one King said about Abba’s true prophet? The king of Israel answered, “There is still one man who can ask the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good for me, but only bad. He is Micaiah, son of Imlah.” (II Chron. 18:7). We can hate the messenger. We can call them cynical. When we do not like the message or the messenger, we should sit at His feet and ask the Father why. It might be our own insecurities and fears. It may be jealousy or a stink eye. We should check our hearts.
Have we become foolish in all our wisdom? We get puffed up like bread with yeast. Bread with yeast tastes good. Who doesn’t love a buttered loaf of sourdough or sweet pizza dough? Some things that make us feel puffed up and buttery are just feeding our egos.
Adonai said these false women in Ezekiel had saddened the hearts of His people. Saddened—Oh, friends, a false joy, false humility, and a false identity lead to sadness. May we take our shoes off and stand on Holy Ground. May we wash and look into the copper mirrors at our reflections. May we look back and ask ourselves if we were closer to Him last year or the year before than we are now.
Continuing with Ezekiel 13, “And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who are prophesying out of their own heart, and prophesy against them.”
Verse 18: “And you shall say, ‘This is what the Master יהוה said, “Woe to the women sewing (Magic charms) cushions for all joints of the hand, and to those making veils for the heads of people of every size, to hunt beings (souls/nephesh)! You hunt the beings of My people, while you keep alive your own beings!”
Verse 18 in Orthodox version: “And say, Thus saith Adonoi Hashem: Hoy (woe, doom) to the seamstresses of magic charms on wrists, who make mispachot (amulets) for the rosh of every size to hunt nefashot! Will ye hunt the nefashot of My people, and yet save your own nefashot alive?
Notice the word “magic charms.”
Noun – feminine plural
Strong’s Hebrew 3704: 1) band, fillet, covered amulets, false phylacteries 1a) used by false prophetesses in Israel to support their demonic fortune-telling schemes.
False phylacteries—Remember those boxes on the head and the tefillin that are wrapped up the arm? Tefillin is leather boxes containing Torah verses worn by some Jews when praying, or an amulet or charm, worn for its supposed magical or supernatural power.
(In line with the plain and normal reading of the text, Rabbi Meïr Leibush ben Yehiel Michel Wisser (“Malbim”) in the Nineteenth Century made the poignant and insightful observation that the amulets and veils in the verse were the analogs to the tefillin and phylacteries, which were to represent the Law of Moses on the heart and mind (that is, on the hand and head). Thus the “magical” charms appear to be substitutes for the Covenant of Moses, which were to be affixed on the hand and head (that is, on the heart and mind per the verse from Deuteronomy).
Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, “See, I am against your cushions by which you hunt the beings there like birds. And I shall tear them from your arms, and shall let the beings go, the beings you hunt like birds.” This is wickedness. These women were bewitching His people.
“But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD. I will put My law in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be My people.” (Jeremiah 31:33, BSB).
What happens when a people forget their God but are still keeping the Sabbath, the New Moons, and coming together to celebrate? Isaiah paints a fearful picture we would all do well to meditate on.
“The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; For the LORD speaks, “Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me.
“An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master’s manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand.”
Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him.
Where will you be stricken again, As you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick And the whole heart is faint.
From the sole of the foot even to the head There is nothing sound in it, Only bruises, welts and raw wounds, Not pressed out or bandaged, Nor softened with oil.
Your land is desolate, Your cities are burned with fire, Your fields—strangers are devouring them in your presence; It is desolation, as overthrown by strangers.
The daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, Like a watchman’s hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.
Unless the LORD of hosts Had left us a few survivors, We would be like Sodom, We would be like Gomorrah.
God Has Had Enough
Hear the word of the LORD, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the instruction of our God, You people of Gomorrah.
“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.
“When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts?
“Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
“I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.
“So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.” (Isaiah chapter one, BSB version)
Are we a people who listen to lies? Do we lie to ourselves concerning our condition?
Check your teachers and your walk and see if they encourage you to know your identity and gifts. To be led by a cloud by day and a fire by night. And check me too if you think of me as a teacher. And check yourself if you have reached a point where you feel superior to others or the opposite. Ask yourself if you feel free, anointed, and secure enough to minister to others and share the Good news with humility instead of an “I know more than you attitude.” Ask yourself if you look down on others who you deem less knowledgeable than you. Ask yourself if you fear being ostracized from a group due to your lack of knowledge? Ask yourself if you have been getting your worth from being in a clique or being acknowledged for your knowledge?
Identity is something we all struggle with. Many times I do not see myself as I am. I recently won an award for a novel I wrote. I used to be ashamed of this novel and never thought it was very well written. I started writing it in 1998 in a spiral notepad. If someone tried to purchase it at a book signing, I would tell them my other books were much better, but this book won an award. This book was accepted to the Kentucky Bookfair. I never saw the book as having worth until almost 20 years later. What if we do not see ourselves as having worth? What if we think we have more worth than others? See how this identity is tricky?
Do you feel insecure? Unable to speak. Were you in an abusive relationship or told as a child that you were never going to amount to anything? Have you lost your voice and identity due to a puppet master or self-anointed teacher who makes you feel unworthy or ashamed? Do you feel condemned or of no use to the Body? Many people see puppet mastery going on in the political realm, but it can in His Body as well.
Ask someone who watches CNN to explain what is going on in the government, and you will get a totally different answer than those listening to Fox news. Both news media use catchy titles and words that promote fear of the future or fear and disdain for the opposing parties. Fear is a powerful tool. It can keep a person feeling too inadequate to do anything for the Father. Two demonized men living in a graveyard turned their city upside down after they were set free. They were no longer naked but clothed in their right mind. Yeshua told them to go back to their town and their families and minister to them.
Here is something to ponder: If you were bewitched before by leadership and removed yourself from a particular denomination or “church,” could there still be untruth in what you consider truth and I am not talking about theology–I am talking about bedazzling. Remember, Ezekiel was not talking to a people who had thrown out the Commandments written by the Finger of Yahweh.
The gospel of the Messiah should be unity, oneness, humility, and set apart. The Apostle Paul said he did not come to them with knowledge and difficult speech, and yet Peter says his letters are hard to understand for those lacking knowledge. Why would Paul even need to mention that he came to preach suffering? “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Yeshua Messiah and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2). I want to share a paragraph from Dr. Skip Moen in his blog titled Grave Cloth.
“Paul is not delivering a message of salvation theology.
He is talking about character and attitude. When it comes to presentation style, the emphasis is not on the glorious resurrection. It is on the humility and obedience of the crucifixion. Paul wants his readers to know that he came to them in fear, trembling, and utter humility. He didn’t come as a great scholar, a tremendous preacher, or an influential evangelist. He came as a servant of the crucified God.
Imagine how we would act if Paul were scheduled to preach at our church next week. Would we rush to the media, proclaiming his worldwide fame? Would we pile on the accolades, invite dignitaries, make sure that the local networks were present? Would we attempt to mimic Hollywood in our promotional campaign? Probably. We would have missed Paul’s point. The message of the gospel comes clothed in the rags of righteousness.” (Dr. Skip Moen).
Meditate on passages. Ask questions. Yeshua’s Disciples and John’s were arguing over who made more converts. They argued over who could sit next to Him on the throne. We argue over other things that at the end of the day do not make us more holy or more humble. We can have all that knowledge and not an ounce of love or humbleness or Ruach flowing through us. Are we keeping His Commandments like those in Isaiah’s day, oblivious to our condition? Oh, friends, may we seek Him with all our hearts to know His Son Yeshua and the fellowship of His sufferings, and to get knowledge and with all our wisdom to get understanding. May we become balanced. May we become loving to those who are broken and in need of empathy, comfort, and oil.
“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:3, NASB).
During the 1960s and ’70s, a show aired titled Bewitched. The show was about a married couple. Darrin is a mortal human; his wife, Samantha, is a witch with powers. She does not divulge to him about her witchcraft until their honeymoon night. At this point, she has already enticed him. Today witchcraft has become a booming business. But what about the Body of Messiah? Are we too involved in witchcraft? And I am not talking about disobedience but Tom Foolery.
Bewitching is defined as capturing someone or casting a spell on them—enticing a person or people. We say people are under a spell when they have been hypnotized. We can become mesmerized by social media, politics, or people who sit in seats of authority. Some are bewitched by Biden or Trump–Fox News or CNN. Some have become bewitched by the things of this world, but witchcraft is not just something that happens in secret around a cauldron with women dressed in pointy hats with black cats—no, this is going on today. Bewitching is right in the open.
Yeshua said, “At that time (tribulation/ Jacob’s trouble), if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it.” (Matthew 24:23, 26). Yeshua continues: if they say, He (Messiah) is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.”
Going deeper: Look, here is the Messiah–let me describe the Messiah to you!
if I describe the Messiah as throwing out His Father’s commandments and changing the Sabbath, and say, “Look, here He is, do not believe it for Yeshua kept all His Father’s Commandments. If I say He is in the wilderness, and the scriptures tell us He came out of the wilderness with great POWER after He used the Word of the (Torah/ Old Testament) to defeat the enemy–then do not believe me. If I say He is in the inner rooms–a secret chamber, no, no, do not believe me, for He is coming as a Lion. “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:27). He will not be hidden, but roaring.
Yeshua said, “Do not believe them”– why would one believe this if they did not admire or trust the source they were getting it from? One would have to be BEDAZZLED!
Paul said, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” These Believers had fallen under the influence of man-made traditions, yet they saw miracles.
“Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? So then, doesHe who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law (Oral law), or by hearing with faith?” (Galatians, 3:5).
Rabbi Sha’ul continues: “This is the only thing I want to find out from you:did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law (oral/traditions), or by hearing with faith?Are you so foolish?Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:2-3).
Traditions aren’t wrong. They can be good.
“Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.” (1 Corinthians 11:2 NASB). Yeshua endorsed both the written and oral Torah – and he upheld both in His actions. However, some of the leaders did things for show and wanted to impress men. It is a matter of inner intentions versus outer actions. Some of the leaderships added heavy burdens onto the Father’s commandments.
When we remove Yeshua, Messiah, we are bewitched. Yes, there are multiple ways to be deceived or drawn into strange apocalyptic tales, but what about the things we would never suspect. After all, a person who realizes they are being bewitched usually leave the cult or remove themselves from the power of the bewitcher. Yeshua says that these men could even deceive the elect. We say, “Oh, that could never happen to me.” But we would be wise to meditate on this.
We were never meant to remove the Instructions (Torah) of Elohim from our lives. The Torah is holy. Paul desires the Galatians to follow Torah through the Spirit. He longs for them to get rid of pagan traditions and traditions some Jews were bewitching them with—they were trying to work for salvation. In Messiah’s time, the Jewish people followed the Torah according to the Rabbinical interpretation (Oral Torah, the tradition of the elders, works of the law). The expressions “works of torah” and “under torah” are not found in the Tanakh (Old Testament). The Torah is instructions for a blessed life–It is holy and good.
Today, I see people working for knowledge. And we all need knowledge, but more knowledge can create less humility and love. Sometimes we can get our eyes off of the Holy One and become caught up in falseness, fear, or some strange enticement with leaders or people.
What is a troll? A person who intentionally antagonizes others through mocking, sarcasm, and causes disruptions and arguments. “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.” (Titus 3:9-11).
We need to be immersed in the Spirit. Picture a head that weighs so much its body topples over. A person with a head so large they cannot see their feet or how they are walking. Knowledge puffs up.
The man Sha’ul (Paul) was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He was from the tribe of Benjamin. He said, “I have applied in a figure to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you might learn not to think beyond what is written, so that none of you be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
For who makes you to differ? And what do you have that you did not receive?” (I Cor. 4:6-7).
What is Paul talking about here? Ego inflation. It is causing division. It is everywhere today. Do not think beyond what is written. We may be learning but are we producing the good fruit of the Spirit? Are we taking care of the weightier matters such as orphans, widows, poor, sick and those of our household? Or are we getting a weightier head?
Ezekiel 13 talks about witchcraft and deception. Who was Ezekiel’s audience? Wiccans? World leaders? No, Abba’s own people. One perplexing verse in Ezekiel 13 describes women in leadership who make souls fly like birds. Before we get to that verse, I want you to meditate on being airborne. Being air/ born of the Spirit. Oh, Nicodemus, can’t you see, we must be reborn? We must worship in Spirit and Truth.
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8). Are we taking time to be in His presence or just learning, and learning, yet never coming to the knowledge of the truth?
Many have thrown out the gifts of the Spirit, the prophets, the five-fold, and have become caught up with teachers who profess to have knowledge no one else has, and perhaps they do. Paul did but his words are so full of humility. Humble Sha’ul said, “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Yeshua, Messiah and Him crucified. (I Cor. 2:1-2).
“My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s POWER.” (I Cor. 2:4).
Oh, the power of the Ruach–the Spirit’s power!!
Corinth had professional orators, Greek philosophers, and the majority of the people were wealthy. He was bringing a simple gospel that I feel has been lost. Do we have love and simple words for those who may not see what we do? Are we busy trying to correct those who may be way wiser than we are? Have we grown so busy in our learning that we scarcely pull up a chair and spend time with our Savior?
O, who has bewitched us?
When a person goes to the airport (air– port–Ruach (Holy Spirit) portal), their “baggage” is checked in. All items are looked at— hidden objects that may be dangerous are removed. Think about what some of these hidden things in our luggage could be. Are we carrying a religious spirit, arrogance, falseness, slander, lust, low self-worth, pride or fears, etc.? At the airport, our shoes are taken off and inspected. Hands and feet may be checked for gun powder. A person must have a passport to fly to other territories and higher heavens. One must have their identity in check. A picture I.D. or photo reflects our outward appearance, but what about our insides or heart condition? What’s in your wallet? Are we more worried about how we appear to men?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27-33-53).
Dr. Moen, in his blog, titled Pay Day, explains how we can be hypocrites who practice our righteousness before men to be noticed by them:
“If we are motivated by self-interest, does that self-interest align with the Father’s will or are we seeking recognition from another source? This is not a simple matter to determine. The yetzer ha’ra is quite clever, capable of tinting even our purest motives with a hint of self-satisfaction. That’s where the instruction and guidance of our Rabbi Yeshua become essential. He pushes us to take the deepest look. And he does so by revealing a truly frightening possibility—that God will not acknowledge what we would use for self-glory. Think about the last act of righteousness you preformed. Think about your motivation. Was there any desire for recognition except from God? If you find something amiss, maybe that act will be a zero on the record and you will have to start over.” (Dr. Skip Moen—Pay Day)
Yeshua said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ “So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. “Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?”
This is an extraordinarily strong word. These religious leaders appeared to be righteous. Yeshua continues:
“Because of this, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and others you will flog in your synagogues and persecute in town after town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.”
You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit, just as your fathers did. Which of the prophets did your fathers fail to persecute? They even killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One. And now you are His betrayers and murderers— you who received the law ordained by angels, yet have not kept it.”
They had not kept the Torah in Spirit and Truth.
Have we been resisting the Holy Spirit? They had. Have we stoned His prophets and wise men? Have we thrown out the five-fold structure, becoming unbalanced–with big heads. Have we gone so far with our knowledge that we don’t even realize we have become numb. Lacking oil? Teachers, prophets, and wise men with big heads and no love, empathy, compassion, or power of the Spirit– just looking spiffy to everyone outside while inside we are dead?
Yeshua said these Torah scholars had uncircumcised ears and hearts? Say it isn’t so? Is it so today? The Spirit longs to be intimate with us. The prophetic is not just witch hunters snatching people and holding them captive like those in Ezekiel. There was not just Moses and Yeshua on the mount of transfiguration; Elijah was there too. Elijah must come and tear down the false altars. He must come and say, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” If Adonai be God, serve Him, if Baal be God, serve him, but Baal is alive and well today and so is witchcraft.
We repeat our mistakes.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Messiah Yeshua (Philippians 2:3-5).
Oh, Abba, have we become like dead men with dry dead bones. Can we come together and live? A whole army? Unified? Can You do CPR on us? Oh, Abba, may we become like little children. May we be servants who wash feet. May we be about our Father’s business not looking for accolades or to be seen by men. May we not prophesy smooth itching ear words or fear. May our words be Yours and draw people to YOU and Your Spirit.
All our ways seem right to us, but You, Oh, Father weigh the hearts of all. May we wake up out of our slumber. May we find balance, walking in Spirit and Truth with great humility.
I am republishing some of my older blogs as my site New wine skins is closing. I hope you will enjoy these writings even if you’ve read them years ago:
When my grandpa was an old man, he got pulled over one night for a broken tail light in his pick-up truck. The officer, who had known my grandpa all his life, was stunned that he had never received a driver’s license. My grandpa lived through the great depression. He was a sharecropper at a tender age. He never finished school, and he never learned to read. How could he take the written exam?
The officer decided to just go for a drive with my grandpa on a trip. Afterward, if his driving went well, he’d issue him a license. Of course, he was a careful driver and passed, but times sure have changed. Missouri was one of the first to require a driver’s license in 1903, but South Dakota didn’t until 1959. Driving without a license today will get you in jail. Our cars require our attention. During this blog, I will compare us to a car.
A broken tail light or headlight is dangerous. Brakes that need to be repaired, even windshield wipers may not seem serious until it starts pouring rain. Our horn can cause an accident or prevent one. Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time to honk your horn and a time to remain silent.” Sometimes we need our horn. Sometimes it just makes a loud noise.
My husband and I went to dinner the other night. As we pulled into the parking lot, there weren’t any parking spaces close to the door. I noticed a car right across from the entry that was parked wrong– taking up two spaces.
I said, “Look how they parked. They caused everyone else to park wrong.”
He said, “There’s a sermon there.”
Whatever we do impacts those around us. It’s the ripple in the water. When we are angry, anxious, bitter, unforgiving, and impatient, we can significantly influence those around us. It works in the opposite manner too. If we are full of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, and keep no record of wrongs, we also affect those around us.
If I rear-end you in traffic, I can greatly harm your car and mine. If I slam my vehicle into one of your children, this doesn’t just impact your child. It distresses you too.
Miriam was put out of the camp for seven days and isolated for beeping her horn too loudly. God exposed her. When we speak negatively against another, we cause people to isolate the person or view them in a bad light. We plant seeds about their character. We can even plant seeds about their gift or assignment. Sometimes our license to drive is taken away from us, and we are removed from the road for a season because we were laying on the horn.
Not only does parking wrong cause a chain reaction but other things we do as well. If we want the person in front of us to go faster, and especially if they are in the fast lane, we may get as close to their bumper as possible. We aggressively are saying speed up. We are pushy, but do we do this in other areas? Yes.
What about when a car pulls out in front of us? We may have to slam on the breaks to prevent an accident. The guilty party in a wreck usually says, “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.” Many times we don’t see or hear others because we are too focused on ourselves. Are we a better driver this year than last year?
Wrecks can happen in our relationships. Wrecks influence every car behind us and can leave others at a standstill. Jonah impacted everyone on the ship. They lost their cargo, but they also, in fear, prayed to Jonah’s God. The choice Jonah made to flee from his assignment caused the storm, not the devil. Maybe we all need to start becoming better drivers and obeying His road signs before we receive a ticket.
We yield at the stop signs instead of coming to a halt.
Have you ever been a backseat driver or tried to tell someone how to drive? Most of the time, people don’t like it. They have a route they are used to. People are afraid to take new paths–make new traditions. We are creatures of habit that have inherited lies. “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.” Jeremiah 16:9. We throw out the olive tree and drag an evergreen in our house.
We want to drive our own way.
The more dents and wounds our car has, and the more wrecks we’ve been a part of, may cause us to get out of our vehicle for a season. We don’t feel like driving anymore. It’s hard out there on unpaved roads with potholes and construction zones.
Yes, this ole flesh of parking or driving any way we want, no matter how it affects everyone on the road, is not good.
How do we control our steering wheel? James says we can put bits in horse’s mouths and control them and also a ship but the tongue? Fuhgeddaboudit!
How much wood our tongues do kindle! Even our tapping fingers.
As I pondered the car space, I started thinking about our last vehicle, a Ford F150. I never could drive it well, and I never could park it. Many times when I parked it, my parking job looked like the car that had thrown everyone off. But what if someone passing by thought, “Look at them, they think their truck is all that!” And this is what we do. We assume. Even the car I saw and pointed out that had parked wrong may have had no choice because the car next to them was parked wrong.
We justify riding close to the person in front of us because, after all, what we have to do is important. We are trying to get somewhere, and our destination more important (sarcasm.) Even the car riding on our butt may be trying to get to a hospital before a loved one passes away. We ease off the gas to teach them a lesson when we might not have all the facts, but most of the time, it’s probably just rude behavior.
The person in the fast lane poking along might be zoning out. At times like this, we want to be in control of their car. We want to push them in the lane we think they should be in, even if they are driving the speed limit—even if they are getting off at the next exit. Our way of driving is best.
We even get offended when drivers don’t take our directions. Don’t we know the best way? Don’t we have all the truth? (Sarcasm.)
It is Abba who searches the engines in our cars. “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2nd Chronicles 16:9 NASB.
Completely His . . . not double-minded.
A heart that doesn’t have two opinions. It doesn’t have an olive tree and an evergreen. A heart that is separated from the world and the things the world does. The world drives hard and fast and has no patience for anyone. It’s pushy and loud. It can run people over for a Black Friday sale. It’s always riding our butts, and blasting out profane lyrics, and giving directions that lead to death. The world doesn’t take instructions. It closes its ears.
Regardless of these factors, my point is our parking job or driving can throw off everyone in our lane. So can our words or lack of them. I am guilty!
Have you ever been in a snowstorm that was so bad you found an 18 wheeler and stayed close behind it because it could light the way? Yeshua said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12 NASB.
Let’s all try and get in the slow lane and turn off the noise. Give people their space. Pray for those we love to find The Way. If our light is shining brightly for Him, we can act like that 18 wheeler amid the storm, and they will be drawn to HIM.
God has a GPS. When we follow His Ruach HaKodesh and His Word, He lights our path. His word is a lamp to our feet. Let’s all open the door and let the Authority inside our vehicles. He can show us how to drive better, safer, and softer. Let’s obey the traffic signs, and if we don’t understand them because we lack, perhaps He will send a teacher we can let in our car as my grandpa did.
May the Great Mechanic check our oil lamp and our engine light. When we allow Him to be in control, we are destined for greatness!
I remember the day I lost my coat, or rather, had it taken from me. Like Joseph, I was falsely accused and ended up running from the ministry I was in. It was all part of the Father’s plan. About a year later, my husband would also retire his position as an associate pastor, and we both would go on a journey that looked nothing like we imagined it would. During that period of introspection and searching out His Feasts and Torah, we missed ministry but learned so much. Four years later, I was praying about my coat, our ministry gifts, and asking Abba if we would ever get back to speaking and teaching at an assembly again. We longed to gather with like-minded believers. For weeks, I had been getting confirmation that Abba was going to give me another coat.
I thought of Joseph, who had a bloody coat, a servant’s coat, a managing warden coat, and then a royal robe. How many coats and shoes do we exchange walking through this thing called life? A man of many hats. A woman of many purses. Time passes by, and we change. We change our converse for work shoes or our shoulder bags for diaper bags. But sometimes, we change the most in the prison or hiding in caves. The hardships, the crushing grief, the sickness, the addiction, the divorce, the loss of a loved one, the silence from those we thought were our confidants. Heat the kettle, and it screams. Abba places us in the furnace, and we change. The ultimate goal? Gold. Shiny–gold. (Proverbs 27:21) “The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold. And each is tested by the praise accorded him.” (Psalm 66:10) “For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us like silver.” (Zechariah 13:9) “This third I will bring through the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.'”
So back to the coat.
A woman gave us a prophetic word that we were going to plant a sword in KY and that it was going to make a sound and that people would hear. Shortly after our confirmations, one day after watching a children’s movie, and bawling at the message that was piercing my heart, a message about perfect love casting out fear and being able to take the gloves off and celebrate our giftings without harming others, my husband walked through the door carrying a bag. My husband has never bought me clothes. I am not talking about money; I am talking about picking out clothing as a surprise. He came waltzing in with a boutique bag and sat it down in the chair next to me. I said, “What is this about?” He said, “I went to a boutique to get my mom a gift and felt strongly that I was supposed to buy you this. I don’t know if you’ll like it, I don’t even know if it’s your style, but it seemed the Father wanted me to get it.” Inside the bag was an angora coat like cape. It was burgundy red and cream with stripes that made a V shape– a one size fits all. When I put it on, the Holy Spirit hit me! I knew what it meant. It was my coat of many colors. And no, I am not Joseph. Far from it. But at that moment, I knew Abba, and my husband had just given me my coat. I had felt like Mary Poppin’s without her umbrella or carpet bag.
P.L. Travers, author of the childhood tale got the idea of Mary from her aunt Ellie (Name meaning great light/ El as in El Shaddai). Ellie, was a spinster who carried a carpetbag. When children came to stay, she gave them lessons in etiquette, suffered no-nonsense, and instructed them to “Spit spot into bed!”
I want to share a wonderful comparison of the anointing and journey of Joseph and David and ask you to think about your own life. Joseph was given 4 coats. These had intricate meanings. David, too, was given articles including, a coat. David was anointed three times. Both Joseph and David experienced similar journeys concerning hatred, humility, crushing, and maturity in order to receive the final mantle and the oil once they were mature enough for their assignments and prepared for Leadership. What comparisons can we learn from their journey, and how can this pattern guide us in our own lives? Anointing is a symbol that indicates authority that is given to a person. Each time David was anointed, his measure of authority increased. When he was to receive a new measure of authority, he was anointed again. Each time Joseph was given a new coat, his measure of testing and learning increased until he was wise enough to save a people during famine.
David’s 1st Anointing: “So Jesse sent for his youngest son and brought him in. He was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him, for he is the one.”
So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. Then Samuel set out and went to Ramah” (I Samuel 16:12-13, BSB).
The Holy Ruach Spirit rushed upon him, and his eyes were beautiful to see into spiritual things. He is anointed by Adonai and not men. He is anointed in front of his family. After being hunted by King Saul for around 8 years, David is told to go to Hebron, and he is anointed the second time there.
David’s 2nd Anointing: “Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.” (II Samuel 2:4).
David is anointed now by the men of Judah. This was the anointing of acceptance.
The third anointing is a picture of Messiah. David is anointed the 3rd time, and he rules over all of Israel and Judah. He is 30 years old when he becomes king. Yeshua is 30 years old when he starts his ministry. “Joseph was 30 when the king made him governor, and he went everywhere for the king.” David was the young shepherd tending his father’s sheep. Yeshua was the Chief Shepherd tending His Father’s Sheep. Some scholars believe Yeshua died exactly 1,000 years after David’s death. A day unto the Lord is but 1,000 years and a 1,000 years a day.” David was prophet, priest, and king, just as Yeshua.
David’s 3rd Anointing:
“So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, where King David made with them a covenant before the LORD. And they anointed him king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.” (II Samuel 5:3-4). This is a prophetic picture as well. Yeshua is 33 years old when crucified. We also see the 7 years and 6 months as a picture of tribulation and the Messianic Kingdom.
After David’s first anointing, we see jealousy and suspicion, and hatred coming from family. Joseph experiences the same hatred shortly after receiving his coat of many colors.
“Joseph’s coat of many colors was a kethoneth. Also, the fine robes of the king’s virgin daughters were kethoneth (2 Sam. 13:18). It is used as an evidence of honor of high position in Isaiah 22:21. Such robes were drawn up when working or running (2 Kings 4:29; 1 Kings 18:46). Similarly, Peter tells us to “gird up the loins of our mind” (1 Peter 1:13).” (Ancient Hebrew Clothing—Jeff Benner).
David’s 1st battles with family: David’s father tells him to take grain, bread, and cheese and check on his brothers. For forty days, the Philistine Goliath came forward every morning and evening to take his stand and mock the army of Yah.
“David asked the men who were standing with him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” The people told him about the offer, saying, “That is what will be done for the man who kills him.”
Now when David’s oldest brother Eliab heard him speaking to the men, his anger burned against David. “Why have you come down here?” he asked. “And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness?I know your pride and wickedness of heart—you have come down to see the battle!” (I Samuel 17:26-28).
Although Eliab was tall and handsome like Saul, Adonai told Samuel that he was not to be king. Eliab knew that David had been anointed by Samuel for a great assignment and was jealous of his younger brother’s favor with God. He accuses him of the very thing in his own heart, pride, and envy. Shortly after defeating the giant, David is given his first coat/ girdle, sword, belt, etc.
David’s Girdle/coat: Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. And Jonathan removed the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt.” (I Samuel 18:3).
This is a prophetic picture of Jonathan (Adonai) passing down the kingship. Jonathan means YHVH (The Lord has given). Now, David, like Joseph in Egypt, is given his first assignment after his victory over the giant.
This is more of a message for early leadership and young prophets, but it stands true in many other positions Adonai is preparing a person for. Compare your own battles and favor from the Father.
“So David marched out and prospered in everything Saul sent him to do, and Saul set him over the men of war. And this was pleasing in the sight of all the people, and of Saul’s officers as well.” (I Samuel 18:4-5).
(1 Samuel 18:30) “Every time the Philistine commanders came out for battle, David was more successful than all of Saul’s officers, so that his name was highly esteemed.”
David is anointed by Samuel after protecting his father’s sheep from the lion and the bear.
David defeats the Giant with a slingshot and 5 smooth stones (Torah). This can be about our own battles in the mind/thoughts. Yeshua was tempted and battled the adversary for 40 days just as this philistine giant had mocked and taunted all Israel for 40 days. Yeshua and David defeated the adversary with the Torah (5 stones).
David afterward is given several positions by King Saul, and he is highly esteemed.
Now, David will be hated by his father-in-law, king Saul. Saul has a spirit of fear, jealousy, suspicion, dread, and a murderous spirit for David. “They have ascribed to David ten thousand, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on.” (I Samuel 18:8). “Now Saul was afraid of David, for the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul” (I Sam. 18:12). “When Saul saw that he was prospering greatly, he dreaded him” (I Sam. 18:15). Saul continues plotting schemes against David. “When Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, then Saul was even more afraid of David. Thus, Saul was David’s enemy continually.” (I Samuel 18:28).
After the intense hatred comes a period of battling–this may look different depending on the assignment or calling, but it will be a battle no less. This is when your enemy or enemies recruit others to hate you, lie about you, chase you down to remove your assignment. This is the hounds of hell on your heel’s day after day. This is the period that seems to break a person. That is just what Adonai is looking for—a complete death to everything in this world and anything in us that is not of Him. Complete brokenness– like a wild horse trained for battle. This is when one acquires the anointing of humility—yes, great humbleness like the man Moses acquired. It is a time when you may be alone like Joseph in the prison or as David hiding in caves and rocks. This is the major preparation period, and this period usually lasts a long time. It ends with a second anointing, but the training is still not complete.
After David is given a test to destroy his enemy and take his life, he passes these by not touching the one who was anointed before him. Repeat that. Once King Saul and his sons are slain in battle, David only mentions the good Saul did and not the bad. He is ready for that second anointing and then the 3rd. It is now around 15 years later since he was 1st anointed. Notice during this waiting period, he is still working and writing a large majority of Psalms. He is still defeating enemies and taking wives.
“The Talmud (Horiyot 11b) explains that whereas all High Priests were anointed, a king was only anointed if he began a new dynasty or if there was some controversy surrounding his appointment. It should be noted that since oil was typically used to anoint people to greatness, the Torah occasionally uses the term to anoint (“mashach”) where it simply means to appoint to high position, without the use of oil (see e.g. I Kings 19:16,19 regarding Elijah’s appointment of Elisha as his successor, and Isaiah 61:1). Likewise, the Torah occasionally uses the term “the anointed one” = “mashiach” / “messiah” to refer to any person appointed to carry out an important task.” (Aish.com).
Elijah passed his mantle down to Elisha. The prophets had their own robes of beauty and authority. Although they did not look like the priest, they would have been distinct and recognizable.
Joseph’s coats: This will entail the prophets’ journey. Joseph, like David, is anointed. His father, Jacob, gives him his colorful prophetic coat. After receiving the coat, he begins to have vivid dreams. This is when hatred from his brothers and suspicion and pondering from his father occur. To my readers, your anointing will first be attacked by those closest to you—family/friends.
Joseph’s 1st coat: “Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons, because Joseph had been born to him in his old age; so he made him a robe of many colors” (Genesis 37:3).
Joseph’s battle with family: His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms. (Gen. 37:4).
This may not come from jealousy of the young prophet being loved greater by a parent, but it could. It could also come from the young prophet marrying someone the family becomes jealous of or sibling rivalries like Cain and Esau. This may also be a parent who is very jealous of their own child or son in law.
“Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.”
This isa season where the prophet is just tasting the gifting of a Seer, and it is met with much jealousy and envy, just as David’s battle victories were. In the passage below, we see Joseph was in the valley of Hebron. Later, the Father gives Hebron to king David as the capital of his kingdom (2 Samuel 2:1).
“Then Israel told him, “Go now and see how your brothers and the flocks are faring and bring word back to me.”
So, he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron. And when Joseph arrived in Shechem (Shoulder—ridge), a man found him wandering in the field and asked, “What are you looking for?” “I am looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Can you please tell me where they are pasturing their flocks?” “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.” Dothan means two cisterns or wells. Joseph today is looking for His brother Judah and learning much from his Big brother, and Judah is seeing Messiah as Joseph unveils his identity. One day we all will be at that table eating and drinking–echad.
But for now, in our story, Joseph, the prophet, is wandering around looking for “his brothers.” The prophet must find those who are also seers and gather as they were doing at the school of the prophets that Samuel started later. But the first assignment given to the prophet is often among his or her own family.
Pay close attention young prophets, apostles, teachers, and leadership. After the favor from (Abba Father—Israel), and the coat of many colors comes intense hatred. After the gifts are revealed, the hatred is even greater. Also, Joseph is searching for his brothers. His brothers want to abort his assignment. They want to snuff out his dreams and his life. David says his enemies hate him without cause. He says his enemies are more than the hairs on his head. Can you see the jealousy and envy Joseph will have to fight and endure over the mantle given to him? Can you see the long journey ahead for David as he runs for his life and even feigns himself a madman at one point.
(The city of Dothan is mentioned once more during the kingdom years, when it appears to have been the hometown of Elisha the prophet) (2 Kings 6:13) Again, Dothan means two wells or two cisterns.)
“Now Joseph’s brothers saw him in the distance, and before he arrived, they plotted to kill him. “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to one another. “Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal has devoured him. Then we shall see what becomes of his dreams!” (Genesis 37:18-19).
As we follow along, we see that after the giving of the mantle, the anointing oil poured out, and spiritual gifts comes jealousy and hatred that is so violent that they throw him in a pit and discuss murdering him. The young prophet and even the older prophet experience this in major ways. When Joseph’s coat is given to his father with the blood of a goat, he says, a vicious animal has done this—yes, their wild beastly nature had taken over. Notice the goat is used to dip Joseph’s mantle in. Often the prophet is made the scapegoat in the family. Prophetic ones often cause the other members of the family to see their reflection, their faults, and injustices. The scapegoat often sees the things in the family that needs corrected, healed, changed, and made holy, but most people do not like looking in the mirror, and they don’t want to hear correction from their younger brother.
“Rabbi Chiya: Regarding Isaac [when he felt Jacob’s goatskin-covered arms] the verse states, “Are you indeed my son Esau or not?” (Gen. 27:21). And therefore regarding Jacob the verse states, “Is it your son’s tunic or not?” This is all because the Holy One, blessed be He, is meticulous with tzadikim to a hair’s breadth.”
“Then they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a young goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. They sent the robe of many colors to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe or not.” His father recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” (Genesis 37:31-33).
Yes, the young prophet is torn to pieces by his own household. The young prophet is also a tad arrogant and not fully ready for the gifts. They may need to keep the gloves on for a bit longer. When the prophet is given the first mantle, they are usually in denial. Surprise. Wonder. Curiosity. Asking questions and revealing dreams and visions to those around them. Those who need not hear.
After Joseph is saved by Judah from death, he is taken to Egypt and is given another coat, which is a comparison of David’s journey. He learns to be a servant. He wears the servant’s coat. Notice how David and Joseph are given positions of power, much favor from Adonai and how both will be wrongfully accused.
“And the LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and made him prosper in all he did, Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal attendant.” (Genesis 39:3-4).
After Potiphar’s wife becomes lustful for Joseph, he is tested here and ends up fleeing and leaving that coat behind, but it is his coat once again that is used in deception against him. According to some Hebrew scholars, he was wearing a servant or slave attire and would have fled almost naked. And yet, if he had not been accused and placed in prison, he would have never been able to interpret the dreams of the baker and cupbearer and be remembered with favor and brought before the Pharaoh. All our trials are leading us to our destination. The harder the trials and testing, the greater the assignment. We have to have a greater fear of Adonai, a Holy fear, and no fear of man, which brings a snare.
The medieval Sefer HaYashar, a commentary on the Torah, gives Potiphar’s wife’s name as Zuleikha, as do many Islamic traditions. Zuleikha means brilliant beauty, but Joseph was strong enough to resist it. Your testing may not come in a man or woman but fame or fortune, esteem of men and others. But even our adversary appears as an angel of light.
“So Potiphar’s wife kept Joseph’s cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him the same story: “The Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me, but when I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” (Genesis 39:16-18).
The next mantle Joseph will receive will be the coat of humility. He will be placed in prison but once again in a position of power. The final testing is the greatest. Like David running for his life year after year, Joseph will be imprisoned and placed in the fetters. Psalm 105 is rich with treasures to glean from.
“He permitted no man to oppress them,
And He reproved kings for their sakes:
15“Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.”
16And He called for a famine upon the land;
He broke the whole staff of bread.
17He sent a man before them,
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18They afflicted his feet with fetters,
He himself was laid in irons;
19Until the time that his word came to pass,
The word of the LORD tested him.
20The king sent and released him,
The ruler of peoples, and set him free.
21He made him lord of his house
And ruler over all his possessions,
22To imprison his princes at will,
That he might teach his elders wisdom.” (Psalm 105:14-22).
Notice, Joseph gets his greatest wisdom, as does David, after being crushed. Those who have suffered greatly teach the elders wisdom. Ponder that. An Elder is not only a person advanced age but a man of social status and wisdom. Joseph taught those in authority, wisdom. But he would never do that without the pit, the prison, the false accusations, and the hatred from those he loved. So, we count it all joy when we go through trials!!
Notice how similar this passage is to some about David earlier.
“While Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him and extended kindness to him, granting him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. And the warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care, so that he was responsible for all that was done in the prison. The warden did not concern himself with anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” (Gen. 39:20-23).
By the time Joseph was released from prison and appointed as head over Egypt, Joseph was 30 years of age (Genesis 41:46). Just as David, Just as Yeshua. Joseph was 17 when he was sold to Egypt, so his first anointing may have been around the same time as David’s.
Joseph is taken from the prison because of interpreting the Baker and the Cupbearer’s dreams. Although he is forgotten and 2 years go by, he is eventually remembered and ushered in.
Now, he will remove his prison attire because he is humble and mature enough for the position. He now will save a people. Can you see Yeshua? “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).
“Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. “You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck.”
Pharaoh commands the people to bow the knee to Joseph. We know that every knee will bow before Messiah when He returns in power and great Glory.
I believe we can see Messiah Yeshua in both these men, and prophetically speaking, I would advise you to study II Samuel 5:5. This is a picture of Messiah and His Kingdom. May your journey be filled with awe and wonder and more so through your trials and suffering. May joy pour forth. May oil be poured upon your heads. May your bloody coat be exchanged for a beautiful robe, for you are a King’s daughter or son.
If you were a God who wanted to wake people up, who would you send to do that job? John came as a voice. John was a High Priest and a prophet. Humble servants, teachers, and ministers of His Word are not just born equipped. They are thrown on His wheel.
Then I (Jeremiah) went down to the potter’s house, and there he was making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make” (Jeremiah 18:2-4.)
Soft clay can be smacked and thrown down on the potter’s wheel and reshaped. Once the pot is fired, we have a whole different story. Hashem told Jeremiah that He knew him before He placed him in the womb and called him to be a prophet to the nations, but Jeremiah was built. If you are unsure of what I am trying to articulate, read Lamentations. Most are familiar with a verse that says, “Your mercies are made new each morning,” but what was the prophet saying before all this? He was talking to a people who had not been obedient and had gone whoring. I think he may have been describing the curses that had overtaken God’s people due to their sins and their lack of keeping His Sabbaths and His Commandments. He was weeping for the Bride. The Book of Lamentations is read on the 9th of Av. It begins with the Hebrew word Eicha which means “how?” It is a prophetic response to the destruction of the temple in 586 B.C.E. We also our temples that at times, must destruct so that He can breathe new life into us.
“He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains. Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked.
Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding, he dragged me from the path and mangled me, and left me without help. He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows.
He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver. I became the laughingstock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long. He has filled me with bitter herbs and given me gall to drink.
He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is” (Lamentations 3:8-17).
If we are a son or a daughter, He will correct us and shape us on His Potter’s wheel.
Who is man to think that he is the one who can form the clay?
“Will the pot contend with the potter or the earthenware with the hand that shapes it? Will the clay ask the potter what he is making? or his handiwork say to him, “You have no skill”? (Isaiah 45:9, NEB)
Our Jesus/ Yeshua was placed on that wheel.
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).
How are Abba’s servants built? They are thrown on the potter’s wheel. Prophets usually haven’t met anyone they cannot relate to. Most of them have been through just about everything you can think of. Have you ever noticed that Elijah arrives on the scene, and we read nothing about his background? He boldly confronts kings and commands the sky to stay shut, and slaughters over 400 false prophets of Baal. How does one get such tenacity? Not by being pampered and coddled.
Prophets were fearful of the call. They said things like, “I can’t speak. I’m too young. I am the least in my Father’s house. I am a fig farmer. I stutter. They knew where prophets went. It was usually to oppose a priest—a king—a wicked leader with a booming voice from Adonai and then off to the prison, death, a cave, a lion’s den, a head on a platter. They were built to confront those no one else wanted to confront. A stiff-necked people. An Ahab. A Jezebel. A Saul who had not slain the wicked king he was ordered to slay.
The Father speaks: Go tell my servant David, the one who carried a giants head on a pole, that he is the man full of sin Nathan. Fast for 40 days and climb a mountain only to go back again because the people have been in idolatry and have been worshipping a calf and cry out for me to spare those same people who said, “Where is this Moses?” Yes, this Moses, whose staff parted the sea. This Moses who cried out for their very lives. This Moses, who was fashioned in the desert away from his family and home on the Potter’s wheel.
The burden of the word of the Lord Adonai—that’s how their letters were started. It is a burden to feel what the Father feels. It is a burden to see what the Father sees.
How do you build a man or woman with no regard for whether people will like the sound of the words they use? How do you build a person who doesn’t care if you never speak to them again?
Possibly the Potter wants such a person to be shunned by those esteemed. The ones in the critical circles. How does HaShem build and shape a vessel that will speak what He tells them to speak even if their closest friends and companions walk away? You cause them to be loved by people who they love with so much love it bubbles up inside their soul, and then you have those same people reject them, crush them, defame their character, and trust. You bring people across their path that are so precious to them, and you turn those same confidants into barking dogs that bite and snarl and growl at the messenger or give them a Judas kiss. Their words are twisted—they looked for ways to catch Yeshua in sin. They watched him like a spider. They accused him of casting out demons by the prince of demons.
“They watched him closely in an effort to trap him in something he might say” (Luke 11:54 ISV).
“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man” (John 2:23-24 NASB).
How do you build something that has no concern for money? No regard for titles? No affection for the esteem of man? You strip them of everything they own. You cause them to live by a brook and let ravens feed them. You send them to a widow with a few drops of oil and a handful of flour. You leave them naked and bare, and they see all the material as refuse—worthless. Mother Teresa could not be bought—she had her eyes on a different prize. The apostles could not be bought. Oh, Saints do not look to store up treasures here that can bring no joy. Junk, you have to dust and worry about thieves stealing. Titles that only bring esteem from men.
How do you build someone who has more compassion for the sick than most? A person who will fast and pray and believe with someone who is suffering horribly? You give them sores all over their body as they scrape the discharge with some broken pottery. You blind them for three days. You give them a thorn in their flesh, a hip out of socket, a barren womb, and a taste of suffering that most cannot imagine.
When I first came out of an attack on my health and retired my cane, I sat outside a big meeting one night—a meeting where the megachurch parking lot filled up and any person coming in who was in a wheelchair, walker, or using a cane, I asked if I could pray for them. I cried with them. I knew what it was like to be sick unto death. I would have never had that compassion if I had not gone through it.
How do you build someone with grief for sin that causes them to weep when they see sin? Most of the people that I know who have been forgiven much love much. When a person sees a woman’s breast exposed and grieves over it instead of lusting. When we see men and women lusting after fleshpots that we used to partake of, and our heart doesn’t want to point a finger but instead grabs a cloak and covers their nakedness and cries out for their soul to be healed.
Moses looked at his sister, who had slandered him, and “Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “O God, heal her, I pray!” (Numbers 12:13 NASB).
Awe, the Potter’s wheel.
When the Father speaks to me and humbles me, it is usually through people that I overlooked or thought “unimportant,” A person I judged by their titles or lack of them. Have you ever had the Father make you feel the way Jeremiah felt above?
He said he was made a laughing stock—mocked.
I write these next words not for pity—not for prayer, although I’ll take any I can get, but to show you something.
How do you make a marriage become so one in the Spirit you both think and act and speak the same? Most every night, my husband prays with me—many mornings as well, but at night he lays his hand on my stomach that refuses to work in divine order due to gastroparesis, and he speaks life over it. He watches it blow up like a balloon, and he sees my tears, and with those same tears he knocks, he asks, he is persistent like the widow who went before the unjust judge, and like Moses, he cries, “Heal my wife!” One night as he prayed, I thought of all the healthy and unhealthy wives who never hear such compassion from their husbands. I thought about how loved I am. How our very marriage has been placed on the Potter’s wheel for such a time as this and every trial, every valley of darkness has brought us closer. For some, it causes bitterness and division. My husband waited twelve years for me. Every year he prayed for a wife and waited. He went on a few dates because he did not feel they were the one. In the twelfth year, a woman at his assembly said, “Jeff the Father just showed me a field with beautiful flowers and there the sun was shining down on a blondish brown haired woman that the Father is “molding” for you.” Eve or Chavah was fashioned and constructed from the side of Adam. The Father was shaping me into a wife for my husband.
He is shaping you into just the right vessel for His use. It hurts at times to be smashed and remolded into shape, thrown on the wheel, and placed into a fiery pit, but in the end, He will fashion us into a vessel He sees fit to use.
“But now, Hashem, Thou art Avinu (Our Father); we are the chomer (clay), and Thou, Yotzreinu (our Potter, Maker, Creator); and we all are the ma’aseh (work) of Thy yad (hand.)” Isaiah 64:8 OJB.”
There are many ways to say something and a season to speak and not to speak. Even the prophet Isaiah, who spoke for HaShem, cried out– I have unclean lips! Woe is me! Some of the righteous were stoned and beheaded due to their words, but they spoke them anyway. At the end of this blog, I will highlight Jeremiah and ask you, my readers, to try on his shoes in the face of death.
Have you ever wondered what our words sound like to Our Father in heaven? How did the men who argued and caused Him to change His mind sound? Are there keys to speaking?
When should we speak? How do we speak? To whom and for what reason. Much of this was covered in Part 1 of this series, but I wanted to add more.
When the Father commands us to speak, we must. When He instructs us to go minister to someone, we need to be obedient.
“Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country” (Exodus 6:11).
After a long time, in the third year of the drought, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the face of the earth” (I Kings 18:1).
A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9).
When you stand before Kings. (Acts 24)
When you are anointed and pressed to speak at a Festival as Peter, who preached about the Messiah who rose from the dead and about 3,000 came back into covenant. “And with many other words, he (Peter) solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day, there were added about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:39)
When arrested: “Mark 13:11, ESV: “And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”
(He will instruct our mouths): “Exodus 4:12 Now go! I will help you as you speak, and I will teach you what to say.” (Matthew 10:19). “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to respond or what to say. In that hour you will be given what to say.”
But the LORD said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
Because everywhere I send you, you shall go,
And all that I command you, you shall speak.
He will put His Words in our mouths: “Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:7-9).
Ecclesiastes 3 says, “There is a time to speak and a time to remain silent.” How do we know which season it is?
Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man has joy in an apt answer, And how delightful is a timely word!” Words are spoken in season are delightful. If the season passes, we may have missed it.
Although silence is golden at times, there is also the sin of silence. This sin can be just as damaging as slander.
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” (Matthew 18:15).
If someone has sinned against you, you must bring words and go to them.
Remaining silent will cause bitterness to grow and a root of anger and unforgiveness to flourish. It must be dealt with swiftly.
“Argue your case with your neighbor, And do not reveal the secret of another” (Proverbs 25:9)
We often do the very opposite first! We tell everyone and leave going to our brother or sister last. I’m not speaking of wise counsel where you go and seek help. Many times that is needed, but that looks different than calling everyone you know and telling them what Old Aunt Betty did to you or Jimmy Bob, who lives across the street.
“Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in the right circumstances.
“Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold
Is a wise reprover to a listening ear” (Proverbs 25:11-12).
When significant accomplishments occur or a person in your circle receives good news, we should not remain silent. When a baby is born, it is a great celebration. Many people give birth to gifts and dreams the Father has placed in their hearts, and we must share in their joy. We must not allow jealousy or envy to be in our hearts for others.
The next passage is layered and can be challenging to digest.
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.” (Proverbs 26:4-5).
A fool can be interpreted as ewil, kesil, or nabal.
(“Fool” in Prov. 26:4-5) is Kesil in Hebrew–fool, stupid fellow, dullard, simpleton, arrogant one)
Kesil describes a person who is ignorant of the Father’s instructions and isn’t willfully acting like a fool. This type of fool may learn wisdom, so we answer him or her.
Nabal describes a false prophet and someone who has no fear of Adonai. The last one is ewil. This is the one you need to run from. Everything out of their mouth is slander and ridicule, and the person has no desire to learn. For more on a fool, Dr. Skip Moen has an excellent blog HERE.
This may be the most critical question we can ask ourselves. Why are we speaking? Did the Father tell us to? Was it Holy Spirit inspired? Or is it to make a jab at our ex-sister-in-law? Is it to prove to our cousin, whose liberal or conservative, that they are wrong? Is it to place shame on those who hurt us? Is it well thought out with honey and sweet-smelling perfume that makes our readers or listeners hungry for more? Is it for correction? Are we getting caught up in division or tangles we need to separate from because they don’t concern us?
We might be able to relax at the birthday party, wedding, or baby shower—we may speak freely with trusted friends, our spouses, or confidants, but at other times, in multiple situations, may we weigh our words. May we marinate our meat, may we tenderize it and brush it with spices and honey. May our fruit be ripe and good on the inside. May our words be like showers of rain to a parched soul. May our words bring joy to the downhearted. May our words break chains and release prisoners. May our words be as dove soap, cleansing with beauty and freshness. May our words dance when others are celebrated for their kind acts, good deeds, and integrity. May we sound like Ruth’s to the Naomi’s with bitter spirits.
No matter how careful we are with our words, we will always offend someone who is wounded, afraid, or they will misunderstand us.
Picture scales of justice. When we only hear one side of a story or judge a person or situation on one witness, we lack the testimony of two or three. Our words carry weight and vibration and life or death.
When we bring words to the Creator of all, do we weigh them? Prayer often begins with silence. Picture Esther going before the King and waiting for his scepter to fall and welcome her in the throne room. Picture Isaiah when he saw the Lord Adonai high and lifted up and was quick to speak what angels sang,
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.
Then I said,
“Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:3-5.
Isaiah’s first response is that he has unclean lips and that the people around him have unclean lips. Meditate on that. Burning fiery coals from the altar was needed. This should remind you of Acts 2 when on the day of Pentecost/ Shavuot, fire lit on their tongues.
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”
This man was a prophet; he spoke for Adonai. He was a Seer. And he still needed his mouth cleansed. We often place these men of old on a pedestal, that they were without sin. If their mouth spoke for Adonai, their mouth must have had a good Listerine dose, but even Isaiah knew he needed his mouth cleansed.
There are men in scripture who stood before the King of the universe and argued with Him, pleaded with Him, and challenged Him as Abraham did and Moses, as well as others.
Yeshua teaches us how to pray. Some learned to prayer saying “Dear Lord Jesus,” but Yeshua, when asked how to pray, said, “‘Our Father who is in the heavens, let Your Name be set-apart. . .” (Matthew 6:9, ISR).
Yeshua did not tell us to pray to him but to pray through the authority given to us through Him.
Sometimes when we pray or speak what we know the Father is telling us, we are hated unto death. I am closing Part #2 of this with Jeremiah, but also consider John the Baptist and Stephen. In Jeremiah 26, the people are ready to kill Jeremiah, the prophet. Some cannot see the beauty in the prophets words because they are focused only on light, positivity, and blessings– they do not realize that prophets words bring repentance and redemption. The Father commands Jeremiah to speak year after year and Jeremiah was obedient. He wasn’t BLESSED with a wife or children. The Father told him not to marry. He was despised for his words. He was mocked. They wrote songs and sang them and laughed at his warnings. He cried out for death and depression overtook him. He was thrown in a cistern in muck, sinking— Abba’s holy mouth piece. Think and ponder this. Study the prophets, both male and female and taste their words.
“Thus says the LORD, ‘Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak to all the cities of Judah who have come to worship in the LORD’S house all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them. Do not omit a word! ‘Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds” (Jer. 26:2-3).
He then warms again. Picture Jeremiah standing before the leaders in his day, the scribes, the priest, etc., and speaking for Adonia.
“And you will say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD, “If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you, to listen to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I have been sending to you again and again, but you have not listened; then I will make this house like Shiloh, and this city I will make a curse to all the nations of the earth.”
The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, “You must die!”
(YOU MUST DIE!)(26:4-7).
What is Jeremiah doing now? Is he shaking? Pleading for his life? Doubtful. Was he fearful of men or fearful and completely sold out to say whatever the Father told him?
“Then the priests and the prophets spoke to the officials and to all the people, saying, “A death sentence for this man!”
(Can you see the rage that comes when men and women speak the truth and expose corruption?)
For he has prophesied against this city as you have heard in your hearing.”
Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and to all the people, saying, “The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that you have heard. “Now, therefore, amend your ways and your deeds and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will change His mind about the misfortune which He has pronounced against you. “But as for me, behold, I am in your hands; do with me as is good and right in your sight. “Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood on yourselves, and on this city and on its inhabitants; for truly the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.” (26:11-15).
Jeremiah is spared, and the people are given the medicine and instructions needed to stop the calamity. Many people find the prophet’s words harsh, but the prophet Jeremiah knew that he had to speak even if it cost him his life. May we all weigh our words on just scales and be brave to say what we need to and wise to know when to keep silent.
What if everything we spoke in secret was played over a loudspeaker each morning to everyone we know? Tzara’at (leprosy) is a spiritual sickness, not a physical one. No one today gets this moldy exposure in their homes, on their clothing, or skin. If this were available today, the world would be ridden with it because we have no filters. A curse word or a tattoo in my adolescence had a different meaning than today. But sometimes we can curse without saying one vulgar word. Sometimes we are marked with leprosy that no ink gun can give.
Yeshua was and is the Great Physician. One day he was sitting, eating, and drinking with the sick. Their sickness was not physical but spiritual. “And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His taught ones, “Why does He eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And hearing this, יהושע (Yeshua) said to them, “Those who are strong (healthy) have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners.” (Mark 2:16-17, ISR).
Have you ever been to the doctor and had a bad experience? Perhaps their bedside manner was not very refined, or they lacked compassion, empathy, or worse, they decided all your aliments were your fault or a figment of your imagination. They would not listen to your problems. They offered no oil for your bruises and no prescription for your pain. My husband used to have a family doctor who was obese. My husband was not feeling well. He had high stress on his job, high blood pressure, and multiple issues that had taken a toll on him. He was roughly 25-pounds overweight. His physician was a good 75 pounds overweight but was very stern with him and a tad sarcastic about his weight. He told my husband he needed to lose weight and start an exercise regimen. Was the doctor aware of his own condition? How can we see to get rid of a splinter in our neighbors’ eye if we have a plank in our own? Words are powerful. What if we had to pour our words through a water purification system before speaking them?
Questions to meditate on:
How do we speak to the lost?
Are we instructive on potions and herbs, diet and exercise they need to incorporate, but just as obese/sick as them?
Are we compassionate to the sick and the sinner? Do we have empathy?
Do we shame people who have not seen what we see with our words?
Do we eat and drink with the sick or chastise them or even separate ourselves from the healthy like Peter did until Paul rebuked him? Paul rebukes him publicly because he had acted in a manner that led the rest of the congregation to think his behavior was okay. It was not a public post on social media but for the community who gathered there. (Galatians 2:11-21).
Would a sick sinner want to share a meal with us or Invite us to a wedding?
Do our lips have honey that is so sweet from His Word that others want to learn? How we speak to the sick tells a lot about us. If the sick need a doctor, doctors must go to medical school to wear a white coat and get a certificate. This can take over a decade. We can be called to be a doctor but lack schooling and a correct bedside manner.
Are we a doctor that cannot speak in layman’s terms? Do we listen to answer, or do we hear the heart cries of the sick?
Do we know when to go to our brother or sister, private or publicly in our community?
Who did Yeshua chastise?
“The Hebrew word for a prophet, navi ( Nun-Beit-Yod-Alef) comes from the term niv sefatayim meaning “fruit of the lips,” which emphasizes the prophet’s role as a speaker.”
Fruit of the lips: Take a seed and plant it in the earth. Water the seed and make sure it is planted where it can get sunlight. It will grow, but what kind of fruit will it produce? Jeremiah said, “Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts” (Jeremiah 12:1-2).
A good tree cannot produce bad fruit. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Yeshua went on to explain, we will know them by their fruit. How? I once bought a beautiful pink lady apple. I brought it home and cut into it, and the inside was rotten. Fruit can be deceiving. This apple had the appearance of beauty to the eye of the beholder but was rotten to the core.
Picture a carnival and the sledgehammer game.
“A high striker, also known as a strength tester, or strongman game, is an attraction used in funfairs, amusement parks, fundraisers, and carnivals. It operates by utilizing the lever where one end holds a puck attached to the tower and the other end is struck by the person or contestant using a hammer or mallet. The aim of players is to ring the bell suspended on top of the tower. If the lever is struck with enough force, the puck will rise high enough to hit the bell, indicating a success.” (Wiki)
Are we high strikers, striking the cheeks of the sick, the lost, the immature person we used to be? Our words can strike with such force they are received like a hammer. Adonai’s word is a hammer breaking the rocks in pieces, but are we using our words in a manner where we think the bell ringing is a sign of strength when its actual weakness?
Examples with sarcasm/pride: “I really told them!” Boy, I let them have it with my political/ spiritual knowledge.” “I set those Christians straight about how they are not saying His Name correct, keeping His Calendar, Feasts, etc.” “I told them they were celebrating pagan holidays and full of evil.” “Yes, I pointed out all their wicked ways, as I was instructed to do just that by the Holy Spirit.” Hmm. Really?
Are we suffering from the strong man?
Has anyone ever changed a person’s mind by posting a nasty meme or a post with condemnation? Even Nathan knew a parable about a little ewe lamb would have more weight than his finger-pointing. He spoke for Adonai. He did not slander David all over the Kingdom but went to him in private. Even David’s enemy, Saul, hunting him down with an army daily, was spoken of by David at death with honor and respect, but many today will murder a dead man with their lips. David could have said “Praise Yah! that no good, lying, witch of Endor seeking sinner is dead!” Instead, he said this:
“Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant in their life,
And in their death they were not parted;
They were swifter than eagles,
They were stronger than lions.
“O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
Who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet,
Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.” (II Samuel 1:23-24).
How to speak involves many layers. In the Book of Timothy, we see a list of words for leadership to follow. “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction” (II Timothy 4:2).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law “(Galatians 5:22-23, BSB).
Rebuke: “The definition of rebuke = to scold or criticize or reprimand someone for their actions.
“You shall surely rebuke your neighbor and incur no sin because of this person” (Leviticus 19:17). But who is our neighbor?
Knowing who, when, how, and why to rebuke is the key. “To correct a troublemaker or rebuke a wicked person is to bring down abuse on oneself. Do not rebuke a scoffer, for that person will hate you. Reprove a wise person, and that person will love you.” (Proverbs 9:7-8)
“Those who rebuke find favor and a good blessing falls upon them.” (Proverbs 24:25)
“Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed.”
A loving friendship that never has rebuke (correction) is really not a friendship. But rebuking involves mercy and tact, and receiving a rebuke involves humility. A mocker such as King Ahab, who rebuked Elijah, was given a sterner rebuke back. His blaming the prophet for famine and calling him a troublemaker was due to his lack of looking in a mirror.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:5-6).
Septuagint, “More to be trusted are the wounds of a friend than the spontaneous (ἑκούσια) kisses of an enemy.”
Judas seals the deal with a kiss. We often picture Judas as the evil villain, but he was right there listening, collecting baskets of bread and fish, watching blind eyes open, and yes, betraying the Son of God and then hanging himself. The villain in Esther hanged himself too by his own cords.
(Proverbs 14:1) “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Remember, a hand in Hebrew is also a mouth.
Are we hanging ourselves due to our words?
Have you ever kissed someone and then betrayed them? Have we as a Body allowed a spirit of Judas to live in our hearts? Have you ever wounded a friend? Did the friend, like Peter, need wounding? Did you do it in front of the group or go around behind Peter’s back and whisper about how immature he acted. How he isn’t fit for leadership? That would have been more harmful than correcting him in front of them. The darkness is exposed to light; Peter can repent and do what he should have been doing. The matter ends. No one needs to gossip about Peter. We better start getting this right. It is past time!
The harlot seals the deal with a kiss too.
“And there a woman met him,
With the attire of a harlot and a crafty heart.
She was loud and rebellious,
Her feet would not stay at home.
At times she was outside, at times in the open square,
Lurking at every corner.
So she caught him and kissed him”
Has Abba Father kissed you with the kisses of His Mouth, or has the harlot enticed you with her lips? HOW we speak tells others who we have been kissing, how we’ve been kissing, and where we’ve been kissing.
There are many ways to say something. How we speak, when, where, and to whom matters.
For example: If I wanted to teach children raised to wear Velcro shoes how to tie shoelaces, I could illustrate this by retying my shoes and giving instructions and examples of why lacing one’s shoes is the better way to go. First, I want to show how this simple teaching can go wrong due to words. Then I want you to imagine how a simple post to correct, reprove, and rebuke someone concerning their beliefs, both political and spiritual, can go wrong. As you read about Velcro and laces, think Torah/ think Christianity, and if you must, think politics.
1st Example: (Unfiltered)
What are people thinking? Are they taking their children hiking in Velcro shoes? Have you ever seen the military wearing Velcro boots? Even an idiot knows correctly laced shoes provide better support than poorly-fastened Velcro straps. The Martin family lets their kids wear Velcro. I saw them wearing Velcro the other day, even the 12-year-old. What kind of parents are they? Don’t they know it’s shameful? They are harming their children’s feet. And then they want to try and correct me on my children’s behavior. Have you ever?
2nd Example: (Filtered)
I feel teaching my five-year-old son to lace his shoes is essential. He will be an adult one day, and Velcro shoes may not exist then, plus Velcro shoes may not work on the job. He may need steel-toed boots or wing-tipped dress shoes. Research shows that correctly laced shoes provide better support. Velcro may come undone during track, rock climbing, or other sports. Laces fit different foot shapes better and are less likely to cause pain in general because the shoe is tightened across the foot’s entire length. I was raised wearing Velcro shoes and was taught that tying shoes was outdated and done away with. I was told it was just more work for me as a mom to teach my child to tie his shoes, but now he can tie up his boots, jacket string, make a square knot, and a fisherman’s knot. I am proud of his accomplishments, and I hope you will purchase a pair of laced shoes for your child.
How we speak also involves who is in front of us, our audience.
Who is in front of you? Is it a broken woman with an alabaster box of perfume that the leaders consider a whore? A child (this can be a newborn believer or a literal child) is a demonized man in a graveyard who cuts himself? Is it a leader who is harsh and judgmental? Is it a leper? A friend? A drug addict. A king (David/ Nathan). A politician (Herod). An educated scholar? The list goes on and on. If we were to travel to Spain today and sit in a cafe, we would need to know how to speak Spanish to get the type of coffee and dessert we wanted unless our server spoke our language. If we speak Chinese and order it in our native tongue, chances are the Spaniard will not understand. Early in my ministry, I posted a small teaching on my facebook wall. A family member inboxed me and said, “I love to read your post, but lately I can’t understand anything you’re saying. I have to look up almost every other word and I am at work and don’t have time.” The Apostle Paul said something that needs to be meditated on with much thought. First, he told them if they were speaking in tongues without a translator, no one would understand them. Have you ever heard a clanging pot and pan fall un-expectantly?
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (I Cor. 13:1-3).
Many will argue that they are using love in some of their videos, post, memes, etc. to correct others, but I must say we all need to taste our words. We need to ask ourselves who we are speaking to. Are we talking to a child? A newborn baby? A brand-new believer? Are we speaking to Christians, Messianic or unbelievers? Are we trying to speak to all of these on social media without thought that our audience is full of different people on different levels and journeys?
Are we speaking to leadership? Do we honor leadership? Have we appointed ourselves to be police officers who must expose everyone else’s actions and beliefs we deem wrong or wicked? Even the dead? Police represent authority, but authority must be trained. We may need a change of heart, especially if we compare ourselves as righteous and only see others as way below on our ruler and standard we have defined as holy—set apart. If we are yelling at people to repent and pointing at them, separating ourselves from anyone who has made an error, we may want to pull the plank out of our eye so we can see to remove the speck in our brother’s eyes. Yeshua and Paul know their audience when they speak.
Paul said, “Or do you not know, brethren for I am speaking to those who know the law/ Torah.” (Romans 7:1). Paul was speaking to an audience in this passage who knew the Father’s Torah/ Law. Some people do not have an understanding of His Torah, or they may have been taught it was nailed to the cross. Many times, these same people are keeping many portions of it. David can help us understand His Torah.
“O how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
Because I have observed Your precepts.
I have restrained my feet from every evil way,
That I may keep Your word.
I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You, Yourself have taught me.
How sweet are Your words to my taste!” (Psalm 119:97-103).
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” His Words are sweeter than honey, but are ours?
At one point, Yeshua explains that certain people are blind and deaf. He gives those who knew Torah an antidote to being healed after he restores a blind man’s sight. “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains” (John 9:41). What did He possibly mean here?
They say, “we are not blind–We see!” We see His Torah. We see our righteousness. We see–we are not like that sinner over there. We fast twice a week. We dress modestly. We do not keep Halloween. We do not keep Sunday. We don’t wear pants. We don’t smoke or chew or even say the curse words listed in the Bible. Oh, we think we see ourselves, but do we see the naked, sick, hungry, and broken soul created in His image that’s standing before us in need of oil and not condemnation. Do we see the Messiah we claim lives inside of us? Are we like Him?
After Yeshua cast out demons, the leaders and scholars said he did this by the prince of demons.
Who was He harsh with? When was He harsh? Why was He harsh at that moment? Yeshua answers the leaders like this:
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers (seed of the woman/seed of the serpent)! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Yeshua spoke differently to the sick, the demonized in the graveyard, and even the leader who met with him in private. Would you place a 1st grader in a class with an 8th grader? Would an English professor speak to her English Literature class in the same way as her GED class? Do you speak to babies in the same manner of speech as you would your counselor? If you are posting or saying words that are sharp, unpolished, sour, bitter, judgmental, arrogant, or angry, who are they healing that is sick? When Paul spoke sharply with rebuke, it was to those who knew the Torah or were learning it. They were cheating on their wives, getting drunk at the gatherings, and doing things worse than those of the world. We must know our audience. And yes, there have been times when the Father had me post something that those who are of the world did not understand. I have also been guilty of posting things out of anger, a judgmental attitude, self-righteousness, ignorance, and words that sure could have used some ajax and sandpaper. Laying things aside for a day or two and rereading what we want to say after calming down or praying on it may bring enlightenment. One may even decide they no longer need to say what they thought they did. And sometimes, we can reword it better after some time away from it.
I hope this blog helps us all think before we grab our keyboard or microphone. Remember what comes out of our mouths, lives in our hearts. Please check out Grace in Torah’s message called Taste Your Words HERE.
In Part Two, we will look at how to answer a fool in his folly and more.
Sources: all Photos by Zoltan Tasi, Lesley Juarez, Engin Akurt, Nina strehl, Camila Damásio, except high striker.