COME NOW, AND LET US REASON TOGETHER! - Isaiah 1

Shalom family,

Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:12Favour and peace be increased to you in the knowledge of Elohim and of יהושע our Master, as His Mighty-like power has given to us all we need for life and reverence, through the knowledge of Him who called us to esteem and uprightness.

 

We have been called to esteem and uprightness, that is to walk in His ways, and we have been given all we need to do this through knowledge of Him, given to us through His Torah and Prophets and Writings, and as we have been discovering the wonder of how His Tabernacle is made up according to His perfect instructions, through the Torah portions that we are busy with at present, it becomes so much more clear for us that we can only be building His way or else it is sadly in vain. Our total dependency is upon Him and His sure Word, without which we have no life and Dawiḏ understood just how much He could do nothing on his own and realised that our salvation and redemption and deliverance is in יהוה alone. In:

Tehillah/Psalm 51:1-7 “Show me favour, O Elohim, According to Your kindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me completely from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against You, You alone, have I sinned, And done evil in Your eyes; That You might be proven right in Your words; Be clear when You judge. 5 See, I was brought forth in crookedness, and in sin my mother conceived me. 6 See, You have desired truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You make me know wisdom. 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I am clean; Wash me, and I am whiter than snow.

These were the words of a man who understood that He needed cleansing from the stain of sin that he alone could not remove; but knew that יהוה, according to His great kindness and loving compassion could. Only יהוה can remove the stain of blood guilt that has been shed because of the evil done before Him. And Dawiḏ understood that walking outside of the Torah is sin, as the Torah is to be upon our hearts and in our mouths in order to do it. Sadly in a time where so many are wilfully choosing to neglect the need to walk in the Torah, we see so many who are attempting to bring before יהוה a mixed form of worship that simply does not carry the exact picture of the Tabernacle, which we are going through at the moment in Shemoth, and how the Tabernacle is key in understanding how we are to follow the clear and concise plans as given us through His Torah – without which we cannot see Elohim. What is also sad to see today is the lack of willingness of many to actually come and sit and reason out the Scriptures as they would rather hold fast to traditions and dogmas of man while in their stubbornness are walking outside of the Torah and will have no part in the Covenant unless they turn and walk in His ways. When we see the dealings of יהוה with Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah in Scripture we can certainly see how the very same words are as applicable to us who are grafted in to Yisra’ĕl – a scattered nation being brought back and how we are to learn from the warnings and instructions given to His called out Bride who had sadly strayed. Tonight in a message called, “COME NOW AND LET US REASON TOGETHER!” I would like to take you through Yeshayahu/Isaiah Chapter 1, vision which Yeshayahu saw concerning Yehuḏah and Yerushalayim before they were about to be exiled because of her rebellion. (Read)

Yeshayahu is such a powerful book that is so relevant to us all today – It clearly pictures for us the need to embrace the Saving Favour of יהוה, and his name defines this for us – Yeshayahu יְשַׁעְיָהוּ – which means ‘salvation of Yah/ Yahweh saves’. We will do well to heed the prophetic words of Yeshayahu/Isaiah, as the call to live set-apart lives and walk in the light of יהושע is being proclaimed louder and louder – the question remains – who will hear and who is dull of hearing? This chapter speaks of the urgency and need to hear the Word of יהוה, and walk in the Torah (His instructions for righteous living).

This vision and call is not only to Yehuḏah, but to His entire Bride and carries much power and significance today as Ephrayim (lost 10 tribes) hears this call and returns and so I would like to run through some key elements that we see in these verses and we will also take a look at a few Hebrew words in gaining a better understanding of this text and how alive it is for us today!

At this point Yisra’ĕl (northern 10 tribes) had already been scattered, yet to return, and Yehuḏah had committed whoring just as her sister Yisra’ĕl had, and in many ways they were in fact worse and here comes the call to listen up from יהוה.

In Verse 2 we see the terms “Hear, oh heavens, and listen, o earth” – this would have sounded very familiar to them.

This was an alluding to and referring back to the song that Mosheh taught the descendants of Yisra’ĕl before he died and instructed that this song be passed down through the generations, and so the very things that Mosheh warned about were coming to pass, and was a very vivid and sobering reminder of where they were headed!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:1 “Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

The two words that stand out here in these verses are:

1 – Hear – in Hebrew is the root word שָׁמַעshama’ – Strong’s H8085, which carries the meaning not just simply to hear, but rather to ‘listen with attention, comprehend and discern, give heed to what is being spoken’. So when we hear the words, ‘he who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says’, we are able to clearly see that it is only those who are truly standing on their feet (that is those who are faithfully obeying and walking in the commands) that will have ears to hear. Any disobedience to the commands or any rejection to walking according to the Torah of Elohim will result in one being deaf to the Spirit, and so be unable to be led forth in the Truth!

Those who have ears, as they stand firm on their feet, will hear the clear instructions and guard to do them. Certainly we see that this kind of hearing called for is not very apparent among the masses today who are simply having ears tickled and not listening attentively because they forget what they hear and are doing that which Ya’aqoḇ/James warns against – do not be like a man who looks in the mirror and forgets what he sees!

2 – Listen/ Give ear – In Hebrew is the root word אָזַן azan – Strong’s H238 which means, to give, ear, listen, pay attention, perceived by ear, and while this also carries the meaning, ‘to listen and listen attentively’, and it literally means to ‘cup the ear’ – in other words give your complete attention and be obedient to take it all in.

The terms used here in regards to heaven and earth were once again a reminder of the Covenant and the two witnesses of heaven and earth as life and death were set before them, for which He encourages His Covenanted called out ones to choose life!!! This was a reality check to the nation once again that יהוה’s Covenant is still in effect and always is; and He never operates outside of His Covenant; and rebellion to that Covenant will result in death, obedience to it – life of which heaven and earth are faithful witnesses to! יהוה had rose up a nation and taught them His ways and as stubborn rebellious children they have sinned against the Marriage Covenant

Verse 3יהוה further highlights the depravity of their rebellion by saying that even an ox knows its owner and a donkey would know and recognise his master’s feeding trough – that is where to get the right food and Yisra’ĕl are reduced to less than animals by their lack of knowledge and obedience!

1 - The word here for ‘knows’ in Hebrew is יָדַעyaḏa’ – Strong’s H3045 and means ‘to acknowledge, clearly understand, to perceive, distinguish and discern’ and implies the ability to respond to and recognise the Master’s voice.

Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

So many claim to hear His voice today, yet He does not know them and they do not follow Him and know where the feeding trough of His Word is:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 7: 21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!

יהושע then proceeded to tell the parable of the one who ‘hears’ His Words and does them will be a wise man who builds on the rock!!!

Yehuḏah were NOT ‘hearing’ and acknowledging their master’s voice and were feeding on pagan traditions rather than the truth – a clear mirror image of what we see happening today by many and more specifically by the church who operate not on the Rock of Truth but rather on the twisted application of man-made and man-driven dogmas rooted in pagan worship – these are those that do not know Him and He will declare He never knew them!

We are to pursue to know His word, seeking it out and discern and rightly handle the truth:

Hoshěa/Hosea 6:3 “So let us know, let us pursue to know יהוה. His going forth is as certain as the morning. And He comes to us like the rain, like the latter rain watering the earth.

2 – The word here in verse 3 for ‘understands’ is the Hebrew word בִּיןbin’ – Strong’s H995 and means ‘to understand, perceive, consider with full attention and have knowledge and respond appropriately’.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:7 “Even a stork in the heavens knows her appointed times. And a turtledove, and a swallow, and a thrush observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the right-ruling of יהוה.

Animals know their master’s voice and their appointed times while Yehuḏah did not – this was not due to ignorance but rather due to wilful failure to respond to that which they have been given.

So many today want to claim ignorance and to a certain degree we were all ignorant, yet His word is not far off – we have His Word and we have no right to claim ignorance today but are to respond appropriately to His Torah!

Ma’asei/Acts 17:30 “Truly, then, having overlooked these times of ignorance, Elohim now commands all men everywhere to repent.

Verse 4a sinning nation loaded with crookedness!

Sin in Hebrew is the word  חָטָא ḥata – Strong’s H2398 meaning, to miss, go wrong, sin, error, fault and in essence means to miss the mark or target!

With this is mind it makes perfect sense and brings great clarity in understanding that the Torah becomes very vital to us if we do not want to miss the purpose and fulfilment of our life or ‘miss the mark’. Remember, Torah is aiming in the right direction and moving in that direction – Sha’ul describes this as fixing our eyes on יהושע – the author and perfecter of our faith. We aim our sights at יהושע, lock them in and run with perseverance that which has been marked out. Sin is missing the mark – running off the mark as you take your eyes off of יהושע!!! Torah is the way to aim and go in Him!

They were ‘loaded with crookedness’! The Hebrew word for ‘crookedness’ is עָוֹן avon – Strong’s H5771 meaning, iniquity, guilt, punishment for iniquity, blame, perversity, depravity, which comes from the root verb עָוָה avah – Strong’s H5753 which means, to twist, bend, distort, make crooked, pervert.

A sinning nation loaded with crookedness! – in other words – a lawless nation – acting corruptly and was a nation that was not walking in the Torah they were required to, as they had:

1 – Forsaken יהוה – that is they had left the path of righteousness and the need to walk in the Torah,

In being dysfunctional our fathers had forsaken Elohim, and the Hebrew word for ‘forsaken’ is עָזַב  aza - Strong’s H5800  and means, to leave, forsake, loose, loosen, abandon, leave behind, neglect’.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3 “Let not loving-commitment and truth forsake you – bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart

Forsaken יהוה – and as a result:

2 – Provoked יהוה – that is they had blasphemed and despised His Torah,

The word ‘provoked’ in the Hebrew is נָאַץ  na‘ats – Strong’s H5006 and means, to spurn, treat with contempt, blaspheme, scorn, and it is used in:

Tehillah/Psalm 10:13 “Why do the wrong scorn Elohim? He has said in his heart, “It is not required.

Those who disregard the commands of Elohim, blaspheme Him – especially when they say regarding the Torah, ‘it is not required’!

Provoked יהוה – and as a result of despising the Truth they:

3 – Went backwards – turned back to wicked ways from which they were delivered.

The Hebrew word for ‘went backwards’ is אָחוֹר aḥor – Strong’s H268 which means, the hind side, back part, afterward, rear, behind, and comes from the root verb אָחַר aḥar – Strong’s H309 which means, to remain behind, tarry, delay, defer, slack, hesitate.

This is the pattern of anyone who in any way forsakes the Torah or compromises in the slightest – you will end despising His Word and will backslide very quickly. This is the downward path of the lawless that corrupt His very word for self-gain!

Verse 5 – יהוה appeals to them here by saying ‘Why should you continue to be beaten down’ – there is not a part of the body that has not been beaten – why do you keep disobeying!!! You continue in apostasy! Apostasy means ‘a renunciation of one’s belief and an abandonment to loyalty’ – and this is exactly what Yehuḏah had done we get our English word from the Greek word ἀποστασίαapostasia’ – Strong’s G646 and is translated as a ‘falling away’ in reference to how many will abandon their faith and belief in the Truth before the man of lawlessness is revealed:

Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no one deceive you in any way, because the falling away is to come first, and the man of lawlessness is to be revealed, the son of destruction,

In Hebrew however the word used here for apostasy carries a wonderful picture for us showing the direct contrast between who Yisra’ĕl was called to be and what they had become as we see in the Hebrew a wonderful play on words: The word used for apostasy in verse 5 is the Hebrew word סָרָהsarah’ – Strong’s H5627 and sounds exactly the same as the name of Aḇraham’s wife: שָׂרָהSarah’ – Strong’s H8283 ,yet does not carry the same meaning! ‘Sarah’, used for apostasy, is spelt with a סָ ‘samek’, רָ ‘resh’ and ה ‘hey’; while ‘Sarah’, Aḇraham’s wife, is spelt with a שָׂ ‘Sin’, רָ ‘resh’ and ה ‘hey’ and carries the opposite picture to an apostate Bride, as her name means ‘princess or noble woman’.

And as we know, she is used in Scripture as a picture of the obedient wife, and the play on words here is profound,  as they were to look into the mirror of His Word that would show them how they are not what they ought to be but were rather the opposite and had become a disobedient and rebellious wife that was sick from head to toe – not the picture of a princess or noble woman and Bride of יהוה. Yehuḏah looked like the adulterous whore and not a faithful Bride – and while so many today claims to be the bride – through the mirror of the Word of Truth will be found out to be nothing more than an adulterous and dressed up whore!!!

יהוה has a remnant – all through Scripture we see that there is always a remnant – a faithful few! When we hear the words of many who have been led astray say ‘but they all can’t be wrong’ may we realise that ‘oh yes they can!’ and in fact the likelihood is that they are indeed very wrong! If it were not for the remnant – we would have been made like Seḏom and Amorah and the call has gone out before destruction does come upon the world! It is always a remnant few who obeys and are preserved – It was only Noaḥ and 7 others in the ark, with Seḏom and Amorah only Lot and his wife and two daughters who escaped, while his wife did not make it very far; it was only Yehoshua and Kalěḇ who were left from the generation of adults that came out of Mitsrayim  and were able to enter the Promised land – there is always a remnant!

Verse 10 – we see the repeat of the words hear and listen/give ear – this time to the rulers and people of Seḏom and Amorah – a play on words again to an apostate people who had backslidden and were like the pagan nations – and the call is to ‘come out’ by hearing and listening to His Torah! Give ear to the Torah of Elohim! This is still the call today to a people who are so intermingled with lawlessness and are living corrupt and compromised lives without listening to and paying attention to the Torah, while their attempts at worship are in vain as יהוה will not accept or hear our worship and prayer if it is not done His way! Here Yehuḏah were bringing slaughterings and offerings as the temple service was seemingly still going on while יהוה in essence says to them, “Why are you even coming with your offerings, since you also have idols in your homes and all you are doing is bringing mud into My House and your feet/walk is muddied with falsehood!

STOP MIXING WORSHIP UNTO יהוה WITH PAGANISM!!!

He is unable to bear unrighteousness and assembly. Yehuḏah was wicked while pretending to be righteous and to not walk in His Torah yet claim to be righteous is the great error they made back then and the error that so many make today!

The false teaching that has set-aside Torah observance is nothing more than a sick trampling of mud over His Torah with the appearance of assembling in righteousness while profaning His Word and His commands and His appointed Times, which He will not tolerate.

In verse 14 – we see clearly the use of the term ‘your New Moons and appointed times’ being used. יהוה says that they are trouble to Him and is weary of bearing them!!! Does this contradict the Torah and the commands to keep יהוה’s Feasts? As much as many try to twist this verse into teaching that keeping His Feasts is no longer necessary, we must note the key term in this verse spoken by יהוה is ‘YOUR’ - The way Yehuḏah were carrying out His feasts showed that they had turned them into a creation of their own hands by doing it their own way and as it suited them and in the process they mixed in pagan worship practices with it – and this form of worship was no longer as יהוה had prescribed but had become their own, which He no longer saw as worship unto Him. Today it has even become worse, as the church not only worships their own way, but has at its root pagan influences and traditions that have even changed the appointed times to fit in with pagan sun-worship traditions  - and יהוה hates – and I repeat – hates these man-made traditional feasts. He also hates that which rabbinic tradition presents as a form of worship that sets aside the purity of Torah by the addition of oral laws and commands that יהוה has not commanded or instructed!

Adding or taking away from His instructions is forbidden and we must carefully hear and give ear to this and not fall into the trap of false worship that has been shaped by the hands of man – for when we do that we render His Feasts no longer His but make it our own and these He hates!!!

Verse 16 – clear instruction to stop all the evil and get cleaned up – if only people would open their ears and hear this today!!! But just how do we get clean? יהוה has just highlighted the terrible picture of their lawlessness and then in Verse 17 He makes it clear -:

1 – Learn to do good; 2 – Seek Right-Ruling; 3 – Reprove the oppressor; 4 – Defend the fatherless; 5 – plead for the widow. In other words seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness and be a voice for those that are unable to speak for themselves! Learning to discern and do good requires a returning to the Torah which teaches us to distinguish between the clean and the unclean, the set-apart and the profane!

 

Learn to do good:

The Hebrew word for ‘learn’ is לָמַד  lama – Strong’s H3925 which carries the meaning, ‘to exercise in, learn, instruct, teach, train’. We come to the ‘door’ (Messiah) and submit to ‘learning’ His ways so that we can make good our ways in order to function as the set-apart, chosen  and royal priesthood that we are!

The Hebrew word for ‘good’ is the primary verb טוֹב  to – Strong’s H2895 and carries the meaning, pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well, and in a practical sense can carry the understanding of being ‘functional’, according the good and functional design of our Creator, by walking in His commands!

 

Seek right-ruling:

The Hebrew word used for ‘seek’ is  דָּרַשׁ  darash – Strong’s H1875 means, to resort to, seek out, ask, avenge, consult, investigate, search carefully, make inquiry, question. Now we see that this word carries more than simply just to take a quick peek, but rather emphasises the need to be digging deep in seeking out carefully and with great diligence, through consultation, and asking. When we are told to ‘seek’ first the Kingdom – we must recognise that this is not an instruction that gives the notion that you look at it and now that you have seen it you can go on your merry way – NO! To seek His Kingdom requires hard work and discipline each and every day. Here we are being clearly instructed to ‘seekיהוה and His strength. We need to ‘seek’ Him and this implies an inquiry after knowledge, advice, and insight into any situation or circumstance we find ourselves in.

A word that is derived from דָּרַשׁ  darash is מִדְרָשׁ  miḏrash – Strong’s H4097 means, a study, record, writings or story, commentary. A ‘midrash’ speaks of the ability to search out something and often refers to that which is written to teach, and later became known as a Hebrew word relating to the in-depth study of the word, often done together. The point is that we are to be a people who are earnestly growing in wisdom and understanding of the Scriptures so we can remember what we look like when we look intently into the mirror of His Word!

Ěḵah/Lamentations 3:25 “יהוה is good to those waiting for Him, to the being who seeks Him.

The Hebrew word used for ‘right-ruling’ is מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 – judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us

There is only One who gives us the Law by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him we must DO!!!

 

Reprove the oppressor:

The Hebrew word used here for ‘reprove’ is אָשַׁר  ashar – Strong’s H833 meaning, to go straight, go on, advance, blessed, and when written in the ‘piel’ form can carry the meaning, to go straight, lead on, set straight, righten, correct and reprove.

The Hebrew word for ‘oppressor’ is חָמוֹץ ḥamots – Strong’s H2541 which means, ruthless, oppressed, which comes from the primitive root verb חָמֵץ ḥamets – Strong’s H2556 – which means, ‘to be sour or leavened, or that which is leavened’.

In other words we are to set straight and correct that which has been leavened through sin and falsehood, and remove the leaven of sin from our midst!

 

Defend the fatherless:

The Hebrew word used here for ‘defend’  is שָׁפַט  shaphat – Strong’s H8199 meaning, judge, to judge, to govern, rule, ruler, execute judgement.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘fatherless’ is יָתוֹם yathom – Strong’s H3490 which means, fatherless, orphan.

The commands is very clear – act as a proper law-giver and judge for those who do not have a father to do so! Help the fatherless to have proper government of Torah exercised in their lives and be the one to rule them and judges them as a father, who is head of the home, would!

 

Plead for the widow:

The Hebrew word used here for ‘plead’ is רִיב ri – Strong’s H7378 meaning, to strive, contend, argue, complain, find fault, quarrel, and in the tense that it is written in it also carries the understanding/meaning of conducting a legal case or lawsuit.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘widow’ is אַלְמָנָה almanah – Strong’s H490 which means, widow, desolate house, desolate place, and comes from the word אַלְמָן alman – Strong’s H488 which means, forsaken, widowed, which comes from the root verb אָלַם alam – Strong’s H481 meaning, put to silence, to bind, become speechless.

What is clear here is the need to restore doing what is good and right in יהוה’s eyes is to strive and contend for those who have been forsaken and put to silence as they have no authoritive voice that is able to speak and contend on their behalf!

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:27 “Clean and undefiled religion before the Elohim and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 7:5-7 “For if you truly make your ways and your deeds good, if you truly do right-ruling between a man and his neighbour, 6 if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other mighty ones to your own evil, 7 then I shall let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.

The orphan, generally associated with the sojourner and the widow, is the object of special concern. The quality of one’s devotion is measured by how one treats the widow and the orphan. Justice is especially due to them:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 24:17Do not twist the right-ruling of a stranger or the fatherless, nor take the garment of a widow.

Often the stranger, fatherless, widow or poor were overlooked and neglected and rulings were made that excluded them from receiving a fair right-ruling and such ‘twisting’ of the Torah is sin! Many will try to ‘twist’ the Word to suite themselves and as a result they do not recognise that it is to their own destruction. The Torah makes it very clear that there is only One Torah for all and it applies to all and no partiality can be made, lest the rich end up oppressing the poor and needy through twisting right-ruling and giving them no ability to be rightly defended by the Truth!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 24:19-21 “When you reap your harvest in your field, and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, do not go back to get it. Let it be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow, so that יהוה your Elohim might bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 “When you beat your olive trees, do not examine the branch behind you. Let it be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 21 “When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean behind you. Let it be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

Here in these 3 verses we see that provision is clearly made for the stranger, fatherless and widow. Once barley was harvested or olives and grapes were gathered, the farmer was not permitted to go back and glean over his fields again but was to leave it for the needy of the land and this would in fact be a further provision for them that worked on your land, remembering that we are not slaves anymore but take care of each other in all we do. The fatherless, stranger and widow that worked in the filed would also have ‘payment’ from the filed so to speak and this shows יהוה’s clear provision for all, with the clear instruction that would guard against the sin of greed and lust!

Bo’az kept this command and in fact made a special effort to go beyond this command by purposefully bundling a leaving for Ruth much to glean; and we see that because of this we see how Ruth and Na’omi was provided for:

Ruth 2:16 “Rather, draw out from the bundles for her, and leave it for her to glean, and do not restrain her.

This gleaning of the field and not going back over it again for self is a picture of the true testing of one’s heart towards those in your midst that do not have. And we can even recognise the principle of how when we make much available for others that much will be given back as Elohim blesses the work of your hands!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 9:6-8And this: He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly, and he who sows on blessing shall also reap on blessing. 7 Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not of grief or of necessity, for Elohim loves a joyous giver. 8 And Elohim is able to make all favour overflow toward you, that you, always having all you need in every way, have plenty for every good work.

Yoḥanan Aleph/ 1 John 3:16-18By this we have known love, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his tender affections from him, how does the love of Elohim stay in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

We are able and called to do as commanded here as we remember that we were slaves and have been bought at a price and recognise that Messiah laid down His life for us, showing us that we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and be earnest in our caring for one another. Having the poor and needy among us always gives us the opportunity to express true love and obedience to His Torah as we do not neglect the stranger, the fatherless or the widow in our midst.

Taking care of the widows and orphans is a clear command and blessings come as a result of walking in obedience to this command. In the literal sense, when there is a widow or orphan among us who is not properly cared for and they cry out against us, we may suffer the consequence of our families becoming fatherless.

Metaphorically, in the spiritual sense, if husbands forsake their responsibilities in their own homes toward their wives and children, they are indeed making them spiritual widows and orphans, and when they cry out against the injustice, יהוה’s anger will burn against us. The Word makes it very clear that lives will be taken for any acts of injustice against widows and orphans, and harshness against the poor will lead to poverty in our own lives. This is a very sobering thought that we ought to carefully consider as it is very clear as we go through these right-rulings that how we treat our families and those around us affects our very lives.

There are sadly far too many widows and orphans in our midst today, even though the husband or father may be physically still alive – spiritually he is dead and absent, and we as community are to take care of those spiritual widows and orphans too, while doing our utmost to get the husband and father to take up his mandated role as designated by יהוה.

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘widow’ is χήρα chēra – Strong’s G5503 and we see Sha’ul giving Timotiyos some very clear and detailed instructions in regards to widows and the called for care for true widows as seen in:

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 5:3-16 “Respect widows who are truly widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to treat their own house reverently, and to repay their parents. For this is good and acceptable before Elohim. 5 And she who is truly a widow, and left alone, trusts in Elohim and continues in petitions and prayers night and day. 6 But she who is living in luxury is dead while she lives. 7 And command these matters, in order for them to be blameless. 8 And if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the belief and is worse than an unbeliever. 9 Do not enrol a widow unless she is over sixty years of age, having been the wife of one man, 10 well reported for good works, if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the feet of the set-apart ones, if she has assisted the afflicted, if she has closely followed every good work. 11 But refuse the younger widows, for when they become headstrong against the Messiah, they desire to marry, 12 having guilt because they set aside their first belief. 13 Moreover, they learn to be idle, going about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, speaking what is improper. 14 So I resolve that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, giving no occasion to the adversary for reviling. 15 For already some have turned aside after Satan. 16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let such assist them, and do not let the assembly be burdened, in order to assist those who are truly widows.

From our more in-depth look at the need to defend the fatherless and plead for the widows we are able to recognise how important it is for us, as a functioning body of Messiah, to be properly aware of the expected responsibilities the body has toward those who do not have the ability to defend or plead for themselves as they lack the proper authoritive role in the home that is supposed to be governed by the Torah of Elohim, and true widows and orphans do not, nor are they designed to, have the capacity to be the authoritive figure in the home, for which the command is clear – make sure that widows and orphans are judged  and governed rightly and that they are given assistance in having their voices heard in order for their needs to be met so that they too can function, not as forsaken, but as true loved ones of the Most High!

Here we come to verse 18, a verse that is taking often out of context and misunderstood as is used as a stand-alone verse without that which follows! Come and let us reason together – Though your sins are like scarlet – they will be white as snow.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘let us reason together’ is וְנִוָּכְחָה venivaḵeḥah’ and comes from the root word יָכַחyaḵaḥ’ – Strong’s H3198 which means ‘to decide, prove, judge or correct’ and in effect what יהוה is saying here to a sinful nation, “Come let Me prove to you… that you will be cleaned up… if you …

Here He is using court like language that has been addressing the guilty to seek judgement and right-ruling, as is submitting His case here as if on trial and proceeds to show them on what principles they may be pardoned! So many love this verse on its own but do not proceed to the next and do not understand the seriousness of stain of sin and lawlessness! The word for ‘scarlet’ is שָׁנִיshani’ – Strong’s H8144 and is a bright red colour and vivid dye that is obtained from the crushed body of an insect (worm) that attaches itself to the leaves and twigs of the oak/terebinth tree, lays eggs on it, puts a sack of red juice around the eggs to protect them, then dies, having emptied itself out for them--a wonderful picture of יהושע. Scarlet speaks of sacrifice and typifies Messiah in His sufferings and His giving of Himself to be crushed for our iniquities. But what is also important to note is that it is impossible to get the stain of this scarlet out of linen – impossible for man that is – no amount of scrubbing and washing or bleaching can actually take this red worm substance dye out of clothing and materials!

So as we read Tehillah/Psalm 51 at the beginning, we see that Dawiḏ understood this and here יהוה was telling Yehuḏah that they were so stained, yet they will be made white – what a wonderful promise. Looking back at verse 15 we see that they were so stained as their hands were full of blood – their worship had become unacceptable because of their bloodguiltiness on their hands – their works were not pure – the command to be cleansed and cease from evil comes with this invitation to be made clean as he proved to them their bloodguilt, and as impossible as it may be to get the stain of blood out – יהוה would make their garments pure and shining white through His own Blood!!!

Ḥazon/Revelation 7:14 “And I said to him, “Master, you know.” And he said to me, “These are those coming out of the great distress, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Our sin is guilty of His bloodshed – the works of our hands are stained with the blood guilt of His sacrifice – and He through His Blood removes the stain from us. What is interesting to note is that this word, שָׁנִיshani’, is used 42 times in the Scriptures – a very significant number for us indeed! As you will remember that there were 42 stops in the Wilderness journey from leaving Mitsrayim to entering in to the Promised Land and so we see that His Blood they was poured out at Pěsaḥ as the Lamb that was slain has our ‘wilderness journey’ covered that we may be made white and ready to enter in to His Promises as a Bride prepared! And it is in this wilderness journey where we learn to hear His voice with great care and attention!

What is often forgotten when given this verse by is what follows – He will makes us white as snow - but what are we, who have been proven guilty, to do?

Verse 19-20 makes it clear – eat or be eaten!

If you submit and obey, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword, for the mouth of יהוה has spoken.

The Hebrew word used for ‘eat’ and ‘devoured’ is the same word - אָכַל aḵal – H398 and means ‘eat, consume, devour or be devoured’.  So in essence what is being declared here is simply this: if you submit and obey you will eat and enjoy the good of the land – if you rebel and refuse to submit and obey you will be eaten by the sword – that is His Word that will consume you up and devour you in judgement according to His righteous right ruling! We have a choice – eat His Word and walk in Him and be satisfied or eat all the junk that is on offer and neglect His Word and be eaten by the very Word that is rejected. It is not a difficult concept to grasp – the question remains – how is your diet, and more importantly – what is filling you? Eat right and live or live wrong and be eaten:

Ḥazon/Revelation 19:15 “And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations. And He shall shepherd them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Ěl Shaddai.

Ḥazon/Revelation 19:21 “And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Verse 21-25 makes the picture very clear – Yehuḏah had become a nation of whoring and murder and their silver had become dross and wine was mixed with water and as a result rulers were corrupt and the fatherless and widows were neglected having nobody to speak for them and יהוה makes it clear that He will bring about a refining and remove the dross and all alloy:

In light of what we have been going through in our weekly torah portions on the tabernacle and its furnishings we came to understand the symbolic picture of silver – it speaks of redemption as well as the purity of His Word refined 7 times, and what is interesting to know is that pure silver does not tarnish! Silver that you see today is mixed with another metal to form an alloy and may consist of up to 92.5% silver with the rest being made up of another metal to bring durability and hardness into the product, which causes the silver to tarnish and needs to be maintained through regular cleaning and polishing. Well that is exactly what has happened with the Word that is being presented by the church as well as in rabbinic Judaism  - it has been made into an alloy through the addition of foreign substances such as man-made dogmas, doctrines and traditions and is no longer pure – and as a result that which is being erroneously presented as truth needs to be continuously maintained and kept shining in its appearance of worship through programmes and systems and structures that are in no way close to reflecting the service of the Tabernacle and יהוה says he is going to remove all alloys!!! His message has been made dirty and the false ‘grace’ message has made it ‘cheap’; and so we also see the mixed wine with water is a picture too of watering down the Word and with both of these analogies together we see that what has happened is that His redemption message has been tarnished and His Pěsaḥ/Passover has been watered down and so the Church has presented a falsified system of worship that has taken up the form of pagan rituals – and it is time for all to hear and listen and carefully consider as יהוה clearly proves through His refining Word that they are indeed worshipping in a foreign manner.

Verse 26 – States that he will give back the judges and counsellors – He is restoring the Authority of His Word and His Kingdom to a people of His Kingdom and so shall His obedient Bride be ransomed and return – through His right-ruling and righteousness and those who forsake יהוה and His commands shall be consumed!

In verse 29-30 it is clear that the guilty will be ashamed of their pagan worship. The mentions of terebinth trees and gardens that they had chosen is a picture of that which they chose to engage themselves in through the following of pagan practices on the high places and under the terebinth trees that were often symbolic of fertility rites and worship.

It was under a terebinth tree where יהוה met with Aḇraham and it was also under the terebinth tree where Ya’aqoḇ buried the idols, and that which their forefathers had shown them was quickly forgotten as they strayed from the Covenant and dug up idol worship and as a result their leaves where they thought they would find shade under would fade and they would be exposed to the heat of the displeasure of יהוה, yet those who mediate day and night on His Torah will be like  a tree planted by the waters and their leaf will not fade when the heat comes!!!

The heart of this message is simple – Let us walk right and keep His commands – as the stain of our sin is before Him and He is proven right in His words – let us cleanse ourselves from all unrighteousness and allow His Word to cleanse us and make us white as snow and then may we be attentive with our ears to hear, guard and do all He commands us to as we walk in righteousness, keeping our linen white – for fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones!

As we, His Bride, make ourselves ready with His garments of righteousness through hearing attentively, and being fully focused on Him may we be likened to the noble woman rather than the apostate whore.

Come now – and let us reason together – declares יהוה – are you hearing His voice – are you paying attention – are you obedient to His Word – are you submitting and obeying? If so then keep on and shine His light and you shall eat the good of the land, but if not then hear this clear warning to get rid of the dross and alloy worship or you will be eaten by the Word. He desires truth in the inward parts – let us seek them out and with joy walk in His Truth. The foundation has been laid and we must be set-apart – which ‘Sarah’ are you?

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 3:11-17 “For no one is able to lay any other foundation except that which is laid, which is יהושע Messiah. 12 And if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work shall be revealed, for the day shall show it up, because it is revealed by fire. And the fire shall prove the work of each one, what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work remains, which he has built on, he shall receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, but so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are a Dwelling Place of Elohim and that the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys the Dwelling Place of Elohim, Elohim shall destroy him. For the Dwelling Place of Elohim is set-apart, which you are.

Shalom!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to and give you shalom!