RISING EARLY TO DILIGENTLY SEEK ELOHIM!

21st of the 11th month 2016/2017

Shalom all,

Tehillah/Psalm 63:1 “A psalm of Dawiḏ when he was in the wilderness of Yehuḏah. O Elohim, You are my Ěl; I earnestly seek You; my being has thirsted for You; my flesh has longed for You In a dry and thirsty land without water.

The background for this Tehillah/Psalm 63 is as follows: It is set during the time when king Dawiḏ had fled Yerushalayim into the Wilderness of Yehuḏah while escaping the wickedness and rebellion of his own son Aḇshalom who was seeking to kill him and take over the reign if Yisra’ĕl. And so, what we have here is a man who was facing some very tough times – as his own son had turned on him and one of his closest counsellors, Aḥithophel, had also turned against Dawiḏ and had joined up with Aḇshalom’s revolt. Dawiḏ’s once closest friend and colleague had now turned on him and here we see him dwelling in the Wilderness at a pretty low point in his life, both physically and emotionally speaking, yet through this Tehillah/Psalm63 we are given some great clues to the character that this lovingly committed servant of Elohim had displayed under immense pressure and affliction, as he clearly showed the continual confidence that he had in Elohim, whose Name is יהוה and is worthy of all praise! Right throughout the psalms of Dawiḏ we see him continually reiterating how sure was he was of the very near and faithful the protection of Elohim that was over him:

In Tehillim/Psalm 41 we can see how he declares his anguish over the sad betrayal of Aḥithophel, who was a very close friend:

Tehillim/Psalm 41:9 “Even my own friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.We take note how these words are very similar words that יהושע used, as recorded in Yoḥanan/John 13:18, after he had washed His disciples feet. He was speaking of Yehuḏah from Qerioth (Judas Iscariot) as He also said that Scripture might be filled: He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.Aḥithophel is a ‘type’ or shadow picture of Yehuḏah from Qerioth (Judas), as being a close one who would betray the king! Dawiḏ was betrayed by one of his closest companions!!! Have you ever been betrayed by someone whom you trusted with your all? Despite being betrayed, Dawiḏ declares confidence in יהוה. In Tehillim/Psalm 3 & 4 we can see Dawiḏ’s cry coming before Elohim, morning and night, while he was fleeing his enemies and he continually declared his complete trust in יהוה. When you have faced trying times and great distress have you found that you too are like Dawiḏ as you cry out to Elohim and place complete trust in Him or do you find that you tend to forget to do so and neglect the need to be diligently seeking Elohim with your all? In Tehillim/Psalm 55 Dawiḏ pours out his burdens upon יהוה and openly declares his feelings of panic and how he longed to escape the turmoil of his life and speaks of his grief over those who had once been very close to him and had betrayed him; yet despite this he cast his burdens upon יהוה and found relief.

Here in Tehillim/Psalm 63 we can see that much of Yerushalayim was ‘lost’, so to speak; and while many were totally ‘lost’ we know that יהוה was not and He never is as He can always be found! In fact He is often found by those who are earnestly seeking Him, whilst in the ‘wilderness moments’ of their lives!

Dawiḏ was now in the Wilderness – he was in rough terrain – it was not easy and there were certainly no comfort zones to fall back in to. There was no ‘buildings’ in the Wilderness; however Dawiḏ remembered the ‘Set-Apart Place’ where he would intimately worship יהוה. Dawiḏ’s soul was craving worship and intimacy with Elohim – his whole being was thirsty for it. Let me ask you at this point: when you are facing some of life’s toughest trials, does your entire being thirst for the satisfying presence of יהוה, or is He the last thing on your mind?

Naturally his body was craving water, for without it he would certainly perish; yet if he had not been able to experience intimacy with יהוה in the Set-Apart Place then he felt that his soul would die! And it is here that we see that through the determined praise that was given unto יהוה that Dawiḏ embraced the very power and esteem of Elohim and began to truly remember the past worship experiences, which encouraged him and was the beginning of the satisfaction and renewal of his very thirsty soul! Let me ask you – what are you thirsting for? What or who are you trusting and finding your satisfaction in? If it is not יהוה then you will never be satisfied!

Are you earnestly seeking יהוה? Can you truly declare that יהוה is your Elohim? Does your entire being truly thirst for Him and does your flesh long for Him or are you often trying to satisfy your flesh through the world’s ways?

Do you too have a vision of יהוה in the Set-Apart Place? Do you not know that you are the temple of the Set-Apart Spirit? Do you recognise, like Dawiḏ, that the Loving-Commitment of יהוה is better than life itself? Do your lips praise Him? I certainly hope so and therefore call upon you to praise Him for His Name’s sake – it is all about His Name – He gives you your very existence, for the One who causes to be causes you to be – praise יהוה, aměn!

These are just a few questions that we all need to ask ourselves from time to time, as we look into the mirror of the Word and look intently at the character that is wonderfully displayed by a man after Elohim’s heart!

Dawiḏ starts off by declaring that Elohim was His Elohim and he then declares that He earnestly seeks יהוה!

“I earnestly seek You!” Can you honestly declare this? Do you earnestly seek יהוה or is your seeking often short lived due to many pressures that distract and choke out the Word of Life from your being? Bearing in mind that Dawiḏ was going through one of the toughest times of his life – and he declared that he was earnestly seeking יהוה!

We can learn some vital lessons from this beloved king who earnestly sought יהוה at all times, and more importantly – how he earnestly sought יהוה while facing the darkest and toughest times of his life! Dawiḏ’s pattern or example of seeking יהוה ought to give us a clear lesson in our need to make sure that we put יהוה first in everything and not waste any time in doing so!

Having briefly summarised the background of the circumstances surrounding Dawiḏ’s life at the time of this Tehillah/Psalm 63, I want to take a closer look at what the action of earnestly seeking is able to teach us and so, in a message called, ‘RISING EARLY TO DILIGENTLY SEEK ELOHIM!’, I want to dig a little into the Hebrew root verb that is used here and take a look at a couple of words associated with the concept of seeking early!

The phrase: ‘I earnestly seek you’, is written in the Hebrew as follows: אֲשַׁחֲרֶךָּashaḥareḵa which comes from the root verb שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7836 which means to long for, diligently seek, strongly desire something with a focus on a relationship with that which you seekand this is an intensive verb which denotes that is requires exceeding effort. From this root verb שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7836 we get the noun שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7837 which means, at dawn, early, daybreak, morning.

Therefore, it is safe to say that what Dawiḏ was actually declaring here was the following: “I rise early to diligently seek you”. The LXX (Septuagint) translates this as ‘I rise early for you. What we have here is the picture of ‘seeking early’ as having the connotation of a seeking that was being done with great diligence: I am seeking you really diligently – and not being done with half measures!!! And this he would do ‘early’, while it was still dark, at the breaking of dawn!!!

How many of you can say that? Most of the time the majority of people cannot even get out of bed early on a good day! What about when you are in a tight spot, when things are all messed up and your circumstances look dismal?

In today’s fast paced world we see that sadly, for most, getting up early to seek יהוה is not even a consideration!

As we take a look at some of the uses of these two words – both the verb and the noun – we are able to see how important it is for us to be making sure that we are seeking Elohim with our all and putting Him first in all!

The concept of rising early to earnestly and diligently seek Him clearly implies that the one who does so puts Elohim first and does not let the things of the world or the worries of this life get in the way of focusing on the Truth and fixing their eyes on our Master and His Torah that lights our way! Our earnest seeking of Elohim is an active expression of our love that continually seeks to guard His commands by meditating upon them day and night and making sure not to turn to the left or to the right but keep one’s walk upright and straight!

This root verb שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7836 is used in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8:17I love those who love me, and those who earnestly seek me do find me.

This verb is written in the ‘piel’ verb tense which usually expresses an intensive or intentional action and in this tense it does not just mean ‘seek’ but rather ‘seek early’, which metaphorically speaking teaches us that it is not a kind of seeking that gets delayed and is only done when one gets a chance to do so, but rather expresses the urgency in seeking immediately and with great intensity and diligence!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘and those who earnestly seek me’ is וּמְשַׁחֲרַי umeshaḥaraywhich comes from the root words: 1) - שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7836 and 2) - אֲנִי ani – Strong’s H589 which means, me, I, alone, myselfand is written in the first person singular, usually for emphasis.

The root word for ‘love’ in Hebrew is אָהֵב aheḇ - Strong’s H157 meaning, to love, show your love and is an expression of choice in action rather than just an emotional feeling!

He loves those who love Him – and a major part of loving Him is ‘seeking’ Him; because to love Him is to do what He has instructed us to, so how will we know how to love Him if we do not seek out what His instructions are???

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3-4 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, 4 because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our belief.

When we ‘love’ wisdom and guard her and never forsake here, then wisdom will ‘watch over us’, as we are told in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:6 “Do not leave her, and let her guard you; love her, and let her watch over you.

Dawiḏ understood this as he knew that in his earnest seeking of Elohim that Elohim would not leave him but would guard him, love him and watch over him!

As we walk in the Torah of Elohim and guard to do all that He has commanded us to do then we actively express our love for Him and in doing so we also show how earnestly we are seeking after Him, as we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the reign of Elohim, and His righteousness, and all these matters shall be added to you.

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. As we earnestly seek Elohim we recognise how important His disciplining us is in causing us to grow and mature in His Word, as He is a loving Father who seeks us with discipline!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:24He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him, seeks him with discipline.

The root word that is translated here as ‘seeks’ is שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7836 which, as already mentioned, also carries the meaning of, seeks early; and this teaches us the clear concept of a diligent father who begins ‘early’ to bring his son up with discipline. Discipline starts at the earliest age! If a father waits too long then discipline will become harder to enforce, which may cause his son to depart from the ways that he ought to follow, due to a lack of early discipline!

Mishlĕ/Proversb22:6Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he turns not away from it.

A true loving father begins early, in diligently disciplining his son in the way he should go; and in recognising this we too must take note that anyone who comes to the belief in Messiah, will begin to experience the discipline of the Father straight away, which may not be very pleasant at the time yet is very necessary for the fruit of righteousness to be brought forth. Sadly this is neglected by many today as they think that they must ‘give people time’, so to speak, in order to take all the time they need to embrace what they believe! When one begins to follow the Master, the disciplining must begin as soon as possible, if not immediately, and must be received and not rejected, for then the assurance that we are His sons will be understood and embraced, causing us to love Him through our ardent and willing obedience in guarding His commands and earnestly seeking Him!!!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:27He who earnestly seeks good, seeks what is pleasing; but to him who seeks evil, it comes to him.

Once again we take note that the Hebrew root word used here for ‘earnestly seeks’ is שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7836 and we take note that the one who seeks good seeks what is pleasing! Let us break this proverb down a little here: The message is clear – if you are earnestly seeking what is good then you are seeking that which is pleasing!

The Hebrew word that is used for the 2ndseeks’ in this verse 27, as in ‘seeks what is pleasing’ is בָּקַשׁ  baqash – Strong’s H1245 which means, to seek, aim, search, look, inquire, and it is written in the ‘piel’ form which expresses an intensive or intentional action and could therefore be expressed as, seek earnestly or seek the face, seek to find, demand, desire, ask, and this kind of ‘seeking’ is an intense seeking with a purpose!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘good’ is טוֹב to – Strong’s H2896 and carries the meaning, pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well, and comes from the primary verb טוֹב to – Strong’s H2895 and carries the meaning, pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well.  

In the true understanding of this word   טוֹב to we can see that it may best be translated in most cases as ‘functional’, for when יהוה said in Berěshith/Genesis 1:31 that when He saw all that He had made, that He said it was very good. What He saw was His creation functioning properly and working the way it should and this is why it was ‘good’.

When something is working properly we might say today something like, ‘working like a well-oiled machine’, when speaking of that which is functioning the way it should and the way it was designed to. So טוֹב to in the true sense of the word, expresses the idea that something is ‘good’ when it is fulfilling the action for which a person or thing is specifically fitted or used, or for which something exists. In other words it refers to something that functions within its intended purpose!

The opposite of טוֹב to (good) is ‘evil’, which in Hebrew is the word, רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 meaning, bad, evil, wicked, harmful’.  The tree of knowledge in the garden was of טוֹב to (good) and רַע ra (evil)!

Just as we understand that טוֹב  to represents that which is ‘functional’, we can then see that רַע ra represents that which is ‘dysfunctional’, which simply put speaks of that which reveals and abnormal and unhealthy lifestyle that is not functioning as it should.

We may often think something is good, yet if it is not ‘functional’ according to the plumb line of the Torah of יהוה, then we had best be careful to consider our steps in order to be on guard against seeking that which is evil and dysfunctional and can cause harm!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘pleasing’ in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:27 comes from the root word רָצוֹן ratson – Strong’s H7522 which means, goodwill, favour, acceptance, desired, well-pleased, and comes from the primitive root verb רָצָה ratsah – Strong’s H7521 which means, to be pleased with, accept favourably.

Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.

The Greek word used here for ‘well-pleasing’ is εὐάρεστος euarestos – Strong’s G2101 which means, acceptable, pleasing, well-pleasing.

Romiyim/Romans 14:17-18 “For the reign of Elohim is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Set-apart Spirit. 18 For he who is serving Messiah in these matters is well-pleasing to Elohim and approved by men.

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8-10 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth – 10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Master.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:20-21And the Elohim of peace who brought up our Master יהושע from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you perfect in every good work to do His desire, working in you what is pleasing in His sight, through יהושע Messiah, to whom be esteem forever and ever. Aměn.

The reason for highlighting these verses is to simply show a few passages of Scripture that make it very clear how the righteous know what is pleasing to the Master; as we take note that when we walk in righteousness and guard to do all He has commanded us to, we then find that pleasing Him becomes a very joyous and pleasing thing to do!

Rising early to seek’ what is pleasing and greatly desired in a continued functional process that takes place in the daily life of a true set-apart believer who is being built up as a Living Stone in the Master!

As mentioned, the noun that is derived from the verb שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7836 is שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7837 which means, at dawn, early, daybreak, morning and is used in the following verse:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 8:20 “To the Torah and to the witness! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because they have no daybreak.

In the above verse from Yeshayahu/Isaiah 8 the noun שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7837 is translated as ‘daybreak’.

This chapter 8 of Yeshayahu/Isaiah carries a severe rebuke and woe to a rebellious people who refused to listen to the Word of Elohim and preferred ear tickling messages of falsehood from anywhere else but from the Truth. Many were proclaiming various false prophesies as conspiracies and causing some to becomes threatened and afraid of the conspiracies that were being stirred up among a rebellious people. Yeshayahu is clearly instructed to not call a conspiracy what the people were calling a conspiracy but rather that יהוה is the one to be feared, not conspiracies, and that His Word is to be that which is declared and heard. Yeshayahu is instructed to bind up the witness and seal the Torah among the taught ones of Elohim, highlighting the clear fact that true taught ones of the Master have the Truth bound upon their lives in order to hear, guard and do His Word and are not affected by what the world calls conspiracies and are certainly not threatened by so called conspiracies of man but are rooted in the Truth of the Word of Elohim, as they earnestly seek Him, rising early and putting יהוה first and above all!

In declaring, ‘To the Torah and the witness’, we are able to see how יהוה was making it very clear that He has already spoken through His Word and no vain threats and false conspiracies of man can change His Truth. It is through His Word (The Torah and the Witness) that we are able to test any prophecy or teaching or instruction, in order to validate its authenticity and be able to distinguish between the set-apart and the profane! So many today get caught up with all kinds of conspiracies and look for new revelations within man-made conspiracies and words of falsehood, when what they should be doing is earnestly seeking יהוה in His Word that He has already given! The message that is being made clear here in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 8:20 is that if those who are speaking conspiracies are not speaking according to the Torah and the witness are not speaking according to the Truth and it is simply because they have no ‘daybreak’! In other words, the reason that people are speaking conspiracies and twisted falsehood that is not according to the Torah and witness of Elohim is because they are not earnestly seeking Him! By that I mean that they are not ‘rising early to diligently seek Elohim’! To make it plainer: they are not putting יהוה and His Torah and witness first!

Having ‘no daybreak’ also gives us the image of having ‘no light’, hence having no Truth, all because they speak not according to the Word of the Torah and witness of Elohim!

Having no daybreak or having no light implies that there is no true seeking of Elohim being done and despite many who claim to be rising early to seek Elohim, they are not seeking Him according to His Torah and witness but are seeking Him according to vain traditions and false theologies of man that seeks to nullify the Torah and witness of Elohim through falsehood and conspiracies that declare the Torah is no longer applicable!

Having no daybreak implies no earnest seeking of Elohim! What is worth taking note of is that Ya’aqoḇ wrestled until ‘daybreak’:

Berěshith/Genesis 32:24-26And Yaʽaqoḇ was left alone. And a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25 And when He saw that He did not overcome him, He touched the socket of his hip. And the socket of Yaʽaqoḇ’s hip was dislocated as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I am not letting You go until You have blessed me!

The Hebrew root word that is translated here as ‘day’ comes from the noun שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7837 which, as already mentioned, means, at dawn, early, daybreak, morning’. This picture of Ya’aqoḇ wrestling with Elohim until daybreak and not letting go until he was blessed by Elohim, highlights a powerful lesson for us on how we are to not let go of the Word of Elohim and hold fast until the blessing of the light of the Truth equips our path to walk in the Truth and lights our way out of darkness and distress!

Another passage where we see the noun שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7837 being used is in:

Tehillah/Psalm139:9 “I take the wings of the morning, I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea

Here the noun שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7837 is translated as ‘morning’. In this psalm Dawiḏ is making it clear that he cannot hide from Elohim and that no matter how dark darkness may be, Elohim makes it as light to him, and here in this verse he is expressing a clear parallel between the rising of the sun to the extreme opposite end, highlighting that if he were to go to the east where the sun rises or if he dwells in the west, to the uttermost parts of the sea or the unknown or abyss then he would not be hidden from Elohim! He is making it clear that wherever he would go he knew that יהוה would be there to lead him and to hold him.

The imagery of taking the wings of the morning, when understood by the Hebrew words that are used here, helps us understand another clear picture of the beloved ones of Elohim who earnestly seek Him and put Him first by clinging to His commands!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘wings’ is כָּנָף kanaph – Strong’s H3671 which means, ‘corners - an edge or extremity; a wing, (of a garment or bed clothing) a flap, (of the earth) uttermost part’, and we must be reminded that we are commanded to put ‘tsitsit’ on the wings of our garments in order to remember to guard His commands.

 

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 8:20 pictures for us those who are not truly seeking Elohim while Dawiḏ’s life continually reveals to us the clear picture of the beloved set-apart ones of Elohim that earnestly seek Elohim, by ‘rising early to diligently seek’ Him!

Those who do not ‘rise early’ are those who have fallen away from a called for set-apartness and Satan is the clear example of one who has fallen and has now caused many to be dragged down with him!

We take note that Lucifer is called ‘son of the morning’ in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 14:12 “How you have fallen from the heavens, O Hĕlĕl, son of the morning! You have been cut down to the ground, you who laid low the gentiles!

The Hebrew phrase that is translated as ‘son of the morning’ is written as בֶּן־שָׁחַר ben- shaḥar and the Hebrew word הֵילֵל hĕlĕl – Strong’s H1966 means, shining one, star of the morning, light bearer and is translated by some as ‘Lucifer’.

Here this once magnificent ‘son of the morning’ had fallen because he sought to rise himself up above Elohim and be like the Most High:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 14:13-14 “For you have said in your heart, ‘Let me go up to the heavens, let me raise my throne above the stars of Ěl, and let me sit in the mount of meeting on the sides of the north; 14 let me go up above the heights of the clouds, let me be like the Most High.’

He had fallen because he did not rise early to seek Elohim but rose up to seek his own position of prominence and for that he was cast down!

Dawiḏ is one who earnestly sought Elohim as he rose early in the morning to put Elohim first and the Greek word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) in Tehillah/Psalm 63:1 for ‘earnestly seek’ is ὀρθρίζω orthrizō – Strong’s G3719 which means, to rise early, get early in the morningand comes from the word ὄρθρος orthros – Strong’s G3722 which means, daybreak, early dawn.

The word ὀρθρίζω orthrizō – Strong’s G3719 is only used once in the Renewed Writings (N.T.), in the following passage:

Luqas/Luke 21:37-38 “And He was teaching in the Set-apart Place by day, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain of Olives, 38 and early in the morning all the people came to Him in the Set-apart Place to hear Him.

The reason for me highlighting this is to show us a clear example in Scripture of those who earnestly sought our Master and Elohim by coming to Him early in the morning in order to hear Him!

By now I think that you may be getting the picture, as I am highlighting the clear picture of earnestly seeking Elohim early in the morning and while I have mentioned a few verses where the noun שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7837 is used, I want to now make mention of a few more verses where we find the primitive root verb שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7836 which I will remind you, means, to long for, diligently seek, strongly desire something with a focus on a relationship with that which you seek.

This root verb שָׁחַר shaḥar – Strong’s H7836 is used in:

Hoshěa/Hosea 5:15-6:1I shall go, I shall return to My place, until they confess their guilt and seek My face, in their distress diligently search for Me, and say, 6:1Come, and let us turn back to יהוה. For He has torn but He does heal us, He has stricken but He binds us up.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 26:9 “My being longs for You in the night, also, my spirit within me seeks You earnestly. For when Your right-rulings are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world shall learn righteousness.

Tehillah/Psalm 78:34 “When He slew them, then they sought Him, and they returned and did earnestly seek Ěl.

From the above three examples we take note how times of distress can often cause one to rise early and diligently seek Elohim, yet what we also must learn from these is that we should not wait for distress to hit before we earnestly seek Elohim, for our spirit should be earnestly seeking Him continually, as we rise up early and put Him first!

Many are rising up early, but not to seek Elohim as they are seeking the drunken ways of falsehood by seeking after the things of the flesh and are not walking according to the Spirit.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 5:11 “Woe to those who rise early in the morning pursuing strong drink, who stay up late at night – wine inflames them!

Here a severe woe is given to those who ‘rise early’ in the morning to pursue strong drink! The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘rise early’ is שָׁכַם shaḵam – Strong’s H7925 which means, to start or rise early, eager, persistently.

As one goes through Scripture we are also able to see that rising up early was a consistent thing that was done by the righteous, yet the wicked would also rise up early to do their abominable deeds and a severe woe is given to the drunkards who rise early to keep drinking, which is a picture of rising early to keep drinking of the cup of whoring and not rising early to seek יהוה and the blessing of walking in obedience to His Word.

We take note in Scripture that יהוה tells us that He sent His prophets rising early:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 7:25 “From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Mitsrayim until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 25:4 “Moreover, יהוה has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 26:5 “to listen to the words of My servants the prophets I am sending you, even rising up early and sending them – though you have not listened

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 29:19 “For they did not heed My words,’ declares יהוה, ‘which I sent to them by My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, yet you did not listen,’ declares יהוה.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 35:15 “And I sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, ‘Turn, each one from his evil way, and make good your deeds, and do not go after other mighty ones to serve them, and you shall dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.’ But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me.”

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 44:4 “And I sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, “Please do not do this abominable matter that I hate!

In the above verses that are taken from Yirmeyahu we take note that יהוה is the One who has sent His prophets ‘rising early’ in order to declare His loud voice, yet those who were supposed to hear turned away their ear and reckoned the blessing of the Word as a curse, which indeed it did turn out to be as the curse for disobedience is very clear in Scripture!

The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘strong drink’ in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 5:11 comes from the word שֵׁכָר sheḵar – Strong’s H7941 which means, intoxicating drink, liquor, string drink, which comes from the root verb שָׁכַר shaḵar – Strong’s H7937 which means, to be or become drunk, drunken, make yourself drunk.

To be intoxicated can also mean to be poisoned, and when walking according to the lusts of the flesh we can be in danger of being poisoned or drunk with power, greed, lust and coveting fleshly things.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:1Wine is a scoffer, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

A drunkard cannot exercise proper discernment nor be transformed to meditating soberly on the Truth, and herein lies a severe caution against drinking strong drink and becoming intoxicated, for then one’s works would be as useless as a vain proverb in the mouth of a fool!

While the understanding of ‘strong drink’ may be very clear on a literal level and therefore equips us to make sure that we remain sober and alert so that we can distinguish between the set-apart and the profane, we also take note of eth metaphor that ‘strong drink’ presents as it can also represent for us the maddening adulteries of the whore as we see how so many are pursuing the drunken teachings and ways of lawlessness and are earnestly seeking that which clouds their ability to see the Truth, revealing by their lawless actions that they are not rising early to diligently seek Elohim but are rising early to pursue falsehood and corrupted traditions that fuel the flesh and destroy the spirit!

As we consider the various passages that have been mentioned in this brief message, I ask you how your seeking of Elohim is going! Are you rising early to diligently seek Elohim in order to run in the way of His commands and delight to do His will and that which is pleasing to Him or have you found yourself being too lazy to rise up early and put Elohim first in all matters as you have preferred to seek the drunkenness of the fleshly matters that do not profit at all!

Perhaps you have faced much distress and times of intense battles that have certainly tested your belief and you may even be facing some uphill struggles right now. How are you seeking Elohim in all that you face and do? Are you seeking Elohim? We must be reminded by the clear Torah and witness of Elohim that His Word is Truth and will forever remain which must encourage the true called out set-apart, treasured possession of Elohim to be a people who are continually:

RISING EARLY TO DILIGENTLY SEEK ELOHIM!

Through our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, we have been given access to the Living Waters and therefore need never thirst but rather have the Living Waters of our Master becoming in us a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life and therefore be faithful ambassadors that can cause others to drink of the Living Waters of our Mighty Master and Elohim, for we who are in Him and stay in Him know that we are to be:

RISING EARLY TO DILIGENTLY SEEK ELOHIM!

If you are truly thirsty for righteousness and want to satisfy that thirst and be filled, then doing that first thing in rising early to diligently seek Him is the best way in being able to get the day going and have strength to endure the day!

Those who rise early to diligently seek Elohim do find Him and are well equipped in Him to run in the way of His commands and stand armed in the Truth, and after having done all… continue to stand!

Qolasim/Colossians 3:1-2 “If, then, you were raised with Messiah, seek the matters which are above, where Messiah is, seated at the right hand of Elohim. 2 Mind the matters above, not those on the earth.

The Greek word used for ‘seek’ is ζητέω zēteō – Strong’s G2212 and means, ‘to seek, inquire, try to obtain, strive after, to aim at, crave for, and to seek in order to find out by thinking, meditating and reasoning’. Pretty straight forward I would say! To seek takes diligent effort; and to seek His kingdom speaks of diligently seeking and meditating on Him and His instructions (Torah) – something we see lacking in a great way today!

The question remains, ‘what are you seeking?

Whatever you are seeking will take time and effort and what everyone needs to assess is whether they are seeking their own interests or whether they are seeking first the reign of Elohim and His righteousness!

True love for Elohim entails a faithful obedience of guarding and doing His commands:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:2-3By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands. 3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy

These words of Yoḥanan are very clear: Love for Elohim is to guard His commands, and then we take note of what Sha’ul tells us about love, in:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:5 “does not behave indecently, does not seek its own, is not provoked, reckons not the evil

The Greek word used here for ‘seek’ is ζητέω zēteō – Strong’s G2212 and the Greek word translated as ‘its own’ is ἑαυτοῦ heautou –Strong’s G1438 which means, himself, herself, own estimation.

What we see from this is that when we truly walk in love, and guard to do the commands of Elohim and live set-apart lives unto Him, we are not to be seeking our own ways or desires. We are not be spending our days meditating on what we ‘wish for’ and spend our time aimlessly trying to reason out in our minds how we can strive after the things that are not according to the desire of Elohim, but are simply fleshly desires that can often consume our thoughts and time! We are to meditate on and delight in the Torah of Elohim day and night – for then we will be prosperous in our way and be properly equipped in seeking the interests of others through a proper seeking first the reign of Elohim and His righteousness!

To seek takes diligent effort; and to seek His kingdom speaks of diligently seeking and meditating on Him and His instructions (Torah) – something we see lacking in a great way today!

I often think that the result of the proper seeking of Elohim that is lacking is as a result of a lack of a true understanding and knowledge of what pure and diligent seeking of Elohim means and what it actually involves on a continual basis!

As a result of not rising early to diligently seek Elohim as He should be, most are simply seeking their own interests and lack the ability to be sober and alert against the cup of whorings that the enemy presents through the delusion of lawlessness!

It is time for the true remnant bride of Messiah to wake up to soberness and be a people who are continually:

RISING EARLY TO DILIGENTLY SEEK ELOHIM!

Will you please be one of them?

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