THROW DOWN IDOLS AND THEN STAND AND FIGHT – O MIGHTY BRAVE ONE! - Judges 6

2nd of the 6th month 2017/2018

Shalom all,

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the belief, lay hold on everlasting life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession before many witnesses.

The Greek word that is translated here as the first word, ‘fight’, is ἀγωνίζομαι agōnizomai – Strong’s G75 and means, to contend for a prize, struggle, compete, labouring earnestly’.

In his first letter to Timotiyos, Sha’ul encouraged Timotiyos to flee all evil, pursue set-apartness and fight the good fight of the belief and be trustworthy to the end. These words are words that we too ought to be encouraged to hear and apply in our daily lives as we stay in the Master and run the race set before us with much endurance.

Our sojourning is certainly not an easy road yet we must labour intensely in the Word as we seek to take our stand of righteousness. The language that Sha’ul used here would be typically applied to athletes and soldiers in his day.

We get our English word ‘agonise’ from this Greek word ἀγωνίζομαι agōnizomai – Strong’s G75, which describes the actions of a person straining and giving their best to win the prize or the battle. It is used metaphorically to mean, ‘to contend or struggle, with difficulties and dangers’, or, ‘to endeavour with strenuous zeal’.

This word is translated as ‘strive’ in the following verse:

Luqas/Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, because many, I say to you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able.

When we consider the word for ‘fight/strive’, we must realise that this war of our belief/faith is not an easy one, yet our Master tells us very plainly that His yoke is easy and light, making our ability to stand firm in Him a sure rock solid one and therefore, after having done all, to still stand, we have the full assurance of His complete protection and provision for our daily lives. Fighting the good fight of the belief is to fight according to the rules – that is according to our Master’s rules - His Kingdom rules, which is His Torah and commands! We can only stand properly armed in the Truth when we ‘guard to do’ the Truth and not let our foot slip at all, by giving in to compromise when the battles of the flesh get hard to endure. We must stand firm in the Truth when the pressures of life get extremely tough and others around us are caving in to doing things according to their own ways, having no regard for the set-apartness that the Torah of Elohim prescribes!

Our Master tells us that in the world we will have pressure, yet we are to take courage for He has overcome the world (Yoḥanan/John 16:33)!

Our Master told us we would face a lot of trouble yet we can be confident in our stand in him who has overcome the world:

Yoḥanan/John 16:33These words I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you have pressure, but take courage, I have overcome the world.

The Greek word that is used here for ‘pressure’ is θλῖψις thlipsis – Strong’s G2347 which means, tribulation, pressure, affliction, distress, persecution, trouble and comes from the primitive verb θλίβω thlibō – Strong’s G2346 which means, to press or afflict, to distress, suffer affliction, and in the literal sense can mean, to squash, press, hem in, rub, harassed, and also can be understood as beingnarrow or hard pressed.

Master יהושע Messiah tells us in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter in through the narrow gate! Because the gate is wide – and the way is broad – that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter in through it. 14 “Because the gate is narrow and the way is hard pressed which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The words translated here as ‘hard pressed’ comes from the Greek word θλίβω thlibō, and the Greek word translated as ‘narrow’ is στενός stenos – Strong’s G4728 which means, narrow (space or passage) as a result of obstacles standing close about).

What becomes abundantly clear from Scripture is that in this world we will face many battles and when standing firm in the Master and walking in complete set-apartness, which is the narrow way, the pressures will be felt in a strong and crushing way yet we are called to take courage and be confident in the Master when facing pressures and battles!

Live righteously and you will face battles!!! Guard righteousness and you will face many battles! Possibly not the news that many like to hear but it is true and we must be up to the task of standing armed in the Torah of Elohim and endure!

Proper endurance in our Master entails our proper submission to walking in His Torah and compete, so to speak, according to His rules and instructions that He has clearly set forth in His Word’; and any failure to do this will result in one not receiving the promised crown of life to those who overcome! Endurance implies a sure suffering that needs to be faced, and we are clearly told in:

Timotiyos Bět /2 Timothy 3:12And indeed, all those wishing to live reverently in Messiah יהושע, shall be persecuted.

The Greek word translated as ‘reverently’ is εὐσεβῶς eusebōs – Strong’s G2153 meaning, reverently, piously, devout which expresses pure devotion and commitment to respect and honour that is to be given unto our Master and Elohim.

Whenever we face battles we need to be reminded of who our Commander is and be reminded that He has overcome the world and that He is the One who fights for us! Despite already knowing this we need to be constantly reminded of this, especially when facing battles on a daily basis!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘take courage’ in Yoḥanan/John 16:33 comes from the the verb θαρσέω tharseō – Strong’s G2293 which means, be of good courage, be of good comfort, be of good cheerand the encouragement that our Master gave His taught ones here was that they were to take courage amidst the pressure they would have in the world, for in Him they would have peace for He has overcome the world. These words are still very much alive and applicable to us today as it was for the taught ones back then!

It is written in the ‘imperative mood’ which could also be expressed as ‘take heart’ or ‘cheer up’ and is a word that is spoken by way of encouragement! When facing intense pressures, we need to be reminded to be of good courage and cheer up and not let pressures get us down!

While this need to be reminded to take courage and stand firm in the Truth is extremely important, we must also recognise that in order to be able to stand upright and keep our stand secure in the Master, we must make sure that we have thrown off all that can hinder one’s set-apart stand! Many today find that their ability to stand and overcome intense battles being greatly weakened, simply because they fail to destroy those things that steal away their ability to live uncompromised lives, as the idols of false worship have not been completely torn down and destroyed!

Many are struggling to keep their stand in the Master secure as they continue to hold fast to, and serve, vain traditions of man that have been taught as teachings that have clearly cast aside the need to submit to and obey the Torah of Elohim! Often the peer pressures from others who do not walk in obedience to the Word, have a crippling effect on those who lack the courage to take a firm stand in the Truth and as a result they fall away to compromise and find themselves slipping away in despair as they conform to profane standards that are abominable in the eyes of יהוה.

The false traditions that have been handed down through family lines can also be a huge stumbling block to those who fail to take a firm stand in the Truth, as they fear the conflict that any necessary confirmation may bring.

In a message called, ‘THROW DOWN IDOLS AND THEN STAND AND FIGHT – O MIGHTY BRAVE ONE!’ I would like to encourage you to do exactly that and in order for us to understand the necessity of throwing down that which is false, I would like us to look at the example we have in Scripture, of a mighty brave man of Elohim who stood up and did what was required in order to face the battles that יהוה would fight for him. This man is Giḏ‛on and for the purposes of this message I will take a brief look at some of the events that are recorded in Shophetim/Judges 6 (read).

In this chapter, we are given the account of how a backsliding and corrupt Yisra’ĕl had been given in to the hands of Miḏyan and were being oppressed for 7 years after which Elohim calls a farmer from a small clan within the tribe of Menashsheh to stand up and be a deliverer!

As one goes through the book of Shophetim/Judges we see various cycles of how Yisra’ěl fell away from following the commands of Elohim and were given over to their enemies, and after having been brought low and then cried out to יהוה for help, He would raise up a deliverer for them and then there would be a period of peace, after which they would resort to following the ways of the nations and backslid into whoring away from serving יהוה. The last verse in the book of Shophetim/Judges we see that everyone did what was right in their own eyes as there was no sovereign. Yisra’ěl had a Sovereign – יהוה! Yet they refused to submit to walking in His clear instructions and commands and as a result they rejected His authority by doing whatever each one decided was right in their own eyes. This is a very sad statement that highlights a similar picture of what we see happening today! Many are doing whatever is right in their own eyes and by doing so they do not have a Sovereign/King, for their actions/works of lawlessness reveal that they reject the authority of our Master, Elohim and King, יהושע Messiah, and choose to do whatever they deem to be right in their own eyes while erroneously claiming that they have a Sovereign/King!

In this Chapter 6 of Shophetim/Judges we see that it begins by telling us that the children of Yisra’ěl did evil in the eyes of יהוה. The previous chapter ends with telling us how the land of Yisra’ěl had rest for 40 years and this was during the time of Deḇorah when יהוה delivered Yisra’el from the hand of the Kenaʽanites. After 40 years of peace and safety Yisra’ěl fell away from following יהוה and as a result He gave them into the hand of Miḏyan for seven years!

Picture the scene for a moment – after having had 40 years of peace compromise had clearly set in and people started doing whatever was right in their own eyes and had lost their first love, so to speak, and as a result they were given into the hands of their enemies, as a rebuke and discipline for their depravity!

The Hand of Miḏyan was very strong against Yisra’ěl and for 7 years the Miḏyanites, Amalěq and the people of the east would come up against them and destroy their crops!

Being given in to hand of their enemies for 7 years is a picture of being totally over to their own depravity, leaving no peace in the land but only fear and strife and panic!

Miḏyanמִדְיָן - Strong’s H4080 means, quarrelsome, strife and what we can see here is a picture of being given completely over to strife and contentions, which is the total opposite of having peace! The pressure of the Miḏyanites and the Amalěqites and the people from the east, caused Yisra’ěl to hide in their own land!!!

Imagine having the shalom destroyed and there just being constant strife and the damaging presence of one’s enemy constantly destroying your livelihood! Yisra’ěl had resorted to doing what was evil in the eyes of יהוה and as a result they no longer sought Him for refuge and protection but rather resorted to making their own hiding places in mountains, caves and strongholds!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘refuges’ in verse 2 is מִנְהָרָה minharah – Strong’s H4492 which means, crevice, shelter, dugout, hole in rocky ground. They started hiding from their enemies as opposed to facing them and letting יהוה fight for them and this highlights the state of a sinful nation that had turned away from Elohim as they resorted to trying to find their own shelter and protection from enemies as opposed to walking in obedience and trusting in Elohim!

This highlights for us how they were not only hiding from their enemies but were also hiding from Elohim! They were held captive in their own land! Bound by strife and contention!

Ya’aqoḇ/James: 4:1-4 “Where do fightings and strivings come from among you? Do they not come from your pleasures that battle in your members? 2 You desire, and do not have. You murder, and are jealous, and are unable to obtain. You strive and fight, and you do not possess, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask evilly, in order to spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.

Yisra’ěl had adulterated themselves through the profane worship of Ba’al and were now unable to properly possess that which was theirs and what we can learn from this is that when יהוה is not your refuge then that which you sow will be destroyed! What you sow you will reap! They were not sowing righteousness but were ploughing wickedness and as a result they were reaping the suffering of oppression.

Iyoḇ/Job 4:7-8Remember, please: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? And where have the straight ones ever been cut off? 8 According to what I have seen, those who plough wickedness and sow suffering reap the same.

As a result of doing what was evil in the eyes of יהוה, He allowed the enemies of His beloved set-apart nation to ravage their “land of milk and honey”, leaving His people is the deepest poverty and the people were brought very low and then they began to cry out to Elohim! It is often the case that when people reach a severe low point in their lives that they will then cry out to Elohim for help. Many may cry out for help yet they will refuse to do what is required!

In verses 8-10 we see that after Yisra’ěl had cried out to Elohim, He sent a prophet to the children of Yisra’ěl to tell them that He is Elohim and He alone is the One who delivered them from Mitsrayim and that they should not fear their enemies, yet they did not obey His voice!

The Hebrew word for ‘prophet’ is נָבִיא naḇiy – Strong’s H5030 which means, prophet, spokesman, speaker, prophesyand comes from the root verb נָבָא naḇa – Strong’s H5012 which simply means ‘to speak or sing (by inspiration) or communicate a message from a deity - either of proper behavior to a standard, or of future events. A prophet’s role is to call people back to the Torah of Elohim and give a severe warning of what will happen if they do not listen!

Yisra’ěl wanted to be delivered from their enemies yet they did not want to obey the voice of Elohim!

Isn’t that the state of so many today? They claim allegiance to Elohim and cry out to Him to bring relief from oppression and strife yet they refuse to submit to walking in obedience to His Word as they hold fast to false traditions that have been handed down. They want all the blessings of Elohim and want the confident assurance that comes with a secure hope while they want to continue in their lawlessness as they refuse to obey His voice!

Calling out to Elohim while shutting their ears to the hearing of the Torah – that is what so many are doing today! Let us carefully consider what it says in:

Tehillah/Psalm 50:14-17 “Slaughter thanksgiving to Elohim, and pay your vows to the Most High. 15 “And call upon Me in the day of distress – let Me rescue you, and you esteem Me.” 16 But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17while you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:9He who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer is an abomination.

This parable is one that many have turned their ears from hearing, literally! So many today claim that the Torah is no longer valid and simply view the Torah and the prophets simply as good stories while they do not recognise the need to hear, guard and do what is instructed therein!

This parable is a severe warning against turning one’s ear from hearing the Torah! The concept of turning one’s ear from hearing the Torah implies one who does not hear and do what the Torah says. There are many who may hear the words of the Torah and even read the ‘stories’ of what they call the ‘Old Testament’, yet by their refusal to guard to do what is commanded therein is also understood as turning one’s ear from hearing the Torah!

The Hebrew root verb for ‘turns awayסוּר sur – Strong’s H5493 meaning, turn, turn aside, depart from a way, avoid, be removed from, put away, and is used in Scripture in reference to ‘putting away’ that which we should not be associated with, which highlights the truth that many who claim that the Torah has been ‘done away with’ and is no longer necessary to keep are turning away from hearing the Torah!

The Hebrew word used here for ‘ear’ is the word אֹזֶן ozen – Strong’s H241 which means, an ear, hear, attentive, closely, recite, reveal and comes from the root verb 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, it literally means to ‘cup the ear’ – in other words give your complete attention and be obedient to take it all in.

The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘hearing’ is שָׁמַע shama’ – Strong’s H8085, which carries a far greater meaning that to simply just hear something as it is understood to mean, to hear with attention and comprehend and discern and give heed to what is being spoken.

Shemoth/Exodus 19:5-6 “And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine – 6 ‘and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’ Those are the words which you are to speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl.
These verses make it very clear – for us to truly be a treasured possession of the Most High, we are to make sure that we obey His voice and guard His Covenant.

In the above verse the root word שָׁמַע shama’ is used twice in a row, which means to ‘hear, listen and obey’. The structure is as follows:

אִם־שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ  - ‘im-shamoa tishmau’ which literally translates as: “If hearing, you shall hear” and this reminds me of how often we see the term being used in Ḥazon/Revelation to the assemblies: He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says.

Everybody has ears! Despite this physiological truth many do not use their ears to hear attentively as they should!

Shelomoh highlights for us the dangers of turning one’s ear from hearing the Torah as he makes it clear that anyone who does this does not have an effective prayer life, for even his prayers are an abomination!

At the time of Giḏ’on Yisra’ěl did not obey the voice of Elohim! The phrase ‘And you have not obeyed My voice’ in verse 10 is written in the Hebrew text as וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם בְּקוֹלִי - velo shematem beqoliy

The root word that is used for ‘obeyed’ is שָׁמַע shama’ – Strong’s H8085 which highlights for us here that they were not paying attention nor giving heed to what יהוה was saying through His prophets – they were not obeying His voice!

The Hebrew word for ‘voice’ is קוֹל qol – Strong’s H6963 which means, sound, voice, noise, thunder, proclamation, and comes from an unused root meaning, to call aloud. What is clear to us is that the VOICE of יהוה has been spoken and leaves the choice up to each individual of whether they will hear it or not – and by hearing, I mean to hear it and respond to it by guarding to do what He commands!

In the ancient pictographic script, the word קוֹל qol – Strong’s H6963 looks like this:

lamedwawquph

Quph – ק:

This is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as – quph– which is a picture of ‘the sun at the horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity. It also is understood as the ‘gathering of the light’.

 

Waw/Vav – וֹ:

This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as waw, which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’ as well as ‘bind’.

 

Lamed - לֵ:

The ancient script has this letter as lamed, and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

 

These letters combined can give the understanding of:

GATHERING TO THE SECURE STAFF OF THE GOOD ETERNAL SHEPHERD

When the shepherd called the sheep they swiftly came to him. The staff of the shepherd was his tool of authority. With it he would direct, discipline and protect the flock.

Our Good Shepherd’s voice has gone out and, by His Word that does not return empty, He has secured for us the ability to be brought back under His Authority, by His Own Blood; and therefore we, as true set-apart children of Light, respond correctly as we hear His voice, submit to His Authority, take His easy yoke and guard His Torah and gather together, as we should on His Sabbaths and Feasts!

If you do not do this then you clearly have misunderstood or do not know the power of His Voice.

The voice of יהוה – is the voice of our Good Shepherd – ‘are you listening – are you following?

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

With the people doing evil in the eyes of יהוה and refusing to hear His voice, despite calling out in desperation, we can see in this chapter a great example of the mercy and loving-commitment of Elohim as He appears to Giḏ’on and calls him to stand up and lead Yisra’ěl to deliverance!

It is here that we can begin to learn some vital lessons for today as we take note how many are just as Yisra’ěl were back then – not obeying the voice of יהוה! Yet those who have ears to hear and hear what the Spirit is saying to the assemblies, are to be strong and courageous and armed with the Truth of the Word, in order to throw down all that is wrong and all that has been set up against the Truth!

In this amazing event, we see how יהוה calls a man who does not presume to be anybody special and affirms him by calling him a mighty brave one! We are told in verse 12 that ‘The Messenger of YHWH’ appeared to Giḏ’on.

The Messenger of YAHWEH is written as מַלְאַךְ יהוה – ‘Mal’aḵ YHWH

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘appear’ comes from the root word רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 – meaning, to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider, appear, provide. This verb is written in the ‘niphal passive’ tense and therefore is understood as rendering, to appear, present oneself, to be seen, to be visible. What is very important for us to understand here is that יהוה literally ‘made himself visible’, and ‘revealed’ Himself to Giḏ’on! Here in this event we take note that יהוה was His own messenger as we take note in verses 14 and 16 that the Messenger is called יהוה as He speaks directly to Giḏ’on and commissions him to go in strength because He was with him!

For more information regarding The Messenger of YAHWEH” please see the article on our site (http://atfotc.com) under the ‘articles’ menu or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/2012-04-19-08-30-28/view/518-the-messenger-of

At a very low point in Yisra’ĕl’s history this farmer was trying to go about his business without being caught by the enemy and was threshing wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Miḏyanites as they would not have suspected him to be doing so at this time of year as the winepress would have been used at a different time of the year and may not have been watching this area.

Yisra’ěl had not listened to the prophet that יהוה had sent and now the person to be commissioned for the task at hand was Giḏ’on. At a time when it may have seemed that יהוה had forsaken His people, He speaks to Giḏ’on and reassures him that יהוה was with him and that he was a mighty brave one!

The Hebrew words for ‘mighty brave one’ are written as follows: גִּבּוֹר הֶחָיִלgibbor heḥayil which comes from the tow root words:

1) גִּבּוֹרgibbor’ H1368 which translates as ‘mighty man, brave man, and valiant warrior, powerful’.

2) חַיִל ḥayil – Strong’s H2428 which means, strength, efficiency, wealth, army, ability, capability, excellence and comes from the root word חִיל ḥil – Strong’s H2342 which means, to be firm, strong, endure, prosper’.

These words were a ‘double witness’ of the strength of the calling of Elohim upon his life, and one that he needed to hear in order to start him on his brave journey of leading people in the Truth!

This phrase is often translated as ‘mighty brave men’ in Scripture and from this we are able to see in Scripture a repetitive call being given for all followers of Messiah! We are called to be strong and courageous!

In Hebrew, soldiers are often told: ‘חֲזַק וֶאֱמָץḥazaq veematz which means, ‘be strong and courageous’, and is a phrase we see being used a number of times in Scripture. The Hebrew word for ‘be strong’ comes from the root word חָזַק ḥazaq – Strong’s H2388 and carries the meaning, to grow firm, fasten upon, strengthen, take hold ofand can have the concept of, ‘grasp between your ears’. The Hebrew word for ‘courageous’ comes from the root word - אָמֵץ amats H553 which means ‘to be alert both physically and mentally, be fully alert – awake and not asleep, be steadfast’.

We must remember to put on the armour of Elohim and fight the good fight of belief; and therefore, as soldiers of Messiah we need the encouragement to be strong and courageous and are equally responsible in encouraging each other in this regard too As the faithful remnant Bride of Messiah we must be strengthened in his Word and stand courageously firm in the belief as we remain steadfast in the prescribed set-apartness that we are called to walk in!

In Mishlĕ/Proverbs 31 Shelomoh gives us a clear description of a capable wife that strengthens herself:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 31:17 She shall gird herself with strength, and strengthen her arms.

The capable wife is dressed and ready for action!!!

The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘strength’ in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 31:17 comes from the word עֹז oz – Strong’s H5797 which means, strength, might, fortress, power, stronghold, and this comes from the root verb עָזַז azaz – Strong’s H5810 which means, to be strong, be brazen, prevail, display boldness’. The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘strengthens’ is אָמֵץ amats H553, which is often translated as ‘courageous’. Why I am highlighting these words are the characteristics of a capable wife is to highlight how we are to be a capable and worthy Bride who has cleansed herself and armed herself in the Truth, having been separated unto the Beloved King and standing courageously in Him!

In Mishlĕ/Proverbs 31:10 the following question is asked:Who does find a capable wife?

The Hebrew word for ‘capable’ is חַיִל ḥayil – Strong’s H2428 - which is the same word that is used to describe Giḏ’on – the mighty brave one! This is also the same word that is used to describe the ‘able’ men that Mosheh’s father in law instructed him to seek out!

Those who find strength in Elohim go from strength to strength and become capable and firm members of the body of Messiah! It is in the Master that we are equipped to go from strength to strength!

In the Hebrew ancient pictographic symbols, the word for ‘capable, able, brave’ - חַיִל ḥayil was written as follows:

lamedyadchet

chet   - this is the Hebrew letter ‘ḥet’, which in the early script is pictured as a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent, or can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. A wall is also built up by stones, which can also picture for us as living stones being built up in Messiah!

yad   - this is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!

lamed     - this is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority, as well as be submitted under the Authority of the Good Shepherd!

When we see these letters in the ancient script being used to describe someone who is considered ‘brave, and able’ we can certainly glean from this the following:

THE TRUE BRAVE AND ABLE ONES IN THE BODY OF MESSIAH ARE THE ONES WHO TRULY REPRESENTS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE SEPARATED AS LIVING STONES, AND BE SUBMITTED TO DOING THE WORK OF OBEDIENT SERVICE, BEING LED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF OUR GOOD SHEPHERD, AND EQUIPPED TO TEACH AND LEAD OTHERS TO MATURITY IN MESSIAH!

Giḏ’on questions the call of Elohim upon his life and starts by saying that if יהוה was with them then why were they in the position they were in? For many this is the same feeling that is expressed today as the severe and desperate state of a called-out Bride that has strayed from obedience has some questioning יהוה’s presence in their lives and here we can take courage in knowing that יהוה’s Word is True and He promises never to leave nor forsake us, yet He diligently searches throughout all the earth, to show Himself to be strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect to Him.

With Giḏ’on threshing out the wheat we can see this as a picture of the remnant few who are meditating upon the Word while most are walking in opposition to the Word!

Giḏ’on asks יהוה where are all the wonders that our fathers had related to us about how they were delivered from Mitsrayim and יהוה turns to him and tells him to go in his strength! This was time for true obedient belief/faith and not time for wonders and signs! He tells him to go and affirms this commission by saying, “Have I not sent you?

Many of us need to go in the strength of the Master and be reminded that He has sent us, as many have sadly forgotten this fact!

The word used here in verse 14 for ‘strength’ is כֹּחַ ko‘aḥ - Strong’s H3581 which means, power, might i.e. the potential to exert force in performing some function; physical strength; virility; power and ability to do that which on is capable to perform’. In other words, this word speaks of one’s ability to be firm and do what is required!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:5 Mighty is the wise in strength, and a man of knowledge strengthens power

Knowledge and wisdom of Elohim increases our power or strength to do what is required! Being adorned in righteousness as a true chosen and called out Bride is our strength!

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Elohim! Well, Giḏ’on had now heard the Word of Elohim directly and this would be sufficient to stir up his faith/belief! It was time to stand up and guard to do what he had been commissioned to do! While his faith was certainly being strengthened by the Word of Elohim we take note that he needed further assurance as he told Elohim that he was insignificant and small, so why would Elohim choose him?

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 1:26-29 “For look at your calling, brothers, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble. 27 But Elohim has chosen the foolish matters of the world to put to shame the wise, and Elohim has chosen the weak of the world to put to shame the strong. 28 And Elohim has chosen the low-born of the world and the despised, and the ones that are not, that He might bring to naught the ones that are, 29 so that no flesh should boast in His presence.

It is not what you may think of yourself but what יהוה says of you and what He sees in you! If Messiah is in you then He can use you, despite what you may think your limitations in the flesh may be!

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:5But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

Can יהוה use you to lead others out of slavery to sin? Stay in Him and guard His Word and He can!!!

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:24 And the one guarding His commands stays in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He stays in us, by the Spirit which He gave us.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:13 By this we know that we stay in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

Giḏ’on asked Elohim for a sign that it was Him speaking to Him and then proceeded to prepare an offering of a young goat and unleavened bread. After being told to put the meat and unleavened bread on the rock and pour out the broth, יהוה put forth the end of the staff that was in His hand and touched the meat and unleavened bread, and fire went up from the rock and consumed the meat and unleavened bread and then He went from his sight!

At this Giḏ’on recognised that this was יהוה and was afraid and יהוה told him not to fear and said, “Peace to you!

From this event, we can see some wonderful shadow pictures of the work of Messiah and His Feasts. Messiah told us that the only sign that would be given to a wicked and adulterous generation was that of Yonah – 3 days and 3 nights!

With the unleavened bread and meat being set upon the rock and being consumed by the fire of Elohim it was deemed as an acceptable offering and pictures for us the perfect sacrifice of our Master and Elohim at Passover (Pěsaḥ), for we recognise that the proper guarding and observance of the Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot becomes a sign on our hand and forehead (Shemoth/Exodus 13:9 & 16), hence becoming our assurance that it is Elohim our Savour that strengthens us and calls us to stand up and proclaim His reign!

Giḏ’on then built a slaughter place and called it יהוה שָׁלוֹם YAHWEH SHALOM!

In Hebrew, the word that is translated here as ‘peace’ is the word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 which means, wholeness, completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, health, prosperity, well-being, safety, protection, which comes from the primitive root verb שָׁלֵם shalem – Strong’s H7999 which means, to be complete or sound, rewarded, make full restitution’.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have those loving Your Torah, and for them there is no stumbling-block.

Great emphasis is being placed here in Tehillah/Psalm 119:165 on how much peace that those loving the Torah have!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 26:3 “The one steadfast of mind You guard in perfect peace, for he trusts in You.

The Hebrew text is written as follows:  יֵצֶר סָמוּךְ תִּצֹּר שָׁלוֹם שָׁלוֹם כִּי בְךָ בָּטוּחַ -  ‘yetser samu titsor shalom shalom ki ḇeḵa batua’ and can be literally translated as: ‘he whose mind is steadfast you keep in perfect peace, because in you he trusts’

The term ‘perfect peace’ is translated from the repetition of the word ‘shalom’. Yeshayahu was picturing himself standing in the redeemed land with the remnant, listening to the people express their thanks to, and confidence in, יהוה our Saviour! And the true thanks of the reality of the deliverance being made complete for those who are steadfast in mind is expressed in the complete shalom that is experienced by those who trust in יהוה. Those loving the Torah have perfect peace and are not shaken by threatening circumstances but stand firm on the Rock of their deliverance!

The root meaning of shalom is to be whole or sound, and this leads to various translations that speak of completeness, wholeness, well-being, welfare and peace. Shalom also includes the idea of vigour and vitality in all dimensions of life.

Shalom carries a wealth of meaning that is almost impossible to summarise in a few sittings, yet the concept of shalom entails a completeness and wholeness in our Master and Elohim, who has redeemed us from enslavement to the chaos of sin!

In the ancient pictographic text, the word שָׁלוֹם shalom looks like this:

 memwawlamedshin

Shin - שֵׁ:

This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as shin, which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’  on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.

Lamed - לֵ:

The ancient script has this letter as lamed, and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

Waw/Vav – וּ:

This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as  waw, which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’ as well as ‘bind’.

Mem - מ:

The ancient script has this letter as mem and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’.

Now when looking at this word in the ancient pictographic script, we are able to recognise what the true Shalom of Elohim brings and does for us, for its ancient meaning could be rendered, among others, as follows:

THAT WHICH DESTROYS OR BREAKS THE FALSE AUTHORITY THAT BOUND US TO THE CHAOS OF THE NATIONS!

And further renders the meaning:

THE WORD OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD THAT SECURES FOR US A COMPLETE CLEANSING!

This word speaks of a complete restoration of what was lost and broken and ensures the provision for what is needed to make one whole and complete, lacking nought! For we have been given all we need for life and reverence, having been grafted into the Covenant of Peace by the Blood of Messiah!

 

Giḏ’on could now go forward in complete shalom of Elohim, yet what would be required would still take great courage and faith! This teaches us that while we may have great shalom when keeping the Sabbaths and Feasts of Elohim, we still have a big job to do in throwing down falsehood!

Giḏ’on, having been strengthened and encouraged in his belief and being filled with shalom, was now told to go and throw down his father’s abominable slaughter-place!

This is where the actual fighting the good fight of the belief begins, as we take note that in order to be properly armed in the truth and stand firm in the Master of shalom, we need to throw down all falsehood and everything that sets itself up against Elohim!

The name גִּדְעוֹן Giḏ’on – Strong’s H1439 means, hewer, one who chops down, and comes from the root word גָּדַע gaḏa – Strong’s H1438 meaning, ‘cut down, chop, break down, cast down’. He certainly was a very courageous man who chopped down and destroyed the abominable Ashĕrah pole and altar of Ba’al that his father had. This root word גָּדַע  gaḏa – Strong’s H1438 is frequently used in referring to the hewing down or chopping and cutting down of idols, and the objects that were to be ‘cut down’ in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 7:5 and Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 14:3 & 31:1 were the Ashĕrim. They were poles that were set up near pagan slaughter-places in worship rites to Ashĕrah who was the Baḇelonian and Kenaʽanite fertility goddess of fortune and happiness; who was also known in Greek as Astarte, or Ishtar and later known as ‘Easter’. Asherah is the demonic name of the female counterpart for Ba’al, and was predominantly represented by a carved wooden image implanted into the ground, usually adjacent to an altar dedicated to the Ba’al.

The concept of Christmas trees being placed near the fire place in homes is derived from this ancient pagan worship practice, and the decoration of the tree was done in worship that was given to the ‘Queen of heaven’. Giḏ’on broke down the slaughter-place of Ba’al and cut down the Ashĕrah that was beside it. The people then called Giḏ’on, יְרֻבַּעַל Yerubbaʽal – Strong’s H3378 which means, let Ba’al contend’. Then the Spirit of יהוה came upon Giḏ’on and he blew the shofar and then gathered an army to stand against Miḏyan who had come and camped in the valley of Yizreʽĕl. In a plea for assurance that יהוה would save Yisra’ĕl by the hand of Giḏ’on, as He had said, Giḏ’on sought confirmation from יהוה by putting out a fleece twice.

How fitting it is for us that the name of this mighty brave man who was now filled with the shalom of Elohim means ‘one who chops down’!

The Hebrew word that is translated asthrow down’ is הָרַס haras – Strong’s H2040 which means, throw down, break or tear down, pull down, utterly overthrow.

This false slaughter-place had to be destroyed if true worship was to be restored. This same word is translated as ‘broken down’ in:

Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 18:30 “Then Ěliyahu said to all the people, “Come closer to me.” And all the people came closer to him. And he repaired the slaughter-place of יהוה that was broken down.

Here Ěliyahu repaired the broken-down slaughter-place of יהוה. For more on these events please read sermon notes from a message called, “REPAIRING THE SLAUGHTER-PLACE OF ELOHIM”, from our website (Http://atfotc.com) under the sermons 2014/2015 menu or click on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2014-2015/578-reparing-the-slaughter-place-of-elohim-1-kings-18-30-39

With this false slaughter-place to Ba’al having been set up here we see a picture of how the true slaughter-place of Elohim had been broken down and now Giḏ’on was called to break down and destroy the false in order for the True to be restored!

When the Torah is destroyed – that is to say that when it has been thrown down and cast behind the backs of a lawless society, through the running after of vain and falsified traditions, what do the righteous do?

The righteous still guard the Torah that is to be upon their hearts and in their mouths to do it!!!

What we must recognise here is that when the Torah is ‘destroyed’ then a proper understanding of Scripture is lost. So many do not understand Scripture simply because they have, in a manner of speaking, destroyed the Torah out of their lives! A skewed picture of Elohim is brought forth when the Torah is destroyed and this we see happening today, as many who claim to know Him will soon learn that they did not!!!

After having thrown down the slaughter place to Ba’al and cutting down the Asherah that was beside it, Giḏ’on was then instructed to build a slaughter-place to יהוה. This is a picture of properly restoring pure set-apart worship and what we can learn from this today is that in order for us to be a proper daily living sacrifice unto Elohim we must make sure that we have thrown down all falsehood and compromise and then be built up in the most set-apart faith, while making sure that we are also building other up in the Truth too!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘buildverse 26 is בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 which means, rebuild, establish a family, build up.

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, as indeed you do.

Tehillim/Psalm 127:1 “If יהוה does not build the house, its builders have laboured in vain. If יהוה does not guard the city, the watchman has stayed awake in vain.

We can only build His way – and that is to walk according to His Torah – which is spiritual and we are to walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established 4 and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

We know that in Scripture, wisdom is often a reference to the Torah or instructions of Elohim, and so He has given His clear building plans that we are to labour according to – any other way is simply vain labour! By the Torah (instructions) of Elohim the house is built and by the ‘doing’ of these instructions that brings understanding it is firmly established upon the Rock. Building contrary to the Torah is vain labour!

Kěpha aleph/1 Peter 2:4-5Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious – 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.

The question we must ask ourselves, in light of the huge and awesome task that is before us, is whether we are indeed building His House or are we about building our own? The prophet Ḥaggai is a very powerful book for us today as it addresses this very issue:

Ḥaggai/Haggai 1:4-5Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses, and this House be in ruins?” 5 And now, thus said יהוה of hosts, “Consider your ways!

4 Times in Ḥaggai we are told to ‘consider’ – twice to ‘consider our ways’ and twice to ‘consider from this day forward’, and that same call to ‘consider our ways from this day forward’ is still being proclaimed loud and clear, as long as it is called today! The foundation has been laid – Messiah the chief cornerstone! Man’s rebellion destroyed the Dwelling Place of Elohim, which they had turned into a den of robbers, and Messiah said that He would raise it up in three days – speaking of the Dwelling Place of His Body! He came to establish and restore the True Tabernacle/Dwelling Place of the Most-High – His House built by His Hands!!!

The question we all must ask ourselves is “How great do you value His House?”

When you value His House, which you are, then you will make sure that all falsehood is destroyed! And this will take courage and strength, which comes from Elohim and His Word!

Another vital lesson we can take from these events in Giḏ’on’s life is that we are to be walking in unity and guarding set-apartness together, as a Bride that makes Herself ready! In verse 27 we see how he went and took 10 men from among his servants and did as יהוה had said! The number 10, in Scripture, can often represent a quorum or whole body, as an ephah basket consists of 10 omers and an omer is also used to represent an individual being!

As we consider these events we need to recognise how important it is for us to take courage and be built up in our faith through the proper hearing of the Word and be bold in our ability of throwing down the false, and not allow the compromise of others to stand in our way! We must be ready to throw down that which has been handed down in error without fear of offending our families or friends, but rather take a courageous stand in the faith with other like-minded servants of Elohim! This highlights for us the need to be actively involved in the body of Messiah and not neglecting the gathering of the set-apart ones on a Sabbath, where Mosheh is read – for then your faith can be courageously built up to stand and fight the good fight!!!

There are 3 chapters in the Book of Shophetim/Judges that highlight the life of Giḏ’on and all that he faced as a faithful servant and soldier of Elohim and I encourage you to go and read these chapters collectively in order to be strengthened in the belief and able to take a bold stand in Messiah, being ready to throw off all that hinders and always ready to give a reason for the sure hope you have in Messiah! Courage comes from having a true belief that is built up in complete set-apartness, and belief doesn’t become strong when we ask Elohim to bless our unbelief by performing miracles.

The way to grow our belief and courage is to hear His Word, believe His promises, and obey what He tells us to do and makes sure that we have thrown down all idols and are properly equipped to stand!

Yisra’ěl had sinned and had not heeded the instructions given in:

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:1 “Do not make idols for yourselves, and do not set up a carved image or a pillar for yourselves, and do not place a stone image in your land, to bow down to it. For I am יהוה your Elohim.

The word for ‘idols’ used here in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26 is אֱלִיל elil – Strong’s H457 and means, ‘insufficiency, worthlessness, things of nought, idol, no value, good for nothing’.

The instruction is clear – do not turn to worthless, things of nought – things that do not matter! Do not turn to things that do not exist in the false hope of allusions that can never deliver what you expect – in fact anything outside of יהוה is worthless! Do not put your trust in things of nought:

Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 12:21 “and do not turn aside after worthless matters which do not profit or deliver, for they are worthless.

How will we be best equipped to recognise that which is worthless against that which is not? By knowing the real thing with great intimacy! We are to be intimately engaged in seeking out and knowing the set-apart matters of Elohim, and intimacy takes effort, diligence and much well laboured time with our Creator, Redeemer and King learning His True ways that we will be able to separate the worthless from the Truth!

Dawiḏ expressed his desire to only look at and seek the matters that matter:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:37 “Turn away my eyes from looking at falsehood, and revive me in Your way.

So many today are not turning their eyes from falsehood and as a result they are finding themselves turning to worthless matters that are only enslaving them to falsehood and are unable to be truly revived in The Way – for our Messiah, יהושע, the Word made flesh – the Living Torah, is The Way, The Truth and The Life!!! When we turn to the True Master the veil of worthless falsehood that has gripped so many to destruction is removed!

The bottom line is this – anything that we find ourselves submitting to that is not clearly defined by the Torah is in danger of being an idol; whether it be a physical object or a commitment to a purpose that seems right or even an idea that will in the end prove to be pursued in vain!

As we consider the clear call for us to stand armed in the Truth we need to make sure that we have thrown down all worthless matters so that we can be properly be built up and stand courageously in the strength of Elohim and fight the good fight in complete set-apartness! As we consider the courage of Giḏ’on and His obedience to the voice of Elohim, amidst a wicked and evil generation, may we all be strengthened in the joy and shalom of our Elohim who has given us all we need for life and reverence so that we can make our obedience complete before Him and be equipped to destroy that which sets itself up against the Most-High!

In a time when we recognise that we are to be built up in the belief and stand courageous in our Master, are there any idols (worthless matters that consume your attention away from Elohim) that need to be thrown down in order for you to take up the whole armour of Elohim and stand – and after having done all to continue to stand?

Mighty brave one – hear what the Spirit says and be filled with the shalom of our Master and Elohim as you boldly proclaim His Reign and call others out of darkness and go and make taught ones of the Master, teaching them to obey all He has commanded us to do!

I will end with these words of Sha’ul:

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 10:3-6For though we walk in the flesh, we do not fight according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, 5 overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”  

THROW DOWN IDOLS AND THEN STAND AND FIGHT – O MIGHTY BRAVE ONE!

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!