FOR THIS REASON I REJOICE!

11th of the 3rd month 2015/2016

Shabbat Shalom all,

As we enter into this Shabbat, DAY 49 from the command for us to count “on the morrow after the Shabbat” during Matzot, we look forward to celebrating and rejoicing together as we celebrate the Feast of Weeks on the morrow after this Shabbat, the 7th Shabbat of counting!

Rejoice! That is what we are clearly commanded to do in performing this great Feast!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:9-12Count seven weeks for yourself. Begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 And you shall perform the Festival of Weeks to יהוה your Elohim, according to the voluntary offering from your hand, which you give as יהוה your Elohim blesses you. 11 “And you shall rejoice before יהוה your Elohim, you and your son and your daughter, and your male servant and your female servant, and the Lĕwite who is within your gates, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are in your midst, at the place where יהוה your Elohim chooses to make His Name dwell. 12 “And you shall remember that you were a slave in Mitsrayim, and you shall guard and do these laws.

I sent out a message earlier this week regarding this passage and expanded on the clear instructions we are given in regards to performing this Feast, and so I will not go into detail again regarding these, as my hope is that you all actually went and read the message in a clear call to have hearts that are prepared to guard this Feast as we should! This Feast, like the Feast of Sukkot, is a Feast where we are clearly commanded to rejoice, and this is what I want to touch on tonight! Why we are to rejoice and be a people who continually rejoice before our Master and Elohim. In a message tonight called, “FOR THIS REASON I REJOICE!”, I hope to fan into flame the pure and earnest desire to rejoice with exceeding joy as we recognise what our Master has done for us, with the clear expectation that our flesh can find rest in Him as we do not neglect our need to be faithful ambassadors of His coming reign!

For this reason I rejoice!!! – What reason? Well I guess that that is the real question that ought to be answered by each one – why am I rejoicing? As we consider the feast of Shaḇu’ot we need to understand the reason for our rejoicing and not just be doing it “because we are told to”, but doing it “because we are told to” and having the clear understanding of the reason for our rejoicing!

The word שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇu’ot is the plural for the word שָׁבוּעַ shaḇua – Strong’s H7620 which means, a period of 7 (days, years)’, which comes from the denominative verb -  שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 which means, to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’; and from this root we get the Hebrew word for seven, which is the word שֶׁבַע sheḇa – Strong’s H7651. Having said that we recognise then that this is, in a manner of speaking, the Feast of Oaths, where the Covenants of Promise that we were once excluded from, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world, have now, in Messiah, been brought near to by His blood! We have not only been brought near, by His blood, as celebrated by the blood of the Passover Lamb that was slain, but in celebrating this Feast of Oaths, we rejoice in the fact that His Covenants of Promise have now been written on our hearts, giving us a firm expectation which our flesh can rest in, as we work out our deliverance each and every day with fear and trembling!

As we look at this word for שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇu’ot in the ancient pictographic text we are able to glean a powerful understanding of our reason for rejoicing!

In the ancient pictographic script - שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇu’ot meaning, ‘sevens, oaths’, looks like this:

tawwawayinbeitshin

Shin - שָׁ:

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. This can give us the meaning of WORD or Words.

Beyt בֻ:

The ancient script has this letter as beit, which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.

Ayin - ע:

The original pictograph for this letter is ayin and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’, and can also render the concept of knowledge revealed!

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 down of 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’.

Taw – ת:

The ancient script has this letter as taw which is pictured as two crossed sticks,  and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!

When we look at these pictographic symbols of the word for שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇu’ot we can clearly see the message being made clear through this Feast as it can render for us the following meaning, in terms of the requirements of the Covenants of Oaths being secured by the Blood of Messiah, by which we have now been sealed by His Spirit:

THE WORD OF THE HOUSE HAS BEEN MADE KNOWN AND SEEN (WORD MADE FLESH) IN ORDER TO SECURE US AND SEAL US (FOR THE DAY OF REDEMPTION)!

With שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇu’ot being the 50th day of the count we recognise the clear picture of the Yoḇel/Jubilee – which is the year of release!

With the Covenants/Oaths of promise now being written upon our hearts and sealed by His Spirit, we have the full and firm assurance of the promised release to come, and this is what we are celebrating and rejoicing!

Our eyes have been opened and we have been washed in the Blood of Messiah through our immersion in Him, and have been sealed by His Spirit of Truth that He has given us as a pledge of our inheritance to come – and this is certainly a reason to rejoice!

The Hebrew word for ‘rejoice’ is שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’, and can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!

In the ancient pictographic script this word שָׂמַח samaḥ looks like this:

chetmemshin

Shin - שָׂ:

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. This can give us the meaning of WORD or Words.

 

Mem – מַ:

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. This also carries for us the picture of washing, as we understand the function of water being that which cleanses us and sustains us, showing us how we are washed and sustained by the Living Waters of the Word! This letter also can represent any liquid, especially blood!

etח:

The ancient script has this letter as chet which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it 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’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!

When looking at this word in its pictographic form, in terms of our command to rejoice, we are able to see why we are able to rejoice as we recognise the following:

THE WORD THAT WASHES US HAS SEPARATED US AND SECURED US!

This is a clear reason to rejoice, for as long as we allow the Word to wash us and keep us clean, we are able to confidently make our boast in Elohim, whom we praise and rejoice in, as we are built up as living stones in the Master; living stones that offer up lives as a daily living offering with rejoicing praise!

 

What I found very powerful, in terms of the reason for rejoicing, is when I looked at the Greek word used here and found this word being used in the Renewed writings in regards to the words spoken by Kěpha on the day of Shaḇu’ot!

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:11 for ‘rejoice’ is εὐφραίνω euphrainō – Strong’s G2165 which means, to cheer, celebrate, rejoice, make glad, joyous livingand comes from two root words: 1) εὖ eu – Strong’s G2095 which is an adverb meaning, good, well done and 2) φρήν phrēn – Strong’s G5424 which means, midriff, heart, mind, thought, thinking. It can be therefore understood that this word εὐφραίνω euphrainō can have the meaning of, to put in a good frame of mind.  This word denotes the mood of joy and involves an inner process that affects the outward physical well-being, especially in situations which give rise to a mood of common cheerfulness and joy! This makes perfect sense as we recognise the joy of coming together for the purposes of rejoicing in our Master and Elohim – where the mood of cheerful joy is expressed by all due to the inner process of recognising the greatness of the occasion!

This word εὐφραίνω euphrainō – Strong’s G2165 is translated as ‘rejoiced’ in:

Ma’asei/Acts 2:26 “For this reason my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad, and now my flesh shall also rest in expectation

FOR THIS REASON MY HEART REJOICED!!! Words that were spoken by Kěpha to the crowds on Shaḇu’ot when the Spirit settled on the believers and they were filled with the Set-Apart Spirit and began to speak in other languages. Then when those who mocked the occasion rose up and said that the believers were drunk, Kěpha stood up and spoke a very clear  message, a message that caused many who were pierced to the heart to repent and be immersed. 3000 were added to the body that day, a clear sign of the Spirit of renewal as we take note how 3000 died in the Wilderness when the sons of Lĕwi stood up at the call from Mosheh as to who was for יהוה! The sons of Lewi went and killed 3000 men because of the sin of false calf worship (Shemoth/Exodus 32:26-28).

With Shaḇu’ot seeing 3000 being added after the piercing words of Kěpha we are able to see a clear picture of pure worship being restored! But what were these words that Kěpha spoke, in terms of him saying, “For this reason I rejoice…”? Let us look at a couple of verses so we can get the context of what he was saying here, as part of his piercing message on Shaḇu’ot! In making it clear by the words of the prophet Yo’ĕl, that those who call upon the Name of יהוה shall be saved, Kěpha was making it clear to the crowd who it is that they had impaled and put to death through lawlessness and was declaring to them that our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, is alive as death could not hold Him. In declaring this he then quotes the words of Dawiḏ, as he says the following in:

Ma’asei/Acts 2:25-28 “For Dawiḏ says concerning Him, ‘I saw יהוה before me continually, because He is at my right hand, in order that I should not be shaken. 26 ‘For this reason my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad, and now my flesh shall also rest in expectation, 27 because You shall not leave my being in the grave, nor shall You give Your Kind One to see corruption. 28 ‘You have made known to me the ways of life, You shall fill me with joy in Your presence.

He was quoting the words of Dawiḏ from Tehillah/Psalm 16:8-11!

As we consider the words of Dawiḏ declaring that his heart rejoiced, his tongue was glad and that his flesh could rest in expectation, we are able to understand the reason for this; and that was simply because he acknowledged the clear fact that יהוה our Master and Elohim would not leave his being in the grave and the clear expectation of everlasting life was a sealed assurance, by which he could be at rest in as he lived in the flesh!

With Kěpha quoting these words on Shaḇu’ot we can recognise the powerful witness of these words being a sure reality to us, who are in the Master, as we too can let our flesh rest in the expectation or hope that does not fail!

Because he had seen that יהוה was before Him continually and that because He was at Dawiḏ’s right hand – which is a picture of how יהוה is the working power of his deliverance and in whom He put his full trust – he could have full assurance that, in the Master, he would not be shaken and not only could he rejoice in his heart and mouth, his flesh could rest in the sure expectation of יהוה our Deliverer!

As we consider the word for Shaḇu’ot in its ancient pictures we can identify with the words of Dawiḏ, as we too recognise that we can see that our Messiah is before us continually and is our strength upon whom we stand and are not shaken! For this reason we can rejoice!!!

The Greek word for ‘glad’, as in ‘my tongue was glad’, is ἀγαλλιάωagalliaō’ – Strong’s G21 and means ‘to exult, leap for joy, to show one’s joy by leaping and skipping denoting excessive or ecstatic joy and delight, and it is often spoken of as rejoicing with song and dance and comes from the word that means to leap or jump as well as to gush forth like water!

Let me ask you – “How often have you expressed true rejoicing, by jumping and skipping with great joy and delighted in song and dance?” If not often or perhaps never – then now is the time to start expressing true rejoicing with your heart and mouth!!!

The Greek word translated as ‘rest’ as in, ‘my flesh shall also rest in expectation’ is κατασκηνόω kataskēnoō – Strong’s H2681 which means, to pitch one’s tent, camp, dwell, nested, live, which comes from two root words: 1) - κατά kata – Strong’s G2596 which is a preposition meaning, according to, daily, over, against, and 2) - σκηνόω skēnoō – Strong’s 4637 which means, to have one’s tent dwell, to fix one’s tabernacle, abide or live in a tabernacle, and is the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew word for ‘dwell’, which is שָׁכַן shaḵan – Strong’s H7931 and means, to settle down, abide, dwell, establish, make or cause to dwell. The Greek word σκηνόω skēnoō comes from the root word σκηνή skēnē – Strong’s G4633 which means, tent, dwelling, tabernacle; and this word is used to describe the Dwelling Place of Elohim that will be with men, in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the heaven saying, “See, the Booth of Elohim is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and Elohim Himself shall be with them and be their Elohim.

 

The Greek word for ‘expectation’ is ἐλπίς elpis – Strong’s G1680 which means, expectation or hope, and also carries the understanding of having a joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation, and is also used to describe and define who the author of hope is. In terms of the sure expectation of eternal salvation it can also be understood as meaning, he who is its foundation. An expectation can either be good or bad and therefore it can represent either hope or fear. Hope, as expectation of good, is closely linked with trust, and expectation can also be understood as an urgent longing, in which the element of patient waiting or fleeing for refuge is emphasised. We recognise this truth as we put our complete trust and hope in our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah – our Saviour!

In our patient waiting we are called to a faithful endurance in which our expectation in our Great Saviour and King shall not fail, as long as we stay in Him and flee all whoring, idolatry and lusts of the youth and remain steadfast in pursuing righteousness.

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:8 “But we who are of the day should be sober, putting on the breastplate of belief and love, and as a helmet the expectation of deliverance.

Dawiḏ could express his complete trust in יהוה by declaring that his flesh could be caused to dwell in the expectation of the promised deliverance. We too can learn from this, especially in light of these words being spoken on Shaḇu’ot as we recognise that we can see how our flesh can be caused to rest in expectation, as we sojourn here as faithful ambassadors that abide in our Master and Elohim continually!

 

Our Master has made know to us the ways of life – for He is The Way, The Truth and The Life, and in celebrating this Feast with great rejoicing and gladness, we recognise the clear reason we have for doing so!!!

 

שָׁבֻעוֹת Shaḇu’ot is a clear celebration for us as we are clearly reminded of the promised release to come to those who have received the Set-Apart Spirit as a sure pledge of the promised inheritance, and the waving of the two loaves of Bread remind us of our Master’s complete working of deliverance in us as He has us firmly in the palm of His Hands, giving us the ability to bring our lives before Him continually as a daily living offering, our reasonable worship that is well pleasing to Elohim, our Master and King!

As we prepare our hearts for this Feast of Oaths and get ready and prepared to rejoice before our Maker, I trust and pray that you all will come before our Master with hearts, minds and mouths that are made glad by the full knowledge of who our Master is and what He has given us by His Spirit!

It is on Shaḇu’ot that we celebrate the renewal of the Marriage Covenant and how we are now called to stay in the Word and guard to do His laws, for this is how we live set-apart lives unto the Master!

 

As we consider these clear instructions given to us in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:9-12 and the quoted words of Dawiḏ in Ma’asei/Acts 2:25-28 by Kěpha on the Feast of Shaḇu’ot, may you all hear this clear call to be reminded of the reason we rejoice, and come ready and prepared to celebrate and give voluntarily with a rejoicing heart in the face of our Mighty Master and Elohim, יהוה of Hosts!

Are you ready to PERFORM this Feast, according to the voluntary giving of your hand? Are you ready to rejoice in/before the face of יהוה?

Then come this Shaḇu’ot and let us rejoice, dance and leap before our King!

 

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!