20th of the 4th month 2021/2022.
Shabbat Shalom all,
Tehillah/Psalm 120:5 “Woe to me for I have sojourned in Qĕḏar, I have dwelt among the tents of Qĕḏar!”
This verse, in Tehillah/Psalm 120, is in a song of degrees, which begins with the psalmist declaring how he had cried out in his distress and יהוה answered him, and this is the first of 15 Psalms that are titled as ‘a song of degrees’, and are believed to have been Psalms that were sung by pilgrims, as hymns of approach, as they would go up to Yerushalayim. .
There is certainly a great deal that we can learn from the many magnificent Psalms that are able to help us identify with our sojourning here, as strangers waiting for the Reign of the Heavens to come and be firmly established here on earth. .
When I read this verse, I considered the wording herein and could relate to the frustration that this Psalmist, and many faithful and trustworthy set-apart ones, must have felt as they endured under intense hardships and struggles.
The recognition here, of the severe woe for having sojourned in Qĕḏar and having dwelt in Qĕḏar is clear, yet what is this song teaching us?
Qĕḏar was situated far to the north of Yisra’ĕl, in Asia Minor by the Black Sea.
This was a very long distance from Qĕḏar, which was a region of Arabian desert, southeast of Yisra’ĕl!
So, what does this mean?
Geographically, the psalmist could not have dwelt simultaneously in both of these regions that were so far apart from one another, and so herein lies a great metaphoric use of these terms, in order to teach us why his situation was one of great woe!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘woe’ is אוֹיָה oyah – Strong’s H190 which is a strong interjection, and is a word or phrase that used in exclamation, with the clear meaning of ‘woe’ and comes from the primary interjection אוֹי oy – Strong’s H188 which means, ‘woe’ and this is understood as a passionate cry of grief or despair!
So, what was this cry of grief and despair? .
The Hebrew word for ‘sojourned’ comes from the primitive root verb גּוּר gur – Strong’s H1481 which means, ‘to sojourn, abide, dwell, reside’, and a noun that is derived from this root verb and often translated as ‘foreigner’ is גֵּר ger – Strong’s H1616 which means, ‘a sojourner, alien, immigrant, stranger’. .
Kěpha appeals to us, as ‘strangers and pilgrims’, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against our life (Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:11), and the Greek word that is translated as ‘stranger’ is πάροικος paroikos – Strong’s G3941 which means, ‘stranger, foreigner’, and is the word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) of this Tehillah/Psalm! .
Living as strangers and abstaining from fleshly lusts, we need to recognise the severe ‘woe’ of sojourning and dwelling in Qĕḏar and Qĕḏar.
The Hebrew word מֶשֶׁךְ Mesheḵ – Strong’s H4902 means, ‘drawing out’ and comes from the primitive root verb מָשַׁךְ mashaḵ – Strong’s H4900 which means, ‘to draw away, drag away, bore, deferred, delayed’, and the word קֵדָר Qĕḏar – Strong’s H6938 means, ‘dark’ and comes from the root verb קָדַר qaḏar – Strong’s H6937 which means, ‘to be dark, become dark, grow black, mourn, mourning’..
Why I have mentioned all these words and terms, is to simply show us how we too should hear the clear ‘woe’ of sojourning in darkness, so to speak, and the procrastination of drawing out our need to walk in obedience and abstain from fleshly lusts!.
When understanding this psalmists’ prayer for deliverance from “false lips” and “a treacherous tongue” (verse 2), we can see that to say that one is living in these places, is to say that the attacks that he is experiencing are so severe that it feels like he is living in the midst of hostile barbarians, who have the real influence of drawing many away from pure obedience and causing the called-out set-apart ones to be pressured by the darkness that surrounds them!.
Sha’ul reminds us of the following:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light”
We were once darkness, but now we are light in the Master!
And this is what we need to be reminded of on a daily basis! And being reminded of this, we are to acknowledge that there is a severe woe for dwelling in darkness and drawing out our need to shine the light of the Truth and walking as children of light! .
One of the toughest things for us, as children of light, is to keep shining the light of the Truth, amidst the darkened effect of sin and lawlessness, destruction and ruin!
When bad things happen to us, we are often unable to understand or explain the ‘why’, yet we need to be encouraged to keep our lamps filled and make sure that we shine as true sons and daughters of the Most–High Elohim! .
In a message called, ‘A MESSAGE FOR THE BLESSED!’ I want to encourage you all to persevere and endure, even under the most extreme and crippling circumstances, and make sure that you do our utmost in shining the Light of our Master in all you say and do!
Please read Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 45.
This chapter is a bit of a flashback from a chronological point of view, yet herein lies a very powerful and encouraging call for us, the blessed of Elohim, to run this race that has been set before us with perseverance, for our reward in the Heavens in great!.
In this chapter, Baruḵ is given the assurance and promise of יהוה’s protection, for being faithful in his service to Yirmeyahu.
And here, in this chapter, Yirmeyahu is told to give Baruḵ a clear message – a message that he needed to hear – after all, he had certainly seen and experienced a lot of pain and suffering, that both he and Yirmeyahu had faced for walking in the Truth of יהוה.
The message to Baruḵ is contained in verses 4-5, while in verse 3 we see Baruḵ expressing his own feelings of hurt and despair, which caused the response of יהוה being given to this blessed servant of the Most–High!.
The name of Yirmeyahu – יִרְמְיָהוּ H3414 means, ‘Yahweh has appointed/Yah loosens’.
The name of Baruḵ – בָּרוּךְStrong’s H1263 means, ‘blessed’, and he was the son of נֵרִיָּה Neriyyah – Strong’s H5374 which means, ‘lamp of Yah’..
What we are able to see here, in this short and powerful chapter, is that these words that were given to Baruḵ, are words that are also given to us today, for these are the appointed words of יהוה for the blessed children of Light!.
These words came in the 4th year of Yehoyaqim, the son of Yoshiyahu.
The name of יְהוֹיָקִים Yehoyaqim – Strong’s H3079 means, ‘יהוה raises up’, and the name of יאֹשִׁיָּהוּ Yoshiyahu – Strong’s H2977 means, ‘whom יהוה heals’, and herein lies another powerful truth: for it is יהוה who raises up those He heals!!!.
In the chronological setting here, we can understand some of the frustration that Baruḵ was expressing.
It was Pharaoh Neḵo that set up Yehoyaqim to reign, in the place of his brother Yeho’aḥaz, who Pharaoh had taken to Mitsrayim where he died.
Yehoyaqim gave Pharaoh silver and gold and exacted silver and gold from the people of the land, to give to Pharaoh Neḵo.
During his reign, Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar, the sovereign of Baḇel, came up and Yehoyaqim became his servant for three years, after which he rebelled against Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar. .
He reigned for 11 years, after which יהוה sent against him the Chaldeans, Arameans, Mo’aḇites and Ammonites, in order to destroy Yehuḏah and remove Yehoyaqim from His presence, for all the wickedness and evil that he had done, according to the sins of Menashsheh.
Times were not going well for Yehuḏah, at the time of this word of יהוה, that was given to Baruḵ from Yirmeyahu, and Baruḵ was certainly expressing the anguish and despair that he was seeing and experiencing, and in many ways, he had hit a low point in his life.
He had seen much corruption, wickedness and had possibly even faced some terrible circumstances himself, as he had been wearied with his sighing!!!.
Have you ever been so tired of sighing, especially when sighing about all the terrible things that you are witnessing, and have even been going through yourself?
So much so, that you have no more words to express your heartbreak and despair?.
He had grown tired of moaning!
Have you ever felt like this?
What about when some bad stuff happens to you, or even when you face the clear effects of bad stuff that might not happen directly to you?.
Just like Baruḵ, many people are growing so tired and weary today!
Tired of all the nonsense that they see and hear.
Tired of all the compromise.
Tired of all the pain and toil that they are going through.
Tired of what may seem to be unjust or unfair circumstances that they are facing.
And tired of some of the terrible things that are happening to them!
As set-apart believers, who have certainly been blessed with the wondrous knowledge and revelation of our Master and Elohim, we can certainly identify with the despair of the chaos and corruption and oppression that is all around..
In his great cry of woe to יהוה, יהוה answers him with the promise of a great reward, despite the harshness of the times that were upon them.
In a nutshell, we are able to learn, as Baruḵ did back then, that in these last days, everyone is going to suffer – even the wealthy and influential – and even those who have been obedient!!!
We are not to think that we shall be exempt from the harshness of the times:
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 9:1-2 “For all this I took to heart, even to search out all this: that the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of Elohim. No man knows whether love or hatred awaits him. 2 It is the same for all: One event to the righteous and to the wrong; to the good, and to the clean, and to the unclean; and to the one slaughtering and to the one not slaughtering. As is the good one, so is the sinner; the one swearing as the one fearing an oath.”
Righteous or wrong – no man knows whether love or hatred awaits him, and while we recognise this reality, we see further in this chapter, the clear encouragement and command that is given to us:
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 9:8 “Let your garments be white at all times, and let your head lack no oil.”.
No matter what we go through – no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in – no matter how harsh the times get – no matter how much we are wronged – no matter how unfair things may seem – we must let our garments of righteousness be white at all times and not let our heads lack oil!!! .
Our lamps must be filled, as a ready Bride who has kept herself from fleshly lusts and the corruptions of the wickedness in the world!
Evil is coming on all flesh, yet we who guard His commands and keep ourselves from becoming defiled in the flesh, will be given the reward of eternal life, as a prize for our faithful endurance through all!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 2:18 “For in what He had suffered, Himself being tried, He is able to help those who are tried.”.
What are you being tried in?
Are you letting יהושע Messiah help you to stand firm and be steadfast in Him, as you cling to Him in a steadfast love and commitment to His Truth?.
Have you found yourself being downcast of late?
In Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 7:6, Sha’ul tells us that Elohim encourages the downcast, that is: He calls to the downcast and encourages, comforts and exhorts them to continue in Him!
What Sha’ul reminded the believers in Corinth, and still reminds us who hear his words today, is that he was encouraged by Elohim, through the coming of Titos, who brought an encouraging report to them about the believers in Corinth, who cared deeply for Sha’ul and the other believers who were with him.
I do hope you see what encouraging truth this is!!!
It is Elohim who encourages us and He will do so, by causing us to hear from others who are caring and thinking of us. .
The Greek word that is translated as encourages, in Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 7:6, comes from the word παρακαλέω parakaleō – Strong’s G3870 which means, ‘call near, invite, invoke, be of good comfort, encourage’ and is transacted as ‘comfort’, in:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, the Father of compassion and Elohim of all comfort, 4 who is comforting us in all our pressure, enabling us to comfort those who are in every pressure, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by Elohim.”
Have you not heard – Our Master is the Elohim of all comfort!!!
And we who are comforted and encouraged by Elohim, are equipped to comfort and encourage others too, which is certainly something we all should be doing, especially in the se darkened days of distress, that is affecting all!.
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:9 “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not grow weary.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘lose heart’ is ἐκκακέω ekkakeō – Strong’s G1573 meaning, ‘lose heart, grow weary, exhausted, become faint’ and comes from two words:
1 – ἐκ ek – Strong’s G1537 which means, ‘from, from out of’ and is used as a preposition denoting the origin or point from where the action proceeds; and
2 – κακός kakos – Strong’s G2556 which means, ‘evil, wicked, bad things, loathsome, wrong’.
To lose heart speaks of growing weary of doing good as a result of wickedness and evil being present in one’s life, or as a result of being involved in doing that which is wrong and loathsome in the sight of Elohim as measured against the clear plumb line of His Word..
The Greek word for ‘grow weary’ is ἐκλύω ekluō – Strong’s G1590 which means, ‘to loosen, grow weary, faint, to weaken, relax, exhaust, become feint hearted’, and comes from the two words
1 – ἐκ ek – Strong’s G1537 which means, ‘from, from out of’, and
2 – λύω luō – Strong’s G3089 which means, ‘to loosen, to release, dissolve, annul, break, take off, unbind, untie’.
In other words, ‘to grow weary’ is to break off from one’s called for set-apartness and in a manner of speaking, relax oneself from guarding the Torah that is to be upon our hearts and in our mouths, as compromise seems to be an easy reprieve from impending pressures, and this we are to guard against and ensure that we do not grow weary in doing good! .
The idea of doing good implies walking in the commands of Elohim and doing the ‘good works’ that have been prepared beforehand for us to do!
To do good, is to be functional, according to the clear design of the Torah of Elohim, as opposed to being dysfunctional and cease from doing what is good, by doing that which is bad and evil!
Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 3:13 “And you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.”.
Whatever pressures, trials, battles, persecutions and troubles you have or are facing, know that, as you stay in the Master and do not lose heart, you will not be crushed or in despair, nor shall you be forsaken or destroyed!
The way we are able to guard against growing weary in doing good, is to heed the command to not fear, with the full knowledge and assurance that our Elohim is with us!
Tehillah/Psalm 25:14 “The secret of יהוה is with those who fear Him, and He makes His covenant known to them.”.
Under some intense times, יהוה was encouraging Baruḵ to be steadfast in his faithfulness, and He tells him that it was not time to seek great matters for himself – in other words: it was not time for him to be seeking wealth, fame and fortune and trying to build for himself a secure and safe lifestyle, because harsh times were coming upon all, yet the reward for faithfulness, is the prize of life!!! .
The Hebrew word translated as ‘prize’, in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 45:5 comes from the root word שָׁלָל shalal – Strong’s H7998 which means, ‘a prey, spoil, plunder, booty’, and typically spoil, plunder or booty was received, as a result of a victory over the enemy in war – so herein we see the victory that we have in יהושע Messiah, our Great Husband Redeemer and King, in whom we shall have life and life abundantly, as we walk in the triumphant procession of His victory over death, so that we may enter into His rest and dwell with Him forever!.
The message to the blessed children of light is clear:
Do not grow weary in your steadfastness!!!.
יהוה made t clear to Baruk that He was the One who was bringing evil on ALL flesh, yet the promise given to Baruk was that his life would be given as a prize wherever he would go. This carries the clear promise of the blessed ones of Elohim being secure in the Master, no matter where they found themselves.
We need not fear that which can destroy the body, for we serve the Living Elohim, who give us the promise of eternal life in Him and it is this that we wait patiently for, as we endure under the increasing pressures and evils that is coming upon all, knowing that our refuge and safety is in The Most-High Elohim, יהוה of Hosts!.
In this short message, I simply wanted to inspire and comfort you with some much-needed encouragement and hope that we, as the remnant blessed set-apart ones of Elohim, ought to be reminded of, so that we do not lose heart and grow weary, with sighing, due to all the wickedness and terrible things that we see and face each and every day, but that we can take the encouragement and comfort of our Master and be that encouragement and comfort to others in the Body of Messiah.
We live in a world that is filled with corrupt and wicked people who do bad things –and we, as blessed children of light, must live as children of light and be filled with overcoming praise, with the full assurance in our hearts, of the sure and blessed hope that we have in יהושע Messiah, who encourages the downcast and despairing.
Baruḵ was, in many ways, depressed and restless within himself and this reminds me of the words of the psalmist in:
Tehillah/Psalm 42:11 “Why are you depressed, O my being? And why are you restless within me? Wait for Elohim: for I shall yet thank Him, the deliverance of my face, and my Elohim.”
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘depressed’ comes from the primitive root verb שָׁחַח shaḥaḥ – Strong’s H7817 which means, ‘to bow, be bowed down, crouch, humbled, collapsed, brought low’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘restless’ comes from the root word הָמָה hamah – Strong’s H1993 which means, ‘to murmur, growl, roar, be boisterous, noisy, cry out, make a loud noise’..
What is being presented here, with this picture of being restless and depressed, is the absence of the shalom of the Master, as the battles and distresses that one is facing, is raging so deep within, that it is causing a uneasy panic within and then, the psalmist gives the clear remedy for being is such a state: and that is to wait upon יהוה!.
The Hebrew word that is translated in this Tehillah/Psalm as ‘wait’ comes from the root verb יָהַל yaḥal – Strong’s H3176 which means, ‘to wait, wait expectantly, have hope’ and implies the hope that is the solid ground of expectation for the righteous.
Tehillah/Psalm 147:11 “יהוה takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who wait for His kindness.”
This further highlights the emphasises we are to have in waiting on Elohim! It is not a sitting on your butt and waiting for better days, but is an earnest waiting that seeks Him with our all, listening to His clear and powerful voice that teaches us how to hear and fear and live set-apart lives unto Him, holding firm to the hope we have in the great loving-commitment of Elohim!
When we are properly waiting for the Word of Elohim, then our hearts and minds will be properly focused in seeking His Word and meditating upon His Torah, giving us clarity and discernment, enabling us to hate and destroy doubting thoughts!.
While we can certainly see a severe ‘famine’ for the True Word in the world today, we have the sure ‘hope’ in יהוה, that He shall keep us alive and deliver our beings from the grips of death, for the second death shall have no power over those who are in Messiah!.
Tehillah/Psalm 37:1-3 “Do not fret because of evil-doers, do not be envious of the workers of unrighteousness. 2 For they soon wither like grass, and fade like green plants. 3 Trust in יהוה, and do good; dwell in the earth, and feed on steadfastness.”.
In what certainly may be seen and distressing times, we are called to shine the Light of our Master, as we walk as true set-apart ones that are blessed by the encouragement and comforting words of our Saviour, Redeemer and King!.
Perhaps you too have felt yourself feeling a little, or a lot, depressed and the chaos of uncertainties rage within you at times.
What, if anything, has possibly caused you to be wearied with sighing?
Have you found yourself in a place where you cannot seem to find that rest and shalom that you show earnestly desire?.
Well, then hear this message to the blessed, from our Master יהוה of Hosts, who comforts us in our distress, and be encouraged to get up from the place of distress to run in the way of our Master’s commands, so as to obtain the prize:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 9:24 “Do you not know that those who run in a race indeed all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to obtain it.”
Pilipiyim/Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of Elohim in Messiah יהושע.”.
Tehillah/Psalm 119 :25-32 “My being has been clinging to the dust; revive me according to Your word. 26 I have recounted my ways and You answered me; teach me Your laws. 27 Make me understand the way of Your orders; that I might meditate on Your wonders. 28 My being has wept from grief; strengthen me according to Your word. 29 Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favour me with Your Torah. 30 I have chosen the way of truth; Your right-rulings I have held level. 31 I have clung to Your witnesses; O יהוה, do not put me to shame! 32 I run the way of Your commands, for You enlarge my heart.”
Perhaps the distresses that you have felt or been going through, have brought you down to a place of feeling crippled and weakened. Then this is the time to hear this encouragement to get up and run, as you allow the commands of Elohim to enlarge your heart and run the way of His commands, breathing in the fear of Elohim and receiving the comforting recovery of breath and refreshing that His Word brings, as we meditate on His Torah, day and night!.
Oh, blessed son/daughter of Elohim Most–High: be the children of light that you have been called to be, and walk in the light as He is in the light, so that we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Messiah cleanse us from all sin!.
THE MESSAGE FOR THE BLESSED is clear – do you hear it!.
In closing I thought it best to highlight the pictographic rendering of the root word for blessed.
The name of Baruḵ – בָּרוּךְStrong’s H1263 which means, ‘blessed’ comes from the primitive root verb בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 and means, ‘to abundantly bless’ and literally carries the meaning, ‘to kneel or bow down, to show respect, to bring a gift to another while kneeling out of respect’.
Our Master, who comforts and encourages us, has certainly blessed us indeed, by coming to work a redemption by His own Hand.
Understanding that our source and fountain of life in in Messiah, who is the Living Waters that has come down from above to abundantly bless us, let us look at this word in the ancient pictographic script:.
The ancient pictographic script, has the Hebrew word for bless – בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 pictured as:.
Beyt – בָּ:
The ancient script has this letter as , 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..
Resh – רַ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief..
Kaph – ךְ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as which is a picture of an open palm of a hand and can symbolise that to which submission is given – ‘under the hand’.
Once again, we are able to clearly see who it is who blesses us –
THE HOUSE/ASSEMBLY OF ELOHIM IS BLESSED AS THE HEAD/ CHIEF COMES AND EXTENDS
HIS OPEN AND REVEALED HAND TO HIS OWN!
A MESSAGE FOR THE BLESSED!.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom!