17th of the 8th month 2020/2021.
Yonah/Jonah 2:8 “Those observing false worthlessnesses forsake their own loving-commitment.”
These words were part of the prayer of repentance that Yonah prayed to יהוה, from the stomach of a fish. He certainly acknowledged the reality of the dangerous path of forsaking loving-commitment, because of the falling away to the misguided leading of worthless matters of falsehood..
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘observing’, comes from the root word שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 which means, ‘keep, watch, present, attend to, pay close attention, guard’ and the basic idea of the root of this word is ‘to exercise great care over’.
Here, it is written in the ‘piel’ verb tense, which is the intentional or intensive action, which can therefore be understood as meaning, ‘to keep, pay heed’..
We are to exercise great care over the Torah and pay heed to what is commanded in the Word, so that we guard to keep and obey all that our Master has commanded us!
When used in combination with other verbs, the meaning can be understood as ‘do carefully or diligently’, i.e. ‘perform carefully by paying strict attention as to what must be done’, as it expresses the careful attention to be paid to the obligations of a covenant, to laws, statutes, etc..
Yonah, in his prayer to יהוה, acknowledges the futility of paying heed to false worthlessness!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘false’ comes from the root word שָׁוְא shav – Strong’s H7723 which means, ‘falsehood, lies, emptiness, deceit, vanity, worthlessness’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘worthlessness’ comes from the root word הֶבֶל heḇel – Strong’s H1892 which means, ‘vapour, breath, delusion, emptiness, futility, vanity, idols, nothingness, worthlessness’..
So many people today are not paying heed to the Torah of Elohim and, as a result, they are running after falsehood and the worthless matters of lawlessness, by paying attention to the corrupted systems of “the teachings of man” that have disregarded the need to be diligent, in exercising great care over the Torah and commands of Elohim!
So many people are ‘diligently’ observing false worthlessnesses and are in great danger of being destroyed by the coming wrath of Elohim, when He comes, in vengeance, to destroy the sons of disobedience!.
When people are not meditating on the Torah of Elohim, day and night, as they ought to be, they are clearly not observing the Truth and, as a result of this, they quickly forsake the required loving-commitment that is to be shown toward our Master and His Word, while vainly claiming to be believers..
In Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 16:25-26, we are told that Omri, the wicked king of the House of Yisra’ěl, did more evil, in the eyes of יהוה, than all those before him, by walking in the ways of Yaroḇ’am and provoking יהוה with their worthlessnesses.
Yonah expresses it very clearly for us: when you go after worthlessness, idols, vanity and that which does not satisfy, you will be handed over to the delusion of futility and forsake true loving-commitment!!!.
Provoking יהוה with futility, which has absolutely no value at all, is still being done today, by so many people who have not realised the reality of the falsehood that our fathers inherited and have passed down through the vain traditions and corrupt theologies of man..
Shelomoh tells us very clearly, the following:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3 “Let not loving-commitment and truth forsake you – bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”
In this parable of Shelomoh, we see two very powerful words, that are often neglected to be carefully considered, by so many wanna-be believers, who think that they can do whatever they want to and still claim that they love Elohim, when their disregard for His Torah and commands shows otherwise!.
These two words are: ‘loving-commitment’ and ‘truth’.
In Hebrew, the root word that is translated as ‘loving commitment’ is חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 and means, ‘goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, faithfulness’.
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘truth’ is אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means, ‘truth, firmness, faithfulness’, and this word carries an underlying sense of certainty and dependability – and we know that The Word of יהוה is truth, as we can see from the following verses:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O יהוה, and all Your commands are truth.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:160 “The sum of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.”.
Anyone who claims to serve יהוה, without walking in and giving heed to follow His Torah, commands and instructions, are not serving Him in Spirit and Truth.
And those who claim that the Torah/Law of Elohim has been done away with, are sadly riddled with the leaven of the hypocrisy of man’s theologies and dogmas, that simply seek to only to serve self rather than the Giver of Life, while actually claiming the opposite!
When a true servant, who fears יהוה, serves in perfection and in truth, then the putting away of the falsehood, that had been inherited from the past, is done with urgency and without hesitation!!!
And in order to do that, we need to recognise that loving-commitment and truth must go hand in hand!.
When we take a closer look at the Hebrew root words for loving-commitment and truth, we are able to be further equipped with the clear warning against falling away to worthless matters of wickedness, when loving commitment and truth are let go of..
Let us therefore run through, a little more in-depth, into what this Hebrew word for ‘loving-commitment’ – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 – is all about and how important it is for us to realise our need to not forsake it at all!.
The Hebrew root word חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 appears 248 times in 241 verses in the Tanak (O.T.)!
That is 5 times more than the Greek word that is translated as ‘grace’ in the Renewed Covenant (N.T.)!!!.
And this word חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 is closely linked to another Hebrew word, which is often translated as ‘kindness, favour, grace’ – and that is the word חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 which means, ‘grace, adornment, favour, gracious’ and comes from the primitive root חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 which means, ‘show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour’.
These two words, חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 and חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603, are collectively used 141 times in the Tanak (O.T.)..
What we must understand, is that in the Tanak (O.T.) we see the link of ‘grace and law’ being used, in terms of that which we have been favourably given and are now required, as a covenant people, to walk in..
In Hebrew, the concept of חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 and חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 goes hand in hand, in understanding our loving relationship with יהוה..
The root word חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 can best be described as ‘a gracious and favourable action passing from a superior to an inferior’ and is understood as an action that cannot be forced upon or demanded!
This, in many ways, carries the same concept of the ‘Christian’ idea, or concept, of ‘grace’, as understood through the Greek word χάρις charis – Strong’s G5485 which means, ‘grace, kindness, blessing, favour’..
חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 (grace/favour) is poured out, as a gift, to a people who have no ‘claim’ to it, as it is given freely and so, we see that this certainly is not a ‘new’ concept, as it is a continuous theme that we are able to see being threaded right through the Scriptures, in seeing the Loving Kindness that is extended by יהוה to Yisra’ĕl, His Covenanted people!
What we must understand though, is that both חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 and חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 are uniquely related, in terms of understanding the fullness of our relationship with our Creator..
Although these two words are closely linked, in relation to walking in a relationship with our Saviour, we note that חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 is different to חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580..
We find both of these words being used together, in:
Berěshith/Genesis 39:21 “But יהוה was with Yosĕph and extended kindness to him, and He gave him favour in the eyes of the prison warden.”
יהוה extended חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 to Yosĕph and gave him חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 in the eyes of the prison warden..
What we find in Scripture, is that חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 is used only where there is a prior relationship bond, be it through family, marriage or kinship, and it is used in regards to a bond, or relationship, that produces in the bond itself a requirement, or an obligation, for action, where both parties share חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 and can expect from each other and, even demand in a sense, reciprocal responsibilities, and so, חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 is not a free gift!.
Now, we see that over and over חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 is used, in Scripture, to describe and express יהוה’s relationship with Yisra’ĕl, His Covenanted Bride and that includes all who are brought near, and grafted in to these Covenants of promise, by the Blood of Messiah!.
What we must therefore understand, is that חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 is a word that is often associated with the understanding of ‘obligation and commitment’ and does not just simply mean ‘unmerited favour’, alone!
Yisra’ĕl and יהוה are obligated to each other, in marriage, as a result of the Covenants, made by יהוה with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ!.
חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 (favour, grace) certainly is the primary reason behind the establishment of the Covenants of Promise, however, the moment the Covenants were made, obligation became attached to it by both parties..
And while Yisra’ĕl constantly broke their obligation, to the Covenants, we see how lovingly-committed יהוה is, by extending His favour to us, an undeserving people, and by His חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 (being gracious toward us and adorning us with favour in His eyes), He has extended to us His Loving-Commitment – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 – that is – His loving-commitment to the Covenants, which He remains faithful to, in being obligated and fully committed to; and thus, because of His חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580, which is freely given to us, we too are now, by our acceptance of His free gift, also required to express true loving-commitment, in understanding our obligation to the proper guarding of the Covenants of promise that we are now firmly grafted in to!.
How we do that, is by walking ‘in’ His Torah (often translated as ‘law’).
The Torah (law) of יהוה, is His instructions for us, on how we walk in His חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617, and so, the Torah (instructions) of Elohim, is the articulation of the obligation that we have to the Covenants of Promise, by which we are freely, and graciously, grafted in to, by the Blood of Messiah!.
We did not earn the right to this Covenant – יהוה made the Covenant out of חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580, and therefore, we understand that the חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580, freely given, entails חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617, which now both parties are to be committed to and both have an obligation to keep its requirements.
If we reject the obligations and requirements of the Covenant, we are in fact rejecting and forsaking loving-commitment – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 – and by doing so, are rejecting יהוה bonds to us, given freely by His Own Blood!.
To put it plainly, we could say that חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 is ‘grace poured out’ and not חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617.
Most of Scripture speaks clearly of חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617, as a result of חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580; and even in the Renewed Writings (N.T.) we see a constant and continual thread of the understanding of the mutual obligations, and requirements, that are entailed in a ‘bonded’ relationship with יהוה, by the Blood of יהושע Messiah.
חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617, in the Hebraic mind-set, characterises our identity, as being a part of, and faithfully walking ‘in’, the Kingdom of Elohim!.
So, when understanding the concept of ‘grace’ and ‘favour’, we find that it is not a new concept, as we see that in the truest sense, in the Hebraic understanding, it entails a giving of the correct response of obedience, in response to the free gift of life that has been extended to us by the Hand of our Creator, and not just a receiving of the gift alone!
The Torah gives us the clear instructions on how we are to respond to His free gift and how we are to live ‘in’ Him, and stay ‘in’ Him, as a people who are ‘in Covenant’ with Him!.
Noaḥ found favour – חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 – in the eyes of יהוה and responded correctly, by being righteous and perfect, as he walked with Elohim – the very thing we are called to do, as we walk in Messiah, as a lovingly committed response to His favour, extended to us by the Blood of Messiah!
As we consider these two very powerful words, in the ancient pictographic script, we can grasp a better idea of what it means for us to be ‘saved by grace (favour)’, so to speak, and our responsibility of responding correctly to the ‘favour and loving-commitment’ of Elohim!.
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 which means, ‘grace, adornment, favour, gracious’ looks like this:.
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as 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, and represents a ‘boundary’, or better understood as our ‘boundaries’ in recognising the need to walk within the boundaries of the Torah and not step outside of that which has been prescribed for us!.
Nun – ן:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which pictures a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth to be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy..
By the clear loving-commitment of our Master, Saviour and Elohim we have been saved by His favour (grace) and when looking at this word in the pictographic symbols we are able to see that we are:
SEPARATED, BUILT UP AND ESTABLISHED BY THE SEED –
WHICH IS MESSIAH!.
The covenants of promise, that we were once far off from us, as we were without Messiah and excluded from citizenship in Yisra’ĕl, have been brought near by the Blood of Messiah!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once nations in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ěl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.”.
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.”.
Realising how we have been separated by The Seed, through the favour He has shown us, we also need to realise that, as living stones being built up in Messiah, we are to make sure that we do not let loving-commitment and truth forsake us! Let e repeat the powerful parable of Shelomoh:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3 “Let not loving-commitment and truth forsake you – bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”.
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word for ‘loving-commitment’ – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617, looks like this:.
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as 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, and represents a ‘boundary’, or better understood as our ‘boundaries’ in recognising the need to walk within the boundaries of the Torah and not step outside of that which has been prescribed for us!.
Samek – סָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise!
Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure..
Dalet – דֶּ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access..
When understanding חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617, in these ancient pictographic letters, we are able to clearly see that the ‘boundaries’, for the way in which we are to liv,e have been established and the entrance to walking in חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 (loving-commitment) is by our coming to the Door – that is our Master and Saviour – יהושע Messiah!
WE AS LIVING STONES ARE TO GRAB HOLD OF
AND CLING TO THE DOOR!.
The commands that are to be written upon the doorposts, are there to remind us that we are to submit to the rules of the House and remember that His rules, He has written upon the tablets of our hearts!
And as we recall to mind, the חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 of יהוה, we can be comforted and encouraged to remain lovingly-committed, to walking in and guarding His Covenant with us, unhindered by the vain threats and ridicule of others!.
The importance of חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 is vital for us to understand; as we see that those who hear, guard and do the commands of Elohim, grow in wisdom and understand the loving-commitment of יהוה:
Tehillah/Psalm 107:43 “Who is wise? Then let him observe these matters! Let them understand the loving-commitment of יהוה.”.
In the ancient pictographic script, אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means, ‘truth, firmness, faithfulness’, looks like this:.
Aleph – אֱ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!.
Mem – מֶ
The ancient script has this letter as 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..
Taw – ת
The ancient script has this letter as 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!.
As we consider these letters, in describing Messiah as being the TRUTH, we are able to clearly see that it is by His strength and might that He has passed through the waters, in order to secure for us His Covenants of Promise!
Messiah is the Aleph and the Taw – the first and the last, who came from above (passing through the waters of the heavens and the earth), in order to redeem us according to His Word!.
He is the Truth and His Word does not return empty! His Word is Truth and His Word leads us in His Truth.
His Word lights our WAY and as we walk in Him, by walking in His Word, we are assured that our feet are on His solid path!
In a time where those who walk according to the flesh are increasing in falsehood and deceit, let us be on guard to not be affected or influenced by the depravity of the lawless, as we walk according to the Spirit and make sure that we put of the false and speak truth to each other, as we labour together in the Master, to ensure that His body, which we are, is being built up in unity unto maturity and the perfection of set-apartness, as we maintain the truth in love, growing up in all respects into Him, who is the head, Messiah יהושע..
Our guarding and proper observance of the Torah and commands of Elohim, expresses our loving-commitment to being obedient unto יהוה:
Hoshěa/Hosea 12:6 “Therefore, return to your Elohim. Guard loving-commitment and right-ruling, and wait on your Elohim continually.”
Tehillah/Psalm 36:7-10 “How precious is Your loving-commitment, O Elohim! And the sons of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. 8 They are filled from the fatness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. 9 For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. 10 Draw out Your loving-commitment to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright in heart.”
These verses from this Psalm, are very powerful in clearly showing us that in guarding Loving-commitment we know that we know Elohim, as we drink from the pure Living Waters of Life and not from muddied waters of corruption, and we are also clearly told in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 7:9 “And you shall know that יהוה your Elohim, He is Elohim, the trustworthy Ěl guarding covenant and loving-commitment for a thousand generations with those who love Him, and those who guard His commands”.
Having now laid a base of understanding, of how important it is for us to NOT forsake loving-commitment, by walking contrary to the Word, we are able to hear the clear warning of the Word that Yirmeyahu was told to shout out, to a people who were forsaking loving-commitment.
A word that is as alive for us today, as it was back then!.
Therefore, please turn to Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 2 and read before proceeding with this teaching!.
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 2:4-28 is a part of this week’s readings, associated with the Torah portion on the journeys of Yisra’ĕl through the Wilderness, and so, I find it very fitting for us to carefully consider our daily actions and loving-commitment, to obeying the clear instructions of Elohim.
The setting of this Chapter 2 of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah, is around 600 or so years before Messiah, and Yehuḏah was facing some pretty difficult times.
The House of Yisra’ĕl had been taken captive by the Ashshurians, and Yehuḏah had been gripped by the idolatry which king Menashsheh had promoted, during his 55-year reign.
His son, Amon, was just as wicked and then Yoshiyahu, the son and grandson of such wicked kings, became king at 8 years old and ruled for 31 years.
He provided, through his reign, some stability, although he initially struggled to do what was right, and so, in his 13th year as king, Elohim calls Yirmeyahu to be his prophet.
Yirmeyahu was around 17-20 years of age; and you can see in chapter 1 that he was hesitant to speak, yet Elohim did not accept his youth as an excuse.
Yirmeyahu then set out to bring 13 messages, of which today we are reading a part of the first, in chapter 2.
Here he was confronting Yerushalayim of her waywardness.
To emphasise this, he contrasted Yehuḏah’s former devotion (verses 2-3), with her present departure from Elohim (verses 5-8).
He reminded them how they, as a bride, had loved יהוה and were devoted to Him and how they had followed יהוה through the desert and how יהוה had brought them into a land of plenty.
They were יהוה’s first fruits and any nation that had tried to take them, incurred יהוה’s anger and punishment..
What is so powerful for us to recognise here, is that it says in:
Romiyim/Romans 11:16 “Now if the first-fruit is set-apart, the lump is also. And if the root is set-apart, so are the branches.”
We are the set-apart nation, just as He set-apart Yisra’ĕl back then; and just as any who ate of the set-apart fruit became guilty, so too do we see here, the clear warning being issued – Yehuḏah were, in a sense, allowing the nations (world) to ‘eat’ of them – that is – to devour them and consume them with worthlessness, according to the flesh..
The same happens today, as we find how the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes is eating away at those who have been called to be set-apart, as they are being ‘consumed’ by the world and as a result, being starved of the Truth, despite the Truth being abundantly available!.
Yehuḏah were now at a place where they had departed from יהוה – not because they had found fault in יהוה; and יהוה certainly had not abandoned them in the Wilderness.
It was simply because they did not stay in the Word!
The priests did not inquire of יהוה or seek יהוה, and they disobeyed and rebelled against יהוה’s Torah, as the prophets were giving false messages.
Their fathers had followed worthless idols and so, as a result of following the futility of their father’s corrupted ways, they became worthless themselves..
How interesting is that statement in verse 5?
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 2:5 “Thus said יהוה, “What unrighteousness have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?”
We become what we follow – are you becoming like יהושע?
When righteousness is not guarded, then a drifting away from the Truth causes one to become worthless and of no value..
Our Master warns us about not being salt that becomes tasteless, as it has no use but only to be thrown out and trodden by men! (Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:13) He continues to tell us that we are the light of the world and that we must shine our light!
The Torah is a light for our path and a lamp for our feet, and when we turn away from walking in the Torah, we lose our ability to shine as true lights of the world and lose our ‘saltiness’, becoming worthless, due to the straying away to the worthlessnesses of darkness!.
יהוה asks a corrupted people, “What unrighteousness have your fathers found in Me?”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘unrighteousness’, comes from the root word עָוֶל avel – Strong’s H5766 which means, ‘injustice, unrighteousness, wrong, iniquity’..
We serve a faithful and trustworthy Elohim – and in Him we find true stability, as we stand upon the Rock of Truth! In Him there is no ‘unrighteousness’:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:4 “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are right-ruling, an Ěl of truth and without unrighteousness, righteous and straight is He.”.
The rhetorical question of what unrighteousness have they found in Him, was to incite the clear reality that there was absolutely no reason whatsoever for them to have gone far from Him. If there was any unrighteousness in Elohim, then sure, there would be grounds for departure, but we serve an Elohim in who there is no unrighteousness! Knowing this must cause us to be on guard against drifting away from the Truth and stability of His presence in our lives, for if we do so, we will only find that we will be going after worthlessness and, in the process of falling away, become worthless and of no value!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘worthlessnesses’ comes from the root noun הֶבֶל heḇel – Strong’s H1892, which means, ‘vapour, breath, delusion, emptiness, futility, vanity, idols, nothingness, worthlessness’, as already discussed, and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘and became worthless’ is וַיֶּהְבָּלוּ vay’yeh’balu which comes from the primitive root verb הָבַל haḇal – Strong’s H1891 which means, ‘to act empty, become vain, act foolishly, be led into futility, to fill with vain hopes’..
The root noun הֶבֶל heḇel – Strong’s H1892 is translated as ‘futility’, in the following verse, which we are all able to identify with, in these last days:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 16:19 “O יהוה, my strength and my stronghold and my refuge, in the day of distress the gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Our fathers have inherited only falsehood, futility, and there is no value in them.”.
Here, in Chapter 2, we are given the clear reality of how no one was seeking יהוה, as everyone, under the false guidance of the false prophets, was walking after matters that did not profit, being influenced by the fleshly worship of Ba’al.
Nobody was inquiring after יהוה, as they had quickly forgotten that He had delivered them from Mitsrayim and brought them through the Wilderness..
From these words, in verse 6, it can be safely assumed that they were not keeping the Feasts of יהוה, as commanded, for if they had been, they would have remembered that יהוה had delivered them from Mitsrayim, as we take note that the Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot celebrate our deliverance from bondage and at Shaḇuoth we are commanded to remember that we were slaves in Mitsrayim, so that we can remember to guard loving-commitment and not forget יהוה and fall away to the worthless worship of false idolatry..
By all accounts, when understanding the Appointed Times of יהוה, we can clearly see that this rebellious lot had fallen away from loving-commitment to יהוה and had become worthless by following after the worthlessness of a false fertility Ba’al worship..
In a psalm of Dawiḏ, we see him identifying the worthlessness of the fool that is not seeking יהוה.
Tehillah/Psalm 53:1-3 “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no Elohim.” They have done corruptly, and they have done abominable unrighteousness; No one does good. 2 Elohim looked down from the heavens on the children of men, to see if there is a wise one, seeking Elohim. 3 They have all turned aside; they have together become filthy; no one is doing good, not even one.”.
In verse 8 we are told that the priests who handle the Torah, did not know יהוה!!!
How dangerous is that?
Well, the priests who handle the Torah, are supposed to teach the Torah and make known the difference between the clean and the unclean, and the difference between the set-apart and the profane, which, they were clearly not doing, as profane worship was being readily accepted as the norm, despite it being an abomination in the eyes of יהוה!.
Shepherds were transgressing against יהוה and the prophets were prophesying by Ba’al!
Nobody was inquiring after יהוה and the result of that, was clearly seen in how the priest, prophets and shepherds had become corrupt and were teaching corruption..
We do not need to look too far today, to see the same worthlessnesses being pursued by many who are being led astray by false shepherds, prophets and priests, as they had muddied the waters and mixed profanity with the truth, those rendering their presentation of the truth as something that is simply corrupt and wicked, highlighting that those who were leading and teaching, did not actually know יהוה!.
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 34 deals very clearly with the warning that is given to the false shepherds, who were feeding the flock with falsehood.
Here, in Yirmeyahu, the warning is given against the prophets who were speaking under the influence of Ba’al, which we are able to see a picture, of how today we see so many false pastors and teachers that are teaching, under the influence of Ba’al – or better put – under the influence of ‘The Lord’ – which is not יהוה – and they clearly do not know יהוה!!!.
Those who handle the Torah did not know Me!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘know’ comes from to root word יָדַע yaḏa – Strong’s H3045 and means ‘to acknowledge, clearly understand, to perceive, distinguish and discern’ and implies the ability to respond to and recognise the Master’s voice and this verb can also render the ability, ‘to know by experience’..
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
To ‘know’ יהוה implies the clear ability to ‘hear’ His voice and guard to do what He commands, for then He shall know His own!!!
Scripture defines for us what it means to know יהוה, as we see, in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 8:3 “But if anyone loves Elohim, this one is known by Him.”
To love Elohim, gives us the sure promise that we are known by Him!.
Sadly, so many people do not ‘know’ what love for Elohim is, all because the priests that are teaching them, do not know Him and are presenting a corrupted Ba’al worship system that had cast aside the need to obey the commands of Elohim:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:8 “The one who does not love does not know Elohim, for Elohim is love.”
The Greek word used for ‘know’ in Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John is γινώσκω ginōskō – Strong’s G1097 which means, ‘to perceive, to learn, to come to know, comprehend, understand, recognise, learn to know, get a knowledge of’..
As we sit under the instructions of our Creator and Redeemer, we learn to know Him and get a knowledge of who He is and come to know how we are to live in obedience to His clear Torah.
There are so many liars out there today, who claim to know Elohim, yet they have no knowledge of His Torah at all, as they refuse to sit and learn His Word – how can they know Him!!!.
It is one thing to claim that you know Him, yet whether we know Him or not, is seen in the fruit of our obedience to His commands, and all will be clearly revealed when He returns – as many will come running, claiming that they know Him, yet they will be rejected!.
While many people today, claim to ‘know’ Elohim, their refusal to submit to walking in the Torah and guarding His commands, and their refusal to keep His Appointed Times, simply reveals their lack of knowledge of who Elohim is, and unless they seek Him, in order to know Him and walk in Him, they will sadly find themselves being rejected by the One who they thought they knew!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7: 21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!”
יהושע then proceeded to tell the parable of the one who ‘hears’ His Words and ‘does’ them will be a wise man who builds on the rock!!!.
Repeatedly we find, throughout the historical records that are contained in Scripture, that both the Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah were often guilty of not ‘hearing’ and acknowledging their Master’s voice.
Instead, they were feeding themselves on pagan traditions, rather than the truth – which is a clear mirror image of what we see happening today, by so many, and more specifically, by the churches who operate, not on the Rock of Truth, but rather, on the twisted application of man-made, and man-driven, dogmas that are deeply rooted in pagan worship.
Those who follow false tradition over truth, are those that do not know Him, and He will declare very plainly that He never knew them!.
We are to pursue to know His word, seeking it out, so that we can discern correctly and rightly handle the truth:
Hoshěa/Hosea 6:3 “So let us know, let us pursue to know יהוה. His going forth is as certain as the morning. And He comes to us like the rain, like the latter rain watering the earth.”
Despite the need to continually be pursuing to ‘know’ יהוה, so many quickly turn aside to falsehood, as they do not ‘know’ the right-ruling of יהוה:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:7 “Even a stork in the heavens knows her appointed times. And a turtledove, and a swallow, and a thrush observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the right-ruling of יהוה.”
Yeshayahu was told to go and speak to a rebellious people who do not know:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 “And He said, “Go, and you shall say to this people, ‘Hearing, you hear, but do not understand; and seeing, you see, but do not know.’”
Hearing but not hearing, seeing but not ‘knowing’ – that is the state of so many today!
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:20 “And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am יהוה your Elohim.”
This verse carries great insight for us, in that it clearly instructs us to set-apart יהוה’s Sabbaths, for that will be a sign between us and Him, in order to ‘know’ that He is יהוה our Elohim..
I have often said that Sabbath is, in many ways, a door, or entrance point, in getting to know יהוה as we should, for it is on His set-apart day that we learn to know Him, as an assembled body of Messiah, that is being made ready as an adorned Bride!
Those who reject the Sabbath and its needed observance, as commanded, will never be able to ‘know’ יהוה, no matter how much they claim to ‘know’ Him!.
Another interesting statement we are able to see in verse 8, is how these false teachers, prophets and priests, had walked after matters that did not profit!
The Hebrew phrase that is translated as ‘not profit’ is לֹא־יוֹעִלוּ lo yo’lu which comes from the 2 root words:
1) לאֹ lo – Strong’s H3808 which is the primitive adverb that means, ‘not, no, never, neither’
2) יַעַל ya’al – Strong’s H3276 which means, ‘to confer or gain profit or benefit, avail, furnish, that which is profitable and good’.
This word יַעַל ya’al – Strong’s H3276 is used 23 times in 21 verses in the Tanak (O.T.), and is mostly used in relation to that which does not profit; yet we do see that which is best for us, when we see this word used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 48:17 “Thus said יהוה, your Redeemer, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, “I am יהוה your Elohim, teaching you what is best, leading you by the way you should go.”.
Yehuḏah were not letting יהוה teach them what is best, as they had resorted to having their ears tickled by worthless falsehood that does not profit at all!
A word that is derived from the root word יַעַל ya’al – Strong’s H3276 is the word בְּלִיַּעַל beliya’al – Strong’s H1100 comes from two words:
1) – בְּלִי beliy – Strong’s H1097 which means, ‘failure, wearing out, without, lack of, corruption’, which comes from the root word בָּלָה balah – Strong’s H1086 which means, ‘to fail, become old, wear out, decay, consume’; and
2) – יַעַל ya’al – Strong’s H3276.
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:15 “And what agreement has Messiah with Beliya’al? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?”
As we consider these words that Sha’ul wrote to the assembly at Corinth, we recognise how clear his call was to the believers back then, and is still very clear to us here today.
And that is, as followers of Messiah, we must be on guard against being influenced or corrupted by that which does not follow our Master and Elohim; and the urgency of this call to come out and be separate is still sounding very loud and clear..
What is ‘beliya’al’?
It is only used once in the Renewed writings, and the Greek term Βελιάρ Belial – Strong’s H955 means, ‘wickedness, worthlessness’, and is considered, in the Greek, as an epithet for the devil.
It is a noun that is transliterated from the Hebrew word בְּלִיַּעַל beliya’al – Strong’s H1100 which means, ‘worthlessness, wicked, naughty, evil, unprofitable’.
Sha’ul makes a clear distinction between that which serves and follows Messiah versus that which serves and follows Beliya’al.
While this term can be an epithet for the devil, it is also used to describe a person who walks contrary to the Truth, and is therefore not a servant of the True Master, but is a servant to that which the devil presents as a twisted alternative.
True worshippers of Elohim worship in Spirit and Truth, and any deviation from walking according to the clear plumb-line of the Word, be it through compromise and lawlessness, renders one to be reckoned as a man/woman of beliya’al..
As we hear the call to come out and be separate, we must recognise the urgency for total set-apartness, and not be found to be having any agreement with that which is beliya’al!
The Torah was given through Mosheh, and revealed through the life, death and resurrection of יהושע Messiah, our Good Teacher whom we follow wholeheartedly!
Those of ‘beliya’al’ do not do so; and as we can see from the two root words that בְּלִיַּעַל beliya’al comes from, the term ‘beliya’al’ can be better understood as, ‘failure to profit, failure to do what is best’, and ultimately marks one who ‘fails to follow יהוה’, by refusing to submit to walking wholeheartedly in His commands!.
In verse 9 Yirmeyahu’s message takes a turn, in depicting a type of court like scene, if you will, with the words:
“I still contend with you”.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘contend’ comes from the root word רִיב riḇ – Strong’s H7378 which means, ‘to strive, contend, argue, complain, find fault, quarrel’, and in the tense that it is written in, it also carries the understanding/meaning of ‘conducting a legal case or lawsuit’.
After all, The Judge was speaking loud and clear, as the charges of forsaking loving-commitment were being addressed.
יהוה confronts them and basically, He says:
“Look at the nations around you, they haven’t forsaken their mighty ones (which, by the way, are not even mighty ones at all), yet you have forsaken the One and only True Elohim”
They had exchanged יהוה’s esteem for worthless idols.
Perhaps we need to ask ourselves, as we sojourn here, on our Wilderness journey, so to speak, if there are any worthless idols in our lives, that we have exchanged for the esteem and truth of יהוה.
Have we forsaken, or in possible danger of forsaking, true loving-commitment!.
Verse 13 clearly states what they had done wrong – the two evils that they had done were:
1 – Forsaken יהוה, the fountain of living waters; and
2 – They had made for themselves cisterns that could not even hold water!.
Water, as we all know, is essential for life, and here יהוה is saying that they had left Him, their essential source for life, and as a result, they were trying to make it on their own means and resources, which cannot sustain life.
יהוה is often referred to, in Scripture, as being the Fountain of Living Waters, and in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:13 we are told that those who depart from יהוה shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken יהוה the fountain of Living Waters!.
In Yoḥanan/John 7 יהושע makes it very clear that He is the source of the True Living Water, and whoever would come to Him and believe in Him and drink, would receive His Spirit, and would never thirst again!
What He was saying, is that once you have tasted His life, there is no comparison, you will not need to keep searching for where you can be satisfied, you will know, and have access to, His abundant source of life, daily!.
In Yisra’ĕl, where the source of fresh water was not always freely available, cisterns were often dug out and built, in order to catch, either rain water during rainy seasons or from an underground stream, and it was stored for later use.
Many of these cisterns could not keep the water; either because of cracks in the walls and, as a result, they would just become mud pits; or, they were abandoned because of dead animals that had fallen into them and had polluted the water; or, at times their enemies would come and poison the cisterns, as a means of cutting off any source of life, in order to make their prey weak and weary and easy to attack..
While Dawiḏ fled from king Sha’ul and wandered in the Wilderness, he cried out to יהוה and expressed his need for his thirst to be quenched:
Tehillah/Psalm 63:1 “O Elohim, You are my Ěl; I earnestly seek You; my being has thirsted for You; my flesh has longed for You in a dry and thirsty land without water.”.
It is so interesting, when you study and understand the land of the Scriptures, for even in the Wilderness, where Dawiḏ fled from king Sha’ul, and hid in caves, he could come to places of oasis in a dry land, like a place called En Geḏi, which is such a lush place in the wilderness, where there is a flowing fountain of fresh water..
According to Scripture, the wilderness is like life – It can be hot, dry and barren and you can get very thirsty and weary. Yet, יהוה is our shade and He is the source of living water that can make even the most arid and barren areas of our lives flourish and bloom, aměn!.
In this world today, we are in a spiritual wilderness and the solution to a full life, as a child of Elohim, is to find our source of living water in יהושע Messiah and in Him alone, so that we do not forsake Him and try to make our own cisterns that will not last..
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘forsaken’ comes from the root word עָזַב azaḇ – Strong’s H5800 which means, ‘to leave, forsake, loose, loosen, abandon, leave behind, neglect’.
This is another word that I would like to look at a little closer, as we can learn a lot from this little word, which I would like us to look at in terms of how it is written in ancient pictographic script, which is as follows:
Ayin – עָ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’.
Zayin – זַ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is a mattock (a sharp digging tool such as an axe or pick) and carries the meaning of ‘a weapon or tool that cuts, farming instrument’. A mattock would be a tool that was also used to dig up the soil so that seed could be planted. As we continue to remember to guard His Sabbath and His Appointed Times, and remembering to keep His commands, we are able to break up the tillable soil of our hearts and allow His Word to be worked in us, allowing His Word to cut away any dross or weeds that arise and allow the fruit of righteousness to spring forth!.
Beyt – ב:
This is the letter ‘beyt’ (ב), which in 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, and is the Dwelling Place of the Most-High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah..
In the context of understanding what we are discussing here, we see a negative aspect of this word, for with these three letters together, we see the meaning, ‘to leave, depart from or leave behind’ – in other words, to ‘FORSAKE’!.
Have you ever felt like you have been forsaken or abandoned?
How many times have you ever felt as if you are own your own and it feels as though you cannot find the presence of Elohim?
Well, when we look at these letters and their pictures, we can clearly see that when one feels ‘forsaken’, in any way, they often feel:
1 – – like they have no insight or understanding and cannot make head or tails of what they are facing? Why?…
2 – – because it feels like they have been cut deeply!!!
And without knowledge, understanding and insight of the Word, a person in pain, or a state of panic, will find that:
3 – they have no dwelling place to truly rest in, as they feel like they are in a dark place in their lives..
As a result of this, the tendency is to forsake what really matters – and that is, to be seeking יהוה.
We are urged not to forsake the gathering of the set-apart ones, as some are in the habit of doing, and this we must recognise as a very serious instruction to guard, lest we find ourselves in a place of feeling forsaken and without any insight or understanding.
And to be in this kind of place, will only weaken a person more and more, leaving them without the strength that is needed to hold on, or cling, to the Truth, with strong hands!
This is clearly a real danger and severe threat to anyone who is not seeking יהוה with their all!.
Now, when you take the first two letters of this word עָזַב azaḇ – Strong’s H5800, we get the word עַז az – Strong’s H5794 which means, ‘strong, mighty, fierce, power’, as well as meaning, ‘raging, insolent, greedy’.
Feeling ‘forsaken’ can be a very ugly, but strong, place to ‘dwell’ in, or rather, it can be a very crippling stronghold over a person..
Have you ever felt yourself dwelling in the house of the forsaken?
When it feels like you are all alone and there is no way out and no one to help you?
Ever had those terrible pity parties for one and no one else is invited?
It is often very hard to leave that ‘space’, or place, of weakness, even though you desperately want to!.
Often, the fear of possible failure, or further failure, can cause a person to stay dwelling in a stronghold of shame, guilt and abandonment, where they are left feeling all alone and not loved; and are unable to find the strength needed to change. Can you identify with this in any way?
Perhaps some of you cannot, but there are many out there who find themselves getting into this this bad space and then hide away!.
The antidote is found in the very same root word, believe it or not!
We have just looked at the ‘dark’ aspect of this word עָזַב azaḇ – Strong’s H5800, so to speak, and we are warned of the result of being in this place; however, this same root word is used in another passage of Scripture, where we find that the very same root letters having another meaning!
It is used during the rebuilding of the Temple walls in:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:8 “Next to him Uzzi’ĕl son of Ḥarhayah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs. And next to him Ḥananyah, one of the perfumers, made repairs. And they restored Yerushalayim as far as the Broad Wall.”
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘restored’ is, in fact, from the root word עָזַב azaḇ – Strong’s H5800; and here, we see it having the meaning of ‘restoring, repair or being fortified’.
As odd as this may seem, what we can see from this, is that while what we are feeling, may seem like we are forsaken; יהוה could be actually restoring and repairing us.
We see two aspects to this word, that ought to both warn us and also encourage us.
Without knowledge and insight, due to not seeking Him, one may find that His very sharp Word, that cuts deep, seem like a very cruel and painful process, that only leaves one despondent and unable to find true rest in Him, all due to eyes that have no understanding, from lack of seeking.
On the other hand, when we are seeking Him with our all, and the veil is taken away when we turn to the Master, we recognise that, while His sharp Word that cuts deep and may be at times a little painful, we are able to recognise the need to learn and change, as His Word shapes us and be found dwelling in Him with joy and peace, able to rejoice when we face all kinds of trials!.
Forsaking the Torah of Elohim is a forsaking of Elohim too!
We see, in the following account of the first wicked king of the House of Yehuḏah:
Diḇre haYamim Bet/2 Chronicles 12:1 “And it came to be, when Reḥaḇ‛am had established the reign and had strengthened himself, that he forsook the Torah of יהוה, and all Yisra’ěl with him.”
Then we see in verse 5, the following, when Shemayah, the prophet, came and spoke these words:
Diḇre haYamim Bet/2 Chronicles 12:5 “And Shemayah the prophet came to Reḥaḇ‛am and the rulers of Yehuḏah, who had been gathered in Yerushalayim because of Shishaq, and said to them, “Thus said יהוה, ‘You have forsaken Me, and therefore I also have left you in the hand of Shishaq.’”
The reason for me highlighting these two verses, is to point out a very clear fact: When you forsake the Torah of יהוה, you forsake יהוה!
Reḥaḇ‛am and all Yisra’ěl sought the world and what it had to offer and יהוה used the world to discipline and humble them..
In Yeshayahu we see a clear rebuke given to a sinning nation:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:4 “Alas, sinning nation, a people loaded with crookedness, a seed of evil-doers, sons acting corruptly! They have forsaken יהוה, they have provoked the Set-apart One of Yisra’ěl, they went backward.”
A sinning nation had forsaken יהוה!
This, once again, is abundantly clear for us to see from Scripture. Those who cast the Torah aside and reject the need to walk in His laws, have forsaken Him!
This, in itself carries the clear warning against the wickedness of the worthlessness of lawlessness that is being taught today!
Forsake יהוה and He will forsake you:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 28:9 “As for you, my son Shelomoh, know the Elohim of your father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a pleasing life, for יהוה searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you do seek Him, He is found by you; but if you forsake Him, He rejects you forever.”
Diḇre haYamim Bet/2 Chronicles 15:2-3 “And he went out to face Asa, and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Yehuḏah and Binyamin. יהוה is with you while you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He is found by you, but if you forsake Him, He forsakes you. 3 “And for many days Yisra’ěl has been without the true Elohim, and without a Torah priest, and without Torah.”
Both of these accounts give us a clear witness of the truth that if we truly seek יהוה then He is found by us, but if we forsake Him, He forsakes us! You will notice that the clear state of a wicked Yisra’ěl, who had forsaken יהוה, was due to then being without Elohim, a Torah priest and Torah!.
Without the Torah, one cannot be properly seeking יהוה and, as a result, will cause one to forsake יהוה and be without the True Elohim!
Our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, told us that He is the True Vine and we are the branches, and if we stay in Him, He will stay in us!
Having said that, we recognise that by Him telling us that He is the True Vine, we are warned against the false and degenerate vine that has many grafted into it and headed for destruction!
Being without the Torah, due to the wicked and worthless teachings of man, that have rendered it as no longer applicable, leaves one without the True Elohim, which means that those who are casting aside the Torah, and reject the need to guard the commands, Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה, are without the True Elohim and are serving a lawless counterfeit, that does not have the true source of living water, making those who follow such wickedness of worthlessness, become worthless and in danger of being thrown into the fire, for not having the proper fruit of righteousness.
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:13 “O יהוה, the expectation of Yisra’ĕl, all who forsake You are put to shame. “Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken יהוה, the fountain of living waters.”
As we see these clear prophetic words of Yirmeyahu, we are able to unveil the revelation of Messiah who came in the flesh to save, as we see that Messiah is the Living Waters:
Yoḥanan/John 4:10 “יהושע answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of Elohim, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me to drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
יהושע Messiah made it clear to this woman at Shomeron that He was the One whom they were expecting!.
We are told that those who departed from Him, the Living Waters, would be written in the earth!
Understanding this, let me remind you of the account of the scribes and Pharisees who brought a woman caught in adultery before יהושע:
Yoḥanan/John 8:6 “And this they said, trying Him, so that they might accuse Him. But יהושע, bending down, wrote on the ground with the finger, as though He did not hear.”
יהושע Messiah, The Fountain of Living Waters did not listen to them, and He wrote on the ground!!!
What was He writing?
I am certain, that in accordance with the clear revelation of prophecy, that He was writing the names of these religious ones, who had forsaking the Expectation of Yisra’ĕl, that had bent down before them as a witness against them, in making it clear that He, the Expectation and Saviour of Yisra’ĕl had come down and had written their names in the earth!!!.
Fountain of Living Waters:
In Tehillim/Psalm 36 Dawiḏ gives a very clear contrast between the wicked and the righteous and he declares to Elohim:
Tehillim/Psalm 36:9 “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”
The Hebrew word for fountain is מָקוֹר maqor – Strong’s H4726 meaning, ‘a spring, fountain’ and comes from the root קוּר qur – Strong’s H6979 which means, ‘to dig’ and we know we are to dig and seek out His kingdom and His righteousness – the question is whether people have found the True well of LIFE and are sitting and learning at it or is it a muddied counterfeit?
The word for life is חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416 which means, ‘life, alive, living, flowing, fresh, running’..
For more on the expectation of Yisra’ěl, please see the message called, “THE EXPECTATION OF YISRA’ĔL – Immersion unveiled!” which can be found on our site (https://atfotc.com) under the sermons 2020/2021 menu or by clicking on the following link:
With יהוה is the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE!!!
Tehillah/Psalm 68:6 “Bless Elohim in the assemblies, יהוה, from the fountain of Yisra’ĕl.”
When we come to the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE and gather when we should, as an obedient flock who know His voice, then that Water of Life becomes a fountain in us as our lives are changed and our speech is renewed enabling us to bring life and healing to the nations!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wrong.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:14 “The Torah of the wise is a fountain of life, turning one away from the snares of death.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of יהוה is a fountain of life, to turn away from the snares of death.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:22 “Understanding is a fountain of life to him who has it, But the disciplining of fools is folly.”.
יהושע is The Word made flesh and, in essence, portrays for us the pure example of the Life that the Torah is to us and in many ways is often regarded as being the “Living Torah” and our source of Life, or more appropriately put – He is the Life of the Torah – and when we drink of Him – the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE – Living Waters begins to flow out of us as we gain understanding, and walk in the fear of יהוה by walking in the Torah, and our speech becomes a flowing source of life!!!.
This word – חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416, in the ancient pictographic script, look like this:.
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as 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.
Yod – י
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘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!.
From this ancient pictographic lettering of the word for LIFE: חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416, we are clearly able to see how by the work of Messiah – the outstretched arm and hand of Elohim, we as living stones, are built up in Him as the Dwelling Place of the Living Elohim and have been separated to serve and worship Him in Spirit is Truth..
These two pictographs can render for us the clear meaning:
SEPARATED TO SERVE
What gives us our ability to be built up as living stones in the Master is our continued obedience to walking in that which is our life – His Torah – and meditating on it day and night!
Yehoshua/Joshua 1:7-8 “Only be strong and very courageous, to guard to do according to all the Torah which Mosheh My servant commanded you. Do not turn from it right or left, so that you act wisely wherever you go. 8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.”.
The Torah of יהוה is our life and it is what we are to delight in, in order to be on guard against the dangers of forsaking loving-commitment and truth and the worthless matters that are causing many to be led astray by, as they are drinking from muddied sources and not the living fountain of life!.
The imagery is very striking for us today as it clearly sets before us a question that we need to constantly be asking ourselves – Where do you drink from for life?
Is it from יהושע, the Living Water, through properly drinking from His Word; and are you daily being satisfied and equipped to face the day, and telling others of Messiah, as you go through whatever wilderness elements you face?
Or, are you trying to build your own source of sustenance which does not really work at all, but is rather causing you to go round in circles lost in your wilderness, only to find that you are thirsty and weak?.
The picture of a broken cistern, given here in Yirmeyahu, gives one the picture of something that is leaking.
Now, to leak simply means to escape through an opening, by fault or defect!
Broken cisterns leak out the little life that it is supposed to hold.
Have you ever had יהוה’s richest blessings in your life, leak out slowly, and before you know it, it is gone?.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘cistern’ comes from the root word בּאֹר bor – Strong’s H877 which means, ‘a cistern, pit, well’ and comes from the root word בָּאַר ba‘ar – Strong’s H874 which means, ‘to make distinction, to make plain, expound on, inscribe’ and by analogy, it means, ‘to engrave’ and figuratively, it carries the understanding, ‘to explain, make clear, declare’.
This is very interesting to take note of, as we know that when we drink of the True well of Living Water, by guarding the Covenant, through proper loving-commitment, we are nourished and satisfied; as the truth is engraved on our hearts and we are able to make a clear distinction between the set-apart and the profane.
However, the cracked cisterns that were being made here, give us a picture of how so many today are making their own explanations, excuses or even doctrines, in order to say, and justify, why they worship the way they do.
Yet, what we must take note of here, is that false doctrines and traditions of man, cannot hold the True Living Water – it leaks out, and we need to realise that we are not able to change, or replace, the Word of יהוה, with something of our own making!
This was the charge against Yehuḏah back then, and is still the charge being sounded today – against a people who have forsaken loving-commitment, as a result of forsaking the Torah, while pursuing the wickedness of worthlessness!.
A cistern is an artificial reservoir for water and was typically built underground.
Leaking or abandoned cisterns were often used for burial sites, as well as torture or prison chambers..
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 38:6, we are told he was lowered in to a cistern, a mud pit.
Cisterns were useful in many parts of the Middle East, as springs weren’t always abundant, and so, the people would dig wells and cisterns in order to catch rain water and hold whatever water they might be able to carry from other sources, to be their source of drinking water for the family and their herds and flocks.
But, when push came to shove, any man in his right mind wanted “living water” and not cistern water.
Here, Yehuḏah preferred the stagnant waters of a cistern, a broken cistern, over what יהוה wanted to supply them.
Why would they do that?
Why would they prefer stagnant over fresh?
Well, because they dug their own cisterns!
This meant it was theirs, their water and they could do with it what they want!
Coming to drink of the Living water, comes at a price – yes, it is free and paid for, but it costs you a surrendered obedient life, one that has been bought!
This means giving יהוה control in all areas of our lives, and for many, this is too hard and they therefore build cistern for themselves..
Verse 19 highlights for us that those who have forsaken יהוה and built their own cisterns, are led and taught by their own evil ways and, as a result, they have no fear of יהוה!
We see the same worthless state of so many today, as they clearly do not have the fear of יהוה..
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 2:21 “Yet I had planted you a choice vine, all of it a true seed. How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of a strange vine?”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘choice vine’ is שׂרֵק soreq – Strong’s H8321 which means, ‘choice wine, noble wine’.
This word is used 3 times in Scripture – here and another two verses:
Berěshith/Genesis 49:11 “Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washed his garments in wine, and his robes in the blood of grapes.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 5:2 “And He dug it up and cleared it of stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a watchtower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it. And He waited for the yielding of grapes, but it yielded rotten ones.”
יהוה had planted a ‘choice vine’ and called a nation to be set-apart unto Him, yet we see that this ‘choice vine’ (שׂרֵק soreq) had turned away from following יהוה by whoring after the nations and became a degenerate plant of a ‘strange’ vine (גֶּפֶן gephen)!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘vine’ is גֶּפֶן gephen – Strong’s H1612 and while meaning ‘a vine’ or ‘a vine tree’, it is also used figuratively, in Scripture, as a reference to the nation of Yisra’ĕl, as well as a symbol of prosperity and we also take note here, that the Greek word that is used in the LXX for this word ‘vine’ is ἄμπελος ampelos – Strong’s G288 which we find being used in the words of Messiah who called Himself the True Vine:
Yoḥanan/John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener.”
We are to stay in Him and He will stay in us, for without Him we can bear no fruit!
What we see from this verse, is that we recognise how Messiah calls Himself the True Vine, showing us that there is indeed a strange vine, which we must guard against falling for the drunkenness and maddening adulteries that comes forth from her grapes.
We must ‘stay in’ the True Vine and recognise the One to whom all praise is due!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘strange’ is נָכְרִי noḵri – Strong’s H5237 which means, ‘foreign, alien, adulteress, stranger’..
In the latter part of Berěshith/Genesis 49:11, we are also given language of the True Vine – יהושע Messiah, who is coming again – this time not on a donkey – but rather, He is coming in vengeance to tread the winepress in His wrath, and His garments will be red with the blood of grapes!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 63:1-4 “Who is this coming from Edom, with garments of glowing colours from Botsrah, who is robed in splendour, striding forward in the greatness of His strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is there red on Your raiment, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. And I trod them down in My displeasure, and I trampled them in My wrath. Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have defiled all My raiment. 4 “For a day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come.”.
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 2:22 we see that those who have forsaken יהוה and made their own cisterns, cannot get properly cleaned up, no matter how much they try!!
The false systems of worthlessness may present an appearance of cleansing, to the ears that they are tickling, yet the crookedness of worthlessness is ingrained before יהוה, and it is only He that can truly cleanse those who will repent and be immersed in Him, and keep clean by guarding His Torah!.
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1, we are able to see in the call to repentance, we see the clear instructions being given to Yisra’ěl, to get cleaned up and walk in the Truth, and we take note of the following, in terms of what we are discussing here in this article:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:16-18 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Stop doing evil! 17 “Learn to do good! Seek right-ruling, reprove the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says יהוה. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”.
Here we see the clear instruction to stop all the evil and get cleaned up!
If only people would open their ears and hear this today!!!
But just how do we get clean?
יהוה had just highlighted the terrible picture of their lawlessness and then, in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:17, He makes it clear -:
1 – Learn to do good; 2 – Seek Right-Ruling; 3 – Reprove the oppressor;
4 – Defend the fatherless; 5 – plead for the widow..
In other words, seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness and be a voice for those that are unable to speak for themselves! Learning to discern and do good requires a returning to the Torah which teaches us to distinguish between the clean and the unclean, the set-apart and the profane!.
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:18 we see the words, ‘Come and let us reason together – Though your sins are like scarlet – they will be white as snow.
The Hebrew word used here for the phrase, ‘let us reason together’ is וְנִוָּכְחָה ‘venivaḵeḥah’ and comes from the root word יָכַח ‘yaḵaḥ’ – Strong’s H3198 which means ‘to decide, prove, judge or correct’.
In effect, what יהוה is saying here to a sinful nation is this:
“Come let Me prove to you… that you will be cleaned up… if you …”.
Here He is using court like language, that has been addressing the guilty to seek judgement and right-ruling, and He is submitting His case here, as if on trial and proceeds to show them on what principles they may be pardoned!.
So many people love this verse on its own, but do not proceed to the next and do not understand the seriousness of the stain of sin and lawlessness!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:19-20 “If you submit and obey, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword,” for the mouth of יהוה has spoken.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘eat’ and ‘devoured’ comes from the same root word, which is the root word אָכַל aḵal – H398 and means ‘eat, consume, devour or be devoured’..
So, in essence, what is being declared here is simply this:
if you submit and obey you will eat and enjoy the good of the land –
if you rebel and refuse to submit and obey you will be eaten by the sword –
Refuse and disobey and His Word will consume you up and devour you in judgement according to His righteous right ruling!.
We have a choice – eat His Word and walk in Him and be satisfied or eat all the junk that is on offer and neglect His Word and be eaten by the very Word that is rejected.
It is not a difficult concept to grasp – the question remains – how is your diet, and more importantly – what is filling you?
EAT RIGHT AND LIVE OR LIVE WRONG AND BE EATEN:
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:15 “And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations. And He shall shepherd them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Ěl Shaddai.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:21 “And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.”.
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 2:25 we see the analogy of keeping their feet from being bare and their throats from thirst, yet they said it was useless, as they go after the strangers that they love!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘feet’ is רֶגֶל regel – Strong’s H7272 which means ‘a foot/feet or to walk’, and in Scripture, this often speaks of one’s obedience to walking according to the commands of יהוה and obeying His call to keep His feasts as commanded; as this same word is used in Shemoth/Exodus 23 and is translated as ‘times’, in reference to the 3 times a year that all were to celebrate a festival to יהוה, which would collectively cover all 7 Feasts/Appointed Times of Elohim, marking out the clear need for us to walk according to His word and guard the Appointed Times or Feasts of יהוה!.
Keep your feet from being bare!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘bare’ comes from the root word יָחֵף yaḥeph – Strong’s H3182 which means, ‘barefoot, unshod’ and again, this speaks of being incomplete, in not wearing the full armour of Elohim, as we are reminded of, in Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6, that instructs is to have our feet fitted with the shoes of peace, or, as the KJV says, ‘feet shod’, and here again Yehuḏah were being charged of having no concern for walking in the commands of Elohim, but rather, they preferred the ‘strange’ matters..
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘strangers’ comes from the root word זוּר zur – Strong’s H2114 which means ‘strange, stranger, adulterer, adulterous, enemy’, and is used to describe the ‘strange’ fire that the two sons of Aharon brought before Elohim, and were struck dead..
The term translated as ‘I go’, comes from the Hebrew word הָלַךְ halaḵ – Strong’s H1980 which means, ‘to walk, to go, to live, manner of life, cause to live’ and literally speaks of how one lives.
Yehuḏah preferred to live according to the profane and adulterous ways of the world, instead of walking in loving-commitment to the commands of יהוה.
While they were clearly profaning the Truth, preferring the lust of the flesh and making up their own standards of living, they thought that they were blameless and without any sin..
In verse 23 יהוה asks how they could say that they were not defiled, and in verse 35 they were saying that they were innocent and had not sinned!!!
The delusion of lawless living, will blind the eyes of those profaning the Word, into thinking that they are not doing anything wrong and that יהוה’s displeasure will not come upon them – this is what the lawless think – and they are sadly mistaken!.
In verse 33 we see that they were told how they were even teaching the evil women their wicked ways – in other words, they were teaching the whore new tricks, so to speak; and we see the same happening today, as the church will try to keep up with the latest trends and teach the lawless, their profane ways.
And we see how the competition to put on a show that is better than before, becomes that which most churches today are striving for, just to keep the masses hooked, under the theologies and traditions of man, that they are teaching.
In the process, they are leading the ignorant to death!.
In verse 34 we are told that the blood of the lives of the poor innocents are on their skirts and here carries the picture of how this is done in plain sight and not in secret!
Yeḥezqěl was told that if he did not warn the sinners of their sins, then their blood would be on his hands, and so here, we see a picture of what is happening today – the church is not teaching the Torah and not showing people the error of their lawless ways and are therefore, clothing people in unrighteous garments – and are doing so without shame.
The warning is still applicable today – the blood of the lives of the poor innocents who are led astray by falsehood will be upon the false teachers..
As we see, in verse 35, the lawless masses today, who forsake the need to walk in the Torah and guard loving-commitment, are doing the same, by adhering to a false doctrine of man and claiming that they are innocent and are not in sin; which simply reveals that the Truth is not in them – in can’t be or else they would walk in it!.
Look at what Yoḥanan tells us:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:10 “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
The result of the worthlessness of the lawless, will be that their delusional worship will be exposed, and when it is, they will stand ashamed and put their hands on their heads in shame, as they will see that יהוה has rejected that in which they put their trust, because lawless living – that is – living without the loving-commitment of guarding the Torah, cannot prosper anyone!.
Yehuḏah had her broken cisterns – they worshipped false mighty ones like Ba’al, the fertility mighty one of the Phoenicians; and the false prophets spoke in the name of Ba’al; and there was a false sense of prosperity which יהוה had forewarned them about in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:11-17, and they had foolishly left יהוה for what were poor substitutes!.
Today, there are many people who are just as guilty for the same two sins that the people of Yehuḏah committed in Yirmeyahu’s day.
Is it possible that, at times, that you too have become so accustomed to the Living Water, that you have found yourself having wandered away from the fountain of life, to see if there is some other water available elsewhere?
Have you foolishly got involved in building your own cisterns, which, begin to crack under pressure?
What about, in your prioritising what you read?
By that, I mean that some believers spend an enormous amount of time reading magazines, newspapers and other worldly literature, yet spend little or no time reading Scripture – why?
Perhaps this too is a form of a cracked cistern building.
While it isn’t wrong to read newspapers, magazines or other materials, you need to ask yourself if these things become more exciting and more interesting than יהוה’s Word..
If we are turning away from the Living Word, and spending masses amount of time seeking to satisfy our thirst in some other way, we may just be guilty of the same sins as Yehuḏah.
Some people are in such hot pursuit of their career, that they never get time to meditate on the Word, and while work in necessary, for without work one will not eat, yet, if complete fulfilment is found in the pursuit of one’s career alone, then perhaps it could be a form of cistern making that will end up having cracks!
The same thing goes for recreation and entertainment.
Work, reading and recreation – all of which are not wrong, in themselves – and are good and helpful, when kept in proper balance!
But, when we find that we are looking to these things for satisfaction and fulfilment in life, a subtle form of cistern building may be going on..
We can be guilty of having broken cisterns in our lives, by going after false mighty ones today, for whatever you put before יהוה is a false mighty one!
Things such as: materialism, or immorality which is a form of idolatry.
We can be guilty of listening to false teachers, as described in Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 2:1-3, who are leading people astray.
When we are not walking in unity with each other, in יהוה, and are not making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit, through the bond of peace, by walking in forgiveness, and are not seeking every opportunity to build each other up in the most set-apart faith, then we may just be building a little cistern for ourselves, in order to hold that stale bitterness resulting from unforgiveness!.
May we be reminded, as Kěpha says, that we have the sure word of prophecy that we would do well to take heed of, and shine the light of the Truth, as we guard loving-commitment in this dark place, being steadfast until our Master comes again and finds belief in operation, in our lives!.
This message, from the basis of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 2, presents the very real WARNING AGAINST THE WICKEDNESS OF WORTHLESSNESS, and having ears to hear what the Spirit says, may we all be on guard against the luring poison of the worthlessnesses of lawlessness, being presented by the whore and her seductive ways that lead to death!.
Let us be faithful in not forsaking the Living Waters for broken cisterns of falsehood and lies – for that would not profit us in any way; and as we sojourn here in our wilderness journey, let’s hold fast to walking in the sure hope of our coming King as we hear, guard and do all He commands, so that we can be sure that we shall not stand ashamed before our Maker, aměn!.
While many people have left the straight path and have forsaking יהוה for profane forms of fleshly worship, let us heed these very clear words of יהוה, spoken to us through Yirmeyahu and hear the call to:
NOT LET LOVING-COMMITMENT BE FORSAKEN!.
I close with the words of this Tehillah, that I referred to earlier:
Tehillah/Psalm 36:7-10 “How precious is Your loving-commitment, O Elohim! And the sons of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. 8 They are filled from the fatness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. 9 For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. 10 Draw out Your loving-commitment to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright in heart.”.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you shalom!.