Shabbat Shalom family,
Tehillim/Psalm25:21 “Let integrity and straightness guard me, for I have waited for You.”
Integrity and straightness – תֹּם־וָיֹשֶׁר – ‘tom vayosher’ – the things that guard us as we wait for the return of our Master!
The word used for ‘integrity’ is תֹּם tom – Strong’s H8537 and carries the meaning, ‘completeness, integrity, blameless’ and comes from the primitive root verb תָּמַם tamam – Strong’s H8552 meaning, ‘to be complete, full, perfect, finished’ and from this root we get the word תָּמִים tamim – Strong’s H8549, meaning ‘perfect, without blemish, complete, sound, and blameless, without defect’.
The word used for ‘straightness’ is ישֶׁר yosher – Strong’s H3476 meaning, ‘straightness, uprightness, correctly, honesty’ and comes from the primitive root verb יָשַׁר Yashar – Strong’s H3476 meaning, ‘to be straight, smooth, upright’
To be complete, blameless, sound and upright is what will guard us as we sojourn here!
He word used for ‘guard’ is the primitive root verb נָצַר natsar – Strong’s H5341 meaning, ‘to keep watch, guard, preserve’ and a derivative of this word is the נֵצֶר netser – Strong’s H5342 meaning, ‘Branch, a sprout, descendant’ and is used as a reference to Messiah! Why all the words? Well it is clear that as we walk in integrity and straightness according to the Word, we recognise that in following in the steps of Messiah and walking as He walked we shall be preserved as we faithfully wait for Him. Now to walk in integrity and straightness we must recognise that we are to indeed walk as Messiah walked and as we recognise that He did not come to destroy the Torah and the Prophets but rather He came to fully meet all that is written in them and show us how we can, in Him who is our perfect sacrifice, too ‘walk’ in the fullness of the Torah and the prophets as true talmidim (disciples). When יהושע brought the Besorah of the Kingdom He in one sense increased the standard of what has been written in that he came to show us not only the letter but the Spirit of the Letter; and so while He did not add or take away, what He did do was reveal to us to greater call beyond letters on a page, for when His letter is on our hearts a higher call is resounded! In a message tonight called, ‘BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY!’ I would like us to look at some more key Hebrew words and terms used in some of Sovereign Dawiḏ’s words. Please turn with me to Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 29 (Read)
For the purposes of time I would simply like to highlight some key Hebrew words that will help us understand the call to go beyond the call of duty; and by that I mean that while many certainly recognise the need to walk in the Torah and keep the Torah in a manner of speaking, I do recognise that that there are many who never go beyond the base standard of the Torah and simply do what is called for or required and as a result never give their all, but only what they deem necessary as instructed in the letter. When Messiah came, I believe that His teachings never belittled the Torah in any way but rather expanded on the true nature of the Torah and therefore revealed a higher standard or call beyond the letter, which does not set the letter aside but rather fulfils it and embraces it in Spirit and in Truth!
In these closing chapters of Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles we see some very powerful words from Dawiḏ – challenging words indeed – words that ought to challenge our motives and actions in serving the Master יהוה with our all.
Before looking at this chapter 29 I want to highlight Dawiḏ’s words to his son Shelomoh in Chapter 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.”
Very powerful words give to Shelomoh indeed – words we too ought to take careful heed of. As we know from the life of Shelomoh, he did not end well as he turned away from serving with a perfect heart as he preferred to satisfy all his wives and concubines!
Here Dawiḏ instructs his son the same instructions we as children of the Most High must take heed of; and that is that we are to ‘know’ our Master יהוה, which is the word יָדַע ‘yada’ – 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 follow His commands.
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
The word for ‘serve’ is עָבַד aḇad – Strong’s H5647 which means, ‘to work, serve, become slaves, cultivate, perform, serve, worship’, from which we get the word עֶבֶד eḇed – Strong’s H5650 meaning, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’, and as a child of Yisra’ĕl, which we have become by the Blood of Messiah, we are servants of יהוה.
When Messiah came He told His disciples that He no longer calls them servants but friends for servants do not know what their master is doing, but we are now friends as He revealed through His life, death and resurrection The Master’s teachings!
This does not set aside our need to serve, now that we are called friends; on the contrary the call is greater for now we know and understand the teachings and service with our all becomes the utmost and only priority of our lives!
A true friend serves with a perfect heart and a pleasing life! The word used for perfect here is שָׁלֵם ‘shalem’ H8003and means ‘complete, safe, at peace, blameless, whole, full’, and speaks of an undivided heart, a loyal and devoted heart and the word used for ‘pleasing’ is חָפֵץ ḥaphets – Strong’s H2655 meaning, ‘delighting in, having pleasure in, willing’, and form this we can see that the service called for unto our Master and King is service that comes from an undivided heart and in which we take great pleasure and delight in – it is not under compulsion but motivated by loving obedience in going beyond the call of duty!
A warning is also given here in that Dawiḏ makes it clear that יהוה searches the hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts! The word used here for ‘intent’ is יֵצֶר yetser – Strong’s H3336 which means, ‘imagination, a form, fashioned, framing, purpose’ – in other words יהוה understands and knows exactly the forming of our thoughts and the fashioning of our thinking in our life. He knows what shapes our thinking and the warning here is clear – if you depart from His Word that ought to shape our thought and direct our lives then we risk the end result of being rejected by Him forever! True seeking of יהוה is seek out, study, investigate and meditate on His Word – and this is expected of a true servant who goes beyond the call of duty. It is not enough to simply read a Torah portion once a week and listen to a message once a week – each and every day our thoughts and intents of our hearts and minds ought to be shaped by his Word, and so I ask you tonight – are you simply just doing a duty in reading what you think is required to pass or are you immersed in His Word day and night, allowing it to give you true discretion and discernment in all matters?
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 29:13 “And you shall seek Me, and shall find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Seeking with all our heart implies having forsaken all else and only allowing the Torah to be the true navigation of our souls, in Messiah!
Later in the chapter 28 Dawiḏ encourages Shelomoh to be strong and courageous and assures Him the promise that יהוה will not leave him nor forsake him until he had completed all the work for the service of the House of יהוה. This is prophetic in nature as we certainly see that Shelomoh indeed fell away after the House was built and this should be a sobering reality to us that we have to guard the duty of the House (that is His Body) at all costs!
Moving into Chapter 29 I simply want to look at more key words which ought to challenge us in assessing the motives of our hearts and the action of true committed service to our Loving Redeemer and King!
Dawiḏ made it clear that he was not going to build the house and that Shelomoh his son was the one to do so; and in these great words of Dawiḏ, the beloved king, he expresses powerful words of joy, fervency and generosity as he reminds them of the Covenant that יהוה had made with them and challenges all to get involved in the building of the House of Elohim as he calls to action those who are willing – as he certainly set the standard in the delight he had in giving his all and going beyond the call of duty; to which the leaders responded greatly with intensity and fullness of heart.
Complete trust in יהוה will cause us to voluntarily give our all and go beyond the letter of the Torah!
Dawiḏ had contributed a huge amount – in today’s value the 3000 talents of gold would amount to around $5.6 billion and the silver at around $250 million!!!
He then asks “Who then is moved to fill his hand today for יהוה?” Now I am sure that the people were moved by the example of Dawiḏ and his challenge inspired them to respond. The question being asked could be rendered as, “who is willing to set themselves apart for service today to יהוה?”
It is the same question that is being asked today – who is willing to be set-apart and serve, not only as a called out people for a service – but who is willing to give their all – who is willing to go beyond the call of duty. The requirements for the Tabernacle service were clear and the temple tax was clear – yet this was a call for voluntary service – and boy did they respond! The contribution from all who volunteered was 5000 talents of gold which today would amount to a value of around $9.3 billion and the silver of 7000 talents would be around $359 million (the reason I used dollars is because it is too much to compute into SA Rands!!!)
In verse 9 we see that the people rejoiced for they had given voluntarily with a perfect heart to יהוה, and at this Dawiḏ too rejoiced!
The word for ‘rejoiced’ is שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’, and can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!
The root word used for ‘given voluntarily’ is נָדַב nadaḇ – Strong’s H5068 meaning, ‘to incite, impel, make offerings willingly, volunteers’ and we get the word for the voluntary offerings from this word, which is נְדָבָה nedaḇah – Strong’s H5071 meaning, ‘voluntariness, freewill offering, volunteer freely, willingly’.
Tehillim/Psalm 54:6 “Voluntarily I slaughter to You; I praise Your Name, O יהוה, for it is good.”
Tehillim/Psalm 119:8 “Please accept the voluntary offerings Of my mouth, O יהוה, and teach me Your right-rulings.”
This speaks of our willing choice to offer up our lives in wholehearted devotion to serving our Master – and to do so voluntarily is a great expression of our joy in loving Him as we should, with praise and thanksgiving. This speaks of our eagerness and willingness to freely offer up our lives as a living offering and incite others to do so too!
The voluntary offerings were beyond the tithes, contributions and vowed offerings and were as they are called – ‘voluntary’, and while this was not mandated as a strict requirement we see that the provision of this acceptable offering to יהוה reflects the call to go beyond the call of duty!
Once again we see that it was with a perfect – שָׁלֵם ‘shalem’ – complete and undivided heart that the people rejoiced in their voluntary giving in response to call of their beloved king!
Dawiḏ blessed יהוה before all the assembly and declares thanks and praise unto His Name, and in this powerful prayer he says in verse 17 that he acknowledges that יהוה, his Elohim, tries the heart and that יהוה desires uprightness, and it was in the uprightness of his heart that he gave voluntarily!
Well here we can clearly see what the desire of Elohim is – uprightness and Sha’ul tells that we are to be a living sacrifice and how we can know the desire of Elohim:
Romiyim/Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.”
He desires uprightness and this word used here is the word already discussed in the beginning as ‘straightness’ that guards or watches over us – the word ישֶׁר yosher – Strong’s H3476 and this word can speak of walking straight or making straight paths and living blameless lives as we walk in righteousness; and this word is also often used in connection with ‘eyes’ as an idiomatic expression ‘’to do what is right in the eyes” as in:
Shemoth/Exodus 15:26 “And He said, “If you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim and do what is right in His eyes, and shall listen to His commands and shall guard all His laws, I shall bring on you none of the diseases I brought on the Mitsrites, for I am יהוה who heals you.”
In verse 24 we see a powerful illustration of the correct response to the call of a beloved king in that all the rulers, mighty men and sons of Dawiḏ submitted themselves to Shelomoh the king!
The term ‘submitted themselves to’ is – נָתְנוּ יָד תַּחַת – ‘nat’nu yad tachath’ – from three words:
1 – נָתַן Nathan – Strong’s H5414 which means, ‘to give, put, set, ascribe, devote, give over, deliver up’ and a derivative of this word is נְתִינִים Nethinim – Strong’s H5411 which were the ‘temple servants’ or ‘given ones’ who served in the temple and often did menial tasks yet their lives were given over to service in the temple under the hand of the Lěwites.
2 – יָד yad – Strong’s H3027 and is a primitive root which is translated as, ‘hand, command, authority, power, tenon, side’, and the primary meaning of this noun is “the terminal part of the arm used to perform functions of man’s will.”
3 – תַּחַת tachath – Strong’s H8478 meaning, ‘underneath, below, instead of, allegiance’ and can be understood as ‘under the authority of’.
What we can see from this here is the clear submission of true servants who volunteer to go beyond the call of duty as they gave over their lives to work and serve under the authority of king Shelomoh, or rather they ascribed and submitted under the hand of Shelomoh and their allegiance to him would be clearly seen in the work of their hands as they would not do their own works, but submit and walk in his commands and instructions!
This is a powerful illustration that we see here in these closing two chapters of this book, and echoes a call for us as servants of the Most High Elohim. Dawiḏ as a picture of our Beloved King, reminds us of how Messiah gave His all for us and has called us to total set-apartness, which will cost you your all – and as a result of a true heart response of pure uprightness we too submit ourselves to our King. The wording here is a great shadow picture of Messiah, the True King to whom we surrender our lives and ascribe all the work of our hands under His authority and rule. Shelomoh means ‘peace’ and so we see a great picture of the King of Peace as Malkitseḏeq, who was the kings of Shalĕm, is a clear description of our Messiah King who is our high Priest according to the order of Malkitseḏeq!
The heart behind this message tonight is about true servanthood – true service in the Kingdom under the hand of Messiah King – which involves the call of our Beloved King of Peace to discipleship and follow Him with our all as we do so with a full and complete heart of peace that rejoices in our Maker, bringing praise and esteem to His Name. Sha’ul said that he learnt to be content no matter what circumstances he found himself in and so pictures for us a שָׁלֵם ‘shalem’ that is filled with the Truth and the desire for total uprightness and integrity!
My question to you tonight is whether you are willing to go beyond the call of duty?
Are there areas in your life that are still causing you to have a divided heart over certain matters or relationships etc. What do you fill your heart with each day – is it His Word and His presence so that you can be led forth in true peace in all you set your hand to, or do you try to scrape by in doing what may be classed as ‘the bare necessities’ of the Torah while you’re ability to go beyond is hampered by the world and extremely tough circumstances? Let us respond to our True King of Peace – יהושע Messiah and go beyond the call of duty in giving our all with a rejoicing perfect heart!