8th of the 2nd month 2016/2017
Shabbat Shalom all,
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:6-7 “But He gives greater favour. Because of this He says, “Elohim resists the proud, but gives favour to the humble. 7 So then subject yourselves to Elohim. Resist the devil and he shall flee from you.”
The proud are resisted while the humble are favoured! Ya’aqoḇ then goes on to tell us to subject ourselves to Elohim, resist the devil and he will flee from us! Here we can see the clear link between humility and proper subjection versus pride which resists and rejects the need to submit and obey! The Greek word that is translated as ‘subject’ is ὑποτάσσω hupotassō – Strong’s G5293 which means, ‘to place or rank under, to subject, to obey, put in subjection, to submit to one’s control, to yield to one’s admonition or advice’. This is also used as a Greek military term meaning, “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it is used to describe, “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.
Our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, is our Commander and Chief unto whom we are to faithfully subject ourselves in complete humility, as we walk in and stay in Him through the diligent loving obedience of guarding His commands, which is righteousness for us!!! As we subject ourselves to Elohim and put aside all evil, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all forms of corrupt speech, and draw near to our Master and Rock of our deliverance, we are then built up as living stones into a spiritual house and dwelling Place for the Most High, in order to humbly serve faithfully as a set-apart priesthood. Building our lives in any other way that contradicts or compromises complete set-apartness through stubbornness and pride will cause us to be destroyed. True humility causes one to submit to and be in subjection to the commands of our Master and Elohim. Resistance to faithful subjection to walking in His Torah and commands reflects a heart that is full of pride and will be resisted by Elohim!
The Greek word ὑποτάσσω hupotassō – Strong’s G5293 comes from two words: 1) ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under, in subjection to’, and 2) τάσσω tássō – Strong’s G5021 which means, ‘to place, set, appoint, order, arrange, ordain, establish, designate’. What becomes very clear in the Greek is that in true humility is seen in one’s complete subjection to being under the orders and commands of our Master and Elohim. Humility does not resist or cast away the need to submit to and walk in the commands but rather walks in subjection to that which has been established and designated for us to do! In a message tonight called, ‘BUILT UP IN HUMILITY OR DESTROYED IN PRIDE!’ I would like us to take a brief look at the account of a wicked king that gives us some clear insight and valuable lessons on guarding humility! Please turn with me to Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 33:20-25 (Read).
This is the brief account of the wicked king Amon, who was the son of Menashsheh and father of Yoshiyahu.
This account has only 6 verses written in reference to king Amon, and the account of his reign can also be seen in Melaḵim Bet/2 Kings 21:19-25 where there are 7 verses recorded for us in reference to this King. Ok, so a whole lot may not have been written about him, and rightly so as he did not do any good at all as he only did evil in the eyes of יהוה.
As one looks at the brief accounts that are given for this wicked king it may seem that there cannot be much we can learn, however there is a great deal we can learn from his life and very short reign, especially as we briefly consider his father and his son. As I already mentioned, Amon was the son of king Menashsheh who ruled over the House of Yehuḏah for 55 years. The name מְנַשֶּׁה Menashsheh – Strong’s H4519 means, ‘causing to forget, who makes me forget’ and was a name that was possibly chosen by his father, Ḥizqiyahu, who was a very good king. It was during Ḥizqiyahu’s reign that the House of Yisra’ĕl was taken away and Menashsheh would have been born around 12 or 13 years after The House of Yisra’ĕl had been divorced and taken away by the Ashshurians which would have made sense as to why Ḥizqiyahu would have given his son the name that carries the meaning, ‘causing to forget’. This name can certainly have varied applications of what has been caused to forget, especially as we look at the life of this wicked king who repented toward the end of his life. He started out very wicked and did not walk in the ways of his father but through sin and wickedness he was caused to forget the depravity of idolatry and the destruction that it brings, however in his later years this very wicked king who had slaughtered to demons and sacrificed children to Moleḵ and who killed the prophets of יהוה, repented and turned back to יהוה and humbled himself before Elohim as he earnestly sought the face of יהוה. He removed all the abominable images, idols and foreign mighty ones from the House of יהוה and removed all the slaughter places that he had built in the mount of the House of יהוה and in Yerushalayim, and rebuilt the slaughter place of יהוה and offered slaughterings of peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it and ordered Yehuḏah to serve יהוה!
This once very wicked king had a major turn around and repented of his evil and in turning to יהוה he would have been caused to forget the desire and lust for wickedness and pride as he learnt the benefits of humbling himself before יהוה, who raises the humble but puts down the proud! We are told that Menashsheh ‘slept with his fathers’, which may signify that he died a natural death due to old age, whereas his son did not! Amon was violently killed at 24 years old!
Amon was 22 years old when his father had died and he began to reign and reigned for only 2 years before being violently killed in his own house by his own servants!
Amon was a young man of fighting age when he became king and therefore would have witnessed the reforms of his father who had done much evil in the eyes of יהוה. Menashsheh was taken captive by Ashshur and bound in chains and taken to Babel because of all the abominable works of evil that he did, and it was while he was imprisoned in chains that he cried out in repentance to יהוה, and was then released and brought back to reign, where he destroyed all forms of idolatrous worship and practices. We are not given exact details around what year of his reign this took place, or how long he was held captive in Babel; however we do recognise that this repentance and reformation took place late in his life. Amon would have certainly grown up with much evil and wickedness and saw the change in his father yet he chose the evil way over the good! Despite the repentance and humility of Menashsheh we take note that he left a legacy of evil, in which his son continued to pursue and increase its wickedness. He did not learn from the errors of his father but chose to reject the concept of repentance and humility and this teaches us a vital lesson on how influential wickedness and sin can be to the next generation! Sadly what we have seen from history is that evil tends to be more influential than the purity of righteousness that is to be humbly submitted to, as most will go with the crowd on the broad path of destruction rather than choose the narrow path and walk in humility and in subjection to the Torah of Elohim!
Mishlĕ/proverbs 16:18 “Before destruction comes pride, and before a fall a haughty spirit!”
Pride comes before destruction! Therefore, if broad is the way that leads to destruction then it is safe to say that the broad way is a way that is filled with pride and lacks true humility!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:13 “Enter in through the narrow gate! Because the gate is wide – and the way is broad – that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter in through it.”
So many who vainly assume that the bigger crowds cannot be wrong, do so in ignorant pride and being on a path of pride there is no room for true humble repentance and submission, for it is scoffed at and reasoned away through empty philosophies and corrupt teachings of man! Amon, who was not passed through the fire like other sons of Menashsheh, witnessed the choice of following the broad way or the narrow way and he chose to stay on the path of destruction!
Perhaps in arrogant pride he may have thought that he had sufficient time to do all the evil and wickedness that he wanted to and then repent later on, just like his dad! He may have assumed that he had plenty of time to do what was right, but for the time that he was still young and energetic he wanted to reap the lust of the flesh and engage in all the evil he could as he trespassed more and more! While we have no clue whether he may have assumed to have had enough time to repent in his old age, what we can learn from this is the need to not leave putting off pride and sin for another day, for we just may not have another day to do it!
We should not, for a moment, delay the need to take heed to the call to turn away from all evil and wickedness, and must never delay our need to pursue apartness while we still have breath! Tehillah/Psalm 150:6, which is the last verse of the Tehillim/Psalms, says, ‘Let everything that has breath praise Yah! Praise Yah!’
We cannot waste the breath that we have been given and must use it to praise our Master and Elohim in all we say and do, as we do what He requires of us, which is to do right, and to love loving-commitment, and to walk humbly with our Elohim. (Miḵah/Micah 6:8). In the last two verses of Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes Shelomoh tells us the conclusion of the matter for which he searched out in regards to the purposes of life and the effects of both wisdom and folly and says in:
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the entire matter: fear Elohim and guard His commands, for this applies to all mankind! 14 For Elohim shall bring every work into right-ruling, including all that is hidden, whether good or whether evil.”
We are continually faced with the choice of walking in humility that leads to life or in pride that leads to destruction, and we have many examples that have been set before us, be it from our own family members who have gone before us or by others who we have allowed to have influence over our lives, and we need to take heed of the need to walk humbly before our Master and fear Him and guard His commands! When we do not do this then we are not being built up in humility but are rather heading for destruction that pride leads to. What we can learn from this young wicked king Amon is that we cannot wait or put off, until tomorrow or another day, the need to be or become humble. Today’s pride may just be the cause of your death!!!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 3:15 “while it is said, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Today is … today!!! We are to hear, guard and do what our Master and Elohim commands us to do as we humbly walk in subjection to His clear Torah and commands, and the application of what we hear today cannot be put off for another day, for that is nothing more than rebellion and pride!
Another lesson we can take from the account of Amon who did not choose to repent like his father, is that we often see many people excuse away their compromised behaviour because of the evil examples that they had growing up! Many people think that they can get away with a little (or a lot of) compromise because others who went before them did. Although nobody ‘gets away’ with compromise as it is either repented of or not, those who many think got away with sin may not recognise or have the fruit of the humility of true repentance. There are many today who have the vain notion that they will have enough time to do the right thing as they simply seek to continue ‘right now’ in satisfying the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, which is not of Elohim and will worry about humility later! Amon’s example ought to remind us that this can never be the case and this is a big warning against pride and the rebellion towards a called for set-apartness that can only be pursued through complete obedience to The Torah and commands of Elohim!
Amon’s son, Yoshiyahu, was the next king to reign and he was 8 years old when he began to reign. We are told that he did what was right in the eyes of יהוה, and walked in the ways of his father Dawiḏ, and did not turn aside, right or left.
I have looked at the life of Yoshiyahu in the past and will therefore not go in to much detail about the lessons we can learn from his reign. However we do take note that age is not an issue when it comes to a choice of humble obedience or prideful disobedience! Amon must have been around 16 years old when Yoshiyahu was born, and in our modern day we have come to know the concept of rebellious teenagers; well, Amon was certainly one of them! Yoshiyahu would have grown up under a proud and rebellious dad, yet he may have been severely influenced by his granddad, Menashsheh, who had repented from wickedness and served יהוה before his death. Whatever example Yoshiyahu may have had, be it from a wicked father who refused to humble himself or a grandfather who had turned from all pride and wickedness and had humbled himself before יהוה, we know that he clearly made the right choice at a very tender age and stuck by it!
What is sad to see today is how many parents neglect teaching their children in the ways of the Torah and leave them to their own devices. What we also have to recognise is that very young children are able to hear, guard and do and we need to encourage, teach and train them to sit and listen to the Word and in doing so we can prepare their hearts to receive the good nourishment of the Word from a tender age. It takes discipline to get children to sit and listen, and so it should. Allowing them to play around until they are deemed ‘old enough’ to hear and then ‘forced to sit’ and listen, could, in their eyes, be taken as something that is harsh and unpleasant, whereas when they are trained from very young to sit and learn then they will have a good foundation set for life! Perhaps we are also able to see a lesson in the example of these 3 kings as we consider the possibility that Yoshiyahu would have been trained in the ways of יהוה by a repentant grandfather, and this early example of humility caused this young king to walk humbly before יהוה. However, when Amon was very young and tender he may have learned from the example of his father who had not yet repented and therefore the earlier years of no discipline in the Truth led to him being a rebellious son who, through pride, was brought low and destroyed because of sin!
What we are able to learn from the accounts that we do have in Scripture is that we are both influenced by others and are also an influence upon others, whether you realise it or not. This should cause us to take great care in what we say and do, as we never know who may be watching and learning. How can we train our children to not compromise if they see us compromise? Sha’ul wrote in his letter to the believers in Corinth:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 11:1 “Become imitators of me, as I also am of Messiah.”
Very bold words to instruct with yet I wonder how many believers today can say this to others? How about you? Can you truly tell others to imitate your set-apart behaviour or would they end up compromising in certain things if they did?
How many parents can tell their children to imitate their set-apartness and be sure that their children will not compromise if they did? How influential are your actions upon other believers? How influenced are you by others? How influenced are you by those who are confessing believers, yet their lives may be riddled with compromise, which in turn may have actually caused you to drift away and compromise too?
Yoḥanan Gimel/3 John 1:11 “Beloved ones, do not imitate the evil, but the good. The one who is doing good is of Elohim, but he who is doing evil has not seen Elohim.”
As we humbly imitate the good and are doing good then we are able to lead people in the truth, however when influenced by evil we may be in danger of steering people toward the broad destructive path of pride!
What is interesting to take note of is that the name of אָמוֹן Amon – Strong’s H526 means, ‘skilled workman, master architect, master builder’. His name means ‘skilled workman, master builder’ yet we have no records of any construction projects or military contribution that marked his reign as king of the House of Yehuḏah! What he was known for is how he increased wickedness and idolatry as he trespassed more and more, and therefore he was a ‘foolish builder’ who built on sand! This name is the same as the noun that is used to describe ‘wisdom’, in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8:30 “Then I was beside Him, a master workman, and I was His delight, day by day Rejoicing before Him all the time”
Here the noun אָמוֹן amon – Strong’s H525 is used. These two words are spelt the same yet the Strong’s number identifies them separately as אָמוֹן Amon – Strong’s H526 is used only as a name, and is used 17 times to give reference to this wicked king Amon, a governor of Shomeron (Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 22:26) and a descendant of Shelomoh that returned back from captivity in Baḇelon (Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 7:59).
The noun אָמוֹן amon – Strong’s H525 is only used once in Scripture (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8:30 as quoted above). The use of this word in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8 is clearly used to describe our Master and Elohim, who is the Master Builder! This is part of a passage that highlights the origin of wisdom and we know that this is a parable that highlights very clearly to us how יהושע Messiah is wisdom, for all was made by Him, for Him and through Him. He is our Rock upon which we are being built up as living stones. Wisdom is personified here in the parable of Shelomoh and while we recognise that wisdom is not a person, we learn from Shelomoh the parable of how the personification of wisdom speaks of the only One True Master Builder, יהושע Messiah.
These two words: the name אָמוֹן Amon – Strong’s H526 and the noun אָמוֹן amon – Strong’s H525 come from the root verb אָמַן aman – Strong’s H539 which means, ‘confirm, support, be established, be faithful,, stand firm, trust, be certain, believe’. A word that is derived from the root אָמַן aman – Strong’s H539, is the Hebrew word used for ‘truth, trustworthy’, which is אֱמוּנָה emunah – Strong’s H530 which means, ‘firmness, steadfastness, faithfulness, stability, trust, truthful’. We serve a faithful and trustworthy Elohim – and in Him we find true stability, as we stand upon the Rock of Truth!
Why I am mentioning this to you is to highlight the clear parable we are given in Scripture as presented by the difference between this wicked king Amon and the only Wise True Master Builder, יהושע Messiah. Amon represents the foolish builder who builds on sand and walks in pride and is headed for destruction when the stormy wrath of Elohim comes to destroy the wicked. Those who walk humbly before our Master, The Rock of our Deliverance, and stay in Him, are built up in Him as living stones that will not be shaken!
What is also worth taking note of is that the Mitsrians worshiped a false deity called אָמוֹן Amon – Strong’s H528. Once again the spelling is exactly the same as the name and noun but is identified for us by the Strong’s dictionary as H528, which is used twice in Scripture in reference to the false Mitsrian mighty one that was worshipped.
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 46:25 “יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, has said, “See, I am bringing punishment on Amon of No, and on Pharaoh, and on Mitsrayim, and on their mighty ones, and on their sovereigns, and on Pharaoh and on those trusting in him.”
Naḥum/Nahum 3:8 “Are you better than No Amon, who dwelt by the Nile-streams, with waters around her, whose rampart was like the sea, whose wall was like the sea?”
I encourage you to go and read these two passages in their context and you will take note and see that these words were clear words of warning against false builders and the destruction that is coming to those who are filled with pride!
Those who are not being built up in the Master Builder, יהושע Messiah, and resort to compromised worship that denies Messiah are no better than those who are in the world and will be destroyed!
As we consider the short reign of the wicked king of Amon, the foolish builder of pride, may we take heed to the call to be building ourselves up in the most set-apart belief as we walk in the Truth and leave no room for the influence of compromise and sin that corrupts, but be steadfast in walking humbly with our Mighty Master and Elohim and stand firm as trustworthy ambassadors of His reign!
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:20-21 “But you, beloved ones, building yourselves up on your most set-apart belief, praying in the Set-apart Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of Elohim, looking for the compassion of our Master יהושע Messiah unto everlasting life.”
Being built up in humility or being destroyed in pride is a continual choice we are to make each and every day, and you who are in the Master know what you are to do, so as you consider the account of Amon may you be the trustworthy servant who walks in humility and in subjection the commands of our Commander and Chief, being strengthened to build each other up in love and guarding against the dangers of pride that leads to destruction, as you follow the good, do good and be a good influence for others to imitate!
I will close with the words of Sha’ul as found in:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 “But we who are of the day should be sober, putting on the breastplate of belief and love, and as a helmet the expectation of deliverance. 9 Because Elohim did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain deliverance through our Master יהושע Messiah, 10 who died for us, so that we, whether awake or asleep, should live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, as indeed you do.”
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!