7th of the 1st month 2017/2018
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 20:1-4 “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and shall see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them, for יהוה your Elohim, who brought you up from the land of Mitsrayim, is with you. 2 And it shall be, when you draw near to the battle, that the priest shall come and speak to the people, 3 and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: You are drawing near today to battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not fear, or tremble, or be afraid before them, 4 for יהוה your Elohim is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”
When facing the battles of life we are not to be afraid as we stand firm in our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah!
These words were given to encourage Yisra’ĕl to not be afraid of the battles that they would face and here we take note how these words would have been words that were needed to be heard on a regular basis, as the instruction here is clear in telling us that when a battle was faced then the priest would come and speak to the people and tell them not to be afraid, reminding them that it is יהוה who fights for us and He calls us to ‘stand’ and be steadfast in the face of the enemy! We are able to stand and be confident on our faith in Messiah because of who He is and we recognise that He is the One who has delivered us and called us our from darkness into His marvellous light! Guarding His Word and not denying His Name is what we are called to do, for in doing so we are enabled and equipped to stand firm, armed with His Word!
These words from Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 20:2-4 really gripped my attention again this past week and I recognised how important these words are and that these are words that need to be heard by those who have ears to hear. We all face battles on a daily basis and I think that all reading or hearing this would agree with me that the battles are growing in intensity and frequency, which highlights for us therefore the need to be reminded of these words!
In a very brief message called, ‘CONFIDENTLY FACING THE BATTLES OF LIFE!’ I want to ‘speak’ an encouraging call, to all who will hear, to keep their stand in the Master firm as you draw near to every battle that you face!
This Chapter in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 20 begins with the words, ‘when you go to battle against your enemies…’ and certainly highlights the reality that battles would be faced on a regular basis!
The word translated here as ‘when’ – is כִּי kiy – Strong’s H3588 which is a primary conjunction that can mean, ‘that, for, when, because, if, since’ as well as literally giving us the meaning of, ‘because’ and this highlights for us the clear emphasis of the reality that when life’s battles are faced we need to know how to stand and keep standing! This ‘when’ is not a ‘maybe’ but rather a ‘certainty’ that one needs to be fully prepared for! How ready and armed are you in your stand in the Master? Do battles catch you by surprise or catch you off guard and you find yourself unable to take a firm stand in the belief and end up compromising instead of standing firm in complete set-apartness?
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘go out’ comes from the root word יָצָא yatsa – Strong’s H3318 meaning, ‘to go or come out, brought, came, go forth, depart, go forward, proceed’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘fight’ is מִלְחָמָה milḥamah – Strong’s H4421 which means, ‘battle, war, warfare, military’ and this comes from the word לָחַם laḥam – Strong’s H3898 which means, ‘to fight, do battle, conquer’ and can also carry the meaning, ‘consume, to use as food, eat’. It is from this root word that we get the word לֶחֶם leḥem – Strong’s H3899 which means, ‘bread, food, provision’. We know from Scripture that bread is a symbol or picture of community and therefore understanding that the word for war/battle comes from the same root word from which bread comes from, then it helps us further understand how battles are often an intense fight for survival, as bread is that which sustains the physical. We also recognise that we are a community or body of Messiah that needs to stand together in unity as we collectively face many battles that rage against the members, highlighting how important it is for us to encourage and support each other on a daily basis! Battles make us stronger and enable us to encourage others to face what we have already faced and overcome in Messiah!
The Hebrew root word translated as ‘enemies’ is אֹיֵב oyeḇ – Strong’s H341 which means, ‘enemy or foe (both personal and national)’ and can primarily give reference to those who stand against us or who hate us.
when our ways please יהוה, we need not fear our enemies, nor their hostility and hatred they may display toward our ways that are pleasing to יהוה.
We need not concern ourselves with taking revenge on anyone, but are called to do our best to live at peace with all, for it is יהוה who will take vengeance on His enemies, giving us the great assurance that we can pursue peace and pursue apartness in all we do!
Romiyim/Romans 12:17-21 “Repay no one evil for evil. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, on your part, be at peace with all men. 19 Beloved, do not revenge yourselves, but give place to the wrath, for it has been written, “Vengeance is Mine, I shall repay,” says יהוה. 20 “Instead, if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink, for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with all, and pursue apartness without which no one shall see the Master.”
We are to do our utmost in making sure that our ways please Elohim, for then we can have the great assurance that even our enemies will not be able to rob or steal away the true and pure Shalom of our Master and Elohim!!!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:7 “When a man’s ways please יהוה, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Shelomoh highlights for us a very powerful truth in regards to our ability to stand firm in the face of our enemies, for when our ways please יהוה we need not fear the enemies that we face!
The Hebrew root verb used here and translated as ‘please’ comes from the primitive root verb רָצָה ratsah – Strong’s H7521 which means, ‘to be pleased with, accept favourably’.
Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 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.”
These verses answer for us the question of what is it that pleases our Master, which is of course…. Our set-apartness!
The Greek word used here for ‘well-pleasing’ is εὐάρεστος euarestos – Strong’s G2101 which means, ‘acceptable, pleasing, well-pleasing’.
Romiyim/Romans 14:17-18 “For the reign of Elohim is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Set-apart Spirit. 18 For he who is serving Messiah in these matters is well-pleasing to Elohim and approved by men.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8-10 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth – 10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Master.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:20-21 “And the Elohim of peace who brought up our Master יהושע from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you perfect in every good work to do His desire, working in you what is pleasing in His sight, through יהושע Messiah, to whom be esteem forever and ever. Aměn.”
The reason for highlighting these verses is to simply show us a few passages of Scripture that make it clear how the righteous know what is pleasing to the Master! Pursuing apartness and being set-apart as we walk in righteousness and guard to do all He has commanded us to do is what pleases our Master and Elohim and we find that pleasing Him becomes a very joyous and pleasing thing to do! Pleasing Him in every way includes our words, actions and thoughts!
Tehillah/Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing before You, O יהוה, my rock and my redeemer.”
Here the Hebrew word used for pleasing is the noun רָצוֹן ratson – Strong’s H7522 which comes from the verb רָצָה ratsah – Strong’s H7521, and is also used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 40:8 “I have delighted to do Your pleasure, O my Elohim, and Your Torah is within my heart.”
Without the Torah being in our hearts, in order to do it, we can never delight in doing that which pleases our Master and Elohim! When we are pleasing our Master we are equipped to go out and face the battles without fear of the enemies that surround us!
Here in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 20:1 we see the picture of intense battles being given through the image of the enemies coming out against us with chariots, horses and multitudes of people! This image in itself is certainly a very daunting one and one that Yisra’ĕl would have been accustomed to seeing whilst being held in slavery, yet they would also be reminded of how יהוה delivered them from the Mitsrites who pursued them:
Shemoth/Exodus 14:9-10 “And the Mitsrites pursued them, and all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Haḥiroth, before Baʽal Tsephon. 10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Yisra’ĕl lifted their eyes and saw the Mitsrites coming up after them. And they were greatly afraid, so the children of Yisra’ĕl cried out to יהוה.”
Having fled from Mitsrayim they were trapped with the Sea of Reeds ahead of them and the army of Mitsrites with their horses and chariots closing them in and they were extremely afraid, yet we take note of the words of Mosheh:
Shemoth/Exodus 14:13-14 “And Mosheh said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the deliverance of יהוה, which He does for you today. For the Mitsrites whom you see today, you are never, never to see again. 14 יהוהdoes fight for you, and you keep still.”
These words were spoken to them just before יהוה caused them to walk through the Sea of Reeds on dry ground and destroy the entire army of Mitsrayim! 40 years later this new generation were being told to not be afraid whenever they would go out to battle and see many horses and chariots coming out against them! This command given in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 20:1-4 could be understood very clearly in the light of past events that took place when they their father’s had been delivered from the hand of the Mitsrites. Taking one’s stand in the Master can be done with confidence because we know that He is the One who fights for us, for he has given us the clear witness of this fact throughout His Word! In the letter written to the Iḇ’rim/Hebrews we take note of the following words that follow after a chapter that emphasises the faith of those who stood firm in the Master:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1-2 “We too, then, having so great a cloud of witnesses all around us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 looking to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.”
When our eyes are fixed on יהושע Messiah we are enabled to run without hindrance and face battles with confidence in the One who causes us to stand armed in His Truth! How armed and ready are you to face daily battles?
Our Master told us we would face a lot of trouble yet we can be confident in our stand in him who has overcome the world:
Yoḥanan/John 16:33 “These words I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you have pressure, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”
The Greek word that is used here for ‘pressure’ is θλῖψις thlipsis – Strong’s G2347 which means, ‘tribulation, pressure, affliction, distress, persecution, trouble’ and comes from the primitive verb θλίβω thlibō – Strong’s G2346 which means, ‘to press or afflict, to distress, suffer affliction’, and in the literal sense can mean, ‘to squash, press, hem in, rub, harassed’, and also can be understood as being ‘narrow or hard pressed’.
Master יהושע Messiah tells us in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:13-14 “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. 14 “Because the gate is narrow and the way is hard pressed which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
The words translated here as ‘hard pressed’ comes from the Greek word θλίβω thlibō, and the Greek word translated as ‘narrow’ is στενός stenos – Strong’s G4728 which means, ‘narrow (space or passage) as a result of obstacles standing close about)’.
What becomes abundantly clear from Scripture is that in this world we will face many battles and when standing firm in the Master and walking in complete set-apartness, which is the narrow way, the pressures will be felt in a strong and crushing way yet we are called to take courage and be confident in the Master when facing pressures and battles! Life right and you will face battles!!! Possibly not the news that many like to hear but it is true and we must be up to the task of standing armed in the Torah of Elohim and endure!
Proper endurance in our Master entails our proper submission to walking in His Torah and compete, so to speak, according to His rules and instructions that He has clearly set forth in His Word’; and any failure to do this will result in one not receiving the promised crown of life to those who overcome! Endurance implies a sure suffering that needs to be faced, and we are clearly told in:
Timotiyos Bět /2 Timothy 3:12 “And indeed, all those wishing to live reverently in Messiah יהושע, shall be persecuted.”
The Greek word translated as ‘reverently’ is εὐσεβῶς eusebōs – Strong’s G2153 meaning, ‘reverently, piously, devout’ which expresses pure devotion and commitment to respect and honour that is to be given unto our Master and Elohim.
Whenever we face battles we need to be reminded of who our Commander is and be reminded that He has overcome the world and that He is the One who fights for us! Despite already knowing this we need to be constantly reminded of this, especially when facing battles on a daily basis!
In Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 20:2 we see that when Yisra’ĕl would draw near to battle then the priest speaks would come and speak saying, “Hear o Yisra’ĕl…” and from this we can learn a vital lesson in recognising that the only way to draw near to battle and be able to stand is to have ears that are attentive to the hearing of the Torah, as brought to the hearers by the appointed ones of Elohim! The lips of the priest should guard knowledge, as we see in the clear warning given in Mal’aḵi against priests that would not do so!
Mal’aḵi/Malachi 2:7 “For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and they seek the Torah from his mouth, for he is the messenger of יהוה of hosts.”
As one reads this chapter in Mal’aḵi/Malachi we take note of the severe rebuke given to a priesthood that had not guarded knowledge and had caused many to stumble instead of stand! Today we see many who are claiming to be teachers of the Word yet they are causing people to stumble through ear tickling messages as opposed to guarding knowledge and teaching the Torah of Elohim!
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For there shall be a time when they shall not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they shall heap up for themselves teachers tickling the ear, 4 and they shall indeed turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths.”
What needs to be heard today is the Torah of Elohim, so that the hearers of the Word can become faithful doers of the Word and be equipped to faithfully stand armed in the Truth and be confident in facing the battles of life!
Through the proper teachings of the Torah the proper hearer ought to be equipped to stand and not let their heart faint, and be strong and courageous so as to not be in fear, nor tremble, nor be afraid of the battles that they face!
DO NOT LET YOUR HEART FAINT, DO NOT FEAR, OR TREMBLE, OR BE AFRAID!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘faint’ comes from the primitive root verb רָכַךְ raḵaḵ – Strong’s H7401 which means, ‘tender, weak, soft, faint hearted’. This word is used in the clear call to come out and be separate:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 51:45-47 “Come out of her midst, My people! And let everyone deliver his being from the burning displeasure of יהוה. 46 “And lest your heart grow faint, and you fear the report heard in the land – for a report shall come one year, and after that, in another year a report shall come, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler – 47 therefore see, the days are coming that I shall bring punishment on the carved images of Baḇel, and all her land shall be put to shame, and all her slain fall in her midst.”
Here it is made abundantly clear: COME OUT OF HER MIDST – LEST YOUR HEART GROW FAINT!!!
So many find their heart growing weak and faint in the face of troubles and the battles of life simply because they stubbornly refuse to properly come out and be separate! This same call and warning is given in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”
In a parable of a pleading widow and an unjust judge, Messiah gave a very clear call to His taught ones that they were to persevere, and in doing so make sure that we are always praying and that we do not lose heart!
(Read Luqas/Luke 18:1-8)
We live in a very unjust world that is ruled by unjust people, yet we have a King who is coming to Bring His Rule and Reign, of which we are to be faithful ambassadors of, right here and now; which in itself takes great courage and strength to stand upright in an unjust world! We are called to be persistent in our petitions with thanksgiving before Elohim and never lose heart! This parable teaches us that even while an unjust judge will give in to a persistent widow, we can have much more assurance from our Righteous Husband and King who is coming for us, and that He will come and bring justice as He certainly hears our persistent petitions and prayers done with thanksgiving!
The clear question that rises from this parable that is given to teach us to not lose heart is simple – “who will be found to have lost heart?” Will He find belief/faith on the earth when He comes again? Will he find the faithful remnant who, despite the wickedness of the world, have held fast to His commands and teachings and have not lost heart in walking in His Torah?
Keep praying and do not lose heart, but hold firm to the belief with committed works of righteousness! This parable was given to us so that we should not lose heart. What does it mean to lose heart? To put it simply, it could be understood as ‘becoming discouraged’. Who of you have been discouraged lately? Perhaps you have found yourself becoming discouraged due to the choking worries of this world and deceit of wealth, as pressure to meet needs seems beyond your ability and reach? Perhaps you have been discouraged due to circumstances that do not seem to change as you would like them to?
Have you found yourself discouraged by the response of many to your proclamation of the Truth and found that your ability to walk set-apart is being hindered by the criticisms and slanderous words of others, be it from close family, friends or even colleagues at work? We all need to be reminded of this parable that we should hear from time to time, in order to defeat any discouragement that may be trying to creep in to one’s life.
Sha’ul makes a bold statement in his letter to the Corinthians wherein he uses the clear phrase, “we do not lose heart”, twice, in:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:1 “Therefore, having this service, even as we received compassion, we do not lose heart”
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but even if our outward man is perishing, the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
If anyone had reason to be discouraged it certainly could have been Sha’ul, if we consider the things that he had suffered – he was imprisoned, flogged, beaten, shipwrecked and more, which you can read of in Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 11:23-29 – and yet here he can make a bold statement – ‘we do not lose heart!”
I don’t think any of us come close to the experiences Sha’ul had and yet strange and sad as it is, many today become easily discouraged. He tells us in:
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:9 “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not grow weary.”
The Greek word translated as ‘lose heart’ is ἐκκακέω ekkakeō – Strong’s G1573 meaning, ‘lose heart, grow weary, exhausted, become faint’ and comes from two words: 1 – ἐκ ek – Strong’s G1537 which means, ‘from, from out of’ and is used as a preposition denoting the origin or point from where the action proceeds; and 2 – κακός kakos – Strong’s G2556 meaning, ‘evil, wicked, bad things, loathsome, wrong’.
To lose heart speaks of growing weary of doing good as a result of wickedness and evil being present in one’s life, or as a result of being involved in doing that which is wrong and loathsome in the sight of Elohim as measured against the clear plumb line of His Word.
The Greek word for ‘grow weary’ is ἐκλύω ekluō – Strong’s G1590 which means, ‘to loose, grow weary, faint, to weaken, relax, exhaust, become feint hearted’, and comes from the two words 1 – ἐκ ek – Strong’s G1537 which means, ‘from, from out of’, as discussed already and 2 – λύω luō – Strong’s G3089 which means, ‘to loose, to release, dissolve, annul, break, take off, unbind, untie’. In other words, ‘to grow weary’ is to break off from one’s called for set-apartness and in a manner of speaking, relax oneself from guarding the Torah that is to be upon their hearts and in their mouths, as compromise seems to be an easy reprieve from impending pressures, and this we are to guard against and ensure that we do not grow weary in doing good!
We can stand firm and not faint knowing that our Master fights for us and He saves us!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘to save you’ is לְהוֹשִׁיעַ – lehoshiya which comes from the root word יָשַׁע yasha – Strong’s H3467 which means, ‘deliver, brought salvation, saviour, saves’. This root word is used in various forms to make clear who our Saviour is. For more on this and the various constructs we find in Scripture that clearly proclaim that יהוה is our Saviour and that there is none else, please see the article called “YHWH our Saviour – YHWH our Messiah” on our site (https://atfotc.com) under the articles menu! We can be confident in facing the battles of life knowing who our Saviour is and standing firm in His Truth, for this is how we know that we know Him – when we guard His commands!
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.”
There are so many liars in the world today – people who are not confidently facing the battles of life as they do not know who their Saviour is, despite their claims to know Him as they do not guard His commands and reject the need to hear His Torah, which causes them to resort to gathering up for themselves ear tickling messengers of falsehood in order to sooth their own corrupt minds! Sadly, no matter how many ear tickling garbage they listen to, they will be identified as liars when our Master comes for His remnant faithful Bride who is confidently facing the battles of life!
Perhaps you have found yourself in a place where you have felt like giving up or have been found to be ‘losing heart’ of late. Maybe your prayer time has not been as persistent as it should or you have grown weary in fellowshipping and doing good toward others. Perhaps trials have got the better of you or you have found yourself mixing in the wrong circles and have been rebellious toward יהוה. Perhaps the battles of life have been harder to face with confidence because your proper hearing of the Word and the proper doing that goes with it have been lacking?
It is time for the true remnant Bride to stand up and be found to be
CONFIDENTLY FACING THE BATTLES OF LIFE!
How are you standing? How confident are you in the Master? Have you truly heard the call to come out and be separate, lest you heart grows faint? Do not let ear tickling deafen your ability to stand and know the True voice of the Good Shepherd – have ears to hear and guard to do all that our Master, Savour and Elohim has commanded us to, for it is he who fights for His Beloved Bride! Knowing this has to give us strength to stand and after having done all, to keep standing! I will close with the clear instructions that Sha’ul gives us to stand… instructions you know well…the question is – are you obeying?
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:10-18 “For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength. 11 Put on the complete armour of Elohim, for you to have power to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 Because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against authorities, against the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual matters of wickedness in the heavenlies. 13 Because of this, take up the complete armour of Elohim, so that you have power to withstand in the wicked day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand, then, having girded your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace; 16 above all, having taken up the shield of belief with which you shall have power to quench all the burning arrows of the wicked one. 17 Take also the helmet of deliverance, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of Elohim, 18 praying at all times, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watching in all perseverance and supplication for all the set-apart ones”
CONFIDENTLY FACING THE BATTLES OF LIFE!
Whatever pressures, trials, battles, persecutions and troubles you have or are facing, know that as you stay in the Master and do not lose heart, you will not be crushed or in despair, nor shall you be forsaken or destroyed!
The way we are able to guard against growing weary in doing good is to heed the command to not fear with the full knowledge and assurance that our Elohim is with us!
Tehillah/Psalm 25:14 “The secret of יהוה is with those who fear Him, and He makes His covenant known to them.”
As fervent soldiers of Messiah – may you too be found to take courage and be:
CONFIDENTLY FACING THE BATTLES OF LIFE!
How are you handing the pressures and facing the battles of life? Battles that come BECAUSE OF THE WORD? I am not talking about the pressures and battles that come because of your own poor choices – I am talking about the battles that come as a result of walking faithfully in obedience to the Torah of our Master.
Walking according to the Torah of Elohim is not hard – I will say that again – walking according to the Torah of Elohim is not hard – compromising is what makes it seem hard, as compromise only pulls you away from enduring obedience and seeks to justify the lack of true commitment!
This message is given with the hope to encourage you to stand up and stand firm in righteousness, ensuring that you walk upright amidst a crooked generation and not stumble through the pressures to compromise the Truth, even if it costs you your life!
When you go out to face battles, hear the Word of Truth and be strengthened in it so that you can be found to be a faithful servant that diligently stands firm and confidently faces the battles of life, knowing that our Master is with us and fights for us!!!
The favour of our Master, יהושע Messiah, be with you in abundance….!
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!