Shabbat Shalom family,
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:7 “When a man’s ways please יהוה, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
When a man’s ways please יהוה!!! I am sure that all of us desire to please יהוה in every way, and the great assurance of peace is given to those whose ways please Him! The Hebrew word translated as ‘ways’ is דֶּרֶךְ derek – Strong’s H1870 which means, ‘way, road, distance, journey’ and is from the word דָּרַךְ darak – Strong’s H1869 which means, ‘to tread or march’; and so speaks of our walk, and every step that we take – and our ‘ways’ we are to commit to יהוה:
Tehillim/Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to יהוה, and trust in Him, and He does it.”
As we stay in the Master and He stays in us, we are well equipped to walk even as He walked, as we meditate day and night on His Torah and guard to do all that He commands; and when we obey and walk according to His Word, our ways – that is our walk of obedient faith in the Master – please Him. The Hebrew word translated as ‘please’ is רָצָה ratsah – Strong’s H7521 which means, ‘to be pleased with, accept favourably, delight, take pleasure in’, and it is this word that gripped me as I recognised how plain and clear He has made it known to us what He takes pleasure in and accepts favourably. In knowing what pleases Him we are faced every day with the distinct choice of whether we are seeking to do His Good Pleasure and please Him, or whether we are seeking our own! In a message tonight called, ‘HE TAKES PLEASURE IN THE WISE!’ I want us to be encouraged and reminded to be sober, alert, awake and on guard to be a continual pleasing aroma before our Master as we live and present our bodies as a daily living sacrifice, living set-apart lives in the Master as our reasonable and well pleasing worship unto Him (Romiyim/Romans 12:1).
One question that we ought to always be assessing our daily lives with is… “how is my walk?”, or, “how are my ways?”. If we would simply do an honest assessment on a regular basis we would surely find that our ability to keep our lives from being conformed to the pattern of the world would be strengthened as we renew our minds and meditate on His Torah daily. While we certainly know this to be a very clear and practical concept, what we do see however is that many simply neglect to present their bodies as a continual daily living offering; especially when the temptations of the flesh come and lure one away in order to seek to satisfy one’s own pleasures, rather than doing our utmost to do His Good Pleasure.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:16 “The wise fears and turns away from evil, but a fool rushes on and is reckless.”
The ‘wise’ fear and turn away from evil while the ‘fool’ does not. In understanding that the good and pleasing will of Elohim is for us to hear, guard and do His clear instructions as we love Him with all our heart; we are able to grasp that our only truest from of expressing that love for Him is in guarding His commands – and in doing so we are made wise:
Tehillim/Psalm 19:7 “The Torah of יהוה is perfect, bringing back the being; the witness of יהוה is trustworthy, making wise the simple”
Just think about this for a moment…! The Torah is perfect as it ‘brings back the being’… why then would anyone want to reject and nullify that which brings back the being! We know that Sha’ul tells us that the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, meaning that it leads us to and equips us in walking in and staying in Messiah… therefore the Torah is perfect for bringing back the being, which begs the question how anyone can truly know Messiah if they have not been trained by or brought back by hearing, guarding and doing the Torah of Elohim.
As we seek His truth and guard to do His Word we grow in understanding and in the application of the understanding our wisdom increases, causing us to renew our minds and be quick to turn away from evil and dysfunctional ways, so that we keep our ways committed to Him as we cling to Him and please Him. The Hebrew word for ‘wise’ is חָכָם ḥakam – Strong’s H2450 which means, ‘expert, skilled, learned’ and is from the primitive root word חָכַם ḥakam – Strong’s H2449 meaning, ‘to be wise, skilful, make wise’. To be wise means to be one who is skilled or learned and this takes time, determination and discipline! To be wise is evident of one who is increasing in their learning, as he gives his ear – that is his full attention – to hearing instruction and living as a taught one of the Master:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:5 “The wise one hears and increases learning, and the understanding one gets wise counsel”
The Hebrew word for ‘fool’ is כְּסִיל kesil – Strong’s H3684 which means, ‘fool, stupid fellow, dullard (which is a stupid and unimaginative person)’, and comes from the root verb כָּסַל kasal – Strong’s H3688 which means, ‘to be or become stupid, foolish’. So we can clearly see that while we are able to become ‘wise’ if we pay attention to hear, guard and do the word of Elohim, we also realise that we can quickly become stupid if we do not listen and obey, and refuse to accept the discipline of the Word. While the wise increase learning and delight in understanding the Truth as he meditates on the Torah of Elohim, the fool couldn’t care less about understanding:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:2 “A fool does not delight in understanding, but in uncovering his own heart.”
The Hebrew word used here for ‘delight’ is חָפֵץ ḥaphets – Strong’s H2654 and means, ‘to delight in, desire, take pleasure in’ and carries a similar meaning to the word already mentioned for ‘please’ – רָצָה ratsah.
The reason for me giving all the Hebrew words is so that we are able to clearly link up the Truth of the Word and get a better understanding of what it means to be a wise servant, rather than a fool, for יהוה takes pleasure in the wise, while we are told in:
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 5:4 “When you make a vow to Elohim, do not delay to pay it, for He takes no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you have vowed.”
יהוה takes NO Pleasure in fools!!! The word here for ‘pleasure’ is חָפֵץ ḥaphets, and clearly יהוה does not delight in the fool and his ways – but who then does He take pleasure in…:
Tehillim/Psalm 147:11 “יהוה takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who wait for His kindness.”
This was the key verse that got me looking into that which יהוה takes pleasure in, and the word used here for ‘pleasure’ is רָצָה ratsah (as already mentioned), as He clearly ‘accepts favourably’ those who ‘fear’ Him, and the Hebrew root word here for ‘fear’ is יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3373 meaning, ‘to fear, be afraid, reverence, respect’, and also is used as an adjective to describe one who is wise, and therefore giving us the better meaning of, ‘to stand in awe of, be awed, to reverence, honour, and respect’.
Here are a couple of well-known verses that make it very clear for us:
Tehillim/Psalm 111:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, all those doing them have a good understanding. His praise is standing forever.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:7 “The beginning of wisdom is: Get wisdom! And with all your getting, get understanding.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.”
A fool does not delight in gaining true knowledge of the Set-Apart One and by actions of lawlessness (without Torah) he reveals his lack of fear for Elohim! People who claim that the torah is no longer valid and has been ‘done away with’ lack knowledge and understanding and clearly do not know Scripture at all and are fools! A simple example is how the unlearned accuse us for ‘being under law’ often ask if we are still subject to the Torah then why do we not do sacrifices/slaughterings anymore. The answer is very simple, and anyone who is wise (that is learned in the Truth) would know that as long as the high priest is in the Most Set-Apart Place doing service before the Ark of the Covenant, no other service may be performed in the Tabernacle as no man should be in the Tabernacle until the high priest comes out of the Set-Apart Place:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:17 “And no man should be in the Tent of Meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Set-apart Place, until he comes out. And he shall make atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the assembly of Yisra’ĕl.”
When understanding the Tabernacle and the service thereof, which was a shadow picture of that which is in the Heavens, we are able to recognise that by Messiah, our High Priest, having gone into the Heavenly Tabernacle to make atonement in the Set-Apart Place not made with the hands of men, we realise that until He comes out of the Set-Apart Place on Yom Kippur, when He shall return to tread the winepress in His wrath and take up His prepared Bride, there can be no slaughterings/sacrifices. We know that there will be slaughterings in the Millennial Reign as described for us clearly in Yeḥezqěl chapters 40-48, as Messiah will be ruling as King and have competed His work of Atonement in the Set-Apart Place. Anyone who has no knowledge of the tabernacle and its service by not having any regard for the Torah, will clearly not be able to understand the work of Messiah and simply be a fool who does not delight in understanding.
I would like to give you a few verses where we also find this word – רָצָה ratsah – meaning, ‘to be pleased with, accept favourably, delight, take pleasure in’, in order for us to get a better understanding of how He has provided a way for us to be accepted in Him:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 1:4 “And he shall lay his hand on the head of the ascending offering, and it shall be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.”
This was the instructions given in regards to anyone who would bring an ascending offering – עֹלָה olah, and speaks of repentance as one would bring their voluntary ascending offering to repent for failing to perform the required instructions of יהוה. There he would lay his hand on the head of the animal and it shall be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. By doing this the man offering the עֹלָה olah would transfer his sin to the animal and the animal would die in his place to be atonement for the man. Then the one bringing the ascending offering would slay the bull before יהוה. This is very important for us to understand here – the priest did not slay the bull offering of another – each individual would have to slay their own bull. He would then have to watch the life of that animal drain out and the animal die before him and recognise that this animal that he has just killed is an atonement sacrifice for his sins in order that he can now draw near to יהוה. What we are to realise is that this is a clear picture for us of יהושע Messiah becoming our Atoning sacrifice that we all have offered up and killed by our sin; and by His sacrifice for our sins has been accepted on our behalf to make atonement for us, so that we can draw near to Elohim. As we accept our guilt and confess our sins יהושע is trustworthy to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
By His one-time sacrifice, we now have the way for Elohim to take great pleasure in us – if we walk in and hold on to wisdom, and turn away from all evil!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 7:18 “However, if any of the flesh of his peace offering is eaten at all on the third day, it is not accepted. It is not reckoned to him who brings it, it is unclean to him, and the being who eats of it bears his crookedness.”
This verse reveals to us the ‘negative’ aspect of acceptance, or rather what will not be accepted by יהוה. This instruction was in regards to the ‘peace offering’, which speaks of our fellowship that we have in being able to draw near to Elohim, for we have peace with Elohim through our Master יהושע Messiah. We have not only been atoned for by His Blood, but we also now are able to offer up our lives as a voluntary daily offering; and from this verse we can see that the peace offering was to be eaten on the day it was offered or the next, but not on the 3rd day, as this would render the offering to be regarded as unaccepted and would be regarded as unclean to him who brought it and anyone who eats of it would be guilty too!
This is a perfect picture of the work of Messiah and the Appointed Times of Elohim. 2 days the peace offering would be acceptable to eat! יהושע, our High Priest, through His sacrifice and offering of Himself on the 4th day (4th Millennium), we now have peace with Elohim and we are able to ‘eat’ of the flesh of this peace offering for 2 days only – that is the 5th and 6th day (5th and 6th Millennium). Anyone who is found to ‘eat’ or try to partake in sharing in His offering on the 3rd day (7Th Millennium) will bear his own crookedness, for the peace offering is no longer accepted, as the 2 days are over! It is crucial for us to understand this, for we see the same picture being given at Mount Sinai when Yisra’ĕl was given ‘2 days’ to get ready and on the 3rd Day be ready:
Shemoth/Exodus 19:10-11 “And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Go to the people and set them apart today and tomorrow. And they shall wash their garments, 11 and shall be prepared by the third day. For on the third day יהוה shall come down upon Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people.”
2 Days to wash their garments and be prepared by the 3rd – this was the allocation for the Bride to prepare herself, for on the 3rd Day He came down before the eyes of all. This will once again happen, as we shall see that on the 3rd day (that is the 7th day or 7th millennium) יהושע shall come down and every eye shall see Him and those who did not eat of His flesh during the 2 days permitted will be found guilty and would bear their own crookedness, while those who have partaken in the Peace Offering of Messiah during the 2 days will be cleansed from all guilt and death shall no longer have mastery over them!
The window of acceptance is here and now, and will close when He comes again. The wise heed these words and prepare themselves by walking in the true acceptance of the Beloved as they partake in the diligent guarding and doing of all His commands.
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 22:23 “As for a bull or a lamb that has any limb deformed or dwarfed you do prepare as a voluntary offering, but for a vow it is not accepted.”
Here we again have a clear description of what is NOT accepted as a vow – and a ‘vow’ is the Hebrew word נֶדֶר neder – Strong’s H5088 meaning, ‘vow’ and ‘to make a vow’ is the word נָדַר nadar – Strong’s H5087; and to “nadar a neder” is ‘to swear’ to Elohim with an ‘oath’, and therefore bind oneself with what proceeds from one’s mouth. A neder is something promised to Elohim verbally, and anyone who makes a vow is obliged to fulfil/do his promise! In Scripture a vow is always to Elohim and not to man. And the understanding behind a ‘vow’ carries the meaning, ‘to bind or imprison, or to dedicate a specific object or creature to יהוה’. As we dedicate our lives to serving our Master, in whom we now have acceptance by His Blood, we recognise that giving a deformed or dwarfed service is Not acceptable to Elohim – no half-hearted or lukewarm service – it is all or nothing!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:34 “and the land enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies waste and you are in your enemies’ land. Then the land would rest and enjoy its Sabbaths.”
The word translated as ‘enjoy’ is רָצָה ratsah, and we see how יהוה clearly told Yisra’ĕl that they would be disobedient and that He would do all of these words that He has written; and while being warned of their disobedience beforehand they still neglected to obey and guard His commands. As a result of disobedience the land needed to ‘enjoy’ its rest so that the Promised Land could too continue to be acceptable and pleasing to Elohim! This also highlights for us how serious יהוה is about His Sabbaths, which we are to delight in and enjoy as we enter into His rest each week, waiting diligently for His soon return!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:41 “and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies – if their uncircumcised heart is then humbled, and they accept the punishment of their crookedness,”
While having given the clear message of how they would be scattered for disobedience, Elohim also promised that if the scattered remnant humble themselves and ‘accept’ the punishment of their crookedness then He would remember His Covenants of Promise! This is a powerful lesson that many fail to see today – and that is how we are to accept the punishment for sin and realise that we are guilty of sin and deserve death – the death that Messiah died for us in order for us to be accepted before Him – we must not trample His sacrifice underfoot by walking away from the way He has provided for us – to walk in complete set-apartness!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 33:11 “O יהוה, bless his strength, and accept the work of his hands. Smite the loins of those who rise against him, and of those who hate him, that they rise no more.”
This was part of Mosheh’s blessing for Lĕwi and pictures for us the blessing of hearing the words of the Torah and guarding to do them as a faithful, set-apart and royal priesthood; as the works speak of our service before our Master, and we are to shine the light of His Truth before men, so that they see our good works of obedience and praise our Father in the heavens.
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah יהושע unto good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 24:23-24 “All these, O sovereign, Arawnah has given to the sovereign.” And Arawnah said to the sovereign, “יהוה your Elohim accept you!” 24 And the sovereign said to Arawnah, “No, let me buy it from you for a price, for certain. I am not offering burnt offerings to יהוה my Elohim without cost.” So Dawiḏ bought the threshing-floor and the cattle for fifty sheqels of silver.”
True acceptance comes at a price – and it will cost you everything!!! This chapter 24 records how Dawiḏ took a census that he should not have and after the census was done he realised he had done wrong and confessed. He was then confronted by the prophet Gad with a message from יהוה, which gave Dawiḏ a choice of one of three punishments that would be poured out as a result of disobedience – famine, sword or plague. After putting his life in יהוה’s hands a plague was sent for 3 days and killed 70,000 before יהוה relented from destroying Yerushalayim. At this Dawiḏ cries out in repentance and was told to build a slaughter place on the threshing floor of Arawnah. Arawnah wanted to give the threshing floor to Dawiḏ, yet he refused to take it without cost and paid 50 sheqels of silver for it and offered up the ascending offerings on this new slaughter place and the plague was stopped. This is again a powerful picture of acceptance through the work of Messiah, our beloved King, who paid the price for us; and the price of 50 sheqels of silver pictures for us redemption and release – for silver represents the purity and trustworthiness of His word as well as redemption, while 50 represents the Yoḇel – the year of release!
Some of you may be aware that this account is also recorded in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 24, and at first glance some claim that there is a discrepancy in Scripture between these two accounts as we see in:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 24:25 “And Dawiḏ gave Ornan six hundred sheqels of gold by weight for the place.”
Firstly we see that the name ‘Ornan’ is recorded here as opposed to ‘Arawnah’, which are one and the same person, as Arawnah is and orthographical variation for Ornan. But this is not what some argue over… the issue is whether Dawiḏ paid 50 sheqels of silver or did he pay 600 sheqels of gold? The answer is clear – he paid both! How…?well the account in Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 24 speaks of the ‘threshing floor’ – גֹּרֶן goren – Strong’s H1637 which relates specifically to the actual floor or place where grain was threshed. So Dawiḏ paid 50 sheqels of silver for the threshing floor, the cattle and implements required to build a slaughter place and offer up a burnt offering to יהוה, which as I already mentioned pictures for us redemption and release; and in the account recorded in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 24 Dawiḏ paid 600 sheqels of gold for the ‘place’ – which is the Hebrew word מָקוֹם maqom – Strong’s H4725 which means, ‘standing place, place, home, country, ground’, and by this account we see how Dawiḏ paid 600 sheqels of gold for the entire property, while having paid 50 sheqels of silver for the threshing floor and cattle alone. This would later be the place where Shelomoh would build the Temple, and we are therefore able to also see a great picture of the work of Messiah in the price of 600 sheqels of gold. In Scripture we see the number 600 being used uniquely in regards to natters of warfare or protection. Noaḥ was 600 years old when the flood began and was protected from destruction (Berěshith/Genesis 7:6). Shamgar struck 600 Philistines with an ox goad (Shophetim/Judges 3). 600 men of the tribe of Dan armed themselves for battle when seeking an inheritance to dwell in and went up to Qiryath Yeʽarim (Shophetim/Judges 18); Golyath’s iron spearhead weighed 600 sheqels (Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 17); In escaping from Sha’ul, Dawiḏ had 600 men with him (Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 23; 27; 30); Shelomoh made 200 large gold beaten shields of which 600 sheqels of gold went into each one. As we consider the number 600 and its frequent use around warfare or implements of armour, we are able to see how this can relate to warfare and protection, and are further able to see that by Dawiḏ buying the place of Ornan shadow pictures for us how our Beloved King, יהושע Messiah, who paid the price for us in His own Blood, is the one who is our shield and who fights for us, and in whom we find our refuge!
I have briefly mentioned a few of the verses tonight in order for us to get a better picture of acceptance. In the following verse we see both words for ‘acceptance, delight or pleasure’ being used;
Tehillim/Psalm 51:16-17 “For You do not desire slaughtering, or I would give it; You do not delight in ascending offering. 17 The slaughterings of Elohim are a broken spirit, a heart broken and crushed, O Elohim, these You do not despise.”
‘Desire’ is חָפֵץ ḥaphets and ‘delight’ is רָצָה ratsah
Tehillim/Psalm 119:108 “Please accept the voluntary offerings Of my mouth, O יהוה, and teach me Your right-rulings.”
A true wise servant seeks to learn the right-rulings of יהוה, and walks in the fear of יהוה; and total obedience to His commands reveals true fear of Elohim, which is clean:
Tehillim/Psalm 19:9 “The fear of יהוה is clean, standing forever; the right-rulings of יהוה are true, they are righteous altogether”
We see an example of this pure fear of Elohim through the example of Aḇraham’s complete obedience in:
Berěshith/Genesis 22:12 “And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy, nor touch him. For now I know that you fear Elohim, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
We are also told that He reveals His secrets to those who fear Him:
Tehillim/Psalm 25:14 “The secret of יהוה is with those who fear Him, and He makes His covenant known to them.”
Messiah told his taught ones in Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:11 that it has been given to them to know the secret of the reign of the heavens, but to those outside it is not. He spoke to His taught ones plainly while to those outside He spoke in parables – those who fear יהוה and seek wisdom shall have the Word made plain to them! Those who reject His Torah and cast is aside as something that has been done away with, do not understand the Word or the secret of the reign of the heavens, and seek for themselves false teachers who will continually tickle their ears with fabricated lies that only ends up suiting their own selfish pleasures in their vain attempt at worship which is not accepted by Elohim!
Tehillim/Psalm 60:4 “You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it might be lifted up because of the truth. Selah.”
Messiah is our banner, as He had to be lifted up and impaled for our sin, just as Mosheh lifted up the serpent in the Wilderness (Yoḥanan/John 3:14); and was exalted and given the Name above every Name (Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:9). The Hebrew word for ‘banner’ is נֵס nes – Strong’s H5251 which means, ‘a standard, ensign, signal, sign, banner, distinguishing mark’, and is the word translated as ‘pole’ for that which Mosheh put the bronze serpent on.
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:10 we are told that the Root of Yishai would stand as a banner to the people; and this banner would be given for the nations to gather the outcasts of Yisra’ĕl and assemble the dispersed of Yehuḏah – the very work of Messiah our Banner who has by His sacrifice made it possible for us to be accepted in the Beloved, and be a set-apart nation in whom He can take great pleasure!
Shemoth/Exodus 17:15 “And Mosheh built an altar and called its name, יהוה Nissi”
This altar was built after the victory Yehoshua had over Amalĕq, and the sure promise given to us that יהוה would fight for us from generation to generation as we walk under His Banner of praise!
The fear of יהוה, as mentioned, is the beginning of wisdom; and the wise we are told in Scripture: ‘seek’ יהוה (Tehillim/Psalm 14:2); they treasure up knowledge (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:14 ); they restrain their lips (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:19); they are ‘winning lives’ (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:30) – the goal of our faith is the deliverance of lives (Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:9); and the wise – listen to advice (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 12:15); they also ‘sow’ knowledge (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:7)
We know what יהוה delights or takes pleasure in – those who fear Him – those who are wise, and as we consider what true fear and the characteristics of a wise one are – how are you measuring up? Are you lifting up the banner – that is Messiah, proclaiming the King and His coming kingdom, while letting the works of obedience be seen by all, or has you offering been blemished or deformed through sin and compromise?
He takes pleasure in those who take pleasure in Him!
Tehillim/Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night.”
This is speaking of the man who walks in the way and stands not in the path of sinners, nor walks in the counsel of the wrong – he ‘delights’ – חָפֵץ ḥaphets – delights in, takes pleasure in and desires to hear, guard and do the Torah!
May you take these words and carefully consider the outcome of your life before the Master, so that you may walk joyfully in loving obedience to His Truth and be found to be a wise fearing servant in whom He takes great pleasure in, and not a fool who lacks commitment, understanding and knowledge of the Set-Apart One:
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; and may He take great pleasure in you as you walk in the fear of Him, eagerly awaiting His return!