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21st of the 5th month 2022/2023
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:21 “keep yourselves in the love of Elohim, looking for the compassion of our Master יהושע Messiah unto everlasting life.”
‘Keep yourselves in the love of Elohim’!!!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘keep’ is τηρέω tēreō – Strong’s G5083 which means, ‘to attend to carefully, to take care of, to guard, metaphorically – to keep one in the state in which he is, to observe, to hold fast’, and this is a verb which clearly implies an action that is required rather than a passive nullification of the need to observe.
It comes from the word τηρός tēros which is the Greek word for a ‘guard’, and we know that a guard cannot guard correctly if they are not alert and watchful!
Figuratively, this word τηρέω tēreō means, ‘obey, fulfil a duty, precept, law or custom, and to perform watchfully’. .
To guard the instructions of the One we know, implies an active obedience to what we hear Him speak and instruct and therefore, we are diligent in being watchful over His clear Words!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-7 “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. 6 The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked. 7 Beloved, I write no fresh command to you, but an old command which you have had from the beginning. The old command is the Word which you heard from the beginning.””
We are to be true servants of the Most–High, who properly make the good confession before many, as we Hear-Guard and Do our Master’s commands! .
Well, we know that love for Elohim is to guard His commands, as we are clearly told in:
Yoḥanan/John 14:21 “He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him.”.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3-4 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, 4 because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our belief.” ..
In this world we do face many struggles, temptations and battles, which are often trying to wrestle us into settling for a compromised lifestyle, which sadly, many people are unable to win, as they give in to the pressures of compromise and let go of maintaining the pure standard of set-apartness..
And so, to keep oneself in the love – which is: to diligently hear, guard and do the instructions (Torah) of Elohim, often becomes too hard, under the pressure of the flesh and outside influences that are constantly screaming at us for our time and attention, in an attempt to lure us away from keeping ourselves in the love of Elohim.
A walk of pure and devoted obedience is not easy, we know, but what we also know, is that we are called to perfect our set-apartness and put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh..
In a message called, “Maintaining the Standard”, I would like us to look at the last chapter, Chapter 13 of Neḥemyah/Nehemiah, as we can learn some vital lessons for us today in making sure we maintain the standard of set-apart living. .
Please read Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 13.
Before uncovering the events in the chapter, I will briefly share the background leading up to this Chapter 13, which is as follows:
Neḥemyah was a cupbearer in the ‘Persian White House’, so to speak, and he had to test all of the drinks that were to be served to the king, in order to make sure that they were not poisoned – pretty tough job!
He got news that Yerushalayim’s walls were broken down and the gates were burned with fire and he prayed to יהוה, confessing the sins of the children of Yisra’ĕl, both his and his fathers, for not keeping the Torah, and he asked יהוה for favour before the Persian king, who seeing Neḥemyah downcast (which he had never been before), granted him permission to go and rebuild the walls.
Neḥemyah was appointed governor and served for 12 years in that position.
He dealt with the enemies continued onslaught of ridicule and abuse. He organized the people, rebuilt the wall, set up the infrastructure for the repopulated city, and led a great celebration of dedication, as they kept the Feast of Yom Teruah and Sukkoth with exceeding joy and then after Sukkoth they fasted, perhaps because they had not kept Yom Kippur due to the preparations.
When all the building was done and they had a great feast of dedication, he returned as a senior advisor to the king of Persia.
After a period of time, he asked the king of Persia if he could go back to Yerushalayim and when arriving in Yerushalayim, he found that what he had left had become defiled.
In other words, they had not maintained the standards that had been established according to the Torah and according to their own vows and here, in this chapter 13, we see how he made some much-needed reforms. .
What Neḥemyah had discovered, was that the ‘fire’ of devotion and dedication to set-apartness had seemingly gone out and here, in this Chapter 13, we see 4 major problems that needed to be dealt with immediately, in order for them to get back to the standard that they were to be living by, as children of Elohim..
We too can learn from each of these problems, as they still plague many believers today, and in our striving to maintain the right standard, let us make sure that these issues do not have an effect on our lives today and if for any reason they do, then it must be dealt with immediately..
1 – COMPROMISED COMPANIONSHIPS
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be led astray, “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
The first major problem that Neḥemyah found, was that the good habits, in the service of the Temple, had been corrupted, and it had been corrupted by evil company!
What we do know, as Scripture tells us very clearly, that belief comes by hearing The Word and here, in the first 3 verses we see the following being made clear:
The Torah was abundantly clear that no Ammonite or Mo’aḇite was to come into the assembly of Elohim forever, because of the incident with Bilʽam, who was hired by Balak to curse them, which we know that יהוה turned into a blessing.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 23:3-4 “An Ammonite or Mo’aḇite does not enter the assembly of יהוה, even a tenth generation of them does not ever enter the assembly of יהוה, 4 because they did not meet you with bread and water on the way when you came out of Mitsrayim, and because they hired against you Bilʽam son of Be‘or from Pethor of Aram Naharayim, to curse you.”.
When they had heard this, they separated themselves from any form of mixing with foreigners!
The Torah had revealed their sin and they had obeyed, for as we know that hearing the Torah brings a call to obedience.
Tehillah/Psalm 19:7 “The Torah of יהוה is perfect, bringing back the being; the witness of יהוה is trustworthy, making wise the simple”.
In verse 4, we see Elyashiḇ the priest, who had a relative that was an Ammonite, had made a room for him in the Temple.
Elyashiḇ was responsible for the Temple, for all the supplies and the rooms etc. and here, we see how he had emptied out a large room where the grain offerings and utensils and tithes, wine and oil were kept, in order to to make a nice suite for Toḇiyah.
Toḇiyah was related through marriage and he was an evil man.
He was one of the men who were strongly opposed to the rebuilding of the wall and right through this book, you find how Toḇiyah cursed the rebuilding, wrote letters to instill fear into Neḥemyah and sought any way that he could to hinder the rebuilding process, and here, Elyashiḇ makes a room for him in the Temple!.
When Neḥemyah finds this out and sees that Elyashiḇ and Toḇiyah are ‘great buddies’ and very closely associated, he lets them have it!
He threw Toḇiyah out! There was no notice period! No, he chucked him and all his stuff out, and ordered that the place be cleansed and purified!
In other words, he had the place fumigated, so to speak, so that there would not even be a smell or hint of Toḇiyah, or his evil goods, in the Temple. .
All through Scripture, we are continually reminded that you cannot mix good with evil, and you cannot be unequally yoked or straddle the fence, so to speak, between two ideas.
The world promotes this ‘adopting a tolerance for evil for the sake of peace’ and this leads so many people, who claim to be believers, into compromised standards of living.
We are either for יהוה and His Word or against Him!
Sadly, today we see this very thing happening in individual’s lives and then transpiring further into communities, as many are more concerned about pleasing others, that they totally forget about pleasing יהוה!
Through pleasing others above Elohim, they compromise their beliefs through compromised companionship, becoming very ‘wishy washy’ in their convictions, of what is right and wrong!.
In the application for us here today, we must realise that we are the Temple/Dwelling Place of the Set-Apart Spirit of Elohim and there is no room for compromise!
In other words, we are to make no provision in our lives for the lusts of the flesh:
Romiyim/Romans 13:13-14 “Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in living together and indecencies, not in fighting and envy, 14 but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.”.
What I am saying here, is simply this:
Do not make an apartment in the Temple for Toḇiyah, so to speak!
In other words, do not make room in your life for things that will trip you up..
Romiyim/Romans 13 is a warning that Elyashib did not heed, but we must!
Toḇiyah today, can represent all that which occupies our life and is not of Elohim and on another scale, it can also represent those who want to come into the Temple of Elohim and enjoy the benefits of living there, while not submitting to the requirements of Elohim.
In other words, it can represent those who refuse to walk in the covenant of Elohim, yet expect to claim all the blessings! Like Christians who say that the Torah is done away with, yet are claiming an inheritance and a right to be a part of the Temple.
The name of טוֹבִיָּה Toḇiyah – Strong’s H2900 means, ‘Yah is good’ and while we know that YAH is good, what we can learn from this example is that there are many who may proclaim the goodness of YAH, with their lips, yet their lives are in no way a reflection of what set-apartness is, as they are riddled with compromised standards of doing whatever is right in their own eyes, while thinking that they are good in יהוה’s eyes, but their mixing standards are a clear abomination in His eyes..
The law for an Ammonite or Mo’aḇite, speaks of those who refuse to become a part of the Covenant family, for we know that there is no distinction between Yehuḏim or Greek or slave or free in יהושע Messiah! But those who choose and say that they are in יהושע Messiah, must walk as He did and walk according to the Torah, for there is one Torah for the native born and for the foreigner..
In Luqas/Luke 13:28, we see the words of יהושע, straight after telling those lawless to depart from Him, declaring the following:
Luqas/Luke 13:28 “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq and Yaʽaqoḇ and all the prophets in the reign of Elohim, and yourselves thrown outside.”
What this is clearly telling us, is that the Tanak, or commonly known by most today as the ‘Old Testament’, counts and those who have entered into the Covenant relationship with Elohim and are grafted in to Yisra’ĕl, will enter in..
What made Toḇiyah not welcome, was that he was still an Ammonite and would not be grafted in by choice! He refused to become a Yisra’ĕlite, as he clearly did not want to obey the clear standards of a covenant relationship with Elohim, yet wanted all the good that comes from a covenant relationship, without taking responsibility of complete set-apartness that is required
Are there any in your life, be it with hobbies or habits that should not be tolerated and are actually taking up room in your life, where you have kicked out that which should be there in your set-apart walk in Torah.
Or what about any relationships that are not equally yoked, be it personal or business partnerships etc.?
Get rid of the evil company that will only destroy your good habits and take up residence, leading you to compromise!.
2 – FINANCIAL FIASCO
The 2nd problem that Neḥemyah encountered, was a clear neglect on financial priorities!
He was made aware and had learned that there was a huge financial fiasco going on!
Fiasco simply means ‘a complete failure’!
The Lěwites were not being cared for and the House of Elohim had been forsaken!
This, quite frankly, is the first thing that will happen when you chuck out obedience for compromise!
The first rooms, so to speak, that are normally emptied for compromised living standards, are in fact tithes and offerings. .
Here, the people were robbing Elohim, in keeping what was not theirs for themselves. What was the result?
Well, we know that Toḇiyah had gotten himself a nice big room, where the tithes were supposed to be kept and so, the people in the Temple no longer had any support and, as a result, they had to abandon their duties, in order to try to make a living for their families.
And the result of all this, was simply that the worship in the Temple and the work of the Temple suffered!
This angered Neḥemyah, and he immediately made reforms and got things back to the way they were supposed to be.
He did call for a financial strategy meeting. He rebuked the officials and asked them ‘why was the work and service of the Temple neglected?’, and then he brought all those who were supposed to be serving, back to service. .
When people go ‘flat’, spiritually speaking, for whatever reason, and compromise sets in, the first place it usually affects them, is in their giving, which will only result in a fiasco, both financially and spiritually! That is – a complete failure!.
Where are you at in your obedience and support of giving tithes and offerings, as commanded?
Have you set aside other priorities and allowed other needs to take precedence and residence, in rooms that are supposed to have that which is required?
Sha’ul says that you are to give as you purpose in your heart and not grudgingly and we know that which is to be upon our heart – His Torah.
But if some of the chambers of the heart have been emptied of Torah, for compromise, then it is most likely that the rooms that were emptied are the financial rooms, so to speak.
How is your heart?.
We are to learn from the pattern of the Lěwitical priesthood, how we, as the Dwelling Place of Elohim, are to operate or serve in the order of Malkitseḏeq. Those that the Master has appointed to equip His body to maturity, are to receive the tithes, gifts and offerings from the body. So that the Dwelling Place and service therefore is not neglected.
Are you tithing as you should? Are you bringing tithes, gifts and offerings with a rejoicing heart, or has it become too tough a task to complete, due to compromised standards of fleshly living, that has simply caused a financial fiasco in your life?
It is time to restore correct standards of set-apartness and complete obedience to Elohim, lest you find that you are robbing Elohim and His curse be unleashed upon you!..
3 – SECULARISED SABBATH
The 3rd major problem that Neḥemyah saw, was just how the Sabbath had been ‘secularised’, so to speak!
By this, I mean that they were doing just as the world around them was doing: they buying and selling and trading on the Sabbath!
The Sabbath day was no longer being set-apart, and they were breaking the very commands of Elohim. .
We all have certainly learnt the importance of the Sabbath, or should have by now. However, what we can see from this passage, is that even after one knows and understands just what the Sabbath is, it is very easy to allow it to be compromised, if the gates are not guarded!
We must always be alert and watchful for those small leaks that try to appear.
They, after all, like us, were living among people who did not keep the Sabbath and may have slowly slipped into a total neglect. .
Traders would come and want to sell their merchandise or crops and vice versa – for many of the Yehuḏim, it may have been an opportunity, in their eyes, to sell some goods that would have gone off, if kept for sale on the 1st day and they may have even tried to get some bargains on sale on the Sabbath.
This was not on, and Neḥemyah made sure it was nipped in the bud straight away.
He put guards on the gates, so that no burdens were brought in on the Sabbath and he shut the doors, only to be opened after the Sabbath.
What did the merchants do?
They slept outside, just so they could be first in after the doors were opened and start selling – they did this once or twice and Neḥemyah warned them, that if they did that he would come and ‘lay hands’ on them, after which they never came and waited outside again! .
Listen, when it says that he would lay hands on them, I think he was being polite in his writing – this wasn’t a positive laying on of hands! This was a warning of a big… “you know what will happen to you if…!”
He then commanded the Lěwites to cleanse themselves and guard the gates.
This is very important for us to learn from, as there can be no compromise whatsoever regarding Sabbath!
I do not care if your milk ran out and you ‘just had to buy some’. If it ran out, then do without it. For there is no buying or selling, period!
Some still need to learn this and let me tell you, just as Neḥemyah warned the merchants, if we do not heed this, we will learn the hard way!
We must stand up and declare that we will not neglect the Sabbath, in any way, but will guard the Sabbath, setting it apart completely unto Elohim!
We praise יהוה that we get to spend the day of Shabbat together as we obey the command to gather as a set-apart gathering unto יהוה.
There are far too many people today, who are treating the Sabbath too casually, so to speak.
There is to be no buying or selling – no business whatsoever! .
What we must also be warned about, is that we are not to have the mind-set of the merchants who camped outside the walls!
What do I mean by this?
Well, if you are ‘camping outside’, so to speak, then it means you are simply looking for ways to get around the restrictions!
They obviously could not trade, so they waited until the second after the doors would be opened, with the hope of trading immediately.
In other words, they were focused on self and on what they could do after the Sabbath, and were obviously not gathered as a people unto Elohim.
So many people today, sit at home alone, knowing that they are unable to trade or do any work, as they know the letter of the law, yet fail to engage the heart behind it and do not gather, as commanded, with the body and focus totally upon יהוה, His Torah and fellowship in His Word, as they anxiously wait for the Sabbath to finish, so that they can go about their usual business!
There are some today, who will start their weekly business within minutes after the sun has set on the Sabbath, and were probably so preoccupied with what they would do after the Sabbath, during the Sabbath, showing their focus and attention on יהוה’s presence and His Word and the fellowship of the body was of no priority..
Let me remind you what we are commanded in Yeshayahu:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath ’a delight,’ the set-apart day of יהוה ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in יהוה. And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Ya‛aqoḇ your father. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken!” .
Sabbath is not the day to be doing your ‘recreational outings’ and try to claim, ‘but I was not working’.
The Sabbath is our appointment with יהוה, as a Bride together!
Do not have a ‘merchant mindset’ that waits earnestly for the Sabbath to be over so you can get back to your business!.
What was happening here, during the time of Neḥemyah, is still happening today – where too many are ‘secularising’ the Sabbath, so to speak, as they are trying to fit the Sabbath into their needs and compromises and, as a result, the sanctity of the Sabbath gets lost and results in many who do not realise just how important the Sabbath is.
Without going into detail, what we must realise, is that the Sabbath is our ‘mark’ or ‘sign’ of worship, and to disregard the seriousness of this set-apart day, each week, that we are to remember to keep, will cause many to receive the mark of the beast.
Whose mark do you want?
We cannot neglect the Sabbath or compromise it in any way and we are to delight in the Sabbath, having our hearts truly engaged in keeping the day as instructed and not as those who are like the merchants, who are just biding the time, waiting and counting the minutes until the end of the Sabbath.
We today, must guard the gates of the Sabbath, so to speak. That is: that we must not let in any form of compromise to creep in, for it will cause you to slowly lose the reverence we are to have for this day!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘delight itself’, in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:13, comes from the root verb עָנֹג anog – Strong’s H6026 which means, ‘to be soft, dainty, delicate, take delight’, and a noun that is derived from this root verb is עֹנֶג oneg – Strong’s H6027 which means, ‘daintiness, exquisite delight, luxurious’, and we take note that both this noun and verb is used in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:13-14.
As we consider the words for ‘delight’, may we earnestly be stirred to delight ourselves in our Master and Elohim, and take pleasure in serving Him in Spirit and Truth, as we see Dawiḏ telling us in:
Tehillah/Psalm 37:4 “And delight yourself in יהוה, and let Him give you the desires of your heart.”
When you truly take pleasure in יהוה, then the desires of your heart will be perfectly lined up with His desire, which is our set-apartness!
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.”.
Consider these questions, as you do an earnest assessment of what you are delighting in:
Has guarding the Sabbath been hard for you at times?
Have you been in the habit of forsaking the proper called for assembling together, on the Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה, as some have?
Have you forgotten to wear tzitzit, as we are commanded to?
Have you neglected to give the proper tithes and offerings as you should?
Have you neglected to pray as you should?
Have you neglected to rejoice always?
Have you neglected to proclaim the Reign of the Master to others?
I could go on and on with many similar questions that can cut right to the heart, and if the answer to any of these are ‘yes’, then it is a clear sign that your delight has not truly been in יהוה, His witnesses, His commands and His Torah, as it should! .
4 – DOMESTIC DISOBEDIENCE
The 4th major problem that Neḥemyah encountered, on his return, was the intermarriage that had taken place with the women of Ashdoḏ, Ammon, and Mo’aḇ.
As a result of this, half of the children spoke the language of Ashdoḏ, or the other nations, and could not speak the language of Yehuḏah!
They couldn’t even speak Hebrew – in other words, they could not even speak the language of Elohim’s called out people. .
What this means for us here, is that they did not know the Torah or commands of Elohim, and this is what happens in a mixed marriage, and I am not speaking racially here, but a marriage between a believer and an unbeliever. In a mixed marriage the Torah is neglected in the home.
The Torah makes it abundantly clear to us that children are to be brought up in the ways of יהוה and parents are to impress upon the children, His Torah, which is to be upon our hearts!
This is of vital importance, as the Torah is be spoken when we sit, when we walk, when we lie down and when we get up, for it is not a worthless word to us but it is our life and when there is a mixed marriage, this will not happen and children will grow up not knowing the love language of the Creator, Saviour, Father and Husband of Yisra’ĕl.
The consequences of this have far reaching effects, as a man who does not know how to rule his own house, how shall he look after the assembly of Elohim?
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 6:14-17 “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 And what agreement has Messiah with Beliya’al? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? 16 And what union has the Dwelling Place of Elohim with idols? For you are a Dwelling Place of the living Elohim, as Elohim has said, “I shall dwell in them and walk among them, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.”.
Neḥemyah contended with them and cursed them – what he did was bear witness of the Torah to them and he then went and pulled out the hair of some of the men’s beards!
Then he told them to swear not to give their daughters as wives to the foreigners or take the foreigners sons for their daughters.
It was time to stop the mixed worship style of living, as we said earlier that bad company corrupts good character! .
Neḥemyah drove away a relative of Elyashiḇ the high priest, who was a son-in-law of Sanballat, who was one of the enemies who, along with Toḇiyah, tried to stop the rebuilding process. .
This was a cleanup of the priesthood – for we are a royal priesthood, a set-apart people, chosen for a possession.
Today, there are many false priests, who do not submit to the Torah, so to speak, that need to be driven from the Temple or any form of service in the Temple – that is: the body of Messiah!
If our homes are not in order, how do we think that we can be a part of building the community of family of Elohim – we must get rid of all the foreign influences, that we may have attached ourselves to. .
Often, in Scripture, adulterating after the pagan traditions and worship practices, is seen as adultery and having taken foreign wives, they were adulterating themselves.
Today, we also hear the terms like, ‘he is married to his job’.
What marriages, so to speak, with compromised living have you engaged in?
Do not intermarry with the world and its luring lusts! .
It is time to get our homes in order, so that there is domestic obedience and not disturbance!
יהוה is a Jealous Elohim and will not share us with another!.
What we must realise here, is that all the problems that Neḥemyah dealt with, in this chapter, were the very things that they had vowed not to do, in Chapter 10:30-33:.
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 10:30-33 “And that we would not give our daughters as wives to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons, 31 and that if the peoples of the land bring wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a set-apart day, and we would forego the seventh year and the interest of every hand. 32 And we imposed commands on ourselves, to give from ourselves yearly one-third of a sheqel for the service of the House of our Elohim: 33 for the showbread, and for the continual grain offering, and for the continual burnt offering of the Sabbaths, of the New Moons, for the appointed times, and for the set-apart offerings, and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Yisra’ĕl, and all the work of the House of our Elohim.”.
So often, people will easily make verbal commitments, and may even keep them for a while, only to break them because their hearts are not really in it – as we know that the Word tells us that there are people who worship Elohim with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. .
Here in Neḥemyah, they vowed to:
1 – Follow the Torah
2 – not intermarry with idol worship
3 – observe the Sabbath
4 – faithfully give
All of these they broke!!!.
What part of ‘We will do’ did they not understand?
For when we call upon the Name of יהוה and are delivered and we say yes to walk in Him, our Saviour and Husband, we declare that we will guard to do all He commands us.
May we truly realise the necessity of the Torah and walking in the fullness of it..
Perhaps this passage is a wakeup call in certain areas for some, and yes, it certainly is a wakeup call for us all to stand up and be diligent in destroying all forms of compromise in and around our lives.
The Hebrew name נְחֶמְיָה Neḥemyah Strong’s H5166 means ‘יהוה comforts’, and we must realise that we are not to seek the comfort of the world and its pleasures, but rather seek the One who truly comforts, aměn!
We must make sure that we do not allow, what I like to call, ‘Toḇiyah’s junk’ in our lives!
As mentioned, Toḇiyah means ‘יהוה is good’, yet his life certainly didn’t portray it, and so many people today will quickly proclaim just how good Elohim is, while their lives do not line up with their confession and so, this character can represent for us a whitewashed worship that puts on an appearance of worship and seeks the benefits of the Word, while they have chucked out the Truth for a lie and have brought in their own personal junk, into their adapted form of worship. .
Toḇiyah’s junk is a metaphor for why many often break their vows – it is not that they always break vows because they willingly decide to, but rather, it is when they get so crowded out by the junk of life that the world throws at them, that the decision to allow the junk to take residence over the Truth, becomes a seemingly easier option to get by with. .
Let me ask you – Is there any junk that is causing you to break your promises?
Is there any junk that is causing the committed ‘I do’ that you have made to יהוה to be neglected?
Have you got junky relationships or junky finances, or perhaps a junky calendar or a junky living standard at home? .
Neglect, compromise and disobedience, are the result of a junky lifestyle – and this is a call to reform that which has been neglected and maintain the True standard! .
The 4 compromises that get in the way of righteous living, need to be dealt with in a serious manner and destroyed and they are:
1- defiling the set-apart
2 – neglecting the help/support
3 – ignoring the rhythm
4 – breaking the promise. .
We must embrace the courage to expect righteousness from ourselves and others who have made the bold confession in our Master.
יהושע asked that when He comes again will He find belief – that is: will He find a working belief of obedience to the good works that have been prepared in advance for us to do – and that is: to walk in His Torah!.
As you consider this message, take time to consider carefully your lifestyle, against the mirror of the Word and then assess your life and see if it is in line with the Word or has any form of compromise set in.
I see, in the life of Neḥemyah, a picture of יהושע, for when יהושע came, He too dealt with these issues: He turned the tables of the money changers who had taken up residence in the Temple courts and chased them out; He revealed their corruption of the Sabbath, by breaking all their man-made laws; He called for set-apartness, as He called out His twelve as He laid down the foundations of set-apart living; and He addressed what true family is: those who keep the commands!.
יהושע is coming again, and may He not find that these very same areas have again been compromised – this is a call, in the rebuilding process, to maintain the standard of pure righteous living, aměn!
Hear – Guard – Do! .
As we recognise that the יהושע Messiah took upon the curse of our sin and He too had His beard plucked out, let us now do our utmost to not forsake that which He has given us and be committed to walking in the pure sound ways that He has shown us, as we walk in Him and guard His Torah.
If there is any compromise in your walk, deal with it immediately and get cleaned up, so that we can all be maintaining the Standard of complete set-apartness! .
MAINTAINING THE STANDARD!.
Titos/Titus 3:8 “Trustworthy is the word, and in this regard I wish you to strongly affirm, that those who have believed in Elohim should keep their minds on maintaining good works. This is good and profitable to men.”.
Titos/Titus 3:14 “And our brothers should also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, so that they shall not be without fruit.”.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘maintain, maintaining’ is προΐστημι proistēmi – Strong’s G4291 which means, ‘to put before, set over, rule, manage, have charge over, care for, give attention, maintain’, and comes from two Greek words:
1) πρό pro – Strong’s G4253 which means, ‘before, above, ahead, prior’, and
2) ἵστημι histēmi – Strong’s G2476 which means, ‘to make to stand, to stand firm, be established, stand upright, stand ready and prepared, be of a steadfast mind, to uphold and sustain the authority of something’..
What is clearly being urged on here by Sha’ul, is the importance that we are to put toward maintaining our good works, so that we shall not be found to be without fruit!
A belief without obedient action is a useless belief and one that will get many ‘cast away’ and told that they are not known by Elohim, as their dead works of lawlessness will be unable to save them!
Let us keep ourselves in the love of Elohim and maintain the standard of set-apart living before His face!
Listen to the promise given by our Mighty Elohim, for those who walk in His laws, guard His commands and do them:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:9 “And I shall turn to you and make you bear fruit, and shall increase you, and shall establish My covenant with you.”.
MAINTAINING THE STANDARD!.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace..