Shabbat Shalom all,
Tehillim/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.”
Our words carry immense power and influence in directing our lives and the manner in which we walk!
Qolasim/Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Master יהושע, giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.”
Whatever we do in word and deed!!! Often people’s words and deeds do not line up, as they may certainly honour the Master with their lips, yet their hearts may be far from Him, as clearly seen in their wicked and lawless deeds. Dawiḏ cries out that he earnestly wants his speech and heart to line up with one another and be pleasing to יהוה. The Torah of Elohim is to be guarded upon our hearts, and as true set-apart ones, our speech ought to line up with that which is upon our hearts, as we guard our mouths from speaking rashly and in falsehood! While many people may say the right words and sound very true and sincere, it may often just be vain words as their lives are riddled with compromise, and by their deeds of unrighteousness it becomes clear that the Torah of Elohim is not being guarded in their hearts. יהוה looks at the heart of man, and when the Torah is truly being meditated upon and guarded within, then one’s speech and deeds will clearly shine the light of true set-apartness in Elohim! Often words are spoken in vain, and when this happens pride can have a way of being set up in one’s heart, causing the true fear and trembling of working out one’s deliverance before Elohim to subside and fall away!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those loving it eat its fruit.”
The power of our words!!! Words that are either speaking and doing the Truth which leads to life, or words that may sound true, yet do not do the truth, which lead to death – for the wages of sin (which is lawlessness) is death!
Let me ask you – are there times that you have found yourself speaking the Word, and even having the fruit of praise coming from your lips, only to find that you end up doing things that run contrary to the clear instructions of the Word? When this happens, the words of our mouth, no matter how true they may sound, do not please יהוה. In a message tonight called, “MAY THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH ALWAYS PLEASE YOU, O יהוה!”, I want us to be reminded how crucial it is for us to speak the truth from our lips and live accordingly, as we fight the good fight of our belief, to which we have been called and have made the good confession before many witnesses:
Iyoḇ/Job 33:3 “My words are from the uprightness of my heart, my lips shall speak knowledge clearly.”
Please turn with me to Hoshěa/Hosea 13:1-14:2 (read)
The reason why I have selected this passage of Scripture for us tonight is to remind us how we are to always ensure that our words and deeds are always pleasing to our Master and Elohim!
This chapter begins with the wording… “When Ephrayim spoke there was trembling…”, and in verse 2 of Chapter 14 which ends the passage we read says, “Take words with you, and return to יהוה… ”. Understanding these two phrases and that which takes place between them teaches us some very vital lessons is guarding our speech and ways before Elohim.
In verse 1 the Hebrew word translated as ‘trembling’ is רְתֵת retheth – Strong’s H7578 as is only used here in Scripture and is from an unused root meaning, ‘tremble, trembling, terror’. With this word not being used elsewhere in Scripture, it can often be difficult to understand the literal rendering of the text, yet as we consider the context of the complete passage we are able to understand the ‘trembling’ that the words of Ephrayim brought about. In the LXX (Greek translation of the Tanak) the Greek word that is used here for ‘trembling’ is δικαίωμα dikaiōma – Strong’s G1345 which means, ‘righteousness, a righteous deed, regulations, requirements, sentence of acquittal’, and comes from the word δικαιόω dikaioō – Strong’s G1344 which means, ‘to show to be righteous, declare righteous, acquitted, vindicated or justified’.
This Greek word δικαίωμα dikaiōma which is used here in the LXX of Hoshěa, helps us further understand what is being spoken here, as we also see this word being used in speaking of the Bride of the Lamb in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 “And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.”
It is used numerous times in speaking of being justified, or in relation to the ordinances of Elohim, and the root word δικαιόω dikaioō is also used many times in the Renewed Writings in expressing how one is justified, innocent, set free, declared right or righteous, as we see it in:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 2:24 “You see, then, that a man is declared right by works, and not by belief alone.”
Why I am mentioning this is to simply help us understand what is being spoken of Ephrayim in verse 1 of Hoshěa/Hosea 13.
When Ephrayim spoke there was trembling – and this literally renders that at the words of Ephrayim there was a trembling, or rather there was a justification – as the words he spoke and the actions that he originally wrought were righteous!!! We are clearly told by Sha’ul in:
Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:12 “So that, my beloved, as you always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much rather in my absence – work out your own deliverance with fear and trembling”
The Greek word here for ‘trembling’ is τρόμος tromos – Strong’s G5156 which means, ‘trembling, quaking with fear’. This word is used in the LXX in:
Tehillim/Psalm 2:11 “Serve יהוה with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
The Hebrew word for ‘trembling’ here is רְעָדָה readah – Strong’s H7461 which means, ‘trembling, panic’.
What I am simply trying to highlight here is that we can see how Ephrayim, at one stage, did speak and do all according to the righteous requirements of the Torah. When Ephrayim spoke, the nation listened and obeyed the commands. Yehoshua, son of Nun, was from the tribe of Ephrayim – and we certainly know that the whole of Yisra’ĕl listened carefully when he spoke!!! But what happened? Ephrayim, as we know from Scripture, is often a metaphor for the 10 tribes of Yisra’ĕl that was scattered among the nations, and was issued a certificate of divorce from Elohim – the lost sheep for which יהושע Messiah came to redeem back to Himself, and present her as a cleansed Bride, through His life, death and resurrection!
The words of Ephrayim were at one time heard and listened to by all, yet when things went well the nation did exactly what they were cautioned not to do – and that is – to forget יהוה. How? Ephrayim became guilty through Ba’al worship! Under the leadership of Yaroḇ’am, the House of Yisra’ĕl profaned their worship through the making of idols and moulded images! Yaroḇ’am made 2 golden calves and set them up in Beth El and Dan – the southern and northern borders of the House of Yisra’ĕl. There words changed!!! They were swayed to serving Ba’al, just like the nations they were cautioned not to imitate and follow, and in doing what the nations do in their form of worship, they became guilty of Ba’al worship. Christianity did exactly the same thing, as it changed the True Words and Names contained in Scripture! An assumed worship that has changed its words is not innocent worship before our Master and Elohim!
Our words carry great power, and what so many fail to realise is that when יהוה began to be called ‘god’, credit was actually being given to another deity called ‘Ba’al Gad’, or rather better translated as ‘Lord of luck/fortune’! By the calling on Elohim through changed names and titles of falsehood renders one being guilty of profane worship – and this is exactly what Ephrayim (the lost 10 tribes) had done! This puts the majority, if not all of us, in this category, as we have all come from backgrounds of Westernised theology that has taught us inherited lies, which have for so many become a truth in their eyes. Hitler stated that if you tell a lie long enough it will eventually become a truth to the hearers!!! While this process of brainwashing the masses may be true – what we must recognise is that the Word of Elohim does not change, no matter what man does it his attempt to change it! While most of us have certainly discovered this sober reality and truth that His Word stands forever, and in the process have been sobered up to the restoration of the true words of Scripture and the correct Names and Titles of our Master and Saviour King, we need to still be vigilant in guarding our speech in every way, so that our lives are not found to be guilty before Elohim, but rather cleansed from all unrighteousness through the Blood of Messiah! We are to also be on guard against being drawn in following those who continue to render a compromised speech that simply refuses to let go of the use of false names and titles. There are many Torah teaching resources out there that may sound very real, true and correct, yet the persistent acceptance and continued use of names and titles that we have come to realise are wrong, renders their words unpleasing to Elohim! We are called to separate the set-apart from the profane and the clean from the unclean, as we carefully discern and rightly divide the Truth, and as a reasonable, quick and effective means of discerning the presented words of another, we are able to discern, without having to dig in to the technicalities of what is being presented, by their appearance and speech patterns! If there is a continued use of titles and names that are false then discern wisely! It is time to see the true ‘trembling’ that the set-apart Bride ought to have in reverent worship unto Elohim, and in doing so ensuring that a clean lip is actually being restored! If they do not wear tzitzit of do not have beards, discern wisely!
Here in Hoshěa we are told that Ephrayim went from bad to worse, as their sin increased through the making of idol images of silver and gold, and whatever their craftsmen could make! So many objects of worship are made in mass production today, and it is all done in the assumed understanding of worship, while the true understanding of Scripture is clearly lacking!
In verse 2 we are told that moulded images were made according to their skill, and the Hebrew word here for ‘skill’ is תְּבוּנָה teḇunah – Strong’s H8394 which means, ‘understanding, discernment, reasonings, discretion, skill, intelligence’, and comes from the root word בִּין bin – Strong’s H995 meaning, ‘to discern, act wisely, consider carefully, understand, perceive’. What we are able to see here is that many make idols according to their own understanding and reasoning, while they actually lack true Scriptural discernment
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in יהוה with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”.
We are to trust יהוה with all our heart, which entails trusting Him with all of the understanding and wisdom that is contained in His Word and not seek out our own vain and selfish reasonings. When our hearts and minds are filled with His Word and we meditate daily on His Torah, then our speech and actions will line up with the true plumb-line of His Word. When we are neglecting to trust in Him and neglect to meditate day and night on His Torah, then what is in our heart – and if His Torah is not guarded in our heart… what will come forth? Messiah makes this very clear:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:9 “For out of the heart come forth wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, whorings, thefts, false witnessings, slanders.”
The rebuke here in Hoshěa for the men who slaughter must kiss the calves is a very clear message to a rebellious and backsliding people – as the message is clear to those who will not trust in יהוה, but will rather walk in their own reasoning, must go ahead and kiss their calves – see if that will help you!!!
The word translated as ‘kiss’ is נָשַׁק nashaq – Strong’s H5401 and means, ‘to kiss, do homage, show respect and affection for, acknowledge’ and this word can have the understanding of ‘fastening together, be in array (dressed accordingly)’.
We are not to ‘kiss the calves’ and be fastened together to abominable images or practices of false worship, but we are to rather ‘kiss the Son’ and pay homage and proper respect to our Redeemer and King, as we are dressed in His Torah, and find our refuge in Him, as we read in:
Tehillim/Psalm 2:12 “Kiss the Son, lest He be enraged, and you perish in the way, for soon His wrath is to be kindled. Blessed are all those taking refuge in Him.”
Those who have joined themselves to false reasonings of man-made idolatry will find themselves on the wrong side of Elohim when He comes to thresh the winepress in His wrath! Those who continue in lawless worship and idolatry will be like chaff blown in the wind – here today and gone tomorrow – and so shall those who put their trust in their riches rather than in Elohim!
Ya’aqob/James 1:11 “For the sun rose with burning heat, and withered the grass, and its flower fell, and its pretty appearance perished. So also the rich man shall fade away in his ways.”
Verse 4 makes it very clear – there is NO SAVIOUR BESIDES יהוה OUR ELOHIM!!! To assume another image or picture of who our Saviour is, and proclaim that it is someone other than יהוה our Elohim, is nothing more than false idolatrous worship! We are not to ever know another Saviour, and sadly this is the mistake that many have done in assuming that another Saviour besides יהוה our Elohim has come and has given them free license to live lawless lives, as they turn their ear away from the Torah, while making false images and vain reasonings of who their assumed Saviour is!
יהוה makes it clear that He satisfied Yisra’ĕl in the Wilderness, yet in their being satisfied, they forgot Him and went after their own fleshly lusts and formulated their own manner of worship, done according to the customs of the nations around them – and so they adulterated themselves! In Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8 יהוה warned Yisra’ĕl about this very problem, yet they did not guard His Torah in their hearts, and so they were no longer satisfied with His provision but sought their own, after the lusts of the flesh and the lust of the eyes!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30:8-9 “Remove falsehood and a lying word far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me my portion of bread; 9 Lest I become satisfied and deny You, and say, “Who is יהוה?” and lest I be poor, and steal, and seize the Name of my Elohim.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 27:7 “One satisfied loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry one any bitter food is sweet.”
The Hebrew word used here for ‘satisfied’ is שָׂבַע saḇa – Strong’s H7646 meaning, ‘to be satisfied’, and a derivative of this word is שָׂבֵעַ saḇea – Strong’s H7649 which means, ‘satisfied, full, ripe’ and by implication can mean, ‘satisfied by nourishment’. We know that יהוה satisfies our desires with good things and He satisfies His people with bread – which is symbolic of His Word that satisfies!
Tehillim/Psalm 132:15 “I greatly bless her provision, I satisfy her poor with bread.”
Tehillim/Psalm 147:14 “Who makes peace in your borders, He satisfies you with the finest wheat”
Tehillim/Psalm 22:26 “The meek ones do eat and are satisfied; let those who seek Him praise יהוה. Let your heart live forever!”
Being satisfied does not mean that we are to seek alternative nourishment – yet this is exactly what so many people do, as they get comfortable with their lives when all is going well and forget what יהוה has done – and in forgetting His dealings, their speech changes as their hearts are drawn to being satisfied with what the world has to offer rather than being content in all circumstances with His sure provision.
What satisfies you?
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:20 “A man’s stomach is satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; he is satisfied with the increase of his lips.”
What is coming forth from your mouth – righteousness and life or negativity and death?
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wrong.”
In verse 9 יהוה makes it clear that Ephrayim has destroyed himself and their only help is in יהוה!
The word used for ‘destroyed’ here in the Hebrew is שָׁחַת shaḥath – Strong’s H7843 meaning, ‘destroy, ruin, spoil, pervert, corrupt’. One’s speech and actions can either lead to life or it can be on a path of destruction:
Mishlĕ/proverbs 6:32 “He who commits adultery with a woman lacks heart; he who does it destroys his own life.”
This is exactly what Ephrayim had done, when they adulterated themselves and became guilty through Ba’al worship. When one lacks heart, it is better understood as not having the proper understanding, wisdom and discernment, by not meditating on and walking in the narrow way of Torah obedience!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8:36 “But he who sins against me injures himself; all who hate me love death!”
I spoke last week on what true love for Elohim is, as we looked closely at Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13, and to put it simply – those who refuse to submit to walking in the Torah of Elohim and claim that they have no need of “The Law”, are by their own confession ‘lawless’ and actually hate Elohim and love the broad path that leads to destruction and death!
The vain words of their mouths, which promote lawlessness as a way of life, reveal that they do not know the only True Saviour, and therefore have no clue as to what His Word teaches us, nor understand His Appointed Times that are given to us as a clear means of preparing His Bride for His soon return. In the process their hearts are not filled with His Word, and get weighed down by the world’s troubles:
Luqas/Luke 21:34 “And take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down by gluttony, and drunkenness, and worries of this life, and that day come on you suddenly.”
Those who take refuge in יהוה, and find their Help in Him, are satisfied with the good and are not troubled by the cares of the world, nor the deceitfulness of riches.
Our HELP is in the Name of יהוה!!! The Hebrew word for ‘help’ is עֵזֶר ezer – Strong’s H5828 which means, ‘a help, helper, one who helps’ and we see this word being used in:
Tehillim/Psalm 121:1-2 “A song of degrees. I lift up my eyes to the hills; Where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from יהוה , Maker of the heavens and earth.”
This is the same word that is used to describe Ḥawwah, as a ‘helper’ for Aḏam! Our Husband is our perfect help!
Tehillim/Psalm 146:5 “Blessed is he who has the Ěl of Ya’aqoḇ for his help, whose expectancy is in יהוה his Elohim”
Hoshěa/Hosea 13:9 “You have destroyed yourself, O Yisra’ĕl, but your help is in Me.”
If it were not for יהוה – our Help!!! Our help is in His Name! And all who call upon the Name of יהוה shall be delivered and helped out of their distress! We give thanks, and ought to on a daily basis, to יהוה for delivering us from wicked men and all kinds of disasters that storm around us, and always giving us a way out of all tough situations when there seems to be no way of escape.
Those who do not find their help in יהוה He rebukes with the clear challenge to go and find their help in their rulers and sovereigns! Let them save you – is what יהוה was basically saying to a people who had adulterated themselves and gone after the ways of the world and had neglected to walk in His clear commands for set-apart living. In verse 11 He tells us that He gave Ephrayim a sovereign in His displeasure and in His wrath He took him away – this is a clear reference to Yaroḇ’am, who had initiated the practices of formalised false worship, and every other wicked king that led the House of Yisra’ĕl. In fact there was not one good king that ever ruled the House of Yisra’ĕl!
Under a wicked rule – sin is hidden and this was the problem of Ephrayim – they never looked to the True Righteous King and Saviour – יהוה our Elohim, and so herein lies the call to repent and confess their sins and turn back to their true King, and the Only One who can save! This was a clear call to grow up and become mature in the truth – and the body is able to do this through those who יהושע Messiah has appointed to equip the body. This is therefore a call to submit to the true right-ruling of His Word and the call to grow up in the knowledge of Him, and no longer be stuck on the milk of the Word – for יהושע Messiah is the One True Elohim that ransoms from She’ol and redeems from death, yet He makes it clear here that repentance is hidden from His eyes – in other words people refuse to repent.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Verses 15 and 16 makes it clear what the result of not repenting is – all shall be taken away, no matter what you think you might have gained in this world – He will take it away!!!
In the opening 2 verses of chapter 14 the call is clear – take words with you and return – the Hebrew word for ‘return’ is שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, restore’. When we truly repent and turn back to יהוה we will ‘obey’ which is the same as to ‘hear and do’, as we intelligibly hear His clear voice – which is always in accordance to His Torah.
A pure and true sign of true repentance is seen in the hearing and doing of His Torah! Those who say they repent yet forsake their need to hear and do His Torah have not truly turned back to יהוה! And their words are not pleasing to Him!
This call to take words with you is a call to make sure that the words of our mouths always please יהוה – and by that I mean that we not only speak what is right, but we do what is right – so that our mouths and hearts are lined up together in Truth!
We have all come out from a scattered state, due to the wickedness of our fathers who had gone before us and had inherited lies and traditions of falsehood. Today we are all able to boldly give thanks that יהוה has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light, as we too have heard the call to return to Him with words and repent of all idolatrous worship and the seizing of His Name. While we celebrate this great truth, we must be on constant guard of the words that proceed from our mouths, and making sure that the fountain of life that ought to be flowing from our lips, is evident not only in our speech but also in our deeds! As we certainly consider the abominable worship that is being entertained by the masses at the moment, let us be sober, awake and watchful, lest there be any foul speech and crooked ways being found in our lives!
What vain words have you found yourself speaking in times past? Have you made commitments with your lips and the corresponding actions have been non-existent, which render the words you spoke as unpleasing to יהוה?
In an encouraging call to watch what proceeds from our lips, may we certainly live our lives as a daily living sacrifice, offering the bull of our lips in praise to our Mighty Redeemer, Rock, Saviour and King – יהוה our Elohim, ensuring that our actions line up with the sacrifice of our lips that speak His Truth, so that we continually seek to please Him and say:
“MAY THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH ALWAYS PLEASE YOU, O יהוה!”
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!