Shabbat Shalom all,
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him praise, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife prepared herself.”
These were some of the words that Yoḥanan heard in his visions he was given regarding the coming Marriage Supper of the Lamb – words that were being proclaimed by the Bride of Messiah – the true set-apart ones, to whom it was given to be dressed in fine line – which is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones!
A Bride has prepared Herself – what a beautiful picture of a faithful Bride who has readied herself for her coming Husband! The expectation we have of standing together, as a unified Bride prepared for the greatest Wedding Feast in all time, is sure and promised to those who have truly set themselves apart and guarded the Covenants of Promise that we have been grafted in to through the Blood of Messiah!
While we recognise this joy-expected moment to come, we also need to realise and recognise our need to be a ready bride – one that has prepared herself and one that has not wavered in walking in total trust and set-apartness in Elohim.
As we face daily trials and battles of life, we are constantly called to be consistent in our belief and steadfast in our complete set-apartness, not wavering in our belief when troubles, trials and temptations come across our paths – but able to stand firm, and after having done all – stand firm. In a message tonight called, MY HEART IS FIRM!”, may we all be reminded and encouraged to make every effort in being firm in our belief, through total obedience and complete set-apartness unto our Master, Saviour, Husband and King, יהושע Messiah! Please turn with me to Tehillim/Psalm 57:7-11 (Read)
When I was reading this Psalm I was gripped by the clear words and declaration of a steadfast and obedient faith! This Psalm is titled as a מִכְתָּם Miḵtam – Strong’s H4387 which is a technical term used in 6 of the Tehillim/Psalms and are all linked with Dawiḏ (Tehillim/Psalm 16, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60). All 6 of these Tehillim/Psalms are psalms of lament, with 4 of them having headings with historical references to Dawiḏ’s troubles – Tehillim/Psalm 56 (when the Philistines took him) – Tehillim/Psalm 57 (when he fled from Sha’ul and hid in a cave) – Tehillim/Psalm 59 (when Sha’ul sent men to watch Dawiḏ’s house and kill him) – Tehillim/Psalm 60 (when he strove with the Arameans). This technical term connected only to these 6 Tehillim/Psalms of Dawiḏ, which meaning is uncertain, is thought to come from an ancient Akkadian word katāmu, meaning, ‘to cover’, and could therefore render the meaning of, ‘a song of covering’, or ‘a song of atonement’. While there may be some dispute over the meaning of this technical term, what we can see is that this term is likened to poems of confidence written by Dawiḏ, whilst under immense danger and pressures from his enemies! And it is here in Tehillim/Psalm 57 that I was greatly encouraged by the words we read, when Dawiḏ clearly stated twice, “My heart is firm”, while he had fled from the wicked king Sha’ul and hid in a cave!
How many battles have you been through, or may even be going through right now, where your belief has been weakened to a state of panic, distrust and fear, and you have found that your ability to stand firm in the Truth is greatly shaken? We can learn a great deal from the poems of Dawiḏ, poems that have been written and sung as a confident confession of his steadfast belief in יהוה whilst under the most difficult and life threatening circumstances!
It is this word that has been translated as ‘firm’ that I want to look at a little more closely tonight, with the hope to stir each of you to be able to continually make this bold confession that Dawiḏ makes, being equipped in the belief to say, ‘My heart is firm!’
Dawiḏ cries out: נָכוֹן לִבִּי אֱלֹהִים נָכוֹן לִבִּי – ‘naḥon libbiy Ĕlohim naḥon libbiy’ which can literally be rendered as:
‘I make/cause my heart to be firm, Elohim, I cause/make my heart to be firm’
The word נָכוֹן –‘ naḥon’ is from the root word כּוּן kun – Strong’s H3559 which means, ‘ready, steadfast, established, firm, set up, determined, prepared’, and here it is written in the Niphal passive rendering it to mean, ‘be prepared, be ready, be steadfast, be secure, be enduring, be stable, be settled’. A word in the Niphal tense can also express a reflexive action, and what Dawiḏ is basically declaring here is that in the face of great danger he has settled in his heart that he will be steadfast. He had resolved in his heart, in the face of the toughest trials, that his heart would not be moved by circumstances, but that it would be established and remain firm in Elohim – for which he continues with a response of praise! This alone carries great lessons for us, in being able to resolve in our own hearts the confidence and commitment to remaining steadfast in the face of life’s toughest situations and the battles that we encounter with others, as we in steadfastness praise our Mighty Elohim – יהוה of Hosts, the One who fights for us!!!
This root word is used 219 times in the Tanak (O.T.), and while I am not going to quote each one of them, I do want to mention a few in order for us to get a better understanding of what it means for us to have our hearts firm and established in the Truth, so that we are equipped to stand, stand and remain standing when the heat of trials and persecutions come against us for righteousness sake, and be a ready and prepared Bride for when our Mighty Husband comes for us! Let us therefore look at a few key verses where we find this root word כּוּן kun:
Shemoth/Exodus 19:15 “And he said to the people, “Be prepared by the third day. Do not come near a wife.”
After Yisra’ĕl had been delivered from bondage in Mitsrayim, and had been brought to Mount Sinai, they collectively declared their ‘I DO’ to יהוה before they had even received the conditions/instructions of the Marriage Covenant, when they said in Shemoth/Exodus 19:8 “…All that יהוה has spoken we shall do.”
יהוה then gave clear instructions to Mosheh, to go and tell Yisra’ĕl that by the 3rd day they had better be ‘prepared’, which is the root word כּוּן kun. The call here is to be firmly rooted and ready, and be fully determined to be set-apart unto יהוה, making sure that they were not defiled in any way! Our Husband is coming for us, His set-apart Bride, and we too have been giving the clear instructions that on the 3rd day, we had better be found as His Bride who has prepared Herself, and has not been defiled through whoring and adulterous acts of worship! יהושע Messiah, came in the flesh on the 4th day (4th Millennium) to call us out of darkness into His Marvellous Light, and He is coming again 3 days later – that is on the 7th day (7th Millennium) to fetch His prepared Bride – a Bride whose heart is firm in the Truth!
Yehoshua/Joshua 3:17 “And the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of יהוה stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Yardĕn. And all Yisra’ĕl passed over on dry ground, until all the nation had completely passed over the Yardĕn.”
This is a great picture for us today, as we being the set-apart, chosen and royal priesthood of Messiah, are to be standing ‘firm’ in the midst of great raging waters of troubles, trials, fears and persecutions. We do this by bearing His commands upon our shoulders – that is being subject to the loving-commitment of guarding His commands and standing firm with His rule being our yoke, in order that others who are seeking the Truth may too find their way amidst the worries of life and deceitfulness of wealth that is sadly consuming so many. As we lift up the Light of His Torah, and do so with joy and continual praise, we are able to shine the light before many, so that they may find their way to the Door of the entrance to the Kingdom Reign which is in Messiah! When we are able to be steadfast and fully settled in our hearts in being faithful and obedient amidst the greatest trials, we are able to shine a great light that many can find. When we buckle under pressure to compromise and sin, the waves of mixed inconsistency blocks the True light and may cause us and many to drown in the process!
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 7:3 “And Shemuʼěl spoke to all the house of Yisra’ĕl, saying, “If you return to יהוה with all your hearts, then put away the foreign mighty ones and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts for יהוה, and serve Him only, so that He delivers you from the hand of the Philistines.”
The words of Shemuʼěl to Yisra’ĕl back then was very clear, and are still very much alive and clear to us today – the way to ‘prepare’ your hearts for יהוה, in order to serve Him only, is to return to Him with ALL your heart – that means that a prepared heart is a heart that has put away all false and foreign worship practices and any form of idolatry and compromise! You see, in order to truly ‘return’ to יהוה with all your heart, you have to be firmly settled in your heart that He is all that you seek, and have then settled in your heart to give up whatever stands in the way of pure and undefiled worship unto Him. So many today do make the choice to return to יהוה, yet their hearts have not fully been prepared, for when tough choices are faced they often compromise and lack the endurance of belief, in order to stand firmly rooted in loving-obedience! Choosing to serve יהוה and walk in Him, must be done with sober preparation of one’s heart, and therefore we understand why Messiah tells us to ‘count the cost’, lest we find that we give up when things get tough!
Shemuʼĕl Aleph/1 Samuel 13:13 “And Shemuʼěl said to Sha’ul, “You have been foolish. You have not guarded the command of יהוה your Elohim, which He commanded you. For now יהוה would have established your reign over Yisra’ĕl forever.”
The Hebrew root word translated as ‘established’ is the word כּוּן kun, and herein lies the sobering reality of those who refuse to guard the commands of Elohim, and have refused to ‘prepare’ their hearts for Him – they shall not be established!!! If Sha’ul had guarded the commands, his reign would have been established, and in verse 14 we read:
Shemuʼĕl Aleph/1 Samuel 13:14 “But now, your reign is not going to stand. יהוה shall seek for Himself a man after His own heart, and יהוה shall command him to be leader over His people, because you have not guarded what יהוה commanded you.”
Those who prepare their hearts, or rather establish in their hearts, to seek יהוה and guard all He commands, will be firmly established in His Reign to come, while those who do not, will not!!! While we acknowledge this, we must also be aware that the enemy will always try to threaten us, and try to tell us that we shall not be established! Many today will tell us that we are wasting our time by walking in the Torah and obeying the commands, commands that they erroneously think have been done away with. We must not waver under the attack of lies and twisted teachings that are simply an attempt to cause the righteous to fall from their firm stand in the truth! Listen to the words of Sha’ul, as he tried to threaten the existence and establishment of the reign of Dawiḏ, by threating Yehonathan his son, in:
Shemuʼĕl Aleph/1 Samuel 20:31 “For as long as the son of Yishai lives on the earth, you shall not be established, you and your reign. And now, send and bring him to me, for he is a son of death.”
This is the same lie that is taught as truth today – where many will say things like, ‘as long as you try to keep the law, you will not be established’ – sadly we know what happened to Sha’ul and his vain threats against the righteous!
Shemuʼěl bet/2 Samuel 5:12 “And Dawiḏ knew that יהוה had established him as sovereign over Yisra’ĕl, and that He had exalted His reign, because of His people Yisra’ĕl.”
We see here once again the use of this root word כּוּן kun being translated as ‘established’, and what we see here is the bold confidence that Dawiḏ had in recognising who it is that ‘establishes’ him in the reign! It is יהוה who establishes the steadfast and firm in heart, those who have firmly settled in their hearts to follow Him completely, without wavering from a steadfast position of set-apartness in Messiah!
Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Torah of יהוה, and to do it, and to teach laws and right-rulings in Yisra’ĕl.”
The core responsibility of the priests was to have prepared hearts that seek the Torah of יהוה, and so we need to recognise that we all, as a royal priesthood, are to have prepared hearts that are to seek the Torah of יהוה, and not expect someone else to do our own required seeking! We are to seek His Torah in order to do it, and live accordingly, as well as to teach others His ways and right-rulings, which we are to clearly express in our daily lives! If we do not have hearts that have settled on this need to seek the Torah in order to do it, how will we be able to teach others His Truth, and how will we be able to effectively shine the Light of the Word? To have a prepared heart implies that one has settled in their minds the relevant task at hand and therefore commits to doing what has been settled and established, doing what is required with joy and without compromise!
When we settle in our hearts to walk in Messiah and stay in Him, then we have full assurance that His Word will firmly establish our walk:
Tehillim/Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a man are ordered by יהוה, and He delights in his way.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘ordered’ is כּוּן kun, which confirms that it is יהוה who, by His Word, has ordered and established the way in which we should walk, and Dawiḏ confirms this in:
Tehillim/Psalm 40:2 “And He drew me Out of the pit of destruction, out of the muddy clay, and He set my feet upon a rock, He is establishing my steps.”
Tehillim/Psalm 119:133 “Establish my footsteps by Your Word, and let no wickedness have rule over me.”
In another song of Dawiḏ, he expresses similar words that we find in Tehillim/Psalm 57:7-8:
Tehillim/Psalm 108:1-2 “O Elohim, my heart is steadfast; I sing and give praise – even my esteem. 2 Awake, harp and lyre! I awake the dawn.”
A truly prepared heart not only commits to total set-apartness without compromise, but a truly prepared heart towards Elohim, results in joyful praise and esteem of the One who establishes us, even amidst the darkest trials!
When praise is seemingly hard to express in sincerity and truth, then one’s heart may not be fully ‘prepared’ and established in trusting יהוה and His sure promises that are yes and aměn in יהושע Messiah!
Tehillim/Psalm 112:7 “He is not afraid of an evil report. His heart is steadfast, trusting in יהוה.”
This Tehillim speaks of the man who fears יהוה and delights in His commands – this one’s heart is ‘steadfast’.
Dawiḏ cries out in:
Tehillim/Psalm 119:5 “Oh, that my ways were established to guard Your laws!”
Is this the cry of your heart?
This Hebrew word כּוּן kun is also used in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”
Here it is translated as ‘perfect’ and so we recognise that the ‘perfect’ day that is coming – is the ‘established’ day of יהוה when He will come and rule and reign here on earth in the 7th day – which is the 7th Millennium!
As we continue to guard the Torah and walk upright amidst a crooked and wicked generation, we walk the straight and narrow path that shines brighter and brighter to the firmly established day to which we are headed!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 12:3 “A man is not established by wrongness, but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.”
We are not established by lawlessness but rather we are established by righteousness, which is to guard to do all Elohim has commanded us!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your works to יהוה, and your plans shall be established.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but יהוה establishes his steps.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:12 “It is an abomination for sovereigns to commit wrongness, for a throne is established by righteousness.”
The reign of Elohim is established in righteousness!!!
In the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) the Greek word used in Tehillim/Psalm 57:7 that we have translated as ‘firm’ is ἕτοιμος hetoimos – Strong’s G2092 which means, ‘prepare, ready, ready at hand, prepared, accomplished’. And to give us further understanding in regards to having prepared and firm hearts, let us look at a couple of places where we find this word being used in the Renewed Writings:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 22:4 “Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Say to those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and fattened cattle are slaughtered, and all is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” ’
The word translated as ‘ready’ is the Greek word ἕτοιμος hetoimos, and the Greek word translated as ‘prepared’ is ἑτοιμάζω hetoimazō – Strong’s G2090 which is a verb that means, ‘to prepare, get ready, make arrangements’, and comes from the root ἕτοιμος hetoimos – Strong’s G2092. These words were from Messiah who was relating the parable of a sovereign who had prepared a wedding feast for his son, and had sent his servants out to call the invited guests to come, yet they refused, and once again he sent his servants to others who too refused the call to come, but killed his servants. His wrath burned and so he sent out his soldiers who destroyed the murderers, after which the call went out to invite whoever they could find. The wedding hall was filled with guests and those who were not dressed correctly were thrown out! This parable is a clear call for us to make sure that we are ready and prepared in garments of righteousness, lest we find ourselves being thrown out! So many are not ready as they are being consumed by the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth, or are running after the lusts of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, rendering their hearts as being unprepared and far from Elohim! In verse 8 of this chapter – the message is clear – “The wedding feast is ready”, and the big question is – ARE YOU???
In a chapter where יהושע Messiah speaks clearly on the end times he tells us in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:44 “Because of this, be ready too, for the Son of Aḏam is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.”
Once again in referencing the wedding feast we see in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:10 “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut.”
Those who were ready went in and the door was shut! Those who were not ready would not get in – because the doors were shut! This is a valuable lesson for us, and practically we can see how we need to be disciplined in being punctual in all we do – and with the wedding of Martin and Jackie happening this coming 1st day, we can see the valuable life lesson that we are able to learn from this occasion – DO NOT BE LATE!!! Disregard for punctuality in any aspect of life simply reveals a heart that is not fully settled and prepared on יהוה, as it shows no regard for the timing that has been arranged by others! Lack of punctuality is usually as a result of a disorganised life and a lack of respect for what has been prepared, and it is no different with the Wedding Feast of the Lamb that is coming – if one does not become disciplined and organised in the Word, they risk the danger of being late and left out!
We are called to be an awake, sober, alert and ready bride – and this should be seen in the conduct of our daily lives!
Yoḥanan/John 7:6 “יהושע therefore said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.”
The talmidim/disciples of Messiah tried to get Him to go to Yehuḏah and let His works be seen by the world, and the response of Messiah was simple – His time had not yet come – time for what? To reveal Himself to the world, but for His disciples the time and readiness to shine the light of His truth to the world was always! Another aspect we can see from these words of Messiah is that it was not yet His time to be put to death, for He had an appointed time for which he was fully prepared, whereas we must always be ready and prepared to die for the Truth! Kěpha, with great boldness, declared that he would remain steadfast and never stumble. When he was told by Messiah that he would indeed stumble that same night, he and the other disciples confidently said that they were firm in their belief and would not deny Messiah, even if they had to die with Him. Bold words indeed – yet a few hours later Kěpha denied Messiah 3 times! Broken by his earlier confidence, he was fully restored to a bold faith after the resurrection of Messiah when his love for Messiah was confidently confirmed when he was asked 3 times if he loved Messiah. He was then told that while he may have been very bold in his youth, he would indeed face great persecution and death, after which Messiah said to Kěpha, “Follow Me”! Kěpha’s heart was now indeed fully prepared and ready to die for righteousness’ sake.
We can learn from this, and recognize the need to have a fully prepared and ready heart that is firm, no matter what may come – because if we are not – we may find ourselves denying Him before men and risk being denied before the Father in Heaven! This is why Kěpha writes to us and tells us to always be ready in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:15-16 “But set apart יהוה Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone asking you a reason concerning the expectation that is in you, with meekness and fear, 16 having a good conscience, so that when they speak against you as doers of evil, those who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Messiah, shall be ashamed.”
Is your heart firm? Or do you find your faith wandering and wavering from time to time? Have you found that your confident words of bold faith have simply not been met with the relevant faithful actions, possibly due to pressures and worries, and in the process have denied Messiah in fear of the response of others?
My encouragement and call to all of you is to settle in your hearts the confidence and commitment to seeking the Torah of יהוה, guarding His commands and walking in His Truth, no matter what may come! Settle that now in your hearts and lean on the understanding of יהוה, in order that He directs your steps and firmly establishes you. Is your heart prepared? Prepared as a set-apart Bride, and with that readiness, is their continued praise coming from your lips? Or has an unprepared heart caused you to doubt and fear what you have faced in times past, or fear and worry what you are facing right now, or even what you may or may not face in the future? Hear this call to readiness and the settling of one’s heart upon יהוה and the Truth of His sure Word that does not fail – and let this readiness result in true fervent praise of His Light that shines forth in the darkness, so that darkness does not overcome it, but rather that you become more that overcomers through Him who loved us!
The Wedding feast is ready – are you? Can you confidently declare with all praise:
נָכוֹן לִבִּי אֱלֹהִים נָכוֹן לִבִּי –
‘naḥon libbiy Ĕlohim naḥon libbiy’ –
MY HEART IS FIRM, O ELOHIM, MY HEART IS FIRM!
May we collectively, as a Bride of the Beloved, be able to declare the true firmness and readiness of our hearts, that we may awaken much praise and esteem unto יהוה our Elohim, who establishes us, aměn!
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!