28th of the 1st month 2015/2016
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:16 “Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה.”
Count fifty days is the clear instruction that is given to us, and I ask all of you if you have in fact been counting?
As we enter into day 7 of our commanded count to 50 there is still another 6 weeks to go, and what we recognise from this period from Matzot/Unleavened Bread to Shaḇu’ot/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost is that by counting as we should, we are able to learn some very vital lessons of counting the true cost of following our Master each and every day.
As we consider the powerful and awesome works of Elohim and His redemption that He brought to us by His own Blood, we cannot help but stand in awe of who He is and earnestly stop and think about how our lives ought to be lived out in complete set-apartness without compromise. During this time of counting to 50 we should be learning the vital need for us to be working out our deliverance with fear and trembling, in order to be the ready and prepared Bride that He is coming for, with lamps trimmed and filled with oil and our light burning bright, each and every day! 50 as we know from Scripture symbolically signifies for us the wonderful promise and assurance of a release and the ability to take hold of our inheritance with joy, as it was in the Yoḇel year (that is the 50th year) that debts were cancelled and land and property was returned to the original owners, picturing for us the joy of the soon return of our Master that we wait for, so that He Himself will take us into our promised inheritance.
We are to be a ‘counting people’ and must understand how that we are continually reminded of how we are to know how to count or else we may be in great danger of being in a place of not understanding His great plans for us. We are able see and acknowledge how He has taught us to count to 3,which we previously were unable to do so when we were enslaved by false traditions! Our Master has also taught us to count correctly to 7 in order to keep His Shabbat and set it apart so as to firmly establish the sign He has given to us to know that He is יהוה our Elohim (Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:12,20). Now that we can count to 3 and 7 – it does not stop there – we learn to take a great step forward in our counting ability by being able to count to 50!
All of these are very important numbers that any child of Elohim ought to be able to correctly count to and understand why we must count, as they all point us toward His work of Redemption and Deliverance for us! As you may have figured out by know, I am placing much emphasis on our need to count and be able to number the days as יהוה commands us to, and so in a message tonight called, “TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS!”, may we be sober in our proper ability to count and number as we should, in order that we too shall be counted worthy of attaining a promised entrance into the reign of our Elohim! This season teaches us to have a lot of introspection and earnest looking into the mirror of the Word, which we ought to do each and every day, yet we do recognise the symbolism of this counting time from Matzot to Shaḇu’ot as a time of recognising how important it is for us to be a people who are permeated with the kingdom of our Master and be the true salt and light of the earth, so that we can be the true and faithful set-apart priesthood who He has firmly in the palm of His Hand, as we offer our lives up before Him daily as a daily living offering and continual wave offering of thanksgiving. Tonight I want us to consider what it means to count the cost and number our days, and to do that I would like us to read a very powerful Tehillah/Psalm that echoes an earnest cry to be a people who can count as we should! Please turn with me to Tehillah/Psalm 90 (read)
The title of this very powerful Psalm is written in the Hebrew as – תְּפִלָּה לְמֹשֶׁה אִישׁ־הָאֱלֹהִים – ‘Tephillah lemosheh iysh ha’Elohim’, which in English can be rendered as: ‘A prayer of Mosheh the man of Elohim’.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘prayer’ is תְּפִלָּה tephillah – Strong’s H8605 and comes from the word פָּלַל palal – Strong’s H6419 which means ‘to intercede, intervene, make supplication, and judgement made favourable’ and in essence carries the meaning ‘to apply to a judge for a favourable decision’. This prayer of Mosheh is a powerful prayer of intercession for sinful man, as he asks Elohim to teach man to number his days correctly so as to apply wisdom and not act as a foolish sinner! Mosheh was the first to be called ‘The man of Elohim’, after which we see this being used in reference to Dawiḏ as well as some of the greatest prophets that brought the Truth with great confidence and boldness without compromise. All of these being a clear shadow picture of Messiah who came in the flesh to be the perfect sacrifice and the One who could faithfully intercede for us and cause us to be a people who are counted in Him. The Good Teacher came down to teach us how to number our days!!!
In the opening statement of this prayer, we see the clear acknowledgement of the Truth of how יהוה has been our refuge in all generations, and that before all was made, He is El!!! The Hebrew word translated as ‘refuge’ is מָעוֹן ma’on – Strong’s H4583 which means, ‘dwelling pace, habitation, den, refuge’, and we are able to see the clear declaration of how יהוה has always been the only true place of safety, in the midst of a corrupt and sinful world. This prayer embraces the acknowledgement of how it is Elohim who gives life and takes it away, and how man is consumed in His displeasure.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘displeasure’ in verse 7 is אַף aph – Strong’s H639 which means, ‘a nostril, nose, face, anger’, and this word is frequently used as a reference to the anger of both men and Elohim; and anger is often expressed in the appearance of the nostrils that dilate in anger. This word comes from the root verb אָנַף anaph – Strong’s H599 which means, ‘to be angry, become angry’, and so here describes the day when יהוה’s displeasure in revealed, as we see in:
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 2:3 “Seek יהוה, all you meek ones of the earth, who have done His right-ruling. Seek righteousness, seek meekness, if so be that you are hidden in the day of wrath of יהוה.”
The Hebrew word used for ‘wrath’ in verse 7 of this Tehillah/Psalm 90 is חֵמָה ḥemah – Strong’s H2534 which means, ‘heat, rage, anger, hot displeasure, wrath’, and in this prayer it is clear that it is by His displeasure and wrath that we are consumed and alarmed! The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘alarmed’ is בָּהַל bahal – Strong’s H926 which means, ‘to disturb, terrify, tremble’. His wrath causes us to tremble and in His displeasure we are consumed! Knowing this we recognise that in our sin we stand powerless before the wrath and displeasure of Elohim, and without a true intercessor we have only one fate and that is to return to dust! In another powerful verse we are able to see by the words of Mosheh a great shadow picture of the intercession of Messiah, as we see these two Hebrew word for ‘displeasure’ (אַף aph – Strong’s H639) and ‘wrath’ (חֵמָה ḥemah – Strong’s H2534) being used in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 9:19 “For I was afraid of the displeasure and rage with which יהוה was wroth with you, to destroy you. But יהוה listened to me that time once more.”
These were the words of Mosheh that he was telling the new generation of what happened when he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the Covenant and how he broke them when he saw how they had made a moulded calf and had quickly turned aside from the way which יהוה had commanded them. This prayer of Mosheh is no different, as we see the clear intercession being made for the corruptness of man, and it is at the very sobering picture and reality of the wrath of Elohim that we tremble at and realise that nothing can be hidden from His eyes, as we see in verse 8 that our crookednesses and ‘secret’ sin – that is that which we have tried to conceal and hide – is before Him and the light of His face, for nothing is hidden from His sight!
In acknowledgment of our complete crookedness and sin we can only but stand and tremble before Him and realise that we deserve nothing but death, for sinful man has limited days. When יהוה made it clear to Aḏam that in the day he sins that he would die, He meant it. As we see in this prayer that to יהוה a thousand years in His eyes are like yesterday that has past! When we consider this we are reminded of a clear instruction that Kěpha gives us in:
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved ones, let not this one matter be hidden from you: that with יהוה one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
Let not this one matter be hidden from you – this is of vital importance for us to understand, as we recognise a clear lesson in being able to count and number as we should! When we understand this matter that must not be hidden from us we are able to understand the clear work and redemption of our Master as we can see this being firmly declared in Creation Week that gives us a shadow picture and pattern for the 7 Millennium (7000 years) of this age, before the renewed heavens and earth shall come. As previously discussed we must learn and see how Creation Week tells us a wonderful story of the full work of our Master that He shall complete when He comes in the 7th Millennium and we are able to enter into His rest! In Creation Week we see how it was on the 4th day that He separated the light from the darkness and pictures for us the clear working of our Master and Redeemer, יהושע Messiah, The Light of The world, The Word made flesh, who came into the world as of a son brought forth from a father and pitched His tent among us and called us out of darkness into His marvellous light! This He did on the 4th day, so to speak, or 4th Millennium, and it is on the 7th day that He completed His work and rested, which shows us again that it is on the 7th day – that is in the 7th Millennium that He will complete His work and rest. We have the weekly Sabbath that was set-apart from Creation Week to remind us each and every week that there remains a proper Sabbath keeping for the people of Elohim, as the sure sign that יהוה is our Elohim, and in the day of His wrath, when He comes to complete His work, we may be found to be hidden in Him! Coming back to Aḏam, we must remember that with יהוה one day is as a thousand years, and therefore we are able to see that Aḏam did die in the day He sinned, as he only lived to be 930 years old and never made it to 1000 years. In fact no man has ever lived to 1000 years for all have been born into sin, and the oldest man to live was Methuselaḥ, who lived to 969. He was the father of Lemeḵ and grandfather of Noaḥ. Aḏam was told in Berěshith/Genesis 2:17 that in the day that he would eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which he was commanded not to eat of, he would die; and in the Hebrew it can literally be rendered as ‘dying you shall die’, which indicates a clear decaying process that sin brings forth.
By the time of this prayer in Tehillah/Psalm 90 we see how the days of our years are 70 or even 80 if our strength is good, showing us how the decay of sin has drastically reduced the number of the years of man!
In verse 11 of this prayer of Mosheh the question is asked ‘who knows the power of Your displeasure? And your wrath, according to the fear of You?’
And quite frankly I think that this is a sobering rhetorical question that has the obvious and sad answer that sinful man does not know the power of the displeasure and wrath of Elohim, for sinful man lacks a true fear of Elohim!
And then we come to verse 12, the verse that got my clear attention when considering our need to be a counting and numbering people, and the words of this prayer are very clear and words we should be able to ask our Master and Elohim, and that is “Teach us to number our days!” This is the only way that we are truly going to be able to understand the fear of Elohim and find a proper refuge for our lives! This is a clear appeal given to Elohim, and in the Hebrew this verse actually begins with the word כֵּן ken – Strong’s H3651 which is an adverb that can mean, ‘so, thus, therefore’, and we can see the call here in the sobering response to the rhetorical question asked in the previous verse, signifying the urgency of an appeal based on sinful man’s inability to fully know the power of the displeasure of Elohim, saying in effect, “Therefore teach us to number our days!”.
The Hebrew root word used here for ‘teach’ is יָדַע yada – Strong’s H3045 meaning, ‘to know, to acknowledge, clearly understand, to perceive, distinguish and discern’, and is a verb written in the ‘hiphil’ tense, which is the causative tense which can render the meaning, ‘make known, declare’. This appeal is clear as it can literally be expressed with urgency as, “Therefore cause us to know how to number our days”. This verb can also render the ability to know by experience, and while we recognise that יהוה certainly ‘knows’ all things, we also realise that in terms of יהוה knowing those who take refuge in Him, or that He knows those who are His, there is a deeper intimacy being expressed here or called for by desiring to have the clear experience of a faithful and fruitful relationship between the Creator and His Created beings, that follow and adhere to His clearly prescribed ways for functioning as they should, by being faithfully obedient to His instructions for living set-apart lives unto Him!
In being able to be in a fruitful and faithful relationship, by being caused to number our days as we should, we can be effective in being a Bride that prepares herself and calls for Her Husband to come.
The second part of this verse is very powerful in recognising why we must be effective in numbering our days, for this prayer and intercession is clear – teach us to number our days and let us bring our heart to wisdom!
The Hebrew root word translated as ‘let us bring’ is בּוֹא bo – Strong’s H935 which means, ‘to come in, go in, bring in, enter, to cause to come in, to bring near’. This being said what is clear here is that we must learn to number our days so that we cause our hearts to have the True wisdom of Elohim! We need to number our days so that we may apply our hearts to wisdom and not be found to be foolish maidens that lack oil!
We need the wisdom of Elohim, and we are clearly instructed repeatedly in Scripture to be a people who get wisdom, and with all our getting, get understanding, for it is better to get wisdom than gold, and getting understanding is preferable to silver. Ya’aqoḇ tells us that if any lacks wisdom then they should ask Elohim who give generously to all, yet
This should be asked in belief without doubting! What is clearly being implied here is that to ask, get and receive the wisdom of Elohim means to do what His Word commands, for it is the doing of His Word that we get understanding and grow in His wisdom!
When we are able to be taught to number our days and walk in the fear of Elohim as we work out our deliverance with fear and trembling, and are growing in wisdom and understanding as we guard to do all He has commanded us to do, we are able to begin to embrace the reality of Him being our refuge and be strengthened with His joy that causes us to sing for joy all our days. In this prayer of Mosheh we see the cry for the pleasantness of יהוה our Elohim to be upon us, and the Hebrew word used here in verse 17 for ‘pleasantness’ is נֹעַם no’am – Strong’s H5278 which means, ‘delightfulness, pleasantness, beauty’, and comes from the root word נָעֵם na’em – Strong’s H5276 which means, ‘to be pleasant, delightful, lovely, surpass in beauty’. What is worth taking note of here is that we are told in Mishlĕ that wisdom’s ways are peasant:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:17 “Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.”
In closing this prayer the plea is given for Elohim to confirm the work of our hands, and the Hebrew root word used for ‘confirm’ is כּוּן kun – Strong’s H3559 which means, ‘ready, steadfast, established, firm, set up, determined, prepared’.
We are called to be a Bride who is prepared and ready for her Husband, and the only way we can do this successfully is by walking in the fear of Elohim as we get wisdom and understanding through diligent seeking hearing, guarding and doing of His Word, that we make our study and meditate upon day and night!
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 and established in the Truth!
Choosing to serve יהוה and walk in Him, must be done with a 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 king 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!!!
This counting to 50 is a clear command and reminder for us to be a people whose hearts are being faithfully prepared and established to seek יהוה with our all!
How are you counting? Are you truly seeking and asking Elohim to teach you to number your days or have you lost count?
The Hebrew word used here in verse 12 of this prayer of Mosheh for ‘number’ is מָנָה manah – Strong’s H4487 which means, ‘to count, number, reckon, appoint, prepare, assign’. Our need to prepare and count as a faithful Bride is critical, and in giving a great wake up call to those who are sleep, Sha’ul says in:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:15-16 “See then that you walk exactly, not as unwise, but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are wicked. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the desire of יהוה is.”
Only true ‘counters’ or those who are being taught to number their days, by the pure wisdom of Elohim, will understand what His desire is, and this counting to 50 confirms this for us, as we who walk in His wisdom by guarding His Sabbaths, Feasts and all His commands understand His desire – which is our set-apartness! Those who cannot count are like the foolish maidens who lack pure oil and will be rejected as not being known by Elohim! Those who disregard the Sabbaths and Feast of יהוה clearly reveal that they cannot count, as they cannot count to 3, 7 or 50, and if they continue to refuse to be taught how to number their days they will not be counted worthy to enter the reign of our Master and Elohim!
Having said that I want to look at the Hebrew word for ‘count’ as used in the command to count to 50.
The word used for ‘count’ in our instruction to count 50 days to Shavuot is the word סָפַר saphar – Strong’s H5608 – meaning, ‘to score, mark as a tally, record, inscribe, recount, celebrate, commune’. It is used 161, times also being translated into English as, ‘tell, told, number, tell me, declared, numbering’. סָפַר saphar is the denominative root verb of the word סֵפֶר sepher – Strong’s H5612 which means, ‘a missive, document, writing, book, scroll, letters’.
As we consider the clear importance of this commanded ‘counting period to 50’ we recognise how this is a great season that teaches us to continually be a ‘counting people’ who daily ‘count the cost’ of following our Master and Redeemer, יהושע Messiah. And to be faithful in being a ‘counting people’, we need to realise that we cannot do this without the Word of Elohim – as we meditate on His Torah day and night, as we allow this סֵפֶר sepher or Book of the Torah to lead us each and every day:
Yehoshua/Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.”
If we do not count we cannot be cleansed! To count means to reflect on where we are and repent of our sin.
The word סָפַר saphar (spelt from right to left is with a סָ – samek, פַ – pey, ר – resh).
Now when we see these symbols as written in the ancient script we get a wonderful picture of what true cleansing entails when we ‘count’:
– THE ANCIENT FORM OF WRITING THE WORD “COUNT” – SAPHAR!
Samek – סָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure.
Pey – פָּ:
This is the letter ‘pey’, which is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established!
Resh – ר:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief. Our true life of praise unto יהוה, our Head, begins when we fear Him, for He is the beginning of our strength, and true separated praise entails a true fear of the One who is Chief over us!
When seeing the construct of this word for count in its ancient form we have a clear picture of how cleansing entails true repentance through being able to correctly count! This ancient grouping of letters can carry various meanings for us, and in terms of being a people who count, we realise that this can only be done when we:
Grab hold of the Word of the Head!
This picture, in terms of counting, teaches us that our shield and refuge is in our Head and Master, who teaches us through His Word to number our days and we recognise that When we bring our sins (pictured by the thorn) and confess them (open mouth) to יהושע our Messiah (head of a man); then He is the one who cleanses us!
Being cleansed we must daily count the cost of following Him totally, so that we may meet Him face to face with gladness on the 7th day!
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.”
Learning to count as commanded gives us wisdom and understanding that we may be a united loaf in Messiah, which we will look at and celebrate this coming Shaḇu’ot!
Counting requires a concentrated effort and it requires a daily choice of choosing life over death, blessing over curse and the joy that this responsibility brings must result in our alert ability to call many out of darkness – for we know the times – after all we can now count! The only way to be a part of his body is to ‘count’.
My question to you tonight is simply this – HAVE YOU BEEN COUNTING – have you denied self – are you following Messiah – are you taking up your stake daily – HAVE YOU BEEN COUNTING?
The time of counting to 50 is about recognising how we have been cleansed of sin and lawlessness and are daily being permeated with the good leaven of the Kingdom, as we are reminded of the words of Yoḥanan:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:6 “Everyone staying in Him does not sin. Everyone sinning has neither seen Him nor known Him.”
The ability to count and the responsibility of obedience that goes with it will keep us from sinning and lead us to Shaḇu’ot – and ultimately lead us to the final Yoḇel – where a Bride comes face to face with her Husband – lets be a counting people, aměn!
As we echo the prayer of Mosheh the man of Elohim, may we too cry out to Elohim and continually ask Him to:
TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS!
May our hearts be established in applying the wisdom of Elohim each and every day, guarding the charge to be a counting people
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you shalom!