4th of the 10th month 2017/2018
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 42:21 “It has delighted יהוה, for the sake of His righteousness, to make the Torah great and esteemed.”
While reading through Yeshayahu/Isaiah 42-43, in preparation of the weekly Torah readings, I was gripped by these words that I have quoted above. This passage is typically read alongside the first Torah portion reading from Berěshith/Genesis 1:1-6:8, and when looking a little more closely at the words in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 42:21, it realised how these words highlight for us one of the primary reasons that we are to study and meditate on the Torah of Elohim! In a brief message called, ‘THE ESTEEMED TORAH OF YAHWEH!’, I would like to share with you why it has delighted יהוה to make the Torah great and esteemed!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘delighted’ is the root verb חָפֵץ ḥaphets – Strong’s H2654 and means, ‘to delight in, desire, take pleasure in’. What we are seeing here is that, for the sake of righteousness, יהוה has delighted in making His Torah great and esteemed! The Hebrew phrase that is translated as ‘for the sake of His righteousness’ is written as לְמַ֣עַן צִדְק֑וֹ – ‘lema’an tsiḏqo’, coming from the two root words:
1) מַעַן ma’an – Strong’s H4616 which means, ‘purpose, intent, account, because, this reason, therefore, sake’ which comes from the root verb עָנָה anah – Strong’s H6030 which means, ‘to sing, utter tunefully, be occupied with, cry, respond, testify, speak, shout’. This word is used 329 times and relates to giving an answer, testifying, as well as shouting with joy, often as a response to being a faithful witness!
2) צֶדֶק tseḏeq – Strong’s H6664 which means, ‘righteous, just, righteousness’ and comes from the primitive root צָדֵק tsaḏeq – Strong’s H6663 which means, ‘to be just or righteous, justified, properly restored’.
What we are able to see here, is that the ‘purpose and intent’ of יהוה making His Torah great and esteemed, is to properly justify who He is and what His righteousness entails, and this we will understand a little better, shortly!
His Torah is great and esteemed, for it restores His image and likeness in us, as we walk in it!
From Scripture we are given a clear definition of what righteousness is for us, as we are told in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
This is as clear and straight forward as one needs to see and hear: Righteousness is to guard the commands of יהוה.
Proper love for Elohim is also made very clear for us, in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
It can therefore be safely deducted that true love for Elohim is expressed in proper righteousness, which is to guard His commands. Love for Elohim is Righteousness!!! Those who disregard the Torah and excuse away the needs to guard His commands, do not love Elohim and are walking in unrighteousness, which is sin, which is lawlessness!
Let me show you why I say that:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
Sin is lawlessness!!! The Greek word for ‘lawlessness is ἀνομία anomia – Strong’s G458 meaning, ‘lawlessness or lawless deeds, unrighteousness’ and comes from the word ἄνομος anomos – Strong’s G459 meaning, ‘lawless or without law, transgressors’.
When shooting an arrow or other object to a target, the distance that one misses is measured with a cord. The wrong actions of one are also measured against the correct action! The Torah is, in a manner of speaking, the ‘chord’ or ‘plumb-line’ that we are ‘measured against’; for we would not know what we have missed if there were no measuring line to guide and instruct us! Sinners are those who walk contrary to the Torah and ‘miss the mark’, so to speak, of the called for set-apartness and obedience to the Torah.
The Greek word for ‘sin’ is ἁμαρτία hamartia – Strong’s G266 which means, ‘sin, failure, miss the mark, to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong’, and also carries the meaning of, ‘wandering from the law of Elohim, violate the law of Elohim’. I am sure some of you know where I am going with this!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 spells it out very plainly for those who seem to miss the fact that to not walk in the Torah is sin! It is as though Yoḥanan was spelling out this fact very bluntly and straightforward for those who struggle with a Greek mind-set and see no need to walk in the Torah – well right here in the Greek it is clear – If you are lawless (that is to walk contrary to the Torah) then you are indeed sinning!
Sin is lawlessness: ἁμαρτία hamartia is ἀνομία anomia!
We also take note of the words we see in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:17-19 “All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death. 18 We know that everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin, but the one having been born of Elohim guards himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of Elohim, and all the world lies in the wicked one.”
When we guard righteousness, we are guarded against the deception of the lawless one!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘unrighteousness’ is ἀδικία adikia – Strong’s G93 which means, ‘unrighteousness, iniquity, wrong, deed violating law and justice’.
Ok…so… unrighteousness is sin – ἀδικία adikia is ἁμαρτία hamartia – that is pretty clear!
That means that unrighteousness is lawlessness, which is sin.
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS STANDS FOREVER! (Tehillah/Psalm 119:3 // Tehillah/Psalm 112:3 // Tehillah/Psalm 112:9)
His clear standard of Righteousness stands forever and never fails nor fades. It for His righteousness sake that He has delighted in making His Torah great and esteemed!
Our righteousnesses are as fifthly rags:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 64:6 “And all of us have become as one unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as soiled rags. And all of us fade like a leaf, and our crookednesses, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Recognising the need for us to embrace the righteousness of Elohim that stands forever and never fades, we need to be urgent in our ability to properly guard His commands, which we can only do when we faithfully study and meditate on His Torah, being a people that: HEAR – GUARD and DO – His commands – for that is righteousness for us!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘great’ in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 42:21 comes from the root verb גָּדַל gaḏal – Strong’s H1431 – and this root word is used 115 times in the Tanak and has the meaning, ‘to grow up, become great, to cause to be large, magnify, boast, lift up, promote’, and is often used as a word to express praise for יהוה.
The Hebrew word that I want us to look a little more closely at, for the purposes of this message, is the word that is translated as ‘esteemed’ in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 42:21. The term ‘and esteemed’ is written in the Hebrew as וְיַאְדִּֽיר – veya’diyr – which can be translated as ‘and make esteemed’. It comes from the root verb אָדַר aḏar – Strong’s H142 which means, ‘majestic, glorious’ – through the idea of ‘raising a barrier’. When digging a little deeper into the Hebrew text we take note that this root verb is only used 3 times in Scripture; which are found in:
Shemoth/Exodus 15:6 “Your right hand, O יהוה, has become great in power. Your right hand, O יהוה, has crushed the enemy”
Shemoth/Exodus 15:11 “Who is like You, O יהוה, among the mighty ones? Who is like You, great in set-apartness, awesome in praises, working wonders?”
In the above two passages we have the other two uses of the root verb אָדַר aḏar – Strong’s H142.
In Shemoth/Exodus 15:6 the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘has become great’ is written as נֶאְדָּרִ֖י – ne’darriy, and in Shemoth/Exodus 15:11 the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘great’ is written as נֶאְדָּ֣ר – ne’dar.
In both of these verses from Shemoth/Exodus 15 the root verb אָדַר aḏar – Strong’s H142 is written in the ‘niphal stem’, which conveys the ‘reflexive’ action where the subject of the verb both carries out and receives the action of the verb. In verse 11 the rhetorical question is asked of who is so great in set-apartness as יהוה is, and in verse 6 the greatness of the power of the right hand of יהוה is being emphasised!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘right hand’ is the root word יָמִין yamin – Strong’s H3225 and means ‘right hand/right side and also south side’ and is used literally of a man’s right hand, and speaks of the proper functioning power of the one who is doing the action. The Right Hand of Elohim is a title for יהושע, who is the fullness of the Torah – for that is why He came – to fully meet its requirements that we may walk in Him – the Living Torah – and live!
What is being clearly declared here is the greatness of the set-apartness of YHWH and the greatness of His Right Hand, which also speaks of the greatness of the work of deliverance that He has done for His called-out and set-apart people!
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 42:21 the root word אָדַר aḏar – Strong’s H142 is written in the ‘hiphil’ verb stem, which refers to the relationship of the verb’s subject to the action of the verb, and indicates the ‘causative’ sense.
In other words, יהוה has caused His Torah to be made great! Why I am highlighting a basic overview of the 3 uses of this root verb is to simply present something very unique. As we consider that this verb is only used 3 times in reference to the greatness of the set-apartness of יהוה, His Right Hand and how He has caused His Torah to be made great, we are able to understand more clearly why we are to be urgent in our study of His Torah that He has made great!
Here is why I am making mention of this: From these 3 instances where the root אָדַר aḏar – Strong’s H142 is used in Scripture, we take note of the following:
1) יהוה is great!!! He is great in set-apartness and there is no other like Him!
2) The construct of His greatness is seen in His Right Hand, יהושע Messiah, for He has revealed His Arm of deliverance, through the life, death and resurrection of יהושע Messiah! יהושע means, ‘יהוה is our Saviour/Deliverer’.
3) The subject of His greatness is given to us in His Torah!!!
Can you see how powerful this is?
We have the privilege of learning about the greatness of our Might Elohim and Saviour, as we study and meditate on His Torah that He has caused to be made great – fro His declares who He is – for He is Mighty in Power and Great in Set-Apartness!!!
For those who disregard the need to walk according to the Torah of Elohim, are never able to walk in the greatness of our Master and therefore cannot be in Him, nor stay in Him and are therefore unable to bear the fruit of righteousness! When we recognise how the Torah is the subject of the greatness of Elohim we begin to recognise how awesome His Torah actually is.
After His resurrection, יהושע Messiah made His taught ones see how the Scriptures speak of Himself, beginning at Mosheh and the Prophets!
Luqas/Luke 24:27 “And beginning at Mosheh and all the Prophets, He was explaining to them in all the Scriptures the matters concerning Himself.”
Luqas/Luke 24:44 “And He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all have to be filled that were written in the Torah of Mosheh and the Prophets and the Tehillim concerning Me.”
The Torah of Mosheh, the Prophets and the Tehillim speak about our Master and Elohim, and collectively we can understand that the Torah of Elohim (which includes all His Word) has been caused to be great, declaring the power and good news of the deliverance of our Elohim!
The Hebrew word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 means, ‘utterance’, ‘teaching’, ‘instruction’ or ‘revelation’ from Elohim’. Other definitions include: ‘information that is imparted to a student; direction; body of prophetic teaching; instruction on Messianic Age; body of priestly direction’, and comes from the primitive root verb יָרָה yarah – Strong’s H3384 meaning, ‘to shoot, throw, instruct, direct, teach’, which therefore can give us the understanding of ‘Torah’ to mean the following:
TO AIM OR POINT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION and MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION
The Torah gives us our ‘direction’ and bearings as we sojourn here, looking forward to the sure and promised hope of the return of our King and Teacher of Righteousness!
In other words, it means that you ‘aim or point in the right direction and you move in that direction’.
You can see that this meaning is way different as to how we understand the ‘burden’ that is typically associated with the word ‘Law’.
It is also interesting and wonderful for me how the word Torah clearly reveals the Messiah, let me show you how. The original language spoken and written by Hebrews is referred to as Ancient Hebrew Script which consisted of an alphabet of pictographic symbols that each rendered its unique meaning, which later developed into the ‘middle script’ or Paleo-Hebrew and then into what is known as ‘Biblical Hebrew’ as we have it available for us today; and though the Hebrew Language went through a number of changes, we are able to discern the original symbols or pictures that were used which actually resembled their meaning.
Each symbol or picture carried a meaning or meanings and when symbols were collectively put together they would spell a word that carried a meaning or clear description.
The word TORAH is a combination of four symbols: (Remember Hebrew is read right to left):
(Ancient Hebrew) and תּורה (Biblical Hebrew)
= תּ (tav) a picture of ‘crossed sticks’ which means ‘to seal or covenant’ or ‘mark’ or ‘sign’
= ו (vav) a “nail” or a “peg” which means ‘to add or secure or hook’
= ר (resh) “a head of a man” meaning “a person, the head or the highest” or “first” or “top” or “beginning”
= ה (hay) “a man with arms raised” which means “to reveal” or “behold” or “what comes from”
When we consider these pictographic symbols and their meanings, we can by the word rendered ‘Torah’ see the wonderful work of Messiah, who secures for us the Covenant in His Own Blood that brings the two houses (Yehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl) – two sticks – together!
It could best be rendered in a powerful testimony of the work of Messiah as follows:
“Behold the man, Messiah our Head, who by His own Blood renewed the covenant, nailing to the ‘stake’ that which was written against us, and securing the covenant in order that the two sticks can be brought back together in Him, whom we praise”
Other definitions based on this word could also render:
‘What comes from the man nailed to the ‘cross’ or upright pole’ and
‘Behold the man who secures the covenant’ and
‘To a cross is nailed the highest, it is revealed in Torah’
Wow – how awesome is this!!! Now – does this sound like a heavy law??? Not at all – this description or definition does not make me think of fines or of a judge or of punishment or even of prison! יהושע tells us that His yoke is easy – His yoke is His Torah (instructions and teaching)!
We are NOT to forsake the Torah!!! We are NOT to cast away His instructions! A clear warning is given to those who do so, while claiming to be part of a covenant people of Elohim!
Tehillah/Psalm 50:16-17 “But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 while you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?”
We are told in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:2 “Guard my commands and live, and my Torah as the apple of your eye.”
This is very clear – guard the commands and live – or – do not guard them and die!!!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘live’ is the primitive root verb חָיָה ḥayah – Strong’s H2421 which means, ‘to live, came to life, restored to life, revived’. Our ability to be revived and kept alive is by our guarding of the commands of Elohim, and the noun that comes from this root verb and means ‘life’ is חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416 and means, ‘life, alive, living, flowing, fresh, running’:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:45-47 “And when Mosheh ended speaking all these words to all Yisra’ĕl, 46 he said to them, “Set your heart on all the words with which I warn you today, so that you command your children to guard to do all the Words of this Torah. 47 “For it is not a worthless Word for you, because it is your life, and by this Word you prolong your days on the soil which you pass over the Yardĕn to possess.”
What we must guard against is the looking to the ‘letter of the Torah’ only; as we must recognise that the Torah without Messiah contains no life – but it is only in Messiah that true life of the Torah becomes something that can and does sustain us.
In the ancient pictographic symbols of this word, we are given a greater insight in understanding how יהושע Messiah is THE LIFE! This word – חַי ḥay in the ancient script look like this:
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall.
Yod – י
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
From this ancient pictographic lettering of the word for LIFE we are clearly able to see how by the work of Messiah – the outstretched arm and hand of Elohim, we as living stones, are built up in Him as the Dwelling Place of the Living Elohim!
What gives us our ability to be built up as living stones in the Master, is our continued obedience to walking in that which is our life – His Torah!
We are to guard His Torah as the apple of our eye!
As the apple of your eye – כְּאִישׁוֹן עֵינֶיךָ – ‘ki’eyshon ayneyḵa’ – The word translated as ‘apple’ is אִישׁוֹן ishon – Strong’s H380 which means, ‘the pupil of the eye, middle’ and comes from the root word used for ‘man’ which is אִישׁ ish – Strong’s H376.
We see Ya’aqoḇ being described as being the apple of the eye of יהוה, in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:10 “He found him in a wilderness, and in a wasted, howling desert. He encompassed him, He made him understand, He watched over him as the apple of His eye.”
This is a Hebraic expression, which portrays the intensity of one’s focus on one’s beloved! This is a very powerful statement that shows us how focused יהוה is on His called out, chosen ones. This could also be rendered as the ‘little man of the eye’, whereby we are able to, by the intensity of His focus upon us, see our reflection in the pupil of His eye – as an expression of ability to look intently into the mirror of His Word and not forget how we look and how we ought to look, as we become doers of the Word and not just hearers only!
This instruction is clear – we are to be so intently focused on His Torah, and guard His commands that we may live, and we do this by ‘fixing our eyes’ on Messiah, our Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:2 “looking to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.”
We are told to be ‘looking’ to Messiah – and as we can see from the verse before this one, is that in order to be able to properly ‘look’ at Messiah, we need to throw off and lay aside every weight and sin that easily entangles us and run with endurance – looking intently at our King as we run faithfully as servants of the Most-High Elohim!
Many are trying to run, yet find themselves getting tired and unable to endure the hardships and persecutions that comes as a result of set-apart living amidst a crooked generation! The question that you need to ask yourself as you take an eye test so to speak is, “What are you looking at?” Are you looking at Messiah?
The two words used here for our Messiah are:
‘Prince’ – ἀρχηγός – archēgos – Strong’s G747 – translates as ‘prince, captain, chief leader and author’ and describes ‘one that takes the lead in anything and thus affords an example, a predecessor in a matter, pioneer’.
‘Perfecter’ – τελειωτής – teleiōtēs – Strong’s G5051 – this is the only place this Greek word and denotes a ‘finisher, completer, perfecter’ and describes ‘one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith’. This is a description given only to יהושע Messiah who has become the supreme model for us to follow.
The Greek word for ‘looking’ is ἀφοράω – aphorao – Strong’s G872 and means ‘to look/ to turn eyes away from all other things and fix them on something’, metaphorically speaking it means ‘to fix the mind upon/ give full attention/ looking intently upon/ to take heed’, and it also means, ‘to consider carefully, attentively look at’ and comes from the two Greek words: ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and participle that means, ‘from, away from, at, in, to’ and the word ὁράω horaō – Strong’s G3708 which means, ‘to see, perceive, attend to, take heed, see with the mind, beware, to see as in becoming acquainted with by experience’.
We are to look to Messiah and careful consider our ways, and we are at the same time to ensure that are eyes are not looking elsewhere as we ‘take heed’ of the corrupt teachings of man-made dogmas and traditions that lead people astray.
The Torah expresses the greatness of our Saviour! And this is why we are to fix our eyes on His Torah, as we study and meditate on it day and night, allowing it to be the light for our path and a lamp for our feet.
We need to let the words given to Yehoshua be heard in our own ears, and respond correctly:
Yehoshua/Joshua 1:7-8 “Only be strong and very courageous, to guard to do according to all the Torah which Mosheh My servant commanded you. Do not turn from it right or left, so that you act wisely wherever you go. 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.”
We are blessed when we walk in, and meditate upon, that which יהוה has made great and esteemed!
Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 but his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night. 3 For he shall be as a tree planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:1 “Blessed are the perfect in the way, who walk in the Torah of יהוה!”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people are let loose, but blessed is he who guards the Torah.”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:25 “But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”
While I could continue expanding on the Torah that our Great Master and Elohim has made great, I simply want to make it clear why we ought to guard the great and esteemed Torah of יהוה. It is the subject of His greatness!!!
The Torah of יהוה is not dull and boring but is rather the living subject of His esteemed greatness and set-apartness, witnessing to us the powerful work of His Right Hand that has worked a perfect deliverance for us…. Now that ought to inspire any true believer’s desire to study and meditate on that which our Great Master has made great and esteemed!
We need to have ears to hear, as we take note of the clear warning of not being heard when we do not hear His esteemed Torah:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:9 “He who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer is an abomination.”
Yoḥanan/John 9:31 “And we know that Elohim does not hear sinners. But if anyone fears Elohim and does His desire, He hears him.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:22 “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we guard His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.”
Guarding His commands and properly meditating upon His esteemed Torah, in order to faithfully do what is commanded therein, is pleasing in the sight of Elohim… and so the hearers and doers of the Word are heard by Him!
It has delighted יהוה to make His Torah great and esteemed! How are you responding to that which He has made great and esteemed? He who has ears let Him hear!!!
May this brief message on the esteemed Torah of יהוה encourage you to study and meditate on it day and night, and have the desire to keep it as the apple of your eye, fanned into flame, in order that you can shine the purity of His esteemed greatness, in all you say and do!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 4:8 “And what great nation is there that has such laws and righteous right-rulings like all this Torah which I set before you this day?”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have those loving Your Torah, and for them there is no stumbling-block.”
Our Great and Esteemed Elohim and Saviour has caused His Torah to be made great and esteemed… let us not bring it to nought but keep it lifted up, as a banner of light, guarding His esteem and greatness, through a proper guarding of His Torah!
I appeal to all of you to make יהוה great with me, as we do our utmost to hear-guard and do His esteemed Torah!
Tehillah/Psalm 34:3 “Oh, make יהוה great with me, and let us exalt His Name together.”
Tehillah/Psalm 40:6 “Let all those who seek You Rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your deliverance always say, “יהוה be exalted!”
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to and give you shalom!