3rd of the 4th month 2015/2016
Shabbat Shalom all,
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not worry at all, but in every matter, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to Elohim. 7 And the peace of Elohim, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Messiah יהושע.”
Sha’ul tells us very plainly, “Do not worry at all”, and the Greek word for ‘worry’ is μεριμνάω merimnaō – Strong’s G3309 which means, ‘to be anxious, care for, worry’ and comes from the root μέριμνα merimna – Strong’s G3308 which means, ‘cares, worries, anxieties’. יהושע tells us in the Parable of the sower and the seed, that the worries/cares of this life choke out the word, and this is exactly what happens to the seed sown among thorns, which pictures those who hear the Word, but the worries of life choke it out! This Greek word can also render the understanding of, ‘being pulled in different directions’ – have you ever felt like you are being pulled in so many directions that you do not know which way to turn?
The sad reality is that most of us allow anxieties to consume us and when this does, then the very Word that has been deposited in us gets choked. Think about this for a moment, choking is not a nice experience!!! Worries choke out the good deposit. We are to be on guard and watch, and be careful for this not to happen! How many of you have worries? Many of you may have some very pressing and urgent matters that need to be attended to and sorted out, yet you do not know how. Sha’ul is teaching us in this letter, that when our minds are secure in our Master then we should not worry at all! This does not mean that we be ignorant of pressing needs and responsibilities, it means that we are to guard the good deposit and not lose heart and be sure to not allow the Word that sustains us to be choked out for any reason! We are to always be ready to make our prayers and requests known to Elohim, and in doing so we must always do so with thanksgiving, and always be ready to give the proper praise and esteem that is due to our Mighty Master and Elohim!
Discouragements, disappointments and various worries of this age often have a very crippling effect on any person, and as believers who stand firm in our Master, Elohim, Rock and Saviour יהושע Messiah, we must exercise great care in taking heed to His clear Word that instructs us to not worry, and be a people that can rejoice and give thanks in all circumstances! While this may often be too hard for some to exercise as a disciplined practice, we would do well to ensure that we exercise ourselves in pure reverence and guard the good deposit in us and not lose heart and be on guard to not become discouraged as we face various battles that rage against us each and every day, for we serve a Living Elohim who fights for us, as we are reminded of the words given to Yehuḏah when the children of Mo’aḇ and Ammon came against Yehoshaphat to battle, in:
Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 20:14-17 “And the Spirit of יהוה came upon Yaḥazi’ĕl son of Zeḵaryahu, son of Benayah, son of Yeʽi’ĕl, son of Mattanyah, a Lĕwite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly, 15 and he said, “Listen, all Yehuḏah, and you inhabitants of Yerushalayim, and Sovereign Yehoshaphat! Thus said יהוה to you, ‘Do not fear, nor be afraid of the face of this great army, for the battle is not yours, but Elohim’s. 16 ‘Go down against them tomorrow. See, they are coming up by the ascent of Tsits, and you shall find them at the end of the wadi before the Wilderness of Yeru’ĕl. 17 ‘It is not for you to fight in this. Position yourselves, stand still and see the deliverance of יהוה with you, O Yehuḏah and Yerushalayim!’ Do not be afraid nor fear, go out against them tomorrow, for יהוה is with you.”
Many times we are given clear words of encouragement that teaches us the vital instruction given to us through the Word to not be discouraged at all, for it is יהוה who is with us and He is the One who fights for us! This fact is often quickly forgotten as many face immense battles, and we will do well to learn from the lessons contained in Scripture that repeatedly shows us that we serve a Mighty Elohim and there in no other like Him!
Our prayer life must be filled with thanksgiving and the secure declaration of who our Mighty Master and Elohim is, and so tonight in a message called, “THE PRAYER OF THE FAVOURED!”, I would like us to look at the words of a very powerful prayer that was done by Ḥannah, the mother of Shemuʼěl. Please turn with me to Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:1-10 (Read).
This Chapter starts off with the prayer Ḥannah prayed to יהוה, after she had taken Shemuʼěl to the House of יהוה in Shiloh, in complete obedience to her vow that she made made when she earnestly sought יהוה to hear her prayers and give her a make child. Here was a woman who had felt helpless and had been greatly overwhelmed by the fact that she was barren and was continually being mocked by her rival. We can learn a great deal from this prayer of exulting praise that is offered up by Ḥannah, as I am sure that we all can acknowledge that there have been times in our own lives where we may have felt that we had ample justification for feeling discouraged, as we have all experienced disappointments, whether big or small and have been affected emotionally, physically and relationally. Sometimes the pain is so intense that is seems too much to bear – almost like a migraine of the soul, so to speak, and being thankful in these circumstances is often the last thing on one’s mind! Yet we can learn a great deal from the words of this prayer that Ḥannah prayed.
חַנָּה Ḥannah – Strong’s H2584 means, ‘grace, favour, favoured’, and comes from the primitive root חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, ‘show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour’.
As we take a brief overview of this prayer, I hope that all of us are stirred to exercise great care in making sure that we do not allow disappointments, discouragements or worries of this age to cripple our ability in continually offering up proper praise and thanksgiving to our Master and Elohim.
What you may notice from this prayer is that we see some of the words or phrases that Ḥannah used being echoed throughout Scriptures as we see many similar words spoken in the Prophets, the Tehillim and even in the words that Miryam spoke after Elisheḇa called her blessed and asked why it was that the mother of her Master would come to her.
These 10 verses contain a very vibrant and powerful prayer of jubilant praise and worship for יהוה, our only Master, Rock, Saviour and Elohim! Ḥannah had just handed Shemuʼěl over to Ěli at the House of יהוה, and would only see him when she would come up year by year with her husband to offer slaughterings to Elohim, and each year she would bring a robe that she had made. Picture the scene now for a moment: A mother has just handed her young son over to service unto יהוה, knowing that she would not see him every day, and she bursts into praise in praying one of the most confident declarations of who יהוה is. She is not saddened at all as she does not neglect in fulfilling her vow unto יהוה. Many people have prayed similar kind of prayers where they have promised to do a certain thing if יהוה would just answer their prayers, only to find that when יהוה does answer their prayers they neglect to do what they promised by conveniently forgetting what they said. The true favoured ones of Elohim do not neglect to complete their vows! I have mentioned on many occasions that the favour of Elohim is only extended on the basis of His loving-commitment to His Covenants of Promise, and the favour of Elohim is for His Covenant people! The “favoured” of Elohim will be strong and courageous in declaring who He is and proclaim His reign, and are not being discouraged by the circumstances that may change on a day to day basis, but are proclaiming His praises and giving Him thanks in all things!
Ḥannah, as I said, burst into a joyous prayer as she proclaimed such poetic words of praise for Elohim, for she was no longer saddened, as her emotions had now caught up with her faith and she could proclaim such great praise for Elohim.
In verse 1 we see her giving three clear descriptive metaphors that express the true joy and praise of a favoured one of Elohim, from the inside out! She mentions 3 things here in verse 1:
1) My heart rejoices in יהוה! This in itself is a very profound statement which expresses a whole lot that we can learn from. Her heart rejoices in יהוה – “the One who causes her to be”. She was no longer in despair, she knew who her life source was. I often wonder if many of us, at times, neglect to have this kind of thankful praise for יהוה as we rejoice in Him, recognising who it is who gives us our very breath?
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in יהוה always, again I say, rejoice!”
How many of you neglect to do this? Always means always, and as long as you have breath you ought to be praising יהוה! Are you? The Hebrew word for ‘rejoices’ is עָלַץ alats – Strong’s H5970 – ‘rejoice, exult, triumph’, and this verb describes an emotional response of the righteous.
This was not a robotic response of a rehearsed script, this was a true heartfelt response from deep within her being that could not do anything but exult in Elohim. Have you ever experienced this kind of praise for Elohim? Where the emotions of exulting praise are built up so deep inside that they cannot be contained and result in one bursting forth with triumphant praise. When we carefully consider all that יהוה has done for us this should be the natural response!
2) My horn has been high in יהוה! Not only can Ḥannah not contain the fountain of praise welling up inside her, but she acknowledges where her strength and help has been in. She had suffered intense mockery from her rivals and while being cast aside on many occasions, she declares here in this prayer that her horn has been high in יהוה. The Hebrew word for ‘horn’ is קֶרֶן qeren – Strong’s H7161 which means, ‘a horn, might, strength’.
Horns were a symbol power, victory and strength in biblical times. When the sacrifice was made, blood was dabbed on the horns of the altar, signifying the power of the blood to atone for sins. In the same way, there is mighty power in the blood of יהושע. יהושע is the “horn of our deliverance”:
Tehillah/Psalm 18:2 “יהוה is my rock and my stronghold and my deliverer; My Ěl is my rock, I take refuge in Him; My shield and the horn of my deliverance, my high tower.”
Luqas/Luke 1:68-69 “Blessed be יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, for He did look upon and worked redemption for His people, 69 and has raised up a horn of deliverance for us in the house of His servant Dawiḏ.”
The Hebrew root word used here for ‘has been high’ is רוּם ‘rûm’ – Strong’s H7311, meaning ‘to be high or exalted, lifted up, raise, contribute’. What Ḥannah was clearly declaring here is that her deliverance is contributed to יהוה alone and that it is יהוה who is the strength of her deliverance.
3) My mouth is opened wide over my enemies! Ḥannah could boldly declare victory over her enemies, for in יהוה she had overcome and could stand victorious in Him! The victory we have in the Master must result in us opening up our mouths in praise, for He has caused us to be victorious over sin, for the being who stays in Him is done with sin!
Tehillah/Psalm 51:15 “O יהוה, open my lips, and that my mouth declare Your praise.”
We are reminded of the song that Mosheh and all Yisra’ĕl sang after they had come through the Sea of Reeds and their enemies had been cast into the sea. Here are the first few words of this song:
Shemoth/Exodus 15:1-3 “Then Mosheh and the children of Yisra’ĕl sang this song to יהוה , and spoke, saying, “I sing to יהוה , for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! 2 “Yah is my strength and song, and He has become my deliverance. He is my Ěl, and I praise Him – Elohim of my father, and I exalt Him. 3 “יהוה is a man of battle, יהוה is His Name.”
Ḥannah could have a rejoicing heart, a strengthened stand and a mouth full of praise all because she had rejoiced in the deliverance of יהוה! The Hebrew word used here for ‘rejoiced’ is שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’, and can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound! We looked at the ancient pictographic letters of this word a couple of weeks ago when I gave the message called, “FOR THIS REASON I REJOICE”, which you can go and take a look at again to get a good understanding why it is that we are able to rejoice, as we realise and acknowledge that the Word that washes us, separates us (or sets us apart) and secures us! Ḥannah was secure and set-apart in יהוה, and for this reason she could rejoice, giving her the ability to exult in praise and be strengthened to declare His might.
How about you? Are you welling up with exulting joy inside as you recognise and acknowledge who your Master and Elohim is? Are you being strengthened in Him who fights for you, and are you boldly declaring His coming reign? Or have disappointments, discouragements and worries of this age choked out your joy and strength, leaving you speechless and without breath? As one meditates on this prayer of Ḥannah we ought to be stirred and awakened to a proper exulting praise and declaration of who our One true Master and Elohim is, giving us courage and strength to stand armed in His Truth. In verse 2 Ḥannah makes it very clear that there is no one like יהוה – there is no one besides Him and there is no Rock like Him! He is our Rock, our Strength and our stronghold, as Dawiḏ made this bold declaration in song too, as seen in:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:1-3 “Then Dawiḏ spoke to יהוה the words of this song, on the day when יהוה had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Sha’ul. 2 And he said, “יהוה is my rock and my stronghold and my deliverer. 3 “My Elohim is my rock, I take refuge in Him, My shield and the horn of my deliverance, My high tower and my refuge. My Saviour, You save me from violence.”
יהוה is frequently called a Rock in the Tanak, and this gives us a clear image of Him being the only source of our strength and security, upon which we can stand and not be harmed by the storms of life!
In verse 3 Ḥannah is basically making it known that the wrong should not boast in their folly, and those who had previously mocked her with very proud words should not do so any longer, for anyone who mocks another before the matter has ended does not think straight and does not have their values where they ought to be! The enemy always speaks to soon, and we should not get flustered by this, for we know our inheritance is secure in our Master and therefore our shield of faith must be held up through obedience in order to withstand the fiery darts of the proud boasters who try to discourage us from running the race set before us! Ḥannah then clearly declares that יהוה knows all and we know that Messiah makes it clear that every idle word men speak, they shall give an account of it in the day of judgment.
In verse 4 she says that the bows of the mighty are broken and the weak shall be girded with strength! The Hebrew root word used here for ‘bows’ is קֶשֶׁת qesheth – Strong’s H7198 which means, ‘bow, archer, arrows’ and comes from the primitive root קָשָׁה qashah – Strong’s H7185 which means, ‘to be hard, severe or fierce, stiffened’ in the original sense of the primitive root word קוּשׁ qosh – Strong’s H6983 meaning, ‘to lay bait, ensnare’.
קֶשֶׁת qesheth – Strong’s H7198 is the word that is used for ‘rainbow’ in Berěshith/Genesis 9 as He set His ‘rainbow’ in the cloud as a sign of His Covenant between Him and the earth that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood, and never again will all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and the sign of this covenant would forever be the rainbow. יהוה set His ‘bow’ in the cloud! From this understanding we see a wonderful picture of the great mercy of יהוה who has basically ‘put’ His fierce and severe arrow in the cloud. The rainbow would forever be a sign for us that His mercy endures forever and we who follow after Him and walk in Messiah need never fear His bow or arrow that has been drawn for those appointed for destruction:
Tehillah/Psalm 7:12-13 “If one does not repent! He sharpens His sword, He bends His bow and makes it ready, 13 And He has prepared for Himself instruments of death, He makes His arrows hot for pursuers.”
The sign He has set in the heavens is therefore a two-fold sign – it is a witness of His loving-commitment toward the righteous who are hidden from His wrath, while at the same time a witness and warning against the wicked – that His bow is ready for the day of His wrath!
It is also a great sign for us who are ‘in’ Messiah, for no matter how big or strong the bow of the enemy may seem, and no matter how many arrows the enemy tries to shoot at us – the enemies bow and arrows cannot match that of our Supreme Master and King – יהוה of Hosts! Next time you see a rainbow in the sky, be reminded of the Everlasting Covenant Promise of salvation between יהוה and Yisra’ĕl! Also be strengthened in the fact that the enemies bows are broken!
יהוה satisfies His people with good and He never lets the righteous go hungry:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:3 “יהוה does not let the being of the righteous go hungry, but He thrusts away the desire of the wrong.”
Ḥannah is basically declaring this truth here in verse 5 as she also makes mention that the barren has borne seven while she who has many pines away. Ḥannah was barren and we know in Hebrew that the number seven (7) is a clear metaphor or symbol for completeness or fullness, and the word for seven comes from the root word for oath or vow. The oath she had made before Elohim had now been made complete and she could rejoice in this!
With her words here we are reminded of the words of the prophet Yeshayahu in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren one, you who did not bear! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not been in labour! For the children of the deserted one are more than the children of the married woman,” said יהוה.”
The Hebrew word for ‘barren’ is עָקָר aqar – Strong’s H6135 which means, ‘barren, sterile’. This root word is used 12 times in Scripture, which I find very interesting, as the fullness of the promise given to all 12 tribes of Yisra’ĕl, is that they will be fruitful and bear much fruit! To be barren was seen as being cursed, yet we see this pattern of the promises of the Covenant coming through the seed of women, who were barren for a time. Sarai was barren, Riḇqah was barren and Raḥĕl was barren, yet the clear promise given by יהוה stood firm, in all three of these women becoming pregnant and bearing the fruit of carrying the seed of the promise. Ḥannah too was barren, and through the promise of Elohim, she bore Shemuʼěl the prophet! In the time of the judges, we also see how Manowaḥ’s wife was barren, and she received the promise from Elohim that she would have a child that would be a Nazirite from the womb, and his name was Shimshon.
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 54:1 we see the clear command for Yisra’ĕl to sing, when the command of ‘Sing oh barren one, sing!’ is given, as the promise of the return of the remnant faithful stands sure, as the remnant is commanded to sing, for they (Yisra’ĕl – lost 10 tribes) will be very fruitful!
This call to the barren one to sing must encourage us who are the returning remnant of the completeness of the nations to sing and exult in our Great Master and Elohim of our deliverance, as we are being built up as a Spiritual House in Him!
Tehillah/Psalm 113:5-9 “Who is like יהוה our Elohim, Who is enthroned on high? 6 He looks down on the heavens and in the earth; 7 He raises the poor out of the dust, Lifts the needy from a dunghill, 8 To make him sit with the nobles, With the nobles of His people, 9 Causing the barren woman to dwell in a house, A rejoicing mother of children. Praise Yah!”
As I mentioned earlier, these words are very similar to that which Ḥannah prayed, which teaches us how vital it is for us, the favoured of Elohim, to be rejoicing in His deliverance!
Ḥannah could confidently make her boast in יהוה for she knew that He is the One who gives life and takes away life, and that He is the One who lifts up or brings low. The earth is His and all that is in it. While we all may know this and recognise these truths, yet when we see how this prayer of a favoured one contains all these truths, we can be greatly strengthened and stirred to follow this kind of heart driven prayer of praise for Elohim, and discard all discouragement, as we would do well to remind ourselves of these great truth on a regular basis!
יהוה guards the feet of His lovingly-committed ones and this truth alone ought to give us the confidence to walk in complete faith in Him, as we recognise that He will watch our steps as we stay in Him, while recognising the clear danger of walking in darkness where the wrong are weakened toward destruction and death! Man’s own power cannot cause him to succeed, for it is only יהוה who gives us the ability to be strong, mighty and prevail!
The Hebrew word used for ‘become mighty’ in verse 8 is the word גָּבַר gaḇar – Strong’s H1396, which means, ‘to be strong and mighty, prevail’.
In Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8:14 Shelomoh makes it clear to us that mightiness is יהוה’s:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8:14 “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, mightiness is mine.”
Mightiness is His!!! The Hebrew word used for ‘mightiness’ is גְּבוּרָה geḇurah – Strong’s H1369 which means, ‘strength, might, courage’ and comes from the word גָּבַר gaḇar – Strong’s H1396. Our ability to be strong and courageous can only come from the One who is Mighty, and to seek strength from traditions of man that have corrupted and perverted the truth will result in many being unable to stand when the raging heat and wrath of Elohim comes upon the wicked! So many people try to find their strength and confidence in self-help books written by people who have a perverse mouth and teach a lawless doctrine, when the people should be studying the Scriptures and finding their strength and courage in the One who is Mighty, for – mightiness is His.
Ḥannah knew this and could therefore be properly strengthened in the mightiness of the Word of Elohim, while she also recognised that those who oppose Elohim will be shattered in the day of His wrath! The Hebrew word used for ‘shattered’ in verse 10 is the root word חָתַת ḥathath – Strong’s H2865 which means, ‘to be shattered, dismayed, broken into pieces, abolished, afraid, break down or be scared’, and is the very same word that is translated as ‘discouraged’, of which we are repeatedly told not to be, as we are strengthened and encouraged in the Word! Yehoshua was also told not to be discouraged in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 31:8, and this word can also carry the meaning, ‘to be prostrate or lie down’; and so what we can see and learn here in this instruction which carries extreme importance for us to heed, is that we are not to fall on our faces when our enemies (even loved ones or family members who do not walk Torah) come against us!
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 1:17 the young prophet was told not to not ‘break down’, which is this word חָתַת ḥathath – Strong’s H2865, before the faces of those he was to speak to, lest יהוה would ‘break him down’ (חָתַת ḥathath) before them!!!
As we consider the words of this very powerful prayer of the favoured, may we be encouraged to no longer be discouraged by any circumstances that try to disappoint or discourage or cause to bring the worries of this age upon us, and let us be strengthened to rejoice in our Master and Elohim, in whose deliverance we exult and praise, for there is no ROCK like our Elohim!!!
Perhaps your ability to experience and express a true triumphant heart or strengthened praise has been stunted by some severe disappointments, discouragements or worries of this age. If that is the case then hear these words of Ḥannah and echo the prayer of the favoured and be strong and courage, and do not be discouraged as you exult in the Elohim of our deliverance, for He is mighty to save!
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:16-17 “In that day it shall be said to Yerushalayim, “Do not fear, Tsiyon, do not let your hands be weak. 17 “יהוה your Elohim in your midst, is mighty to save. He rejoices over you with joy, He is silent in His love, He rejoices over you with singing.”
Knowing that He rejoices over us with singing should cause us to rise up from all forms of disappointments, discouragements and worries of this age and give to Him the exulting prayers, praise and singing that is due to His Name!
THE PRAYER OF THE FAVOURED – is a prayer of thanksgiving and praise!!!
How will you pray?
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!