Shabbat Shalom all,
Yoḥanan/John 10:1-5 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter through the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up by another way, that one is a thief and a robber. 2 “But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 “The doorkeeper opens for him, and the sheep hear his voice. And he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 “And when he has brought out his own sheep, he goes before them. And the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. 5 “And they shall by no means follow a stranger, but shall flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
The Greek word for ‘door’ is θύρα thura – Strong’s G2374 which means, ‘a door, entrance or gate’, and the Hebrew word for ‘door’ is פֶּתַח pethaḥ – Strong’s H6607 meaning, ‘opening, doorway, entrance’, and speaks of the place of coming in and going out and that under which you abide and follow. A derivative of this Greek word for ‘door’ is θυρεός thureos – Strong’s G2375 which means, ‘a shield’ and is used in the LXX (Septuagint) in:
Tehillim/Psalm 28:7 “יהוה is my strength, and my shield; my heart has trusted in Him, and I have been helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I thank Him.”
This kind of shield being spoken of would often be as large as a door that would cover the whole man, or a door which could also cover the entrance to a cave, and many of the ancient shields were typically made of wood and covered with animals skins. When we think of the picture of this kind of shield, we can immediately see this pointing to יהושע Messiah, who is The Door, and in reference to the Tabernacle, we remember that the Set-Apart Place that had coverings of animal skins, we are able to understand that יהוה is our shield and we find our refuge in Him!
The Hebrew word for shield is מָגֵן magen – Strong’s H4043 which means, ‘shield, buckler, defence’, and is also understood as representing ‘a wall of protection’. This makes perfect sense in its relationship to a door, for the only means of access to that protection is through the door, as we recognise these words that יהושע Messiah is speaking to us. There is no other way to walk under His protection except by entering in or going out through the Door! Going in and out through the Door clearly implies a continued action of obedience, and to walk as Messiah walked involves action, and that action is to be done completely in line with His walk – and that is a walk of total obedience! Therefore, as we come to The Door and follow our Shepherd’s voice, by obeying His Torah, we are able to find great refuge in our Mighty Elohim, who is our strength and shield!
The concept of being brought in and led out in Scripture is often the language that is used in referring to battles, which is often referred to as ‘going in’ and ‘going out’. Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 28 clearly teaches us that when we obey, our going out and coming in will be blessed; and when we disobey, our going out and coming in will be cursed. We therefore recognise that it is through our obedience that we are able to go out and come in, as we submit to the hearing, guarding and doing the Word of our Good Shepherd; and our daily walk will be blessed no matter the battles we face!
Yehoshua/Joshua 14:11 “Yet I am still as strong today as I was on the day that Mosheh sent me. As my strength was then, so my strength is now, for battle, and for going out and for coming in.”
These were the words of Kalěḇ – a man who followed יהוה completely!
Tehillim/Psalm 121:8 “יהוה guards your going out and your coming in now and forever.”
We certainly must recognise that the Door, as an access point, teaches us that it is through our continued obedience of keeping the Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה that we find the secure entrance into His loving-commitment and favour that is given to us through the Blood of Messiah!
While I have highlighted the importance of the Door, tonight I want to speak more specifically on the Voice of our Good Shepherd, for if we do not know His voice how will we follow Him and be able to enter in through the Door!
Scripture teaches us that the commands are to be written on the doorposts of our homes, which reminds us that in our going out and coming in, we are to guard the Torah of our Mighty Elohim, and those who disregard the need to walk in obedience to the Torah, clearly show that they do not know the Voice of the Good Shepherd!
In a message tonight called, ‘THE VOICE OF יהוה!’, I want us to be reminded that our ears must always be attentive to the hearing the Word of Elohim and guard to do what He commands, as we give to Him all the esteem and praise that is due to His Name! To do that I want us to look at a wonderful Tehillah/Psalm that clearly expresses the mighty power and strength of the voice of יהוה, and that is Tehillah/Psalm 29. Before we look at this Tehillah/Psalm 29, the questions we must be able to answer on a regular basis is this, “Do I know His voice?”, and “How am I responding to His voice”.
Sha’ul, when writing about the speaking of various tongues, said the following:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 14:10 11“There are, undoubtedly, so many kinds of sounds in the world, and none of them is without distinct sound. 11 If then I do not know the power of the voice, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks be a foreigner to me.”
While he was speaking about different kinds of tongues, the principle of what he is saying remains true, and that is: if I do not know the power of the voice that I am supposed to be listening to, then I will be a foreigner or stranger to the one who is speaking, and he will be a stranger to me! In other words, If I do not know the power of the Voice of יהוה, that is, If I do not know the power of His Word, then I will not be known by Him, and He will be strange and foreign to me! So many who claim to know Elohim, yet disregard His commands and claim that Torah observance is not necessary, are in for a huge shock, when they shall be told by the Master and Elohim:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:23(b) “… ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’”
In the very next verse Messiah makes it clear that the one who hears His words and does them will be a wise builder, who builds on the rock, able to stand when the storms come! Those who hear and do not do, are likened to those who do not know the power of the voice of Elohim, and they will be foolish builders who shall not be able to stand when the destruction from the Almighty comes!
With us having just celebrated Yom Teruah, I found this message very timely in regards to us knowing the sound or voice of our Master, and our need to be attentive to His clear Voice that teaches us how we are to be a faithful Bride who makes herself ready for His soon return. We can find great refuge and strength in His word that is a shield to us, as we lift up the shield of faith/belief with joy, by standing firm on His Word that never fails, guarding to do all He has commanded us as, our ears are continually attentive to His powerful Voice!
Let us now look at this powerful Tehillah/Psalm 29 (Read)…
The title of this Tehillah/Psalm 29 is ‘A Psalm of Dawiḏ’ and in Hebrew it is: מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד – ‘miz’mor l’Dawiḏ’
The name of Dawiḏ – דָּוִד – Strong’s H1732 means, ‘beloved’ and the term used for ‘psalm’ is מִזְמוֹר miz’mor – Strong’s H4210 meaning, ‘melody’ and it comes from the primitive root זָמַר zamar – Strong’s H2167 meaning, ‘to make music (in praise of Elohim), sing praises’ and therefore could literally be rendered as, ‘a melody of the Beloved’.
This Tehillah is a powerful melody of the great and mighty VOICE of יהוה, with the clear call for all to come and ascribe to יהוה all the praise that is due!
His Voice calls us to Himself – do you hear and are you responding as you should?
If walking in obedience to His Torah and commands is strange to you then you may find yourself easily and quickly neglecting the called for set-apartness that is required for His chosen Bride!
The setting of this Tehillah is believed to have been the melody that was sung when the Ark of Elohim was brought back from the house of Oḇeḏ-Eḏom and set up in the tent that Dawiḏ had pitched for it, as we clearly see very similar words being spoken or sung by Dawiḏ and the appointed Lěwites, as we read in:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 16:28-29 “Ascribe to יהוה, O clans of the peoples, ascribe to יהוה esteem and strength. 29 Ascribe to יהוה the esteem of His Name; bring an offering, and come before Him; bow yourself to יהוה in the splendour of set-apartness!”
This Tehillah/Psalm 29 is thought to flow from the previous one, Tehillah/Psalm 28 which ends with, “… and be their Shepherd, and bear them up forever.”, and is thought to also be an introductory melody to the next Tehillah – Tehillah/Psalm 30 which is titled, ‘A Psalm of Dawiḏ at the dedication of the House’.
What we see flowing very poetically here between these Tehillim/Psalms is the praise for the Good Shepherd and Redeemer of Yisra’ĕl, whose powerful voice has gone forth and is sufficient to protect, strengthen and bless His sheep who are being built up in Him as a spiritual House, and unto whom all praise is due. In light this poetic flow, we can identify with the season that we are in, in how we have a Good Shepherd, who lay down His life for us and has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light, giving us His Covenant upon our hearts, and as we remember the trumpet sound of His Voice that reminds us that we are betrothed to Him, we respond and follow as we should, being built up as living stones in Messiah, as we look forward to His coming to dwell permanently in our midst!
Let us now look at a couple of key aspects to this Tehillah that should encourage us to have our ears continually attentive to His powerful VOICE!
In verse 1-2 we see the clear call to ‘ascribe to יהוה’ being sung 3 times. The Hebrew word translated as ‘ascribe’ is יָהַב ‘yahaḇ’ – H3051 – and means, ‘to give, to choose, provide, come or to ascribe or to set’.
We are to ‘give’ to Him our all, and ascribe to Him ALL that He is; and that is to proclaim and give acknowledgement, to all that is due to His Name! So when we come before Him, we are to come and ‘give to Him’ ALL excellency, splendour, strength and comeliness, which should be expressed through our obedient, joyful and reverent worship.
He expects nothing less than what is due to Him! He gave His all, and now we are to give Him our ALL.
To ‘give or ascribe’ speaks of offering – and this we are to do as we are to be a daily living sacrifice; and we are also to be joyful in bringing an offering of praise, as we enter into His courts as a proclaiming people who acknowledge the true greatness of who He is. In case you haven’t realised – He is the King of all creation!!!
He is great and greatly to be praised! Are you praising Him for who He is – is your praise toward Him great as He is great, or is it mediocre due to boredom?
There are far too many so called believers today that are sadly expressing the greatness of other people and things, or even self, as opposed to giving that which is due to יהוה, as they very quickly give greater attention to other people, things or even self, and compromise their worship, by giving greater weight to that which draws them away from compete obedience to יהוה, and end up compromising their walk, and find themselves rendering a lip service only. When this happens it is clear that the power of the voice of יהוה is not known! For anyone to neglect the clear instructions and commands given to us in His word, clearly show that they know not the power of His Voice. We are in a season of commanded Feasts, which calls to mind the question of whether we ‘know the power of His voice or not’. Will we be obedient to what He commands or not? There are no half measures with יהוה. If obeying Him completely is excused away, or compromise to the Truth is justified in any way, then it shows that the power of His voice is not known! The basic idea of this command to ‘ascribe’ is ‘to give’, as well as to ‘come, and come now’, with the understanding that one comes prepared to give that which is due to Elohim.
To give or ascribe strength and esteem to יהוה and His Name, is to acknowledge the One to whom you listen to and obey wholeheartedly. Sadly most may claim to ascribe greatness to יהוה, yet will do what is right in their own eyes, revealing that they in fact are not giving the proper esteem and strength to the One Good Shepherd they should be!
We are called to ascribe all to Him, that is to acknowledge His authority over our lives as being the only standard by which we live; and this we are to do in humility as we are told here to ‘bow’ to יהוה in the splendour of set-apartness!
The Hebrew word for ‘bow’ is שָׁחָה ‘shaḥah’ – H7812 and it means, ‘to bow down, to prostrate oneself before another, to humbly beseech, to do or show reverence, and to do or show obeisance’. Obeisance means ‘a movement of the body made in token of respect or submission as well as to acknowledge the superiority of another’.
This word is also translated as ‘worship’ on many occasions and reflects the true nature of our life of worship, which is in total submission to our Master and King, as we humbly bow our lives before Him in reverence and respect, acknowledging His authority in every way, as we walk in total obedience to His Torah/Word.
How do we worship? In the splendour of set-apartness!!!
We are to ‘shaḥah’ in set-apartness – in the splendour of set-apartness – which means that there can be no attachments to the world in our worship unto יהוה. We cannot come together to worship Him with a zillion things going on in our minds – but in the splendour of set-apartness. The Hebrew word for ‘splendour’ הֲדָרָה haḏarah – H1927 which means ‘adornment, beauty, array, attire, honour’, and this highlights for us the need to be adorned with His beauty – His set-apart garments of righteousness, as we worship Him who is set-apart. Are you ‘adorned’ in Him, and are you expressing His greatness in all you do, or have you become tired and bored as a result of whoring after fleshly garments? What this also teaches us on a practical level is that when we gather together we should honour His presence by being adorned with respect, as we make sure that we are dressed adequately for a King’s presence! Being dressed in the ‘splendour’ of set-apartness must also teach us that when we comes together and gather in His presence, we are to come adorned with the beauty of a joy-filled praise, and not with the weight of anxiety, stress and worry! Do not come unprepared with long faces into his presence – prepare yourself and be adorned with joyous reverence that is able to give all praise and esteem unto Him!
To ascribe and bow in set-apartness before יהוה requires proper preparation, a preparation of being clothed in the set-apart garments of righteousness and throwing off the weight and sin that entangles!
This Dawiḏ proclaimed before expressing the true power of the Voice of יהוה, and bearing in mind the joy that was being expressed at the return of the Ark of Elohim, we recognise the urgent call to be a people who are correctly dressed in righteousness and attentive to the power of the Voice of יהוה, so as to guard His presence and not let it depart again due to unrighteousness!
We then come to the expression of the power of the VOICE of יהוה, and what we see here is that the word ‘voice’ is used 7 times, which is very interesting from a poetic sense of calling people to the obedience of hearing the Voice of יהוה. 7 is a number that is in Hebrew is linked to the word that renders the understanding of completeness as well as ‘oath’. There are 7 Feasts of יהוה, and the setting forth of a 7 day week, proclaimed from Creation the complete plan of Elohim. What we also are to take note of, when understanding our need to know the power of the voice of יהוה, is that there are 7 assemblies that are spoken to in Ḥazon/Revelation 2-3, by the one who walks in the midst of the assemblies; and each assembly, after having been spoken to, is told, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.” In other words the call is clear – hear the power of the voice of the Shepherd and follow or else!!!
The Word of יהוה has gone out and does not return empty, for it accomplishes all that He has spoken through the Torah, the Prophets and Writings spoken – and here Dawiḏ makes clear the power of the voice of יהוה that brings us back to Him.
The Hebrew word for ‘voice’ is קוֹל qol – Strong’s H6963 which means, ‘sound, voice, noise, thunder, proclamation’, and comes from an unused root meaning, ‘to call aloud’. What is clear to us is that the VOICE of יהוה has been spoken and leaves the choice up to each individual of whether they will hear it or not – and by hearing I mean to hear it and respond to it by guarding to do what He commands!
In the ancient pictographic script the word קוֹל qol – Strong’s H6963 looks like this:
Quph – ק:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as – – which is a picture of ‘the sun at the horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity. It also is understood as the ‘gathering of the light’.
Waw/Vav – וֹ:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope form slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’ as well as ‘bind’.
Lamed – לֵ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
These letters combined can give the understanding of ‘gathering to the secure staff of the Good Eternal Shepherd’. When the shepherd called the sheep they swiftly came to him. The staff of the shepherd was his tool of authority. With it he would direct, discipline and protect the flock.
Our Good Shepherd’s voice has gone out, and by His Word that does not return empty, He has secured for us the ability to be brought back under His Authority, by His own Blood, and we as children of Light hear His voice, submit to His Authority, take His easy yoke and guard His Torah and gather together, as we should on His Sabbaths and Feasts!
If you do not do this then you clearly have misunderstood or do not know the power of His Voice.
Dawiḏ makes clear to us just how powerful His voice is! The voice of יהוה is over the waters, and this can render for us a great number of meanings that express His complete power and control, as we know that the Spirit of Elohim moved over the waters and brought a created order out of chaos. We also know that He parted the Sea of Reeds and the Yardĕn, showing His power over the waters to deliver His people from chaos, as He thunders over the waters, which clearly reminds us of the power of His Voice that was heard at Mount Sinai when He spoke to a called out, delivered and set-apart nation to whom He would be betrothed forever! His voice is so powerful and great that He breaks the cedars, the cedars of Leḇanon!
The Hebrew word for ‘cedar’ is אֶרֶז erez – Strong’s H730. In Tehillim/Psalm 92 Dawiḏ tells us that the righteous will grow like the cedars of Leḇanon. It is a strong and firm tree and a cedar tree is in itself a wonderful illustration of bringing us a picture of a person who is טוֹב toḇ (good) and fully functional in Messiah. The cedar has been known to grow up to 12 meters in circumference! The roots grow down extremely deep and wrap around rocks for anchorage, and grow upwards in heights of up to 45 meters!!! The fragrance of a cedar tree acts as a great defence against being attacked by insects and pests and it is ‘knot’ free and rot resistant, known for their longevity and are perennial evergreen trees. Cedar, as we know, is used in Scripture for the process of the cleaning of a leper, and it is used is the Red Heifer sacrifice; and Shelomoh used cedar wood to build the Temple. The cedar speaks of us being strong and trustworthy in Messiah and being the fragrance of Messiah, which to some will be death and to others life. It also speaks of trusting in יהוה and obeying the command of יהושע Messiah to not worry! The cedar also represents for us ‘storing up treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy’ and so as we do the good works prepared in advance for us, we repel the need to store up the fleshly desires that are like pests that cause rot!
Now when we are told that the voice of יהוה breaks the cedars, the cedars of Leḇanon, we are able to see just how powerful His voice is – he can break that which seems unbreakable, and in the context of the praise being sung for the return of the Ark of Elohim, Dawiḏ is clearly expressing a great warning against stubbornness and pride, or any resistance to obeying the powerful voice of Elohim! This also assures us of the power of the voice of Elohim that breaks down our enemies! His voice is what destroys our enemies, even when they seem indestructible, and I am reminded of the words in:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 7:10 “And it came to be, as Shemuʼĕl offered up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Yisra’ĕl. But יהוה thundered with a great noise on that day on the Philistines, and troubled them, and they were smitten before Yisra’ĕl.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 30:31 “For through the voice of יהוה Ashshur is broken down, with a rod He smites.”
The powerful voice of יהוה that breaks the cedars reminds us that He breaks that which has become proud and mighty and secure in themselves, as opposed to giving all esteem to the one who plants and uproots!
When Dawiḏ says that He makes them, that is the cedars of Lebanon, to skip like a calf, we recognise that a newborn calf does not stand still and hops around all over the place, and is another analogy that expresses the power of the voice of יהוה to make those who assume to be secure, to skip around like unsure calves that have no stability to remain firm, as what they would have thought to be their security will be shaken!
He will cause our enemies to be uprooted and displaced!
His powerful voice shakes the wilderness, the wilderness of Qaḏĕsh! There is a time and a place for the Wilderness in our journey of set-apartness, and we know that the Wilderness represents for us a place of hearing the VOICE of יהוה, yet we must recognise that we cannot be hearers only, but doers of what we hear, and His powerful voice will cause you to get up and do – if you are in fact coming to the wilderness to listen that is! We have often said that the Sabbath is, in many ways, the door to understand the Word that we hear. In Ma’asei/Acts 15 it was made clear that those who wanted to be grafted into the body of Messiah should stop all their pagan worship, which pictures for us the call to come out and be separate, and then go each Sabbath to where Mosheh is read. For it is on the Sabbath that the Bride comes together to hear the Torah and instructions of Elohim, learning how to be set-apart! When people obey this call they will be shaken, in the wilderness so to speak, as they have come out of the worldly ways in order to be set-apart unto יהוה, and His Word will cause a great shaking and get you to move as He moves, teaching us to follow the clear voice of the good Shepherd! The Hebrew word used here for ‘shakes’ is יָהַל yaḥal – Strong’s H3176 which means, ‘to wait, wait expectantly, have hope’ and implies the hope that is the solid ground of expectation for the righteous. This further encourages us in the sure hope that we have, as we sojourn here as sojourners and pilgrims, abstaining from the fleshly lusts which battles against the life! This further stresses the emphasises we are to have in waiting on Elohim! It is not a sitting on your butt and waiting for better days, but is an earnest waiting that seeks Him with our all, listening to His clear and powerful voice that teaches us how to hear and fear and live set-apart lives unto Him, holding firm to the hope we have in the great loving-commitment of Elohim! This word is used in:
Tehillim/Psalm 147:11 “יהוה takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who wait for His loving-commitment.”
The voice of יהוה cuts through flames of fire, and the Hebrew word used here for ‘cuts’ is חָצַב ḥatsaḇ – Strong’s H2672 and is written in the ‘qal active’ tense which means, ‘to hew, hew out, to dig, dive, cleave’, and this carries a great lesson in reminding us that יהוה is a consuming fire, and by the power of His voice He builds His House, and we are told to look to the Rock we were hewn from in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 51:1 “Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, seeking יהוה: Look to the rock you were hewn from, and to the hole of the pit you were dug from.”
His powerful voice causes us to be formed and shaped into His image by the consuming fire of His jealousy for us, as His voice cuts away that which does not belong, burning away the dross of our lives, as we submit to refining fire of His Voice!
His voice is so powerful it helps give birth to the deer while stripping bare the forest! This speaks of how His voice brings forth life, while destroying that which opposes His will. His voice has the power to bring forth live as well as the power to strip away and destroy that which does not subject itself to His voice!
After clearly expressing the great power of the voice of יהוה, Dawiḏ makes it clear that in the Hěḵal of יהוה everyone says ‘esteem’, which is the Hebrew word כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ – Strong’s H3519 which means, ‘honour, esteem, reverence, splendid’, which comes from the root verb כָּבֵד kaḇeḏ – Strong’s H3513 which means, ‘to be heavy, weighty or burdensome, to give high esteem and respect and honour’, and is often translated as ‘praise’ that is to be given to יהוה! All who are in His presence give esteem to Him, and give weight to the power of His voice, and so should we who claim to love Him, as we stay in our Good Shepherd and King, יהושע Messiah, who is The Word, or better put for sake of this message, The Voice made flesh!
יהוה sat enthroned at the flood and sits enthroned as King forever, speaking of His permanence and unchanging authority! He is, has always been, and shall always be, in complete control of all!
יהוה gives strength to His own and He blesses His own with peace – and His own know His voice.
The voice of יהוה – is the voice of our Good Shepherd – ‘are you listening – are you following?’
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
As we embrace this 7th month and His Feasts and hear the voice of יהוה as given through His Torah and commands, I ask you, “how are you responding?” He who has an ear let Him hear and know the Voice of the Good Shepherd and follow!
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!