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11th of the 10th month 2021/2022.
Shabbat Shalom all,
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those loving it eat its fruit.”.
This verse makes it clear to us that death and life and in the power of the tongue – in other words, the very words that we speak are of vital importance.
How often do you find yourself so easily saying one thing, yet doing another?
How often do you recollect on the promises you have made to keep and yet, have found that you have simply forgotten you even made them? .
In a message called, “THE WORDS WE SPEAK”, I want us all to be reminded about how important the very words that come from our lips are!
For it is out of the overflow of our hearts that we speak – and often a true indication of what is going on in a person’s heart is reflected in their words, and how their actions either line up with their words or not. .
Please read Shophetim/Judges 11.
This is the story of Yiphtaḥ the Gilʽaḏite.
Yiphtaḥ is someone that we can learn some great lessons from and as we can see from this chapter, it starts off by telling us that he was a might brave warrior.
The name of יִפְתָּח Yiphtaḥ – Strong’s H3316 means, ‘he opens’ and comes from the root word פָּתַח pathaḥ – Strong’s H6605 which means, ‘open, allow, break forth, express, loosen, open wide, set free’, and as we are able to recognise from the record of his actions, he certainly was one that was used by יהוה to open up the Truth and set an afraid people free from the fears of the enemy
Yiphtaḥ is one of those that are mentioned in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11 in the chapter that is often regarded as the ‘faith hall of fame’, but what is it about him that got him mentioned?
First up, we are not only told that he was mighty or brave, but that he was also a son of a whore – how is that for a nice opening description!
Possibly not something he would want to be remembered by, although he certainly did not have control over who his parents were.
His father was Gil’aḏ, who was the grandson of Menashsheh and great grandson of Yosěph..
He was born out of an adulterous relationship and was rejected by his half-brothers, who told him that he had no part in the family inheritance, which caused him to flee from his brothers and hook up with some other worthless men. .
Yisra’ĕl was under severe threat from the Ammonites and Yisra’ĕl, as a result of their circumstances through disobedience, were crying out to יהוה who told them to go and cry out to the mighty ones that they had chosen in their disobedience and let them save them in their time of distress.
Yisra’ĕl continued to cry out and יהוה was grieved.
Yisra’ĕl needed a strong leader to lead them and said that whoever would go and fight first would become their head. .
Now the elders of Yisra’ĕl went to call the very one that had been rejected.
Yiphtaḥ was the first born of Gil’aḏ, and although he was born out of an adulterous relationship, he was still the firstborn and according to Torah, he was to receive a double portion of his father’s inheritance.
His brothers had rejected him and twisted the Torah, by telling him he had no inheritance, and so now, after having been rejected by his own, when the elders came and asked him to come back and help them, he confirmed with them that if he did lead them that he would be made head over all in Gil’aḏ.
In other words, he was making sure that his rightful inheritance as firstborn would be restored.
Just think how his half-brothers must have felt: the man that they had rejected and renounced, was now returning home to be their captain and leader of the land.
Pretty similar to the account of Yosĕph, who was also rejected by his brothers to only later be the one who would bring about their deliverance in the famine of the time. .
It took Dawiḏ 7 years to gain the full support of the 12 tribes of Yisra’ĕl.
All of these events are wonderful foreshadows of Messiah יהושע, who too was despised and rejected by men, by His very own and He became our Saviour and is King of the armies of יהוה, that will come again and defeat the enemies of יהוה..
This ‘mighty brave one’ who had been rejected by his own, was now being called back to lead the nation against their enemies!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘mighty’ comes from the root word גִּבּוֹר gibbor – Strong’s H1368 which translates as ‘mighty man, brave man, and valiant warrior, powerful’, which is the intensive form of the word גָּבַר gaḇar – Strong’s H1396, which means, ‘to be strong and mighty, prevail’..
The Hebrew root word that used here in this verse for ‘strength’ is חַיִל ḥayil – Strong’s H2428 which means, ‘strength, efficiency, wealth, army, ability, capability, excellence’ and comes from the root word חִיל ḥil – Strong’s H2342 which means, ‘to be firm, strong, endure, prosper’.
This is the same word that is used to describe the ‘able’ men that Mosheh’s father-in-law had instructed him to seek out, as well as the capable wife that Shelomoh describes in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 31, as a wonderful collection of parables that highlight the clear characteristics of a set-apart and capable Bride of Messiah!
Those who find strength in Elohim go from strength to strength and become capable and firm members of the body of Messiah!
It is in the Master that we are equipped to go from strength to strength!.
In the ancient pictographic script, the word for ‘able, brave’ – חַיִל ḥayil – Strong’s H2428 is written as follows:.
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 – יִ
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!.
Lamed – ל:
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..
When we see these letters, in the ancient script, being used to describe someone who is considered ‘brave, and able’, as well as a true ‘capable wife’, we can certainly glean from this the following:.
ESTABLISHED AND SEPARATED TO WORK
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
We can also see the following being pictured as a description of brave ones in Messiah!
The true brave and able ones in the body of Messiah, are the ones who truly represents what it means to be separated as living stones, and be submitted to doing the work of obedient service, being led under the authority of our Good Shepherd, and equipped to teach and lead others to maturity in Messiah!.
Those who go from strength to strength appear before Elohim!
This is a powerful promise for those who stay in the Master, for they shall see Him face to face when He comes for His Capable Bride!.
Yiphtaḥ took up the role as judge and leader and we can see some great qualities that he displayed in his leadership.
He was not just a hot-headed guy who wanted to look for a fight.
He first sought to resolve the issues, and we can see from this passage, that he knew the Torah and the history of Yisra’ĕl..
Having been set up as head and commander, he starts off his campaign in prayer!
In verse 11, we are told that he spoke all these words before יהוה in Mitspah.
This highlights the clear characteristic of a mighty brave one in the Master, who knew where his strength came from. He did not presume to be the big shot now, he sought יהוה in prayer.
This is a powerful lesson on seeking יהוה and seeking first His reign and His kingdom!
After seeking יהוה, he sent messengers to the sovereign of Amon, asking why they were wanting to come and fight against the Yisra’ĕlites!.
The king of Ammon declared that he only wanted back what Yisra’ĕl had, under Mosheh’s’ leadership, stolen from them.
And in response to the king of Ammon, Yiphtaḥ presented four arguments, to clearly show and prove that the Ammonites were wrong:
1 – He presented the facts of history: (verses 14-22)
You cannot deny facts!
When we present the truth that the Catholic Church changed a whole lot, by adding and taking away from the Word, you simply cannot deny that, through the facts of history, we have been lied to, and had inherited a whole lot of worthless lies and false traditions!.
Yiphtaḥ reminds the Ammonites that Mosheh and the leaders of Yisra’ĕl had asked for a safe passage through their territory, which was refused, and this led to war, where יהוה, the Elohim of Yisra’ěl, gave Yisra’ĕl the victory.
Yisra’ĕl didn’t steal any land, they had captured it!
And besides that, the Amorites had actually taken the land from the Moaḇites!
Therefore, their claim that the land was theirs was invalid.
Yiphtaḥ clearly knew the history of his people and the land in which they were dwelling. Yiphtaḥ was a great leader!
He was learned in the Torah and certainly knew the History of Yisra’ĕl.
He understood and knew the facts. .
As we lead people to יהושע, we will do well to present ourselves as one who can rightly divide the Truth and present the facts of the Word, through its purest form, knowing the historical and cultural context of the Word, which can only be done when one is properly meditating on the Torah, day and night, and guarding to do all that has been commanded for us to do, being properly equipped to maturity by those that the Master has appointed to teach and lead! .
We need to know our history and present ourselves as workmen approved before Elohim, if we are going to silence the empty threats of the enemies lies that are brought through the twisted dogmas and false traditions of man!
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘approved’ comes from the root word δόκιμος dokimos – Strong’s G1384 which means, ‘tested, approved’ which is from the primary root verb δέχομαι dechomai – Strong’s G1209 which means, ‘to receive, accept, welcomed’.
Only those who can rightly handle the Word of Truth can present themselves, approved to Elohim, as a worthy worker.
Those who have turned aside from the Torah cannot rightly handle the Word and cannot present themselves as approved workers, for they are simply ‘dross’!.
2 – יהוה had given Yisra’ĕl the land: (verses 23-24)
Yiphtaḥ was always careful in giving יהוה the esteem for any victories that Yisra’ĕl had won, always remembering to give honour and praise to יהוה who fights for us and gives us the victory.
It was common among the other nations that when they would capture a territory, they would claim that it was the ‘will of their mighty one’ that had given it to them to possess and so now, Yiphtaḥ was declaring that the True and Only Elohim, יהוה of Hosts, is the One who’s will was fulfilled, in giving Yisra’ĕl the land.
יהוה, the Living Elohim, took possession of the land and so, it became Yisra’ĕl’s land according to His Covenant promise.
We too can declare today that it is יהוה who gives us the victory through Messiah יהושע, aměn!
We must realise and always give recognition and praise that all we have is from יהוה our Elohim!.
3 – Yisra’ĕl had lived in the land for centuries: (verses 25-26)
Yisra’ĕl had lived in and around that area for 300 years!
Why now, all of a sudden, was the king of Ammon trying to claim it as theirs?
They had no legal claim to the land.
The work of יהושע, done on the stake, was done almost 2000 years ago and His promises are secure in His Blood! Therefore, the enemy cannot steal that or take what does not belong to him!.
4 – The Ammonites were actually fighting against יהוה: (verses 27-28)
Yiphtaḥ didn’t declare war on Ammon – Ammon declared war on Yisra’ĕl.
Now, if יהוה had given the land to Yisra’ĕl, then by Ammon coming against Yisra’ĕl they were coming against יהוה, which would only lead to disaster.
It is a dreadful thing to fall in to the hands of יהוה, who Judges both the living and the dead.
So, what we can see, up to this point, is that Yiphtaḥ, who was now leading Yisra’ĕl, was clearly a man of courage and wisdom. He knew the Torah, and he knew the history of the nation of Yisra’ĕl and was brave and courageous to speak the truth, despite his past.
יהוה can and will use anyone He chooses, not based on their past, but on their ability to walk in obedience to His Word, that is: one who can rightly handle the truth. .
It is at this point in the text, that we see the Spirit of יהוה came upon Yiphtaḥ.
יהוה is the One who qualifies and calls a person into service and not man.
Filled with the Spirit of יהוה, he was now ready to go forward in great confidence and boldness. It is not by power nor by might but by the Spirit of יהוה, aměn! .
Yiphtaḥ then makes a vow before יהוה.
Now a vow was always a voluntary decision, and was a definite commitment that was honest, sincere and set-apart.
Some people argue that he made a rash vow and was stupid etc., yet we are just told that the Spirit of יהוה had come upon him. Yiphtaḥ made a commitment, which is an agreement or pledge binding oneself to do something.
He was not under any obligation to make this vow or solemn promise to יהוה, but he did! And it was a conditional agreement – if you do this…then I will do that.
We know that יהוה fulfilled His part for He always keeps His promises..
Today there is a saying that says, “A verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it is written on!” In other words: it has become the norm to realise that no promise, whether verbal or written, is of any value except in relation to the integrity of the one who makes the promise.
So, if there is a lack of true integrity, then what do promises mean today!!!
In the past, it would often be stated that, “A man’s word is his bond”, and sadly, we do not see that today.
That does not mean that the consequence of breaking our word has changed!!!
If we make promises we ought to keep them – יהוה never breaks His Word.
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 8:56 “Blessed be יהוה, who has given rest to His people Yisra’ĕl, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good word, which He promised through His servant Mosheh.”.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘vow’ is נֶדֶר neḏer – Strong’s H5088 meaning, ‘vow’ and ‘to make a vow’ is the word נָדַר naḏar – Strong’s H5087; and to “naḏar a neḏer” is to swear to Elohim with an ‘oath’, and therefore, bind oneself with what proceeds from one’s mouth.
A נֶדֶר neḏer – Strong’s H5088 is something that is promised to Elohim verbally, and anyone who makes a vow is obliged to fulfil/do his promise!
In Scripture, a vow is always to Elohim and not to man.
And the understanding behind a ‘vow’, carries the meaning, ‘to bind or imprison, or to dedicate a specific object or creature to יהוה’.
Tehillah/Psalm 61:8 “So I sing praise to Your Name forever, when I pay my vows day by day.”
Tehillah/Psalm 116:14 “I pay my vows to יהוה now in the presence of all His people.”
Yonah/Jonah 2:9 “But I offer to You with the voice of thanksgiving, I pay what I have vowed. Deliverance is of יהוה.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:33 “Again, you heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to יהוה.’”
This can also cause us to recognise that we must be true to the words of our mouth, as we do what we say we will, in offering up the commitment to follow Messiah and walk in Him daily!.
Yiphtaḥ’s vow was a devastating commitment – how about us today?
How about the ‘whatever’s’ of our lives and the claims that we may often so easily make, especially when in a desperate situation!!!
Many may often say things like, “Whatever it takes יהושע Messiah – I will follow you… just please do this for me …”!!!
Do you realise the need to keep that commitment based on your own confession? .
Yiphtaḥ didn’t forget his vow to יהוה.
You see, all too often we find that vows or commitments are made in the storms of life and are then they are quickly forgotten in the calms.
When you are in a bind, you can easily commit to something that may help, but as soon as relief comes you abandon your part of the commitment – sound familiar? .
Yiphtaḥ knew and realised that he had to keep his vow to יהוה no matter what – he had made the vow after all!!!
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 30:2 “When a man vows a vow to יהוה, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he does not break his word, he does according to all that comes out of his mouth.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 23:21 “When you make a vow to יהוה your Elohim, do not delay to pay it, for יהוה your Elohim is certainly requiring it of you, and it shall be sin in you.”
We must realise the power of our words of commitment we make and the accountability to keep them.
His vow was a defining commitment – this was a test of his commitment – would he keep his word?
Would he obey יהוה? Yes!
Was it just talk? No!
Was he serious? Yes!.
Yiphtaḥ shows us what it means to remain true to one’s word, by following through with the appropriate actions.
A man of words and not deeds is like a garden of weeds!
You can pretty much fix a lot of things, but not a broken promise!
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 “When you make a vow to Elohim, do not delay to pay it, for He takes no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you have vowed. 5 It is better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”
There is a saying that says,
“He who is slow in making a promise is the most faithful in keeping it.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:25 “It is a snare for a man to say rashly, “It is set-apart,” and only later to reconsider his vows.”.
We must think before we speak.
Yiphtaḥ realised and knew that he could not go back on his word – and we see this by the fact that he told his daughter,
“I have given my word to יהוה and I am unable to turn back!”
When we say something, we need to be ready to do it and follow through, regardless of the circumstances!!!
Yes, I suppose Yiphtaḥ could have turned back like so many people would quickly do today, however disobedience to יהוה was not an option to him, and that is a great lesson for us learn today!!!.
Another thing that we need to realise, is that vows do not need to be vocalised in order to be in effect!!!
As soon as we say it in our hearts, יהוה knows and expects us to keep it!!!!
Ma’asei/Acts 5 is a great example for us in the account of Ḥananyah and Shappirah.
They made a vow when laying down the money, as if it were all that they had received for the land they sold, but it wasn’t and יהוה saw it in their hearts!
The interesting thing to note here too, is that nobody forced them to sell the land.
They made this vow voluntarily, yet still did not follow through with total obedience and we know what happened as a result!!!
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that man looks at the eyes, but יהוה looks at the heart!
Ḥananyah was a fool, who not only wanted the praise of men, but also wanted the money that, by his own vow, was no longer his – and so he lied to יהוה and paid the price for it. .
Looking again at the passage from:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 23:21-23 “When you make a vow to יהוה your Elohim, do not delay to pay it, for יהוה your Elohim is certainly requiring it of you, and it shall be sin in you. 22 “But when you abstain from vowing, it is not sin in you. 23 “That which has gone from your lips you shall guard and do, for you voluntarily vowed to יהוה your Elohim what you have promised with your mouth.”
We must be careful what we say and what we so easily and quickly commit to, understanding the implications of not keeping our word.
What is coming forth from your lips?
Mattithyahu/Matthew 12:35-37 “The good man brings forth what is good from the good treasures of his heart, and the wicked man brings forth what is wicked from the wicked treasure. 36 “And I say to you that for every idle word men speak, they shall give an account of it in the day of judgment. 37 “For by your words you shall be declared righteous, and by your words you shall be declared unrighteous.””.
יהושע teaches us that we must keep our word by letting our yes be yes and our no be no!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:34-37 “But I say to you, do not swear at all, neither by the heaven, because it is Elohim’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Yerushalayim, for it is the city of the great Sovereign; 36 nor swear by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. 37 “But let your word ‘Yea’ be ‘Yea,’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ And what goes beyond these is from the wicked one.”
What יהושע was saying here, is not that you cannot make a vow, for He didn’t nullify His Torah, but rather He was saying that when you make any form of vow do not do it falsely. Don’t say yes when you really mean no and vice versa.
One thing that we often see today, is that people keep their options open, by saying ‘maybe’.
We need to learn to commit to yes and no being yes and no, anything other than that is falsehood and falsehood is from the evil one!
To swear falsely is to profane the name of יהוה!.
Yiphtaḥ’s vow was twofold: ‘whatever’ would meet him when he returned home would be dedicated to יהוה!
If it was a person, it would be forever dedicated in service to יהוה; and if it was an animal, it would be sacrificed to יהוה and offered up as a thanksgiving offering!
Why do I say that? Well the answer is easy!
When you look at Scripture and understand that Yiphtaḥ knew the Torah and History of Yisra’ĕl, then this passage makes great sense.
He was met by his only daughter, and he ‘gave her’ or rather ‘dedicated’ her to יהוה – in order to serve יהוה at the tabernacle.
We do know from Scripture, that women did serve at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, as seen in Shemoth/Exodus 38:8 & Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:22). .
His daughter, having been the first to greet him, was now to remain a virgin and never marry, never have kids and never know the joy of motherhood and continue her father’s line of inheritance in Yisra’ĕl.
This was enough to cause her and her friends to spend 2 months grieving.
What did she mourn? Her virginity!
Nowhere in Scripture do we see that Yiphtaḥ actually killed his daughter, nor do we see anyone mourning her death.
The emphasis is placed on the fact that she would remain a virgin.
It is hard to believe that they would establish a custom to commemorate a sacrifice of a human being; but it is very clear that they would commemorate and celebrate the devotion and obedience of Yiphtaḥ’s daughter, in helping her father fulfil his vow. .
She certainly deserves to stand with Yitsḥaq, as an example of a faithful child, willing to obey her father and יהוה, no matter the cost. .
In verse 31 the word translated as ‘and’ is the Hebrew letter ‘ו’ (waw, pronounced – ‘vav’) which can be translated as ‘and’ as well as ‘or’.
What Yiphtaḥ was clearly saying here, was that whatever comes out: if it is a person, they will be dedicated to service unto יהוה ‘or’ if it is an animal, it will be offered up as a sacrifice to יהוה, presuming that it is a clean animal that is!!! .
His daughter comes out and she is then dedicated to a lifetime of service unto יהוה and she willingly obeys!
She understood what Sha’ul writes about, in Romiyim/Romans 12: that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, set-apart and pleasing to Elohim – for this is our reasonable act of worship!.
When we have accepted יהושע as our Saviour and Master, we must realise the cost of that commitment that has been brought forth out of our hearts and spoken from our lips – and our word to Him must be kept!!! .
As we can learn from Yiphtaḥ – it doesn’t matter the circumstances of our upbringing or where we come from – we can know יהוה and be used by Him!
What we have to understand, in this account, is that Yiphtaḥ knew the Torah and he would have known that child sacrifices were against the Torah:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 12:31 “Do not do so to יהוה your Elohim, for every abomination which יהוה hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:10 “Let no one be found among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practises divination, or a user of magic, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer”
Human sacrifices were an abomination to יהוה and Yiphtaḥ knew this and he would not willingly make a vow with יהוה that was an abomination to יהוה!
The law of vows permitted monetary redemption of persons vowed to יהוה, but a person devoted to יהוה could not be redeemed..
Yiphtaḥ committed his daughter to lifelong service to יהוה at the Tabernacle, and only priests would have been allowed to offer sacrifices, and Yiphtaḥ was not a priest and the priests would not have sacrificed a human!.
In verse 40 we see that every year the women would ‘lament’ for four days – possibly during one of the feasts.
The Hebrew word that we have translated as lament comes from the word תָּנָה tanah – Strong’s H8567 which means, ‘recount, rehearse’, which is only used twice in Scripture and should be correctly translated as celebrated or commemorate or praised and rejoiced.
This leads us to correctly assume that the women would go every year to rejoice and celebrate with Yiphtaḥ’s daughter who was serving at the tabernacle..
The other time that this root word תָּנָה tanah – Strong’s H8567 is used in Scripture, is in:
Shophetim/Judges 5:11 “By the voice of shouters, between the places of drawing water, there they recount the righteous acts of יהוה, the righteous acts of His leadership in Yisra’ěl; then the people of יהוה shall go down to the gates.”
These words were part of the song that Deḇorah and Baraq sang, after the victory they had when יהוה gave into their hand, Sisera, the commander of the army of Yaḇin the sovereign of Kena‛an.
Recounting the righteous acts of יהוה and His leadership!
This word תָּנָה tanah – Strong’s H8567 certainly highlights the celebration of properly submitting to יהוה and His authority!.
I have mentioned these critical points, in order for us to understand that Yiphtaḥ was not rash or foolish in his vows and then seemingly set out to kills his daughter, no!
He was a man who knew the Torah, lived by it and followed it wholeheartedly, by belief and that is what got him listed is the belief/faith “hall of fame”, in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11..
There are some very clear lessons that we can take from this great sequence of events that record some of the acts in the life of Yiphtaḥ, which I would like you to carefully consider, as follows:
1 – At times, there may be, in the life of true believers some doubt and distrust, but we ought to take heart that the Spirit of יהוה is with us to lead and guide us.
Yiphtaḥ had the Spirit, yet still hesitated a little and so his belief was tested by his vows.
His belief was tested by the very confession of his mouth!
How are you at passing the tests of that which has proceeded from your mouth?.
2 – It is not evil to make vows with יהוה, especially when in pursuit or expectation of His mercy. To make vows to יהוה, in terms of acceptable service to Him, and not as a purchase for favour we desire, but rather as an expression of gratitude to Him and the deep sense we have of our obligation to render unto Him our complete worship, according to what He has done for us, is good and pleasing – and we must keep our word!
Can you honestly assess your life and determine if your vows unto יהוה have been kept or have found that you have actually neglected to keep it, and it is still sin in you?.
3 – We must be very cautious and well advised before making any vows, so that we do not get caught up in a present emotion of zeal, where we end up entangling our own conscience and be forced to say, ‘it was an error’!
How many times have you spoken promises of commitment before actually thinking about what you are promising to commit to?.
4 – That which we have vowed to do, according to the Word, we must do!
Do not make vows that go against the Word!
We must embrace the sense of powerful obligation that Yiphtaḥ displayed.
“I have given my word; I cannot turn back!”
Apply this to your commitment to follow יהושע – for he who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for service in the Kingdom of Elohim!
In our vow to the Covenants of Promise, made with sinners in the Blood of Messiah, we must follow Him and His Torah!!!
We should commit to an obedient life of worship unto Him, born out of a love for Him, which is to guard to obey and do His commands!
Have you wavered in your confession of commitment to our Master, who shed His Blood for you?
5 – Yiphtaḥ’s daughter is a wonderful picture of children obeying their parents in יהוה and magnifies the 5th commandment. As a clear metaphor of submitting to father and mother, Shelomoh, in his proverbs, highlights the need for us to submit to the discipline of our Father and teaching of our mother and not forsake loving-commitment. The Word of Elohim is likened to being that which takes on the clear role and authority of a father and mothers that disciplines and teaches us the perfect way to walk and what we are to submit to and obey. Yiphtaḥ’s daughter is a clear picture of what we as children of the Most-High are to be – and that is obedient and trustworthy children of light!.
6 – Our friend’s grievances should become ours, as we carry each other’s burden’s. Yiphtaḥ’s daughter mourned her virginity and so did her friends.
Those who will only rejoice with you and not weep with you are unworthy to be called friends!
Romiyim/Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
What this teaches us, is that we are to be able to walk in unity as a body and not be so disconnected that we do not know how our brothers and sisters are doing, but rather we are to be involved in each other’s lives in order to properly encourage and equip each other in the belief of our Master..
7 – Yiphtaḥ’s rough childhood didn’t affect him from following יהוה faithfully, for he held no bitterness of the past! What bitterness are you holding on to, if any?
Do you allow the words or actions of others from your past, cause you to stumble in your called for walk of set-apartness today, perhaps to even lead those who had previously rejected you, to the Truth of Elohim?.
8 – He was a peacemaker and appealed to יהוה for the victory, rather than relying on the arm of the flesh. He knew where his help came from!
Do you put your trust in יהוה or do you try to manipulate success by alternative means of the flesh?.
9 – Most importantly – he didn’t go back on his word and he had a wonderful trust relationship with his daughter, which would have been built up through the knowledge of Torah, for she too knew the Torah.
He had taught his daughter well, bringing her up in the Word of Truth, that would cause her not to hesitate in following יהוה with her all!
If you have children, are you bringing them up in the Torah and teaching them the value of guarding the Torah with their all, so that they too will not depart from following the Truth?..
As you consider what can most certainly be gleaned as valuable lessons from the account of Yiphtaḥ’s calling, commitment and his vow that he kept, take time to carefully consider some more questions that may help you meditate on the clear lessons of truth that are given to us through this faithful man’s life:.
1 – Do you know anyone like Yiphtaḥ, who was treated like an outcast by their family? How has this affected them in their lives and walk with יהושע?.
2 – When the elders came to Yiphtaḥ to ask for his help in fighting the Ammonites, what was his response?
How do you respond when those who have wronged you suddenly need something from you?
What is the right response?.
3 – Why do you think Yiphtaḥ made a vow? Was it to raise the moral of his men or was it because he put his complete trust in our Mighty Elohim?.
4 – Have you ever made a vow to יהוה?
Did you keep it or break it?.
5 – How important do you consider the words you speak?
Do you think before you speak or are you a motor mouth?.
6 – What can you take from this chapter in Shophetim/Judges?.
Allow these questions to stir in you the ability to look intently into the Word and not forget what you look like, as you guard to do all that our Mighty Master and Elohim commands us to do!.
Tehillah/Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing before You, O יהוה, my rock and my redeemer.”
The words that we speak and the ‘mutterings’ of our hearts are to be pleasing before the Master!
How have your words and thoughts been of late?.
Our words carry immense power and influence, in directing our lives and the manner in which we walk!
Qolasim/Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Master יהושע, giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.”
Whatever we do in word and deed!!!
Often, people’s words and deeds do not line up, as they may certainly honour the Master with their lips, yet their hearts may be far from Him, as clearly seen in their wicked and lawless deeds. .
Dawiḏ cries out that he earnestly wants his speech and heart to line up with one another and sought earnestly be pleasing to יהוה.
The Torah of Elohim is to be guarded upon our hearts, and as true set-apart ones, our speech ought to line up with that which is upon our hearts, as we guard our mouths from speaking rashly and in falsehood! .
While many people may say the right words, and sound very true and sincere, it may often just be vain words, as their lives are riddled with compromise, and by their deeds of unrighteousness, it becomes clear that the Torah of Elohim is not being guarded in their hearts.
We must remember that יהוה looks at the heart of man, and when the Torah is truly being meditated upon, and guarded within, then one’s speech and deeds will clearly shine the light of true set-apartness in Elohim! .
Often, words are spoken in vain and when this happens, pride can have a way of being set up in one’s heart, causing the true fear and trembling, of working out one’s deliverance before Elohim, to subside and fall away!.
Let me ask you – are there times that you have found yourself speaking the Word, and even having the fruit of praise coming from your lips, only to find that you end up doing things that run contrary to the clear instructions of the Word?
When this happens, the words of our mouth, no matter how true they may sound, do not please יהוה. .
The Hebrew word translated as ‘pleasing’ in Tehillah/Psalm 19:14, that is started this message with, comes from the root word רָצוֹן ratson – Strong’s H7522 which means, ‘goodwill, favour, acceptance, desired, well-pleased’, and comes from the primitive root verb רָצָה ratsah – Strong’s H7521 which means, ‘to be pleased with, accept favourably’.
The word רָצוֹן ratson – Strong’s H7522 is also used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 40:8 “I have delighted to do Your pleasure, O my Elohim, and Your Torah is within my heart.”
Without the Torah being in our hearts, in order to do it, we can never delight in doing that which pleases our Master and Elohim!
When we are pleasing our Master, we are equipped to go out and face the battles without fear of the enemies that surround us!.
Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.”
The Greek word that is used here for ‘well-pleasing’ is εὐάρεστος euarestos – Strong’s G2101 which means, ‘acceptable, pleasing, well-pleasing’.
Romiyim/Romans 14:17-18 “For the reign of Elohim is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Set-apart Spirit. 18 For he who is serving Messiah in these matters is well-pleasing to Elohim and approved by men.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8-10 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth – 10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Master.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:20-21 “And the Elohim of peace who brought up our Master יהושע from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you perfect in every good work to do His desire, working in you what is pleasing in His sight, through יהושע Messiah, to whom be esteem forever and ever. Aměn.”.
The reason for highlighting these verses, is to simply show a few passages of Scripture that make it very clear how the righteous know what is pleasing to the Master; as we take note that when we walk in righteousness and guard to do all that He has commanded us to, we then find that pleasing Him becomes a very joyous and pleasing thing to do!.
May the meditation of our hearts and the words of our mouths always be pleasing to our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, as we continually guard to do all in His Name, whether in word or in deed, as we take great care in regards to the words we speak!!!.
Mighty brave of Messiah, may you let your speech be seasoned with salt and be a clear witness of the greatness of our Most-High Redeemer and King, as you do your utmost in keeping your word of commitment to following Him completely, so as to not turn aside from the Way of set-apartness, opening up the way for others to follow Messiah!!!.
The ‘words we speak’ are to always reflect the proper witness of our Master, who is The Word!
In Hebrew, the root word that is often translated as ‘word, speak’ comes from the primitive root verb דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 which means, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’ and a derivative of this word is also translated as ‘speech, word, commandment/s, message’..
What we listen to and submit to, we will speak and give a proper witness of!
The Word of יהוה is living and active and His Word is Truth!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:160 “The sum of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.”
The psalmist clearly expresses the importance of the Word of יהוה being truth and is the basis and foundation for proper right-ruling, from which a ruler/leader should lead/rule from.
Listening to any other word of falsehood, will only corrupt decisions that are made and cause servants to become wrong, by following corrupted rulings based on falsehood!
In our Master’s prayer for us, He makes it clear that we are to be set-apart by the Truth of His Word:
Yoḥanan/John 17:17 “Set them apart in Your truth – Your Word is truth.”.
We are to be bold in bringing the Good News, which is the Word of יהוה!
Ma’asei/Acts 15:35 “And Sha’ul and Barnaḇa continued in Antioch, teaching and bringing, with many others also, the Good News: the Word of יהוה!”.
A clear text that we see, in the revelation of Messiah, is that He is called THE WORD OF יהוה:
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:11-13 “And I saw the heaven opened, and there was a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Trustworthy and True, and in righteousness He judges and fights. 12 And His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, having a Name that had been written, which no one had perceived except Himself 13 and having been dressed in a robe dipped in blood – and His Name is called: The Word of יהוה.”
The Word of יהוה is Master of Masters!!!
Just take a look at what is said a couple of verses later:
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:16 “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: SOVEREIGN OF SOVEREIGNS AND MASTER OF MASTERS.”
יהוה is Master of Masters!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:17 “For יהוה your Elohim is Elohim of mighty ones and Master of masters, the great Ěl, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.”.
The Lamb is Master of Masters!
Ḥazon/Revelation 17:14 “They shall fight with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for He is Master of masters and Sovereign of sovereigns. And those with Him are called, and chosen, and trustworthy.”.
There is only ONE Master of Masters and the point that I am trying to make here, is that יהושע Messiah is THE WORD OF יהוה, which most people would not argue with, yet what we can clearly see, is that יהוה is THE WORD OF יהוה, and while we take note that THE WORD OF יהוה came and appeared to some of His faithful servants and prophets, He came in the form of human flesh to be made visible to all! .
There is only ONE WORD OF יהוה and He remains forever!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:25 “but the Word of Elohim remains forever.” And this is the Word, announced as Good News to you.”.
And this Word is what we are to speak, as we speak His Truth and declare the clear Torah that He has given to us to walk in!.
The Hebrew word for ‘Word’ is דָּבָר daḇar – Strong’s H1697 which means, ‘speech, word, commandment, chronicles, message’; which, the ancient pictographic script, is depicted as follows:.
Dalet – דָּ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’.
It can also have the meaning of a back-and-forth movement as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access..
Beyt – בָ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.
We also recognise that the House/Dwelling Place of Elohim is the body of Elohim that is built up as living stones in our Master, יהושע Messiah.
A house/tent speaks of your family and to whom you belong and under whom you submit and adhere to, as the House of Elohim has clear instructions for those in the House!
The Light (that is His Word) is for those in the House!.
Resh – רִ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first’; top, as in the top or head of a body, and chief, as in a head of a tribe or people; as well as the one who rules the people. Every House has a head of the home, and all in the House submit to the instructions of the One who is head of the home, listening to and obeying the words that the Head speaks!.
What these pictographic symbols or letters clearly show us here, in reference to these collectively expressing ‘The Word’, is that THE WORD IS:
THE DOOR TO
THE HOUSE OF THE HEAD!.
יהושע Messiah is The Door and He is the Head and we are His dwelling Place, and our only means of access is through our Master and Elohim, who is the Door that has been revealed to us in the flesh in order that we can be grafted in and enter into the Covenants of promise that we were once far off from and without Elohim in the world!.
As we speak, we are to proclaim our Master and His Truth, for whatever we do, whether in word or deed, all must be done in the Name of יהושע Messiah.
As we speak the Truth of the Word, we proclaim our Mater and Elohim!
Yiphtaḥ presents to us a wonderful witness of a mighty brave one that spoke words that witnessed of Elohim. Whether he spoke to his brothers or to his enemies, his words witnessed a clear testimony of יהוה our Saviour!.
THE WORDS WE SPEAK!
WHAT WORDS ARE YOU SPEAKING?.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom!