How do you know?
Shabbat shalom all,
Naḥum/Nahum 1:7 “יהוה is good, as a stronghold in the day of distress. And He knows those who take refuge in Him.”
As I was reading Naḥum this week, this verse really stood out for me, as the words, “…And He knows those who take refuge in Him.”, started me thinking about these very clear and sobering words! As I began to meditate on this reality of יהוה knowing those who take refuge in Him, I started to dig a little deeper into this thought of being known by יהוה. In a brief message tonight called, “TO KNOW – AND BE KNOWN BY – יהוה!”, I simply want to look at a number of verses that should cause us to assess our own lives, on a daily basis, in order to ensure that we ‘know יהוה’ and are also ‘known by יהוה’. Today there are so many people who will loosely say words like, “He knows my heart” or, “He knows me”, when they are referring to Elohim; and more often than not, these words are usually expressed as a kind of excuse to living lawless lives when being confronted with the need to walk in the Truth and follow the Torah. Many will even say that they know Elohim, yet do they really???
The Hebrew word for ‘knows’ is יָדַע yada – Strong’s H3045 meaning, ‘to know, to acknowledge, clearly understand, to perceive, distinguish and discern’, and this verb can also render the ability to know by experience, and while we recognise that יהוה certainly ‘knows’ all things, we also realise that in terms of יהוה knowing those who take refuge in Him, or that He knows those who are His, there is a deeper intimacy being expressed by the clear experience of a faithful and fruitful relationship between the Creator and His Created beings, that follow and adhere to His clearly prescribed ways for functioning as they should, by being faithfully obedient to His instructions for living set-apart lives unto Him!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘refuge’ is חָסָה ḥasah – Strong’s H2620 which means, ‘to seek refuge, have hope, put trust in (Elohim)’, which further expresses a deeper intimate relationship of one who fully trusts in and relies upon יהוה, by holding on the sure hope of deliverance to be made complete, as they work out their deliverance with fear and trembling, by walking wholeheartedly in the clear Torah of Elohim!
יהוה chose Yisra’ĕl to be a people for Himself, not because they were more numerous that other peoples, but because of His loving-commitment to Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqob with whom He established the sure Covenants of Promise! Despite this clear choosing, Yisra’ĕl continually rejected the need to walk in set-apartness, and chose to follow after the ways of the world. The nation that was chosen to be a light to the nations, did not shine the light of the Truth and as a result were unable to clearly make known to the nations who יהוה is. Despite Yisra’ĕl’s claim to ‘know’ יהוה, while they were clearly walking in rebellion to His commands, יהוה made it clear that despite their lips service, their actions proved that they did not ‘know’ Him!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:3-4 “An ox knows its owner and a donkey its master’s crib – Yisra’ĕl does not know, My people have not understood.” 4 Alas, sinning nation, a people loaded with crookedness, a seed of evil-doers, sons acting corruptly! They have forsaken יהוה, they have provoked the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, they went backward.”
In this rebuke given to a rebellious and apostate people, it is made clear that even an ox ‘knows’ its owner and a donkey knows its master’s crib, yet Yisra’ĕl do not know יהוה. Here this word ‘know’ is also the Hebrew word יָדַע yada – Strong’s H3045 and implies the ability to respond to and recognise the Master’s voice.
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
To ‘know’ יהוה implies the clear ability to ‘hear’ His voice and guard to do what He commands, for then He shall know His own!!!
Tehillim/Psalm 98:2 “יהוה has made known His deliverance; His righteousness He has openly shown Before the eyes of the nations.”
יהוה has made known His deliverance!!! He has done this through His Mighty Outstretched Arm and Hand!
The Hebrew word for ‘hand’ is יָד yad – Strong’s H3027 and is a primitive root which is translated as, ‘hand, command, authority, power, tenons, side’, and the primary meaning of this noun is “the terminal part of the arm used to perform the functions of a man’s will.”. We are able to therefore understand in the Hebraic mind-set that one’s hand symbolises what one does or one’s ‘works’.
He has made known His Deliverance, and this HE made known through the flesh of יהושע Messiah, who is the Outstretched Arm and Hand of Elohim, and He is the Door, through which we enter into the fullness of knowing יהוה and being known by Him, as we, the sheep of His pasture, listen careful to the Master’s voice and follow Him in loving obedience, for He has brought us a deliverance which we are to work out with fear and trembling, as we obey His voice and guard to do all He commands!
So many today vainly claim that they ‘know’ Elohim, yet He does not ‘know’ them and they clearly do not follow Him, as they do whatever is right in their own eyes!
Tehillim/Psalm 1:6 “For יהוה knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wrong comes to naught.”
In this Tehillim, which clearly teaches us the blessing of meditating on the Torah day and night, and not walking in falsehood, it ends with the assurance of being known by יהוה as one walks in righteousness! The Hebrew word translated as ‘way’ is דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – Strong’s H1870 which means, ‘way, road, distance, journey’ and is from the word דָּרַךְ daraḵ – Strong’s H1869 which means, ‘to tread or march’; and so speaks of our walk, and every step that we take – and our ‘ways’ we are to commit to יהוה:
Tehillim/Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to יהוה, and trust in Him, and He does it.”
As we stay in the Master and He stays in us, we are well equipped to walk even as He walked, as we meditate day and night on His Torah and guard to do all that He commands; and when we obey and walk according to His Word, our ways – that is our walk of obedient faith in the Master – please Him.
While many today claim to ‘know’ Elohim, their refusal to submit to walking in the Torah and guarding His commands, and their refusal to keep His Appointed Times, simply reveals their lack of knowledge of who Elohim is, and unless they seek Him in order to know Him and walk in Him, will sadly find themselves being rejected by the One who they thought they knew!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7: 21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!”
יהושע then proceeded to tell the parable of the one who ‘hears’ His Words and ‘does’ them will be a wise man who builds on the rock!!!
Repeatedly we find throughout the historical records contained in Scripture that both the Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah were often guilty of not ‘hearing’ and acknowledging their Master’s voice, but instead were feeding themselves on pagan traditions rather than the truth – which is a clear mirror image of what we see happening today by many, and more specifically by the church who operate not on the Rock of Truth but rather on the twisted application of man-made and man-driven dogmas rooted in pagan worship – those who follow false tradition over truth are those that do not know Him, and He will declare He never knew them!
We are to pursue to know His word, seeking it out and discern and rightly handle the truth:
Hoshěa/Hosea 6:3 “So let us know, let us pursue to know יהוה. His going forth is as certain as the morning. And He comes to us like the rain, like the latter rain watering the earth.”
Despite the need to continually be pursuing to ‘know’ יהוה, so many quickly turn aside to falsehood as they do not ‘know’ the right-ruling of יהוה:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:7 “Even a stork in the heavens knows her appointed times. And a turtledove, and a swallow, and a thrush observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the right-ruling of יהוה.”
Yeshayahu was told to go and speak to a rebellious people:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 “And He said, “Go, and you shall say to this people, ‘Hearing, you hear, but do not understand; and seeing, you see, but do not know.’”
Hearing but not hearing, seeing but not ‘knowing’ – that is the state of so many today!
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:20 “And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am יהוה your Elohim.”
This verse carries great insight for us, in that it clearly instructs us to set-apart יהוה’s Sabbaths, for that would be a sign between us and Him, in order to ‘know’ that He is יהוה our Elohim. I have often said that Sabbath is in many ways a door or entrance point in getting to know יהוה as we should, for it is on His set-apart day that we learn to know Him, as an assembled body of Messiah, that is being made ready as an adorned Bride!
Those who reject the Sabbath and its needed observance, as commanded, will never be able to ‘know’ יהוה, no matter how much they claim to ‘know’ Him!
This also reminds us, that none should simply assume to ‘know’ Him just because they understand the importance of Sabbath, while at times they compromise the set-apartness that is called for in guarding the gates on the Sabbath! By that I mean that there are some who will seemingly keep the Sabbath, yet find that they compromise by doing their own pleasures on the Sabbath before it ends!
There are also many who have ‘tasted’ the joy of proper Sabbath keeping, yet have found themselves having gone back to the dogmas of man and have sadly ended up neglecting the need to keep the Sabbath at all! This is very sad, as some begin to ‘know’ יהוה, yet in their continued pursuit of growing in their ‘knowledge’ of Him, they grow weary through the pressures of the world and turn away from pursuing to ‘know’ Him, and stop keeping the Sabbath, while erroneously assuming that they ‘know’ יהוה and are ‘known’ by Him!
Galatiyim/Galatians 4:9 “But now after you have known Elohim, or rather are known by Elohim, how do you turn again to the weak and poor elementary matters, to which you wish to be enslaved again?”
When we guard to do what He commands and walk in righteousness we have the assurance of being known by Elohim:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:19 “However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal, “יהוה knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteous-ness.”
To ‘name the Name of Messiah’ carries with it the clear responsibility of turning away from unrighteousness! There are some today who may even name the True Name of Messiah, yet their lives reveal that they have not turned away from unrighteousness, as they ignore the need to guard His commands. The other day we went into a shopping mall and were walking behind a couple, only to be shocked by what we saw! On the back of the ladies neck was a tattoo with the Name of Elohim in Hebrew lettering, as follows: רפה יהוה – YHWH Rapha, which renders that יהוה is Healer! I found this disturbing that someone would tattoo the Name of the Creator on their body, when the clear command in the Torah is to not put tattoo marks on our bodies (Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:28). No while many may assume that this has been done in ignorance, we need to first recognise that this person has obviously discovered the Name of Elohim and actually seen it in the Hebrew font, yet in their vain attempt at trying to show that they think they ‘’know’ Elohim, the fact that they tattoo their body with His Name clearly shows that they do not know Him!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 8:3 “But if anyone loves Elohim, this one is known by Him.”
To love Elohim, gives us the sure promise that we are known by Him! Sadly many do not ‘know’ what love for Elohim is:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:8 “The one who does not love does not know Elohim, for Elohim is love.”
The Greek word used for ‘know’ in Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John is γινώσκω ginōskō – Strong’s G1097 which means, ‘to perceive, to learn, to come to know, comprehend, understand, recognise, learn to know, get a knowledge of’. As we sit under the instructions of our Creator and Redeemer, we learn to know Him and get a knowledge of who He is and come to know how we are to live in obedience to His clear Torah. There are so many liars out there today who claim to know Elohim, yet they have no knowledge of His Torah at all, as they refuse to sit and learn His Word – how can they know Him!!! It is one thing to claim that you know Him, yet whether we know Him or not is seen in the fruit of our obedience to His commands, and all will be clearly revealed when He returns – as many will come running claiming they know Him, yet will be rejected!
Those who ‘know’ יהוה, by pursuing to know Him, and are guarding His commands in living completely set-apart lives, are known by Him. Aḇraham was ‘known’ by יהוה, because of his obedience in training up his children in righteousness:
Berěshith/Genesis 18:19 “For I have known him, so that he commands his children and his household after him, to guard the way of יהוה, to do righteousness and right-ruling, so that יהוה brings to Aḇraham what He has spoken to him.”
I submit to you that just as I have already mentioned that the Sabbath is a door to ‘knowing’ יהוה, yet without ‘knowing’ His Name, we cannot pursue to ‘know’ Him! It was the revelation of His Name to Yisra’ĕl in Mitsrayim that caused them to ‘know’ the Elohim of their deliverance! In Mosheh’s discussion with Elohim, he was told in:
Shemoth/Exodus 6:3 “And I appeared to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Ya’aqoḇ, as Ěl Shaddai. And by My Name, יהוה, was I not known to them?”
Here יהוה made it clear that He was known to Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ by His Name! And it was the revelation of His Name that would cause them to call on the only Name that saves, for everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה shall be delivered!
There are so many who claim to ‘know’ Elohim, yet they do not even know His Name, and they refuse to receive Him by His Name:
Yoḥanan/John 5:43 “I have come in My Father’s Name and you do not receive Me, if another comes in his own name, him you would receive.”
יהושע came in the Father’s Name, for His Name means, יהוה is our deliverer/ יהוה is Salvation!
So many refuse to receive Him and walk as He commands, yet they receive another false messiah who comes in his own name and according to tradition, preaches and proclaims lawlessness!
Many today make their vain boasting in their assumed wisdom and their assumed understanding of Scripture, yet their boasting is in vain, as their rejection of the need to walk in the Torah and call upon, praise and proclaim the Name of יהוה, shows that they do not ‘know’ Him:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9:24 “but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am יהוה, doing kindness, right-ruling, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” declares יהוה.”
יהוה delights in righteousness and right-ruling (in the earth), and so should we who make our boast in Him, who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light, as we understand and know Him through the clear obedience of guarding His commands and living set-apart lives!
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim”
We are clay vessels, that have through the Blood of Messiah been made into vessels unto value in the House, as we continue to serve Him and His body in complete set-apartness!
We are to continually possess our vessels in set-apartness, lest we find ourselves in the place where we are found to not have ‘known’ Elohim, for the fate of those who do not know Him is clear:
Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 1:8 “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know Elohim, and on those who do not obey the Good News of our Master יהושע Messiah”
So many profess to know Elohim, but in their works they deny Him!!! Their works are works of falsehood and lies that have been handed down through vain traditions and dogmas of man
Titos/Titus 1:16 “They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”
In commissioning His Talmidim (disciples) to go to the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl and proclaim the Kingdom reign in Mattithyahu/Matthew 10, יהושע was instructing them on how they ought to go in courage and complete trust in Him, and that while they would be hated for His Name’s sake, they should not fear man, and He warned them that if they denied Him before men would be denied before the Father who is in the heavens. Sha’ul tells us in Timotiyos Bět/ 2Timothy 2:12 that if we endure, we shall reign with Messiah, however if we deny Him, He will deny us!!!
To endure and not deny Him, implies that we ‘know’ Him and walk in His Word and obey His Torah and proclaim His Kingdom Reign. To disregard the need to hear-guard and do His commands and walk according to His Torah and keep His Sabbaths and Appointed Times will receive the clear rebuke and rejection of not having been known by Him, as I mentioned earlier from Mattithyahu/Matthew 7!
We shall be known by our fruit! Does the fruit of your life reflect the clear message of one who ‘knows; Elohim and as one who is ‘known’ by Elohim?
As we consider the need – TO KNOW – AND BE KNOWN BY – יהוה – may this brief message cause you to daily consider your ways, that you may truly be found to know Him and be known by Him.
In this call to pursue to ‘know Elohim’ let us hold fast to the sure hope of being ‘known by Him’, as we diligently guard to do all He commanded us to do and express our true loving commitment in living set-apart lives unto Him who calls us to ‘know Him’. So when you are asked, or even ask yourself on a daily basis, ‘Do I know, and am I known by יהוה?’ may you consider carefully your how you live, and make your bold and confident confession of יהוה our Elohim – as you let your life declare your knowledge of Him, with the full assurance of being known by Him!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom; and may He take great pleasure in you as you walk in the fear of Him, eagerly awaiting His return!