Shabbat Shalom family, as we consider the great and awesome loving kindness and loving-commitment of our Maker, Redeemer and King, may we be eager and urgent in our praise toward Him:
Tehillim/Psalm 106:8 “Blessed be יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl From everlasting to everlasting! And all the people shall say, “Aměn!” Praise Yah!”
Luqas/Luke 1:68 “Blessed be יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, for He did look upon and worked redemption for His people”
He looked upon us and worked redemption for us; and while we were found to be naked and ashamed before Him, He has given us His secure covering and clothing of righteousness through the Blood of יהושע Messiah, and we must daily clothe ourselves in Him and walk faithfully in His instructions as we remain steadfast in our loving commitment to Him:
Romiyim/Romans 13:14: “but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.”
“Put on the Master…. Making no room for the lusts of the flesh” – a vital necessity each and every day – and that is that we are to ensure that we have put on the Master each and every day and are clothed in Him as we walk in His Torah as the truest expression of our love for Him who has delivered us from the authority of darkness and transferred us into His marvelous reign.
All through Scripture we see a clear picture of what ones clothing represents and how one’s true clothes are revealed by one’s actions, and today the saying, ‘You are what you wear’ can often be a very accurate statement, and the same holds true from a spiritual perspective as we look at how we are to walk according to the spirit and not according to the flesh. So to put on the Master and live like it speaks of being clothed in Him, having our lives ‘dressed’ with His Kingdom rules from above, as we live as sojourners and foreigners here until He comes to firmly establish His Kingdome here on earth! One of the most important assessments we ought to be conducting in our lives on a daily basis, is in fact how we are dressed; and tonight in a message called, “WEARING THE ROBE THAT DOES NOT ROB”, I would like us to recognize our need to be correctly dressed in righteousness or else we may find ourselves robbing Elohim in falsified garments of unrighteousness of which the end result will be death! Turn with me to Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:11-36 (read).
There is a huge amount of great insight and wisdom contained in this chapter that shows us the clear contrast between true robes of righteousness and manufactured robes of treachery and wickedness.
We are shown a picture of true righteousness through the example of the service of Shemuʼěl the youth before יהוה versus an example of worthless and destructive service as seen through the lives of the two sons of Ĕli, Ḥophni and Pineḥas who were the serving priests in those days.
In verse 12 we are told that Ḥophni and Pineḥas were sons of Beliya‘al and that they did not ‘know’ יהוה, in other words they had no ‘knowledge’ of יהוה. In essence what we are seeing here is that they had no ‘fear of יהוה’:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
This verse describes these two guys – they were fools who despised wisdom and discipline and as a result never knew יהוה, even while they were ‘serving’ as priests!!! Sons of Beliya‘al they are called – the word ‘Beliya‘al’ is a Hebrew term בְּלִיַּעַל Beliya’al – Strong’s H1100 meaning, ‘worthlessness, destruction, wicked, wickedness’, and comes from two words: 1 – בְּלִי beli – Strong’s H1086 meaning, ‘a wearing out, unconcerned, unrestrained, without’ and 2 – יַעַל ya‘al – Strong’s H3276 meaning, ‘to confer or gain profit or benefit’.
When understanding this concept and term as derived from these two words we see that these two foolish sons were unrestrained and unconcerned as to how they gained benefits or profits for self, showing no regard for the Torah of Elohim! As a result of not fearing יהוה they became arrogant and thought that they could do whatever they wanted to and however they wanted to and get away with it. Remember that this was a time when Yisra’ĕl were without an earthly ruler, and here even the serving priests had no regard for their True King from above, revealing the sad state of the nation at this point where there were only a remnant few who were in fact serving as they should, while the majority did as they pleased and put on the appearance of worship which was proved false!
In contrast to the wickedness and worthlessness of these two sons of Ĕli, we are shown how Shemuʼěl served in righteousness and this is a picture of how those clothed in Messiah can have no agreement with those who are not:
Qorintiyim Bet/1 Corinthians 6:15 “And what agreement has Messiah with Beliya’al? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?”
Ḥophni and Pineḥas were priests who were supressing the truth in unrighteousness against which the wrath of Elohim was ultimately revealed as they were both killed in one day, along with their father who died when he heard of the Ark of Elohim being captured, and Pineḥas’ wife died giving birth at the news of the tragic events and her son she called Iḵaḇoḏ – meaning ‘no esteem’, for the esteem of יהוה had been removed from their midst.
Romiyim/Romans 1:18-21 “For the wrath of Elohim is revealed from heaven against all wickedness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known of Elohim is manifest among them, for Elohim has manifested it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible qualities have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, both His everlasting power and Mightiness, for them to be without excuse, 21 because, although they knew Elohim, they did not esteem Him as Elohim, nor gave thanks, but became vain in their reasonings, and their undiscerning heart was darkened.”
Let us look at some of the wickedness that these two did in their assumed position of service in the Tent of Appointment. According to Wayyiqra/Leviticus 7:30-34 and Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:3 specific portions were to be given to the priests as part of the peace offerings and wave offerings; and what Ḥophni and Pineḥas did was rob the people of their true share of the peace offerings and would not simply be satisfied with the breast or thigh, but would bring a fork and while the meat was cooking they would plunge the fork into the pot, basin, kettle or cauldron and take whatever they brought up with the fork. A very clear picture of selfishness and total disregard for the Torah regarding the offerings. They would by ‘chance’ take whatever they wanted and it may just be from these wicked accounts that the term ‘pot luck’ derived its meaning!!!
They also demanded the meat from the people before the fat had been offered to Elohim which went totally against the command to burn all the fat as seen in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 3:3-5. They demanded the raw meat from the people, before it was even cooked and would not allow the people to do what was required by Torah and were very verbal in their demand as they threatened the people with violence, saying that if they would not give as they were told then they would take it by strength! Wayyiqra/Leviticus 8:31 clearly states that the priests were to cook the flesh at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and eat it there. In verse 13 what we see taking place was that Ḥophni and Pineḥas were instituting their own rules as it states that, ‘the ruling of the priests with the people…’. They were teaching the people falsely and seeking self-gain and is a picture for us of the many false teachers that are putting so many under a heavy yoke of deception and lawlessness as they teach what is contrary to what is in the Torah and are serving their own stomachs:
Romiyim/Romans 16:17-18 “Now I call upon you, brothers, watch out for those who cause divisions and stumbling, contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such ones do not serve our Master יהושע Messiah, but their own stomach, and by smooth words and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 56:11-12 “And the dogs have a strong appetite, they never have enough. And they are shepherds! They have not known understanding. All of them look to their own way, every one for his own gain, from his own end, saying, 12 “Come, let me bring wine and fill ourselves with strong drink. And tomorrow shall be as today, even much greater.”
The false teachers today are presenting their own rules through traditions while forsaking the commands of Elohim, just as Ḥophni and Pineḥas were doing, as they despised the offerings of יהוה, robbing Elohim for the lust of the flesh! How many people are doing the same today, even while they claim to be priests of Messiah? How many are putting their work or their relationships or even their entertainment before יהוה, seeking to first satisfy the appetites of their selfish flesh and pride before submitting to true service in the Kingdom? Many will manufacture their own rules of interpretation and will twist the right-ruling of Elohim to suite their own selfish desires and so easily forsake true obedience as instructed in His Word.
We see from these recorded accounts that a clear progression takes place when no true discipline in applied in walking in righteousness. The process of their lawlessness progressed as a result of no discipline from their father, which will only lead to contempt and having no regard for the truth, which ultimately will result in false worship which is an abomination to יהוה.
Ḥophni and Pineḥas were supposed to be serving the people and making intercession for them, as well as bringing right-ruling according to the Torah and judging between right and wrong, yet their own sins disqualified them from fulfilling their role. Sha’ul gives Timotiyos a list of requirements for anyone who desires to be an overseer or a deacon, which you can see in Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3; and we see that Ḥophni and Pineḥas were certainly not fit to serve in the position they were in as they were certainly not above reproach; on the contrary they were sexually immoral, violent, quarrelsome and they refused to listen to their father!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:1 “One often reproved, hardening his neck, Is suddenly broken, and there is no healing.”
Now while Ĕli certainly could have shown more discipline – the fact is that his sons did not listen and hardened their necks and ultimately paid the price. May we not refuse the discipline of our Father in Heaven!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:7-9 “If you endure discipline, Elohim is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Moreover, we indeed had fathers of our flesh disciplining us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?”
Discipline is simply the training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character of a person and so we recognize that disciplining is a form of expressing great love from a father to his children!
Failure of a father to discipline leads to a lack of social order, respect for authority and reverence for יהוה, which is exactly the result of what we see in the two sons of Ĕli.
Lack of discipline or even the lack of submission to discipline will result in a despising of the offering of יהוה. We are to offer up our lives as a daily living sacrifice and without the discipline of the Torah this will be despised!
The word ‘despised’ in the Hebrew is נָאַץ na‘ats – Strong’s H5006 and means, ‘to spurn, treat with contempt, blaspheme, scorn’, and it is used in:
Tehillim/Psalm 10:13 “Why do the wrong scorn Elohim? He has said in his heart, “It is not required.”
Those who disregard the commands of Elohim, blaspheme Him – especially when they say regarding the Torah, ‘it is not required’!
They were sleeping with the woman who served at the door of the Tent of Appointment and in Shemoth/Exodus 38:8 we are told that the bronze laver and its stand was made out of the bronze mirrors brought by the women who served at the door of the Tent of Appointment; and so what we are seeing here is a total picture of corruption that has also affected the entrance or door – in other the words the purity of the mirror of the word had been tarnished and corrupted and therefore not followed or obeyed and as a result we see a picture of leading the masses astray with a falsified and muddied portrayal of the Door of the Tent of Appointment, and this was a wickedness that was not acceptable!
Verse 25 makes it clear – if you sin or are lawless against יהוה, who is going to pray for you? There was a whole lot of wilfully sin going on – and even the entrance had become defiled – a clear picture of how man has defiled and corrupted the pure message of who the Door is by manufacturing a false door that is being presented as true and has changed the names, times and laws!!!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:26 “For if we sin purposely after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins”
These guys were purposefully sinning for self-gain and what they may not have recognised was that they were sinning against יהוה, a truth that Dawiḏ understood:
Tehillim/Psalm 51:4 “Against You, You alone, have I sinned, and done evil in Your eyes; That You might be proven right in Your words; be clear when You judge.”
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 15:30 “But the being who does whatever defiantly, whether he is native or a stranger, he reviles יהוה, and that being shall be cut off from among his people.”
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 3:14 “And therefore I have sworn to the house of Ĕli that the crookedness of the house of Ĕli shall never be atoned for, by slaughtering or grain offering.”
There was now no longer a slaughter offering for their wilful sin!
Now that we have seen how crooked these two sons of Ĕli were, let us look at a clear contrast to their lives as pictured by the pure righteousness of the service of Shemuʼěl:
In verse 11, as well as 18-21 we get some great insight into the service of one who is wearing the right robe – and that of righteousness.
I want us to look at a couple of words in the Hebrew to gain a better perspective of the clear difference between that which is shown regarding Shemuʼěl as opposed to Ḥophni and Pineḥas. Firstly we see that Shemuʼěl means ‘His name is El’ – picturing for us a people who are called by Name and have the name of El placed on them as done through the blessing as instructed in Bemidbar/Numbers 6.
In verse 11 as well as verse 18 we see the same Hebrew word used for the words translated as ‘served’ in verse 11 and ‘attending’ in verse 18, which is the root word שָׁרַת sharath – Strong’s H8334 which means, ‘to minister, serve, attend’, and is the same word used in Shemoth/Exodus 28:35 when speaking about the garments and the pomegranates and bells that would be upon the hem of the robe, all around, that Aharon, the High Priest should ‘attend’ in when going in or coming out of the Most Set-Apart Place.
The word in verse 18 translated as ‘wearing’ or in other translations as ‘clothed’ is חָגַר ḥagar – Strong’s H2296 and carries the meaning, ‘to gird, gird on, gird oneself, be armed, dressed, come trembling’ and can carry the essence of being ‘belted’ as in girded up and ready!
What was he ‘wearing’ or ‘girded up with and ready’?
A linen shoulder garment! The word for shoulder garment in Hebrew is אֵפוֹד ephod – Strong’s H646 which was a priestly garment, like a shoulder cape or mantle.
In Shemuʼěl Bet/2 Samuel 6:14 we are told that Dawiḏ was wearing a linen shoulder garment when he was dancing before יהוה with all his might when they brought back the Ark of Elohim, after it had been at the house of Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom for three months, and so pictures for us a wonderful reflection of wearing true and pure garments of praise and service unto Elohim as we ‘carry/bear’ His presence daily!
These verses we see here describing what Shemuʼěl was doing is an example of pure devotion in contrast to the wickedness of the sons of Ĕli. In verse 21 we are told that Shemuʼěl grew before יהוה, and again in verse26 we are told that Shemuʼěl was growing in stature and was in favour with יהוה and with men, which are very powerful words used here; words that were spoken of about Messiah in:
Luqas/Luke 2:52 “And יהושע increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with Elohim and men.”
As we obediently serve as a faithful priesthood unto יהוה, we too will find ourselves growing in stature and in wisdom, and in favour of Elohim and men. This description of Shemuʼěl is also a great reminder to us as parents and the responsibility we have in bringing up our children in the right way as opposed to the example of the wrong way as seen through the lack of discipline that resulted in Ḥophni and Pineḥas being rejected as priests.
A great lesson on how we must not neglect bringing our children to fellowship on the set-apart gatherings in genuine worship with the covenanted people of יהוה; as our children will too grow in wisdom and be strengthened by the Word when disciplined to be gathered when we should!
Tehillim/Psalm 92:13 “Those who are planted in the House of יהוהflourish in the courts of our Elohim.”
We and our children should be planted in the House of יהוה in order to flourish!
Coming back to Shemuʼěl we are also told that his mother would bring him a robe each year and even this pictures for us the adequate clothing we receive through the Word of יהוה as we keep and obey His commands! This word in the Hebrew for ‘robe’ has a very powerful lesson for us in terms of what we are discussing here tonight, in that we are to be robed in true garments of righteousness and walk in them!
The Hebrew word is מְעִיל me‘il – Strong’s H4598 and means, ‘robe, mantle’. What is interesting to note is that this word comes from the root word מָעַל maal – Strong’s H4603 and means, ‘to act unfaithfully or treacherously, violate, break faith’. This is what got me digging a little deeper and then it struck me as I looked at the difference between these two words, and that is that the word for robe, which would picture for us robes of obedience, has one more letter than the word that renders one acting corruptly or being unfaithful. And so when we look at these words in the ancient script we see a clear picture and message being given that we also see being portrayed in the difference between Shemuʼěl and the two sons of Ĕli.
Let us look at these two words in the ancient script:
1 – מָעַל ma‘al – treacherous, wicked, unfaithful:
– the letter ‘mem’ – מְ – which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, also carries the meaning of chaos (from the storms of the sea) and can picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown
– the letter ‘ayin’ – עַ – which in the early script is pictured as an ‘eye’, and can carry the meaning of paying attention, to take heed, keep a close eye on, as well as something that ‘covers’
– the letter ‘lamed’ – ל – which in the early script 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
2 – מְעִיל me‘il – robe
The difference as you can see is the additional letter:
– the letter ‘yad’ – י – which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘arm and hand’, and the meaning of this letter is work, make, throw – the functions of the hand and arm and well as the gestures of the hand – ‘thanksgiving’.
Now when we understand the meaning behind these individual letters we see what makes the difference between serving faithfully and being unfaithful or corrupt in service. The difference between the two words we are looking at is the picture of a hand or arm and hand.
And so when we look at the word for robe, we can see the clear message of how יהוה, out of the chaos of the waters, set His order in place through His instructions. Man sinned and was naked and exposed and יהוה saw how man needed a covering, which He sent through the work of His Outstretched Arm and Right Hand – יהושע Messiah in order to redeem us back under His Rod of instructions, being forever robed in righteousness!
Without the true covering our works will be exposed for their wickedness! The covering that makes the difference between a true robe and that which is false and wicked is the Outstretched Hand of יהוה.
When you take away the hand – there is no salvation and it is just a works based wickedness and treacherous service being delivered, that is abominable before יהוה. The removal of the commands of Elohim and the idea of the false teachings that the Torah is no longer applicable is a removal of the Hand and Arm of יהוה.
The robe that Shemuʼěl wore each year is a picture of us having been clothed in the robes of righteousness as we walk in the Torah and we follow the Creators cycle each year, starting with every Shabbat! Any other attempts at worship that do not follow His clear instructions, are nothing more than man-made traditions and rules that have removed the Hand of יהוה!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:10 “I greatly rejoice in יהוה, my being exults in my Elohim. For He has put garments of deliverance on me, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
When Dawiḏ brought back the Ark of Elohim we are told that not only did Dawiḏ wear a robe of fine line but so did the Lěwites:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 15:27 “And Dawiḏ was dressed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Lěwites who bore the ark, the singers, and Kenanyah the leader of the service with the singers. And Dawiḏ wore a linen shoulder garment.”
Our robes of righteousness is to guard to do all His commands:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
Yoḥanan Aleph 2:29 “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone doing righteousness has been born of Him.”
Yoḥanan Aleph 3:7 “Little children, let no one lead you astray. The one doing righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.”
Yoḥanan Aleph 3:10 “In this the children of Elohim and the children of the devil are manifest: Everyone not doing righteousness is not of Elohim, neither the one not loving his brother.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 7:13-14 “And one of the elders responded, saying to me, “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 And I said to him, “Master, you know.” And he said to me, “These are those coming out of the great distress, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 “And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.”
Clothed or Exposed! Are you wearing the robe that does not rob? Or do you see a little Ḥophni and Pineḥas in you – a little unfaithfulness and falsified appearance of righteousness as long as it fits you? Is there any stubbornness or un unwillingness to submit to the discipline of the Word?
Without the True Living Torah on our hearts, any attempts at worshipping Elohim will be exposed for its lawlessness:
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!’
Ḥophni and Pineḥas did not wear true robes – Shemuʼěl did – may we be a people that wear the robe that does not rob as we walk in Messiah and stay in Him as His hand leads us and guides us that we may continue to bless יהוה, who looked upon us and worked redemption for us, aměn!