Shabbat Shalom family,

Berěshith/Genesis 1:27 “And Elohim created the man in His image, in the image of Elohim He created him – male and female He created them.

יהוה had just created a perfect environment for man – an environment to place His image, and He makes a great declaration before all that He had already created, including the heavenly host of beings that also had been created at this time, saying “let us make man in our image” and this declaration can be seen as a ‘royal plural’, which is a manner of speaking shows that the One who is speaking is very great, as He speaks on behalf of all His Kingdom – a Kingdom which He had made specifically for His image that would be portrayed through man, which could now be placed and established!

Here the term ‘man’ is the Hebrew word אָדָם aḏam – Strong’s H120 which means, man, mankind, human, person and so this also collectively refers to both men and women! The word used here for ‘male’ is זָכָר zaḵar – Strong’s H2145, which comes from the primitive root זָכַר zaḵar – Strong’s H2142 which means, remember, be mindful and the word used for ‘female’ is נְקֵבָה n’qeḇah – Strong’s H5347 and comes from the word נָקַב naqab – Strong’s H5344 which means, to pierce. This is a truly wonderful picture here, as we see that the female came from the male who was pierced, as Aḏam’s side was ‘pierced’ and the woman was brought forth from his rib; and therefore is a shadow picture of how we, as the Bride of Messiah, have been brought forth by His flesh being ‘pierced’ for us!

And in Messiah the perfect and functional image of Elohim could be restored and re-established which was lost through sin.

Have you ever wrestled over your purpose and reason for your existence? In a message tonight called, “Who am I and what am I doing?”, I hope to be able to shed some light on these often overlooked or misunderstood questions and therefore be able to seriously ask ourselves these and determine if our answer actually matches up with who we ought to be and what we ought to be doing. Please turn with me to Tehillim/Psalm 8 (Read).

This Psalm is a powerful declaration of praise that embraces the true power of redemption in Messiah our King; and in Messiah the completeness of our call is recognised and the dominion mandate shall be re-established, which will be fully evidenced at His soon return which will usher in His supreme rule and reign of which we will be privileged to rule and reign with Him – if in fact we are doing what we ought to be doing right here right now and living according to the true identity of who we are to be in Messiah!

What is also interesting to note is that this Psalm in its introduction is titled, To the chief musician upon Gittith, a Psalm of Dawiḏ – the term ‘Gittith’ is a Hebrew musical term גִּתִּית  – Strong’s H1665 which means ‘wine-press’ and is often a song title that is used for the feast of booths. As you read the whole Tehillim/Psalm 8 we see the praise Dawiḏ has for Elohim and proclaims the Creation account!!! This term ‘Gittith’ as a title is used for 3 of Dawiḏ’s Psalms (8, 81 and 84) all of which are Psalms of praise connected to restoring the Creation account of Elohim dwelling with His people which will again take place when he comes to ‘booth’ with us!

Also we see a wonderful play on words when Dawiḏ makes the following statement in His Psalm in:

Tehillim/Psalm 8:4 “What is man that You remember him? And the son of man that You visit him?

The first word translated as ‘man’ here is  אֱנוֹשׁ enosh – Strong’s H582 which means, man, mankind, mortal man while the second ‘man’ as in the ‘son of man’ is אָדָם aḏam and the word for ‘remember’ is זָכַר zaḵar.

So when we see in the creation account the perfect image of Elohim being created in man, we can see that by the male and female terms meaning in essence, ‘marked and pierced’ we recognise that this is exactly what Messiah came for (to be marked and pierced) in order to restore the image of Elohim in mankind that the first Aḏam defiled through sin, and so while He was pierced for our transgressions we must ask the sobering question… “Am I marked in Him?”

In a wrestle for worship the beast too has ushered in a clear attempt at stealing away man’s true identity and purpose by marking man with a false mark of worship that is presented as the real, yet is a wicked counterfeit to which many have been ignorantly marked by through traditions and lies.

And while many would ask what this battle for worship has to do with man, the answer is very simple – the enemy wants his image as opposed to the true image of Elohim revealed before all creation.

Here in this Tehillim/Psalm Dawiḏ clearly praises the True Elohim of all creation and with His powerful play on words we find the great truth of just how focused the Master יהוה, Elohim of Hosts, is on mankind. He in essence begins and ends with the declaration of how excellent the name of יהוה is in all the earth.

In Shemoth/Exodus 3 when Mosheh was commanded by the Elohim of Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Yaʽaqoḇ to go to the Yisra’ĕlites and tell them that they would be delivered from the hand of Pharaoh, he asked the question that when he would tell Yisra’ĕl that the Elohim of their fathers had sent him to them and they say to him, “what is His Name?” who would he say had sent him? The Almighty then answered him “I AM that which I AM” and that he was to tell them that the “I AM” had sent him. He then said to Moshe to tell the children of Yisra’ĕl, “יהוה Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Aḇraham, the Elohim of Yitsḥaq, and the Elohim of Yaaqoḇ, has sent me to you. This is My Name forever, and this is My remembrance to all generations.’ (Shemoth/Exodus 3:15).

Wow, what a defining moment in Scripture – the Almighty, our Elohim revealing His Name to Moshe! Now let us look at this event a little more in-depth, in order to get the right foundation and understanding of the True Name and realise the power of this Scripture that declares that His Name is forever and for all generations!

What was The Almighty saying to Moshe in Shemoth/Exodus 3:14, when HE said, “I AM that which I AM”?

אהיה אשר אהיה – I Am that which I Am – ʾĕh­­­­­­­­­˗yĕ(h)  ʾªšěr  ʾĕh­­­­­­­­­˗yĕ(h) 

The above is what Elohim declared to Moshe (Moses). This is a title of our Elohim, with a focus on presence, care, concern and relationship. It literally can mean ‘I AM that I AM’, or rather I exist, I cause to be. In other words it renders “I AM the One who causes to be, I AM the One who brings into being, I AM the life-giver, the giver of all existence, I AM the ever living self-consistent and unchangeable One.”

יהוה means – “He (The I AM) is the One who causes me to be”! This is very powerful, for every time you call on the Name of יהוה, you are declaring who it is that causes you to be, you are declaring from your lips the One who gives you life, who made you, who gives you existence! And we are to declare His Name, giving praise to the I AM!

Now this was the excellent name that Dawiḏ was declaring, and goes on to declare that it is יהוה who set His splendour above the heavens and in a praise of the Creation account He acknowledges how the Great I AM chooses to use what is often least expected in order to reveal His majesty!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 1:27-29 “But Elohim has chosen the foolish matters of the world to put to shame the wise, and Elohim has chosen the weak of the world to put to shame the strong. 28 And Elohim has chosen the low-born of the world and the despised, and the ones that are not, that He might bring to naught the ones that are, 29 so that no flesh should boast in His presence.

In verse 3 Dawiḏ declares the true fact that the moon and stars have been established by יהוה, and in reference to the Creation account he is in essence declaring that at Creation יהוה already established His Appointed Times and this is very important for us to realise. Before man was even created יהוה established His Appointed Times – He did not introduce His Appointed Times after man had fallen – His plan for redemption was established before man even came to and this is the excellence of His provision for us in Messiah and this is a hymn of praise to our Redeemer who established His everlasting plan to dwell with the focus of His creation – which is man – before man was even made!

And while we certainly may often ask as Dawiḏ did – “What is man that you remember him?” we certainly see that man is remembered by Him because all creation was geared to contain His image in man, and so he remembers man because man is the focus of His design! And while we recognise that the Master יהוה our Elohim is infinitely above us we also recognise that He is intimately involved with us:

Tehillim/Psalm 113:4-9 “יהוה is high above all nations, His esteem above the heavens. 5 Who is like יהוה our Elohim, who is enthroned on high? He looks down on the heavens and in the earth; 7 He raises the poor out of the dust, lifts the needy from a dunghill, 8 to make him sit with the nobles, with the nobles of His people, 9 causing the barren woman to dwell in a house, a rejoicing mother of children. Praise Yah!

The universe reveals the greatness of יהוה, while at the same time the universe reveals man’s smallness and this is the powerful illustration of how such an Almighty Elohim could be so intimately involved in us, and for some this intimate involvement can often seem intimidating. Iyoḇ asks the same question in:

Iyoḇ/Job 7:17-19 “What is man, that You should make him great, that You should set Your heart on him, 18 that You should visit him every morning, trying him every moment? 19 How long do You not look away from me, nor leave me alone till I swallow my saliva?

Iyoḇ in pouring out his complaint reckons that he cannot even swallow his spit without יהוה not looking upon us!!! While many may feel uncomfortable by the fact that יהוה chooses to be intimately involved with us, this must be recognised as a positive thing, and when Iyoḇ tells us that יהוה tries man every moment we can understand why and the benefit thereof – and that is so His image can be formed in us through Messiah. Ya’aqoḇ tells us to rejoice when we face all kinds of trials – why? Because we get mature and His image is being perfected in us and that the proving of our faith might result in praise and esteem at His return!

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:7 “in order that the proving of your belief – much more precious than gold that perishes, and proven by fire – might be found to result in praise and respect and esteem at the revelation of יהושע Messiah

Ephesians also tells us how He chose us to be set-apart in Him before the foundation of the world:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Messiah, 4 even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be set-apart and blameless before Him in love

Man was created to rule and reign with Elohim and that very image of Elohim was corrupted through sin and lawlessness and because Elohim is so intimately involved and focused on man, He made provision in Messiah for that image to be renewed and restored, so that we can rule and reign with Him.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews quotes this Tehillim/Psalm in reference to Messiah and it is clear in this Psalm that the true image and purpose of man can only be fulfilled in Messiah and so our call is redeemed in Messiah, our Head.

My question tonight is not a complicated one but rather a very simple one – and that is: “How are you responding to the intensity and intimacy of יהוה’s focus on you?” Do you realise that in Messiah you are heirs to the promise and seed of Abraham, and that if we are of Messiah we are in fact co-heirs with Messiah if we indeed suffer with Him!

In fact the word promises us:

Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 3:12 “And indeed, all those wishing to live reverently in Messiah יהושע, shall be persecuted.

Understanding this fact of a promised persecution for living reverently in Messiah, we need to ask ourselves how we are responding to the trials and persecutions we face each day? Are we rejoicing and allowing the trials to result in praise and esteem as we recognise how intimately involved our Elohim is with us, or do we cry out in frustration and ask “why is He so interested in me? Who am I?”

As we consider the powerful declaration of praise that Dawiḏ is giving in this Psalm, may we recognise that while we are in fact very small and seemingly insignificant in the grander scheme of creation,  יהוה does not see us as such, but rather He sees the climax of His creation upon which He can set His image and seal and we in turn need to be as focused in our intensity and intimacy of our relationship with Him as He is for us – the question is – ARE YOU?

If you are… then no mountain would be too high to climb so to speak as you walk by fervent obedient faith! If you… are then you would not be ashamed of the Besorah and would proclaim it to all without fear of the negative responses. If you are… then you would not deny Him before men, and stand up for righteousness and not compromise in the least even in the toughest of trials, knowing that יהוה is bigger than any intimidating boss and that He will take care of you no matter the circumstances or outcomes of man’s wicked responses to your obedient faith! So again I as – ARE YOU? Are you ,with great intimacy and intensity, focused on יהוה? Or does the fear of man stand in the way?

Who am I and what am I doing is a valid question we ought to ask each day. And in being able to recognise the great love יהוה has for us may we be able to humbly respond in declaring the praise of His excellent Name on all the earth as we walk in uncompromising obedience with joy and gladness of heart, marked by Him as we guard to do all His commands and be built up in the most set-apart faith as we encourage one another daily!

Who am I? If I am of Messiah then I ought to live as such – right! Then I ask, ‘What am I doing?’ – If I am of Messiah then I ought to be walking as He walked – right! Well then ask yourself – “Who am I and what am I doing?

Is your answer in line with the pattern given us as instructed in the Word of Elohim, or are there some areas in your life that needs to be realigned in order that true praise of His excellent Name – the One who causes you to be – can be brought forth from your lips!

At this time of year where the world runs around in a frenzy, and are in a drunken hypnotic state of the worship of mammon, how are you doing at holding fast to the Truth and giving forth true praise!

Who am I and what am I doing? Do you know that you belong to Messiah or is there an identity crisis as you are challenged to compromise by giving in to family, friends and bosses who are calling you to turn from pure obedience?

Let us be like Dawiḏ – a true man of praise and a man after the heart of Elohim – and praise His excellent Name!

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