Messianic Issues

Warring with Amalek Part III

Valley Dwellers

For the best context, see Part I and Part II. Spiritually speaking, Amalek:

  1. Attacks when one is weary, weak, and discouraged. This is also when one is most likely to grumble, complain, and contend with the LORD, leadership, or other people, which is why Adonai allows the attack in the first place.
  2. Strikes one in the back – you don’t see him coming because your focus is on self and the issues and circumstances in front of you (instead of Adonai).
  3. Plays on the desires of one’s the flesh. Often, the things or positions one desires can become a snare for the flesh. Getting the thing or position takes precedence over relationship with Adonai and other people.
  4. Is a descendant of Esau, the red one ruled by appetite, desire, and “right now.” Spiritually, he is the beast-like (sin) nature of mankind.
  5. Is a valley dweller. Whether one is in a valley of doubt, despair, impatience, or even death, Amalek will meet you there.

King Saul and Amalek

King Saul lost his position on account Amalek just like first generation in the wilderness. Though he wasn’t completely disobedient to the Word of the LORD, Adonai still counted it as full blown disregard.

1 Sam. 15:1-3 (NASB) Then Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD. 2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3 ‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.‘”

Through the prophet Samuel, King Saul was given very specific instructions. He was to destroy every single thing that was associated with Amalek. But, Saul and the people were not so keen on the details.

1 Sam. 15:9-11 (NASB) But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. 10 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night.

Saul and the people were not willing to destroy the goods that they deemed good or best. In Saul’s mind, he had done what Adonai asked; he had fulfilled the commandment. There is a lesson here. Instead of the “devil” being in the details, the reality is that Adonai is in the details!

1 Sam. 15:13 (NASB) Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command of the LORD.”

Do you suppose that King Saul knew in his heart of hearts that he hadn’t fully obeyed? Or do you think that he had deluded himself into believing that he had fulfilled Adonai’s command by doing most of what He asked? Samuel points out the root issue: pride. Notice how he addresses Saul in verse 17 below.

1 Sam. 15:17-19 (NASB) 17 Samuel said, “Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the LORD anointed you king over Israel, 18 and the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.’ 19 “Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD?”

Verse 19 says that Saul “rushed upon the spoil.” The Hebrew word eet (translated as rushed) has the idea of rushing to act with scorn or disrespect. It is akin to the fifth wicked spirit in Proverbs 6:18, feet that hasten to run to do evil.

1 Sam. 15:20-21 (NASB) 20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 “But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.”

I did obey… but the people. This is not the heart of a leader like Moses who was willing to have his name blotted out even for the guilty. If other people are one’s excuse for not doing what you know to do, then who are you really following?

1 Sam. 15:22-23 (NASB) Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23 “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatryBecause you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.”

Notice the sins that Samuel points out to Saul. He compared rebellion to divination. Rebellion is meriy in Hebrew. It comes from the root marah, to be bitter.[1]How is this like divination? Divination is the counterfeit of prophecy. It comes from another spirit that is fueled by the desires of the flesh. Bitterness and rebellion come from the same place. Samuel then mentions insubordination. This is the Hebrew word patsar.[2] It means to peck at, to press, pressure or push someone to do your will. This is likened to iniquity and idolatry. The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible defines aven, iniquity, below. See if you can spot the Esau nature.

Vigor: The power within the belly, or loins, for reproduction or creative work. II. Vanity: The use of the power within the loins for vain or other improper purposes. [freq. 90] |kjv: strength, might, force, goods, substance, iniquity, wicked, vanity, affliction, mischief, unrighteous| {H202, H205}

We are insubordinate when we push people around to get our way. This push doesn’t have to be physical, as it is mostly about one’s words. Pressuring someone to yield to you, your desires, your preferences, or what you think is best, is not a mark of leadership or strength – at least not to Adonai. Instead, this type of manipulation is powered by the belly or appetites of nephesh (flesh). By yielding to such pressures, we are in effect worshipping an idol of someone else’s desire.

1 Sam. 15:24 (NASB) 24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.

Samuel’s words bring clarity to the gravity of what Saul had done (and not done). He realizes that he feared the people more than the LORD. The people (and Saul) did not destroy the “choice” possessions of the Amalekites. Choice is the Hebrew reshit, meaning first, beginning, the choice or most excellent. It is the same word as bereshit, the first word of the Bible. It also refers to firstborn sons (beginning of strength) and first fruits of harvest (Lev. 23:10).

By not destroying the reshit of the Amalekites, they might as well have not done anything at all. In verse 21 (above), these goods are said to be “devoted to destruction” and would be given as a sacrifice to the LORD. This phrase is another link to the transgression of the Children of Israel in the account of the spies. The Amalekites and the Canaanites beat them down as far as Hormah.

Hormah comes from the same root as the phrase “devoted for destruction,” charam.[3] It means to set aside or apart for devotion whether for destruction or sacrifice. It often refers to judgment and utter destruction. In Isaiah, Adonai uses this same word to speak of Edom.

Is. 34:5 (TLV) For My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens. See, it will come down upon Edom, upon the people I have devoted to judgment.

In Saul’s case, everything that belonged to the Amalekites had been devoted to destruction at the judgment of Adonai. Saul and the people instead reserved the reshit of these things and planned to place them on an altar of sacrifice to Adonai. Did you catch the subtle yet profound difference? Samuel likens these actions to divination, iniquity, and idolatry. Details matter.

Samuel, the one who hears God as a type of Yeshua, takes care of the “head” of the Amalekites. Notice that Agag presumes that “death” has passed him by. How wrong he is!

1 Sam. 15:32-33 (NASB) Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag, the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him cheerfully. And Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33 But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the LORD at Gilgal. 

Samuel sliced up the enemy (like bread) at Gigal. As gory as it is, this is necessary in the war with Amalek. Every single shred of the lower beastly nature must be destroyed. If your eye is causing you to sin, gouge it out. Obedience is better than sacrifice. In other words, though the world with its wisdom from below says, “the end justifies the means,” Adonai vehemently disagrees.

Because of his careless handling of Amalek, Saul lost his kingship. Like Israel so many centuries before him, he lost his lofty position. Another would be raised up to replace him. The pattern of the “first” or “firstborn” being passed over due to disobedience of the flesh occurs over and over in Scripture. Ye, must be born again. The second born, the man of tents and faith, receives the promise.

Lack of trust and disobedience are marks of the faithless old man, like Esau. Greed, envy, strife, gossip, slander, murder, deceit, malice, arrogance, disrespect, selfish ambition, unnatural passions, impatience, jealousy, all of these things keep one from entering the Shabbat rest of Adonai. (Romans 1:16-32) But, these impulses can be conquered with the Words of Life. (Gen. 4:6-7)

Back to Yehoshua (Joshua)

In Part II, we looked at the first mention of Yehoshua. He is introduced as the commander of those that war with Amalek. (Ex. 17) The succeeding times Yehoshua appears on the scroll are also noteworthy. Near the end of this week’s Torah Portion, Mishpatim (Ex. 21:1-24:18), Yehoshua is positioned in a place that we only associate with YHWH and Moses:

Ex. 24:12-14 (NASB) Now the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.” 13 So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God. 14 But to the elders he said, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them.”

The text is unclear as to where Yehoshua was or what he was doing while Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights receiving the Luchot HaBrit (Tablets). But when Moses arose to go up, Yehoshua arose with him. The following verses close portion Mishpatim:

Ex. 24:15-18 (NASB) Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. 17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top. 18 Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

“Luchot HaBrit” Painting by © Kisha Gallagher 2018

The second mention of Yehoshua is shrouded in mystery. Where was Yehoshua for these forty days and forty nights? What did he eat or drink? Why didn’t the cloud consume him? The third time Yehoshua appears in the text, Moses had descended the mountain. And, pow! There is Yehoshua, right by Moses’ side as he if he never left.

Ex. 32:15-17 (NASB) Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets which were written on both sides; they were written on one side and the other. 16 The tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing engraved on the tablets. 17 Now when Joshua heard the sound of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a sound of war in the camp.”

I believe the Torah is purposely vague and mystical in these accounts. The natural questions that arise are meant to grab one’s attention. They are like a highlighter saying, “Look here! There’s more!” And, if Yehoshua being present as Moses ascends and descends the mountain failed to capture your intrigue, his fourth mention is just as mystifying.

Ex. 33:10-11 (NASB) When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. 11 Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.

While everyone else in the camp stands at the doorway of their own tent, worshipping at a distance, Joshua remains in the Tent of Meeting, even when Moses returns to the camp. In Hebrew, it says that he would not depart from the midst or middle of the tent. Was he up close and personal with the pillar of cloud when Adonai spoke to Moses face to face? The text is unclear.

A few things are certain. Yehoshua was closer to Moses than anyone else. This is akin to being really close to the Torah or being intimate with Adonai’s instructions and the law giver, Yeshua. Joshua trusted and believed Moses (and thus, Adonai), and was a very loyal servant to him. Because of his closeness to Moses, he avoided grave sins such as the golden calf, and giving an evil report about the Promised Land. Can you see how Joshua emulated Jacob, the one that dwells in the tent of Torah learning, and not the appetite ruled Esau? (Gen. 25:27)

The example of Yehoshua’s relationship with Moses is revealing. The closer one is to him, the closer one is to the Mountain (Throne) of Adonai, and the less likely one is to fall into error in the wilderness of life. It’s as if Yehoshua is hidden (and protected) from the temptations of the camp.

Moreover, Yehoshua was able to see and go to places that no one else could. Is it any wonder that YHWH chose this man to succeed Moses, and lead the Children of Israel into the Promised Land? Or, that the Messiah to come would bear his name sake, and do the same? I don’t think so.

The Hope of King David

There is hope for those that live in the valley with the heinous Valley Dwellers. Yehoshua teaches one to slay them with the mouth of the sword, and to stay close to Moses. King David, another type of Messiah Yeshua, teaches a song to overcome Amalek. He knows that worship turns the eyes of the flesh back to the Creator, an adjustment that is crucial in this war.

David’s most famous song is one that most people, no matter how close or far they are from HaShem, can quote by heart; that is Psalm 23. Do you think it is a coincidence that this Psalm mentions the “valley of the shadow of death,” and a “rod and staff” that brings comfort in a low place, emek?

Ps. 23:1-4 (NASB) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Did you notice how this Psalm begins? Because Adonai is my Shepherd, I shall not want. How does this differ from the attitude of the Children in the Wilderness? Have you ever been like them, having your “wanter” stuck in the “on” position? I don’t care to admit how often this is true for me. If one is of the flock of Adonai, they trust that He will meet every need, even when one is confused by His Higher ways, like Habakkuk.

Adonai provides pasture (food and rest) and water. He restores (cares for and provides for) the nephesh (flesh/soul). He knows exactly what one needs, and when it is needed. He did NOT deliver you only to kill you in the wilderness of life.

Be a bearer of Good News, repeat the good report of Caleb and Joshua. Remind your downtrodden neighbor that he/she can by all means trust in the Promises of God. Reverse the evil words, mockery, and doubts of the faithless. Do not let your flesh get caught up in their disobedience. Use the Sword to lacham (fight) Amalek. Slice him and all other enemies into perfect portions of lechem (bread) with the Sword of Adonai.

David sang Psalm 23 as a prayer; perhaps, it was a reminder for him as much as it is for us. These six short verses have brought countless comfort to worn out souls over the centuries. If you are exhausted and battle weary, remember that Yeshua holds the rod in His Hand. He has no need for anyone to help Him keep it held high. And, He promises that we will prevail. We will overcome BECAUSE He overcame! Keep trusting, believing, and clinging to Him.

Ps. 23:5-6(NASB) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

For more on Amalek, see this post on Esther, Costumes, and Purim.

Also, consider that since it is a leap year this year on the Jewish calendar (2019/5779), the haftarah reading the week of Purim is 1 Samuel 15:2-34, the text I’ve explored above. Haman descends from Amalek.


 

[1]H4805 מְרִיmerı̂y mer-ee’ From H4784; bitterness, that is, (figuratively) rebellion; concretely bitter, or rebellious: – bitter, (most) rebel (-ion, -lious). Total KJV occurrences: 23

H4784 מָרָהmârâh A primitive root; to be (causatively make) bitter (or unpleasant); (figuratively) to rebel (or resist; causatively to provoke): – bitter, change, be disobedient, disobey, grievously, provocation, provoke (-ing), (be) rebel (against, -lious). Total KJV occurrences: 45

[2]H6484 פָּצַרpāṣar: A verb meaning to peck at, to press, to push. It indicates a literal physical push against someone (Gen 19:9); figuratively, it refers to urging someone (Gen 33:11) to do something (Jdg 19:7). In a negative sense, it refers to rebellion against someone, arrogance (1Sa 15:23).

[3]Hebrew Word Study: H2763 חָרַם ḥāram: A verb meaning to destroy, to doom, to devote. This word is most commonly associated with the Israelites destroying the Canaanites upon their entry into the Promised Land (Deu 7:2; Jos 11:20). It indicates complete and utter destruction (Jdg 21:11; 1Sa 15:18); the severe judgment of God (Isa 11:15); the forfeiture of property (Ezr 10:8); being “accursed” or set apart for destruction (Jos 6:18). This latter application, being set apart, accounts for what appears to be a contradictory element in the verb. It is also used to mean devotion or consecration to the Lord (Lev 27:28-29; Mic 4:13). Just as something accursed is set apart for destruction, so something devoted to God is set apart for His use.

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Warring with Amalek Part II

Before digging in, Part I offers the context for this post.

Joshua & Amalek

 “Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.””  Ex. 17:8-9 (NASB)

Have you ever noticed that the battle with Amalek is the first time that the Torah introduces the reader to Joshua (Yehoshua)? This is not a coincidence, for he is a type of Messiah Yeshua.

We meet Yehoshua as a commander of men, a mighty warrior, and a servant of Moses. Once Amalek is defeated in Exodus 17, Adonai has Moses forever memorialize the victory. Carefully consider the literal wording of the text:

Ex. 17:14 (LITV) And Jehovah said to Moses, write this, a memorial in a book, and set it in the ears of Joshuathat I will utterly wipe away the remembrance of Amalek under the heavens.

Adonai promises to utterly blot out the memory of Amalek. This mandate and promise is placed in the EARS of Yehoshua. Ears figure hearing and obeying (Shema –Dt. 4:6), but also those willing to forever become a bond-slave (servant) of YHWH. (Ex. 21:5-6) In the natural, we know that Joshua didn’t complete this mission. But, there is another Yehoshua that will.

Moses tells Joshua to choose men to go and lacham (לָחַם- fight) Amalek. Does that Hebrew word look familiar? It is the verbal root of lechem (לֶחֶם– bread). Moses basically told Joshua to go “eat” or feed on Amalek, and he did![1]

In fact, the text says, “And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people by the mouth of the sword.” (Ex. 17:13 LITV) Joshua’s sword has a mouth that devours or “eats” the enemy. Does this remind you of someone else? Someone with not only a sword with a mouth, but that has a mouth like sword?

Is. 49:1-6 (TLV) 1 Listen, to Me, islands! Pay attention, peoples far away. Adonai called Me from the womb, from My mother’s belly He named Me. 2 He made My mouth like a sharp sword…You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified…” 6 …So I will give You as a light for the nations, that You should be My salvation (Yeshua) to the end of the earth.”

Adonai’s servant, Yeshua, not only has a mouth like a sword, but a staff or rod like Moses to rule:

Rev. 19:15 (TLV) From His mouth comes a sharp sword—so that with it He may strike down the nations—and He shall rule them with an iron rod, and He treads the winepress of the furious wrath of Elohei-Tzva’ot.

He will strike down and devour the disobedient nations. This process, though terrifying, will also result in salvation and restoration. The Amalekites of the world must be blotted from memory. We will explore more examples of how Yeshua does this later.

 The Spies and Amalek

Num. 13:16 (NASB) These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land; but Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua.

At the end of the list of the twelve men chosen to search out the Land, Moses reveals that Yehoshua’s name is actually Hoshea, but Moses called him Yehoshua or YHWH saves.[2]Why does Moses (and Adonai) feel it is necessary for the reader to understand this slight change in name at this point in the narrative? Perhaps, it is because it was in the “ears” of Yehoshua that YHWH proclaimed that He would utterly wipe out the memory of Amalek. It was imperative that Joshua not forget this, as he and the eleven others were about to have their faith tested. Amalek was in the Land.

Num. 13:29 (NASB) “Amalek is living in the land of the Negev and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan.”

Though Caleb tried to encourage the people by saying, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it,” the majority lacked faith in the promise of Elohim.

Num. 13:32 (NASB) So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size.

The word “devours” above is akal. It means to eat or devour. Have you ever felt like your enemy was going to swallow you whole? I have. In times of stress, worry, or battle weariness, my husband often reminds me, “The good news is that they can’t eat us.” How true that is, but sometimes it sure does seem as if “they” can do just that. Do you recall what Moses told Joshua to do to Amalek?

He told him to lacham or fight Amalek. Let Amalek become your lechem or bread. Joshua remembers this. In a last attempt to encourage the people, Joshua and Caleb tell them:

Num. 14:9 (NASB) “Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”

The word for “prey” above is lechem, bread. What does one do with bread? They eat it, of course! It is a reversal of the fear instilled by the evil report of the ten other spies. Are you afraid that a great enemy is going to consume you? Remember the promises of Adonai. Trust in Him to be your Deliverer (Yehoshua), and the very thing you fear will become your sustenance, your bread. Your victory will become part of your testimony, words (bread) of life that will encourage and sustain others.

This is the key to dealing with the Amalek (Esau – flesh ruled nature) in other people. Who is it that promises to war with Amalek from generation to generation? YHWH! Our job is to keep trusting in Adonai, and reverse the evil reports of others. We must look beyond what our natural eyes see. We need spiritual vision and faith, like that of Caleb and Joshua.

The account with the spies is vital to our understanding. This error cost the children of Israel more than any of their other past mistakes. A whole generation lost the opportunity to enter the Land! This is huge. And why did this happen? The people chose to believe the discouraging words of men, rather than the promises of God. Consider the people’s response to the evil report of the spies:

Num. 14:1-4 (NASB) Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness3 “Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”

The people are panicked. But, fear of anything other than Adonai is always a dangerous place. It leads one to the kingdom of Valley Dwellers, where doubt, despair, and unbelief are chief, like Amalek. Once the Children of Israel sink into this low place, their garments reek of the field of Esau. They are prepared to sell their birthright, and even usurp Moses.

Consider what they “lift up” in these verses. It is not the staff of Moses or the serpent on the pole. Instead, they lift their voices in complaint, cries, and fear. Like Esau, they mention death and desire to return Egypt, the house of bondage. This infuriates Adonai so much that He’s ready to smite them all and start over with Moses. Moses and Aaron intercede for the people, and Moses appeals to Adonai’s loving-kindness. Though YHWH pardons the people, they will suffer a grave consequence. They will eat their own words and actually die in the wilderness.

Numbers 14 is a difficult read. It is the proverbial straw that broke the camels’ back as it was the tenth time the Children of Israel tested Adonai’s goodness. When they heard His judgment for their complete lack of faith and trust, they mourned greatly. (Just like Esau did.) The next morning, they set out to obey Adonai’s original edict, but He had already passed the promise to the next generation.

Num. 14:39-40 (NASB) When Moses spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people mourned greatly. 40 In the morning, however, they rose up early and went up to the ridge of the hill country, saying, “Here we are; we have indeed sinned, but we will go up to the place which the LORD has promised.”

Though the people had climbed out of the proverbial valley to the ridge of the hill, they were too late. Amalek must be blotted out. Moses warns them that the Amalekites and Canaanites will overcome them if they make a move without YHWH.

Num. 14:44-45 (NASB) But they went up heedlessly to the ridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses left the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down, and struck them and beat them down as far as Hormah.

The people didn’t regard Moses’ warning. The text says, “they went up heedlessly” to the ridge of the hill country without the Ark of the Covenant or Moses. The Hebrew word is aphal (עפל). It means to swell or lift up. It is to be proud or to be presumptuous.[3]Once again, the people have lifted up something other than Adonai. The only other occurrence of this word is in Habakkuk.

Hab. 2:4 (LITV) Behold, the soul of him is puffed up and is not upright; but the just shall live by his faith.

Sadly, a whole generation lost their position, and received a smack down from the descendants of Esau. Like the battle at Rephidim and the account of the fiery serpents, the people were judged by the thing that ruled their hearts – Esau – the red, hot flesh. This is precisely what was happening in Habakkuk’s day, except the instrument of judgment was Chaldea (Babylon).

The apostle Paul found the words in Habakkuk to be most informative as he quotes this verse three times in his epistles. The context of Habakkuk was not lost on Paul. Habakkuk first questioned God’s allowance of evil and violence among His people, and then shock at God’s choice of punishment – Babylon. YHWH assures Habakkuk that Babylon (Chaldea) will indeed receive a greater judgment in the end, much like Amalek. Even though Habakkuk doesn’t completely understand the wisdom of God, he chooses to trust him anyway. He lives by his faith by trusting in the goodness and salvation of God.

Rom. 1:16-17 (NASB) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Gal. 3:11 (NASB) Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Heb. 10:35-39 (NASB) Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. 38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. 39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

Don’t throw away your confidence in YHWH when Esau, Amalek, or Babylon attacks. They are sent for the destruction of one thing:

Rom. 1:18 (NASB) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…

Yeshua, much like Yehoshua, will swallow, eat up, devour, and consume the Amalek in you, me, and our neighbor. Consider His words to the third assembly (church) in the Book of Revelation, Pergamum. Pergamum comes from a word that means height or elevation, like a tower or stronghold. This is a fortified high place, something lifted up. Questions should be forming in your mind. Is this referring to Adonai, as He is a Strong Tower of Refuge? Is this referring to Yeshua, the one lifted up as an elevation offering on our behalf? Or, is this the elevated pride of man’s heart, the fuel of the enemy? The answer to all three is, yes!

Rev. 2:12-17 (TLV) 12 To the angel of Messiah’s community in Pergamum write: “Thus says the One who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 I know where you live—where satan’s throne is. Yet you continue to hold firm to My name, and you did not deny your faith in Me even in the days of Antipas, My faithful witness, who was killed among you, where satan resides. 14 “But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who was teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before Bnei-Yisrael, to eat food sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality.15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent then! If not, I will come to you soon and make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. To the one who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone—and written on the stone a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”

Yeshua introduces Himself as the One with the sharp two-edged sword, which is the Word of God. Only it can cut between spirit and flesh, joints and marrow, to know the heart of man. (Heb. 4:12) If only we would submit and the let the Word reveal what is in our hearts. Then, we could look at that thing like the serpent on the pole and be healed! (From stinking thinking –flesh ruled thoughts from the Valley of Sheol.)

The assembly of Pergamum lived right where satan’s throne was. Beloved, so do you and I. The faithful manage to hold firm to His Name despite persecution. But, some cling to the teaching of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. Ultimately, these enemies appeal to one’s fleshly desires, the Esau of old. They are often more subtle and cunning, things we justify in order to gratify our desires. Just ask King Saul in Part III.


[1]H3898 לָחַםlâcham law-kham’ A primitive root; to feed on; figuratively to consume; by implication to battle (as destruction): – devour, eat, X ever, fight (-ing), overcome, prevail, (make) war (-ring). Total KJV occurrences: 177

[2]Hoshea and Yehoshua are very similar in spelling and meaning:

הושׁע= Hoshea = salvation, deliverer

יְהוֹשֻׁעַ or יְהוֹשׁוּעַ= Yehoshua = YHWH saves or delivers

Both come from the root yasha:

H3467 ישׁעyâsha‛ BDB Definition: 1) to save, be saved, be delivered. 1a) (Niphal). 1a1) to be liberated, be saved, be delivered. 1a2) to be saved (in battle), be victorious. 1b) (Hiphil). 1b1) to save, deliver. 1b2) to save from moral troubles. 1b3) to give victory to. Part of Speech: verb. A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root

Though the change in name is slight, the emphasis of who it is that does the delivering and saving is obvious. Joshua is simply a vessel. It is Adonai YHWH that is the true Deliverer and Savior. (Is. 43:11) But, the life of Yehoshua still teaches about Him, and that is the point. Even his surname is telling. Yehoshua is the son of Nun from the tribe of Ephraim. (Num. 13:8) Nun means fish or posterity. (Does Yeshua have any associations with “fish” in the Apostolic Scriptures – N.T.?) Nun comes from a root that means to re-sprout or propagate by shoots; which, gives the sense of something continual or perpetual. (H5126)

[3]H6075 עָפַל‛āp̱al: A verb meaning to be proud, to presume. It describes carrying on an act of presumption, arrogance, against the best advice (Num 14:44). It refers to a person who has become too audacious, proud (Hab 2:4).

Categories: Messianic Issues, Torah Portions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Warring with Amalek Part I

The Torah has some interesting commandments concerning Amalek and the Amalekites; such as, “remember what Amalek did to you along the way as you came out from Egypt” and “blot out the memory of Amalek.” Who is Amalek and how does one fulfill these commandments?

Dt. 25:17-19 (TLV) Remember what Amalek did to you along the way as you came out from Egypt— 18 how he happened upon you along the way and attacked those among you in the rear, all the stragglers behind you, when you were tired and weary—he did not fear God. 19 Now when Adonai your God grants you rest from all the enemies surrounding you in the land Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, you are to blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. Do not forget![1] 

This article will explore these questions in both a literal and figurative sense. On the surface, it appears that centuries later King David fulfilled this commandment. In 2 Samuel 8 and 1 Chronicles 18, King David’s exploits of war are enumerated, with Amalek being mentioned along with other nations that he had subdued.

2 Sam. 8:11-12 (TLV) These too King David consecrated to Adonai, along with the silver and gold that he had consecrated from all the nations that he had subdued: 12 from Aram, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah.

1 Chron. 18:11 (TLV) King David dedicated these articles to Adonai, along with the silver and gold that he had taken from all the nations: from Edom and Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines and Amalek.

Yet, Adonai also says this of Amalek in the Torah, “By the hand upon the throne of Adonai, Adonai will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Ex. 17:16) Has HaShem been perpetually warring with the Amalekites? In EVERY generation? I submit to you that the answer is yes.

Amalek was a descendant of Esau and a chief of his people.[2] Thus, if we want to know who Amalek and the Amalekites are, we must first understand who Esau is physically and spiritually. The Book of Bereshit (Genesis) reveals the seed to this story on day 6 with the creation of man and beast. Adam is formed from the adamah or ground (earth). I explain this in the Biblical Role of Women Series. But his (and her – adam is also the word for mankind) name reveals much more.

The word Adam is aleph, followed by dalet and mem, which is the Hebrew word dam, blood. Life is in the blood of mankind (and beasts – day 6 creatures). Blood, the red stuff that sustains man, is also the root of Esau and Edom, the Red One. In this way, all people share in the lineage of Adam and Esau. We, like it or not, are also linked to Amalek. Obviously, this is in the figurative sense, not the physical.

The Root Story

 My readers may tire of how often I bring up the story of Jacob and Esau. But, there are so many branches that spring forth from this root story! We would be negligent if we did not trace them from seed to fruit and vice versa, for the seed is in the fruit producing like kind.

Like Rivka (Rebecca), we each have “two nations,” a Jacob and an Esau that wars in our members.[3] One is born first, the flesh, and is red and hairy like a beast. And like all beasts of the field, it is ruled by instinct, appetites, and desires. But we also have a Jacob, the second born – think of the second Adam and being born again, meaning second in order. This one receives a new name, Israel, one that struggles with Adonai, seeks peace, and dwells in tents of Torah learning.

While there are real outside enemies (people ruled by the Esau nature – which fuels hot tempered demonic activity), our primary battles are internal, a struggle with the callused hands of the hunter, Esau. Greed, lust, thirst, and hunger for the appetites of the flesh, constant fear of death and self-preservation at all costs… these are the traits of Esau. You and I are Esau until we struggle all night with the angel and never walk the same way again. This, however, doesn’t guarantee that Esau, the Red One, Edom, will not continue to try to gain the upper hand the minute we grow weary or desperate. Just ask Amalek.

Consider the physical (fleshly) state of Esau when he sold his birthright to Jacob.

Gen. 25:29-32 (NKJV) Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom. 31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” 32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”

Have you ever been so weary that death didn’t seem so bad after all? Have you ever hyperbolically stated, “I’m starving to death!” I have. I’ve also been weary enough from work, pain, and emotional stress to just keel over and be fine with it. As hard as it is to swallow, this is Esau talking to us. He can reason away or make light of the things that should matter the most to us, especially (consider this carefully) when life’s battles have completely worn us out.[4]

In Torah Portion Beshalach[5] (when he sent), the children of Israel experience the pillars of cloud and fire, miraculously cross the parted Sea of Reeds, watch the Egyptians and Pharaoh drown, sing the triumphal Song of Moses & Miriam, taste bitter waters that have been made sweet, eat heavenly manna, and then say to Moses:

Ex. 17:3 “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”

Can you hear the echo of Esau’s words? YHWH responds by providing water from the Rock. BUT, Moses calls that place by two names: Massah, which means temptation, and Meribah, meaning contention.

Ex. 17:7 (NKJV) So he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

Though the people had witnessed unprecedented miracles, their doubt and consequent complaining caused them to be contentious with YHWH and His servant Moses. This attitude “tempted” the LORD. (Yikes!) The very next verse begins with the conjunction “and,” connecting their cynical question with the LORD’s answer:

Ex. 17:8 (LITV) And Amalek came and fought against Israel in Rephidim.

I don’t want you to miss this association. After becoming thirsty, the children of Israel immediately accused Moses (and YHWH) of delivering them to then only “kill” them with thirst. Though we may laugh, we are fools if we think we are any different. What was their (and our) real problem? Amalek.

According to Brown, Driver, and Briggs’ Hebrew Lexicon (BDB), Amalek means “dweller in a valley,” derived from the Hebrew emek, valley.[6] While there are other etymological possibilities for Amalek,[7] BDB’s assumption is intriguing considering the spiritual state of Israel when they were attacked. They were in a proverbial rut or valley of doubt. Moses, Aaron, and Hur ascend a hill overlooking the people as they battle Amalek. Rephidim, the place of their combat, comes from a word that means the bottom or back of something, like a chair or a place of rest. If the place mark is describing the landscape, they were warring the “valley dwellers” in a literal valley on account of their sunken and hollow faith. Did you catch the irony?

Instead of striking a rock to alieve the thirst of the people, this time Moses had to hold his hand up with the staff in the air for Israel to prevail.

Ex. 17:9-11 (LITV) And Moses said to Joshua, choose men for us, and go fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill, and the staff of God in my hand. 10 and Joshua did as Moses had said to him, to fight against Amalek. And Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was that when Moses lifted his hand, Israel prevailed. And when he rested his hand, Amalek conquered.

Moses was holding the “staff of God.” When it is lifted up, we prevail. If we put it down, Amalek (Esau) conquers. Adonai purposely had this story memorialized. He doesn’t want anyone to forget it. He even reveals a new facet of Himself in this account by the Name Adonai (YHWH) Nissi. (Adonai is my Banner.)

Ex. 17:14-16 (TLV) Adonai said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the hearing of Joshua, for I will utterly blot out the memory of the Amalekites from under heaven.”  15  Then Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Adonai-Nissi.  16  Then he said, “By the hand upon the throne of Adonai, Adonai will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

Nissi comes from the word nes, miracle, but it literally means something lifted up.

John 12:31-32 (NASB) “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.

Who is the ruler of this world? We could give more than one answer, but the most obvious one (in the natural) is beast-like men. It is those ruled by Esau, the red one. Greed and lust for money, power, and the appetites of red flesh rules the world. It is a low place, a deep valley, emek.

John 3:13-15 (NASB) “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

The serpent on the pole was another nes, a miracle – lifted up. The serpent on the pole isn’t that different from Moses’ staff, for even it could turn into a serpent. This account has several similarities to the battle with Amalek. Adonai had the Children go around the land of EDOM (Esau) to avoid a confrontation, but this took longer than people liked, so they became impatient. In reality, they had to spiritually confront Edom after all. Consider the bolded words below. What do they have in common with Esau and the children of Israel in the account with Amalek?

Num. 21:4-5 (NASB) Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey. 5 The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.”

In Hebrew, it says the nephesh (soul/flesh) of the people became impatient. Once that happened, they opened their mouths to speak against God and Moses, mentioning DEATH just like Esau did when he sold his birthright. They also complained of a lack of food and water, and even disparaged the heavenly manna. What was their problem? Fiery Snakes.

I hope you see that just as the Amalekites appeared on the heels of their doubt and dissention at Rephidim, so the serpents appeared here. Spiritually, these enemies ARE a mirror of the spiritual state of the Israelites. The red, hot flesh is what is in need of judgment in each case, and Adonai is quick to bring it. But, praise Adonai, He also brings the remedy. The staff is lifted, the serpent on the staff is lifted. Likewise, Yeshua is lifted up to bring healing and life to the guilty.

Balaam gives an oracle about Amalek:

Num. 24:20 (LITV) And he looked upon Amalek, and took up his parable and said, Amalek was the first of the nations, but his latter end is to destruction forever.

This is a mashal, a parable. Who is Amalek? Who is the “first” of the nations, proverbially speaking? Not Israel (Jacob). It’s Esau, the firstborn. Rivkah had two nations in her womb, remember? One day, we will no longer contend with the Esau within or without. Adonai says:

Dt. 25:17-18 (LITV) Remember what Amalek did to you by the way as you came forth out of Egypt;  18  how he met you on the way and attacked your back, all the feeble ones in the rear, when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God.

Amalek comes when one is weak, feeble, tired, exhausted, weary, hungry, and thirsty. This is the state that Esau was in when he sold his birthright. He whispers words of dissent and rebellion in your ear. These words please tired souls, enraging them with questions of “fairness” and “justice” and “desire.” These lies encourage jealousy, division, dissension, and justify every compliant of the flesh.

Beloved, if you’ve grown weary, if you feel that Adonai isn’t acting fast enough on your behalf, if you have grown jealous toward your neighbor because Adonai seems to have given them the thing or position you desire for yourself, if you just feel like giving up, if the journey has become too hot, dry, and difficult, if you have grown impatient, if Esau has been whispering all your neighbor’s faults in your ear, if the words fairness, justice, or “I deserve,” taunts you and tempts you to have contempt toward Adonai or your neighbor, if you suffer discontentment…

Then, you are at war with Amalek. He is at your back – where you aren’t looking. Run and get out of the valley. Repent, even though the flesh is weak. When you finally turn and see the real Amalek, he will not be your neighbor or the person or thing that you believe is distressing you. Instead, he will look an awful lot like the man or the woman in the mirror. It will sting like fire.

The miracle of Moses’ raised staff and the serpent on the pole is this: Those fleshy lies will be defeated. The memory of Amalek will be no more. Adonai has already given us the remedy. Look at why Yeshua was lifted up on the tree – it was on account of your fiery serpent, the Amalek and Esau of old. In order to gain your life, you must first lose it. (Mt. 10:34-39)

But, what if your warring with the Amalek (Valley Dweller) in someone else? More in Part II.

 


[1]Torah Portion Ki Tetze (when you go forth) Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19

[2]Gen. 36:12 (NASB) Timna was a concubine of Esau’s son Eliphaz and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz. These are the sons of Esau’s wife Adah.

Gen 36:15-16 (NASB) These are the chiefs of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz, the firstborn of Esau, are chief Teman, chief Omar, chief Zepho, chief Kenaz,  16  chief Korah, chief Gatam, chief Amalek. These are the chiefs descended from Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Adah.

[3]It’s not a coincidence that Isaac is sixty years old when the twins are born. The Torah is pointing us to the seed of day six with the creation of man and beast. The beast is born first, and like all firstborns, he is need of redemption.

Gen 25:26 (TLV) Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding onto Esau’s heel—so he was named Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when he fathered them.

[4]A reread of the Book of Job might be in order. He teaches one about this very real battle within and without.

[5]Exodus 13:17–17:16

[6]H6002 עמלק ‛ămâlêq BDB Definition: Amalek = “dweller in a valley” 1) son of Eliphaz by his concubine Timnah, grandson of Esau, and progenitor of a tribe of people in southern Canaan. 2) descendants of Amalek Part of Speech: noun proper masculine.

H6010 (Brown-Driver-Briggs) עמק ‛êmeq BDB Definition: 1) valley, vale, lowland, open country. Part of Speech: noun masculine. A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H6009

[7]For example see: https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Parashah/Summaries/Tetzaveh/Amalek/amalek.html

Categories: Messianic Issues, Torah Portions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Moonthly Cycle

For the past five years, I’ve been very intentional about celebrating the new moon. One result was publishing my first book, The Biblical New Moon: A Guide for Celebrating in 2016. Another unexpected outcome was discovering patterns within the monthly cycle. I’ll get to that in moment, but first, I’ll give you a comparison.

Most of my readers have been following the weekly Torah portions through multiple years. Those first several years garner more questions than answers as one’s heart adjusts to the Creator’s paradigm. But, as the years pass by, the Words of the Torah become more and more familiar, a comfort to the soul rather than a contention. Those questions from the early years have long been satisfied by the Words of Life.

Each year, the Spirit highlights certain words, phrases, or sections in the portions as He leads one through the wilderness. It’s always the perfect instruction in due time. I often say that as I follow the Torah portions, they also follow me. It’s like the water giving Rock that followed the children of Israel in the desert. I can see the themes from the portions playing out in my life, testing and encouraging me each week. I can’t imagine walking through life without their guidance, as they are my daily bread, just as sure as Yeshua is the embodiment of the same.

I have had a similar experience on the larger cycle of the months. Much like the Torah portions, they each have a personality (so to speak) that thematically links to real life. And, just as the Ruach HaKodesh highlights certain words, phrases, and sections new every year in the weekly Torah portion, He does the same for the months. The first few years I didn’t notice these patterns because all the information was fresh and new. I had more questions than answers as I attuned myself to this greater cycle through practice.

In the fourth year of being intentional, something shifted, just as it did when I first committed to the Torah cycle. If you’ve read my book (linked above), then you know that I included a great deal of Jewish tradition.[1]For example, I used their assignments of the twelve tribes of Israel for each month, and I included the twelve constellations (mazel) that fall in the ecliptic with the sun and moon each month.[2]There are generally four Torah portions within the months, giving even more layers that make up the personality or theme for the month. Moreover, many months have Biblical and/or traditional feast or fast days. All of these things and more are quite fascinating to meditate upon, and will lead to more understanding.

I think of it as zooming out from the weekly cycle to get a fresh perspective. On an even larger scale, one could zoom out to the yearly festivals, then to the seven-year cycle (Shemittah), and even further to the Yovel (Jubilee) cycle. Wheels within wheels all powered by the Spirit of God. All these cycles are constantly moving around you, your family, your assembly, and the greater Body. And, all these cycles have an order. They are NOT random or arbitrary, they are part of what Adonai has revealed to His people. But, we must choose to either move with them, swim against their current (which gets you nowhere), or ignore them altogether. (Ignorance is not bliss in this case; the cycles are there and working in our lives regardless of whether we choose to follow Him or not.)

Dt. 29:29 (NASB) “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

I had the privilege of reading Barry Miller’s book, Know the Time Change Your World: The Reappearance of the Seven- and Fifty-Year Biblical Cycles, during these intentional years of celebrating the new moon. His book is very helpful at explaining how the rhythms of these cycles affect not only our spiritual lives, but also our tangible lives in the market, workplace, and finances. After all, Adonai is concerned about the whole person, mind, body, and soul.

If you’ve been keeping the yearly feasts of Adonai for some time, you’ve probably noticed that things (good and bad) cycle around and around in the seasons. This is because judgment begins in the House of God. Feast days (including the weekly Sabbaths and new moons) are not just times of celebration. They are tests! We will be examined at the appointed times. As such, there are certain themes related to specific times. Perhaps you’ve already noticed this phenomenon on social media.

Every year, after the fall feasts, the identity of the Messiah is questioned, challenged, debated, and reimagined. Whether He is divine or not, Messiah or not, becomes explosive social media fare, destroying our witness regardless of how we view Him. Meanwhile, winter, Chanukah, and Purim are approaching. People in general begin to grow weary about their own identity. They question their purpose and struggle with foundational issues in life and in Bible study. Those that minister to others, really notice these patterns. It’s not chance.

Consider that after Sukkot, it is the “turn of the year.” It’s a type of new beginning. What’s at every beginning? A foundation must be built– whether physical or spiritual. If one has a shaky foundation, there is usually a great identity crisis. If one’s foundation was damaged in the previous year, they too, will struggle with a rebuild. What many consider “basic” or “foundational” issues will be challenged in this season. The Hebrew month’s that span this time frame are Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, and Adar.

Also consider the traditional winter festivals of Chanukah and Purim. They are all about the Jewish people fighting for their right to exist! Foreigners seek to wipe them off the map or conform them into an image of their making. The basic, foundational rights bestowed upon Israel by the Creator are being challenged. Is it a surprise that Messiah is challenged around this season? Or, that individuals search and struggle with who they are? I don’t believe so, because it’s part of the cycle. Sin and rebellion will exacerbate these issues.

That’s one example, I have many. I’ve been journaling about the monthly cycle for a while. I’ve written about my own struggles, and those that others have revealed to me at these seasons. I’ve also tried to pay attention to social media debates (in the Torah keeping world) and the months and seasons in which they occur. I have a dear friend that has given me more insight, and I hope to continue to collaborate with her. We hope to produce something more formal in the future.

Why would something like this be valuable? Testing and trials will not vanish, of course. They are part of our refinement. However, it would be encouraging to know that you are not alone, and that Adonai has good purposes and intentions towards us. It will also be a great resource for prayer! Many claim to be a watchman. A watchman can see what’s coming, sound the alarm, and prepare the army. If you are aware that certain issues in the natural or spiritual will be challenged or tested, then you know how to pray. You know how to stand. Your faith is built up to overcome. I believe the cycles of the Creator reveal these things to His people, so they can do just that: observe all His instruction. And, do so with a different heart, like Caleb, trusting that though there be giants, fortified cities, and Amalekites, we can overcome!

Num. 13:30 (NASB) Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.”

For now, I have a request for my readers. That is actually the point of this post! I wonder who would be willing to journal alongside me? I’d really like as much feedback as possible. I don’t need you to write a book, just notes about each month. What did you battle with? How did this compare to the weekly Torah portions that month? To the traditions from the Sages? To the feasts or fasts? What “blew-up” on social media? What did people need prayer for? What other patterns did you notice? To streamline what I’m looking for, I’ve devised the following chart. Feel free to print it out to use as journal pages or use it to create your own template.

Moonthly Cycle Chart

New Moon Main Menu

 


[1]If you are anti-Jewish, anti-tradition, or fear things that are mystical, you need read no further. I believe in balance and using good Bible hermeneutics. However, I also believe the Sages and Jewish sources are valuable and have great wisdom.

[2]This NOT astrology. It has nothing to do with divination or deciding one’s fortune. That’s the perversion. Pagans didn’t put the stars in the heavens, HaShem did. The luminaries declare the glory of Elohim, which is the Good News. (Ps. 19) They also govern His moedim, His calendar, His appointments, and give Light to the earth as a testament to His authority over all the earth. (Gen. 1:14-19)

Categories: Messianic Issues, Moedim, new moon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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