Posts Tagged With: passover

The Mark of the Beast Part I

The Mark of the Beast Part I

There is a lot of chatter about receiving the mark of the beast during the current pandemic. Is it a vaccine, an under the skin microchip, or a tattoo? Speculations about this “mark” have been juicy fodder for apocalyptic literature, whether fiction or nonfiction, for decades, and even centuries. Fear about receiving this damnable mark bolsters countless conspiracies and an endless supply of consumers eager to swallow them. Fear is a very powerful motivator. But, one that serves the Most High is to fear Him alone. Not man. Not circumstances. And, certainly not the mark of the beast.

While one can find numerous books, articles, websites, and YouTube videos about the mark of the beast, little is available about the sign or mark of Adonai. There is such a disparity, that many Believers aren’t even aware that the LORD also gives a sign upon one’s hand and forehead. So, there are millions that focus solely on the counterfeit, having no experience with the real, authentic sign. No wonder there is such confusion! That is the intent of the beast system, spiritual Babylon.

Thus, if one wants to understand the mark of the beast, one must first understand the positive side of the contranym, which is the sign or mark of Adonai. This is a lengthy article, because it contains extensive Biblical quotes. And yet, this mini-series will only scratch the surface of this ancient dichotomy. The enemy is not creative, though he is crafty and cunning. He can only imitate and pervert God’s genuine Word and creation. With that in mind, let’s read about Adonai’s sign upon one’s hand and forehead.

The Passover is a Sign

Ex. 13:4-10 (NASB) On this day in the month of Abib, you are about to go forth.  5  It shall be when the LORD brings you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall observe this rite in this month.  6  For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD.  7  Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders.  8  You shall tell your son on that day, saying, “It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.”  9  And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt.  10  Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.

The sign upon one’s hand and forehead is repeated further down in Exodus 13. The context is still Pesach and Unleavened Bread, but the emphasis in verse 16 is the redemption of the firstborn. In both cases, obedience to celebrating, commemorating, and telling the next generation about YHWH’s mighty works in delivering Israel from the slavery and bondage of Egypt, and His preservation of Israel’s firstborns serves as a SIGN upon one’s hand.

Ex. 13:11-16 (NKJV) And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you,  12  that you shall set apart to the LORD all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the LORD’s.  13  But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.  14  So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, “What is this?” that you shall say to him, “By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  15  And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.”  16  It shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.

 

Defining Hand & Sign

What does the hand signify in Hebraic thought? One acts, performs, or works with their hands. It is a symbol of “doing” something or having the strength to do or act; thus, it can be translated as power. (Dt 32:36, Pr. 18:21, Hos. 13:14, etc.) One’s hand denotes strength to obey, whether that obedience is toward righteousness or wickedness. Whatever one gives their hand to is what (or who) they serve. (Rom. 6:16)

The “sign” in these passages is אות in Hebrew. Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (BDB) defines it as:

H226 BDB Definition: 1) sign, signal. 1a) a distinguishing mark. 1b) banner. 1c) remembrance. 1d) miraculous sign. 1e) omen. 1f) warning. 2) token, ensign, standard, miracle, proof. Part of Speech: noun feminine. A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: probably from H225 (in the sense of appearing)

The following verses are samples of how the word oht or sign is used in Scripture:

Gen. 1:14 (NASB) Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years…

Gen. 4:15 (NASB) So the LORD said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.

Gen. 9:12-13 (NASB) God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; 13 I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.”

Gen. 17:10-11 (NASB) “This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.  11  And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.”

Ex. 12:11-13 (NASB) “Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the LORD’S Passover. 12 For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the LORD. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

Dt. 28:45-48 (NASB) So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the LORD your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.

Ps. 78:41-43 (NASB) Again and again they tempted God, and pained the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power, the day when He redeemed them from the adversary, 43 when He performed His signs in Egypt And His marvels in the field of Zoan…

Is. 7:14 (NASB) Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Aleph

An oht or sign is physical symbol of something figurative or spiritual. For example, oht is also the Hebrew word for a single “letter” or character, such as aleph. Thus, even the Hebrew letters can contain signs and meaning beyond the physical. In the case of covenants, the sign is a physical mark such as circumcision or a heavenly appearance of something like the rainbow. Keeping Passover is physical sign upon one’s hand, not as something seen with the eyes, but something physically performed with one’s hand. Observing this moed serves as the sign on the hand. It is both physical and spiritual. In other uses, a sign is the physical miracles and/or judgments of Adonai. Again, these signs are both physical and spiritual.

Defining Forehead or Frontlets Between Your Eyes

What do the phrases “reminder on your forehead” and “frontlets between your eyes” from Exodus 13 mean? In the first case, the Hebrew word for reminder is zikron. Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (BDB) defines it as:

H2146 זכרון zikrôn BDB Definition: 1) memorial, reminder, remembrance. Part of Speech: noun masculine. A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H2142

Zikron comes from the Hebrew root zakar, which Strong’s Definitions defines as:

Strong’s: H2142 זָכַר zâkar A primitive root; properly to mark (so as to be recognized), that is, to remember; by implication to mention; also (as denominative from H2145) to be male: –  X burn [incense], X earnestly, be male, (make) mention (of), be mindful, recount, record (-er), remember, make to be remembered, bring (call, come, keep, put) to (in) remembrance, X still, think on, X well. Total KJV occurrences: 231

The word for forehead in the NASB translation is literally “between your eyes” in the Hebrew of Exodus 13:9. Observing and telling one’s children about the Passover and exodus from Egypt wrought by the Mighty Hand of Adonai is to be a memorial, a mark, and a reminder, between one’s eyes. This phrase and the following one in verse 16, imply undivided attention, thought, intent, and action. The Passover should be right at the forefront of one’s mind, right before one’s “eyes.”

The similar phrase in Exodus 13:16, “frontlets between your eyes,” reveals the same message, but gives one even more information. BDB defines frontlets as:

H2903 טופפה ṭôphâphâh BDB Definition: 1) bands, phylacteries, frontlets, marks. Part of Speech: noun feminine. A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from an unused root meaning to go around or bind.

This word gives physicality to intangible thought being a mark. The Passover memorial is like a band wrapped around one’s head. Just as Pesach cycles around and around on Adonai’s calendar, it is to circle and cycle through one’s thoughts and mind. One should NEVER forget that: “with a powerful hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt. Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.” This reminder is a standing testimony of the God of Israel.

 

The Word and Commandments of God are a Sign on One’s Hand and Forehead

Dt. 6:4-9 (NASB) Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Dt. 11:18 (NASB) You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

By reading the entirety of the chapter 6 above, along with chapters 7- 11 of Deuteronomy, one is given clear context of what it means to have the word of Adonai bound to one’s forehead and hand. The flank chapters (6 and 11) declare the exodus from Egypt as the archetype of deliverance and following after the One True God. In fact, if one substitutes the Land of Promise with the New Jerusalem, an even clearer picture emerges, for they are one.

If the Word is bound to one’s forehead, then one’s thoughts and mind are continually immersed and washed by the Words of Life. If the Word of God is bound to one’s hand, then their deeds (fruit) will follow the commandments and they will teach their children to follow suit, because it is understood that God’s Word and His commandments lead to life. They embody true love and wisdom, and engender reverence to the Holy One of Israel.

Both Deuteronomy passages above have the phrase “frontlets between your eyes.” Frontlets is the same Hebrew word explored from Exodus 13:16. It is tofafa. These verses are included in the Scripture passages that are placed inside the tefillin or phylactery boxes wore by religious Jews. Donning Tefillin (Totafot) or Phylacteries is the Jewish physical expression of the binding meaning of tafafa. It serves as a physical reminder of a spiritual reality.

While the topic of wearing tefillin during prayer is far too immense to cover in this article, I recommend this summary written by Alexander Cowen. A study of the history and intricacies of this tradition, the inner compartments, the included Scripture, and the design of the boxes with the three and four pronged shin can be found in The Creation Gospel Workbook 6: Hebrew Prayer and Worship Traditions by Dr. Hollisa Alewine. She states on page 237:

The Talmud indicates in Megillah 24b that by the time of its writing, it was primarily Jewish believers in Yeshua who wore the round phylacteries or decorated them with precious metals, and they wore them “without scruple.” (Bagatti, 1984, p.101)

Wearing phylacteries as a physical sign of the commandments and commemoration of the Passover was practiced among early believers in Yeshua. Though this custom is foreign to most modern Christians, it would have been common among John’s day when he wrote the Book of Revelation. A sign upon one’s hand and forehead held significant meaning that was not lost on his original audience. But before delving into his mystical book, we will examine a few more references of a godly sign in the Bible. The more context one has of the genuine sign or mark of Adonai, the better understanding one will have of what the counterfeit actually represents.

 

Weekly Sabbaths and Festival Sabbaths are a Sign

Ex. 31:12-17 (NASB) The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.  14 Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.  16  So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”

In the above sense, Sabbath is a sign between Adonai and His children. It is like a wedding ring, signifying one that is in covenant with Him. Why the Sabbath? In Genesis chapter one, the Sabbath declares Him the Creator of all things. When one rests in Him by setting the seventh day apart as holy, this is a physical and temporal acknowledgment that He is the King and Creator of the Universe. In this way, it also sets one apart from those that refuse to recognize Him as their true rest and King. One must choose to don this “ring” or symbol of covenant.

Being in covenant with Adonai is often portrayed by the analogy of marriage in the Bible, and in Jewish and Christian tradition. For example, when donning the phylacteries, many Jews recite the following from Hosea.

Hos. 2:19-20 (NASB) “I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, 20 and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD.”

In Jewish wedding ceremonies, the bride encircles the groom three times (in some traditions it is seven), to symbolize a wall of protection and the creating of a new creation: the two becoming one flesh. The three “betroths” mentioned above in Hosea are mirrored as she encompasses her man. (Jer. 31:22) Likewise, those that encircle the groom seven times, reflect the seven days of creation culminating with the Shabbat, the sign between Adonai and His people.

Ezekiel also recalls the exodus from Egypt and the Sabbaths as a sign between Adonai and His people. Within his prophetic book, he mentions a mark placed upon the foreheads of those who sigh and moan over the abominations committed in Jerusalem. They are preserved from Adonai’s judgment that will start with His sanctuary.

Ezek. 20:10-12 (NASB) “So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live. 12 Also I gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.”

Ezek. 9:4 (NASB) The LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.”

Like Shabbat, the Passover (and other moedim) declare the wondrous works of Adonai. They proclaim the good news: freedom for the captives. By rehearsing and commemorating His works again and again, one gets to know God as Creator, Redeemer, Deliverer, Savior, Sanctifier, Miracle Worker, Law-giver, Compassionate Father, Righteous Judge, Forgiver of Sins, Husband, and Immanuel. He is the first and the last, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning and the End, the Amen.

As one follows His divine cycles, the cycles encircle them with His water and fire, an immersion that cleans, purifies, guides, teaches, corrects, and leads. Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly this process of growth and sanctification continues. In this way, the Word is engraved upon the heart, which directs one’s feet in the Way of Life. Yeshua modelled this perfectly in His earthly ministry. If we follow Him, we will follow the same path that He walked (walks).

This is a sign upon one’s hand and one’s forehead that we are His. It reminds of us of who we are and to Whom we belong, like a wedding ring. But, it also is a sign to those outside of the covenant as well. Though they can’t see a physical or literal mark upon one’s hand and forehead, they can see that you are different. They will see the “sign” and know that you belong to God of Israel. What does that wedding ring look like?

Your calendar is not like their calendar. The oht you observe are not the oht they observe. Your celebrations and commemorations are not like their holidays. Your weekly life revolves around the holy Shabbat, not the constant 24/7 striving that the world enslaves the masses to. Your daily focus isn’t on the acquisition of worldly goods and wealth, but on the Kingdom of God. You don’t fear what they fear. You fear Adonai. You enter into rest, the antithesis to the beast system, which will be explored later in this series.

Continued in Part II.

 

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Pesach Sheni

Tonight is Pesach Sheni or the Passover in the second month. A small group of locals are gathering for a Seder and prayer time since we were isolated by “stay at home” orders this year during Passover. Rather than elucidate on the details of Pesach Sheni, I have some suggested homework or extra reading for you this Shabbat. Consider the following passages:

Ex 12:1-28

Dt 16:1-8

Num 9:1-14

Hezekiah’s Passover

Hezekiah cleansed the Temple and restored proper worship. He reinstated Passover; they celebrated in the second month. 

2 Ki 18-20

2 Ch 29-32

A few years ago, I wrote about Hezekiah’s Passover. It was celebrated in the SECOND month.

Josiah’s Passover

Josiah was the grandson of King Hezekiah.  Josiah’s heart was to seek and serve Adonai. He made many reforms that cleansed the land of idol worship. After this “cleansing,” he reinstated Passover. 

2 Ki 23:1-30 

2 Ch 34:1-33

2 Ch 35:1-19 

Above all, I ask you to pray for heart like Hezekiah and Josiah in regard to repentance, tearing down high places and idols, and for mercy for those that seek to return to Adonai. May we remember that Adonai is the, “LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

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The Bread of Affliction

This is the bread of affliction 
that our fathers ate in the land
of Egypt. Whoever is hungry, let 
him come and eat! Whoever is 
needy, let him come and celebrate 
Passover! Now, we are here; next
year may we be in Jerusalem! 
Now, we are slaves; next year may
we be free men! (The HaLachmah Anya - the invitation to eat-
in the Passover Haggadah)

 

This article is based on a quick message at our local new moon gathering. You can listen here: New Moon Meeting Nisan 2019

Adonai calls matzah the bread of affliction. He requires His people to eat it for seven days every year to recall the hasty exodus from Egypt, and His mighty judgments that wrought Israel’s freedom. Messiah compared His body to this bread, and also told His followers to partake and remember. (Mt. 26:26) Why does Adonai want us to celebrate by eating bread that reminds us of affliction? Why is this “bread” at the heart of the Passover Seder and the following seven days of unleavened bread?

Dt. 16:3 (NASB) You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt.

 Affliction is the Hebrew word oni from the root anah:

H6040 (Brown-Driver-Briggs) עני ‛ŏnı̂y: 1) affliction, poverty, misery 1a) affliction 1b) poverty Part of Speech: noun masculine. A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H6031

Hebrew Word Study H6031 עָנָה ‛ānāh: A verb indicating to be afflicted, to be oppressed, to be humbled. It refers to being oppressed, in a state of oppression. It means to bow down, to humble oneself, to be humbled (Exo 10:3; Isa 58:10). In some senses of the verb, it means to inflict oppression, to subdue, to humble someone: of Israel’s oppression in Egypt (Gen 15:13; Exo 1:11-12); to deal with persons harshly, to oppress them (Gen 16:6); to humble a woman (Deu 21:14); to afflict, humble oneself (Gen 16:9; Lev 16:29; Psa 132:1). It is used of raping a woman (Gen 34:2). It is possible to humble oneself, to afflict oneself by fasting (Ezr 8:21; Dan 10:12). The psalmist was often disciplined by affliction from God (Psa 119:71); the Suffering Servant of Isaiah was afflicted by the Lord (Isa 53:4).

Oni or Affliction

The first mention of oni is in Genesis. Consider the context of the following account:

Gen. 16:4-11 He (Abram) went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight.  5  And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the LORD judge between you and me.”  6  But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence.  7  Now the angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.  8  He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”  9  Then the angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.”  10  Moreover, the angel of the LORD said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.”  11  The angel of the LORD said to her further, “Behold, you are with child, And you will bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.

The second mention is also in Genesis:

Gen. 29:31-32 Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.  32  Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.”

In each of these cases, two women are struggling with one another. One man (husband) is involved, and he favors one woman or wife. Each woman has an “affliction” or hardship that she suffers in this life. One, though loved by the man, is childless and barren. The other woman is either unloved or a mere handmaiden given to the man as a surrogate. Adonai gives the handmaid and the unloved wife a child. Both boys are named for Adonai recognizing their “affliction.” Ishmael (Shema – el) means “God hears,” and Rueben (Ra’ah Ben) means “see a son.” YHWH hears and sees affliction and gives new life, as a result. 

But the other women, the beloved wives, are not left to wallow in despair and remain childless. They, too, eventually have sons, but not right away. Adonai required them to wait on Him and His timing. Their progeny includes the promised (covenant) son, Isaac (laughter), and Joseph (gather, add, increase) – both types for Messiah.

The third mention involves children as well, but notice the twist:

Gen. 31:42-43 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night.  43  Then Laban replied to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these my daughters or to their children whom they have borne?

Much like Pharaoh, Laban presumes to “own” all that is Israel’s or Jacob’s, including the new life, which is the children and the flocks. Jacob understood that all his toil and labor and changed wages was an oni, or affliction under the rule of Laban. He also recognized, like Hagar and Leah above, that Adonai saw his affliction and acted on his behalf.

The fourth mention:

Gen. 41:51-52 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”  52  He named the second Ephraim, “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

Joseph understood Egypt to be the “land of affliction.” Though at the time of the birth of his sons he enjoyed the lofty rank of second in all the land of Egypt and served under a Pharaoh that loved him, Egypt wasn’t home. Being the right hand of the king paled in comparison to being with his family. And yet, that’s where he suffered trouble. His brothers sold him. He was mocked, disliked, and ultimately betrayed by his own flesh and blood. Egypt, for Joseph, began with servitude and then imprisonment. Adonai saw Joseph’s affliction and made him fruitful in a foreign place.

Do you see a theme emerging? 

The first four mentions of oni (affliction) are connected to children (fruit), usually their physical birth. Affliction is supposed to have a favorable result – a very favorable outcome – such as children, which are NEW LIFE. We call child birth a delivery. Birth pangs, contractions, sweat, and toil, will accompany new life. The deeper, spiritual message is: deliverance will require the same types of affliction.

The Hebrew root of oni is anah (defined above). Take a look at its first mention:

Gen. 15:13 (NKJV) Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.

When terror and great darkness fell upon Abram during the cutting of the Covenant of Pieces, he had just been told that he would indeed have an heir that would come forth from his own body – despite Sarai’s barrenness. But, his descendants would certainly be strangers in a land that wasn’t theirs for four hundred years. They would serve this people and suffer affliction at their hand. Can you imagine? Hopefully, we can. This is the pattern for the children of Abraham. Affliction, but also:

Gen. 15:14 “But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions.

And afterward… This is a phrase we need to remember. Afflictions, trials, and tribulations WILL come. (John 16:33) But that’s not where Adonai wants us to focus. We will eat the bread of affliction just as surely as Messiah is the matzah. We eat it, because it is the staff of life, our sustenance. Though it may be bitter to the stomach (flesh), it is sweet on the tongue of the righteous. (Ezek. 3:1-4, Rev. 10:8-11) Consider Jeremiah:

Jer. 15:15-16 You who know, O LORD, Remember me, take notice of me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; Know that for Your sake I endure reproach.  16  Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.

Jeremiah was afflicted by multiple enemies within Israel and without. But he knew that he had to eat the bread, the word of Adonai. And afterward, it “became” a joy and the delight of his heart. All pain, all affliction, is birth pain. It is meant to result in JOY, just like the birth of child. Paul knew this truth very well.

Rom. 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;  4  and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  5  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

2 Cor. 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  17  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,  18  while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Eating the matzah, the bread of affliction, isn’t a punishment. It teaches the children of Abraham the Way of New Life, Birth. It teaches what comes “and afterward.” As you go through the Seder each year, the matzah is transformed, just as you are spiritually. It ceases to be the bread of affliction; and instead, becomes the bread of faith, hope, renewal, transformation, and new life.

The third step of the seder is eating Karpas dipped in salt water. It is a reminder of the tears and sweat of bondage. The fourth step is Yachatz, the breaking of the middle matzah. The reminder of affliction and the necessary breaking comes before the fifth step, which is the telling or maggid (testimony). Read that again – consider the process.

The order or seder IS our order; it shows the way. We are afflicted and broken. Messiah was afflicted and broken for us. This is the pattern to reach “and afterward” – our testimony and joy. Look at the fifth step, the telling/testimony again:

After the matzah is broken, the larger piece becomes the hidden Afikomen, and the remaining piece is held up high. (Both picture Messiah) Then, a grand invitation is announced to the whole world – this is the beginning of the telling, the testimony:

This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat! Whoever is needy, let him come and celebrate Passover! Now, we are here; next year may we be in Jerusalem! Now, we are slaves; next year may we be free men! (The HaLachmah Anya – the invitation to eat- in the Passover Haggadah)

The next time you are afflicted, remember:

Ex. 3:7-8 The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.  8  “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.

Adonai sees your affliction. He is aware of your suffering. He has “come down” to deliver you. He will “bring you up” to the Land that flows with milk and honey.

 

Chag Sameach Pesach!

 

More on Passover

Rosh Chodesh Nisan 5779 (2019)

The Four Cups of Passover

Hezekiah’s Passover


More Verses on Affliction

Do you see the theme?

Exo 3:17 (NASB)  “So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”‘

Exo 4:31 (NASB)  So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped.

1Sa 1:9-11 (NASB)  Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.  10  She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly.  11  She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”

Job 36:15 (NASB)  “He delivers the afflicted in their affliction, And opens their ear in time of oppression.

Psa 9:11-15 (NASB)  Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds.  12  For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.  13  Be gracious to me, O LORD; See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death,  14  That I may tell of all Your praises, That in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation.  15  The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.

Psa 22:24 (NASB)  For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.

Psa 25:16-18 (NASB)  Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted.  17  The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses.  18  Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins.

Psa 31:7 (NASB)  I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, Because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul…

Psa 119:50-51 (NASB)  This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me.  51  The arrogant utterly deride me, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.

Psa 119:92-94 (NASB)  If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction.  93  I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me.  94  I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts.

Psa 119:153-154 (NASB)  Resh. Look upon my affliction and rescue me, For I do not forget Your law.  154  Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your word.

Psa 132:1 (NASB)  A Song of Ascents. Remember, O LORD, on David’s behalf, All his affliction

Isa 48:10 (NASB)  “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

 

 

 

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Rosh Chodesh Nisan 5779 (2019)

Blessing the First Month of Aviv

May it be thy will, Adonai our God and God of our forefathers, to renew for us Aviv for good and for blessing. Grant us long life, a life of peace, a life of goodness, a life of blessing, a life in which we earn a livelihood, a life of physical vigor, a life that reflects reverence for God and dread of sin, a life that is free from shame and disgrace, a life of wealth and honor, a life in which a love of Torah and an awe of Heaven shall be within us, a life in which the desires of our heart shall be fulfilled for good. Amen.

He Who performed miracles for our forefathers, and redeemed them from slavery to freedom, may He soon redeem us and gather our dispersed from the four corners of the earth, for all Israel is united in fellowship, and let us say, Amen.

Video

Learn about new birth, faith, speech, and the humble matzah cracker:

Audio Only version failed to record.

Chodesh Nisan Video Notes 2019

 

Mentions in the Video

Taste Your Words

A summary of Dr. Alewine’s Torah teaching mentioned in the video can be found here.

Passover Articles of Interest

The Four Cups of Passover

Hezekiah’s Passover

Moedim

 

Categories: Moedim, new moon | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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