Posts Tagged ‘Sabbath’

Psalm 119:57-64 (Chet)

Psalm 119 is about loving God’s Torah, His statutes, commands and precepts.  It is broken up into sections with strange looking words or letters which are the Hebrew alphabet.  In the Hebrew Scriptures, each line of each section starts with a word beginning with this letter.  This is called an acrostic poem.    Each Hebrew letter also has a  word picture associated with it giving greater meaning and symbolism to each line of the specific letter-ed section.

Word Picture - Fence

ח Chet – Fence, Inner Room

To separate, to protect, to cut off from

“Adonai, I say that my task is to observe your words. I beg your favor with my whole heart; show pity to me, in keeping with your promise. I thought about my ways and turned my feet toward your instruction. I hurry, I don’t delay, to observe your mitzvot. Even when the cords of the wicked close around me, I don’t forget your Torah. At midnight I rise to give you thanks because of your righteous rulings. I am a friend of all who fear you, of those who observe your precepts. The earth, Adonai, is full of your grace; teach me your laws.”

A fence is something put up for protection whether it’s flowers or chickens.  Within the fence boundary is the ‘inner room’ where the flowers bloom and the chickens are safe. Flowers are cut off from predators that would eat them and chickens are safe inside the confines of their yard.

There is saying about Sabbath:  “It’s not that the Jews keep the Sabbath as the Sabbath has kept them.”  This is symbolic of a fence.  With this one Torah command God has set the Jewish people apart them as His chosen people and His light to the nations.  Within the ‘inner room’ of the Sabbath fence, the Jewish people have bloomed and been protected as a people for over 4000 years even when great persecution and anti-semitism tried to annihilate them.

There is another ‘fence’ in Judaism that is put ‘around the Torah.’  This is the symbolic  desire to protect the Torah and the instructions found therein no matter what the cost.  If the Jewish people who were given God’s teachings and instructions had not ‘fenced’ in the Torah, we would not have the Word of God today.  They were meticulous about writing each manuscript perfectly.  If one small error was found in a ‘jot or tittle’ the manuscript was thrown away. Even more, in order for us to have the Scriptures today, the priests (those especially in Qumran who set themselves apart from Roman infiltration) willingly guarded and protected the Word of God by either putting them in clay jars and hiding them in caves or with their very lives, dying to protect its integrity.

The ‘inner room’ of our lives is our heart.  The only way to have real wisdom in our inner room, our heart, is to cut ourselves off from the wickedness that closes in on us everyday with the ‘fence’  of God’s teachings and instructions.  David desired God’s favor in his heart.  Consider that ‘at midnight’ he rose to give God thanks because of his righteous rulings. He wanted God to teach him His Torah and makes it his task (an assignment or piece of work to be done) to observe God’s Word. After sinning with Bathsheba, David writes in Psalm 51:5, 

“True, I was born guilty, was a sinner from the moment my mother conceived me. Still, you want truth in the inner person; so make me know wisdom in my inmost heart.” 

We are no different than David.  We were born into sin, but through the Torah that gives life, Yeshua, we have been set free from sin in order that we may live our lives within God’s ‘fence.’   Just as in the days of King David, STILL, God wants His Truth in ‘the inner person’ and desires ‘wisdom in our inmost heart.’

©2014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Isaiah 56:1-8

Salvation for Others

“This is what the LORD says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation (yeshua) is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.

Blessed is the one who does this— the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”

Let no foreigner who is bound to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely exclude me from his people.” And let no eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.”

For this is what the LORD says:

“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant— to them I will give within my temple and its wall a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever.

And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

The Sovereign Lord declares— he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”

Rainbows, Circumcision, Sabbath

What does a rainbow, circumcision, and the Sabbath have in common?  Today I looked up ‘sign of the covenant’ in my lexicon and three verses popped up.

1.  Genesis 9:12 “And Adonai said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come ….”

This sign of covenant was given to Noah after the flood.  It was made between the Creator and all mankind.  It was a rainbow. The rainbow is a beautiful reminder of the Creator’s faithfulness for all generations.

2. Genesis 17:11 “You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.”

This sign of covenant was given to Abraham.  It was made between El Shaddai and a man of faith. The sign of faith was circumcision.   Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.   Abraham is called the father of  faith for both the Jew and the nations who have put their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Romans 4).

Paul explained the deeper meaning of  circumcision in Romans chapter 2 when he says that “true circumcision is not of the flesh but of the heart.”  It was the condition of Abraham’s heart that brought forth the sign.

3:  Exodus 31:13 “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths.  They will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I AM YHWH, who makes you holy.”

This sign of covenant was given to the Israelites.  It was made between God and His people of covenant.  It was the sign that would show them they are set apart to the One they called ‘I AM.’   It was not a sign for the nations around them, but a sign between them – the mixed multitude that was redeemed out of Egypt – and Yahweh who set them apart from all other nations as his cherished possession.

What does a rainbow, circumcision and Sabbath have in common?  They are all signs that prove one is in covenant relationship with the Covenant Maker.

©2013 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Celebrate Sabbath at Home (Free Booklet)

Celebrate Sabbath in Your Home

SabbathBooklet

“Look, the LORD has given you the Shabbat.  This is why he is providing bread for two days on the sixth day. Each of you, stay where you are; no one is to leave his place on the seventh day” (Exodus 16:29).

Sunset in Elk, California

Our family along with the family of our daughter-in-law designed a Sabbath booklet to encourage those who are desiring to celebrate the Sabbath.    It includes a simple outline incorporating some of the Friday evening Jewish traditions of candles, bread, wine, and blessings with Yeshua central to each.  Print the PDF from our website and let it guide you and your family to “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” 

Many thanks to Chris and Kaye Bacon for their vision and imput.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing