It has been a challenging week. Things have not gone at all the way I expected or wanted. However, deep inside of me, I know that God knows that is how I learn best. So…as much as I hate assessments…I keep trying to look for the wisdom in all that is going on around me and remember that Jehovah-Rapha stands beside me just as Jehovah-Nissi is ready to help fight my battles.
“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more severely than others.” Jm 3:1
Today, I was ready to ignore writing again. When I am wrestling with a “God Assessment”, I tend to do more reflection than teaching. Teaching means being sure of my subject matter and relying on my faith to guide my words and concepts. Reading, devotions, playing with the dogs, seem to give me a better perspective as I work through whatever the current faith-walk plagues my life at the moment. It’s strange – music has always been a big part of my faith life, yet now, when I am troubled, I don’t go into the music room. Instead, I turn to the WORD and reading things from other sages – especially those of Jewish tradition. It was during this time that I found a small little piece of information buried in a rabbi’s writing.
This is the Jewish letter Tov. Its initial letter Tet also represents the letter nine as it is the ninth letter of the Jewish alphabet. Tet also represents the word “good”; as in “… God saw that it was good.“ Gen 1:12b Amazingly it is also the only letter of the Hebrew alphabet that was left out of the first time Moshe brought the tablets down off the mountain. (Ex 20) Yet – in the second set of laws that Moshe brought off the mountain, it was included. (Deut 5:15 in the word “outstretched” NeTuYah) Hmmmmm….
Jewish tradition holds that it is because anything “Good” lasts forever. Our omniscient Jehovah-Tsid-Kenu foresaw these events in our linear life line. Had He included Tov in the first tablets, they could not have been destroyed. Only Our Father God knows why things had to play out the way they did. What important God Assessments did these scarred and damaged people have to “grow” through to achieve the unity of being His united and chosen people? Maybe it was just that – they would no longer see themselves as a people enslaved to other societies – other gods – other lands. That they would see themselves as His people – united by His love, His grace, and His law.
“You shall not steal.” Ex 20:15
On the physical level it is a very straight forward law, and it makes sense to most of us. After all, who wants to go through getting arrested, going to court, being convicted? When Moshe presents it a second time in Deut 5, it is still a very straight forward law. Again, why would we do anything but that? But what if – what if there was more to it? Don’t steal away. Don’t steal a glance. Don’t steal someone’s heart. Don’t steal the spotlight. Don’t steal anything…….period. The 10 Commandments are still relevant. They still make us think. They are still a strong guideline for our lives as we journey this faith-walk. Our Father knew that as He carved them. They were meant to last until Christ returns and is able to establish “…Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…” Kinda important, don’t ya think? That being said…should I stop singing this hymn?????? Somehow – I think not.
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Tagged Christ, Deuteronomy, Exodus, faith-walk, Father God, Genesis, God, God Assessments, hymn, Jehovah-Nissi, Jehovah-Rapha, Jesus, Jewish Sages, Jewish tradition, Mahalia Jackson, Nat King Cole, rabbi, Steal Away to Jesus, teachers, Tov
Monday was a hard day at work. Kids were restless. Rainy day meant no outdoor play. No outdoor play meant grumpy staff. Grumpy staff meant less love is being spread around the workplace. It was a long day. Didn’t I talk about this yesterday? Love started in the home radiates out to the world through us??? I guess Monday was assessment day for me. Like the Good Teacher/Shepherd that He is, He wanted to make sure how well I understood this LOVE concept. I probably got a 75%. I tried. The smile stayed in place, but the inner heart struggled. Resentment. Hurt. Rant. They all simmered slightly below the surface. Instead of turning my face to Jehovah-Sabboth, the WORD and prayer, I made it a very long day.
“I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners,
creating praise on their lips.
Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
says the LORD. “And I will heal them.” — Isaiah 57:18–19
It’s a good thing that God has always shown forgiveness. Adam. Eve. Moshe. David. Peter. Paul. Not only that, He promises to “heal”. He is Jehovah-Rapha. He heals the person. He heals the mindset. He heals the ways that lead to darkness. He heals the damaged land. He promises to dry their tears. He offers guidance and peace to all. Interesting concepts for the Old Testament that has so much violence and rebellion within it’s tomes.
“You shall not commit adultery.” Ex 20:14
I grew up learning this verse exactly as it is written above. I said to myself – “I will never be an adulterous wife.” And lucky for me, I’ve been able to avoid that test, because if my misspent youth was any indication, I would have fallen flat on my face. Sad to say, I was very good at retaliation when someone hurt me. Jewish wisdom and tradition expands the actual wording of this commandment to Sexual Immorality. In my mind, that covers a lot more than just a wife or husband. I was a baby-boomer, coming-of-age child of the 60’s. Peace. Freedom. Love. Gandhi. King. Communes. Bra-less days. Skinny Dipping. Drugs. Riots. Violence. Colleges closed down. ID’s issued. I hit rebellion at the same time the country did. It is little wonder that many times when I came home late at night, I found my father on his knees. He rarely went to church, and yet, he was my true spiritual mentor.
“To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17 NASB
Hormones or lack of hormones travel through all of us. They are a blessing from God as we develop throughout our lives…helping us to find a mate…conceiving children…aging… The 7th Commandment is all about control of those hormones and reactions. We have the wonderful opportunity to choose how to act and control ourselves despite those chemicals that rage through our bodies at times. Growing as a person who wants to glorify God, we can choose the path we want to take. Obey the 7th commandment or laugh it off because it is totally out-of-date with the progressive thought within our society. It is so simple, it is complicated. It is a life-altering choice. The Good News is…Jesus Christ showed us the way. All we have to do is choose to follow in His steps. It’s all about choice.
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Tagged 7th Commandment, choice, Exodus, God, Hair the Musical, healing, Isaiah, James, Jehovah-Rapha, Jehovah-Sabboth, Jesus Christ, outdoor play