Category Archives: Joy

Prophetic Promises of #Abundance and #Prosperity!

HIS PRESENCE IS MORE SIGNIFICANT

“It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it!  Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King!”  (Psalm 48:2)
King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel almost 3,000 years ago.  Ever since, the city has played a central role in Jewish life, even after the city was sacked and the Temple was destroyed in AD 70 by the Romans.
Jewish prayers underline this central role and the holiness of Jerusalem.  For instance, the Amidah, which is recited three times every weekday, is prayed facing Jerusalem.
These lines are part of the Amidah:

Continue reading HIS PRESENCE IS MORE SIGNIFICANT

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PASSOVER

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And . . . in my flesh shall I see God.”  (Job 19:25–26)
On Monday night, we celebrated the Passover Seder recounting how the Angel of Death passed over the homes of the Israelites and all those in Egypt who applied the blood of the Passover lamb to their lintels and doorposts.
Two thousand years ago, 12 men celebrating the Passover Seder in Jerusalem were told by their rabbi and master, Yeshua (Jesus), that this would be their last Seder together. 

Continue reading THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PASSOVER

WHAT IS PROPHECY

Hebrew Scriptures that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah.

Ancient Rabbis and Christians agree on many things about the Messiah.

They This week we are bringing you the prophecy of Genesis 49, that again proves from the agree that he will be an offspring of Eve, whom God promised would defeat evil (Genesis 3:15), and that he will be from the line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and King David.

Judah, however, had been specially favored.

In Genesis 49:8–12, Jacob blesses Judah and his descendants with much more than the physical seed of the Messiah.

“Judah, your brothers will praise you. … You are a lion’s cub, Judah. … The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and the obedience of the nations shall be his.”

This prophecy presents a mystery of sorts, and as with any good mystery, there are clues to solve it.  The three clues of this prophecy are:

  • Scepter
  • Ruler’s staff
  • ShilohAs you discover the truth, you will be specially blessed!
  • In this article, we’ll look at what Rabbis and Christians tell us about these clues and the Messiah in the blessing of Judah.  We’ll also learn more about God’s plan for the nation of Israel and the world.

The Messiah in Judah’s Blessing

“You will not be called Jacob any longer,” God says.”From now on your name will be Israel.”  (Genesis 35:10)

From Israel, the twelve tribes and the Messiah would be born.

One of Israel’s sons, Joseph, seems especially suited to carry the seed of the Messiah.

Joseph’s brothers despised him and sold him into slavery in Egypt where he rose to power as the second in command and saved the lives of his family and many of the nations surrounding Egypt.

In this and many other ways, Joseph’s life is thought to foreshadow the life of Yeshua (Jesus).

The Glory of Joseph (c. 1900), by James Tissot

Rabbis through the ages have written about and are expecting a Messiah who will be the son of Joseph. They call him Messiah ben Joseph.  But in Judaism, there is also a Messiah who will be the son of David (Messiah ben David).

1 Chronicles 5:2 speaks about these two Messiahs: “Because Judah was the strongest of his brothers a ruler came from him, but the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph.”

We’ll look at this expected “first Messiah” in another article.

When referring to the Messiah who ushers in the End-Time Messianic Kingdom, we are speaking about Messiah ben David (Messiah son of David), who is from the tribe of Judah.

Let us now turn our attention back to Judah (from whom the scepter will not depart).

After living a long and eventful life, Israel (whose name was originally Jacob) realizes he is nearing the end of his life and desires to reveal a mystery to his twelve sons that no man of God had yet spoken:

“Come together,” Israel says to his sons, “that I may tell you what is to befall you in the end of days [acharit hayamim].”  (Genesis 49:1)

Father blesses his sons.  (Photo by Lilach Daniel)

Jacob reveals this mystery in verses 8–12 as he rests his hand on his fourth son Judah and prophesies:

The SCEPTER (shevet, שבט) will not depart from Judah.

The Hebrew word Shevet (שבט) means different things in different passages.

In most passages in the Tanakh (Old Testament), shevet means tribe.  But it can mean much more.  For example, Numbers 24:17 prophesies that “a star shall rise out of Jacob and a scepter (shevet) out of Israel.”

Our prophecy in Genesis also speaks of a ruler’s staff or scepter that will rule the nations.

What is a scepter?

In Hebrew, shevet is a rod used for chastisement or the staff a shepherd uses to guide his sheep (Psalm 23:4).  But when written in this context, this rod or staff represents the royal authority of a king, as we see in this psalm:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.  The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness.”  (Psalm 45:6)

Judah will serve as ruler in Israel with this scepter.

Genesis 38: Judah gives his scepter to Tamar (1728), by Gerard Hoet (1648–1733), and others.  (Photo courtesy of Bizzell Bible Collection at the University of Oklahoma)

The ruler’s staff (mekhokek in Hebrew) will not depart from between Judah’s feet.

In ancient Israel, legislators would speak among the feet of the people as they sat on the ground in semicircles (Luke 23:1).

Judah’s line will carry this responsibility, possessing the ruler’s staff (mekhokek וּמְחֹקֵ֖ק), and the authority to inscribe laws among the people of Israel.

The ruler’s staff is another way of saying scepter.

Judah will be seen as a lion’s cub

Though Judah and his offspring will hold the scepter of rule and law over God’s chosen people, their reign will remain limited to Israel.

Yet, one will come from Judah as a mature lion who will rule and judge the whole world.

What does all this have to do with the end of days (acharit hayamim)?

Judah will hold this ruling authority until Shiloh comes, to whom belongs the scepter, the rule of law, the one we obey.

Judah would only be a shadow or placeholder until the true ruler arrives.

And the obedience of the nation’s (amim) shall be his.

The word in Hebrew for nations here is amim, which includes much more than merely the word for people (am); it means all people in all nations (amim) will obey the new scepter holder.

If we are supposed to give our full obedience to Shiloh, we surely need to know who or where is Shiloh.

Jewish man worships at the Western (Wailing) Wall.

 

Who or Where Is SHILOH?

The Hebrew word Shiloh (שלה) is often written in Christian Bibles as belonging to him.  We can say, then, that Shiloh is the one to whom belongs the scepter.

Rabbis, however, have found another meaning for Shiloh embedded within Psalm 76:11:

“Vow and pay to the Lord your God; all those around Him will bring a gift to Him Who is to be feared.”

Looking at the Hebrew in this psalm, Rabbinic writings tell us that Shiloh (שלה) was thought to come from these two words:

  • a gift (שַׁי) pronounced shi
  • to him (לוֹ) pronounced lo.What better gift could we give the new scepter holder than our obedience?However, this is not the only Hebraic reference to Shiloh as the Messiah. Here are two excerpts:“He who exercised dominion shall not pass away from the house of Judah, nor the scribe from his children’s children forever, until Messiah shall come.  Whose is the kingdom, and whom the peoples shall obey.”  (Targum Onkelos, AD 35–120)Ancient commentaries written down by Rabbis from AD 200–500 (known as the Midrash and Talmud) also tell us Shiloh is the Messiah, such as this one:Rabbis have commonly held several names and roles for Mashiach (Messiah), and Shiloh was one of them:Prominent Medieval Rabbis also agree that Shiloh refers to Messiah.Rabbi David Kimhi (1160–1235) known as Radak points out that the word Shiloh (שילו) is related to the word shilyat (שלית), which means the placenta after a child is born known as the afterbirth.These are only a handful of references in Rabbinic writings telling the Jewish People that Shiloh is the Messiah, and to him belongs the scepter.Tel Shiloh, located in southern Samaria, is the site of ancient Shilo and part of the modern Jewish settlement of Shiloh.  (Photo: wikicommons)“The entire assembly of the Israelis gathered together at Shiloh and set up the Tent of Meeting there, where the land lay conquered before them.”  (Joshua 18:1)If the blessing is referring to this town, then Judah held the scepter of rulership only until the Hebrews conquered the Promised Land and moved the tabernacle to Shiloh.“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes [until they come to Shiloh] and the obedience of the nations shall be his.”Shilo and Jerusalem in ancient Israel. As a result of Solomon’s disobedience, the nation of Israel split in two. Benjamin and Judah became the Kingdom of Judea.  The other ten tribes became the Kingdom of Israel to the north.The Scepter Departs from JudahIn Scripture, the prophecy is reinforced (or strengthened) by God making a covenant with King David to ensure that a seed of his will be on the throne forevermore:The uninterrupted line of the kings of Judah spanned from BC 1010–587, some 423 years.Kings in the line of David stayed on the throne even in exile when Nebuchadnezzar placed the last Jewish king, Zedekiah, as his “puppet king” over Judea.And no descendant of Judah and David has arrived to take their place as king on the throne to hold the scepter.To answer that, we must understand the conditions placed on the scepter by God Himself.The privilege given to Judah in holding the scepter depended on Israel’s obedience.There were good kings who followed God and bad kings who led the people astray.For these reasons, the descending lineage of Judah and David lost the throne.
  • Flight of the Prisoners (c. 1900), by James Tissot.  After decades of disobedience, the people of Judea are taken captive into Babylon.  After King Zedekiah’s reign ended (586 BC), never again did a king from the line of Judah sit on a throne in Israel or Judea.
  • The wicked kings of Israel and Judea blatantly followed pagan gods; some even sacrificed their babies to Molech and took advantage of people without repentance.
  • “If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne.’”  (Psalm 132:12; 2 Chronicles 6:16)
  • Western Wall stones dropped by the Romans from the Temple Mount as they destroyed the Second Temple in AD 70.
  • So how could the prophecy of Genesis 49 be fulfilled, since there have been no more potential kings of Israel to fulfill it?
  • After Zedekiah, never again did a king or ruler come from the line of Judah and David.
  • (Source: Wikicommons)
  • “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you [Saul], but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’”  (1 Chronicles 17:13–14)
  • Though Judah was given the king’s scepter, Rabbis through the millennia have taught that the prophecy starts with David the shepherd boy, son of Jesse who was the first king from the tribe of Judah.
  • The majority of rabbis disagree with this interpretation, as they interpret Shiloh as the Messiah.
  • These few rabbis interpret Judah’s blessing in Genesis 49:10 to say “until they come to Shiloh [the town]” instead of “until Shiloh comes.”
  • A few rabbis have believed that this place is the Shiloh in Judah’s blessing.
  • About 25 miles north of Jerusalem is a town called Shiloh, where the priests of Israel were instructed to set up the Tabernacle of Moses.
  • In the Bible and today in modern times Shiloh is also a town.
  • He concludes that the scepter and ruling staff belong to Shiloh, a descendant of David (see Deuteronomy 28:57).
  • Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki (1040–1105) known as Rashi wrote that Shiloh refers to “The King Messiah, to whom the kingdom belongs [שלו]” pronounced shelo.
  • “The Messiah has been given seven names, and they are: Yinnon, Our Righteousness, Shoot, Comforter, David, Shiloh, Elijah.”  (Midrash on Proverbs 19 and 21, quoting Rabbi Huna (AD 216296) a scholar of the Talmud in Babylon).
  • “The rulership abideth with the tribe of Judah until the arrival of Shiloh i.e. Messiah.”  (Midrash Rabbah)
  • These Bible translations were read in synagogues to the common people in Aramaic after the Scriptures were read in Hebrew.  The people were taught in these Aramaic Bibles that Shiloh is Messiah.
  • “Kings shall not cease, nor rulers from the house of Judah, nor sopherim teaching the law from his seed, till the time that King Messiah shall come, who will arise from Judah.”  (Targum Jonathan Ben Uzziel, 50 BC–present)
  • Written before and after the time of Yeshua, several Aramaic translations of the Bible (the Targumim written between 100 BC and AD 200) portray Shiloh from Genesis 49:10 as the Messiah.
  • Aramaic was the common language of the day in Israel.
  • Orthodox Jewish man delivers gifts on Purim in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem.
  • Based on this understanding, the words “UNTIL SHILOH COME … indicates that all the nations of the world will bring a gift to Messiah the son of David,” as is written in the Midrash Rabbah Genesis.  (see Psalm 76:11, verse 12 in Hebrew Bible)

If there is no throne to rule from, then there is no king to hold the scepter.

According to Rabbi Moses ben Nachman (c. 1194–1280), known as Ramban, there is another good explanation for this.

Ramban said that God was angry at the northern kingdom of Israel for having kings on the throne from other tribes—and so the prophet Achiyah said, “I will afflict the seed of David for this, but not forever.”  (1 Kings 11:39)

Even though David’s line would suffer a break in their kingly rule, God’s covenant with David still stands: God alone will raise up an everlasting King from David’s seed to sit on an everlasting throne.  (2 Samuel 7:12–17)

White Horseman (1918), by Nicholas Roerich may depict Daniel 7:13:  “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence.”

 

The Scepter of Righteousness Belongs to Yeshua

When we consider all the details of the scepter holder, as first prophesied over Judah, they lead us to Yeshua (Jesus) who meets the requirements:

The scepter holder must be the King whom all peoples of all nations will one day obey:

“Judah, your brothers will praise you. … You are a lion’s cub. … The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and the obedience of the nations shall be his.”  (Genesis 49:8–12)

In addition to receiving the obedience of the nations, kings will see what they were not told and understand what they had not heard (Isaiah 52:15).

The Prophet Isaiah also tells us that “In his teaching the islands will put their hope” and he will be “a light for the Gentiles” so that “salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”  (Isaiah 42:4, 49:6)

Two billion people today, including Jewish Believers, have accepted Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) as their Lord, their Savior, and their hope.

Flag of Jerusalem, which is in the territory of Judea, features the Lion of the Tribe of Judah over Western Wall stones designed on a prayer shawl motif.   The Hebrew letters above the emblem spell Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).

 

The Scepter of Judgement and Rule Belongs to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah

While we now enjoy our Messiah Yeshua as our Lord in the heavenlies, He will come down as the Lion of the tribe of Judah at the very end of days (acharit hayamim).

“Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. …”  (Revelation 5:5)

Here, in the Book of Revelation, as prophecy comes to a close for all humanity, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is revealed as the Lamb who had been slain to claim the final victory over death and reign on earth forevermore:

“In the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain . . . . And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”  (Revelation 5:6–10)

The seventh and final shofar in the Book of Revelation will sound when Yeshua returns to Jerusalem, hailing Him as King Messiah (Revelation 11:15).

 

Yeshua Is Returning Very Soon

Since the rebirth of Israel as a nation in 1948, prophecy is being fulfilled with Jews returning en masse.  Almost half of the world’s Jewish population now lives in Israel!

The plans to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem are taking place even as you are reading this article!

The Jewish Priesthood has been identified through DNA testing and other records, and these men have been trained for Temple Service.

The blueprints for the rebuilding of the Temple have already been drafted and approved by Israeli politicians.

Only the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque stand in the way of the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in which King Messiah will one day take His rightful place.

The Golden Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem was last sealed in the early 12th century by the Ottomon Turks, who also placed a Muslim cemetery in front of it to (it is thought) prevent Elijah and the Messiah from entering.

In the Book of Acts, the disciples stood with Jesus on the Mount of Olives, just across the valley from where the Temple stood, when they saw Him ascend into heaven.

Two men dressed in white (angels) explained to them that Yeshua will come back to this same place.

In Jewish tradition the Messiah will enter through the Golden Gate.  This is the only gate directly across from the Mount of Olives.

The Messiah (Shiloh) will then take His rightful place that belongs to Him (shelo / shiloh) in the new rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem.

Samuel, we are living in the most exciting times of history, right in the cusp of seeing Yeshua return to Jerusalem, hopefully in our lifetimes!

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”  (Revelation 22:12)

Rev Samuel F Sarpong

The amazing grace

DELIVERANCE

Tonight and tomorrow, we celebrate one of the most joyous and fun-filled holidays on the Jewish calendarPurim (Feast of Lots).
This festive day commemorates God’s victory and deliverance of the Jewish People from their enemies in ancient Persia.

Continue reading DELIVERANCE

Jesus is the restoration of your family :)

JESUS

Does Yeshua (Jesus) pass the first test of Messiahship?

Rabbis have taught us through the millennia that Messiah would come as the Son of David.  God personally made that promise to David in the Scriptures, such as 1 Chronicles 17:11:

“And it shall come to pass, when your days be expired that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will raise up your seed after you, which shall be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom.”

Continue reading JESUS

Divine Encounter

IN THE BEINNING

Welcome to Shemot (Names), this week’s Parasha (Torah Portion).
This is the portion of Scripture that will be read in synagogues around the world during this week’s Shabbat (Saturday) service.  May you be blessed, refreshed, and inspired as you study God’s word with us at the start of the new year.
SHEMOT (Names)
Exodus 1:1–6:1; Isaiah 27:6–28:13, 29:22–23; Jeremiah 1:1–2:3; Romans 12:1–21
“These are the names [ve’eleh shemot] of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family.”  (Exodus 1:1)
In last week’s Torah portion (Parasha), the first of the five books of Moses, Genesis (Bereisheet—In the Beginning), ended with the deaths of Jacob and Joseph.
This week, we begin the second book of the Torah, Exodus, called Shemot in Hebrew, which means names.
This Parasha describes the suffering of the Israelites under bondage to the Egyptians, the birth of Moses and his miraculous salvation from out of the Nile River.  It also describes his calling to deliver Israel and his encounter with Pharaoh.

The Finding of Moses, by Lawrence Alma Tadema
Like Moses, Like Yeshua
“The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.”  (Exodus 1:5)
Although only 70 descendants of Jacob (whom God renamed Israel) came into the Land of Egypt at Joseph’s invitation, they soon multiplied into such a great and mighty people that the new pharaoh, who did not know Joseph, felt threatened by them.  He feared that the Israelites might join Egypt’s enemies in battles against them.
“The Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.”  (Exodus 1:7)
To counter the growing strength of the Israelites, the Egyptians forced them into bitter labor, building store cities for Pharaoh and working the fields.

Morning prayer (shacharit) at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.
When they continued to multiply, Pharaoh ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill all newborn males.  But at least two, Shifrah and Puah, did not comply.  God, therefore, supernaturally protected their lives, blessing them with families and multiplying the Israelites even more (Exodus 1:16–21).
So Pharaoh turned to the Egyptians, commanding them to throw all male newborn Hebrews into the Nile River (Exodus 1:22).

The Levite parents of Moses had such great faith that, in order to save their son, they defied Pharaoh’s order and hid him for the first few months of his life.

But babies grow and, eventually, he could no longer be hidden, so they put him in a basket and set him afloat on the Nile among the reeds.
Even in this desperate circumstance, the protective hand of God was on this boy of destiny.  Pharaoh’s daughter spotted the basket.  When she saw the Hebrew baby inside, she had pity on him and took him as her own.
Instead of drowning in the Nile or dying at the hands of the Egyptians as the other newborn boys did, Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s palace as a prince of Egypt.

Reading from a Torah scroll using a yad (literally, hand) to follow the text
without obstructing the view of others who are following along.
This dramatic account of the infant Moses parallels the life of the infant Yeshua (Jesus), who was sentenced to death by the order of King Herod, among all the other Jewish male infants in Bethlehem.
“When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.”  (Matthew 2:16)
Just as Moses was saved by his mother, so was Yeshua saved by the obedience and faith of His earthly father, Joseph, who was warned in a dream to flee to Egypt.
“Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.’  So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.”  (Matthew 2:13–14) 
What irony that the very place of danger and death for the Hebrew babies in the days of Moses became a place of refuge for Yeshua when He was but a baby!
Jewish mother pushes a stroller in Jerusalem.  (Photo by opalpeterliu)
Egyptian Prince Moses Becomes a Shepherd
Because Pharaoh’s daughter drew the baby from the Nile, she called him Moshe (מֹשֶׁה) from the word moshech, meaning pull or draw.
Moses grew up in the royal Egyptian palace, but it seems that the burdens of his fellow Israelites troubled him.
One day, he saw an Egyptian slave master beating a Hebrew.  Even as a young man, Moses felt the calling to deliver his people, but he stepped ahead of God’s timing.
In the process of defending this Israelite slave, Moses killed the Egyptian and fled to Midian to escape Pharaoh’s death decree over him.  (Exodus 2:15)
Again in Midian, Moses expressed his calling as a deliverer by saving the daughters of the Priest of Midian who had come to the well where he sat.  They wanted to draw water for their flock, but shepherds tried to drive them away.  Moses intervened and watered their flocks for them.

Moses Defending the Daughters of Jethro, by Sebastiano Ricci
The Priest of Midian welcomed Moses to live with him and even gave Moses his daughter, Zipporah, as a wife.
Moses spent the next 40 years shepherding sheep in the land of Midian, a period of time that God used to prepare him to shepherd His people Israel out of Egypt.
Only when the children of Israel cried out to God, did the time come for God to make His move:  “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.”  (Exodus 2:24)
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses from out of the flame of a bush that burned but was not consumed.
From the midst of this burning bush at the foot of Mount Sinai, God told Moses he had heard the cries of His People and was sending Moses back to Pharaoh in His name and His power on His behalf.

Moses and the Burning Bush, by Gebhard Fugel
By this point, this prince of Egypt had been so humbled by his lengthy wilderness experience that he seemed to lack confidence when it came to his role as a leader of a nation.
First, Moses asked for the name of the One sending him.
God answered with His name, Ehyeh Asher Ehyehאֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה.  Widely translated as I Am That I Am, the Hebrew grammatical form is actually in the future tense.
Therefore, God’s name is more accurately translated as I Will Be What I Will Be.
The message to Moses is perhaps that God can look after the details of the future.  He will be to us whoever and whatever He chooses to be—father, friend, comforter, counselor, or even disciplinarian.  We can trust in God’s infinite wisdom to be who we need in our lives at each moment in time.
Even with this assurance, Moses still feels unqualified for the task, especially since he is slow in speech.  He begs God to send someone else; therefore, He allowed Aaron, Moses’ brother, to accompany him and act as Moses’ spokesperson.
Yet, it is Moses to whom God first revealed His personal name in Scripture.
Moses grabbed hold of the trust placed in him and delivered a command to Pharaoh with the full authority of I AM:   “Thus says the Lord, ‘Israel is My firstborn son, and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve Me.”’”  (Exodus 4:22–23)

Jewish men pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.
Like Israel, Like Us
There is much we can take from this story of Moses’ progression in becoming a leader.
He was not ready for leadership overnight.  Likewise, we may understand that we have a calling on our lives, and this might become evident time and time again.  Still, we must wait for that time when the Lord chooses to release us into the fullness of our destiny.
As well, we might also feel incapable of accomplishing anything for the Lord, having lost much of our self-confidence through the trials and tribulations of life.
Whatever our experience, it still remains true that submitting to God’s presence and following His direction is all we need to fulfill the destiny He has assigned to us.

A Jewish woman shops in Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market (Photo by Dana
Friedlander / Go Israel)
We can also learn from the suffering of the Israelites.  Despite the tyranny forced on them by the Egyptians, the People of Israel still grew mighty in number.
Oppressive circumstances cannot prevent God from carrying out His purposes and fulfilling His promises.
We might suffer under some sort of bondage or pain for what seems like a very long time, but we can rest assured that God hears our cries.
He remembers the covenant we have with Him through our Messiah Yeshua, which provides a way out of our spiritual bondage and into our inheritance—if only we accept it.
Though God is true to His promises, we still need to keep crying out to Him for deliverance and waiting in faith and hopeful expectation to move on our behalf in our spiritual and our earthly afflictions.
God is not deaf, nor aloof to our suffering.  His arm is not too short to save:  “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.”  (Psalm 34:17)

A husband helps his wife navigate the stairs at Masada in Israel.
Let My People Go
Though Moses entered Egypt and delivered God’s message to Pharaoh, nothing changed immediately.
Pharaoh refused to let the Hebrews go.
Moses might have felt like he failed God, but God has a greater plan for even our failures, and they end in glorifying His name.
Through plagues and judgments (called makot in Hebrew, which can also mean beatings), God proved His position as the One True God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that the gods of the Egyptians had no power over Him.
Through these judgments, we also see that whatever a nation or even an individual does to Israel, for good or for evil, God will return it unto them:
“For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisal shall return upon your own head.”  (Obadiah 1:15; see also Genesis 12:3)
Temple of Rameses II: As the Israelites grew in number, the Egyptians
began to fear them, so they forced them into labor to build Pithom and
Rameses as supply cities for Pharaoh.
Parasha Shemot does not end with a mighty deliverance but, rather, with the situation becoming worse—if that were even possible.  Pharaoh made the Israelites’ labor more difficult by demanding that they find their own straw while also maintaining the same quota of production (Exodus 5:18).
In their bitterness, the Hebrew people turned on Moses and Aaron.  Moses responded by turning to the Lord.  With raw honesty, Moses asked why He had not delivered His people as He promised.
“Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people?  Why is it You have sent me?  For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.”  (Exodus 5:22–23)

A Torah scroll is honored by kissing the tzitzit (fringes)
and then touching it to the place where the reading
begins.  In Judaism, the Torah must be treated with
the utmost respect.  It is taught that whoever honors
the Torah will himself be honored.  
(Photo by
Francisco Martins)
We might also feel this way when it seems we are doing what God has asked us to do, and things get worse, not better.
How did God respond to Moses?
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh.  For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.’”  (Exodus 6:1)
Sometimes, when God is preparing to do something great and mighty in our lives, the situation can worsen for a time.  As we move toward our destiny, pharaoh represents those who oppress us—even Satan, the spiritual enemy of our souls, who resists our freedom with all his might.
In such circumstances, we should not give up our faith, for in due time we will see God’s mighty hand and outstretched arm deliver us in His perfect way and time.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”  (Romans 12:12) 
In these last days as Israel is beset with those who desire to destroy her, it may seem to them that peace and deliverance is lost.
Samuel, please pray that they will open their hearts and eyes to receive the free gift of eternal peace and salvation that Messiah Yeshua longs to give them.
You can make a difference by helping us bring the Good News of Yeshua throughout the Holy Land by supporting the development of the Messianic Prophecy Bible.
“In this way all Israel will be saved.  As it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.'”  (Romans 11:26)
Rev Samuel F Sarpong

NUMBERS

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  (Psalm 90:12)
In our study of Scripture, we might notice the frequency with which certain numbers occur.  Their appearance does not seem coincidental.
Although numbers for the most part are considered mundane, in Judaism numbers are linked with the universal truths of the Torah (first five books of the Bible).  Still, the pattern of numbers in the Torah continues in the writings of the Prophets and the Brit Chadashah (New Testament).

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7 Prophetic Promises of God from Malachi! #propheticword

ENCOUNTERS

PARASHA VAYETZE (And He Left)
Genesis 28:10–32:2; Hosea 12:13–14:10; John 4:1
–26
“And Jacob went out from Beersheba.” (Genesis 28:10)
Last week, in Parasha Toldot, Isaac’s wife Rebecca had a difficult pregnancy as the twin boys jostled within her.  When she inquired of the Lord, He told her that two nations were in her womb and the elder (Esau) would serve the younger (Jacob).

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Glorifying God By our Praise and Worship :) #GodisKing #GlorifyingGod

PROPHETIC WORD

The Father says today, this is a season of harvested prayer. I am not only answering prayers that you have prayed – I have already answered prayers and responded to prayers that you haven’t prayed yet.

Continue reading PROPHETIC WORD

THE SECRET OF GOD DIVINE BLESSINGS

THE SECRET OF GOD DIVENE BLESSINGS

“Secret things belong unto the Lord our God.”* (Deuteronomy 29:29) A secret is something known only to one or very few. Many things are known to God which is kept secret from man, but all man’s secrets are known to God. It pleases God, however, to reveal some of His sweet secrets to man.

Continue reading THE SECRET OF GOD DIVINE BLESSINGS