Category Archives: Uncategorized

Old Testament Evidence of God and Today's Depiction of Jesus!

Welcome to this week’s study of the Parasha (Torah Portion).  Today’s portion of Torah, Ki Tisa (When You Take), will be read in synagogues around the world this Shabbat.
Because this weekend is Shabbat Parah (Sabbath of the Red Heifer), a special maftir (Numbers 19:1–22) is added.  That maftir speaks of the Parah Adumah, the Red Heifer.  We invite you to read along with us and are certain that you will be blessed.

Continue reading

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
God's love is everlasting

THE BATTLE FOR JUDEA AND SAMARIA

“Who has ever heard of such things?  Who has ever seen things like this?  Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?  Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.”  (Isaiah 66:8)

Continue reading THE BATTLE FOR JUDEA AND SAMARIA

DAY FOUR MIRACLE

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. Genesis 1:16

Our God is a God of distinction; He is not an author of confusion. A man chooses to be in confusion when he does not do the right thing as ordered by God. When God creates, He creates with precision and purpose. He created lights for a purpose and darkness for another purpose. God commanded:

“And let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” Genesis 1:14

Today, the philosophy of relativism is giving the Christian faith deadly blows, and believers, particularly custodians of the Christian faith (the ministers), are doing almost nothing about it. The miracle of the fourth day saw to it that there would be no confusion on the earth. When God wanted to create man for example, the Bible says:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”.  Genesis 1:27

It is amazing that some theologians and Bible scholars these days say that some men are trapped in women’s bodies and vice versa. hence their craving for same sexual relationship! They put the blame of homosexuality on God by implication. Please let them know that God does not make mistakes, unless their God is different from the Christian God. The Christian God is a perfect God of distinction. He created the day for work and the night to rest. If by any reason we do not rest in one night, the following day should compensate for that loss of rest. Failure to observe this produces stress, sickness and ultimately death. Little wonder the life expectancy in the last fifty tears has been in decline. The achievement of forty years is realised in fewer than thirty with a price of dying early. The God of distinction in His word commanded:

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and l will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Corinthian 6:17-18

The implication of this scripture is that the Church must begin to see life the way God sees it. We have mixed many profane things with sacred ones. We have been engulfed with the idea of relativism. This is not the mind of God. As a believer, how far have you been carried away by the present age? We should not be deceived that the God of distinction has lowered His standard. He has not.

 

 

DAY THREE MIRACLE

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the water called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:10

Many children of God do not know the depth of the common saying, “Order is the first thing in heaven.” They quote this statement awkwardly without giving it the necessary importance it requires. In the real sense of it, orderliness is the nature of divine administration. My prayer for someone using this devotional is that if your life is disorganised, it shall be divinely fixed in Jesus name.

Our God is the God of order; He ordered the course of the universe by His Word. This is the reason why we must give the Word of God pre-eminence in our lives. The Lord said to Jeremiah; “….l will hasten my word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12). The Almighty God does not take His own Word with levity like some of us do. Bible teachings come in form of doctrines and living by them is inevitable if we are to live orderly. Jesus Christ said in John 7:17  “if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself”.

Disobedience to God’s order brings chaos and unimaginable calamities as the story of Adam and Eve’s fall reveals (Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3:9-19). l encourage the user of this devotional to begin to place a high premium on the Word of God, even as God Himself does. In the second pastoral epistle of Paul to Timothy we read

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” 2Timoth 3:16-17

On the third day, God set in order the course of the universe by His Word and things began to work, even till this day; the seas in their places, the dry land, a variety of vegetation and fruit bearing plants.

Our God is the God of both creation and provision: He creates to provide. This means lack was not originally planned to characterise the life of man. I pray that everything that you need shall be orderly provided for your pleasure this season in Jesus’ name. However, pay close attention to the Words of the Great Provider.

DAY TWO OF YOUR MIRACLE

And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. Genesis 1:6

The Word of God has creative powers. According to our Bible reading of today, the power in the Word of God created space where there was none. It seemed like there was no space for further creation and the Almighty God wanted to create what now constitutes the present day universe. so the Word created the space between the water and dry land for further creation. The Bible says:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John1:1-3

There are lot of lessons we could learn from this creation story; the  Word of God, when allowed to do His work, will always make away where there is no way and a space where there seemed to be no space. When the Israelites got to the  Red Sea and it seemed like they were stuck between the hosts of Pharaoh and the Sea, the Lord, through Moses, told them to move on . It takes faith in God to obey such a command, thank God they did and their obedience paid off, because the Word made an expressway for them to pass through:

And the Lord said unto Moses, wherefore cries thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward; But life thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the mist of the sea”.  Exodus 14:15-16

Another lesson to be learnt here is; people of God should always talk to God about their challenges. Moses did this effectively and God spoke at every given time, he became a problem solver because he heard from God always. Also, when God speaks, a miracle is potentially performed, but its ultimate manifestation is dependent on human agents. We short-change ourselves of miracles when we fail to heed the Word of God. My prayer for you is that, as you obey the Word of God this year, you will begin to do the impossible in Jesus’ name.

THIS IS MY DAY OF MIRACLE

We read in the Book of Genesis that God created the heaven and the earth in six days. Going by the account of the book of Genesis, we can assuredly say that the miracle of the universe was performed in six days! l pray for someone using this devotional; by the time you go through the first six days of this year, listing to God through this devotional, the everlasting miracles you need for the rest of your life shall be yours in Jesus’ name.

The first challenge that confront the universe was darkness, and this was the first thing God dealt with. When an individual gropes in darkness, he is likely to fall into a ditch and thereby end his life. In other words, darkness is potentially harmful. This is  why there must be light; and there will be light in your life today in Jesus’ name. God said in Genesis 1:3  “Let there be light: and there was light”

One lesson we must learn here is that it was when God spoke His Word that the miracle of light occurred. Many people do not know what they lose when they refuse to allow the Word of God to penetrate their lives. Those outside the Church do not allow the Christian witnesses and evangelists going around their neighbourhood to reach them with the Word of God that will liberate them from darkness. Even, modern day Christians’ close up their hearts to the Word of Go. This is the reason why many have been in the Church for years and their lives have remained the same. They came sick and they have remained sick; they came poor and they have remained poor; they came bound and they have remained bound. What a waste of opportunity.

When there is darkness, there will be no activity. God knows this, and that’s why He first tackled the problem of darkness which the devil brought upon the earth when he was cast down. “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhibiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wreath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12:12

When there is darkness, stagnation is inevitable. Also, we should take note of this phrase in the above scripture; “because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” It simply reveals that the devil works round the clock to get his victims before they discover the light of God in Chris. So, if you are reading this devotional and you have not come into the light of God in Jesus Christ, today is your day of salvation; now is the acceptable time (2 Corinthians 6:2). l decree the miracle of the first day into your life in Jesus’ name.

 

REWARDS FOR RIGHTEOUS

There are rewards for righteous behaviour and there are punishment for evil deeds. The person who gives freely will never lack any good thing while the one who believes that there is wisdom in being stingy will never receive anything. There are some people who mainly focus on their wealth. They are never concerned about the welfare of others. Unfortunately, they are short-changing themselves because when you don’t give, you can never have an opportunity to be blessed.

After speaking to the multitude from Peter’s boat, He told him to launch out into the deep, and the miracle of that catch was so evident that it had a lasting impact on all the beholders; this is what is considered the quality of a true miracle. There is a user of this devotional, l decree in the name that is above all names, my Father will give you a mouthwatering miracle in Jesus’ name. It doesn’t matter how had things may be, your blessings will be daily manifested to the would in Jesus’ name. There is nothing as pleasant as the Lord instructing you. The moment l hear my father instructing me on anything you. The moment l hear my father instructing me on anything, it doesn’t matter how hard it may be, l obey, knowing that it will always end in my favor. The reason some people withhold what they have is because they don’t want it to leave their hands, but in the economy of God, whatever leaves your hand does not leave your life, it will always bring forth a great harvest.

From the experience of Peter and his colleagues, their nets broke so bad that they had to beckon on others for help them. l have always said this; there is at least one of my children who when he goes to the bank to deposit money, because of how much the money usually is, the bank closes for 3 days. And l believe this will be your portion in Jesus’ name. No matter how hard it is to believe, God is not bothered, because He will still do what He wants to do just to show the would that He is God.

In the words of a hymn writer, you must always remember that you are not your own, you are bought with a price, (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Give your whole life to Jesus; let Him take all your moments and your days Withhold not your hands from moving for Him. Let your feet be swift in His business. The moment we give our lives to the Lord, we become partners with Christ. Just as in a partnership, there are nominal partners and there are active partners. This is equally applicable in your relationship with Christ; you cannot put in your all and lack any good thing. Some people have money, but some of the most precious things in life are priceless. God has divinely selected you so that He can be glorified in your life. Peter waited on the Lord with his boat. He wasn’t in a hurry, he did not see himself washing away while other were bury catching fish, and ne instructing from God made the results of others pale in comparison to his. As you wait on the Lord with your sacrifice, service and gifts, the Almighty God who controls the times and seasons will give you an unprecedented breakthrough in Jesus’ name.