Posted in Torah

Moses and his big mouth

A simple connection from reading through the Exodus story last night with the kids. This is the 4th-5th time we have read through this, and they are attending CBS at a local church who is going over Exodus and Leviticus. I wanted to walk through this with them in parallel for many reasons:

  • I don’t like them getting programmed with christian theology and dogma, especially when it comes to Torah.I want to make sure they have a framework of understanding Torah on it’s own.
  • It is easy to be in autopilot about the key stories in scripture, and Exodus contains tons of them. The exodus itself is a foundational piece of faith, but it is easy to forget many of subtle pieces that get summarized.
  • We just finished going through Samuel and Kings, and needed to go on to something again.

But the reality is, reading the same stuff over and over can get boring. I do not believe Yah is boring, I believe we are. But reading over things you already generally know can get a bit dry. So we prayed. Real crazy, super profound idea. God please show us something hidden in here, please connect our hearts.


The start of the Moses Story is about his mouth

Something occurred to me as I was reading that connected 2 end points of Moses and his story.

The first is this simple phrase and part of the story that we know

[Exo 4:12-13 ESV]

12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”

YHVH got angry, and supposedly at Moses. However, I think if you look at all the possible interpretations, you find a few translations that don’t translate this as abject refusal, although the majority do translate it that way. Assuming the interpretation that Moses is basically saying “I don’t want to do this” and God is angry at him for refusing to obey (which in all real understanding God would have known in advance) there is an interesting pattern.

Moses has a problem with his mouth. And he is afraid, and he is standing in the presence of at least the angel of YHVH. Depending on your theology, YHWH AND this angel are there, or just the Angel of Yahweh. Inside a burning flame. Moses is ballsy in a sense, however we dont read him being overwhelmed like Daniel, or Solomon and the Israelites. There are other examples where the power and the glory of God Almighty or an angelic messenger are simply overwhelming. This isn’t a vision as far as we can tell, he has to remove his shoes. This is a literal interaction at a minimum with a messenger of Yah, or Yah itself. And the internal dialog leaks out, and Moses basically says “I can’t, please, no”.

Moses is not being forced to obey in a sense either. He isnt given any real outs, and isnt allowed to back out, but he does get help. But there isnt any sense of him being overwhelmed and forced to do this. We interpret that because of the anger mentioned about God. But it doesnt say the anger compelled him. It is a very odd exchange, and out of much pre-supposed character of God Almighty. God is Boss, do what God says. God angry is BAD because later God destroys people in anger.

The End of the Moses story is about his mouth (or lack)

At the end of Moses’s life, he is not allowed to go into the Promised Land. The explanation is because of his mistake in how he dealt with a direct command from Yah.

[Num 20:10-12 ESV] 10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”

Interestingly, he was supposed to speak this time. Just like at the beginning, when God tells him to go and speak and he doesnt want to, this time God tells him to speak, and he doesnt. And this time, he misses out on something quite special.

There are lots of reasons given for why. If I was leading 3 million people complaining at me all day (and sometimes trying to kill me) I would be sick and tired of everything. I would be out of patience before we left Egypt. I would have taken God up on his offer to start over with just me so I could have thing the way I want.

But isn’t it odd that on both occasions, the problem is Moses simply speaking what He is told? And he doesnt want to. His explanations in the beginning are saying he doesn’t speak well etc… and God give him someone to actually say it for him! He has all the provision he needs. Yet it isn’t enough. All Moses had to do is speak to the rock, and possibly it was Aaron who would have literally done all of the speaking. But Moses simply wont.

It sure seems like he got angry, and what he DOES SAY sure seems foolish “shall WE bring water for you out from this rock?”. WE? Meaning “Me and Aaron” or “Me and Yahweh” or something like that? This sure sounds like frustration, exhaustion, internal conflict all bubbling out. Just like at the start when his mouth finally just says “I dont want to, please send whoever else you like”.

Odd Thoughts

  • Moses seems to have a problem with anger in all his story. He kills an Egyptian early int he story. He rants at the Hebrews. It is all somewhat provoked, and I haven’t met many people who could stand a chance in these circumstances. But it certainly seems that while Moses is considered the meekest man who lived, he had frustration and anger bubbling around in there and it comes out impulsively.
  • Moses is just a man, a human. He simply hit the wall. There is only so much capacity inherent in our own creation to bear up under the intensity of life, and Moses’s life wasn’t easy. He was born in conflict, hunted from birth, separated from family repeatedly, wandering around, resisted by the mission he was entrusted with, and had to mediate between a perfect and holy Sovereign and a group of abused and overwhelmed ex-slaves who couldn’t grasp the reality of what was going on.
  • The Hebrews were kept from the Promised land by what they said in fear, Moses was kept out by what he DIDNT say.
  • If YHWH is all knowing, then was his anger at Moses when he first said “send someone else” the cause of Moses not being allowed to go in later? We attach the punishment to the immediate verse, but in reality our God is outside of time.
  • How is it possible YHVH is so completely powerful, yet Moses could so easily do a great job and be commended by Yah, and so easily miss it?

You could begin to wander all through the scriptures and look about words, mouth, obedience etc… and see patterns and wheels within wheels about this stuff. I can see how Yeshua takes it from here, and executes perfectly in key areas and executes the Word/Debar even better. I can see how the battle is over fear and frustration. I can see how there is simply not enough inside the human spirit to obey completely and execute in a way that communicated the Holy. And yet we also see how Yah is constantly using people, and succeeding. The plans of God are being accomplished in spite of what people are able to do.

Advertisements
Posted in Torah, Wandering Mind

Is Ha Satan (the Adversary) a key partner with Torah

Premise

  1. No one can be condemned (death penalty) for any crime without 2 or more witnesses
  2. You cannot be prosecuted by your own confession alone, there must be other witnesses to confirm it.
  3. Without conviction of your crime, you cannot be forgiven, and your repentance doesn’t have a basis
  4. You require at least 1 more witness, preferably 2.
  5. Where there is no law, there is no sin. Torah is witness #2
  6. Where is the 3rd? Ha Satan, the prosecutor, the adversary makes the perfect case

Conclusion

When you feel convicted of your sin (the missing of the mark), and you look to repent, your confession provides the 3rd witness. The first was Torah. The 2nd was the Adversary. You provide the 3rd. Without the Torah and the Adversary, you will not be convicted. Without being convicted, there is no punishment. Without Punishment, there is no justice. You are stuck in no mans land.

Deuteronomy 19:15

15 “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

From http://www.blairdefense.com/is-a-confession-alone-enough-to-convict-a-defendant/

To make more sense of things, take an example: Somebody walks into a police station and says that they need to give a statement on a robbery. They go on to explain that they just robbed someone at gunpoint and stole their purse. However, the person does not identify the person they robbed or tell the police where the gun is. The person does not have a purse in their possession, either. The police cannot follow up on this crime because they have no evidence to go off of. Therefore, this person cannot be convicted of robbery.

Posted in Torah

Bread or Word or Both?

[Deu 8:3 NKJV] 3 “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every [word] that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.

[Mat 4:4 NKJV] 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

It isnt what goes in YOUR mouth that keeps you alive, but what comes forth from YAH.

Promises, Covenants, Instructions, Specific Directions, commandments, breath, Spirit, Salvation (Yeshua). Everything the Hebrews were relying upon to happen wasn’t coming from their own actions. In fact, Yah was making them hungry, and showing them where their heart would wander.

There is no reference to the word “Word” here. It is whatever springs forth, or has its origin in “peh-Yehovah”. Mouth of Yah. Certainly that would be something spoken as an easy interpretation, but it doesn’t say “devar” or any variant of that.

Anah (humbled) here is used in context of being made hungry, and probably weak. That word is used for the day of atonement, yet another indicator this is really removal of food, and humbling oneself. Is that day a re-enactment of this principle, and willful re-connection with being unable to accomplish salvation, atonement, accomplishment of promises and then experiencing the atonement of YWHW?
Even when Yah gives you something (Manna in this case), your ability to handle it and manage it only goes so far. You need more tomorrow. And you cannot make it yourself.

Manna was also the first test with regards to Sabbath. Immediately, people tried to corner the market and gather extra so they wouldn’t run out. And when they did that (in disobedience from something that came from the mouth of Yah) it turned into putrid and disgusting things.

At the same time, They were to gather double on “Friday” am, and keep it. Every day didn’t have the same exact instructions. You simply had to rely upon the instructions, and do them.

This gets quoted later in the midst of temptation. Yeshua was seeming to state at some level “Bread going in my body isnt my only concern right now. Im being sustained by what is coming out of Yahweh, and Ill rely on that to make things happen and keep me alive”

Some examples of things that come forth from Yehovah’s mouth that aren’t spoken…

[Mar 7:20 NKJV] 20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.

[Mat 15:11 NKJV] 11 “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

[Rev 19:15 NKJV] 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

[Heb 1:1-3 NKJV] 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by [His] Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of [His] glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Posted in Torah

Hominids vs Mankind

Following listening to a podcast by Nehemia Gordon called “Hebrew Voices” where Nehemia spoke with Dr Gerald Schroder I found myself ushered on to a wild ride I never saw coming. At this point (Nov 2016), I’m a few weeks in and my head is spinning with both the coherence I’m finding with Scripture,  answers to things I’ve wondered, and a rush of ideas about the possible implications.

I already have more than I can organize, write or communicate. I’m more about simply note taking and tracking ideas for now, but it is hard to shake that I’m hip deep into a fundamental shift in something fairly profound. While most things only appear significant in hindsight, at times we tend to get indicators while we are in it. This is on par with times previous

So if this “neshamah” is the difference, and Adam was already existing prior to the infusion of “the neshamah“, existence is not the same thing as “being alive”. Animals were existing, some possibly human like in form and function. But once Yah breathed the neshamah into a specific one, the bible begins the story and a separation occurs.

There is an idea about the breath of YHVH making Adam (mankind) a living soul. YHVH taking existing creatures and made them aware of Yah by this change. Dr. Gerald Schroder has written extensively about this. This has a basis within the idea of a long earth creation and guided evolution consistent with the fossil record and the idea of time being relative to the observer, as well as the creation account having 2 perspectives. Hominids were around, but until Yah breathed the unique “neshamah” into the Adamah, and then man(kind) became a “Living Soul” as opposed to the other hominids. And the Bible itself works from that reference point forward.

Using this idea as somewhat of a thought experiment, it leads to interesting insights.


When Cain was sent away, the people who would kill him could very well be other hominids, without the neshamah. The special mark could have been something to scare them away.

This is even more interesting when you think about the garden itself. Mankind was taken from where they were formed, and placed in a garden. The garden was not the place of physical formation. By all appearances, the garden environment was a school. The real original kinder garden.

In addition, if the above idea of parallel hominids is true, it was the first separation of Yah about the animals. The adamah became a “set apart”, or “holy” people. They were given a chance to develop and grow in relation to Yahweh, in a pristine environment. While we don’t know the goal in a direct sense, we can infer a lot about it.

Were Adam and Havah, and therefore Cain, Abel, and Seth interacting with these hominids? Were they exercising their leadership over them? Were they having sexual relations… i.e. marrying them? Were these hominids developing into the Nephilim via either literal supernatural guidance that was evil, or genetic selection into bigger and more violent beings?

Were angels or “watchers” the original caretakers of Earth and the natural world, and was Yah training up beings made in Yah’s own image in the “Kinder Garden” to eventually come forth and demonstrate and guide creation in Torah? Is the millennial reign simply a repeat wheel within a wheel of this pattern?

Nephesh vs Neshamah vs Ruach

Nephesh = Soul, but also desires, appetites, (Instincts?)

Yom Kippur – Nephesh

Ruach – breath, spirit

 

What about being “Naked”

Naked isn’t shameful…. it is a description of an ANE (Ancient Near East) perspective that describes the difference between animals, and even children and mature adults. It describes a qualitative difference between someone who is unaware of cultural norms. Yah NEVER describes nakedness itself as evil, but does instruct us to be covered and the scripture uses “uncovering the nakedness” is an idiomatic phrase meaning sexual intercourse. Priests are also not allowed to use steps so that their bodies would be exposed. This also probably happens to be something pagan religions would do, as an enticement to sexual immorality.

SO WHAT?

The Wheels Within Wheels . . .

  • Yah breathed into creation and expanded the initial singularity and started its expansion.
  • In the unimaginable size and amount of material in the creation, there is a specific galaxy set apart.
  • Within this galaxy, there is a solar system set apart.
  • Within the solar system (a billionth of a billionth) there is a specific planet uniquely balanced to support a whole biosystem like we experience now.
  • Within this biosystem, there is a set of hominids singled out from all the other animals
  • Yah breathed into this “Adamah” the neshamah  and Adamah became “Alive”
  • Within this species, eventually there emerges a specific group (nation) of them that become the focus of interaction with the Creator
  • Within this nation, there is a specific tribe (out of 12-13) that becomes the unique interactive group (Levites) for mediationa nd role modeling.
  • Within this specific tribe, there is a family that is the unique focus.
  • Within this family, there is a unique individual who typifies the responsibilities and activities.
  • Within the planet, there is a specific region (geographical) that is the focus.
  • Within this area, there is a specific location built to contain the interaction between the Creator and the Planet, through the special people.
  • Within this special location, there is multiple layers of exclusive interaction, eventually coming down to one human, in one unique spot, on one special day of the year.

The whole of scripture becomes focused on the Creator interacting with this part of a part of a part of the whole creation, primarily within the context of this special species filled with this special presence following patterns of ever more unique and individual elements.

 

 

Posted in Torah, Wandering Mind

Learning from the Mo’edim – Pesach 2017

I didnt realize I had skipped the last set of holidays. I dont write this stuff down much, I get distracted with work, life, other projects…

Last night we listened to the Exodus story. Having read or heard this gobs of times it is easy to check out. At the same time, both the kids and I find numerous things we are connecting in it from other parts of scripture. We are such humans, stumbling through it all.

One thing that caught my eye had nothing to do with the traditional story of the plagues and the deliverance. It was about Zipporah.

[Exo 2:21 NKJV] 21 Then Moses was content to live with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses.

This phrase or concept is so common in scripture, and something easily misunderstood. It appears here that Jethro made the judgement call and required Zipporah to marry Moses. Like an “arranged marriage”. There are a few things to consider:

  1. This isnt Israel. This is essentially Pre-Israel in that while Israel exists, and they are in covenant, they are in slavery in Egypt, and have not yet established their own culture and people.
  2. This is in Midian (Saudi Arabia today) and Moses is not a Midianite. In fact Moshe is more Egyptian than anything else, and the people are Midianites.
  3. Moses is alone. He isn’t with his family. He doesn’t have a father or kin to negotiate a marriage.
  4. Jethro is a priest in Midian, which had to have some status, if not significant status. He also had multiple daughters, possibly he was wealthy.

The main takeaway for me was even though this contest of “giving a daughter in marriage” is familiar, the setting isn’t. In most societies in the ANE, you don’t marry outside your people, let alone you extended family. And a stranger who comes with nothing, possibly on the run, isn’t your dream for your daughter.

Another piece of this is the phrase “give”.

Nathan

This is the root of the term gave. It can mean a lot of varied and nuanced things. This particular word used in the passage is considered imperfect, which normally means uncompleted. But that can also have some application to an event in the past. Here is an explanation used at the BLB site

1a) It is used to describe a single (as opposed to a repeated) action in the past; it differs from the perfect in being more vivid and pictorial. The perfect expresses the “fact”, the imperfect adds color and movement by suggesting the “process” preliminary to its completion.

I dont know Hebrew well enough to tease out anything, but I find it odd it is imperfect, but completed.

Anyhow, the phrase and concept is that someone gave something to someone else. And we see this is scripture all the time with marriage. However what gets overlooked often is the idea of consent, especially for the woman. The phsae gets read over and it sounds like the woman is property which is traded and exchanged for compensation.

I would believe (because even now it is true, that this DOES occur) this is true within a wide range of degrees. And some of it is/was simply horrid.

But in stories such as Rebecca and Issac, Rebecca consented. She could have said no. Given her situation, her scheming family, and the wealthy dude showing up on behalf of some far away family member, she was probably smart in getting out of town. But it was her choice.

I have heard other commentators and people who study scripture and history make the case that it is IMPLIED that the woman always had consent. Certainly she could be pressured, or influenced. But there is no shred of idea presented tot he Israelite people, by their God, that woman are property, that they are to be exchanged for value, or that they have no say in the matter. Culturally there might be rules or norms, but nothing from Yah’s position seems to indicate otherwise.

Entering Marriage and Convenant is Voluntary

Not just marriage, but all covenant. Can you think of or bring any sample where a covenant is involuntary? Perhaps the Noahide Covenant could be. The world dint say “Yes Yahweh, I would like to be in a covenant where you wont destroy us again”. But in reality that isnt even the idea. Yah was making a promise not to do something.

I can think of no piece of information we have about Yah where anyone is forced into any situation like this. Invited, Encouraged, Facilitated, Paid For, Sustained… yep. But by every indication what Yah looks for is voluntary, trusting, heart-based engagement built on trust and confidence about Yah.

Revisit the idea of “gave”. It is also possible in this setting, Moses ASKED Jethro to marry Zipporah, and Jethro “gave his consent”.  It could mean as many combinations of permission, consent, and request between all 3 people as any other combination. And Jethro KNEW Moses wasnt “from ’round here” and could easily leave. Moses also had nothing, he was a runaway. Jewish tradition says he did all sorts of other things on his way to Midian, and was a great warrior and rich guy. Maybe. God didnt tell us that. We do see a guy without much confidence, broken, and not good in front of people.

We see later that Zipporah was “put away” by Moses. We dont know when or how or why. Maybe Moses didnt want her to get caught in all the trauma that was going to go down. Maybe she left at the “you are a bridegroom of blood to me” incident. We know Jethro brought her later after the Exodus and seems to have tried to reconcile them, or reunite them. We dont even know if it worked!

I guess my point is, it is so easy to read a phrase, assume an interpretation, and move on. Many women take serious objection to the idea of being treated this way. I dont blame them. They can read scripture and think that God creates cultures that treat women like property. That is a common understanding of the value of women in scripture. I think it is mistaken, mostly because a simple phrase assumes an awful lot of other things that could have happened, and we as modern readers fill in the blanks. We might even do that based on things we hear about or see that might be misplaced, or even grotesque and assume that is part of the backstory.

But the rest of the scripture doesnt support the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob that way. The humans on the planet might have practices and behaviors contrary to the nature of Yahweh! Shocking but true. As well, the lack of understanding of the culture and context of the author makes it hard. I just dont see how Yah wants to, encourages, or sets up systems where women are have no ability to consent or engage in covenant voluntarily. It doesn’t fit with the character or scripture.

Funny how I caught on to some weird idea not immediate to the holiday, but it happened.

Posted in Sabbath

Keeping Sabbath Idea Part 1

There are endless debates… whole books eve… about HOW to keep Sabbath. The battle for people who have come to some kind of conviction about the fact that keeping Sabbath Holy (set apart from the other days) is how to execute it.

From my perspective it seems to grow and change. It has for me over years, and even in the last few months I have felt a deeper heart desire to actually “keep” (really more guard or watch over) it. It seems as if I have been missing something even more profound and lacking. I can rest all day, I can nap and sleep. I can turn off my work resources… and I can try  to focus mentally away from work. I have been doing this for years. So the recent desire I have felt seem to be more attached to experiencing and connecting with what is behind or under the actions. More like the HEART of the Sabbath…

The main changes I have been through the last 8 years or so are:

  • I need to have Sabbath
  • In Torah, The Sabbath is Yehovah’s Sabbath, not mine. I am invited into it.
  • Sabbath isnt Sunday, it is the 7th day of the week i.e.  “Satur(n)day”. Scripture contextually understands a day to begin at sunset, not midnight.
  • There are other days oriented around Biblical Holidays that are ALSO a Sabbath, and some have slightly different instructions.
  • Work is forbidden
    • Work seems to be literally things I do to make income or supply our home with resource, not things that require effort.
  • Anyone else work on my behalf is forbidden.
    • Slaves, Servants, and Foreigners in Israel were required to forgoe work per Torah.
    • Others who dont keep Sabbath are not to work for me, nor am I to benefit from their labor.
  • The exchange of money is almost always associated with someones labor or income (i.e. “work”) so the best way for me to guard the holiness of Sabbath is to avoid buying and selling
  • Guarding the holiness of Yah’s Sabbaths seems to mean that in some way the day should be qualitatively different (i.e. Set-Apart) from other days.
    • Originally this meant indulgence for me. Like I have wine or beer and celebrate. Desserts and treats. Watching media and things that are special.
    • Lately, this has also meant more like taking the lack of obligation to work to have more time for things like learning Hebrew, reading scripture, listening to teaching etc…
    • No chores, homework or similar drudgery because this day is a break.

The last points have their own set of problems. With 3 little kids, we make food constantly. As soon as everyone is awake, we just keep putting food out for everyone. By the time the day is over, we have a pile of dishes in the sink, we are out of step with the daily maintenance of running the dishwasher or laundry etc… means EXTRA work after this “day of rest”. It is almost MORE of a hassle… and I just cannot believe this fits the idea or heart of Sabbath.

So we employed a few techniques… lets use (and compost!) paper plates and bowls during the Friday evening meal. Lets premake some things on Friday so we prepare as little as possible during the day. Lets run the dishwasher and clear all the clean dishes before dinner Friday so we don’t have to do it before “catching up” Saturday evening, Sunday morning. Lets set aside more time and focus Friday afternoon to make sure this is accomplished.

This has been harder to accomplish than I thought. But it has been worth the effort.

One piece that seemed to make a lot of sense was food prep. Traditionally the Jewish community ranges from barely observing Shabbat to now cooking, not turning on lights, and using electricity and cars etc…. It is very common however to see things come back down to food. Manna was given, and yet you couldn’t keep it overnight unless it was the day prior to Sabbath. It was a test in fact.. one the children of Israel couldn’t quite get for a good while. Eventually Moses tells them not to leave their “place”, which sometimes gets interpreted as house. However as Nehemia Gordon states, with no indoor plumbing and 3 million people there is no way people didn’t leave their tents during the day.

Ive tried to engage this more and more… can we get away from making food and reduce the intensity and obligation and more deeply fulfill the requirement. The common verse used is following:

hen he [Moses] said to them, “This is what the Lord meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.” So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul, nor was there any worm in it. Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none.” It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions?” [Then Moses said to the people] “See, the Lord has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” Exodus 16:23-29

The phrase “Bake what you will Bake, Boil what you will Boil” which is used to apply to the idea about food prep. The general idea is “prep is all and get is all made so you dont have to do this on Shabbat”. And I like the idea, and love the heart of it. I make a lot of food, and it is something I enjoy. However, this would really make the whole day a lot more relaxing and more restful. However it has been harder to implement than I thought. I do agree it is a great idea, but until just now I had never seen what might be a very simple context/application of this.

“All that is left over put aside to be kept until morning”… Does this mean:

  • The things you MADE (like bread, manna tamales, mannaghetti etc…)
  • The manna itself

I just simply assumed it was the first example, and was steered into that idea by the traditions and practices of other folks. But the weird thing I didnt realize is Manna spoiled when left over every night on other days, but it doesnt seem to say things MADE with manna spoiled. Ill have to do more research, but the test was collecting a bunch of manna in your house and saving it overnight. The fear you wouldnt have enough for tomorrow, or someone else would get what you needed etc… drove people to not trust Yah and disobey. But Sabbath is totally different. Sabbath allows for keeping manna overnight, without spoiling.

If the manna can be left for 2 days means you would end up making something with manna the next day. Or at least you could if you wanted. If it is premade food that is the focus here, then you truly need to make at least 2 days food (probably more as Sat night would be a panic to make a bunch more food) by end of Friday night.

This would mean the process of making food isn’t the prohibition. And the fixation with it is coming from more bias than anything else. It could be a well intended, and heartfelt context, but missing the point. I want to reduce the activity and intensity of work on Sabbath, and make it different (set apart actually not just different). Premaking food and avoiding being under duress to make it on Sabbath is a great idea for me. But it possibly isnt one of the literal pillars of guarding the Sabbath in the first place.

Here is a great link to an article by Monte Judah that I think is a great read. We dont do a specific ritual, but we used to. I like the idea of developing things in your family to make this day special and set-apart. I also really love his simple idea… if this is a day Yah is inviting you into, how would you respond to that invitation, and how you would in turn make room, space and an environment to celebrate it with Yah?

http://www.montejudahblog.com/random-musings/106-commandments-of-the-sabbath

 

Posted in Torah, Wandering Mind

Righteousness by Faith is the oldest (good) news

While I was writing this, I ended up separating a portion of this into another post, Dizzy Faith. I dont know why or how, but the Wandering Mind thing hit me….


Faith was designed into the Garden

Just as a parent parses out knowledge and information to a child, YHVH leads us by Wisdom, within the context of Relationship and Revelation. At least that is my take on it. The context for this is shown in an account from the Garden in Eden:

[Gen 3:8 NKJV] 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Ive had a theory and interpretation of this for years, and it is more ind epth than I cn get into. But the basic idea in this application is that at a certain point of the day, perhaps regularly, YHVH walked around the garden wherein YHVH had placed Mankind. Both Adam and Havah were there. And YHVH called out to them.

This to me implies a lot of things, mostly relationship. There is a familiarity between mankind and YHVH. There is a connection, dialog. YHVH obviously know what is going on, so YHWH is in fact teaching mankind. I would even say shepherding, guiding towards a goal. Parenting comes to mind.

It is in this context that I began to think about faith. And many things in our life, parenting, teaching, correcting, leading etc… all work within the framework of the intedned party to have faith. Not just belief, but actual conviction working through action.

Parenting Children

Children often desire immediate remedy to whatever state they find themselves in. Especially when they perceive themselves to have a need or a lack. Many times they want information, or knowledge. It gives them a sense of stability, or even mastery of something that is currently keeping them in a sense of instability.

In some cases it is excitement:

Parent: “Guess where we are going tomorrow? It is going to be so fun!”

Child: “Where? Tell me!”

Parent: “Just trust me, you are going to LOVE IT!”

Child then pesters Parent incessantly.

In some cases, it is trust oriented

Child: “I need X (food, opportunity, object, help, support etc..)”

Parent: “Ill help you with that soon”

Child: “I need X NOW!!!”

Parent: “It is ok, don’t worry, Ill help you. You are actually fine, even though you don’t feel like it. Trust me, you are ok and Ill take care of it”

The temptation is to have immediate satisfaction of desire. The sign of immaturity is the inability to defer gratification. It is perfectly appropriate for a 2 or 3 year old to be “immature”. There are graduated steps of maturity and ability. We expect people to progress through stages and appropriate more ability to defer immediate gratification and resolution to unknowns.

There are many facets of this idea. From fear to excitement, to something new, or something boring. But Im beginning to see that a huge goal of parenting is to guide a child into an ability to trust us, and learn and develop themselves within that process so that they are successful in navigating the unknowns and emerging as authentic representations of their true selves. As they gain mastery and comprehension over themselves, and their interactions with others and the creation, they are able to DO what they BELIEVE.

Faith is Trust Matured

Faith is the ability to trust while the experience of the desire/need is not yet experienced. By faith Abraham was considered righteous.

Abraham was directed to offer his only son over to death. This was not unknown in Abrahams experience. People did this to their gods. YHVH had not given torah/instructions about forbidding child sacrifice. But at the point of this directive, Abraham believed that even if he did what Yahweh directed, the promise Yahweh had made about children and descendants would be accomplished by Yahwehs own power. All Abraham had to do was obey and let Yahweh deliver on Yahweh’s own promises. There was a level of confidence Abraham had that places his actions (not some ethereal mental concept) as the model for  everyone.

The Real Kinder(Garden)

Was YHVH always training creation in righteousness that comes from faith? Was the garden in Eden the perfect environment to walk mankind through a series of experiences, perhaps on a daily basis, to progressively teach them the nature and character of YHWH? If so, then was the alternative taking control ourselves of knowledge, information, or some other kind of resolution to a felt need, interest, stimulus or similar instinct? Is there an “appetite” (nephesh?) within mankind that can go beyond what is provided and seek out satisfaction some other way?

Was the eating from the knowledge tree the result of coveting information and understanding of how things work, and being able to avoid walking in daily dependence on relational based revelation? Was Havah encouraged to take control herself over the God ordained and God paced process of development and training in righteousness and have access to knowledge without having to be dependent on Yah?

It appears that way to me….

Climbing over the wall instead of using the gate

By eating of the Knowledge Tree, Havah and Adam circumvented the matrix which allowed YHVH to deliver knowledge via relationship (daily “walking” in the cool of the day?). They were introduced to an alternative (strange, foreign, secret, gnostic?) path. There was something awakened in them (before its time), and once awake, began to rule. They coveted knowledge, and wanted it for themselves. The crafty, shining, most naked one of all, the serpent (nechash) informed mankind that there was far more than what Yah was delivering. In fact, Yah was intentionally holding out on them. It wasn’t that Yah didn’t know certain things, it was that Yah knew FULL WELL and was refusing to share it. The serpent seemed to have first hand knowledge about this. The implication is, and we learn more about this later in scripture, that Yah had withheld these things from the serpent as well!

I know that classic christian thought is that this serpent was “Satan”, a personal and malevolent being, most probably a “fallen angel”. I have heard jewish perspectives that this was simply a snake, and this was just a snake being a snake. They talked with people, and it wasnt sin for a snake to desire these things, but it was wrong for mankind.

I tend to think it was a unique spiritual being, who was the embodiment of what the term “Satan” is, an adversary. There are many “satans”, from actual personal beings to worldwide evil anti Yah mindsets and agendas. Apparently in Israel, prosecuting attorneys are actually called “Satans”.

Regardless of the context one might have for the “satan”, it is the action of mankind that resulted in its own problem. It may have been encouraged, or catalyzed, but it was the action, not the thought, that was the downfall.

It was the DOING of the eating or the fruit from the Knowledge Tree that was wrong. Whatever the motives. But the motives themselves are easily understood as lack of Faith (conviction, belief, assurance, trust) in the words Yah gave.

The Results

Adam had to return back to where Adam came from (the dirt outside the Garden). The pattern then repeats itself with the Hebrew children. They had to wander the desert (the dirt) and learn how to walk in dependence on Yahwehs provision. Every time they desired to take things into their own hands, the consequences were essentially death. Either by their enemies, Elohim’s judgements, or by the loss of valuable property in sacrifices.

The result of the covetous action of eating from the knowledge tree resulted in death. And now with more knowledge than YAH parsed out at any given time, mankind had awareness of possibilities and options that bring fear, anxiety or apprehension. The desire to appease the initial response can become so great that humans take actions about options or possibilities without WISDOM directing the flow, quality, and truth of the scenario. By acting outside of, or parallel to, YHWH they act outside of covenant relationship. They use their strength, mind, might, in reality their SELF to LOVE THEMSELVES.

As well, people see opportunities for their desires without understanding the broader impact to anyone or anything else. By taking action on these desires without the guidance of WISDOM, they end up with results at someone or something else’s expense. They essentially forgo LOVING THEIR NEIGHBOR.

This all stems from their lack of Loving YHVH with all their might, soul, strength, mind etc… Loving Yahweh is defined as obeying Yahweh’s commands. It isnt thinking right, it is DOING them. In fact, study the idea of Guarding (Shamar). We are told to guard the commands of Yah. Mankind was told to guard the garden. Learning from Yah, and then guarding what Yah said.

Faith in the Garden

If the thesis is in the right direction, then YHVH was sustaining mankind while teaching them the way things work, how to trust, how to be righteous. As they learned, they were to guard what was told them. Watch over it. tend to it, keep it, treasure etc… Not just the command itself, but the actual outworking of it. For instance, Im not supposed to shamar a Torah Scroll. Im supposed to shamar the instructions of it. it is not a conceptual idea, but a reality.

By circumventing this trust and response to Yahweh, death came. More on that later. A lack of Life is the result of not DOING the instructions.