Harp and Story

Day 39 of the Counting of the Omer

The Light of Life

Several years ago I was working in an inner city school district as a substitute teacher; it was during the time the Harry Potter books were coming into popularity.  The kids in my classes were reading them and excitedly talking about them; their enthusiasm was quite contagious.  Personally I wasn’t interested in Harry Potter and his activities, but the kids kept asking me questions about the characters in the books, and wanting my opinion on how I thought the story might twist and turn so I decided to read one.  As I read the book I was struck with the awareness that these books have an agenda; the “occultic” seduction of our children.  A huge leap forward by the forces of darkness was accomplished by the release of these books and their subsequent movies.  Separate and distinct Good and evil as in David and Goliath, had been replaced with “good” evil and bad evil.

All my life I have heard people say that as darkness increases, as in wickedness, light must also increase, as in YHVH’s power.  But as I scan national and world headlines that saying doesn’t seem to be holding true.  Molech, the pagan god is still receiving homage by sacrifices of millions of unborn babies killed every year.  There’s an interesting story in 2Kings 3 that is about Israel and Judah defeating the Moabites in a resounding victory until we come to verses 26-27; “When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took with him 700 men who drew swords, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not.  Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the wall.  And there came great wrath against Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own land.”  Remember that old song, “There’s power in the blood”?  We who are believers sing that song in reference to our Messiah Y’Shua; it’s His blood, shed for us at Calvary that is powerful, but the enemy of the brethren also knows the power of shed blood and the more innocent blood that is shed the more powerful he becomes.

Rav Shaul tells us in Romans 1:18 that the wrath of YHVH is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…

Have you ever thought that when evolution was allowed to be taught in our nation’s schools, not as a theory, but as fact, that that was really the beginning of the end of Biblical Christianity?   Genesis chapter 1 ceased being a truth, therefore if creation as reported in the Holy Scriptures is not to be believed then what else is not to be believed.  I met a woman once who told me she had been an ordained pastor in a mainline church, but years later she had received salvation in another mainline church.  I looked at her with puzzlement written all over my face, “How can that be,” I asked, “You were a pastor in the church.”  She looked right into my eyes and said, “You don’t have to believe in Jesus to be a pastor in the ___________church.”  I was speechless!

Rav Shaul goes on to say, “For they exchanged the truth of YHVH for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, whose is blessed forever. Amen.  For this reason YHVH gave them over to degrading passions…  And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge YHVH any longer, YHVH gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper.”

How long can this nation spite YHVH and not expect judgment?  11 state legislatures have now made it legal for same sex couples to marry.  California’s legislature passed a law that is now being battled in the courts, which would make it a crime for trained counselors to help young people resist an alternate lifestyle.  The news is reporting that sexual abuse in the military is rampant; 70 cases a day are being filed and the man in charge of weeding out this abuse is himself now being charged with sexual misconduct.  Can it be that when corruption rules, men act corruptly!  Lying is rampant.  Have you listened to the reports on the horrible tragedy of Benghazi?   To the highest levels of our government we are finding out that what we were told is all lies! 

What to do?  Is light increasing at the same pace as darkness?

I was in a position a while back where the extreme intensity of a light was shining right in my eyes, blinding me.  In the small confines of the space I had been allotted I tried stepping to the right, but I couldn’t get out of that blinding glare, I tried stepping to the left and the same thing; I finally had to leave the area all together and wait in the shadows until someone adjusted the light.  What I had come to that place to do had to be delayed until the issue of the blinding glare had been resolved.

A few days after I returned home from that engagement and I sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to watch the new Alice in Wonderland movie.  “What?” I have never been an Alice in Wonderland fan, but nevertheless I went and rented the movie and reluctantly watched it.  In this movie Wonderland is referred to as Underland, (as in underworld, the place of criminal activity?)   The movie was billed as great fun, entertainment for the entire family, but I found it had a dark and disturbing message; more brainwashing to replace the absolutes of good and evil with “good” evil and bad evil.  Do you get it yet? The Holy Spirit seemed to be saying to me.

 “Please help,” I said, “I know there is something you want me to understand.”  YHVH is faithful to answer us when we ask and this is what was unfolded to me that I now pass on to you, for the historic times we are entering will demand that we make decisions for spiritual life or for spiritual death.

“As I have showed you these three ways it is not darkness opposed to light, one or the other, but what is perceived as “good” darkness and then bad darkness with Light sandwiched between them.  As the “good” darkness expands on one side and the bad darkness expands on the other side, it crowds the Light, causing the Light to become more and more focused and intense; the Light is not growing so much in volume or quantity, but in intensity.  The tendency of most people who call themselves believers in Y’Shua/Jesus will be to try and shield themselves from the extreme intensity of the Light.  The need to move into the darkness will be almost overwhelming.  They will know gross darkness for what it is and most likely not make a move in that direction, but the siren call of “good” darkness, or the shadows, will be strong and many will justify their move into the “white witch’s” camp as necessary.  Necessary for the continuance of my ministry, necessary for the safety of my family, necessary for any number of reasons and their they will perish.”

“Oh YHVH,” I cried, now on my knees, tears falling down my face, “who will be able to stand?”  For I was recalling my own experience in the blinding glare of that extremely intense light and how I had moved into the shadows to escape its intensity.  And then a vision came to my mind; I saw myself in the intensity of the light, trying to stand; I could feel the unbearable pain of my position, wanting to run, but wanting more to stay when suddenly a white-robed figure moved between me and the blinding glare; my shield.  I knew it was Y’Shua, and I instantly knew that as long as I stayed behind Him, in His shadow, I could stand, and bear the intensity. 

Y’Shua is our shield.  Do not betray Him by stepping into the darkness either “good” or “bad”.   Matthew 10:33; “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”  The momentary comfort of the shadows is not worth the eternal price tag.

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to YHVH, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust; for it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.                                                        You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.  A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you.  You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.  For you have made YHVH, who is my refuge the Most High, your dwelling place; no evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.  For YHVH will give His angels charge concerning you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.  You will tread upon the lion and cobra; the young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My Name.  He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him.  With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My Salvation.

If this is where you live you will be able to stand – Have no fear of man, but Fear, stand in Great Awe of, YHVH!

How Did We Get Here?

For Expediency’s Sake

I grew up during a time when parents didn’t think twice about letting their children play on the streets of their neighborhoods; or ride their bikes down the road to the local mom and pop convenience store.  A family was a mom and a dad with kids, not a dad and another man who was mom or a mom and another woman who was dad.  Boys knew they were boys and because they were boys they used the boy’s bathroom and girls knew they were girls and knew to use the girl’s bathroom.  On my street “drugs” was something that you got from the drugstore for a headache or fever or cold.  We hardly ever locked the house and almost always left the keys in the car; our house was never robbed nor was our car ever stolen.  I grew up in a security that I didn’t even think about – it just was.  My teachers at public school started the day with prayer and a reading from the Bible, before we all ate lunch in the cafeteria someone went to the microphone on the stage and offered thanks to God for the food.  No one even thought to propose that somehow this magnificent world came into being by anything less than the Hand of God.  We went to church, we sang songs, we listened, we prayed, we loved our neighbors and took care of them when they needed our help. Children rode in the open back of pick-ups, the wind blowing our hair in wild disarray and when we were naughty we were disciplined, more than likely with a paddle to the bare behind. We loved and rejoiced over all our babies; they might have come at an inconvenient time, but no one I knew ever thought to murder this precious, thriving life.  These blessings to us were more than a mass of tissue leaching a woman’s vitality, they were gifts from God.  We lived God’s commandments as best we could, we paid our taxes and we went to work, we supported our families with what we earned and we never realized a malignant, wicked force was slowly, bite by bite, eroding away what we loved, cherished and valued; until one day, bemused and befuddled we awoke with a startled, “What happened,” and then we realized we had come to the game late, having been lulled into a state of apathy by our own sense of peace and safety. So what happened in the intervening years between then and today?  I think we can find the answer to this question in the story of Y’Shua before Pilate from John chapters 18 and 19. 

Here’s a summary with a bit of commentary:

*  Y’Shua is brought by the high priest’s and officers to Pilate, whose first question is: “What accusation do you bring against this man?”  Every day an assault is brought against the character of Y’Shua YHVH by mankind’s schemes of wickedness, his occult practices, greed, murder, homosexuality, adultery, drunkenness, all manner of perversions, deceit, slander, the hating of Elohim, and inventing of evil and… Those who brought Y’Shua to Pilate were of this ilk.

*  The people respond, “If this man were not an evil-doer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.” And Pilate tells them, “Take Him yourselves and judge Him according to your law.”  But these Jews respond, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” These people don’t want the penalty of judgment on their hands; but they do want their way.  They are vocal, they are persistent.

*  Pilate asks Y’Shua, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And Y’Shua replies, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”  We try to gather facts to help us make an enlightened decision.

*  Pilate answers, “I am not a Jew, am I?  Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You up to me; what have you done?”  Y’Shua answers Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”  We may not like what we find out.

*  Pilate comes back with, “So you are a King?”  Y’Shua answers him with, “You say that I am a king.  For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”  Pilate says to Y’Shua, “What is truth?”  We may try to discount what we hear.

*  And then Pilate goes out to the crowd and announces, “I find no guilt in Him.”  Pilate attempts to get out of this situation by offering the agitators a choice; the release of a convicted felon or their king, but the crowd chooses the release of the criminal.  We state our findings and then maybe we look around for a way to compromise our convictions, hoping the mob opinion will be favorable to ours.

*  At the mob’s insistence Pilate takes Y’Shua into custody and treats him like a convicted criminal.  After Pilate’s soldiers abuse, beat and mock him, Y’Shua is once again brought out to stand before the crowd where Pilate proclaims, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.”  Wearing a purple robe and a crown of thorns, Pilate presents Y’Shua to the people and says, “Behold, the Man!”  But the mob opinion turns ugly and wanting to preserve our own skin we give into a pretense of acceptance hoping that somehow the attitude of the mob will change.

*  But the chief priests and the officers respond with, “Crucify! Crucify!”  Pilate says to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.”  But the Jews are adamant, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of YHVH.”  But the mob seeing a crack in your defense demands more.

*  When Pilate heard this statement he was even more afraid and said to Y’Shua, “Where are you from?”  But Y’Shua did not answer him.  So Pilate responded with, “Do you not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?”  Y’Shua answers this statement of Pilate’s with, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin.”  The camel’s head is in the tent door.  Do we, like Pilate attempt to threaten Y’ShuaYHVH because things have not worked out how we wanted them to? What are we to do?  Give me something to work with, we plead, (something other than His Truth.) 

*  With this verbal exchange Pilate makes efforts to release Y’Shua, but the mob is having none of it.  “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar’s; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar,” they vehemently declare to Pilate.  One last chance, please, listen to reason, but the opportunity has passed to nip the thing in the bud, it has grown into a full-scale take-over by the rabble.

*  Pilate responds to their intimidation by once again bringing Y’Shua out and then sitting down on the judgment seat to render his verdict.  “Behold, your King,” he says to them, but they shout back, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!”  Our voice grows dim amid their shouts like a child’s piano tinkling out “Jesus Loves Me” against the rant of their fury.

*  And one last time Pilate halfheartedly tries to reason with the crowd, “Shall I crucify your King?”  And the chief priests answer, “We have no king but Caesar.”  We finally cower under their threats and intimidation; they no longer hear our voice, because we gave them the microphone. 

*  So Pilate then delivered Him to them to be crucified.  And another principle of Torah bites the dust, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among men has been silenced again.

We, like Pilate will have to make a decision.  We hear the accusation, we may try to not accept responsibility for the action we see taking place, but sooner or later it will demand a response from us.  We may try to deny involvement, or blame someone else or cast doubt or dispersion on credible evidence, but the matter is landed squarely in our lap and there is no avoiding it.  But what is truth anyway?  Truth for you may not necessarily be truth for me, thereby trying to absolve our self from any guilt, perceived or otherwise.  And then for expediency’s sake we compromise; well it’s not really that bad, and then we give in, we adjust and our reality is changed. 

Torah, YHVH’s instructions for life, was given to us for our benefit and well-being; they are a guide that keeps us from injury and harm.  YHVH made a path for us to walk; as long as we stay on that path we are kept safe by the Light of His presence.  Darkness and light cannot abide together; where Light is darkness cannot be.  Go into a dark room and turn on the light, what happens to the darkness – it flees. 

We have to know what we know and then stand on it. Ephesians 6:11-13; “Put on the full armor of YHVH, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the full armor of YHVH that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

 Which side will we take a stand on, or maybe we won’t take a stand at all, or maybe for expediency’s sake we will make a statement that this action is wrong, but then take no action to try and make our voice heard.  We have to, we must learn to stand – to stand firm in YHVH.  As a light set on a hill cannot be hidden so we must let the Light of Y’Shua YHVH shine in and through us so the whole world can witness the glory of His presence abiding in us.  Whether we go into captivity or perish by the sword or by pestilence or famine or if we escape and endure unto the end we must not compromise with evil, we must stand firmly grounded in YHVH’s Truth as revealed by His Ruach; for we shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set us free.

Let Your Light shine in me,

Let Your Light shine in me,

Let Your Light so shine that ALL men might see,

Let Your Light shine in me.

This is my prayer for you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

The Journey Continues

…and they shall become one flesh

YHVH created man in His image and the image of YHVH is both male and female.  The first man, Adam, was given the task of naming all the animals of YHVH’s creation; every animal that Adam named had a mate, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.  The word “helper” is Strong’s number H5048 ‘neged’.  This word has a meaning of “a part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate…”  Vs’ 21-22 of Genesis 2 says; So YHVH Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place.  And YHVH Elohim fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.”  The Strong’s word for ‘rib’ is H6763, meaning “a side, literally (of a person)…”  The Rabbi’s teach that YHVH drew the female aspects of His image out of Adam, and fashioned a woman for the man He had created.  Think of what YHVH did as cell mitosis – out of the one He made two – male and female He created them. When a man and a woman come together in a covenant relationship they once again form the complete image of YHVH.  Genesis 2:24: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” 

 Did you ever stop to wonder why women in particular have had a hard lot down through the ages?  Have you ever wondered about what’s behind Islam’s brutal treatment of women including honor killings, or homosexuality, or fundamentalist interpretations of scripture about submission, or liberal feminism? Women through the millennia have been marginalized, criminalized, taken for granted, discounted and relegated to silence.  Why?  Because when a man and a woman are joined together in a covenanted relationship with YHVH they become His image, they are the representation of His Glory, His Power, and His Might on this earth.  Y’Shua said to his disciple Peter in Matthew 16:18-19: “…upon this rock (Y’Shua) I will build my congregation; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  We need to work together with Y’Shua for this fulfillment which will fulfill the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20. Haven’t we spent enough time being side-tracked by petty squabbles, and arrogant and small-minded ideologies?  Let us lay aside the things that hinder as is said in Hebrews 12:1-2: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Y’Shua the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of YHVH.”

When men take hostile and adverse actions against women the reality is that they are despoiling the image of YHVH. Rav Shaul tells us in Galatians 3:26-28; “For you are all sons of Elohim through faith in Y’Shua haMeshiach.  For all of you who were baptized into Messiah have clothed yourself with Y’Shua haMeshiach.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Y’Shua haMeshiach.”  I think Rav Shaul understood the image of YHVH as reflected in mankind on this earth. In Y’Shua we are one!  With this in mind let’s take a look at a couple more verses from Proverbs.

 Proverbs 31:3:  “Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroys kings.” (The King’s mother, I believe, is referring to women and activities which will not complete the image of YHVH in her son. Refrain from these things which will despoil YHVH’s image, she teaches him. Then she goes on to instruct her son in the woman to seek that will complete in him YHVH’s image.  They are to be equals; she is not to rule over him, nor is she to be a doormat for his feet, he is not to dominate her or subject her, but they are to be a team working together, side by side for the glory of YHVH.                                                                                            

Proverbs 31:10:  Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.

Both the word strength and the word virtuous are Strong’s number H2428, ‘chayil’ meaning – Probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength: – able, activity, (+) army, band of men (soldiers), company, (great) forces, goods, host, might, power, riches, strength, strong, substance, train, (+) valiant (-ly), valour, virtuous (-ly), war, worthy (-ily).

A general without an army is no force to be contended with on the field of battle, just as an army without a leader is also no force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.  They each need the other.  Victory comes when each party operates in their skills, talents and training, working and cooperating with each other in confidence and dependence built of trust. 

The King’s mother taught this oracle to her son, who would one day be King.  She is telling him that he was raised as a God-fearing man with a life purpose to pursue justice for the oppressed, to seek after righteousness, to walk a different path, the narrow way that leads to life; so find a woman that will complete YHVH’s image in you; one who is your equal in every regard; one that you will not be tempted to dominate or despise, but a woman that will bring honor, success and praise to your house. 

The Hebrew word chayil (H2428) comes from chûl  chı̂yl  Strong’s H2342 which means; a primitive root; properly to twist or whirl (in a circular or spiral manner), that is, (specifically) to dance, to writhe in pain (especially of parturition) or fear; figuratively to wait, to pervert: – bear, (make to) bring forth, (make to) calve, dance, drive away, fall grievously (with pain), fear, form, great, grieve, (be) grievous, hope, look, make, be in pain, be much (sore) pained, rest, shake, shapen, (be) sorrow (-ful), stay, tarry, travail (with pain), tremble, trust, wait carefully (patiently), be wounded.

The root chı̂yl  (H2342) of the word chayil (H2428) seems to imply that there is an inherent pain that comes with being in the image of YHVH as covenanted man and woman – one flesh.  There will be travail, much pain, fear, grief, wounding, but if we wait patiently YHVH will be revealed in us.  Isaiah 53 is a picture of the suffering servant, Y’Shua haMeshiach; He was stricken, smitten, afflicted, crushed chastised, scourged, oppressed, slaughtered, cut-off, “but YHVH was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of YHVH will prosper in His hand.”  This lot fell to our Savior Y’Shua.  As His followers is it any less our lot, for He said if any would come after Me let him take up his execution stake and follow Me. 

Jeremiah 31:22: “How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter? For YHVH has created a new thing in the earth, a woman will encompass a man.”  How long indeed, before we, man and woman together, realize that we together complete the image of YHVH in the earth? 

To encompass, Strong’s number H5437, sâbab, means to: revolve, surround or border; bring, cast, fetch, lead, make, walk, whirl, round about, be about on every side, apply, avoid, beset (about), besiege, bring again, carry (about), change, cause to come about, circuit, (fetch a) compass (about, round), drive, environ, X on every side, beset (close, come, compass, go, stand) round about, remove, return, set, sit down, turn (self) (about, aside, away, back).  This is what the great cloud of witnesses of Hebrews 12 does, they encompass us so that we may run the race that is set before us.  As women we encompass our men so that we, together, may run and win!  1Corinthians 9:24.

A good General listens to and regards his troops and a good army follows and supports a good general.  If a general of an army devises an ill-conceived plot which will end in mass causalities among his army considering not his army’s welfare, their sustainability, or their morale, then that general will end up without an army. Just so a man that does not consider the welfare of his wife and children will end up without them, if not physically at least emotionally.  Just like an army encompasses their general, so a woman encompasses her man, together they are triumphant in the battles of life – a hand in a glove, one works best when working with the other. 

Ephesians 5:21-33: “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of Elohim. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto YHVH. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Y’Shua is the head of the congregation: and he is the Savior of the body. Therefore as the congregation is subject unto Y’Shua, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Y’Shua also loved the congregation, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious congregation, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourished and cherished it, even as Y’Shua the congregation: for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Y’Shua and the congregation. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she respect her husband.”

Daily bombardments of liberal feminism, homosexuality, and fundamentalist interpreters of scripture all, I believe, play into the hands of the adversary, haSatan, to destroy the image of YHVH in the earth, and equally also making a mockery of the representation of Y’Shua and His bride.  They try to tell us that women don’t need men, that men are weak, (watched or heard any commercials lately?), that two women or two men in a “bonded” relationship are just as good if not better than a man and a woman in a marriage covenant, that women are best silenced and not allowed to move openly in the gifts of the Ruach haKodesh/Holy Spirit for they might contaminate the men; all of these are grievous assaults on the image of YHVH.  “YHVH so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son – our General, we are His army – that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  He takes care of those He calls His own!

 

 

 

 

 

On the Journey to Pentecost

The Road to There

Forgiveness from the heart that is surrendered to Y’Shua haMashiach is not a stroll through the park; there are many circumstances and situations that work very hard to keep the door to our heart closed.  (Refer to Revelation 3:20) One of these, I believe, is bullying. Were you ever bullied as a child?  Have you experienced bullying as an adult?  Are you a bully?  I believe bullying is one major factor that works to keep the door of our heart closed.  A key to overcoming this wearisome spirit is to pray for revelation as to whether or not you are a bully, a victim of bullying or both. Pray that YHVH will break down your “denial defense” that works so hard to keep you from overcoming so you can know the truth – which will set you free.

When someone domineers, menaces, browbeats, threatens, is quarrelsome, overbearing or arrogant they are most likely a bully.  If this person happens to be a parent, that parent’s child either learns to protect itself from the bullying or they follow their parent’s footsteps and become a bully.  Protecting one’s self from bullying often means isolating; you learn to be a turtle, going into your shell whenever you feel threatened or coerced.  This often makes the bully more dominate or overbearing.  Many children, to get away from a bully will run and hide, or get lost in a book, or be moody, or become silent as in non-communicative, or begin acting out less than desirable behaviors.  They have a hard time developing lasting friendships and spend much of their life cowering, adrift in a raft on the open sea, a sad and lonely life.  Even if one marries and has children most likely there is no real communication for these skills were not developed during childhood.  The angry, frustrated tears of childhood become the agonized, despondent tears of adulthood; confrontation is answered by teary-eyed emotion, or isolating, or silence, or moodiness, or even with threats and/or aggression.  The role model of childhood becomes the point of reference for adult relationships whether in these relationships there is a bully or not.  The bullied child/adult perceives everyone is a bully to some degree or other and can really trust no one.  The door to their heart is shut tight.  It’s everyone else’s fault, if only they would love me more, or not take me for granted, or cherish me, or pay attention to me or honor me, or just love me for who I am.  But there’s a problem; people respond to the image you project of yourself – if you project the image of being bullied, you will be bullied.  It’s like you have a target painted on your chest that says in bright red, flashing letters, “Bully Me”, or reject me, or abandon or despise or ridicule or treat me like a prostitute; what is sown in us will grow and be reaped.

So how does one get out of this vicious cycle? 

In Daniel 3 we find the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image.  Continuing the story from vs. 4-6; “Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, bagpipe, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up: and whoso falls not down and worships shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”  This, I believe is one of scripture’s finest examples of bullying in the extreme.  The story continues with Nebuchadnezzar being told that certain Jews are not complying with the King’s command: Dan 3:12-15; “There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not you serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if you be ready that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, bagpipe, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if you worship not, you shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”

Dan 3:16-18; “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

Like the three men of this story in the book of Daniel those who are bullied need to learn not to cower in the threat of adversity, but to be a witness of YHVH’s love and power. A person that is either a bully or is bullied cannot effectively live in the admonition of this scripture though without the indwelling presence of the Ruach haKodesh/Holy Spirit.  When you invite the Ruach to come and direct your life you will be changed and you will continue to change – becoming more and more a reflection of Y’Shua as day by day under the Ruach’s care you surrender more and more of your life and control to the Ruach’s influence, which makes Philippians 2:3-4 more and more possible; “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than yourself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”  With YHVH All things are possible!

The woman is the “keeper of the light” in her home. It is her task to make sure that no defilement comes into the home.  Her children are a treasure given to her by YHVH to raise in holy awe of YHVH.  For a woman that has grown up suffering the effects of bullying this is almost an impossible task; just as it is an almost impossible task for a man that has grown up in a bullying household to fulfill his role as priest of his home.  The cycle of bullying and being bullied can only be broken as we realize that YHVH brought the woman forth from the man to be his equal – neither above him nor beneath him, but to stand at his side as his equal.  This is related very well in the 31st chapter of Proverbs which we will discuss in the next post.