Chanukah 5777 (2016)

Chanukah-Picture

Chanukah is on the evening of the 24th of Kislev on the Jewish calendar.. on our calendar this year it begins tonight Christmas Eve.  Our family began celebrating Chanukah 3 years ago as well as the other Biblical feasts.  We celebrate this in addition to Christmas.  Our family loves both celebrations.  Chanukah is the festival of lights and is a beautiful reminder to us to shine in the darkness.  I love Matthew 5:14-16 in the Message Translation “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”  Let’s go public with it… shining as such  bright lights in this world.. not keeping God as a secret.. opening our homes, being generous with our lives (being open and giving with others)

As I was preparing my study notes on Chanukah to share with our kids, I decided to study each individual letter in the word Chanukah. I love studying the Bible in Hebrew.. it’s a rich and beautiful language full of layers upon layers of meanings.  The Hebrew letters in the word Chanukah are chet, nun, vav, kaf, hey.  The Hebrew alphabet (or as it’s called in Hebrew alef-bet) is full of meaning. Each letter is not just a letter, but a number and a picture.. with layers of meanings.  I love something Billy Graham said, “The Bible is big–so big that even the greatest scholar will never exhaust its riches.”

Chet, Nun are the first two letters of Chanukah and spell the Hebrew word grace.   Vav is the next letter and the first time “vav” is mentioned in Scripture it is as a word, not just a letter.  It is in Gen 1 “heavens and (vav) the earth.” It is a word connecting Heaven and Earth.  Grace always connects us to the Heavenly realm…. it enables us to live on earth as it is in Heaven.  It is the empowering Presence of Holy Spirit in and through our lives.  “Vav” is also the number 6 which is 5+1… 6 = 5 (grace) + 1… an abundance of grace.  Romans 5:17 tells us that those who receive an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in this life through Jesus.  That is just the first two letters of Chanukah… grace! An abundance of grace poured out from Heaven upon us.  

The next 2 letters or the 2nd half of the word is Kaf, Hey.  Kaf is a picture of an open hand… an open hand speaks of blessings.  In Ex 33:22, when Moses asked God to show him His glory, God covered Moses with His hand… that word hand is kaf in the Hebrew. Kaf is a picture of God’s open hand, specifically His open hand of blessing.  One of the meanings of Hey is behold!  or revealed.  The 2nd half of this word is speaking of God’s open hand of blessing being revealed (in this season).  

Studying the word Chanukah by breaking it down letter by letter shows us a beautiful picture of what God is wanting to pour out on us in this season… His grace multiplied to us and His open hand of blessing revealed to us.  

John 1:16 (amp version) sums it up so beautifully…  For out of His fullness, we have all received grace upon grace, and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.  

Merry Christmas and Chag Sameach!!

~ Robin

Following in the wrong footsteps….

inheritance

 

In our last post (Tammuz 5776 (2016) we learned that Reuben took his eyes off the prize (Phil 3:14).  Wrong vision can cost you your inheritance. The sad thing is his descendants followed in his footsteps… the tribe of Reuben also lost their inheritance.

As they were about to enter into the Promised land… the tribe of Reuben chose not to cross over.  They stayed on the east side of the Jordan.  They made a choice not to move towards their inheritance.  After 40 years in the wilderness Israel was getting close to the Promise Land.  They had to cross through Amorite territory in order to get to the Promise Land.

They were attacked by two Amorite warlords named Sihon and Og (Numbers 21:21-35).  

The Amorites were most likely the largest of the 7 enemy nations in Canaan.  They were large and powerful and controlled much of the Promise Land.  Their center of power was Cheshbon which means “reasoning”.  The Amorites were a warlike tribe and their name means to “say or speak” from a root word meaning to speak against or boast of self…. it includes all evil speaking, boasting, slander, boasting, murmuring, complaining, grumbling, blaming God, etc.  This translates as “a talker and a slayer.”  This enemy uses his words to reason with you and cause you to doubt what God has promised you or to settle for something less based on natural reasoning…. which is exactly what the tribes of Reuben, Gad and 1/2 the tribe of Manasseh did.  

King Sihon refused to allow the Israelites to pass through their land.  Sihon means tempestuous and also means warrior.  He gathered all his people together and he came to Jahaz and fought against Israel.  Jahaz is from a root meaning to stomp.  It was here Sihon and his men fully intended to stomp out the Israelites but instead the Israelites defeated them with the edge of a sword and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok.  Arnon comes from a root word meaning a ringing cry, or joy.  Jabbok comes from a root meaning luxuriant or abundant… to pour forth.  

Like Sihon, we have a violent, raging enemy that opposes us, desiring to stomp us out.  He attempts to target our thoughts and reason with us…..”Has God really said?”  

Just like the Israelites defeated their enemy with the edge of the sword, so can we.  The word edge in Hebrew is mouth.  Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit.  By using our mouths to wield the sword against this enemy we will defeat him and take possession of territory that he has illegally stolen from us.  Not listening to his evil words but declaring the promises of God as yes and amen in Christ.  We will regain our joy and abundance.

Then Og, king of Bashan, went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei (meaning might or strength).  Deuteronomy 3:11 describes King Og of Bashan (meaning fruitful) as ‘the last of the remnant of the Rephaim’ and notes that his iron bed measured 13.5 ft by 6 ft.   Most likely, Og is not a personal name but a title given to the Canaanite king meaning man of valor.  God told Moses not to fear Og because He has delivered him into their hands.  Israel fought Og and conquered their land.  No matter how big or strong the enemy appears to be he is a defeated foe… stripped of all his power (Col 2:15).  Declare your victory over him and take back your fruitfulness and strength.

Amorite territory was never part of the promised land. Israel had told the Amorites that they did not want to posses their land and asked permission to cross over.

But Reuben looked around and said “We’ll take this for our land”  They chose the territory of Sihon and Og (Num 32:33) over the Promise Land God had chosen for them.

Because of this they had continual trouble:

  • They were attacked by their pagan neighbors
  • They were drawn into the idolatry of their neighbors
  • One of the first tribes to be taken into captivity

Why did the tribe of Reuben settle for a land that was not the Promised Land?

“The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock”  Numbers 32:1

They reasoned based on their natural vision, forsaking the vision God had for them.   The land of Gilead is lush and fertile; they saw that and thought, Why should we go any further? They saw something, it looked good, and they were willing to stop short of what God had promised to them.  What they saw was beautiful and bountiful…..however, what they saw was not the Blessing God had for them.

In this decision, the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manas’seh divided the nation. They separated themselves from the blessing of the land of Canaan. And they were farther from the tabernacle and much closer to the influence of the pagan nations that surrounded them.

God has promises for us that He desires we step into.   But to make this shift will require that we be willing to lay aside all natural reasoning… stop looking at things in the natural and step into faith….. like the children of Israel to go to a new place where we’ve never gone before.  

What has God promised you?…. health, healing, prosperity, etc?  Don’t settle for anything less!  In a time of transitioning not everyone will be willing to move forward with you. Be willing to leave behind the familiar to cling to the unknown.

~ Robin

 

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

blessing 3

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy”  

Psalm 107:2

I kept hearing this scripture all day in my spirit!  Such a timely scripture since we just entered into the Hebrew month of Nisan a week ago and one of the key things about Nisan is it’s a month of redemption.   Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy;”  One translation says “let the redeemed tell their story” and the NLT says “Has the Lord redeemed you?  Then speak out!!”  I did just that as I went for my afternoon walk.  I began speaking forth what His redemption purchased for me.  What does it mean to be redeemed?

We were slaves set free – Mark 10:45 (He gave His life a ransom); Romans 6:17-18 (we were once slaves); John 8:34 (everyone who sins is a slave to sin); Gal 4:6-7 no longer slaves but sons).  Slavery was a common institution in the ancient world… a man might be born into slavery,  he might be captured by an invading army and placed into slavery, or he might have fallen into debt with no way to pay and therefore sold into slavery.  Once a slave, he could gain his freedom again… but it was very costly.  

There are 3 Greek words for redemption… agorazo which means a purchase made in the market place;  peripoieo which means to acquire or purchase for oneself; and lutroo which means liberated – the ransom price paid for loosing captives from their bonds and setting them at liberty.  When Jesus redeemed us, we were not just purchased from the market place of sin and death (agorazo).. or even purchased for Himself (peripoieo)…. we were purchased and our bonds were loosed, we were set free and given liberty in Him (lutroo)!!  We were redeemed by His blood (1 Cor 6:19-20; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelations 5:9).  He paid the ransom and declared “it is finished (John 19:30).”

It is finished… or “teletesta” in Greek can also be translated “paid in full”.  It does not mean just to complete a task but to carry it out fully, to perfection.  His work of redemption is fully complete and nothing needs to be or can be added to it.   Sin was atoned for (Heb 9:12; Heb 10:12);  Satan was defeated and stripped of all power ( Heb 2:14-15; 1Jn 3:8);  Every requirement of the Law has been satisfied  (Matt 5:17; Rom 10:14);  God’s holy wrath against sin has been satisfied (or propitiated)… the punishment or penalty of sin has been met (Romans 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1Jn 2:2, 4:10);

Tetelesta was a legal term.  When a Roman prisoner had finished serving his sentence, the judge would inscribe the word “tetelesta” on the release paper which guaranteed his deliverance and liberty.  The charges for those crimes could never be brought against him again.   When Jesus cried “TETELESTAI” on the cross, He was saying that anyone who places his trust in His sacrificial death, receives in essence a “certificate of debt” with the inscription of “tetelestai”, indicating that all their “crimes” (past, present and future) against God have been PAID FOR IN FULL!  Christ has utterly wiped out or completely obliterated the condemning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over His own head on the Cross. And then He disarmed the powers against us, He publicly exposed them, shattered, shamed, emptied and defeated,completely stripped them of all power – Col 2:14-15

Redeem is first mentioned in Gen 48:16 next to the names  of Jacob’s grandson’s Manasseh and Ephraim as Jacob is blessing them after he has adopted them.  The adoption of them made them sons with full inheritance rights equal to Joseph…. we have become sons with full inheritance rights equal to that of Jesus.  

We have been redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13).  The scripture does not say Christ has redeemed us from the law, as if to say the law is a curse. No, the law of God is not a curse, the law is holy, and just, and good (Romans 7:12). What Christ has redeemed us from is the curse of the law.. the penalty or punishment of disobedience!  ALL the curses!!  Deuteronomy 28:15-68 is a list of the curses.  He has redeemed us from sickness, pain, sorrow, depression, poverty and even death that came as a result for disobeying God.  We were redeemed from the curse so that the blessing of Abraham (Gen 12:2-3) might come upon us.. the Gentiles, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Gal 3:14)

He didn’t just redeem us and leave us to fend for ourselves in our new found freedom.  He redeemed us from the dominion of darkness and redeemed us (transferred us) into the Kingdom of His dear Son.  2 Peter 1:3 tells us that His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.  Below are some of the things His redemption purchased for us – this is not an exhaustive list.. definitely do your own study 

  • Col 1:19-22 – we were reconciled to God in Him and presented holy, blameless and without reproach; made righteous.
  • Col 2:13-15 – we were made alive with Him, forgiven our trespasses, cancelled the record of debt with it’s legal demands, and completely stripped the enemy’s power over us.
  • 1 Thes 5:9-10 – we obtained salvationsozo: forgiveness of sins, healing, deliverance, and prosperity… made whole, complete, lacking nothing.
  • 1 Pe 2:24 – we are dead to sin, alive to righteousness, healed
  • Rom 6:6 – we are no longer slaves to sin
  • Galatians 4:5 – we received adoptions as sons
  • Isaiah 44:22 – our transgressions are blotted out
  • Romans 6:4 – we walk in newness of life
  • Ephesians 1:1-23 – we have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
  • Rev 1:6 – we are made kings and priests
  • Titus 2:14 – we have become pure
  • Galatians 3:14 – we received the promise of the Spirit

When you know you are fully, completely redeemed, your walk with God will change.  You’ll see yourself in a brand new light. You will know God has placed such great value on you because He purchased you through the precious blood of His dear Son.  And you will tell others your story of redemption…. declaring that the Redeemer lives in you and that it is for freedom He set you free, never again to be subject to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1)!

~ Robin

Naaman the Syrian

naaman the syrian

And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”  When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath   ~ Luke 4:27-28

I started this blog post 2 weeks ago but a death in my immediate family forced me to put my study on hold.  Now that life has resumed back to normal, I’m excited to start blogging once again.  We had been talking about Jesus’ teaching of Isaiah 61:1-2 in the past two blogs (see Jesus is our Jubilee and The widow of Sidon) and the people of Nazareth’s response to His teaching.  He was revealing to them that He had come to be a light and a blessing… to show forth His salvation… to the Gentiles (unbelievers) as well as the Jews.  He was reminding them of their covenant responsibility to co-labor with Him in being a blessing to ALL the families of the earth (Genesis 12:3)…. He had blessed them to be a blessing… to release that blessing to ALL we come in contact with.  

This example must’ve struck a nerve with them and just pushed them over the edge…. this example that He gave was unthinkable to their natural reasonings!  The widow represented Gentile sinners but Naaman represents much more than that… he was the captain of the Syrian army… the Syrians oppressed Israel.  They were enemies of Israel.  Much in the same way that the Romans were the oppressors of the group sitting and listening to Jesus.  Surely being a light and a blessing didn’t mean extending it to their oppressive enemies did it?  

Remember, God’s heartbeat is for the nations.  He was so intent on showing the Israelites His love and compassion for ALL people, and that ALL people can have faith in God, that He chose one of the most hated men in Israel at that time to prove it.  God in His mercy pursued Naaman…. there were MANY lepers in Israel but none of them were healed except Namaan the Syrian (Luke 4:27)  

The Syrians were always terrorizing and attacking Israel and then taking prisoners back to Syria… on one of these raids, Namaan carried off a little girl from Israel and made her his wife’s servant (2 Kings 5:2).  Chapter 5 opens with the Lord allowing Syria to win a battle, although we don’t know who the other side is.  The Bible also tells us that Naaman was mighty, honorable to his King (King Aram) and strong in battle.  But his military strength and glory were marred by an incurable disease of leprosy.    

This little girl that he kidnapped tells Namaan’s wife about the prophet Elisha and that Namaan could be healed if only he were with him.  I love the little girl in this story… she is definitely a co-laborer with God…a minister of reconciliation.  She is being a blessing to even the one who took her captive.  She has complete faith that if Namaan were to see Elisha he would be healed!  She had faith in her God that He is not only able to heal but is willing to heal…. even an enemy of Israel!

While this story in Luke 4 is a rebuke to the people that they are neglecting their covenant role of being blessed to be blessing to ALL the people of the earth… thankfully however God doesn’t just rebuke us and leave in our neglectful condition.  It is also an invitation to be His ambassadors of unconditional love… God’s love that He poured out into our hearts (Romans 5:5) … to even our enemies… those who oppose us… oppress us… or even enslave us (as Namaan did to this girl).  

Namaan goes to see Elisha.  An enemy of God, one who has attacked, killed, plundered Israel, one who has leprosy… an outcast of outcasts is standing at the door of the man of God hoping to be healed.  He comes carrying as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothing and with his horse and chariot and wealth.  What a sight Namaan was… power, prestige, a commanding presence.    He had yet to acknowledge with the psalmist that “Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7).  

But rather than respond to such pomp and circumstance as Namaan was undoubtably used to people doing…. rather than come personally, Elisha sends a messenger to him telling him to go and wash 7 times in the Jordan river and he will be made clean. God alone would get the glory for healing Namaan… not Elisha… because Namaan was expecting Elisha, the prophet of God, to heal him… he didn’t even know the God of Israel yet.  His trust was in a man whom he assumed had “magical” powers.  Naaman comes from a pagan country, where his “prophets” made quite a spectacle when they healed the sick. According to the Bible Commentaries, they raised their hands in the air, and shouted for the sick to be healed.  But God was after Namaan’s heart not just in healing his physical body… He was pursuing Namaan.    

However, Naaman almost misses his miracle healing because of pride and self importance.  The first words out of his mouth were “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.  In fact he went away more than just mad… the word used means wrath, rage, full of poison and venom.  

He thought!  He had a preconceived idea of how he thought his healing would come about.  How many times have we missed or almost missed our miracle because we thought God would do something the way we preconceived it?  We had it all figured out in our minds!  Thank God He is not bound to the limitations of our preconceived ideas or the boundaries of our thinking!!  Let’s let go of our limited expectations and have faith in the God of Israel and His limitless way of manifesting miracles in our life.

Naaman thought the resources he trusted in were better than what God was providing.  He said the rivers in Damascus are better than Israel…. they are tov.  Tov is good… to be in proper working order, the way it was meant to… the way God created it to work.  Naaman’s pagan ways were far from tov!  He lived in a culture that didn’t function the way God created us to live.  We were created to love Him… not to serve false gods. 

He was asked to do nothing less than to betray the faith of his fathers. He was being asked to be willing to acknowledge that there was a possibility that Israel’s God could do something the Syrian god was unable to do. Naaman would have to let go of everything he trusted in and trust God for his healing.  The Jordan means to descend… Namaan would have to humble himself… to descend… to lower himself in order to be made clean.  And this was exactly what Jesus was saying to the people in the synagogue listening to Him that day… if they wanted salvation, they were going to have to let go of everything they trusted in… their adherence to the law…their good works…. and admit they were the poor, the blind, the oppressed, unclean.. that they were no different from Namaan.. or for that matter their Roman oppressors…in need of a Savior.    Instead of responding to the rebuke and the invitation to release His goodness and His presence… His salvation…. to the Gentiles (the unbelievers), they responded with offense.  

So, after being encouraged by his servant to do what was asked of him, he steps out in faith and humbles himself by dipping in the dirty Jordan 7 times.  Naaman experienced the overwhelming power, presence, and mercy of Israel’s God and his whole attitude changed.  Naaman had a whole-hearted transformation: “Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, ‘Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.’”  When Naaman goes back to Elisha’s house – he’s a changed man! There is no mention of horses and chariots this time as he returns to Elisha.  And he doesn’t just declare the goodness of God but that God is the only God in the entire world.  This is a radical statement for a man of his time, living in a polytheistic society.

Naaman’s God is now the God of Israel and he declares he will only make sacrifices and offerings to God. Before he didn’t want to wash in the Jordan River, because the waters of Damascus, were better than any of the waters of Israel, and now he wants to take dirt from Israel (v 17). The Bible Commentaries say: he wants to take dirt because God’s presence was in Israel.  His solution to worshiping in Syria was to take Israeli dirt with him.  He asks God to forgive him, when he has to bow to other “gods” because of his obligation to the king. This gentile, knows it’s a sin to bow down to any other “god” that isn’t the God of Israel.  Elisha blesses him and tells him to go in peace.  Luke 4:27 Jesus says there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”  God’s heart is for the Nations…. Naaman was a changed man… a spiritually cleansed man all because of one little Jewish girl who had compassion on him… her oppressor.  

Jesus is our Jubilee

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“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  ~ Luke 4:18-19

2016 is a Jubilee year (see post 2016 year of God’s manifested goodness).  In Leviticus 25, Jubilee has promises attached to it…. Liberty for the captives, restoration of family, land, and possessions, increase from your field, freedom from oppression, safety and triple blessings!   

In Luke 4,  Jesus  goes into the synagogue… which was his custom to read and teach the Word.  The Word was teaching the Word!  This time He went to the synagogue in Nazareth, His home town.   Jesus had just begun His ministry and was becoming pretty well known for all of the signs, wonders and miracles that He was doing in Capernaum and the rest of the Galilee of the Gentiles.

The synagogue was an intimate place that allowed the Jewish people to gather in a less formal setting than the Temple itself. There were no high priests, no Levites, nor any standard liturgy. Anyone was allowed to get up and read from the sacred scrolls.  The reader stood and the rabbi sat. They stood up to read the Torah, and they sat down to teach to Torah (Matthew 5:1-2:; Luke 5:3; Matthew 26:55;Luke 10:39;) In ancient times sitting was the posture of authority.   Here, after reading the scroll of Isaiah 61:1-2,  Jesus assumed the position of a rabbi….sitting while teaching.

The rabbis taught that these two verses were a messianic prophecy…. and everyone in that synagogue knew the acceptable year of the Lord was the great Jubilee of Leviticus 25. Jubilee was always a symbol of salvation.. this was the hope of Israel… that there would come a final Jubilee.  When the Messiah would arrive and all the promises to Abraham and David would be fulfilled.  They knew this passage well… it was their hope.  So all eyes were fixed on Him as they waited until He sat down to teach on what He just read.

The only thing He said upon sitting was “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  What a short teaching… but so life changing for the people listening!  Everyone else whoever read and taught on that scripture said “someday”…. but Jesus said TODAY!  Jesus was saying everything you’ve been waiting for is here!  The Jubilee you’ve been hoping for stands  before you…. I AM your Jubilee… I am your Messiah…. the Messianic age (the age of Salvation) has begun… it is no longer a future hope.  Your Messiah is here!  Salvation has come!  That they no longer had to be poor, broken hearted, captive, blind or bruised.  That day Jubilee became a person…. not just a year in time!

Jubilee was a time to sound your trumpet of freedom!  Freedom from slavery to Satan (Ephesians 1:17, 2:17; Colossians 1:12; Romans 6:14).  Freedom from sickness and disease (Deuteronomy 28:61; Galatians 3:13).  Freedom from debt to Satan and the World’s system (Colossians 2:13-14).  Freedom from fear (1 John 2:5, 4:17-18).  And a time of the commandment of blessing (Leviticus 25:20-21; Deuteronomy 28:8; Ephesians 1:3; Galatians 3:13-14).

He closed the Book….He left on the 2nd part of Isaiah 61:2 which was to proclaim the day of vengeance for our God.  Jewish expectation was that when Messiah arrived, He would not only restore the fortunes of Israel, but would do so by destroying her enemies.  They expected a Messiah who was a Warrior King!  Such an exclusion from this reading of Scripture was unthinkable for most Jews.

Deliverance from captivity always included destructive judgement upon the enemies of God who enslaved or oppressed them…. the deliverance from Egypt…. the entrance into the Promise Land…. deliverance from the Babylonian Empire…. from the Medo-Persian Empire… why should the Roman Empire be any different.  But God was doing a new thing!!  Isaiah 43:19 “”Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”

He also gave them examples of Gentiles that Elijah and Elisha had done miracles among.  When He begins talking to them in verses 23-27 He was addressing their neglect of being a people of The Blessing….Gen 12:2 “I have blessed you to be a blessing to ALL families of the earth”  In verse 23 Jesus indicates that they are asking for signs and for the blessings to flow in their own town because so far Jesus had been doing miracles in Capernaum which was city of both Jews and Gentiles.  Jesus was indicating that He had come also to be a light and a blessing to the Gentiles.  This would include their Roman oppressors… unthinkable!  Were they offended that He had taken a passage of vengeance and judgement upon the Gentiles and turned it into a passage of mercy and blessing?  Were they offended that His gracious words…. or words of Grace were towards the Gentiles?  He reminds them of Elijah and the widow from Sidon.  He also reminds them of Elisha and Naaman the Syrian.

More on both of the widow and Namaan next time…. 

~Robin

 

Hebrew month of Adar

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I get so excited about entering into a new Hebrew month.  Studying the Hebrew months helps us receive prophetic understanding on how the Lord orders our steps throughout the year.  Each month has a unique purpose and is designed by God to release a blessing in your life.  Genesis 24:1 says that Abraham was blessed “in all things”.. that means he was blessed in EVERY AREA  of his life.  Galatians 3:13-14 says that Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law and blessed us with the same blessing he promised to Abraham….  God wants your blessing to be as full and complete (in all things) as Abraham’s was.  We walk in this blessing by having a Hebrew mindset.  When you learn to think like God, you begin to prosper and walk in the blessing.  In April 2014, I began thinking about what the months of the year on our calendar mean to me.  No coincidence since April is a month associated with the tribe of Issachar, who was the tribe anointed to understand times and seasons as well as what to do in those times.  The months to me reflect my life… birthdays, anniversaries, deaths, losses, and of course since we farm, our harvest seasons… some of these things good, and some sad.  This gregorian calendar connects you to the earth realm. It is great for tracking our life events but to know God’s schedule of events it’s good to understand His calendar…. the Hebrew calendar.  His calendar is full of hope and causes us to reach for those higher things.. causes us to be God focused… Kingdom minded.  Some months on the Jewish calendar are designated as sad months, not full of hope at all!  But as you study them further, you begin to see God’s original plan for them and prophetically begin calling forth His redemptive plans for each month.  Adar though is one of those REALLY good months… in fact so good, that the Jews designated it as the only double month on Leap Years (or pregnant years as it’s called in Hebrew)… on those years (which is this year) we get Adar I and Adar II.

Adar I begins today Feb 10th and goes through March 10th.  And then we begin Adar II  on March 11th – April 8th.  The name Adar means “exalted“, “praised“, “power“, and “strength”  According to the rabbis, when Adar enters, joy and happiness enter with it.  It is the final month of winter and also the final month of the year (on the Hebrew feast calendar)… an end to a season.  It is a month of celebration as we celebrate Purim (March 23rd this year).  It’s a month of divine reversals, of curses overturned.  This is a time for evil decrees set against you to be broken.

Naphtali is the tribe associated with this month.  The prophecies spoken over Naphtali are in Gen 49:21 “Naphtali is a free running doe, he speaks delightful words” and Deut 33:23 “Naphtali is abounding with the favor of the LORD and is full of his blessing;”.

This month let us choose to walk in joy and happiness.. in celebration … experiencing His divine turnarounds in our lives.  Let us walk in freedom speaking “delightful words”… His words.. thereby enjoying the fullness of His abundant favor and full blessing.

 

~ Robin