The heavens, earth and all creatures give praise to the One God, YHWH. Psalm 148 is not just poetic, it is literal. The Creator’s creation praises Him continually. We just need to have the eyes to see it and ears to hear it. You have to see this video…CLICK HERE! And prepare to sing along with stars and whales! Amazing!
Most of you are familiar with the Shema which is recited regularly by Jews across the world. However, I’d like to bring up a few things about it that you may not have thought about.
Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. (Hear, Israel! Adonai our God, Adonai is one); and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates. ~~ Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
The Hebrew word “sh’ma” which is translated as “hear” or “harken” really means to take action. Its intention is not at all passive. It might better be translated as “Hear and obey, Israel!”
Those of us who came out of organized churches can sometimes be leery of recitation. We’ve seen it used as a tool for indoctrination, which leads to an assumption that it must always be wicked and mindless. But recitation does not inherently have evil intent. Growing up, we’ve all learned things by repetition. Using repetition in order to learn God’s ways is not a bad thing. Note how often in our Bible things are repeated and people are reminded of what God has done.
Another important thing to consider is that when Yeshua was asked what was the greatest commandment of God, He actually quoted part of the shema!
One of them who was a Torah expert asked a sh’eilah (question about Jewish law) to trap him: “Rabbi, which of the mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah is the most important?” He told him “’You are to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’ This is the greatest and most important mitzvah (command). And a second is similar to it, ‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’ All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot.” ~~ Matthew 22: 35-40
If our Lord and Messiah said this was the most important command, it would behoove us to take note. So, what does it mean to hear and obey this commandment? What does loving Adonai with all we have REALLY look like in action? Doesn’t Yeshua say that if we love Him, we will obey Him? Obedience to God’s commands is a real-life demonstration of our love for Him.
Let’s not recite words as mere habit or tradition. Let us ingrain them in our hearts and live them out in daily action! Praise to our Elohim, YHWH, Creator and Sustainer of all things! Praise to our Messiah Yeshua, the ultimate Passover lamb!
This is nothing new to most of you. However, some days it just makes my head spin. The irony is stunning! Jesus, whose Hebrew name is Yeshua, reprimanded the Scribes and Pharisees for holding tighter to their traditions than to God’s commands. They made up their own rulings and even taught that these were more important than God’s rulings. Yeshua boldly rebuked them for this. Yet, today, what do the vast majority of Christian pastors teach? They teach the doctrines of “church fathers” over what God’s Word says and Messiah Yeshua taught. They twist what is written in the New Testament to such an extent that those who believe what Yeshua and His disciples actually taught, and who study the so-called “Old” Testament are accused of joining a cult! Imagine this irony…the cult of the Bible believers! We should pray that those making such accusations and who hold so tightly to man’s traditions will have their eyes opened to the whole truth, by the Spirit of Elohim. He opened our eyes and He can certainly do so with them, if He wills.
119 Ministries has a good blog post about this titled “Is Hebrew Roots a Cult?” which is linked here for your convenience. Also you may want to read a previous post on our site titled “What is Hebrew Roots?” which is linked here.
Do you ever wonder if the commonly understood definition of sin has been redefined? I think many things have been subtly redefined without us thinking much about it. If the Word of God is true then maybe we should actually consult it on more of these matters. Just a thought…
Graphic courtesy of Yisrael.me
The Ninth of Av on the Hebrew calendar has historically been a day of tragedy and exile for the Jewish people. Depending on which Biblical calendar you believe is more accurate, this year’s Ninth of Av falls either tomorrow, Saturday July 25th or Sunday July 26th. There is no guarantee this year’s date will bring more calamity, but it is certainly a time to be watchful and aware. Let us spend time today and this weekend in fervent prayer for Israel, Jerusalem, Jews who do not yet acknowledge Yeshua as Messiah, and our brothers and sisters in Yeshua both Jew and Gentile.
Encouragement to continue in good works, and love for one another:
Adonai, who can rest in your tent? Who can live on your holy mountain? Those who live a blameless life, who behave uprightly, who speak truth from their hearts and keep their tongues from slander; who never do harm to others or seek to discredit neighbors; who look with scorn on the vile, but honor those who fear Adonai; who hold to an oath, no matter the cost; who refuse usury when they lend money and refuse a bribe to damage the innocent. Those who do these things never will be moved. ~~ Psalms 15