During Friday and Shabbat the wildfires spread rapidly and forced evacuations in the area. Others were put on stand-by to be ready to evacuate quickly if needed. However, Sunday brought nourishing rains and cooler temperatures that halted the spread of the nearest fires. Praise to Elohim! We expect cooler temperatures most of this week, so the firefighters are optimistic. After the rains, we were blessed to be able to see the sky and sun, which we haven’t seen in awhile due to heavy smoke. Please continue to keep this region in your prayers. The fires are not “out” but they are weaker. Also, join us in praising Adonai for the respite from the smoke!
The Deuteronomy 10 lesson in the Torah Class was so striking to me that I had to quote a portion of it here. Tom Bradford, the teacher, has great insight and clear commentary on the Scriptures. This particular lesson was even better than the norm, in my opinion.
Here’s my “two cent” comments before I get to his. The lazy attitude of many modern “Christians” toward knowing their God is appalling. I submit that they know just the tiniest ABOUT Him, but they don’t really KNOW Him. And, many who claim to be His only “know” what they’ve been told or heard, but they dare not study His Book for themselves. They believe they have zero obligations in the matter. It’s cheap, easy, greasy grace. Sounds like a shallow, surface-level relationship at best. How would that go over with your spouse? Would he/she feel truly “loved” by someone who didn’t even try to get to know them, someone who felt they had no further obligation to their spouse after they said “I do”? It reminds me of a teacher I had as a youth. During school fundraisers, we would try to get him to buy his wife flowers or candy. His response has always stuck with me: “I already caught the train, why should I keep running?” That’s another example of what Tom is describing below.
The scripture being referenced is shown below, followed by his perceptive commentary.
So now, Isra’el, all that Adonai your God asks [NOTE: other versions say “require” or “demand”] from you is to fear Adonai your God, follow all his ways, love him and serve Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being; to obey, for your own good, the mitzvot (commands) and regulations of Adonai which I am giving you today. ~~ Deuteronomy 10: 12-13
Do you wish only to be granted your salvation and then you float through the rest of your life carefree, done with the things of God, believing that your sins are covered anyway, so why worry about it? That is, do you truly believe that once you trust Yeshua our Messiah you have utterly no further obligations to Him and there will be no consequences for your decisions and actions, or inactions as the case may be? Have you decided that you can completely separate your knowledge of what He has done for you from your worship of Him and from the way you live your life? Let me say without hesitation or doubt, that precise implication is rife within the modern, especially modern evangelical, church. And it even brings into question whether any form of believer’s obedience to the written Word is actually legalism, and thus a bad thing. And I speak today in firm opposition to such an ungodly doctrine whose basis is nothing more than a desire to distance the Gentile church from the Hebrew Torah, and to make the life of a Christian seem as though from the moment of our salvation we have gained the right to retire from the duty to do any more than merely exist while we wait for heaven. Moses says “redeemed of Israel: you have things to do”. Modern Christianity says “redeemed of Christ: quit now and save your energy”. –Tom Bradford, Torah Class
King Solomon certainly had a multitude of flaws, and committed grievous sins against the Most High God. However, YHWH uses even the ungodly for His purposes. He used Solomon to deliver wise counsel to future generations through his writings. If anyone knew what it was like to indulge himself, having anything and everything he desired, it was Solomon. While he is not named directly, he is generally considered to be the author of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes.
The current generations, both young and old, should take serious note of the message below. How many times have we heard “follow your heart” or let your heart/eyes/desires “be your guide”? Take heed; listen to wise counsel, lest you fall into Adonai’s judgment.
Young person, if you spend your youth only having fun, if you use your early years just to entertain yourself, if you follow your heart as you live your life, and let your eyes be your guide; understand that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. Therefore, remove anger from your heart; and keep from harming your body; for neither adolescence nor youth has any lasting value. So remember your creator while you are young, before the evil days come… ~~ Ecclesiastes 11: 9 to 12:1
August has been filled with wildfires and smoke all across the Northwest. Please pray for everyone affected in these areas. While our specific location has not yet been directly threatened, neighboring areas have. Each day we keep watch to see how existing fires are spreading, and whether there are new ones. Some days the smoke has been thick and ash has covered everything. As you can see in the snapshot below of the current wildfires, Washington State has really been devastated. The graphic shows eastern Washington, northern Idaho and northwest Montana. For a larger view, click on the image. Please keep us all in your prayers as we endure this time of year.
In case you missed this news story, I will link to it HERE. When I first saw it, I wondered if more would be reported in the following days, but it was mostly ignored by the regular media. It really is no joke when Iranian officials say things such as:
we reject the existence of any Israeli on this earth
Words fail to describe the chill this brings down my back. Continue praying for Israel, Jerusalem, and our brothers and sisters around the world.
Beautiful words of our Messiah Yeshua:
Just as my Father has loved me, I too have loved you; so stay in my love. If you keep my commands, you will stay in my love – just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in his love. I have said this to you so that my joy may be in you, and your joy be complete. ~~ John 15: 9-11