As some may recall, from recent news, a “National Call to Prayer” for the economic crisis in our nation was held in Texas. I found it rather interesting that they chose Saturday as the day rather than having it held as a national event during Sunday worship services. Why Saturday & not on Sunday when the majority of all Christians worship? Well, this morning during my daily walk with God, the light bulb went off! Let me tell you about it.
One of my now all-time favorite movies is “The Blindside”. The message it sends is so powerful and speaks to so many subject matters that one cannot fully grasp its power in one sitting. The overtones of all the spiritual healing that Jesus taught through his works that are written in the New Testament are astounding. The overtones of His protection for His chosen children of Israel cannot be escaped for ones who truly seek Him.
So where did the light come in for me?
The one scene that has stood out for me for some reason was towards the end. The dreadful term paper all students fear as it holds such great weight to their final reward. Do they pass or do they fail? And the choice of literature one chooses for that paper is as important as the paper itself. How do you write about something you do not know or understand? Is not understanding, the root of all knowledge? Let’s reflect on the understanding…
“Their’s is not to question why, their’s but to do & die”
What was Alfred Lord Tennyson really saying when he wrote the now famous “Charge of the Light Brigade”? What knowledge through understanding can we gleam about God from this famous poem?
“Their’s not to question why”
All our life we are told to question everything, especially authority. I agree to a certain extent as all things in life need to have boundaries that protect them. Those boundaries are put there for our protection and what happens when you cross over the boundaries of protection? You are exposed to all sorts of danger & evil. So what we really should have been taught is to question authority with discernment. Proper discernment regarding authority tells us that man is fallible but God is not. God never changes & neither does His Word. He set boundaries for His children for a good reason and one day He will tell us all about it.
Until then, with proper discernment, let’s go to the Gospels to discern the proper understanding of Matthew 5:17-20.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
I want to point out two key phrases in this passage: “Law & Prophets” and “to fulfill”.
“To fulfill”. . . Church authority, theology of man, has taught us that this means that through the crucifixion & resurrection, we are no longer bound to the 10 Commandments or Gods’ statutes & ordinances He spoke to His people in the Old Testament. We are now saved by grace through faith alone. If we sin, all we have to do pray for forgiveness and then keep living our lives the way WE want to as the flesh is separate from the spirit. But is that so? When did circumcision of the heart first appear? Modern clergy & theologians tell us it began in the New Testament with Jesus but I beg to differ with them as God clearly spoke it through Moses in the desert before His children even entered the Promised Land.
Deuteronomy 30:6 ~ And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
Ezekiel 11:19 ~ Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh
This is the new covenant spoken by Paul in his letter to the gentile church at Corinth.
2 Corinthians 3: 4-6, 12-18 ~ And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. . . Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Paul is teaching that even though the veil remains for many of His Jewish children, God has lifted that veil for the Gentiles who have entered into His faith; Gentiles who had never heard the Word of God let alone read about it.
In God’s language, fulfill is written שׁלם. Reading right to left we have the Hebrew letters sheen: fire, destroy (sh), lamed: strength, authority (l) and mem: chaos (m). Can you see the simplicity of God’s language? Does this word remind you of an oft spoken & sung word in the church? It should. To fulfill is to bring peace. SHALOM! Shalom is “The authority that destroys chaos!” Hebrew doesn’t have vowels thus those jots & tittles Jesus spoke of are what fills in the vowels so we know which Hebrew word He is speaking. Without those jots & tittles His spoken & written word gets all twisted & messed up. And who does that best? Man does!
For the discerned heart then, how do we get peace? Through RESTORATION. In Hebrew, God’s language given to Moses & the Prophets, to fulfill is to RESTORE! Not to abolish. Jesus said He came to RESTORE not abolish!
Now that we have that down, we need to understand what Jesus really spoke about the “Law & the Prophets”. Were those really His words? And why are they Capitalized?
In the Hebrew scroll of Matthew that the Greek NT was written from, Law & Prophets is written as one word, תּורה. Again, reading right to left we have the tav: mark of as in mark of the covenant, seal as in covenant seal (t), the vav: nail that binds (in this case it is a silent connector), the reysh: head (r) and the Hey: behold, reveal (h). Sounded out we get the spoken word “TORAH”. In other words, what Jesus was saying is that “Behold, the New Covenant of I AM”. The reason “Law & Prophets” is capitalized is that it is “The Word”, the spoken & written eternal & forever covenant of God that Jesus came to instruct upon as man had messed it all up! God had it written down so it could be taught to all generations, from beginning to end and that is why the Five Books of Moses are called the “Torah”. They contain everything we need to know about our Messiah & our spiritual marriage covenant with God. These five books contain all of the “I shalls and I shall nots. Ask yourself, what happens when you break a marriage vow? Then ask yourself how could it be that He came to abolish that which He came to restore which is His everlasting covenant that binds He to us & us to He? Does a marriage counselor tell a couple that in order to sustain the marriage they must keep breaking their vows? Absolutely not! So where did the idea that Jesus came in order to break His Father’s everlasting covenant come from? Well, that is for another lesson and it is a very enlightening one at that. For now, let’s continue on by returning to Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem.
“Their’s but to do & die”
Sounds fatal doesn’t it? Taken in a legalistic sense yes; but let’s look at it from a spiritual sense.
“Do”, to serve, to labor, to guard. What was the first commandment God gave to Adam? To do, he was to lovingly tend & guard the garden. He was to be the protector of the gates as not to let any weeds or chaos enter into it. But what happened? Adam fell asleep on the job so to speak and guess who snuck in, the snake who thrives on chaos. He, whose entire being depends on it. Chaos is what happens when we do not protect our hearts from its host. When we do not faithfully tend & guard in God’s Torah, chaos breaks out in our lives, both physically & mentally because we do not understand the awesomeness of His power as the head of the spiritual family. God is our commander, our leader, our protector & our salvation. Every house has rules in order that chaos does not break out and in God’s house there is no exemption. But like a responsible parent’s love, His guides us with tough love and with a gentile hand during the times we truly mess up.
In Hebrew, love is spelled רחם. Again, reading right to left we have the reysh, the head (r), the chet, the fence that protects (ch as in Bach) and the mem, the chaos (m). God tells us that love is “The head that protests the children from chaos”. Does a loving parent let their child run amuck causing chaos in the entire neighborhood as well as their own home or do they gently sit them down to instruct them, to guide them, which in turn protects them from their ignorance? When one loves their parents with their whole heart they strive to always please the parent.
“Die”, to go, walk, come. Where did we come from? Where are we walking? Where shall we go? These are all very important questions each one of us must answer. Jesus said in Mark 10, “take up your cross and follow me” and Psalms 85 tells us that His footsteps are our pathway. Wow, sounds like both action & direction as we see from the Hebrew definition of “die”. Mark 7 & Luke 13: Make straight my path, enter through the narrow gate, narrow is the gate and difficult is the path, wide is the gate & the path to destruction.
It is human instinct to take the path of least resistance, is it not? Well, since we are not talking of human flesh, we need to concentrate on whose spirit is leading us through the path of our life in the flesh. It is this path that leads us to where we will be going. Do we die to the chaos of the flesh that leads us down the broad path to the wide gate of destruction or do we die to the spirit of eternal life by lovingly tending & guarding His Word to make straight the path to the narrow gate in order that we do not miss it. If the world does not see Him in us, how are they to know He even exists? Some of the scribes and Pharisees had changed so much of God’s Word that a lot of people, including scribes and Pharisees didn’t even recognized Jesus as the Messiah while He walked with them in the flesh. Out of ignorance, they instead sought out destruction, the destruction of the Messiah that had come for them.
Matthew 5:20 ~ For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven
Jesus was talking about trustful & faithful obedience, not abundance of knowledge. The adding to & subtracting from God’s word by scribes & Pharisees had caused great chaos. Jesus considered them the lowest of the low. Jesus came as our light in order that we may understand; so that we would be a testimonial light to the future generations of the world after He ascended to be with His Father. He, Jesus, taught that that understanding comes from Moses, “have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?” (Mark 12)
1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, Footnote: Ex 19:5-9. 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of God; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion. … 21 For to this you were called, because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps,1 Footnote: 11 Cor. 11:1, 1 John 2:6. 22 who committed no sin,1 nor was deceit found in His mouth,”2 Footnotes: 1John 8:55, John 15:10, 2 Cor. 5:21, John 3:5. 2Isa.53:9.
Which leads me back to the question, why have a national call to prayer to plead to God to destroy chaos on Saturday and not on Sunday? Maybe because they thought they could more easily get God’s ear on His day of rest & worship rather the man-made one that was adopted from the chaos that first appeared in the Garden of Eden? The chaos that was at the foot of Mt Sinai when Moses first descended with God’s 10 Words that God, himself, spoke to the crowd for all to hear; the chaos that rejected God’s Sabbath for a day appointed by man and for man against the will and desire of Our Father in Heaven.
Well, I do not know what the outcome of the national prayer will be; however I do know how the poem ended. Alfred Lord Tennyson went on. . .
Into the valley of death rode the six hundred! . . . When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! . . . Honor the charge they made, Honor the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred.
The brigade feared not. They whole heartily honored and trusted their leader, never questioning his authority or commands. Now that’s FAITH! That’s Glory! That’s HONOR!
God is seeking hearts like that of the Six Hundred for His Brigade! Keep watch for the news of the new Saturday Sabbath study/worship coming soon.