Another week has come to and end. Praise YAH Almighty!
Click on the above link for the TORAH Parashah/Portion details…
The main themes in this weeks Holy Biblical Scriptural readings are:
- Love and War
- YAH cares about every creature and possessions on earth
- Shame and Disgrace – reversal
- ABBA YAHUVEH, Have mercy upon me for every sin I have committed in my life that has opened the door to shame, disgrace and humiliation and cleanse me by the mighty blood of YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH, in YAHUSHUA’S Name, Amen!
- ABBA YAHUVEH, in your mercy and by the mighty blood of YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH, deliver me from every shame, disgrace and humiliation that Satan has brought into your life for one reason or the other, in YAHUSHUA’S Name, Amen!
- I reject shame and disgrace and humiliation for it is not my portion and send it back to the pits of hell the lake of fire, in YAHUSHUA’S Name, Amen!
- I close every door in my life that is allowing shame, disgrace and humiliation into my life, in YAHUSHUA’S mighty Name, Amen!
- ABBA YAHUVEH, let your Divine Favour fill my life to overflowing, in YAHUSHUA’S Name, Amen! I shall prevail with YAH and with man in every area of my life and everywhere I go by the leading of RUACH HA KODESH, in YAHUSHUA’S Name, Amen!
- Restore/Heal my soul, oh ABBA YAHUVEH, in YAHUSHUA’S Name, Amen! (Psalm 23:3)
LOVE IN WAR!
Deuteronomy 21:10-11 Names of God Bible (NOG)
Laws about Marriage and Family
10 When you go to war with your enemies and Yahweh your Elohim hands them over to you, you may take them captive. 11 If you see a beautiful woman among the captives and have your heart set on her, you may marry her.
According to the TORAH, not everything is fair in love or war.
- Last week’s TORAH portion spelled out certain laws of conduct for warfare.
- This week’s TORAH portion introduces the prospect of romance on the battlefield.
The TORAH acknowledges that the soldiers of a conquering army are likely to be tempted to take captive women, but it forbids acting on the impulse. Instead, the TORAH demands that a captive woman be granted dignity and honor. She is to be allowed to mourn her parents. She is to be given the honor of marriage. She is not to be taken forcibly; she is to be married and given the status of a wife. She cannot be treated as a slave, nor can she be sold.
Before the conquering soldier can consummate his desire and marry the woman, he has to allow her to mourn the loss of her family for a full month. During this period of time, she is to shave the hair off her head. It was also perceived that she was to let her finger nails grow during that period.
Shaving the head and letting the nails grow long are apparently mourning rituals of the time. It is also suggested that another reason for her hairless, unkempt appearance. He states that the TORAH’s laws are attempting to dissuade the man from marrying the captive woman by making her appear repulsive to him. The month of mourning is like a thirty-day waiting period during which the man has time to reconsider his intentions.
- Does he really want to marry the weeping bald woman with the long fingernails?
- If at the end of the thirty days the man has decided he is not pleased with her and does not want to marry the woman after all, he is to let her go free.
The TORAH’s wisdom in this matter teaches us several principles that apply to every romantic relationship, that is to say,
- A person should never rush into marriage.
- Love at first sight is not real love.
- Before committing to marriage, a person needs to take time to see past the other person’s sexual allure and fog of lust.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
These laws teach us to curb our natural desires and remember that the person we are so attracted to is, after all, another human being, not a sex object.
Furthermore, the laws pertaining to the captured woman teach us that sex before marriage is never sanctioned. Even the battlefield soldier had to delay gratification thirty days and wait until the wedding document was signed.
GIVING HONOUR TO WHOM HONOUR IS DUE
SHAME AND DISGRACE REVERSED BY ABBA YAHUVEH!
In the very first verse of this haftarah, the kingdom and people of Judah metaphorically presented as a woman who is shamed because she has never been in labor and is therefore without children.
She is also presented as shamed because she has been forsaken by her husband, (actually widowed).
Then, in the verses following, this woman’s status is reversed as she has many children and as her Maker, YAHUVEH (a.k.a YAHWEH), becomes her husband.
- In some segments of our culture, this issue of shame for being childless or for being unmarried is still a stigma for women. We would all agree that this is unjust and unkind!
I have also long noted that in our culture a man can afford to look sloppy. This will just be written off.
- But for a woman to appear in public in a sloppy manner is for her to court disapproval, and even conjectures about her emotional well-being.
- And if a woman is unattractive, she is apt to consider herself permanently one down. This is unjust, and it is cruel.
To the extent that such “norms” prevail in our contexts, they need to be forsaken and uprooted.
Although I have neither attached to myself the label “feminist” nor opposed being such, I think all men and indeed all people should join in making sure that women are treated with the dignity and honor YAH (a.k.a ELOHIM) intends for them. This is a kind of feminism none should reject and all should embrace.
Matters of honour and shame are currently being trampled underfoot in the West (Western culture). In the public arena, few if any bother to think about how they are enhancing or destroying the reputations and well-being of the people they despise, oppose, and denounce.
We have seen in our Haftarah that matters of honour and shame are important to YAH. In the Besorah/Gospel of Luke, we find YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH talking about this issue too (see Luke 14:7–11).
Luke 14:7-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
Take the Lowly Place
7 So HE told a parable to those who were invited, when HE noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: 8 “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9 and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 For whoever exalts himself will be [a]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In the Sermon on the Mount, YAHUSHUA sternly warns us,
Matthew 5:22 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother [a]without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’[b] shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, [c]‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of [d]hell fire.
“I tell you that anyone who nurses anger against his brother will be subject to judgment; that whoever calls his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing!’ will be brought before the Sanhedrin; that whoever says, ‘Fool!’ incurs the penalty of burning in the fire of Gei-Hinnom!” (Matthew 5:22).
In light of this, what is the to be considered going forward?
- What ought to be done transform the way people in our circles speak to and about others?
- If we don’t bother to address this, do we imagine this will be pleasing to YAHUVEH?
- How do you think society will be impacted if we do not reverse this trend of widespread disrespectful speech?
- Mind how prepare, write and give speeches.
It is easy for us to speak in generalized terms about dignity for all people. But people are not generalities: they are very specific. Therefore, it behooves us to think clearly about the various groups of people we encounter: not society in general, but subgroups of people as they are distinguished from each other by economics, location, gender, race, politics, ethnicity, religion, and other particularities of their station in life. It may just be—and I would insist it is—that the YAH of Israel holds us accountable to treat all these kinds of people with the honour and dignity for which they were created. And who would doubt that care in such matters is a vanishing aspect in our day?
We would do well to ponder the wisdom and challenge given us by Kefa/Peter in his first letter,
“Be respectful to all—keep loving the brotherhood, fearing YAH (ELOHIM), and honoring the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17).
The LORD YAHUVEH speaks to Israel as His wife
“Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,” says the LORD YAHUVEH. “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.”
- The Babylonian exile and captivity meant more than oppression for Israel; it meant shame, disgrace, and humiliation.
YAH promises a glorious release from not only the exile and captivity, but also from the shame, disgrace, and humiliation.
This passage is quoted by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 4:27, in reference to the miraculous “birth” of those under the New Covenant.
Galatians 4:27 New King James Version (NKJV)
27 For it is written:
“Rejoice, O barren,
You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband.”
Paul also probably intended the phrase more are the children to also indicate that the children of the New Covenant would outnumber the children of the Old Covenant.
“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your MAKER is your husband, the LORD YAHUVEH of hosts is HIS Name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; HE is called the ELOHIM (YAH) of the whole earth. For the LORD YAHUVEH has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,” says your ELOHIM (YAH).
The LORD of hosts is His name: To comfort and strengthen HIS people, YAH reminds them of how glorious of a Saviour HE is. He is their Maker, HE is the LORD YAHUVEH of hosts, HE is their Redeemer, HE is the Holy One of Israel, and HE is called the ELOHIM (YAH) of the whole earth. Not only does YAH supply a husband, but a great one – HIMSELF!
The promise that the LORD YAHUVEH will meet our needs when others forsake us does not leave us to a place of “second best.”
The LORD YAHUVEH GOD can be a greater husband than any man can be. This is something for every single woman to remember; and something no married woman should forget.
An earthly husband can never fulfill every need that the great Heavenly Husband can.
“For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid MY face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the LORD YAHUVEH, your Redeemer.
But with great mercies I will gather you: The forsaken is in the present tense; the great mercies are in the future tense. But they are real, and give Israel cause to set their hope and trust in the LORD YAHUVEH, though they feel forsaken at the moment.
I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you:
The contrast is between the moment of feeling forsaken and the everlasting nature of the kindness that will come. When we feel tried and forsaken, we should recognise that it is just for a moment, and the everlasting blessing will certainly come.
Comfort and assurance to restored Israel
(YeshaYAHU/Isaiah 54:9-10) A promise to never forsake Israel.
“For this is like the waters of Noah to ME; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but MY kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall MY covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD YAHUVEH, who has mercy on you.
For this is like the waters of Noah to Me: Just as YAH promised that the flood waters of Noah’s day would not cover the earth forever, so will HIS anger recede from Israel.
For the mountains shall depart … but My kindness shall not depart from you: Flood waters recede, and mountains do not.
But even if the mountains shall depart, even if the hills be removed, the kindness of the LORD YAHUVEH to HIS people will never depart.
The kindness of the LORD YAHUVEH is more certain than the mountains and the hills, and HIS covenant of peace is more sure.
(Isa 54:11-17) Promises of prosperity, peace, and protection.
“O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the LORD YAHUVEH, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of ME. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake. Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the spoiler to destroy. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD YAHUVEH, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the LORD YAHUVEH.
To you afflicted one, tossed with tempest and not comforted: YAH cares about the afflicted one. HE cares about the one tossed with tempest. HE cares about the one who is not comforted. When someone is in this place – afflicted, tossed, and not comforted – it is easy for them to believe YAH doesn’t care. But HE does, and HE gives precious promises to give strength.
Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems … sapphires … rubies … crystal: YAH will lavish riches upon the hurting and afflicted. When someone feels afflicted, tossed, and not comforted, they feel poor, no matter how much money they have in the bank. YAH promises to make the afflicted truly rich.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD YAHUVEH, and great shall be the peace of your children: When we are afflicted, tossed, and not comforted, we feel bad not just for ourselves, but also for our children. God gives precious assurance not only for us, but also quiets our fears for our children.
In righteousness you shall be established … you shall not fear … whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake: YAH promises those who are afflicted, tossed, and not comforted will find protection and security in HIM.
The sovereign YAH – who created the blacksmith, who created the spoiler to destroy – also has the power to protect. He can promise that no weapon formed against you shall prosper. Whatever weapon is raised against YAH’S people is destined to be destroyed itself. YAH will ultimately even protect HIS people from criticism; indeed, every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.
The LORD YAHUVEH will not allow the weapon formed against HIS servants to prosper. Sometimes this means the LORD YAHUVEH takes the weapon out of the hand of the enemy of HIS servants. Sometimes it means that YAH allows the weapon to strike, but brings a greater good out of it than the pain of the immediate blow. In allowing this, YAH (ELOHIM) will not allow the weapon to prosper, but transforms the violent sword into a trowel for building HIS Kingdom.
The tongue which rises against you can really hurt. “Satan leaves no stone unturned against the Bride of YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH a.k.a Body of YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH. He uses not simply the hand; but, what is oftener a sharper weapon, the tongue. We can bear a blow, sometimes, but we cannot endure an insult. There is a great power in the tongue. We can rise from a blow which smote us to the ground; but we cannot so easily recover from slander, that lays the character low.” (Spurgeon) Yet, we can trust in the LORD YAHUVEH’S triumph. “The more accusers, the more acquittals; the more slander, the more honor; so the enemy may slander us as much as he pleases.” (Spurgeon)
This is not a blanket promise for any churchgoer. The LORD YAHUVEH specifically says, this is the heritage of the servants of the LORD YAHUVEH. Are you a servant of the LORD YAHUVEH? Then you can rest easy in HIS promised protection. The LORD YAHUVEH also says that this is a promise for those whose righteousness is from ME – from the LORD YAHUVEH HIMSELF – and not from themselves. When a person understands that their righteousness is really from the LORD YAHUVEH, they are much more comfortable in letting the LORD YAHUVEH protect their righteousness.
Isaiah 54 Names of God Bible (NOG)
The Lord’s Compassion for the Women without Children
54 Sing with joy, you childless women who never gave birth to children.
Break into shouts of joy, you women who never had birth pains.
“There will be more children of women who have been deserted
than there are children of married women,” says Yahweh.
2 Expand the space of your tent.
Stretch out the curtains of your tent, and don’t hold back.
Lengthen your tent ropes, and drive in the tent pegs.
3 You will spread out to the right and left.
Your descendants will take over other nations,
and they will resettle deserted cities.
4 Don’t be afraid, because you won’t be put to shame.
Don’t be discouraged, because you won’t be disgraced.
You’ll forget the shame you’ve had since you were young.
You won’t remember the disgrace of your husband’s death anymore.
5 Your husband is your maker.
His name is Yahweh Tsebaoth.
Your Go’el is Qedosh Yisrael.
He is called the Elohim of the whole earth.
6 “Yahweh has called you as if you were
a wife who was abandoned and in grief,
a wife who married young and was rejected,” says your Elohim.
7 “I abandoned you for one brief moment,
but I will bring you back with unlimited compassion.
8 I hid my face from you for a moment in a burst of anger,
but I will have compassion on you with everlasting kindness,”
says Yahweh your Go’el.
9 “To me this is like Noah’s floodwaters, when I swore an oath
that Noah’s floodwaters would never cover the earth again.
So now I swear an oath not to be angry with you or punish you.
10 The mountains may move, and the hills may shake,
but my kindness will never depart from you.
My promise[a] of peace will never change,”
says Yahweh, who has compassion on you.
11 “You suffering, comfortless, storm-ravaged city!
I will rebuild your city with precious stones.
I will reset your foundations with sapphires.
12 I will rebuild your towers with rubies,
your gates with sparkling stones,
and all your walls with precious stones.”
13 All your children will be taught by Yahweh,
and your children will have unlimited peace.
14 You will be established in righteousness.
You will be far from oppression,
so you will not be afraid.
You will be far from destruction,
so it won’t come near you.
15 “If anyone attacks you, it will not be my doing.
Whoever attacks you will be defeated by you.
16 I’ve created blacksmiths to fan the coals into flames
and to produce useful weapons.
I’ve also created destroyers to bring destruction.
17 No weapon that has been made to be used against you will succeed.
You will have an answer for anyone who accuses you.
This is the inheritance of Yahweh’s servants.
Their victory comes from me,” declares Yahweh.