Continued website problems made it so I couldn’t sign in and post to my blog much this week. The website problems started a week ago today, but I’m happy to report that everything appears to be up and running again. It’s Friday afternoon, and Sabbath starts at sunset, only a few minutes away.
I’ve been keeping up with my Bible reading, but I’m feeling a lot of fatigue this afternoon. So I’m going to quickly summarize the key points I saw when reading each day.
I was planning to spend some time talking about the “world to come,” the Millennium and after that, when all the world will be under the rule of the King of Kings. It’s going to be awesome!
“All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to YHVH,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
For the kingdom is YHVH’s,
And He rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.
A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of YHVH to the next generation,
They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this” (Psalm 22:27-31).
I also noticed Matthew 16:21-23,
“From that time Yeshua began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men'” (Matthew 16:21-23).
Just as Job had to suffer for reasons that no one could see, Yeshua also would suffer — only He knew ahead of time and still chose to go through hard times. The thing that stood out to me is that, even in suffering, we are not to complain or even try to get out of it necessarily, without first taking into account what God’s plan might be in the midst of it. We are to be mindful of the things of God, of His greater plan and what good He wants to bring out of suffering.
If you like following chiastic structures, which Christine continually points out, then I hope you caught her blog post on Elihu’s speech to Job. Right about the time I was feeling irritated with Elihu, Christine says, “I am seeing lots of chiastic structures so far in Elihu’s speech, which tells me he is indeed speaking by the Spirit of God.”
In other words, Scripture is unique from all other kinds of literature, and one of these amazing, unique things is that it is made up of chiastic structures. These are ways we can know that YHVH was speaking clearly.
Elihu mentions another way, which is through dreams and visions.
“For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
In order to turn man from his deed,
And conceal pride from man,
He keeps back his soul from the Pit,
And his life from perishing by the sword” (Job 33:14-18).
Dreams and visions made up almost 33% of the Bible, and in this passage, Elihu states what was everyday wisdom to the people of their time — that God speaks to us at night, often to instruct us in the way to go and to warn us.
We will try to point out more about this in the days to come, but notice that the disciples had a vision of Yeshua shining with glory and brightness and speaking with Moses and Elijah in Matthew 17:1-9. It looked very real, and indeed, it was real. The eyes of faith can see that the spiritual world is real, and that God is moving behind the scenes of what we can see with our physical senses. It is one more reason to trust Him! And indeed, when we don’t see that world as more real than the one we can see, we walk in unbelief.
“Then the disciples came to Yeshua privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’
“So Yeshua said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you'” (Matthew 17:19-20).
This is one reason why the Psalmist had such confidence that, even though he might walk through the valley of the shadow of death or be in the presence of his enemies, he didn’t need to fear any evil. Our “anointing”and purpose is set in YHVH’s eyes (Psalm 23:4-5). The unseen but real world is where truth exists.
I absolutely love Christine’s post on why we should be righteous, even though it doesn’t help YHVH in any way. I remember reading this last year and mulling over it for days!
“God does not suffer nor profit from either wickedness or righteousness. But who does profit from righteousness, and who does suffer from wickedness, is our fellow man. Thus we see that wickedness is an act of hatred toward others, while righteousness is an act of love toward others. This truth of Elihu’s from the Spirit of God needs to be restored to culture today, for we have separated wickedness from hate, and righteousness from love. Indeed, you even hear it said that some acts of wickedness are acts of love while some acts of righteousness are acts of hatred! But this is God’s bottom line, and why He asks righteousness of men – He is seeking love, first and foremost!”
I also note that justice doesn’t always happen on the day we want it to. We can be sure of God’s justice, but the timing of it is the part we aren’t sure of. As we read earlier, we might have to suffer in the meantime.
“Although you say you do not see Him,
Yet justice is before Him, and you must wait for Him” (Job 35:14).
Again, YHVH sees all time as if it were right in front of Him. He sees our future as if it were happening right now. So justice is true and certain, but it might wait until the World to Come.
“He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous;
But they are on the throne with kings,
For He has seated them forever,
And they are exalted” (Job 36:7).
This reminds me of a prayer from the book of Ephesians:
“… that the God of our Master Yeshua the Messiah, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Messiah when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:17-21).
When we put our mind on eternal things, “not only in this age but also in that which is to come,” it gives us a reason to sing!
“Remember to magnify His work,
Of which men have sung.
Everyone has seen it;
Man looks on it from afar” (Job 36:24).
I want to remind you to go check out the Bible study posts that my friend Christine wrote. Her post today, on Matthew 18, is similar to what I have written in my own notes, and hers is packed with practical tips on what to do when you get upset with a brother or sister.
The key verse?
“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11).
As Paul says,
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Yeshua the Messiah, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
It’s the only reason we are here. And think how much He has forgiven us! When we get a picture of how much He loves His lost sheep and how He moves heaven and earth to rescue each one, we get an idea of how to forgive the “small” offenses others have done for us.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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To Study Further:
- Don’t understand chiastic structures? Take this 2-hour master class with Christine.
- I love Psalm 24. It goes with Ezekiel 44. If you’d like a spoiler for what things will be like in the World to Come, compare those two chapters.
- Don’t know how to forgive? See Matthew 18:15-17 and 21-22.
- I am exhausted, yes — but I have a list of things that help when I get this tired. I put all those ideas into a book I published in 2017, and it just so happens that it’s on sale for 25% off for one only more week. Grab your copy today!