Rabbi Yochanan Hammond, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
WORDS OF WISDOM.
From the Desk of Rabbi Yochanan Hammond, Ph.D. email@example.com
Is not all we have and possess from HaShem, the Holy One of Israel? Is it not the grace of HaShem that allows us to have, including life itself? Should we not be ever grateful for the love, grace and wisdom of HaSHem? Has and does not HaShem provide us with all we need? Whatever we humans require is to be found on this earth! The reason we have not is due to our own sin of corruption. We are unprepared to do that which HaShem has commanded us to do. We refuse to listen to the wisdom of our Creator. This has been a historical problem with Israel, so many great and wonderful promises given to us if only we would listen to HaShem. We are a nation that could change the world from darkness into light.
4 “Now, Isra’el, listen to the laws and rulings I am teaching you, in order to follow them, so that you will live; then you will go in and take possession of the land that Adonai, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 In order to obey the mitzvot of Adonai your God which I am giving you, do not add to what I am saying, and do not subtract from it. 3 You saw with your own eyes what Adonai did at Ba‘al-P‘or, that Adonai destroyed from among you all the men who followed Ba‘al-P‘or; 4 but you who stuck with Adonai your God are still alive today, every one of you 5 Look, I have taught you laws and rulings, just as Adonai my God ordered me, so that you can behave accordingly in the land where you are going in order to take possession of it. 6 Therefore, observe them; and follow them; for then all peoples will see you as having wisdom and understanding. When they hear of all these laws, they will say, ‘This great nation is surely a wise and understanding people.’ 7 For what great nation is there that has God as close to them as Adonai our God is, whenever we call on him? 8 What great nation is there that has laws and rulings as just as this entire Torah which I am setting before you today? Deuteronomy 4:1-8 [CJB]
People often speak about opportunities and how they can be easily lost. Can we Children of Israel dream up any better opportunity than to represent HaShem, the Holy One of Israel, blessed be He? Do we actually grasp the “opportunity” we have as the only nation chosen by HaShem to represent Him? Generation after generation have allowed this opportunity to slip through their grasp. This present generation appears to be following the previous generations. This should not be the case. There is no reason outside our pride and stubbornness that prevents us from changing and hence changing the world. Alas when reading the bible I see very little hope of this taking place before great suffering and pain is afflicted from above, due to our sin. Perhaps I am wrong in thinking this is so, one can only pray and hope. None the less our behaviour as a chosen people is far from the “expectations” and commands of our Father in heaven. It is absolute foolishness to reject the wonderful opportunities we have been given by HaShem, yet we all seem to possess the ability to refuse Him. We require Divine help from above, enabling us to change direction, to walk the path of the righteous.
33 Teach me, Adonai, the way of your laws;
keeping them will be its own reward for me.
34 Give me understanding; then I will keep your Torah;
I will observe it with all my heart.
35 Guide me on the path of your mitzvot,
for I take pleasure in it.
36 Bend my heart toward your instructions
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
with your ways, give me life.
38 Fulfill your promise, which you made to your servant,
which you made to those who fear you.
39 Avert the disgrace which I dread,
for your rulings are good.
40 See how I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness, give me life! Psalm 119:33-40 [CJB]
97 How I love your Torah!
I meditate on it all day.
98 I am wiser than my foes,
because your mitzvot are mine forever.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
because I meditate on your instruction.
100 I understand more than my elders,
because I keep your precepts.
101 I keep my feet from every evil way,
in order to observe your word.
102 I don’t turn away from your rulings,
because you have instructed me.
103 How sweet to my tongue is your promise,
truly sweeter than honey in my mouth!
104 From your precepts I gain understanding;
this is why I hate every false way. Psalm 119:97-104 [CJB]
If only we as a nation would pray such prayers with genuine contrite hearts. Without Torah there is no light. Yeshua is the Living Torah and before the foundation of the world He was. Yeshua is the Light and we are to reflect that Light. We do this through the application of Torah. We cannot have Yeshua as our guiding Light without Torah. In trying to make a point, it could be said that the Father, Yeshua, the Ruach HaKodesh and Torah are echad. HaShem is the God of perfect order and perfect balance, and you must have all Four in your life to achieve order and balance.
It is so easy to squander opportunity, and once passed there is no guarantee for it to visit again.
22 Yeshua continued traveling through town after town and village after village, teaching and making his way toward Yerushalayim. 23 Someone asked him, “Are only a few people being saved?” 24 He answered, “Struggle to get in through the narrow door, because — I’m telling you! — many will be demanding to get in and won’t be able to, 25 once the owner of the house has gotten up and shut the door. You will stand outside, knocking at the door and saying, ‘Lord! Open up for us!’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from!’ 26 Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you! you taught in our streets!’ 27 and he will tell you, ‘I don’t know where you’re from. Get away from me, all you workers of wickedness!’ 28 You will cry and grind your teeth when you see Avraham, Yitz’chak, Ya‘akov and all the prophets inside the Kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown outside. Luke 13:22-28 [CJB]
As a nation, as a people we can never claim that we weren’t given great opportunity to forge a loving and faithful relationship with HaShem. It will happen, there will be a generation, a people who will claim and take that opportunity. Many individuals have already taken the Hand of life and we say Baruch HaShem, giving all the glory to God. However as a nation, as a people, we have yet to unite and grasp this opportunity. So the question remains: Where too from here?
May the grace, love and wisdom of HaShem and Yeshua HaMoshiach be with you!