Rabbi Yochanan Hammond, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
WORDS OF WISDOM.
Chapter Twenty Two.
From the Desk of Rabbi Yochanan Hammond, Ph.D. email@example.com
There is a song titled, “What a difference a day makes” and this has proven to be the case on many occasions. How many people have had circumstances change dramatically within 24 hrs? None the less, it would also be appropriate to state, “What a difference a moment makes”. A particular moment can change a life. A particular moment can change a thought. A particular moment can change an outcome. Moments are with us every day of our lives. We have to cope with moments on a constant basis. Coping with moments bring the process of decision making. Decisions made can be life changing. Living in the moment is something we cannot escape. Whenever we are awake our mind is constantly in the process of thought. Even when we are asleep we can find our minds engaging in various activities, resulting in dreams that can appear so real we sometimes wonder if it was in fact an actual event in our lives. No matter how much we may try to escape the fact that we live our lives moment by moment, the truth of the matter is we do. Living in the moment doesn’t negate the responsibility of planning and preparing for the future. There are far too many people who use the excuse of living in the moment to evade their responsibilities. Such peoples can find themselves in all kinds of trouble as they engage in destructive behaviour, gratifying their selfish lusts with the many choices on hand. The decision to experiment with illegal addictive drugs can change a life in an instant. A person engaging in these behaviours will readily say they are living in the moment. We must avoid those destructive impulses through installing practices that guard against them. This requires strength, education, wisdom and a helping hand. Praise God, that we can employ practices that actually result in us living responsible, healthy and prosperous lives.
However, to arrive at a point whereby we can make decisions every moment of our lives that are prosperous for us, we must protect ourselves against those influences that can cause the opposite outcomes. We must not allow the cancer of jealousy to enter into our life. It can be very convenient to view those in “another paddock”, seemingly doing so well, and becoming jealous of them. They may be engaging in unbiblical activities and even worshipping other gods, but they appear to have an endless supply of “riches”. It is at these moments that we can leave our faith or at best compromise our faithfulness to HaShem. Doubt begins to enter our thoughts and we find ourselves poised at the top of a slippery slope that will quickly take us down to destruction. At these moments we must trust HaShem and know He has all in hand. HaShem has an eternal plan for all, and a glorious future for the Children of Israel. The Holy One of Israel will destroy the evil in this world no matter how “rich” they appear to be, perhaps even in a moment of time. As Children of the Most High God we have a responsibility to ensure all our moments glorify HaShem and Yeshua HaMoshiach.
73 Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For they have no pangs until death;
their bodies are fat and sleek.
5 They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them as a garment.
7 Their eyes swell out through fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.
8 They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.
9 They set their mouths against the heavens,
and their tongue struts through the earth.
10 Therefore his people turn back to them,
and find no fault in them.
11 And they say, “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean
and washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all the day long I have been stricken
and rebuked every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.
18 Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works. Psalm 73:1-28 [ESV]
It is vital that we constantly look “upwards” to heaven with the intent of searching what our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us. We must refrain from looking at others with envy, as envy will lead us astray and we will lose touch with HaShem, HaMoshiach Yeshua and the holy Torah.
Satan tried this approach with Yeshua but baruch HaShem Yeshua made the correct decision in that moment.
4 Then Yeshua, filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, returned from the Yarden and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days of testing by the Adversary. During that time he ate nothing, and afterwards he was hungry. 3 The Adversary said to him, “If you are the Son of God, order this stone to become bread.” 4 Yeshua answered him, “The Tanakh says, ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’”
5 The Adversary took him up, showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world, 6 and said to him, “I will give you all this power and glory. It has been handed over to me, and I can give it to whomever I choose. 7 So if you will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Yeshua answered him, “The Tanakh says, ‘Worship Adonai your God and serve him only.’”
9 Then he took him to Yerushalayim, set him on the highest point of the Temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, jump from here! 10 For the Tanakh says,
‘He will order his angels
to be responsible for you and to protect you.
11 They will support you with their hands,
so that you will not hurt your feet on the stones.’”
12 Yeshua answered him, “It also says, ‘Do not put Adonai your God to the test.’” 13 When the Adversary had ended all his testings, he let him alone until an opportune time. Luke 4:1-13 [CJB]
Ponder for a moment the outcome, had Yeshua decided at that time to accept the offer made to him by our adversary. Disaster on a scale that one cannot imagine would have resulted. Perhaps the whole universe would have crumpled in an instant. As countless others have pointed out, in that moment Yeshua made His decision based on the Torah. Yeshua went straight to the teachings of HaShem to combat the test put before Him. We would do well to follow the example of the Master. Every time we make a decision, within that moment a change has been made. The decision taken will have a flow on effect to others. That flow on effect will either be a positive or negative one. Such a decision may not bear a result instantly, no doubt some will, but none the less it will bear some form of “fruit”.
We are continually facing “moments” that challenge and force us to make decisions. If we want the best outcomes for our lives then we must choose to employ the Torah as our guide, just as the Master Yeshua did whilst on this earth.
May the grace, love and wisdom of HaShem and Yeshua HaMoshiach be with you!