Rabbi Yochanan Hammond, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
WORDS OF WISDOM.
Chapter Twenty Four.
Receiving wisdom from HaShem, is both a necessity and a privilege. We cannot operate as we should, if we rely on our own wisdom or are influenced by the wisdom of those who oppose HaShem. We can become very hard hearted and full of pride if we allow ourselves to be deceived by opposing forces. We are blessed that HaShem has such love, patience and compassion for His Children and is ever willing to share His perfect wisdom for the sake of His people. Balaam received wisdom from HaShem through a donkey. If we consider this fact, that lesson should bring us down from any high horse we are riding. It is through these lessons of history that give us the opportunity to learn wisdom. Take for instance some of the prayers and instructions given and asked for in times past.
“May You grant Your servant an understanding heart, to judge Your people, to distinguish between good and evil; for who can judge this formidable people of Yours?” 1Kings 3:9 [AST]
“ And now, my children, listen to me. Happy are those who keep my ways. Listen to instruction and become wise, do not reject it.” Proverbs 8:32-33 [NJB]
“The ear attentive to wholesale correction finds itself at home in the company of the wise.” Proverbs 15:31 [NJB]
“I am filled with love when HaShem listens to the sound of my prayer, when He bends down to hear me, as I call.” Psalm 116:1 [NJB]
Over and over we read the importance of hearing what our Heavenly Father has to say to us. We also witness the joy of those who have their prayers answered by HaShem.
We cannot stress enough the value in building a relationship with HaShem through prayer. Communication is the key to any strong relationship and it is no different when it comes to building a relationship with HaShem. Our fathers of past generations who had a strong relationship with HaShem were always in constant prayer. Our sages were consistently in prayer and encouraged others to follow their examples. The Master Yeshua was always in prayer, communicating to the Father.
“Then he parted from them, going a stone’s throw off, and knelt down to pray; Father, He said, if it pleases Thee, take away this chalice from before Me; only as Thy will is, not as Mine is.” Luke 22:41-42 [NTB]
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Yeshua got up, left, went away to a lonely spot and stayed there praying.” Mark 1:35 [CJB]
“After He had left them, He went into the hills to pray.” Mark 6:46 [CJB]
Not only did Yeshua spend time in prayer He encouraged all children of Israel to follow His example. This of course is recorded in the book of Matthew.
“So you should pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may Your name be held holy, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. And do not put us to the test, but save us from the Evil One.’” Matthew 6:9-13 [NJB]
We cannot over state the importance of prayer in the life of the Children of Israel. We must be in constant contact with our Father through prayer. Every aspect of our lives must be covered in prayer. Most could take a lesson from the Orthodox stream of Judaism. Spend some time with these people and you will quickly witness the importance of prayer in their lives. The prayers we offer to our Father must be authentic coming from the very depths of our souls. We must guard against offering our prayers by rote only, seeking applause from “men” that builds the deceit of self importance. Our Father wants us to be completely honest with Him. This is common sense as He knows every detail of our lives. We can hide nothing from Him. He knows the desires of our hearts. It is us who have trouble knowing our hearts.
“The heart is more devious than any other thing, and is depraved; who can pierce its secrets?” Jeremiah 17:9 [NJB]
We are quickly given the answer to the above question!
“I, Yahweh, search the heart, test the motives, to give each person what his conduct and actions deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10 [NJB]
We must give an honest answer to the question – What does our heart actually desire? The Master Himself gave us a teaching we would well be advised to absorb.
“For where your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.” Luke 12:34 [NJB]
Only HaShem can change our hearts! Only He can bring us to a position of faithfulness before Him. We must do our part; hence a major reason behind our free choice, but it is HaShem that completes the work. If our hearts are not healthy before Him, and we believe we are in a good position before Him, we deceive ourselves. Two truths we must be fully aware of are: Nothing takes HaShem by surprise and He cannot be deceived!
Prayer opens up the “Royal telephone” to HaShem. Perhaps in this day and age I should have “Royal email”. None the less it opens the lines of communication. We have a High Priest ,who mediates on our behalf, so we can have access to the Holy One of Israel, blessed be His Name.
“For God is one, and there is but one Mediator between God and humanity, Yeshua the Messiah, himself human, who gave himself as a ransom on behalf of all, thus providing testimony to God’s purpose at just the right time.” 1Timothy 2:5-6 [CJB]
Only the Children of Israel have this privilege, so why do we insist on trying to enter through some other means? We have access to The King, yet we are guilty of dismissing not only the opportunity, but far too often we dismiss Him altogether. As a nation we cannot survive without HaShem, and we cannot operate at our optimum without His wisdom and guiding Hand. Prayer precedes the gift of wisdom. Prayer must be a constant if we are to have a continuous flow of wisdom from HaShem. This is a lesson we must surely learn from our history.
May the grace, love and wisdom of HaShem and Yeshua HaMoshiach be with you!