13. Oct, 2017
How to behave or not behave that is the question.
The days are passing and the encounters are many. Yesterday I encountered a young lady with several rings in her nose. I was required to give a monetary tip so I also gave her a spiritual tip. I gave her my card with a message written on the back of it which read, God loves you, Psalm 139:13-16 and John 3:16. she was obviously wanting to stand out and be noticed in the world with the ring piercings she had. Yet like so many people who search for an identity in this world, they look in the wrong places. We look here and there when our true identity is to be found only in the One who opened the Curtain of the Temple, so all who call on the name of the Lord can go in to be with the Father. Hebrews 10:20 The world has removed the answer for life before we even get to ask the question or to ask who am I? So much is hidden from the people, even by the church. Why does the church hide these things, what is wrong in someone knowing exactly who they are - John 1:12 - and who made them this way and who wants them to change and be ready for the return of the Messiah.
This week we are in the time of the Biblical Feast of Tabernacles, - Leviticus 23:23-44 - a time of celebration a time of rejoicing in who the Lord said He was and who that river of living water for all to drink of and be saved is. John 7:37-38 it is also a time of teaching of who we can be in the Lord and how to act within that salvation. At this time the Orthodox Jewish people take what is called a Lulav, it is made up of a Palm branch, and branches of Myrtle leaves and willow leaves plus an estrog, something like a lemon, and wave them before the Lord. This may seem strange to the outsider to who it means nothing except that it is a nice tourist attraction to see the men carefully choosing each item. However we should ask the question is there a Biblical side to this action? So let us take a quick look at what all of these items signify and how they can relate to us and our walk with the Lord.
Let us start with the willow Leaf. This part of the Lulav, is said to represent the mouth and that we are only to speak good things. Anything and everything we say surely must please the Lord. We read in James 3:1-12 where the Lord clearly tells us to have clean speech to speak pure words as we cannot truly praise the Lord with a mouth that curses - James 3:10 - and complains against our "brother". 1 John 4:20 We will all one day stand praising the Lord with one voice and Of course it will be with a pure voice, one that pleases the Lord. But surely the Lord is listening to every word spoken now, as we cannot hide anything from Him. 1 John 3:20 Therefore our words must reflect who we are, a child of God. John 1:12
Then there is the Myrtle leaf. This leaf we are told represents the eye. Someone once said we are what we speak and what we see. With the social media we have today, it is so easy to watch that is not pleasing to God. Even the news has content they warn the viewer of before they show the item. Our eyes should be fully fixed on the Lord - Psalm 141:8 - after all He is the one returning to take us home to the Father's house. John 14:2 The scripture of Matthew 6:22-23 seems to be confusing to some but if we take the whole chapter we can get an idea of the Hebraic understanding of what the Lord is saying. This whole chapter is about how to behave and be good servants of the Lord. In Hebrew to have a "good eye" is to be a caring and generous person. Something we should all have and be as followers of the one and only Messiah, Yeshua.
Part of the Lulav is the Palm branch, this the people are to wave towards the four corners of the earth. This reminds me of Yeshua entering into Jerusalem and the people singing, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. - Luke 19:38 - The eternal One whose message has gone to the four corners of the earth. Matthew 28:19 However the teaching is that the palm branch with its 'ribs' represents the body and as it is waved before the Lord it is a representation of placing ourselves before God Himself. To place ourselves before a Holy and Just God who knows even the hairs on our head. - Matthew 10:30 Praising the King of kings and Lord of Lords. 1 Timothy 6:15
Finally the estrog the citrus, this is said to represent the heart and when they are chosen are inspected for any blemish before they are presented before the Lord. The Lord saw the heart of mankind and brought a flood as He only found one righteous man, Noah. - Genesis 6:19 - But things have not improved as the scriptures tell us the heart of man is evil. Psalm 141:4 Surely we should be trying hard to live up to the grace given to us when we were saved by the blood of the Lamb. Who may ascend to the House of the Lord, they who have clean hands and a pure heart. Psalm 24:3-4
So what has become a tradition in the Orthodox Jewish world paints a picture for all Believers, we are to worship the Lord with our talk, with what we see and have heart only for Him and use our bodies to further His Kingdom. In other words; You shall love the Lord thy God with all of your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind this is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38 And it is this commandment represented in the Lulav and it is this commandment we should strive to keep not to be saved but because we are saved. Saved by a loving and caring God who loves us unconditionally, surely we should love Him in the same unconditional way in return. Romans 5:8 After all we are beautifully made in His image so shouldn't we behave in away that is a shadow of that image?
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and put on a new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of the Creator. Colossians 3:9-10
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