On Tuesday, Jerry came home from work (yes, his job is considered an essential service, thankfully), in pain demonstrating a host of unfortunate symptoms. After waiting a few hours to see if they would subside and then making a few phone calls, we decided to go to the Emergency Room. That in of itself was a stressful ordeal due to this pandemic. Jerry had to be screened in a tent in the parking lot while I waited outside sitting on the curb. Naturally, nearly every one we saw was wearing a face mask as were we. Because I had previously been tested for COVID-19 at that same hospital (the results were negative), I already knew that particular location is not where they screen and test suspected victims. So knowing the healthcare system strives to keep the two separate brought some relief. Nevertheless, my Jerry was suffering and I could not be there to comfort him nor learn what was wrong. When he and the nurse exited the tent, they advised me they were taking him in to do some tests and that I needed to go home since no visitors can enter the hospital. A mixture of emotions surged my mind from relief I wouldn’t have to expose myself to potential threatening germs to concern about what would happen to Jerry and would he be admitted to the hospital. I found myself attempting to concentrate during the dark drive home while not allowing the surging thoughts to consume me.
Upon arriving home on the boat, I attempted to busy myself by hanging up a large canvas tarp over the v-berth to shade my berth (bed) from the Texas sun. The temperatures seem to be climbing higher this Spring than last year’s. Of course, it was dark out and I was ever-careful not to trip or slip putting myself overboard or also in the ER. My efforts revealed I did not know what I was doing because upon careful inspection I realized my Jerry makes the canvas look much nicer and more efficient. Consequently, thoughts continued to bombard me about if something dire were to happen to him would I be able to handle the boat by myself, a factor I weighed upon buying a 30 foot sailboat figuring a smaller boat is wiser as rookie sailors – particularly a rookie sailor with a husband 16 years my senior. All of this reminds me practicing shalom in the home of our minds during sudden storms and peculiar pandemics is no easy feat sometimes!
After many tests on Jerry and a few hours of me scrubbing and clearing the sink drain on our boat (since Jerry vommited so much it clogged our sink), Jerry called to inform me he has a 7mm kidney stone. Ouch! He was released from the hospital late Tuesday night. Meanwhile, I seemed to have developed a sinus infection and later brief bouts of diarrhea probably from the stress. Wednesday, I found myself catering to him and running around to pick up his prescriptions covering myself in a face mask and gloves while entering the grocery store’s pharmacy area. How bizarre to think of such common places of health as a danger zone!
Despite all of the pandemic precautions and kidney stone kinetics, we managed to work together to put on a decent Passover dinner. The photos shown is our version of the “blood of the Lamb” on our doorpost. The winches of our sailboat are holding up the red sheet outlining our companionway entrance with cushions on each side of the entrance way. Despite waiting for Jerry’s kidney stone to pass, we had a nice dinner last night with lamb and the traditional seder elements. As an added bonus, my favorite rose bloomed for the first time yesterday (notice ‘Sailvation’, our boat name, appropriate for Passover).
Keep Jerry in your prayers please and me as well. He has to have a painful surgery done on Monday to address the kidney stone. In the meantime, us sailors are learning to stay calm in this storm. We hope you are yours are staying home indoors like the Israelites did during Passover and like Isaiah 26:20 foreworns. Afterall, this too shall “pass”.
I have been enjoying my free time on the boat during this pandemic. In addition to gardening and learning to hybridize roses (cross-breed), I have finally gotten the name of our boat put on the back (the stern) as well as on the port (left) side and starboard (right) side of our boat. Yesterday, a friend came over and taught us how to open our sails and what all the lines (ropes) do when opening, trimming, and closing the sails properly. Basically, we sailed within our slip (where we are docked). Ha ha! Below are some videos and photos of what we have been doing during the coronavirus pandemic.
After receiving an email from a disciple with some questions, I responded with an important truth I’m believing many of us need to hear and or be reminded of during this difficult season. While it is a likely reason the world is experiencing the coronavirus as a result of sin, please also understand that sometimes God allows unfortunate events to affect the righteous, the obedient, those not engaging in sin. Recall the character Job, a righteous man of God, who experienced much tragedy due to Satan challenging God stating Job only loved God for what He could do for Job versus Job simply loving God for who He is. But God, being the ultimate discerner of hearts, knew Job better so God allowed Satan to torment Job. We know in the end, Job unknowingly proved Satan wrong and God right. Consequently, God richly rewarded Job for his overcoming, committed love Job had for God.
Should you or a loved one succumb to COVID-19 and or be seriously financially impacted by this pandemic, if you have asked our Abba Father God to examine your heart and His Spirit reveals no sin, then ponder the possibility He may be providing you the choice to love God simply for who He is and not for what He can do for you. Perhaps He is believing in you even more than you believe in Him…Perhaps He is believing you, like Job, will prove Satan wrong.
No matter where we are at in our spiritual growth, in the coming days, perhaps our faith, our hope, our love will bloom where we can pray to God like we have no bills and we have no ills – simply because we love Him for who He is and not for what He can do for us. Maybe we can develop a depth and maturity in our faith that shifts our relationship to be centered on solely Him and stop fashioning a god centered and purposed to serve us. Perhaps that is the sin that ails us the most or perhaps not, perhaps we unknowingly or intentionally will prove Satan wrong like Job did in his response to tragedy. Regardless, through it all, may we be reminded to love God for who He is and not for what He can do for us. When THAT manifests in our hearts, the atmosphere will change. Authentic love, worship, for God is the contagious cure we desperately need. Selah and Shalom.
As the story of the coronavirus plague infects various media outlets, our concerned minds, and loved ones’ bodies, while also preparing for Passover, I found myself exploring how the story of Exodus foreshadows an even more significant story of the Second Exodus, which the Bible tells us will one day overshadow the story of the first Exodus causing people of the future to not even talk any longer about the story of Moses and the Israelites fleeing Egypt. Have you heard yet of the Second Exodus? Keep reading to learn more.
History of the Exodus
Bible students know that the twelve tribes of Israel relocated to Egypt to escape famine per the invitation of Joseph, Jacob/Israel’s youngest son. After hundreds of years though, long after the days of Joseph, the Israelites lost favor with the Egyptian leadership and became slaves under Pharaoh forced to build many structures, pyramids, etc. The Israelites were treated poorly and repeatedly cried out to God for deliverance from this oppression. Consequently, God sent His prophet, Moses, an Israelite adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter as an infant, to set the Israelites free from the captivity of Egypt. After many plagues and by following God’s instructions to survive such plagues, the grace of God miraculously set free His people from Egypt upon crossing the Red Sea. They then also became known as “Hebrews” for it means “to cross over” or “to pass over” or “to traverse”. Consequently, because of God’s grace, the Israelites or Hebrews were commanded to remember such an event known as Passover and to honor God by keeping His commands (Numbers 15:37-41). To read the story of the Exodus, read Exodus 3-15.
Woven within the Exodus story is an interesting fact that many Egyptians also left Egypt alongside the Israelites upon recognizing the One True Living God during the plagues and evidently wanted to align themselves with Israel and their God instead of the Egyptian gods (Exodus 12:37-38,49). Imagine if numerous plagues transpired in our land and it made the news that authentic, obedient believers in Jesus were spared from the coronavirus and other plagues (being they like the Israelites stayed indoors/at home after marking their doors with the blood of the lamb as their leader, Moses, instructed). Surely that would get the attention of non-believers causing some to want to come into relationship with God through Jesus. Hence why we see many also fled alongside of the Israelites in the Exodus story.
Throughout the remaining passages of Torah, many references instruct the Israelites as well as the mixed-multitude in the ways or laws of God and moreover, how God’s law applies both to the natural Israelite as well as the foreigner who aligns themselves with Israel (Exodus 22:21-24; 23:9; Leviticus 18:26; Numbers 9:14; 11:4; 15:13-16,30; Deuteronomy 10:12-22; 12:12;16:11-14; 26:10-14; 29:9-15).
Similarly, we see in the story of Ruth, Naomi was of Jewish descent, specifically of the tribe of Judah of Israel while Ruth was the dreaded Moabite. However, Ruth aligned herself with Naomi and the Jewish people stating, “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God..” (Ruth 1:16). No where does Ruth say, “Your people will be my people, your God, my God, but I will keep doing my Moabite thing (rejecting the ways of God).” Instead, the Book of Ruth praises Ruth for abandoning her former lifestyle held captive to sin and crossing over to believe in the One True Living God while becoming an ancestor of King David and eventually Jesus (Ruth 4:13-22; Matthew 1:5-6).
In yet another interesting example, Scripture reveals Caleb was technically a “Kenizzite”, therefore, not a natural Israelite, and yet because he “wholly followed the LORD” was considered of the tribe of Judah and given his inheritance as a son of God (Numbers 13:6,32:11-12; Joshua 14:6-15).
Upon such spiritual concepts of an “enlarged Israel” consisting of natural born children of God as well as adopted children of God already been hinted at in the Law and Prophets, the Apostle Paul builds on such concepts in his writings as well. In Romans 2:28-29, Paul explains to the Gentile Romans that what God has been after from the beginning is people’s hearts and if one has received the Spirit of Holiness, also referred to as the Holy Spirit or “Spirit of Adoption” in Romans 8 as well as in Galatians 4:6, that they are likened to a spiritual Jew. In Romans 11, the Apostle explains Gentiles who believe Jesus is Messiah and have received His Spirit are grafted into God’s olive tree further symbolizing they have been embraced or made one in God’s family tree. Likewise, in Galatians, another letter written to Gentiles, Paul clarifies believing Gentiles are adopted into Abraham’s lineage and considered heirs to the covenants God made with His natural children (Galatians 3:26-29). In prior verses found in Galatians 3:15-18, Paul explains God’s covenant with Abraham, a covenant that came prior to the Mosaic Covenant at Mt Sinai where God’s instructions were formally given and documented, that no one can alter God’s covenants or do away with them, rather each new covenant is built upon the previous ones providing a clearer story of God’s love. He further clarifies as newly adopted children of God, heirs to God’s covenants of promise, we don’t strive to earn our salvation or adoption by obeying God’s laws, but just the reverse, we strive to obey our Abba Father BECAUSE we are His kids and heirs with an inheritance. Moreover, when we love God and love others as the law teaches us to do, we are fulfilling God’s laws of love. In a different letter to Gentiles, but with the same message, the Apostle Paul explains in Ephesians 2:11 and onward, that these newly adopted sons and daughters of God must stop self-identifying and behaving as Gentiles, but rather recognized they are now apart of the enlarged Israel having become citizens of Israel and members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:11-19;3:6; 4:17-24). Paul strives to teach that while there is a genetic difference as well as gender differences physically, spiritually we are one in the same viewed as God’s children.
Meanwhile, many years later, we see the Apostle John advocating for believers in Jesus, not specifying only Jewish believers or Gentile believers, but rather ALL believers, to obey God’s laws as an expression of their love for God and as means to distinguish who is truly apart of God’s family, enlarged Israel, seeming to reiterate Jesus’ teaching of you will know them by what they do, their fruit (1 John; Revelation 12:17; 14:12; Matthew 7).
The Soon Coming Second Exodus
Now that we understand the overall story of the First Exodus, the concepts of being aligned with or adopted into an enlarged Israel, having been given God’s Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit of Holiness, which seals us as legit sons and daughters of God and consequently, causes us to want to obey our Abba Father, we can explore other Biblical passages indicating an even greater story will unfold often referred to as the Greater Exodus or the Second Exodus.
Select verses inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned through the prophet Jeremiah, indicate that the LORD will cause ALL of the remaining members of Israel to miraculously return to the land of Israel once again. In fact, the prophet explains it will be such a huge ordeal that the original exodus story won’t even be discussed any more, but instead, this miraculous moment will be remembered (Jeremiah 16:14-17; 23:3-8). Today, Jews and Christians alike celebrate Passover still referencing the first Exodus so obviously this event of the Second Exodus has not transpired yet.
Furthermore, Jeremiah pens in Chapter 3 verses 14 through 18, that the LORD will gather His people, Israel, individually stating “one from a city, two from a family” which Jesus also expressed in His interpretation of two will be in a field, one will be taken, or two in a bed, one will be taken in Matthew 24:31-41.
Likewise, the prophet Isaiah speaks to the same event in Isaiah 11 as well as Chapter 43 and others. Additionally, the prophet Ezekiel seems to describe the same event in Ezekiel chapters 36 through 37 as does the Apostle Paul in his writings found in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5.
In other words, numerous passages throughout the Bible indicate that God’s people in covenant, whether of Jewish descent or Gentile descent, are gathered to Mount Zion/ Jerusalem, if they are not already there, on the day the Lord returns. To read specific passages, check out my article “Where Are We Raptured To?” .Therefore, it would appear, based off a plethora of Biblical clues, that at some point in the relatively near future, there will be a Second Exodus of people being miraculously gathered from proverbial Egypts or Babylons to the land of Israel, specifically gathered to Mount Zion/Jerusalem.
As we celebrate Passover this 2020, may our vision of the future become made clear looking forward to the greater, Second Exodus!
To download a complete Passover/Pesach Guide created by Ira Malone of Torah for Christians Ministries, click here.
I have seen churches and Messianic Jewish places of worship remaining open holding services larger than 10 despite both federal and local orders not to do so during this coronavirus pandemic.
I cannot say this enough: The Holy Spirit will never tell you to do something contradictory to what God’s Spirit already said conveniently documented in the Bible for our benefit. God gets the final word – it’s called “His word” for a reason.
Romans 13:1-7 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities….whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves…”
Enough with rebellious pride under the guise of being “Spirit-led”, church! All you are doing is proving you are not led by the Holy Spirit, but you are being led by an unholy spirit.
“Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:20
For many of us Christians we have been taught that the law of God is some icky, evil virus we should avoid. Well-meaning preachers, teachers, and others have sifted a verse or so to foster a stigma against obeying God. Consequently, we have nurtured generations of “believers” who believe grace is a license to live lawlessly while having the perspective God’s laws are nothing but a burdensome checklist of do’s and don’ts. Just like our current medical experts are discerning all of the data (of COVID-19) before implementing federal and state policies, we too need to discern all the Biblical data before implementing doctrines. Failure to do so invites preventable disaster, death, and eternal doom!
The Apostle Peter even warned his readers that many would twist the Apostle Paul’s difficult and confusing letters explaining “the law of sin and death” compared to the “law of God” and rather twist it to lead people to believe lawlessness is what Paul promoted (2 Peter 3:14-18). For example, some of the common passages people use to justify rebellion to God’s commands is found in select verses or chapters in the Book of Acts, Romans, and Galatians. If we only referenced the negative connotations while failing to realize Paul often goes back and forth revealing the pros of “the law of God” compared to the “law of sin and death”, which is the consequence of operating in the flesh breaking God’s law (Romans 7:21-8:8), we can easily confuse his message. When we compare all of Paul’s writings we get a clear message he, like Jesus, was against sin, which the Apostle John defined as being without God’s laws or breaking God’s laws (1 John 3:4).
Likewise, both Paul and Jesus were ardently against misusing or twisting God’s law for man’s own purposes or even worse, teaching people to obey their laws or their doctrines verses God’s law (see Mark 7 as an example). Rather, Paul takes significant amount of time throughout his writings imploring people to take advantage of the Holy Spirit in the sense of now being able with His Spirit of Holiness’ help to obey God’s eternal, holy laws producing eternal, holy fruit (Romans 8; Galatians 6; Ezekiel 11:19-21; 36:27; Matthew 7). He also chides those who are obeying God’s laws with impure motives such as:
1) Striving to obey God’s laws in order to be saved thinking they can save themselves dismissing the point of the cross (Acts 15:1; Romans 4:14; Galatians 3:6, 5:4)
2) Elevating (pagan or their own) traditions, customs, and doctrines above God’s law is wrong (Gal.4:8-20; Colossians 2; Mark 7);
3) Obeying God’s law as motive to simply fit in or to be accepted in certain circles is also wrong (Gal.2:11-14; 6:11-15) verses obeying them out of a grateful circumcised heart being apart of God’s family, while elaborating the once pagan, lawless Gentiles, but now believers in Jesus/Yeshua, are no longer considered unclean or being without God’s law/lawless for in God’s eyes both believing Jew and Gentile are one in the same upon believing in Jesus as God’s natural and adopted children and both are expected to learn and adopt the household’s instructions of Abba Father found in His Torah/law little by little as the Holy Spirit leads and having different classes of people needs to cease (Acts 10; Acts 15; Romans 2:28-29; 10:12-13; Romans 11; Galatians 3:28-29; Ephesians 2:11-19; 4:17-24; Revelation 12:17, 14:12, 22:14). Note: Did you know the Torah is known as the “tree of life”?
In fact, the Holy Spirit does a good job detailing God’s laws of love in the first half of Scriptures (Torah) while extracting the intent and sum of God’s laws in the New Testament.
Explaining the heart and nature of God’s laws is precisely what Jesus came to do (Matthew 5:14-19; 22:34-40) and will do again one fine day upon His rule and reign here on earth (Isaiah 2:3-4; Isaiah 51, 65-66; Micah 4; Zechariah 14) and He even raises the standard of God’s law revealing it is all about exposing the motives of one’s heart and encouraging true authentic love for God and one another (Matthew 7:21-32; 22:34-40; John 14-15).
Moreover, when we demonstrate love we are fulfilling God’s law of love. Likewise, when we fulfill the law, we are being love!
Moreover, when we demonstrate love we are fulfilling God’s law of love. Likewise, when we fulfill the law, we are being love! This is why Jesus didn’t come to do away with His Father’s laws of love, for if He did so He could not be the sinless Messiah, but rather He came to pay the debt for breaking God’s laws, to teach us God’s motive in establishing them, and how they are in fact what God deems as loving Him and loving others. God’s laws are cultivating a culture of true love. Jesus both taught and obeyed God’s laws – He fulfilled them as we also are called to do. Because He first loved us, by demonstrating obedience to God’s laws of love, we will be inspired to love God and others in return out of a grateful, circumcised heart (1 John 4:19; 5:3).
So instead of viewing God’s laws of love as a fatal, hated virus we strive to avoid like the coronavirus, while attacking those who cheerfully obey God out of a grateful grace-filled heart, participating in precisely what Jesus warned would happen in the end-times detailed in Matthew 24:7-14, may we instead obey God’s laws letting our love for Him and others be contagious!
Lawless = Loveless/cold whereas Lawful=Love/warmth (see Matthew 24:12)
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”
If you see people write on Facebook or wherever that “Illness is NEVER from the LORD.”, feel free to share this little Bible study that says otherwise. We need to stop tickling ears and instead fall on our faces. Time to grow up, kids. We are being matured: repentance then revival.
I have found it concerning and even alarming some Christians are pridefully quoting various verses such as “there is no fear in love” (I John 4:17-19), for example, out of context and rather attempting to use it as a magic charm to prevent the discomfort and potential spiritual growth of themselves or other believers. Conversely, I wrote an article (actually several) in recent days combating false teachings spreading on social media while using verses such as the one in 1 John 4:17-19, Psalm 91, and others. In Scripture, particularly the book of Jeremiah, we see more issues would befall the nation of Israel, for example, because of false prophets rising up saying similar things promising peace and security rather than repentance and obedience. It would be wise for more ministries/Christians to write or speak about that on social media then using God’s word as a magic charm to avoid tribulation and trials such as these.
For example, some are quoting 1 John 4:17-19 famous verse which in part says “there is no fear in love” ignoring the context of that phrase.The entire book of 1st John describes true love as obeying God’s commands. The author reiterates over and over again that you can distinguish those who are authentic believers abiding in God verses those who aren’t by who is and isn’t cheerfully, willfully obeying God’s laws, which ultimately defines how to love God and others (to list a few: 1 John 3:4, 7, 10, 22, 24, 4:12, 20, 21; 5:3). In fact, 1 John 3:4 defines sin as breaking God’s laws or being without God’s laws (rebellion). So by the time the author arrives up to the verses being commonly quoted during this pandemic in 1 John 4:17-19, it is understood that believers do not have to be afraid of God’s judgment because they are operating in perfect love by being living sacrifices laying down their flesh to a lifestyle of loving obedience to God’s commands, which ultimately is loving God and others. This is why we don’t have to fear. It has nothing to do with other circumstances and isn’t a misquoted magic charm to protect you from God’s discipline or judgment (unless of course, you are operating and led by His lawful Spirit of Holiness and being obedient as He brings you into more and more truth). Conversely, it would be more enlightening and productive to quote 1 John 3:22 in regards to this pandemic:
Furthermore, the verses to follow the misquoted passage of “There is no fear in love” defines love as obeying God’s commands and why we need not fear (see 1 John 5:3). We need not fear God’s judgment because we are obeying God’s commands, which are pretty easy and hopefully, most Christians are doing much of them without even thinking about it. If you aren’t obeying God, well then you are not being perfected in love and yes, you should fear very much (fear God).
Just something to ponder and dig into during these days of rest and reflection. Much love!
This week I became ill with the symptoms of COVID-19. First, extra tired, then a dry cough, tickle/tightness in my chest, in addition to my usual nasal congestion from allergies, and by Wednesday, a fever of 99.5 manifested. My normal temp is around 97.7 approximately. Late Wednesday afternoon, I was on the phone with my doctor who assured me a fever won’t manifest with allergies (an ongoing dilemma of mine) so she referenced me to a local hospital here in my city (League City) to be tested. The hospital clinic pre-screened me over the phone to even get an appointment. Meanwhile, I cancelled my upcoming cleaning appointments for the next several days to be sure not to potentially expose any of my clients.
The next morning, I had to go to a somewhat secret entrance in a remote area in the hospital complex but separate from the actual hospital building. It wasn’t until going in to that office did I become scared seeing several people coming in all reporting the same or similar symptoms. I thought, “My God, either this town has a bad cold going around or COVID-19 is in full force here.” The nurses and doctors were professional and efficient with getting each patient in and out while disinfecting the lobby area often. We all had to wear masks, but I still worried about the healthcare workers. Most had on what we hear now in the news often “PPE’s”, personal protective equipment, commonly seen when someone is going into an Intensive Care Unit such as yellow gowns, simple masks, surgical hair cap, footies, and gloves, but still I worried for them. I also worried for the 20 somethings receptionist gals who wore no protection but were behind a plexiglass partition of some sort. I recall the young ladies taking people’s information and looking grieved, but trying not to show it, as if in their minds they were labeling us patients as the walking dead. I only had to wait maybe 15 minutes before being seen. First, the nurse took and recorded my vitals, then tested me for the flu through a swab up my nose in both nostrils. After getting tested for both strands of flu, my results came back 10 minutes later as negative. Then, I was ushered down to another room to be seen by a doctor. After filling out a clinical form regarding my symptoms, age, and any underlying medical conditions, I put the pen down and took the opportunity to thoroughly wash my hands after noticing a sink in the room. Never can be too careful these days! Next, a doctor came in and inquired about my symptoms and recorded them. She then listened to my heart and lungs, all of which she said sounded good. She informed me whatever I have is not a sinus infection or bronchitis, but it is something viral. She said they have seen numerous patients within recent days and something is certainly going around, but as to if it COVID-19 or not is to be determined. Next, she took a long q-tip looking swab and stuck it so far up my nostril it made me tear up. The doctor apologized but explained that is what it is supposed to do. While I would not want to do that everyday, it was only uncomfortable for about 10 seconds and certainly not as bad as a strep-throat test, in my opinion.
While waiting for my results though, trying to be positive about the situation, I pondered the potential blessings in contracting the disease early on. The best benefit I could think of was if it is true you become immune to it after having survived it (at least for a year or so they are saying), then I could potentially help others suffering without fearing for my own health. Still, no one can predict how this particular virus will respond in each individual person so I was hopeful, I would not have to find out. After quarantining myself for two days awaiting my results and taking it easy at home here on my boat, my results amazingly came in relatively fast just a bit over 48 hours rather than the 72 hours they said it would probably take. Today, while resting on Sabbath, I got an email stating my results came in and I just needed to log into my health portal online. After doing so, I am delighted to report the results are “Not Detected”, meaning they could not detect COVID-19 in me. YAY! Praise God!
Sadly, since being tested, more positive cases in my county have been made known. May we continue to intercede in prayer for one another and thank you to those that knew about my situation and prayed for me.
I share my experience with you so you will know how the testing process works in the event you become ill and to also let you know that other illnesses present similarly to COVID-19 symptoms so take it serious, but stay calm. It may just be an untimely cold. Blessings and Shalom!
I am seeing and hearing lots of Christians invoking blessings for Israel such as Psalm 91’s “No plague shall come near your dwelling” and Isaiah 54’s “No weapon formed against me shall prosper..” as well as singing worship songs about asking the God of Israel to give us clean hands. And yet they are unknowingly rejecting the instructions for Israel while others knowingly rebel against God’s will and wisdom for Israel stating they aren’t Israel so why should they obey. So, essentially many are wanting the blessing without the obedience. Humm…
Friends, if you believe in the Jewish Messiah and His purpose of overcoming sin, which is defined as breaking God’s law (1 John 3:4; Romans 1-2) and it’s penalty of eternal, hopeless death (Romans 3:23, 6:23), by the power of His resurrection, and you have received His Spirit of Holiness/Holy Spirit (Romans 8), then you are adopted/grafted/immigrated or apart of the enlarged Israel (Exodus 12:49; Numbers 15:13-15, 16; Ezekiel 37:15-17; Romans 11; Ephesians 2:11-13; Galatians 3:29), God’s family. As His adopted child, in addition to such benefits like Psalm 91 and Isaiah 54, you are given the responsibility like His natural kids to obey the Father’s household instructions detailed in the first five books of Torah and built upon throughout the rest of Scripture and empowered to do that which is holy, being God’s instructions (Romans 7:12). Hence, the purpose of being given, taught, and led by His Holy Spirit (see Ezekiel 36:27).
Otherwise, if we teach that God’s laws are only for the Jewish people versus all of mankind (i.e. Sabbath was given to Adam & Eve, who were not Jewish- they represented mankind; circumcision was given to Abraham, also not Jewish; Noah, not Jewish, put extra clean animals in the ark for sacrifices), and if we know the Bible defines sin as breaking/not keeping God’s laws (1 John 3:4), then that means Jesus only died for Jews who were gifted God’s commands and the rest of the world is doomed. Rather, Israel, which later became known as the Jews, as well as those who aligned themselves with them (see articles below), were the ones commissioned to both be the light and bring the light to the nations, the light being God’s laws (Psalm 119). Read Isaiah 49:6 and Matthew 5:14-19.
In other words, the role of Israel was and still is to teach the world how God wants to be loved and how He wants us to love others by obeying His instructions, which peaks the interest of others to want to know this peculiar, set-apart, Holy God who offers each of us one fine resurrected day eternal life with Him, through the atonement of His Son. But not only did God provide a means to pay the debt for failing to obey His instructions of love, through the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, but He also provided His Spirit of Holiness to cause those who receive Him an embedded desire to obey Him (Jeremiah 31:31-33)…and embedded desire to want to obey Him out of a grateful heart.
As His kids, we don’t get to pick that Psalm 91 applies to us while disrespecting God’s Sabbath or stuffing bacon wrapped shrimp down our throats (Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14; Isaiah 65-66; Revelation 18:2) still thinking we are protected from the reasons Abba Father doesn’t want us to eat unclean or reasons He provides nap time for His kids such as Sabbath.
Similarly, just as this nation of the USA is imploring everyone to cooperate with the President’s instructions to stay at home and other guidelines designed to benefit us, community cooperation is critical for all of Israel as well, otherwise, all the “kids” (as well as the lost, lawless world) will suffer the consequences of breaking the ultimate President’s (God’s) instructions (Numbers 15:22-41). How could China know about eating clean and the dangers in not doing so if no one explains it to them and shows them in Scripture? Do they even have Bibles? You see my point, hopefully. Having come into such good news, such truth, we are called to be the light to all the nations. By living it and encouraging a lifestyle of holy, clean living, we are loving God and loving others – preventing pandemics and potential eternal death apart from knowing the God of Israel.
May His Spirit of Holiness cause us to reflect on such spiritual truths during this unprecedented “time-out” of cleanliness and rest while recognizing our need to be set free from and come out of the dark, come out proverbial Egypt/Babylon.
For further study, I invite you to explore the following video and articles: