HIS TRUTH IS A SHIELD AND ARMOUR

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, Who abides under the shadow of the Almighty, He is saying of יהוה, “My refuge and my stronghold, My Elohim, in whom I trust!” For He delivers you from the snare of a trapper, From the destructive pestilence. He covers you with His feathers, And under His wings you take refuge; His truth is a shield and armour. You are not afraid of the dread by night, Of the arrow that flies by day, Of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Of destruction that ravages at midday. A thousand fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it does not come near you. Only with your eyes you look on, And see the reward of the wrong ones. Because you have made יהוה – My refuge, the Most High – your dwelling place, No evil befalls you, And a plague does not come near your tent; For He commands His messengers concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They bear you up in their hands, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. You tread upon lion and cobra, Young lion and serpent you trample under foot.“Because he cleaves to Me in love, Therefore I deliver him; I set him on high, Because he has known My Name.“When he calls on Me, I answer him; I am with him in distress; I deliver him and esteem him.“With long life I satisfy him, And show him My deliverance.”  Tehillim 91 (TS2009)

Today, I present you with this prayer and message. Be strong in all adversity through perseverance in His Truth. It is that perseverance that will transport you to “…the secret place of the Most High…”, and cause you to “… abide(s) under the shadow of the Almighty…”.

Shabbat is an island of time for us as followers of Y’shua, as it was with the Natsarenes of ancient times; and the enemy knows that. He (the enemy) will utilize every weapon in his arsenal during this twenty-four hour period, more so than any other day of the week, to penetrate your defenses.

Do not think for one minute that you have the power to resist him, or that he will somehow leave you unmolested on This Holy Day! He is a master of lies and deceptions, and he has had thousands of years perfecting his destructive art. However, all Praise Be to His Glorius Name, our power comes from the spiritual connections we have made with the Giver of Truth, who is also our Mighty El of war; our Commander, who is our only way of deliverance!

Those spiritual connections we must have to come into His Shabbat Rest do not begin and end on the Seventh Day, they begin each day of the week prior to Shabbat! We gather our strength each day and when Shabbat arrives, that strength is multiplied through that connection which in turn multiplies upon itself week after week and Shabbat after Shabbat as we are becoming ‘one new man’.

Our Shabbat Rest is realized through our arrival at “…the secret place of the Most High…”, wherein we are given as a reward; our deliverance “…from the snare of a trapper, From the destructive pestilence.”

For your encouragement today, and spiritual protection, I pray that you would read and pray with me, as one body, Tehillim 91. Meditate upon each word, each sentence; as you ask of Him who Is Our Armour to make you strong for the battle!

SHABBAT SHALOM!

Aronic Blessing

What Constitutes ‘Work’ on Shabbat?

SHABBAT AFTERNOON FIRESIDE DRASH

 

“Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. “Six days you labor, and shall do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of YHVH your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. “For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore YHVH blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.

Shemoth (Ex) 20:8-11 (TS 2009)

This, the Fourth Mitzvah of ‘The Ten’, seems to be quite straightforward in what it has to say, doesn’t it?

And yet the word ‘work’ as used here, the Hebrew word מְלָאכָה mĕla’kah, has fueled endless hours of debate over centuries of time and caused page after written page of instruction on how to avoid it in order to observe the Fourth Commandment correctly.

Should or shouldn’t one start the car on Shabbat? And what about the light switch? We could avoid flipping the switch (work) if we just left the lights on at sundown on Erev Shabbat, or just light a twenty-four-hour candle, or some such thing couldn’t we? And what about preparing food to eat on Shabbat (that is if it’s OK to perform the act of chewing and swallowing)? And we could go on and on with getting dressed on Shabbat, carrying a Bible or creating a written page on Shabbat. No telling where the lunacy would go if we were to pursue it further. And yet there are those who concern themselves with these things while watching others in their level of observance. No wonder people equate Torah observance, and particularly that of the Shabbat with legalism!

We can trace this line of thought back through Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism to early Pharisaical Judaism, and the perceived need to build a ‘hedge’, or ‘wall’, around the Mitzvot of Torah. This is especially so when it comes to the Shabbat. In order to protect its holy hours from being profaned by those who don’t understand how to observe it correctly, centuries of technical arguments as recorded in the Talmud (based on the ‘Oral Tradition’) if followed correctly; will bring its adherents to become ‘Shomer’ Shabbat. That is, able to observe the Shabbat perfectly and without error (according to the Pharisees).

Of course, in today’s Orthodox Judaism, all one has to do is to rely upon the local Rabbi if questions arise concerning what is, and what is not permitted under the heading of correct observance, I.E.; suppose I wanted to prepare a Shabbat table for unexpected guests, when nothing had been prepared on Erev Shabbat for such an occasion and they brought nothing with them? Should they fast? Would it be OK for me to eat my prepared food without feeding them, or should we all fast? And then we find out one of them needs food to take their medication, it’s a dark day, can we turn on the lights to prepare something for them (then there is that light in the fridge, didn’t we take that bulb out a while back?)! You can see the level this craziness can go too! But then, never fear, your questions have most likely already been answered by Rabbi Snoozer of Snoozer in Talmud Tractate 52b. You do have the complete set of Talmud available for such occasions right!

Now all of us who follow Rabbi Y’shua, Ben Elohim, Sar Shalom, our very Jewish Mashiyach, Natsarene or not, aren’t involved in this nonsense are we? We have come to know Shabbat as a blessing of Shalom, and Simcha (Peace and Joy) haven’t we? We do not engage in work for hire or buy and sell on Shabbat, nor do we travel with exception of what might be necessary to help those in dire need or to attend services. We take time to meditate, write about, talk about, live out His Torah, especially on this holiest and most blessed day, don’t we?

As Natsarenes we follow the example of our Rabbi, HaAdon Y’shua, The Master Y’shua on Shabbat. Attend service (as was His custom) or hold our own, eat just what is needed (lavish spreads not required, simple basics are best), serve Elohim through teaching, ministering, healing, caring for the widow, the orphan, the less fortunate, the stranger within our gates, the prisoner, and those who are simply downtrodden or in need of encouragement, (which, by the way, is all work). We welcome Shabbat with great joy and thanksgiving, and we leave it’s special hours with a heavy heart while counting the days and hours to its welcome return!

Don’t be afraid to work for the King and the Kingdom on Shabbat, you can do so and still be perfectly ‘Shomer’ while turning those lights on or off!