Friday, February 2, 2018

A Wondrous Wedding at Sinai | Parashat Yitro | By His EVERY Word

Parashat Yitro
 פרשת יתרו

“Now Jethro (Yitro), the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses...”

Torah Portion: Exodus 18:1-20:26
Haftarah: Isaiah 6:1-7

B’rit Chadash/New Covenant:
Matthew 8:5-20

Shabbat | 3 February 2018 | 18 Sh’vat 5778

A Wondrous Wedding at Sinai

This is the GRAND EVENT. 
The marriage between Adonai and His People Israel—and you are invited! 

The magnificent meeting at the foot of Mt. Sinai has been likened to the consummation of a marriage: There was a betrothal, a "mikveh" (the ritual immersion in “living water” that traditionally takes place before a Jewish wedding), and a marriage contract. 

The Ten Commandments represents the "ketubah" (the sacred wedding contract) signifying the covenant marriage that took place between Adonai and Israel in the wilderness. 

It is a precious wedding gift to a precious bride, 
“Am Segulah,” God’s Treasured People, on their wedding day,  
forever binding them to their Heavenly Bridegroom.

The wedding procession has arrived at the vast wilderness found at the foot of this blazing mountain, where Israel will hear the Voice of her Bridegroom for the first time. 

Two million souls trembled, awestruck by the incomprehensible fanfare that greeted them. The mountain heaved, ablaze with the fire and smoke of Adonai, ascending heavenward like a furnace. Thunder crashed and lightening flashed violently, as the deeply resonant sound of a heavenly shofar grew louder and louder ... until the Voice of the LORD spoke forth the Divine Revelation out of the roaring thunder.

From that majestic mountain, amid thunder and lightening and the voice of the shofar, amid flames of fire that enveloped the convulsing mount, the Voice of Adonai delivered the Decalogue, the Ten Words—the Supreme Precepts of the Torah. Surely the most remarkable event in human history, these Words would have the utmost and far-reaching impact; profoundly shaping not only Israel, but all mankind, lifting the barbarian to civility, and illuminating the darkened soul.

But wait! There’s more! 

Woven into this grand tapestry of Israel’s ever expanding redemption story, is a foreign name: Yitro, a pagan priest, the father-in-law of Moses. 
Read on and find out!
Join us now at the Father’s table as we keep the rhythm of Israel for more than two millennia, anticipating fresh manna from our God and King. As followers of Messiah we have added a corresponding New Covenant portion reflecting the fulfillment and crown of the Torah.

Exodus 18  Preparing for Sinai

A Pagan Priest Groks God
vv. 1-4 “Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Moses' wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away, and her two sons, of whom one was named Gershom, for Moses said, ‘I have been a sojourner in a foreign land. The other was named Eliezer, for he said, ‘The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.’” 

Jethro in Hebrew is Yitro יתרו. He was a pagan priest in Midian, and the father of Moses’ wife, Zipporah.

Apparently, Zipporah and their two sons returned to his home after the circumcision incident recorded in Exodus 4:24-26.

Gershom גרשם, the firstborn of Moses and Zipporah means foreigner. The etymology of the name is expulsion. As Hebrew names are meaningful and prophetic, one can see the prescient inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the naming of Gershom, considering the idolatry and apostasy recorded in Judges 18:30.

Moses’ second son is Eliezer אליעזר. His name means, “the God of my father is my help.”

vv. 8-11 Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the
Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardship that had befallen them on the journey, and how the LORD had delivered them. Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians. So Jethro said, ‘Blessed be the LORD who delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and who delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods...’” 

Jethro was a priest of Midian, believing in pagan gods. However, as he heard of the miraculous deliverance of Israel, he became a believer in YHVH, the LORD God of Moses and Israel. 

It wasn’t just a new fact he added to his collection of knowledge, his being was gladdened, in Hebrew khaddah חדה, as his spirit responded in joy—rejoicing in coming to know (or "grok") the true, living God of the universe after serving false gods all of his life! He rejoiced as he came to the knowledge of this transcendent truth!
And thus was fulfilled what Adonai said would happen when people saw His mighty arm against Pharaoh and his army and His deliverance of Israel: “they will know that I am the LORD.” (cf. Exodus 14:4) 
Further, we find one of many prophetic “types and shadows” of the Gentiles coming to faith in the God of Israel, the fulfillment of which was experienced in the first century church.
The Need for Godly Leaders—Revealing Adonai
vv. 13-15 “It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. Now when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, ‘What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?’ Moses said to his father-in-law, ‘Because the people come to me to inquire of God.’” 

vv. 18-20 Moses’ father-in-law, Yitro, clearly saw this wasn’t a reasonable practice (under the influence of God’s Spirit, we must assume.) He told Moses, “You will surely wear out.” 

The Scriptures attest that Moses was the humblest of men (cf. Num. 12:3), therefore, he was not one to relish the seat of power. He is exemplifying a very human characteristic. When in a place of responsibility, we too, often feel the need to take care of absolutely everything by ourself!

Yitro suggests that Moses should only represent the people before God in very weighty matters, then teach God’s statutes to them, and how they are to live. 
This is a very strong clue that Yitro was speaking under the power of Adonai. Pagan priests kept the mysteries of god to themselves—guarded jealously, and only passed on to a successor—the antithesis of the plan of Adonai. At Sinai, the Divine Message comes to rich and poor, old and young. He is the God who desires to be known by all, from the greatest to the least in all His ways

v. 21 He then suggested that Moses should, “ out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 

Moses was to “select” leaders to assist him in counseling and leading the congregation of Israel in righteousness. The Hebrew is interesting. He is not to rely on what he knows or hears about these men, but the word for “select” in Hebrew is chazah חזה, which means to prophesy, to perceive as a seer. The Hebrew sage, Rashi, explains Moses is to “select by the prophetic insight which God has given.”

He is to appoint “able men,” in Hebrew, chayil חיל, translated, men of ability, strength, might, and efficiency.

There are many men who are able, efficient, strong and mighty.

However, these are the attributes that qualified them to serve the people of God:

1. fear God yare' Elohim יִרְאֵי אֱלֹהִים, reveres God, stands in awe of God, inspires reverence of God, honors God

2. men of truth iyshi emet אַנְשֵׁי אֱמֶת, truth, true doctrine, faithfulness, sureness, reliability, stability, ethical in speech and action

3. hate dishonest gain sane' betsa שֹׂנְאֵי בָצַעhate, abhor, profit, unjust gain, gain, covetousness, lucre, acquired by violence
These are qualities that will define the man of God throughout time. They are critically important as the leaders are to reveal Adonai to His people. 
We can see these same attributes woven into the qualifications required for those who would serve in the times of the early church as recorded in 1 Timothy 3 and 1 Peter 5.
vv. 23-24 “If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure... So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said.” 

It seems this was sanctioned by Adonai, as Moses did set up the system of Godly leaders. This would further disseminate the knowledge of God among the people.

v. 27 “Then Moses bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land.” 

Yitro returned to his land of Midian, no longer a priest of pagan gods, 
but a believer in YHVH, the God of Israel. It is speculated by many commentaries that Zipporah returned with him. Moses’ sons, however, remained.

Exodus 19  Israel Betrothed to Her God

The Betrothal

vv. 1-6 
“In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain. Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.’” 

The awesome events between Israel and her God at the foot of Sinai are often characterized not only in covenantal terms, but in terms of the marriage of Israel to her God—a beautiful and apt metaphor. 

Here we find the wedding procession has arrived at the vast wilderness found at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Moses ascends the mountain, from which the LORD calls to him, giving him a message for His beloved. 

Adonai speaks lovingly, reminding Israel of His loving care and deliverance in poetic terms, “ I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.” (“To Sinai, to receive My Kingdom,” the Hebrew commentators note.)
“ shall be My own possession among all peoples...” The Hebrew denotes a greater meaning here. The word segulah סגלה is a peculiar treasure, a term used to denote a precious treasure that is one’s special possession. It may also mean a chosen instrument for a unique purpose. Such is also the case with the Jewish People. They are God’s peculiar treasure, chosen for His Kingdom purposes.

This verse begins with the word if,” which in Hebrew is “im” אם—generally a conditional particle, although sometimes it is translated since.” We know that whether the sons of Israel are obedient or disobedient, whether they are in the Land of Israel, or in the diaspora, His covenantal blessings—and their "chosenness"—remain forever.
v. 5 “for all the earth is Mine.”
God is the Creator of all things and the Father of all mankind. Israel, in common with every other nation, forms part of God’s possession; but He has chosen Israel to be His in a special degree, to be “a light unto the nations” and a blessing to all humanity. There is no thought of favoritism in God’s choice. Israel’s call has not been to privilege and rulership, but to martyrdom and service.” Isaiah 42:6, 49:6 From The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Chief Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, 1938
v. 6 “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation...” 
Israel, as God’s own People, is to be a Kingdom whose citizens are Priests of the Almighty, living wholly holy, before and for Him—in His service, for His glory and honor—that the world will know He is LORD.

In Hebrew, kingdom is mamlakah ממלכה, which means kingdom, dominion, reign, sovereignty. Every kingdom has a king, a sovereign. Many people lay claim to the Kingdom of Adonai, yet they remain their own sovereign with their own rights—unwilling to relinquish the throne to the Almighty—unwilling to become subject to the reign of a Holy and righteous King. Who sits on the throne of your life? 

A priest, in Hebrew, cohen כהן, may refer to a priest in the Temple of Adonai—the Levitical Priests, or a pagan priest, the High Priest, or a priest/king (such as Melchizedek or Messiah).

The word holy is kaddosh קדוש in Hebrew, meaning sacred, holy, set apart (for God, from unclean or defiled things, from idolatry, from the profane or worldly). For Israel, to be holy means cleaving unto the LORD, believing in His Torah, hoping in His Messiah, waiting on His redemption, abhorring idolatry, and showing forth their faith in Him to the world in times of hardship, and (what's more difficult) in times of abundance.

A Holy Call … A Royal Call … A Call to All
This call was not only for Israel, but it is for all who have joined themselves to the God of Israel. 1 Peter 2 says that followers of Yeshua (Jesus) have also joined spiritually that holy priesthood with its call to holiness before the world remaining in darkness: 

“ also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus ... you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. For you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles...” 1 Peter 2:9-12

vv. 8-11 Moses called the elders together and gave them the betrothal message
 from Adonai to give to the sons of Israel.

Israel: We Will!
With gladness the people accepted the LORD’s invitation:

 “All the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do!’”

Moses returned to the LORD with Israel’s enthusiastic acceptance. Knowing already the response of the people, Adonai declares that He plans to reveal Himself to His People audibly.
“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.’ Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD. 

This will be the first time Israel will hear Adonai for themselves, not through an intermediary. Moses will be forever established as the chosen instrument of Adonai. To this day, Moses’ authenticity is not questioned. He is revered as one of the greatest figures in history.

“The LORD also said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.’”
To consecrate, in Hebrew, kaddash קדש, is to sanctify, set apart, make holy, dedicate, prepare, purify.

To prepare for traditional Jewish marriage, the bride and bridegroom each engage in a purification ceremony that dates back thousands of years. The mikveh ritual is a full immersion in (ideally) a fresh spring, called living water, as it continually renews itself.

In the B’rit Chadashah, we find John preaching “the baptism of repentance” (Mark 1:4). This was nothing new. In the Greek, it is called baptism, but it was known among the Jews as a mikveh forever.

Before coming before their bridegroom, Israel—in our metaphor, the bride—must purify herself, and as any bride does, prepare her clean garment for this uniquely special day, which is an outward symbol implying purity.
On this day, Israel will hear the voice of her bridegroom for the first time. The LORD gave Moses essential instructions to keep His People safe once His Presence descends on the mount. Sinai would become a Holy Sanctuary with the revelation of God’s Glory, akin to the Holy of Holies, with the same unapproachable and untouchable sacredness and attributes as the eventual Tabernacle.

vv. 11-15 “...let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the ram's horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain. So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. He said to the people, ‘Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.’” 
Even between man and wife, sexual relations were not allowed during the three days of preparation. Israel had sanctified herself in expectation of the consummation of her wedding covenant. Her devotion and affections were to be wholly for the LORD. She was to approach His Magnificent Presence with this anticipation.
 The Third Day
" ready for the third day...on the third day the LORD will come down... (vv. 11,15)
Throughout the Scriptures, Adonai has woven a multitude of repeating symbols and patterns ... breadcrumbs on the path ... signposts along Redemption Road

We find this three day signpost to be a most significant symbol, attending and portending divine intervention, deliverance and ultimate redemption.

Following are a few examples, not intended to be exhaustive:
  • Genesis 22: The Binding of Isaac: On the third day, Abraham withheld not his only son, but presented Isaac on the mountain Adonai had shown him. Here, Adonai provided "Himself the lamb for the burnt offering," delivering Isaac, and revealing Himself as יְהוָה יִרְאֶה YHVH Y'Re'eh, the LORD Who Sees, also known as Our Provider. The LORD then pronounced a prophetic blessing upon Abraham.
  • Genesis 42:18: "Joseph said to them on the third day, 'Do this and live, for I fear God.'" Joseph is a type and shadow of Yeshua, with many prophetic parallels in the story of the Messiah's relationship to His own people, Israel. His identity is veiled to this day. He is not recognized, appearing as a foreign god. Yet He is their hope and redeemer. A day will come when His own brethren will recognize Him, just as Joseph's recognized him.
  • Esther 5:1-2: "Now it came about on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace in front of the king’s rooms, and the king was sitting on his royal throne in the throne room ... When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight; and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter which was in his hand." Miraculous favor and deliverance! Esther saved the Jewish people from annihilation against all odds. This was a mighty clash of kingdoms although the names of the warring principalities were not named. Ephesians 6:12 reveals that our war is not against flesh and blood but powers and principalities in heavenly realms. The otherworldly power behind Haman that sought to destroy all the Jewish people ultimately desired to destroy the integrity of the Name that protected them: YHVH. He said He would forever be known by the name Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! (Ex. 3:15) Although the name of God is never mentioned in the book of Esther, His deliverance is mightily evident throughout!
  • Hosea 6:1-2: “Come, let us return to the LORDFor He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third daythat we may live before Him."
  • Matthew 12:39-40: " sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
  • Matthew 16:21: "From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day."
  • Matthew 20:19: "...and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up."
  • 1 Corinthians 15:4: "...and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures..."
vv. 16-18 "And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.” 
You almost have to wonder if there isn’t a remnant of memory buried in all of us of this breathtaking scene at the foot of Sinai. Approximately two million souls stood awestruck, as the mountain heaved, ablaze with the fire and smoke of Adonai, ascending like a furnace, thunder and lighting flashing violently—supernaturally—the sound of a heavenly shofar growing louder and louder, until the Voice of the LORD spoke forth out of thunder... 
Doesn’t that fire your imagination? Is there anything more wonderful? This sort of scene has been attempted in science fiction movies ... multitudes of people gathered in awe, bathed in the unearthly light of an extraterrestrial spacecraft ... longing for a celestial encounter. It pales in magnitude and significance, yet might it be borne of a vestigial longing for the Divine event that changed the course of mankind?

“The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Then the LORD spoke to Moses, ‘Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. Then the LORD said to him, ‘Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD...’” vv. 20-24
The LORD came down in the midst of a supernatural thunderstorm with His final instructions for the grand ceremony that is about to take place.

Moses and Aaron will be allowed in the Divine Presence, but the People of Israel must remain on the perimeter for their safety.
Exodus 20  Israel Wedded to Her God

Every wedding has a marriage contract. In the Jewish wedding it is called a ketubah, which is a beautifully ornate document spelling out the vows of the husband and wife, signed by each. It will be read aloud  and witnessed by all during the wedding ceremony. The ketubah is generally framed and displayed proudly in the home as an inspiration and reminder. It is the binding contract of a covenant relationship.

The Torah is considered to be the ketubah, the contract, signifying the covenant marriage that took place between Adonai and the sons of Israel at Sinai. It is a precious, Divine Revelation to a precious people—Am Segulah—God’s Treasured People, on their wedding day, forever binding them to their Heavenly Bridegroom.

The Divine Revelation takes place in a supernatural thunderstorm, amid unimaginable natural phenomena—extraordinary lightening and thunder, earthquake and fire—accompanied by the deeply resonant voice of a shofar, growing ever louder. On Rosh Hashanah, the shofar proclaims God’s sovereignty; and at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, it is sounded to announce Israel’s emancipation from the penalty of sin. Here, God’s Kingdom was inaugurated, and His wedding announced by the exceptional Voice of the heavenly shofar!
From that majestic mountain came the Decalogue, the Ten Words,
supreme precepts of the Torah, that would have a profound impact not only upon Israel, but upon all mankind.
“That Revelation was the most remarkable event in the history of humanity. It was the birth-hour of the Religion of the Spirit, which was destined in time to illumine the souls, and order the lives, of all the children of men. The Decalogue is a sublime summary of human duties binding upon all mankind; a summary unequaled for simplicity, comprehensiveness and solemnity; a summary which bears divinity on its face, and cannot be antiquated as long as the world endures. 

‘These Commandments are written on the walls of Synagogue and Church; they are the world’s laws for all time. Never will their empire cease. The prophetic cry is true: the word of our God shall stand forever.’ (M. Joseph) The most natural division of the Ten Commandments is into man’s duties towards God on the first table, and into man’s duties to his fellow man engraved on the second table.”
 From The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Chief Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, 1938
This aforementioned division of the Ten Commandments by Rabbi Hertz: the first four Commandments being our duties to God, and the second six Commandments our duties to our fellow man, was utilized in the New Testament when Yeshua was put to the test by the Jewish lawyer.

“And a lawyer stood up and put Him [Yeshua] to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ And He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” Mark 10:25-28

The First Table: Man’s Duties Toward Adonai

vv. 1-2 “Then God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought
you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.’”

This the Supreme Commandment, known to Israel literally as
“taking upon ourselves the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Israel is to KNOW YHVH—to know the I AM, who WAS, who IS and who WILL BE—the LORD their God, who delivered them, who IS delivering them, who WILL deliver them. This is a continuous and profound Divine Revelation of redemption for Israel—and all mankind—of the highest magnitude.

v. 3 “‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’” 

Literally, no other gods before “My face.” No thing or person shall receive homage or worship other than Adonai—not angels, earthly royalty, or anything in between. This commandment forbids the conversing with spirits, praying to the dead, astrology and witchcraft, all of which belong to the hope in heathen gods. Trusting in luck or chance will not be a characteristic of one whose God is the LORD, for that, too, is superstition, belonging to the pagan world.

This commandment has been costly for the Jewish People throughout history. It has separated them from all other peoples, which is exactly what Adonai intended.

v. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” 

Don’t think like an Egyptian—think like an Israelite!

God is forming a people entirely other than the pagan peoples of the world—in other words—holy. The heathen worship a pantheon of gods—graven images and the natural world. These gods whom they serve, often with human sacrifice, are deaf and dumb and powerless to help them.
Israel will bring the revelation of the One True God to the worlda God who is Spirit. He is not ever to be represented by any graven image, nor is any image of His creation ever to be worshiped. This is a prodigious break from the ancient world of idolatry and to be kept scrupulously by Israel and all who would join to her God forever after.
A major stumbling block for Jewish People has been the blatant disregard of this Commandment in the profusion of images—images and icons prayed to, worshiped, and bowed down to—in the Catholic and Orthodox Church. 
To the Jewish People, this represented Christianity through the centuries. As the Messiah of Israel would never break such a major Commandment, this “Christian” practice has testified to the Jewish People that Jesus is not the long-awaited Messiah.
v. 5 “‘You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.’” 
The word jealous in this verse is a unique usage in Scripture. In Hebrew, khanna קנא. It is not expressing the human form of jealousy, which is covetous or envious. Khanna as pertaining to God expresses a just indignation of one who is injured, a righteous indignation.
Adonai hates cruelty and injustice, impurity and unrighteousness—He is jealous, even zealous for the holiness and uprightness of His children. 
Rabbi Hertz explains: “Outside Israel, the ancients believed that the more gods the better; the richer the pantheon of a people, the greater its power. It is because the heathen deities were free from “jealousy” and, therefore, tolerant of one another and all their abominations, that heathenism was spiritually so degrading and morally so devastating.
“visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children...” Deuteronomy 24:16 clearly states that sons shall not be put to death for the sin of their fathers, but everyone shall bear the penalty of their own sin. However, human experience has proven (and Adonai is the author of humanity) that the sins of the father generally leave a legacy of damage and corruption for generations to bear. The children inevitably do suffer the consequences of the parent’s transgressions, often passing a heritage of iniquity on from one generation to the next.
The parent, therefore, is a missionary, privileged to bring the knowledge
and practice of the love of God to the next generation—preserving a good inheritance, and empowering their children against the predisposition toward sin.
v. 6 ...but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” 

Here Adonai makes an extravagant contrast between the consequences of sin—reaching perhaps three or four generations—and the thousands who love Him and keep His commandments, who will receive His lovingkindness.

Lovingkindnesschesed חסד in Hebrew, is one of Adonai’s most wonderful attributes: lovingkindness, goodness, faithfulness (of God), mercy, and favor.
“History and experience alike teach how often, and under what varied conditions, it happens that the misdeed of a parent result in bitter consequence for the children. In His providence, the beneficent consequences of a life of goodness extend indefinitely further than the retribution which is the penalty of persistence in sin.” (Driver)
“to those who love Me and keep My commandments...” v. 6

v. 7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.”
This Commandment is widely known, yet broadly misunderstood. If asked, most would venture this means not to use “God” or “Jesus” as an epithet, a swear word. Others believe it refers to speaking or writing the Divine Name (YHVH) or handling written materials containing the sacred Name in a casual manner.

All of the above may be embodied in this Commandment. There is, however, a more sublime understanding to be gained when we look at this verse in its original Hebrew.

In Hebrew, take is nasa נשא, which means to lift, carry, bear, take, to carry, bear continuously, to be exalted, to be borne, to be carried... 

It is the same word used in Exodus 19:4: “ I bore you on eagles’ wings...”

We have been looking at "take" as a word that means “use,” but Scripture has no instance of that definition. Nasa means primarily to carry, lift up, or bear.

In this context, we find that Adonai is saying not to
  lift up, carry, or bear His Name in vain.

What does vain mean? The Hebrew word for vain is shav, שוא meaning: emptiness, vanity, falsehood, emptiness of speech, lying, worthlessness (of conduct).
Now, through the original language we can truly understand this foundational Commandment:

“You shall not lift up, carry, or bear the Name of the LORD falsely, in improper manner/conduct, or with empty/lying speech.”
This makes so much sense. We who bear the Name of the LORD, must carry it in a worthy manner. We must be exemplary, upright, and just before all men, lest we bring reproach rather than praise to His Holy Name.
vv. 8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

In Hebrew, remember is zakhar זכר, which carries various definitions: remember, recall, remind, record, and the one most appropriate for this verse, to make a memorial or to commemorate.

Adonai is commanding His People to commemorate the seventh dayin which He rested—to make it holy, set it apart for Him. Just as he rested from His magnificent work of Creation, His People are to rest from their labors—and trust Him for their provision. Therefore He blessed the seventh day, the Sabbath, Shabbat שבת in Hebrew, and gave it to His beloved.

In putting this gift in perspective, Yeshua explained,

The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)

The Greek word "man" Yeshua used in this passage is: ä'n-thrō-pos ἄνθρωπος which is defined:
 “a human being, whether male or female, generically,
to include all human individuals.”
Mankind, not only Israel.

In a practical sense, as Creator, Adonai knows that His creation needs a day of rest. In a spiritual sense also, they need this time with Him.

However, not only was Israel to rest, and all foreigners who were with them—even the farm animals were to have a day of rest! The Sabbath was a new expression of emancipation in the world—what a testimony to the God of Israel! What a loving God that would provide for His People in such manner! And what a loving people that would treat their foreigners, workers, and   livestock with such benevolence!

The Sabbath is a delight and a blessing from a loving God—promoting life and well-being, not a burden or legal obligation to harm mankind. 

Isaiah 58 expresses this beautifully.

“If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure
 on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight,
 the holy day of the LORD honorable, And honor it,
 desisting from your own ways,
from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word,
 then you will take delight in the LORD
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; 
and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, 
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” 

Isaiah 58:13-14
Perhaps because the Sabbath has been a unique covenant sign for Israel and her God, creating the hub around which revolves Jewish life, week after week, for more than three thousand years, the enemies of God have used this Commandment against Israel throughout the ages 
From Antiochus Epiphanes, who desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem and forbid all biblical observance in 165 BC, to the early Church Fathers, who, due to their anti-Semitic prejudices, outlawed Sabbath observance to separate the church from anything connected to “the odious Jews,” to the Inquisition, under which Sabbath observance was punishable by inhuman torture or death, the Sabbath Commandment has suffered violence, the least of which was the changing of the day from the seventh to the first day of the week (another unfortunate effort to distance the church from its Jewish roots.
Still, the Sabbath remains precious to the Jewish People, to Messianic Believers, and to many non-Jewish believers in Jesus as well. It is difficult to keep the Sabbath anywhere other than Israel. 
Israel is the only place on earth that keeps the biblical rhythm of time established in Genesis 1:5, with evening beginning the day, and observing the Sabbath. Work generally ends by noon on Friday to allow for preparation of the special Shabbat dinner (and often cooking for the next day’s meals as well), and in Jerusalem, stores close and public transportation stops from just before sunset Friday until just after sunset Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the work and school week—just like in the Bible.
Israel also dispenses with the names of pagan gods for its week days and uses the biblical name for the days of the week:
yom rishon = "first day" = (Sunday)
yom sheni = "second day" = (Monday)
yom sh'lishi = "third day" = (Tuesday)
yom revi'i = "fourth day" = (Wednesday)
yom chamishi = "fifth day" = (Thursday)
yom shishi = "sixth day" = (Friday)
Shabbat = “seventh day” (Saturday)

The Second Table: Man’s Duties Toward His Fellow Man

v. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” 

In this verse, the word honor, kavad כבד in Hebrew,  means to make honorable or to treat honorably.

Respect for parents is a primary human obligation in a civilized society. It indicates an acknowledgment of the sanctity of life. Where human life is not valued, there, too, rebellious children are rampant and society suffers.

The Mantle of Charity, the Yoke of Love
At times, a child may be called to an act of respect that is a sacrifice. God honors this (if it is not immoral). Consider the sad situation recorded in Genesis 9:21-27. Noah had begun farming and planted a vineyard. He  (perhaps being an innocent) drank of its wine and became intoxicated and passed out, uncovered in his tent. His son Ham, saw this sight and ran to tell his brothers. 

His brothers, Shem and Japheth, however, refused to shame their father. They took a garment, and laying it across their shoulders, walked backwards to their father and then covered his nakedness, preserving his dignity. The Hebrew commentaries call this garment “the mantle of charity.” Noah cursed his youngest son’s son, Canaan, making him servant to Shem and Japheth, for how uncharitable Ham had been. He then blessed Shem and Japheth.
Hebrew commentaries note that honoring the mother and father is akin to honoring God. As God brought forth mankind, so He endowed the man and woman with the sacred duty to continue His work of creation, being fruitful and populating the earth. Therefore, a mother and father are due the respect of their holy office.
When considered in this light, we see how far we have fallen from the Divine and lofty place Adonai desired for us. Childbearing is rarely held as holy and sacred. Often an inconvenience, pregnancies are terminated with less angst than canceling vacation plans. 

Today’s family no longer resembles the father-mother-children model. Society has seen a radical shift to children by many different fathers—often none of which are married to the mother or are involved with the child rearing—comprising the new family unit. Yesterday’s nuclear family, defined as two parents and their children, has become a casualty of the hedonistic, godless lifestyle of postmodern life.

The first five Commandments have explanations added to each of them. The last five are brief, to the point, and explicit: “You shall not...” These principals are obligatory in our relationship with our fellow man, having at their root, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” with deference to life, honor, propriety, and home. 

In the end, Adonai will have produced in Israel a civilized people that not only stands out from the barbaric peoples of the world, but also lends these civilizing tenets to the world of the future, one of the great gifts of Abraham to all the peoples of the earth.

v. 13 “You shall not murder.  
The Hebrew verb ratszach רצח is unique, and refers to intentional slaying of another person. It can also refer to premeditated murder, as an avenger, or an assassin.
The sanctity of human life is based on the fact that man is created “in the image of God.” (Genesis 1:27) Israel’s God alone spoke such lofty and inspiring words. The baals of the ancient world were bloodthirsty idols demanding the blood of innocents.  
This Commandment does not speak against the death penalty, as some have claimed in contemporary society. Hebrew law carefully distinguishes between murder, causing an accidental death, and adjudicated capital punishment.
v. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 

Interestingly, the word for adultery in Hebrew, na’aph נאף, is defined as both sexual adultery (intimacy with the wife of another man) and idolatrous worship. It is apropos, when one considers the tremendous draw of the flesh that is generally involved in this
destructive act. 

To Adonai, marriage is a sacred covenant; man and woman become one flesh, therefore let no man put asunder that union. Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:8, Ephesians 5:31
Adultery pays homage to the enemy of all that is pure, holy, and Divine, therefore, it is idolatrous worship in its purest sense. 
Adultery is a heinous offense against the Divine Command, and the Holy One of Israel who has married Himself to His People in His sacred institution. Adonai uses adultery as a metaphor for infidelity to Him with idolatry, and correlates the horrendous consequences borne by the children: “...they have committed adultery with their idols and even caused their sons, whom they bore to Me, to pass through the fire...”  Jeremiah 23:37 
As the Torah became more expansive, adultery carried with it the penalty of death; it was so grievous a crime against the fabric of society. “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Leviticus 20:10
A recent blog entry I read spouted, “Thank God there isn’t a death penalty for adultery anymore—half my family would be dead! LOL”

I think there still is a death penalty. 

Adultery carries its own death penalty.
It is manifest in a myriad of ways.
  • For the wronged spouse, it is often the death of the marriage, a crushed spirit, the death of shared dreams, perhaps a lifetime of financial insufficiency, emotional turmoil, characterized by trust and abandonment issues.
  • To the children, it is often the death of a happy, healthy home in which God and His righteousness is taught and lived and therefore passed on to future generations.
  • For the adulterer, there is a death of plans, respectability, and possibilities, a loss of self-control, self-respect and direction.
  • Life will never be the same. Even though there is forgiveness with God, this rebelliousness to Adonai has caused reverberating effects—like concentric waves on a pond, radiating outward and impacting many lives.
  • There may be children born of the union, or aborted, or adopted out to hide the adultery. These children never leave the consciousness of the parties, generally altering their lives inexorably.
  • Death to the family unit is the most serious consequence of rampant adultery that we see in today’s world, resulting in astronomical numbers of homelessness, hopelessness, lowered academic scores, drug addiction, drug-addicted babies, babies born out of wedlock, crime, poverty, over-crowded prisons, and overriding godlessness.
As Philo put it: “Adultery is an execrable and God-detested wrong-doing.”

v. 15 “You shall not steal. 

The Hebrew word for steal is ganab גנב, which means to steal, not only outright, but also by stealth.
Rabbi Hertz explains that this Commandment has a wider application than theft and robbery; it forbids every illegal acquisition of property by cheating, embezzlement, or forgery. Hebrew ethics even forbids transactions that are legal, yet are base and disgraceful, such as taking advantage of the ignorance or embarrassment of one’s neighbor to increase one’s own property. We are to protect the sanctity of our neighbor’s property, as an assault on it is an assault on his personhood.
v. 16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” 

This is a strong directive against all forms of slander, defamation, and misrepresentation. The emphasis is on the Hebrew word shekher שקר, meaning lie, deception, falsehood, fraud, false oath or testimony, false prophets, deceives or betrays, injurious testimony.
Words are powerful things.

  • With words the Almighty called all creation into existence. 
  • With words, the Almighty is forming a People, imprinting Himself upon their minds and hearts, transforming them in the wilderness.
  • With lying words, Hitler mobilized Europe against the Jewish People and succeeded in murdering six million souls. 
  • With lying words, the serpent seduced the first woman and she ate the forbidden fruit, which she enticed her husband with and they lost paradise, as sin entered into all living beings.
John 8:44 tells us that satan,
“is a liar and the father of lies.”
Therefore, Adonai does not want us to give voice to this deceiver,
allowing him to wreak destruction with his lies and deception.

It is love that testifies we are children of the Most High. Let the world see us love our neighbor in word and deed.

v. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

To covet, in Hebrew chamad חמד, means to desire, covet, take pleasure in, delight in, to be desirable to, to delight greatly, desire greatly.

The tenth Commandment strikes at the root of all unholy, instinctual and predatory desires, that drive men to evil deeds, and nearly every sin against his neighbor.

Adultery, bearing false witness, stealing, even murder may result from a man who greatly desires his neighbor’s wife

Consider King David’s multiplied sin with Bathsheba. He coveted Uriah’s wife when he looked upon her with great desire. He stole Uriah’s wife—remember Nathan’s parable about the man who only had one little ewe lamb? He entered into adultery with her. Then, he lied to cover his sin. David caused Uriah’s death—he was guilty of murder.
“The man who does not covet his neighbor’s goods will not bear false witness against him; he will neither rob nor murder, nor will he commit adultery. It commands self-control; for every man has it in his power to determine whether his desires are to master him, or he is to master his desires. Without such self-control, there can be no worthy human life; it alone is the measure of true manhood or womanhood. ‘Who is strong?’ ask the Rabbis. ‘He who controls his passions.’ is their reply.”
 The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Chief Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, 1938
Fear and Trembling

vv. 18-20 “All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.’”

Israel has become unnerved by the stupendous special effects. They have changed their mind—they want Moses to speak to Adonai now, and they will listen—they fear they will die with any further intensity! Moses reassures them not to be afraid.

“God has come to test you...” is better rendered, “God has come to prove you.” The Hebrew word nassah נסה, is generally translated: to test, put to the proof, or prove. Adonai knows how much they can stand.

He wants their fear to lead to Godly awe and reverence—the fear of God that prevents sin and unfaithfulness—the fear of a loving God that leads to the love of God.

v. 21 So Israel stayed, standing at a distance, “while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.”

Adonai is Specific Regarding Acceptable Worship

vv. 22-26 “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven. You shall not make other gods besides Me; gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.’” 

A repetition of the abomination of idol worship. Apparently Adonai felt it necessary to be more specific, although it didn’t seem to make an impact, considering the the Golden Calf incident.

“You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.” v. 24

It is important that the altar of Adonai be built in every place
“where I cause My name to be remembered.”

“If you make an altar of stone for Me, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you wield your tool on it, you will profane it. 

An altar of stone was permissible,
 but stones must be natural, 

unhewn rock,
bearing Adonai’s fingerprint alone.

“...if you wield your tool on it, you will profane it.”
The word tool in Hebrew is kherev חרב, and literally means sword or knifeintimating violence, thus profaning God’s holy altar.

The Talmud explains: “Iron shortens life, whilst the altar prolongs it. The sword, or weapon of iron, is the symbol of strife; whereas the altar is the symbol of reconciliation and peace between God and man, and between man and his fellow.”
“And you shall not go up by steps to My altar, so that your nakedness will not be exposed on it.” 

This is a Commandment against all impropriety and immodesty.

In an age of “come as you are” mentality, one may think this to be an outmoded concept. Yet the word is clear, Yeshua is “the same yesterday and today and forever.” 

Hebrews 13:8 

Considering the high calling of all believers—indeed, we are called priests in His kingdom (Rev. 1:6)—ought we not be circumspect with regard to tempting others to unholy desire and covetousness, and fulfill the law of love, to love our neighbor?
Romans 13:9

For as Yeshua admonished, even if a man looks at a woman with lust

he has already committed adultery in his heart. Matthew 5:28 

And it’s our heart, after all, that God is after.

Therefore we are wisely warned, 

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, 

For from it flow the springs of life.”

Proverbs 4:23

To be continued...

Haftarah Yitro 
Isaiah 6:1-7

The Mount Sinai Effect

Have we not been absolutely amazed thus far at how almighty God has manifested Himself to His people, the nation of Israel? Not only has He preserved them from the time of Abraham, but now He has delivered all of them out of Egypt. His hand first quietly moved in the creation of His nation, not letting them know much about Himself. Then He orchestrated through a famine the move of all of Abraham’s seed, just a small band at this time, to the land of Goshen in Egypt. Over a period of 400 years — and with little of Himself being revealed — He saw this family grow to over one million, and they don’t even know His name yet. Nor have they been introduced to His power. Now Moses appears on the seen, tells them, “I Am,” has sent him, and then shows them what God really can do.

Our Torah portion for this week picks up with this newly freed and fledgling nation in the wilderness of Sinai, camped at the base of what is thought to be a 7500 foot  mountain with the present day name of Jebel Musa, or what our text refers to as Mount Sinai. (Exodus 19:18) Here God shows more of who He is. 
“And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Then the LORD spoke to Moses, ‘Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.’” Exodus 19:17-21
Imagine: ten plagues, a pillar of cloud by day and one of fire by night to lead them, the parting of the Red Sea, then crossing it on dry land, the total destruction of Pharaoh's army, and now this scene atop a mountain. What must they have thought about the capabilities and appearance of this, “I Am”?

Well, so fearful were they that after their appearance at the foot of the mountain, they asked Moses if God could speak to them through him. 

“All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.’” Exodus 20:18-20

You know, we often get so caught up in a loving, forgiving, caring God that we forget just how much fear can be generated in us when having to face Him as the sinful creatures we are. Why is it important to have this fear of God within us? Moses answered it just up above when he said to the Israelites, “ that you may not sin.” 
And perhaps a more important question: Why is it that that viewing Him as He really is — or in our case contemplating Him as He is — causes fear within us? I think the answer is that in facing Him we see how sinful we actually are. And that should move us to live a better life for Him, to serve Him as He directs.
Isaiah had just such  an experience...

Our Haftarah passage starts off, “In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.” (This vision of God took place in the last year of Uzziah’s fifty-two year reign. II Kings 15:3 says of him, “He did right in the sight of the Lord.”) So this is the beginning of Isaiah’s ministry, commonly what preachers today might label as their “call” from God. But this one was SO different.

Let’s jump ahead to Isaiah 6:5-7 before we examine what Isaiah saw, and just see what effect the seeing of it had on him. There we read:
“Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.’
Isaiah has just had his Mount Sinai experience and what does he say about it? First, he is “ruined.” What?! He hasn’t even started yet. But maybe this is where you are supposed to start. “Ruined” means to cease, to destroy, to be cut off. In other words he was as a dead man before he even got started. Then he tells us what the cause of this condition is ... because he is a man of “unclean lips.”

The Authorized version translates this word 79 times as “unclean,” 5 times as “defiled,” 1 time as “infamous,” and 2 times as “pollution.”  It seems that by seeing God in all His holiness, Isaiah had seen how terribly sinful he actually was. Here his lips are personified as the conveyance of his sin

Jesus was later to say, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. Matt. 15:18-19

In the presence of infinite glory this mortal was as dead. Why? “Because the holiness of God is to the sinner a consuming fire; and the infinite distance between the creature and the Creator is sufficient of itself to produce a prostrating effect, which even the seraphim could not resist without veiling their faces.” So say Keil and Delitzsch on this event.

But there was hope for this future prophet. (The previous prophecies are non-sequential in a time line of events. Thus this event had to precede them.) And that hope came in the form of a seraphim whose duty it was to minister to Almighty God. Verses 6 and 7 say, “Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.’”

The word “iniquity” used here can be best understood not as sin itself, but rather the consequences of Isaiah’s sin. Or put another way, the guilt felt for his sin and the consequences of that sin were taken away by this act. 

This Mount Sinai experience had accomplished several things:

  • One, it had made Isaiah recognize the horrible state of sinful man as personified through himself when coming into the presence of God.
  • Two, that communion with God and service to Him must be preceded by cleansing, both of personal sin and of its consequences.
  • And three, it had taught him exactly who he was dealing with.

Now lets take a look at verses one through four...
“In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two each covered their face, and with two each covered his feet, and with two each flew. And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.” Isaiah 6:1-4
Isaiah was in the earthly Temple in Jerusalem. While worshiping there he had the vision that is recorded in this account.

Isaiah saw Adonai sitting on His throne in heaven. So grand was the expanse of God’s presence that the train of the robe He wore reached to earth and into the Temple in Jerusalem itself.

Seraphim meaning “burning one” and one of the orders of created angels, ministered to God. This particular angel had six wings. Two covered their face from the glory of the Lord. Two covered their feet, this possibly a transference of the Hebrew idiom for modesty. The last two were used in some manner for moving from one place to another. And then they called out,Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.
So great was the effect of this praise that the foundations trembled. And the Temple filled with smoke as well. This is what caused Isaiah to declare, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the glory of the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5
So what of us, in light of this? To serve, really serve, must we not first be broken before our Almighty God? Realizing our sinful state must we not then seek His forgiveness for sin (I John 1:9) and the cleansing of conscience from past sin (Hebrews 9:14) which makes us fit, “to serve the living God.”
The Hebrews were shown this great sight at Mount Sinai so that they might not sin. Do we dare not keep before our mind’s eye this sight as well?

And ought we not cry out as well the words of Isaiah, “Woe is me...”? For it is in this confession that we find God’s response to our sinful state: His cleansing, His preparation of us for service, and His issuance of the call, “who will go for Us? Isaiah 6:8

Yes, I recognize Him as a loving, forgiving, and caring God,
 but I dare not forget that I must fear Him as well.
For in that fear there is a more secure place from sin,
 a place where I can appropriate His forgiveness,
 His cleansing, and His commission for service

Join me.
Love Him, yes.
But fear Him as well.

And then with joy, answer His call, saying,
“Hineini! Here am I. Send me!
Isaiah 6:8

B'rit Chadashah Yitro 
Matthew 8:5-20

Is the Bible Too Brief?
One cannot suppose that the full public life of Jesus, all three years, could be chronicled in the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. 

After all, even John, the beloved  disciple, closes off his Gospel of John by saying in the last verse of the last chapter (21:25), “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written.” Why then did God choose to give us what is in reality very little of the life of Jesus of Nazareth?

Take yourself back—if you are old enough—to a time when there were no computers, and you had to go to a physical library to get your information. Remember the rows and rows of thick, heavy books? In my library it would have taken a moving van just to transport the history section. Now pick up your Bible. It’s just one book, and not so terribly thick at that. What was up with God when it came time to write about mankind, and at that, He chronicled the whole life of Jesus in just four small gospel accounts? Why, it’s almost as though God had a tunnel vision of history.

God in fact did not look to the left or the right as He had 66 separate books containing 1,189 chapters compiled into one book to tell the story of history. Or shall we say, HIStory. You see, all that is in the Bible from beginning to end is there to point us to Yeshua (Jesus). From creation, to mankind’s beginning, to the establishment of a Jewish nation, to the birth of Yeshua through that nation, to mankind’s salvation by believing in Yeshua’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, to the culmination of end-time events with Messiah ruling and reigning. It’s all there, giving us just what we need to know to get to the destination our Maker would have us arrive at. So why did God give us so little of the life of Jesus of Nazareth if there was so very much that could have been said? The Answer? Because we didn’t need any more, for God to accomplish HIs purpose in our lives.

This is why every recorded account of Jesus should have great significance and powerful impact on our lives. Consider each a treasured pearl. Let’s pick one from our text and see why 
God might have specifically selected it out of all that could have been, but never was written about.
In Matthew 8:14-17 Yeshua demonstrates His power over disease. He heals Peter’s mother-in-law and then casts out demons and heals others among the sick. And verse 17 tells us specifically why this occasion was chosen to be recorded. It says, “This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.’

This is a paraphrase of a larger piece of Scripture found in Isaiah 53:4-6:

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.”
In HIS telescopic rendering of history God has chosen this particular event of Matthew 18:14-17 to demonstrate the truth of what Isaiah had prophesied. Some 700 years before it happened, Isaiah foretold of Israel’s Messiah coming in the flesh to save and heal His people. And in Matthew 8:14-17 God records that it did in fact happen.

The Word of God is selective, it is true. But it is unique unto itself. God says of His book, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 

What a book. What a history. What a book to live by.

“All Scripture is inspired by God
and profitable for teaching, for reproof,
for correction, for training in righteousness;
so that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work.”

  II Timothy 3:16-17

In Messiah’s Love,
His EVERY Word Ministries