Every Preparation Day (Friday before Shabbat) we busy ourselves rushing to ready our homes and meal for Shabbat. We're often so busy that we can lose sight of the purpose and blessings of Shabbat. A couple of years ago I got into the habit of prayerfully reading the Tehillim each day. It has truly blessed my life. Within those songs are strength, comfort, peace, and rejoicing. They are a reminder to us that no matter what is going on in our lives that The Eternal watches over us. I hope that sometime during your busy Preparation Day that you will take some time with the Tehillim. It is with this in mind that I have started this blog, which are insights into each song, posted every Friday morning. Shabbat Shalom!
By In the Shade of the Tent | January 09, 2015 at 02:01 PM EST | No Comments
This psalm, beautiful and well known, expresses the desire of our souls to draw closer to The Eternal. It was written by the sons of Korah. Korah, as you may recall, was of the tribe of Levi, and he rebelled against The Eternal and tried to take Moses’ position. These events are told to us through the Parashah Korach (Numbers 16 -18). The end result of the rebellion was that the ground opened up and swallowed Korah and those who sided with him, and also their households and everything they owned. Korah had contempt for The Eternal, and so He destroyed him. However, Numbers 26:11 tells us that the sons of Korah did not die. So even though Korah had rebelled against The Eternal, he did not wipe his name off from the face of the earth. The sons of Korah are responsible for some of the most beautiful psalms written such as this one. And in fact, the great prophet, last judge of Israel, and anointer of two kings - Samuel, was descended from Korah and a son of Levi. (1 Chronicles 6) He is merciful!
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God? 42:1-2
Thirst is the craving for fluids, resulting in the basic instinct to drink. It arises from a lack of fluids or an increase in the concentration of certain osmolites, such as salt. If the water volume of the body falls below a certain threshold or the osmolite concentration becomes too high, the brain signals thirst.
We all know what it is like to be thirsty. Just as there is a physical desire for thirst, our souls thirst for the living God - the One who created it. Even those who don’t know Him are searching and thirsting for something, but they don’t know what it is. So, they seek to satisfy that craving with things that lead to enslavement to sin, such as alcoholism, drugs, sex, pornography, and now in our high technological society, addiction to television and electronics.
Do not put your hope in things of the world. Do not take the path that will lead to your soul’s destruction. Hope in God. Quench your soul’s thirst with the things of The Eternal which are found in His Word, and follow Him as His servant in keeping with the teachings of our Messiah Yeshua.
By In the Shade of the Tent | December 26, 2014 at 01:57 PM EST | No Comments
For the leader. A psalm of David:
How blessed are those who care for the poor!
When calamity comes, Adonai will save them.
Adonai will preserve them, keep them alive,
and make them happy in the land.
You will not hand them over
to the whims of their enemies.
Adonai sustains them on their sickbed;
when they lie ill, you make them recover. vs 1-4
The Eternal’s provision for the poor, and how they are esteemed by Him is very evident in the Torah. Indeed it seems that one of the main reasons we receive a blessing is so that we can turn around and bless others. In Judaism this is called Tzedekah . The closest word in English with a comparable meaning is “charity”, however, it is more than than that. Charity is more spontaneous, whereas, tzedekah is an obligation set forth by the Most High. The literal meaning of the word is righteousness or justice, and comes from the the Hebrew word Tzadik. If we say someone is a Tzadik, we proclaim them to be righteous. Tzedekah refers to our obligation to do what is right and just with regard to those who are poor.
Exodus 23:11; Leviticus 19:9-10, 25:35; Deuteronomy 14:28-29; 15:7-11, all of these verses from the Torah instruct us on our obligation to care for those who are less fortunate than ourselves. If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10. We are in turn blessed and as David teaches, we will recover from illness, and when calamity strikes The Eternal will save.
By In the Shade of the Tent | December 12, 2014 at 12:38 PM EST | No Comments
Doing your will, my God, is my joy;
your Torah is in my inmost being.
I have proclaimed what is right in the great assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, Adonai, as you know.
I did not hide your righteousness in my heart
but declared your faithfulness and salvation;
I did not conceal your grace and truth
from the great assembly.” vs 9-11
Is doing His will a joy for you? Is the Torah in your inmost being? From day to day the demands of life, home, family, and work cause us to approach our responsibilities to The Eternal with the same mechanicalness that we approach other duties in our life. Doing His will, keeping His Torah should be a flame within our hearts, not something that we drudge through without thinking. This is preparation day for Shabbat. We should be going about everything we do today with joy that at sunset we enter in to His blessed rest. Sabbath should not be a day of restriction, but a delight to look forward to each week.
How do we restore that joy within us? By recounting the wondrous things that he has done, not only for our ancestors, but for us and those around us. David said,
I did not hide your righteousness in my heart but declared your faithfulness and salvation. vs. 11
We are instructed: Only be careful, and watch yourselves diligently as long as you live, so that you won’t forget what you saw with your own eyes, so that these things won’t vanish from your hearts. Rather, make them known to your children and grandchildren - Deuteronomy 4:9
Do not forget what you have seen with your own eyes! We have the Scripture that tells us what He did for our ancestors BUT we are here in the now. Hasn’t The Eternal done wondrous things in our lives? Hasn’t he performed great miracles for us? Hasn’t He answered our prayers and delivered us from our enemies? We restore the joy in our hearts and perform His will with joy when we do not forget the mighty things He has done, not only for our ancestors, but for us as well. We make them known to our children and our children’s children and declare them in assembly. By doing so you declare His faithfulness and His salvation.
By In the Shade of the Tent | November 28, 2014 at 08:02 PM EST | No Comments
I said, “I will watch how I behave,
so that I won’t sin with my tongue;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
whenever the wicked confront me.
I was silent, said nothing, not even good;
but my pain kept being stirred up.
My heart grew hot within me;
whenever I thought of it, the fire burned.
Then, [at last,] I let my tongue speak
One of the reasons why I love the Tehillim so much and encourage daily reading, is because they deal with issues that we deal with today. Tehillim 39 is a very good example. We want to do the right thing by not allowing people to get to us when they attack us; to not sin by attacking back. It takes a lot of self control not to respond and let The Eternal fight our battles, especially when it seems that the enemy is winning. I cannot say that my self-control has been stellar, and apparently the writer of Tehillim 39 has experienced the same thing.
What does Scripture say about these circumstances? Psalm 35 says that The Eternal will come to our defense. Tehillim 15 says we are not to slander others, harm, or discredit them. This is part of living uprightly before God. We honor Him when we refuse to “get even”. We should not worry about what others may think or say, because He is the only one who matters. If we take things into our own hands we will be the ones disciplined. (vs 12) If we trust in Him to fight our battles for us He will vindicate us and justice will shine forth like the noon day sun!
By In the Shade of the Tent | November 08, 2014 at 12:25 AM EST | No Comments
This Tehillim speaks of our iniquity, and that iniquity causes a rebuke from The Eternal. Our sins our a heavy load that we carry. They are like putrid sores. We are crushed and bent down. (vs 4-7) He does see us when we stray and fall into sin. Rebuke isn't always immediate, and some times in our hearts we translate that as excuse to go even further. We may even begin to justify our sin. Our hearts deceive us and we become deaf dumb and blind to what we are doing.
As with David when he was confronted with his sin, it is when The Eternal suddenly brings us face to face with our iniquity that we are crushed and we bear His rebuke. If we sincerely repent as David did, even though we must live with the consequences of that sin, He does forgive us and has mercy on us. Although we are rebuked we are not forsaken.
The true repentant person admits their iniquity and worries because of their sin.They weep before the throne of grace for the wrongs they have done. Of course when we turn back to Him, there are those who resent it. They hate us without cause and return evil for good.They harass us because we pursue Him with all of heart, soul, and might.(vs 20-21) However He will deliver us from those who harass us because we desire a right relationship with The Eternal.
By In the Shade of the Tent | October 31, 2014 at 12:50 PM EDT | No Comments
Do not compete with evildoers, be not envious of the doers of justice. vs 1-2
We should not be concerned about those who we know that are successful and do not trust in The Eternal. In fact, they live their lives quite the opposite. They do not acknowledge Him, or walk in His ways. They actually look down on us and consider us foolish for our beliefs. But the Creator of the universe tells us to trust Him and do good. Not only that but to rely on Him for our "enjoyments".(vs 4). Do not do as the unbelievers and stoop to cheating, lying or stealing for gain. If we wait on Him he will grant us the desires of our hearts. But if perchance He does not, we are still to obey and commit our ways to Him. Remember Job? He lost everything he had, yet he said: Though he slay me, yet will I trust him. Even so I will defend my own ways before him. Job 13:15. In other words, Job was so confident that he had done no wrong, that he was prepared to defend himself before The Eternal. May we all live such a life before Him as that!
Better are the few with the righteous, than the multitude of many wicked. vs 16. Physically and spiritually though we stand alone He is always with us, and if he is with us who can be against us? No one who plots evil against us will be able to stand. Even at the most bleakest of times when it looks as if all hope is lost, suddenly victory is ours because we did not lose hope in the One who is in control of all. If you have not read the story of Gideon, I invite you to read it now. (Judges 6-8)
Remember, do not worry or be fearful. He will not forsake his devout ones - they will be eternally protected It is the wicked who will be cut off, (vs 28) so do not be envious of them or follow their ways.
By In the Shade of the Tent | September 19, 2014 at 12:54 AM EDT | No Comments
Crime speaks to the wicked.
I perceive this in my heart;
before his eyes there is no fear
of God. He devises trouble as he lies in bed;
so set is he on his own bad way
that he doesn’t hate evil.v 2, 5
The Creator of the universe gave us freewill. We can be obedient or we can choose to “do what is right in our own eyes”. The evil inclination advises us that He is unconcerned with what we do and what is happening in our lives and on earth. Therefore it is all right to do whatever may please us. This attitude is extremely prevalent during the times in which we live. The Eternal and those who believe in Him are despised. Of course our faith and the way we live our lives don't make sense to them. They delude themselves into thinking that we are backwards and ignorant for believing in the Creator of all things and follow His ways. Little do they realize that true happiness comes from seeking him wholeheartedly and following His instruction. (Psalm 119:2)
Don’t delude yourselves: no one makes a fool of God! A person reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7 Those who devise and practice evil will fail (vs 13). However, His faithfulness reaches to the upper heavens! He is concerned with both man and beast. (vs 6, 7). He is the source of our life and He sates us with His never ending abundance.
Continue your grace to those who know you
and your righteousness to the upright in heart.
Don’t let the foot of the proud tread on me
or the hands of the wicked drive me away. (vs 11-12)
By In the Shade of the Tent | August 08, 2014 at 04:31 PM EDT | No Comments
Adonai, oppose those who oppose me;
fight against those who fight against me.
Grasp your shield and protective gear,
and rise to my defense.
Brandish spear and battle-axe
against my pursuers;
let me hear you say,
“I am your salvation.” 35:1-3
Why are so many of David’s tehillim about the Eternal’s rescue, His salvation? Because David spent a good portion of his life fighting battles. The Philistines, Saul and his supporters, and his own child. Not only the physical battles but also the gossips and those who used words to harm him. Most of us today don’t have to endure the physical battles that David did, however have we been hurt by a friend or gossiped about? Perhaps we have enemies that want to see us brought low. Has your child openly rebelled and is seeking to hurt you? Times and methods change, but in reality the same things are going on in this time. If you experienced even one of the above then you have something in common with King David. Even when at his lowest moment he relied on The Eternal’s salvation.
David’s depiction of our Father is one that is ready defend us and to go into battle to preserve us. David knew in his heart that his deliverance comes from above. Not from men, and certainly not from our own devices. No matter what your battle is, no matter who is pursuing you, remember that YAH, our God is our salvation. It doesn’t matter what devices the enemy uses. They will fall into the pit they have dug for you! (vs 8)
This is the God that we worship, this is the One who we acknowledge and recognize and submit to. Let us not seek our deliverance from battles and troubles, but rest in His everlasting arms as he takes up spear and battle axe in our defense!
By In the Shade of the Tent | August 01, 2014 at 03:56 PM EDT | No Comments
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it. Tehillim 34:11-14
This Psalm was written when David was fleeing from Saul, and lived among the Philistines. However, the Philistines also saw him as a threat, and so David faked mental illness and the king of the Philistines, Abimelech, sent him away. It was then that David wrote this tehillim.
The above verses, 11-14, tell not only how to achieve life in the world to come, but also how we should conduct ourselves in this life so that we may be blessed. Be truthful with one another, and keep ourselves from slander and gossip. Repent from evil and strive to be closer to The Eternal. Remember his eyes are on the righteous and his ears ear their cry!
The righteous person suffers many evils,
but Adonai rescues him out of them all. vs. 20
We are never told that our life will be trouble free, but we are promised that he will deliver us from every trial, every tribulation, and persecution. We will be vindicated. We will be rescued. There is no evil plot or circumstance that our God cannot deliver us from. Do not be impatient in waiting. I am sure David, a king chosen by God and anointed by Samuel must have wondered how long it would be before his change would come. How long would he have to endure being hunted like a animal and having to live among Israel's enemies? And when the opportunity came to kill Saul, David did not take matters into his own hands. (Some thing Saul did frequently.) Look at the time Abraham waited for the promised son, at Joseph's time in captivity, and the prophets. Their lives are not just nice stories that we read to our children, they are examples to live by. Look at how they endured and triumphed with The Eternal's help, while their enemies were destroyed! Even as we wait for the promised Son's return, let us not grow weary and fall into despair and sin. He will return, and those who seek our destruction will be no more.
By In the Shade of the Tent | July 11, 2014 at 04:31 PM EDT | No Comments
Adonai looks out from heaven;
he sees every human being;
from the place where he lives
he watches everyone living on earth,
he who fashioned the hearts of them all
and understands all they do. v. 13-15
There are times in our lives when we feel alone and persecuted; or perhaps we are in despair because of a repeated failure. That feeling of hopelessness is used by the enemy to spiritually strangle us. We need to always remember that our God, is one who knows our strengths and weaknesses. He knew us in the womb, (Psalm 139:13; Jeremiah 1:5). He sees us, AND He understands. He knows your pain and what you are going through. Not only us but He alsoHe knows the plans our enemies make and the traps they set. He causes them to fall into the pit they have dug for us! (vs. 10) Do not despair, because the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is with us, and those who trust in Him will never be disappointed. Those who fear Him will be rescued. The Eternal is the one who rescues when death threatens, and be keeps His children alive in famine.
May His name be praised!
May your mercy, Adonai, be over us because we put our hope in you. vs. 22
By In the Shade of the Tent | July 04, 2014 at 03:38 PM EDT | No Comments
If we are seeking a right relationship with The Eternal; if we are in a state where you do not know how to get back to Him, Psalm 32 shows us the way.
How blessed are those whose offense is forgiven, those who sin is covered! How blessed those to whom Adonai imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no deceit! (vs 1-2)
Right away David tells us there is no happiness like that of one whose sins are forgiven. Those of us who have fallen on our faces like the tax collector in Luke 18, who beat his breast, and cried out to The Eternal, “Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!”, know the joy that it is to be washed and cleansed from all iniquity. Not only does our Father take away the sin, but the guilt of the sin as well!
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away because of my groaning all day long;
day and night your hand was heavy on me;the sap in me dried up as in a summer drought. (vs 3-4)
Being in sin is like being in a drought. We will not bear fruit. We will dry up and wither away.This is what the guilt feels like. It can effect us mentally AND physically. But -
When I acknowledged my sin to you, when I stopped concealing my guilt,
and said, “I will confess my offenses to Adonai”; then you, you forgave the guilt of my sin. (vs 5-6)
He will lift that burden from you and the weight of your sin will be removed. Before we are slaves to our sin and it is like a heavy yoke weighing us down, but when we repent His forgiveness sets us free.
This is what everyone faithful should pray at a time when you can be found.
Then, when the floodwaters are raging, they will not reach to him. (vs 7)
Yeshua said, “Stay alert, always praying that you will have the strength to escape all the things that will happen and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.” The word translated as “always” actually means at the appointed or fixed time. Yes, there are appointed times when we are to come before Him in prayer. ( See the article “On His Mind” http://www.sarahstent.info/summer2006.html ).
We need to repent! Don’t stay complacent! Don’t wait until the judgement comes! Seek Adonai while he may be found, call on Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6
You are a hiding-place for me, you will keep me from distress;
you will surround me with songs of deliverance. (Selah)“I will instruct and teach you
in this way that you are to go; I will give you counsel;
my eyes will be watching you.” (vs 7-8)
When He is leading us we cannot take a misstep. He is our teacher, and our counselor. But you have to let Him lead you. Don’t try to go your own way. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
Don’t be like a horse or mule that has no understanding,that has to be curbed with bit and bridle, or else it won’t come near you. Many are the torments of the wicked, but grace surrounds those who trust in Adonai. Be glad in Adonai; rejoice, you righteous! Shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (vs 9-11)
While we are preparing for Shabbat, let us all prepare our hearts and minds to come before Him. Take some time to seek His face, confess and repent, so that we can to His Presence on His day, upright in heart and rejoicing!
By In the Shade of the Tent | June 27, 2014 at 03:49 PM EDT | No Comments
When reading this Tehillim again for about the fourth time, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. There were so many things in this psalm that are beautiful and uplifting. Then at the last reading one verse stood out to me
In your control are my times, rescue me from the control of my foes and pursuers. (emphases mine). vs 31:16
The Eternal is in control of our times. He is the one who knows us better than we know ourselves, and not only that, but He controls everything to do with us and those around us. Before He formed us in the womb He knew us. (Jeremiah 1:5). He knew when we would born, and He knows the time of our death. Now there are those, (our enemies), who like to think they control us; that they can hurt and harm us at their leisure, but The Eternal One, Creator of the ends of the earth, is in control. Are we looking to Him, who controls our times even during the difficult periods when we are poured out like water and our hearts are like wax, melting within us? (Psalm 22:5)
Lets take a look at Joseph. We know his story. For most of his young life, things went very well for him. He was the adored and favored son of Jacob and his beloved wife Rachel, but he endured the jealousy of his brothers. Their hatred and jealousy grew so bad that they sold him into slavery. As one speaking from experience, the only thing worse than an enemy trying to destroy you is if that enemy is your own flesh and blood. It is like a deep wound that never heals. Joseph was a prince, but now he finds himself a slave in a strange land in the the household of Potiphar. Scripture tells us that The Eternal was with Joseph, and soon His master had appointed him over his entire household and possessions. When Potiphar’s wife began to lust for Joseph, he rejected her. The saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” was very true in Joseph’s case. Potiphar’s wife accused him of attempting to rape her, and now Joseph finds himself in Pharaoh’s prison. But once again, The Eternal was with Joseph and gave him favor in sight of the prison warden, who made him supervisor of all the prisoners. While there he correctly interpreted the deems of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker, and he was remembered to Pharaoh by the former when Pharaoh started having very strange dreams. Joseph was put in charge of the entire land of Egypt, answering only to Pharaoh, in order to save the land from the coming famine. As he said when confronting his brothers with his true identity:
But don’t be sad that you sold me into slavery here or angry at yourselves, because it was God who sent me ahead of you to preserve life. God sent me ahead of you to ensure that you will have descendants on earth and to save your lives in a great deliverance. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his household and ruler over the whole land of Egypt. Genesis 45:5,7-8
Throughout the entire time of his hardship Joseph did not turn his back on The Eternal.
In time, the day came when his master’s wife took a look at Yosef and said, “Sleep with me!” But he refused, saying to his master’s wife, “Look, because my master has me, he doesn’t know what’s going on in this house. He has put all his possessions in my charge. In this house I am his equal; he hasn’t withheld anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:7-9
One night the two of them, the king of Egypt’s cupbearer and his baker, there in prison, both had dreams, each dream with its own meaning. Yosef came in to them in the morning and saw that they looked sad. He asked Pharaoh’s officers there with him in the prison of his master’s house, “Why are you looking so sad today?” They said to him, “We each had a dream, and there’s no one around who can interpret it.” Yosef said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell it to me, please.” Genesis 40:5-8
Favor from those who are over us and don’t even know the God of Israel comes from Him and Him alone. Are we looking to The Eternal who is in control of our days, or are we relying on ourselves or the efforts of others?
By In the Shade of the Tent | June 06, 2014 at 07:17 PM EDT | No Comments
This Psalm was written by David for the eventual dedication of the future Temple. It is also recited in some traditions during the season of Chanukah. Verses 2-4 speak of times in David’s life when his enemies pursued him and mocked him, (vs 2) when he was in need of healing, (vs3) and salvation from the punishment after death. (vs4)
We ourselves go through these predicaments all through our lives. Sometimes they only last a day, other times for a season. Day in and day out, we need to realize that The Eternal is the one who rescues us from those who seek to harm and degrade us. He is our Healer, and our salvation from the pit. David was alive when he wrote this Psalm, however we need to realize that we can suffer the torment of Gehinnom* and be alive. It is the utter hopelessness of circumstances where there is no one to turn to, nowhere to go. However, only the God of Israel, The Eternal can raise us up from that place, and preserve us, if we put our trust in Him. In ancient times, kings and princes of the earth had complete authority. They had the power of life or death over their subjects. Even so, Scriptures tells us that it is better to put our hope in Adonai than to trust in princes. (Ps. 118). The hearts and minds of those who have earthly power over us are controlled by the Creator of all things, and just as He caused Joseph to be looked upon with favor by those who had charge over him, so The Eternal does for us. Joseph was literally and figuratively in the pit, but He lifted him up and placed him over all of Egypt.
As with Joseph our elevation may not occur overnight, but it will happen in His time, through his mercy, and to accomplish His purposes. Most of us have experienced nights where you could not sleep. The night seem to drag on forever while you tossed and turned. So it is with our trials and tribulations, but remember David’s words - weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning! (vs 6b)
Shabbat Shalom to you and your families!
*Gehinnom is a valley outside of ancient Jerusalem where it is thought that people took their refuse to be burned. It is also the valley where Israelites who had turned away from The Eternal went to worship other gods and sacrifice their children in the flames of molech. (2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6) The place was cursed and became known as a place where the wicked are eternally punished. This is a different place than Sheol. However, English Bibles have translated both words as hell.
By In the Shade of the Tent | May 16, 2014 at 03:46 PM EDT | No Comments
Adonai sits enthroned above the flood!
Adonai sits enthroned as king forever!
May Adonai give strength to his people!
May Adonai bless his people with shalom! vs. 10-11
There is no other like our God. He is the Creator of all things and judge of all the earth. We read of his great and mighty deeds; but do we believe in our heart of hearts that He is the same today as He was yesterday? The last three years of my life I have seen many miracles performed on my behalf and on the behalf of others. In a world that has become drunk on torahlessness, and wants nothing to do with Him, mocks everything and everyone having to do with our God, and the extreme wickedness that prevails, it is not difficult to see that we are edging very quickly towards the judgement He will bring. No matter how hopeless the situation, no mater what you see happening around, hang on to the Eternal and His everlasting arms. He has, does, and will continue to save those who follow Him, keep His commandments and have the testimony of Messiah Yeshua. Revelation 14:12
I am reminded of Deuteronomy 33:29:
Happy are you, Isra’el!
“Who is like you, a people saved by Adonai,
your defender helping you
and your sword of triumph?
Your enemies will cringe before you,
but you will trample down their high places.”
We are the sheep of His pasture. Listen to the voice of your shepherd, follow Him, and obey Him in all things. If you are going through difficulties, no matter what the situation, remember you serve the Creator of the universe. The righteous are rewarded; there is, after all, a God who judges the earth. Psalm 58:12 He sees your affliction and He will rescue you from all danger and snares of the enemy.
By In the Shade of the Tent | May 09, 2014 at 04:46 PM EDT | No Comments
Hear the sound of my prayers
when I cry to you,
when I lift my hands
toward your holy sanctuary. vs 2
The Eternal is the one who we pray to, the One who is our strength when adversity strikes, and when evil doers try to destroy us. In His mercy He grants us His salvation. He is our Shepherd and we are the sheep of his pasture. Our hearts are filled with joy because He has saved us.
Verse two mentions lifting our hands “toward His holy sanctuary”. Should we pray toward that place ? Yes, we should. It is the place on earth where His presence dwelled. Although some would say because His Ruach dwells within us this is not necessary, consider the words of King Solomon at the dedication of the first Temple.
If they sin against you — for there is no one who doesn’t sin — and you are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, so that they carry them off captive to the land of their enemy, whether far away or nearby; then, if they come to their senses in the land where they have been carried away captive, turn back and make their plea to you in the land of those who carried them off captive, saying, ‘We sinned, we acted wrongly, we behaved wickedly if, in the land of their enemies who carried them off captive, they return to you with all their heart and being and pray to you toward their own land, which you gave to their ancestors, toward the city you chose and toward the house I have built for your name; then, in heaven where you live, hear their prayer and plea, uphold their cause, and forgive your people who have sinned against you — forgive their transgressions which they have committed against you, and give them compassion in the sight of their captors, so that they will show compassion toward them; for they are your people, your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of the flames of the iron furnace. 1 Kings 8:22-61
We know the word of King Solomon have come to pass through the life of the prophet Daniel who was carried off to Babylon, and who prayed three times a day towards Jerusalem , even at great peril to His life, and the Eternal delivered him from the lion’s den.
When you pray, look towards His city, His place. He will dwell there once again, and the our Messiah Yeshua will return to rule over us.
Then Adonai will go out
and fight against those nations,
fighting as on a day of battle.
On that day his feet will stand
on the Mount of Olives,
which lies to the east of Yerushalayim;
and the Mount of Olives will be split in half
from east to west, to make a huge valley.
Half of the mountain will move toward the north,
and half of it toward the south.
You will flee to the valley in the mountains,
for the valley in the mountains will reach to Atzel.
You will flee, just as you fled before the earthquake
By In the Shade of the Tent | March 28, 2014 at 03:52 PM EDT | No Comments
If I hadn’t believed that I would see
Adonai’s goodness in the land of the living,
Put your hope in Adonai, be strong,
and let your heart take courage!
Yes, put your hope in Adonai!
Psalm 27 ends with encouragement not to be afraid, but to put our hope in The Eternal. He will sustain you. Never in my life have I had so many terrible experiences in such a short period of time, (the last 6 years) where I have been continually bombarded. When life and all it’s trials hit us how do we respond - do we put our faith in people or their abilities, or do we trust in the One who is the Creator of all things and the Judge of all men? He will not allow you to stumble if you trust Him and obey His Word. He wants us to come to him - and as David says, with courage. Courage that we know He is there with us, sustaining us. Yes, trials will come, hardships, hurt feelings, and all manner of things will happen. Just remember He will never abandon you. Seven years ago, I could say that, but I didn’t “know” it. Now as I write to you, I not only know, but have confidence. He is our hope, He is our deliverer. Through Him we will be victorious!
By In the Shade of the Tent | March 07, 2014 at 02:41 AM EST | No Comments
Teach me your way, Adonai;
lead me on a level path
because of my enemies —
don’t give me up to the whims of my foes;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
also those who are breathing violence. Vs. 11-12
The level path or plain path is the Hebrew word miyshowr. It is a word that means equity (fairness), even place, righteously, and uprightness. He is the one who teaches us what righteousness is, and what it means to walk in His ways. In the book of Judges the children of Israel had gone into the land but the Eternal did not remove all of their enemies, to see if they would keep his commandments. They would invariably fall away and He would allow their enemies to torment them. They would then cry out to Him, and He would raise up a judge who would rescue them from their enemies and lead them in a level path. The judges of Israel were Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson. The period of time the judges covered was about 250 years. Later after the kingdoms were divided, Israel and Judah sinned so badly that The Eternal allowed them to be carried off into exile.
At this time we have a decision to make. Will we follow in the steps of our ancestors, or will we allow The Eternal to lead us on a level path? Our enemies are all around us waiting to devour us. He is the one who keeps us from false witnesses and those who wish to harm us, if for no other reason then we are seeking to walk uprightly. Let’s not do what is right in our own eyes, (Judges 17:6; 21:25) but walk according to His Way.
By In the Shade of the Tent | February 28, 2014 at 04:06 PM EST | No Comments
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take me up.
In Hebrew the word for father means “strength of the house” and the word for mother is “the one who binds the family together.” Two important parts of the family whose jobs are different but both necessary. King David reminds us that even if these two foundations, and loving supports leave us, want nothing to do with us, or passes from this life to the next, we are not alone. The Eternal is with us. He is not only with us, but He will take us up. What exactly does that mean? The Hebrew word for what is translated as up is “asaf”, a verb. It means to gather in, to receive (as in hospitality and protect), and also very interestingly, to bring up the rear.
For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For the Lord will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Isaiah 52:12
Often times the enemy will strick at the rear because we are facing forward, and can be easily caught off guard. However, The Eternal is our rear guard. He protects us. Look to Him, and your enemies will fall into the pit they have dug for you. Proverbs 28:10
Even if our own parents, whose names mean protection and support, forsake us, He will still love us, care for us, and protect us. He will become our father and mother.
Yeshua said that he would always be with us - even until the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20).
Remember you are not alone. The one true God, the Creator of the universe, your God, your King and your Father is with you.
By In the Shade of the Tent | February 21, 2014 at 04:50 PM EST | No Comments
Listen, Adonai, to my voice when I cry;
show favor to me; and answer me.
“My heart said of you, ‘Seek my face.’”
Your face, Adonai, I will seek. Psalm 27:7-8
Seeking the Face of the Eternal is to seek His Presence. How do we do this?
Therefore, submit to God. Moreover, take a stand against the Adversary, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded people! Wail, mourn, sob! Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into gloom! Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:7-10
Submitting to Him is to be satisfied with His will for your life. As I had written previously, we are to do His will, not He ours. In the ancient world a king had life or death of His subjects in his hands, and they knew it. We are alive in this moment because of His grace. Be obedient to Him and His will. Do not be double-minded. Do you profess Torah in public, but in your home it is another matter? We seek His Face by desiring that closeness with Him in our hearts and acting on it. Obeying His instructions in ALL aspects of our lives, not just the ones others can see. When we desire that closeness and walk in His ways He does reveal Himself, His Face.
There is a difference between His Face and His Hands. His Hands represent His actions, and we have no problem seeking this - “Father I need…”, however how many of us truly seek His Face? Yeshua taught, Therefore, do not be anxious or say, What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or what will we wear? For all these things the people of the world require and your Father in heaven also knows that you require all these things. But first seek the Kingdom of Elohim and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33 Aramaic English New Testament)
Put aside worrying about day to day issues and concentrate on Him. Obey Him, study the Word, and be diligent in your daily praise and prayers surrender yourself to His will and He will lift you up.
By In the Shade of the Tent | February 14, 2014 at 03:51 PM EST | No Comments
Just one thing have I asked of Adonai;
only this will I seek:
to live in the house of Adonai
all the days of my life,
to see the beauty of Adonai
and visit in his temple.
For he will conceal me in his shelter
on the day of trouble,
he will hide me in the folds of his tent,
he will set me high on a rock.
Then my head will be lifted up
above my surrounding foes,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, sing praises to Adonai. 27:4-6 (CJB)
Why does David say that the only thing he will seek is to live in the house of The Eternal? What does it mean to behold His beauty and to visit his temple? David tells us it is what he desired more than anything.That his heart longed for that beauty and that shelter. It is because His Presence is there - His Shekhinah. Shekinah means "dwelling or settling of the Divine Presence of God". Yeshua is the Shekhinah that came to dwell on earth.
The Word became a human being and lived with us,
and we saw his Sh’khinah, the Sh’khinah of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (CJB)
Let's not forget or diminish Messiah the Shekhinah - that dwells within us. He is our Advocate, our Rock, our Shekhinah. As we prepare to enter into Shabbat let us seek to dwell in the beauty of The Eternal, His Shekhinah Yeshua HaMashiach.
By In the Shade of the Tent | January 31, 2014 at 03:42 PM EST | No Comments
This is one of my favorite Tehilim. I remember saying it when I was child, and besides Tehillim 23, it is one that I could recite from memory. As the introduction for the Tehillim states in Artscroll Transliterated Linear Tehilliam/Psalms, The Eternal "provides comfort amid life's swirling waters of pain and disappointment." This Tehillim is traditionally recited during Yamim Noraim, the Ten Days of Awe. (between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur). It is not known exactly why, but the overwhelming theme, is hope in The Eternal at time when we are praying in a spirit of repentance not knowing what the new year will bring.
Adonai is my light and salvation;
whom do I need to fear?
Adonai is the stronghold of my life;
of whom should I be afraid?
When evildoers assailed me
to devour my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
they stumbled and fell.
If an army encamps against me,
my heart will not fear;
if war breaks out against me,
even then I will keep trusting. vs 1-3
Adonai is my light. Ephesians 5:13 states But everything exposed to the light is revealed clearly for what it is. He is the one who shines the light in the darkness. He sheds light so that we can see.
When reading these verses I am reminded of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem during the reign of King Hezekiah. This is recounted in 2 Kings chapters 18 and 19. Sennacherib, king of Assyria surrounded Jerusalem with an army 185,000 strong. You can read history or the Internet to get an understanding of the viciousness of the Assyrian army and how they were feared. Not only did they lay siege to Jerusalem, but as our enemies often do when they sense weakness, the general of the Assyrian army began to taunt the people behind the walls, telling them not to trust Hezekiah when he says Yahweh will save them, and then began to recount all of the other nations the mighty army had conquered, and how their gods were unable to save them. So great was the insult to our God that the men relaying the message to Hezekiah had torn their clothes. His response to the insult? He sought the word of the Eternal through the prophet Isaiah. What was this word? He said, "I will defend this city and save it, both for my own sake and for my servant David's sake. (2 Kings 19:34) Not because of anything they or we have done, but for Him, and the promises that He made and continues to keep to this day. That night, all 185,000 in the Assyrian army were killed by the the angel sent by The Eternal. When the king returned to Assyria, he was killed while worshipping his god by his own sons.
People ask, But how can I know that He will deliver me? How can we possibly know the greatness of our God, if we don't read the recounting of the mighty things He has done in Scripture? They were put there to encourage us, so we would know His wonders, and not fear or doubt. He is our fortified place, our defense, our rock. There are many times in our lives when we experience fear because our enemies. In this Psalm David is saying that because The Eternal is our light, salvation, and stronghold, who shall we fear? The answer is no one! No man, woman or situation when it comes against us will succeed. It may seem like they will, but even that is to glorify Him, because who can say it was anyone else but Him who made a way when there was no way. Stand strong and do not fear. The Creator of the universe, the Judge of all men, The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Hezekiah, and so many others who trusted in Him, is with us!
By In the Shade of the Tent | January 03, 2014 at 01:38 PM EST | No Comments
This week, I saw an article online that at first made me excited, and then as I read on I became saddened and then horrified. The article was "Surprising number of Americans Don't Believe in Evolution." Of course you can understand why that would make me excited. Unfortunately as I read the article, I learned that only 1 out of 3 Americans don't believe in evolution. According to the Pew Research Center only 1/4 of all adults believed in a supreme being who guided our creation. For me that amount is surprisingly low, and yes it saddened me. The horror came in when I read some of the people's comments to the article. Not only did they condemn and ridicule those of us who do believe, but mocked the One True God, Creator of heaven and earth, a God they don't even believe exists. Even though this is the way of the world we live in today, I was still surprised at the vehemence coming from unbelievers. I could literally feel the hatred and contempt.
In Tehillim 26, David spoke of his devotion to The Eternal, His kindness, wondrous deeds, and the shelter where His glory resides. He also spoke of evil doers, and those who consort with them.
We are not long for the tribulation to come, but the glory of the Eternal shall be revealed! He will arise to save all the humble of the earth. At that time may you be able to recite the words of Tehillim 26 with confidence -
By In the Shade of the Tent | December 27, 2013 at 07:34 PM EST | No Comments
My eyes are always directed toward Adonai,
for he will free my feet from the net. v. 15
Some of us continually try to fix our own circumstances. We find ourselves in impossible situations, often times by our own hand, we pray and then we try to "help". The Eternal, Creator of heaven and earth does not need our help. The saying - God helps those who helps themselves is found nowhere in Scripture, and is not a principle by which we are to live our lives. In fact those who follow this principle in Scripture end up in destruction, unless they repent.
Often times it is pride, and not be willing to "let go and let God". King Saul, the first King of Israel had this problem. His pride got in the way. His refusal to be obedient and repent to The Eternal cost him his kingdom, his life, and the lives of his sons.
Are you in circumstances beyond your control? He alone knows our hearts and our fears. He is the one who frees our feet from the net that entraps us. Be humble and look to The One who sustains us.
By In the Shade of the Tent | November 15, 2013 at 02:09 PM EST | No Comments
The earth is YHWH's and everything in it,
The world, and all who live in it. Tehillim 24:1
He brought everything into existence. There is not anything that was created that was not created by Him. And as creator everything belongs to Him.
All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. John 1:3
All things and all people, whether they acknowledge Him or not. The good as well as the bad, the poor as well as the rich; we are His, and we own nothing, because it is all belongs to Him. This is why Yeshua said if some one asks something of you to give it.
His will for your life should be your will as well, for He is our King - the one true God. I read an article a few years ago, on what it meant in Biblical times to actually come before a king. Kings were feared greatly because they held complete power over their subjects. Do you recall Esther going before the king of Persia? She was his favored wife but it made no difference. Only the King of kings could give her favor in his eyes.
Living in this modern age we believe that we have power over our own lives. If we ask the Eternal to guide us, do we really mean it, or do we only want what Him to do for us what we think is right for us.
Let's remember our great and mighty King who we serve, not regarding our own desires but only His will.
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Eternal is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom. Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 40:28
By In the Shade of the Tent | November 01, 2013 at 02:57 PM EDT | No Comments
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of YHWH forever. vs 6
His goodness on us is spiritual blessing, not getting everything we "want", as Yaacov the brother Yeshua teaches- …you pray and don’t receive, because you pray with the wrong motive, that of wanting to indulge your own desires. Yaakov (James 4:3) The goodness we want to follow us is not material, but knowing that when we seek Him with all our heart, soul and strength we receive spiritual blessing. Because we love Him, this should be our goal. Spiritual "success" is not to be confused with material gain. Even down to what we will eat or wear. Our Rav, Yeshua said it best when He said,
In other words, don’t strive after what you will eat and what you will drink — don’t be anxious. For all the pagan nations in the world set their hearts on these things. Your Father knows that you need them too. Rather, seek his Kingdom; and these things will be given to you as well. For where your wealth is there will your heart be also. Luke 12: 29-30, 34
To dwell in His house forever, is to be in His presence. This is what we truly should desire - to please Him, and to be in His presence, to seek after the One who grants wisdom, protection, healing, and provides us with all our needs.
For Your grace is better than life…. Tehillim 63:4
By In the Shade of the Tent | October 26, 2013 at 12:12 AM EDT | No Comments
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows. 23:5
While our enemies seek to bring us down and destroy us, The Eternal blesses us in their sight, that they may see the wondrous things He has done for us and realize that he is the one true God. For who knows - they may see His goodness and mercy towards us and repent. This verse reminds me of Pesach - Passover. It is the feast of our redemption - one of the moedim - appointed times. At the first Pesach, The Eternal delivered our ancestors from bondage in the very presence of the Egyptians, and there were some Egyptians and others who were not originally part of Israel who saw His judgements against Egypt and believed. The Eternal invites us to come and partake at His table, His feasts. Some receive the invitation and cast it aside. They believe they don't have to accept our Father's invitation, because they believe grace is a subsitute for obedience.
The practice of anointing with oil dates back to the time of Moses.The Hebrew for anointed in this verse is dashen, (Strong's 1878) which means to make fat, to satisfy. Our cup overflows. These are symbols of His blessings which he pours out on us when we obey His word. Do not reject His table, his blessings. Come before His presence with thanksgiving for the mighty wonders he has preformed and for His blessings which overflow!
By In the Shade of the Tent | October 18, 2013 at 01:42 PM EDT | No Comments
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me, vs 4b
The rod and staff of the shepherd are indispensable tools when with the sheep. The Hebrew word for rod is shaybet , (Strong's 7626) The word means a stick for punishing fighting, writing, walking, ruling, (as in scepter - a mark of authority), correction. The Hebrew word for staff is mishaynaw (Strong's 4938) and means a walking stick used for support, sustenance. And finally the Hebrew word for comfort is nawkham (Strong's 5162) and means to sigh, be sorry, to repent, to regret.
The rod for the ancient shepherd was the means by which he (or she) protected the sheep from predators. It is also how the sheep were kept from wandering off. There are some who did, and probably still believe that the word "rod" signifies punishment, as in the verse, He that spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24. Rod does not equal beating. It is defense and correction. Loving correction. If the sheep were being harshly disciplined do you think they would respond to the shepherd? What is the rod of The Eternal?
Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
It is His Word - His commandments, statutes, ordinances, and judgments. It is the very words He spoke to our ancestors from the mountain. It is the words He spoke through the prophets, and it is in the perfect teachings from our Messiah Yeshua. The Word not only is our correction, but it is also defense and protection. As the shepherd's staff is used to keep away dangerous predators, if we obey His Word, we are kept from falling into the predator's grasp.
After being out with the flock during the day, the shepherd then brings them to the fold.The ancient sheepfold was an outdoor enclosure, usually made of piled rocks in a circular design. There was only one entrance a small doorway that the sheep would pass through. The sheep would pass "under the rod" of the shepherd through the door to be counted to ensure that none were missing.
I will cause you to pass under he rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. Ezekiel 20:37
If any were missing, he will go out and find them and bring them back to the fold.
As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. Ezekiel 34:12
The word comfort not only means to be consoled, but it has a far greater meaning in the Hebrew. To sigh, to be sorry, to repent. When we are confronted by the rod we "sigh" we realize the we have sinned and we regret and repent.
May you find comfort in His rod and staff, The Word of The Eternal.
By In the Shade of the Tent | September 27, 2013 at 06:08 PM EDT | No Comments
Though I walk in a valley overshadowed by death, I will fear no evil for You are with me. v4
Reading this Tehillim as a child I thought this valley appeared when one was close to death, and that valley was a mysterious crossing we had to make before we could get to the other side.
My understanding as an adult is now a little different.We don't have to to be making the journey the bosom of Abraham to be in the valley overshadowed by death. That valley exists every day for those of us who are in exile, living in a Torah-less society, grieving because of the evil being done, and for those living in ignorance.
We are in a valley overshadowed by death when we are attacked by those we love, and when for no reason, strangers try to harm us; when we are ridiculed for our faith and because we love the Eternal and walk
in His ways.
Joseph was in that valley, as was David, Elijah, Hezekiah, and countless others. We have all been there and will continue to find ourselves crossing that valley.But remember that no matter how wide, deep or dark, we are never alone. The Eternal is always there with us.Do not fear
man or circumstances!I have seen first hand in my own life and the lives of others that even in the bleakest of circumstances.
H e is always there. He never leaves us.
The Eternal is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 118:6
I have also witnessed those who desired evil for me fall into the pit they dug for me.
Remember your Shepherd, the one watches over you, lovingly cares for you, and protects you from all dangers and snares.
By In the Shade of the Tent | September 13, 2013 at 02:40 PM EDT | No Comments
Yahweh is my shepherd:
I shall lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in Yahweh’s house forever.
The 23rd Psalm is probably one of the most recognized and read of all Tehillim. What a blessing that on the eve of Yom Kippur that this is our Tehillim today and going into Sukkot! I have begun to research the Hebrew perspective in order to give you a deeper understanding of this Tehillim. This is part 1. Part 2 will be posted next Friday on preparation day.
The metaphor of The Eternal as a shepherd describes His love and care for us. The task of Shepherd is one of the most discussed in Scriptures. The patriarchs and matriarchs were shepherds, David started out as a shepherd. Moses, who was raised in the house of Pharaoh, was then put to the task of shepherding for forty years before he would go on to lead Israel out of Egypt, as a shepherd of His people.
In our language, shepherd is mainly used as a noun, but in Hebrew it is a verb, word of action, because the shepherd is constantly tending the sheep. Guarding them from wolves and other predators, thieves, and from each other. I never understood the personalities of sheep until I owned a couple. Some years ago my husband gave me two lambs for mother's day. Not exactly a flock, but I was their shepherd. I used to let them out of their pen in the summer and sit outside and watch them graze. A very relaxing pastime, until they got into trouble. It is the shepherds job to look out for them and to be diligent in this charge. If one got not trouble it was pretty safe to assume that the other one would too. Sheep don't usually act independently of each other. It is not that they are stupid as some people believe, but they have a very strong flocking instinct. This means if one goes off the the wrong way, then the others probably follow which can lead to disaster if the shepherd is not vigilant.
The guardian of Israel never slumbers or sleeps. Psalm 121:4
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. vs. 2-3a
The shepherd has personal relationship with his flock. He is not only their protector, but he guides them to food and water. He looks after them when they are hurt, and retrieves any who have gone astray. Green pastures symbolize nourishment. He provides us nourishment from His Word. (Deuteronomy 8:3) Still waters signify shalom. He is the one who gives us peace beyond all understanding. (Phillipians 4:7)
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. vs. 3b
The shepherd also makes sure that the paths he leads the sheep on is one that will not overtax or exhaust the flock. So does our Master watch over us to protect us from straying from the right path. He protects us not only physically but spiritually as well.
As you enter in to Yom Kippur, I pray that you are led by the Good Shepherd. The one who gives us His shalom, and guides us into all truth.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, since he isn’t a shepherd and the sheep aren’t his own, sees the wolf coming, abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf drags them off and scatters them. The hired worker behaves like this because that’s all he is, a hired worker; so it doesn’t matter to him what happens to the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own, and my own know me — just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father — and I lay down my life on behalf of the sheep. John 10:11-15
Shabbat Shalom and may you have an easy fast!
G'mar Hatimah Tovah (May You Be Sealed for a Good Year in the Book of Life)
By In the Shade of the Tent | August 30, 2013 at 04:00 PM EDT | No Comments
Be not aloof from me for distress is near, for there is none to help.
Many bulls surround me,
Bashan's mighty ones encircle me.
They open their mouths against me like a tearing roaring lion
I am poured out like water,and all my bones are disjointed;
my heart is like wax, melted within my innards.
My strengths dried up like baked clay, and my tongue cleaves to my palate;
in the dust of death You have set me down. - Tehillim 22:12-16
This Psalm is known as one of the "Messianic prophecy psalms, but on this preparation day, I would like to focus on another part of this Tehillim. In the movie The Ten Commandments there is a scene where vs. 15 is quoted. The children of Israel are leaving Egypt, and a very old man who was so weak he could not even walk without help, quotes part of this verse to demonstrate how weak in body he is. Tehillim 105:37 tells us that when they left Egypt there was not one feeble person among them. My point is not to argue with the Hollywood version, (although I could write a small book on that) but to give you another side to the verses above, what they really mean, and to take some time to share praise of The Eternal with you.
Tehillim 22 was written by David, and we know he experienced great trials, and we understand why he wrote of being surrounded, and that his heart was like wax. However, until you are in a situation like this you can't really understand what it feels like. The hopelessness, the fear, and the despair can not even be imagined until you actually experience it yourself. A couple of months ago, I went through just that.
One of the reasons the trials and tribulations of men and women were put in the Bible is so that when we go through trials and tribulations we can have hope that The Eternal will deliver us. Sometimes we forget, or we think "that was a different time" or "He doesn't manifest Himself like that anymore." If He is not manifesting himself for you like He did for David, Yochabed, Elijah, Samson, Hannah, Hezekiah, Esther, and countless others then you ned to evaluate your relationship with Him and seek after Him. The Elohim of the men and women of the Bible is the same One that we worship and serve and He changes not! (Malachi 3:6)
The exact situations may differ because of the times we live in, but the outcome our enemies desire is the same: our defeat, our humiliation, our destruction. Over a year ago a situation began brewing in my life. I was devastated. As time went on it snowballed. "Many bulls surrounded me." Vicious lies were told and sins were committed in an effort to destroy me and my family. "They open their mouths against me like a tearing roaring lion." Some times the pain and hurt is made worse because the one inflicting it was someone you loved. Someone you cared for. The last person on earth you would ever suspect would cause you harm. David experienced this too.
For it is not my foe who reviles me, that I can endure; it is not my enemy who has magnified himself against me that I could hide from him. But it is you, a man of my measure, my guide, my intimate friend; together we would take sweet counsel, in the house of Elohim we would walk in company. Tehillim 55:13-15.
David was speaking here of Ahithophel. His friend and counselor who betrayed him and sided against him with Absolam. And while we are speaking of Absloam, the only worse pain from betrayal of friend is betrayal from your own child. Children sometimes choose to listen to the enemy's representative whispering in their ear (Ahithophel) rather than to listen to the one who truly loves and cares for them.
We finally reached a point in our circumstance where everything was going to be decided over a course of a three day period. All the pain, anguish, and fear that I went through over the past year had suddenly culminated within me. It was at that point that "my bones were poured out like water" and "my heart was like wax, melting within my innards" I called one of my sisters and we prayed together, and then I went on, because at that point no matter what happened, it was in His hands. When the time came, the enemy was confused and bewildered - just as the Midianites were before Gideon's army. I sat and watched The Eternal work a great victory on our behalf!
Yes, I was in despair just as David wrote, but the same God who rescued him and many others, saw me in despair and I rejoice because He promised us He would deliver us and He keeps His Word!
God is not a human who lies or a mortal who changes his mind. When he says something, he will do it; when he makes a promise, he will fulfill it. Numbers 23:19.
I proclaim Him to you (vs. 23) - Go with confidence because He does see you. He does care. He is still delivering. He is mighty and worthy to be praised! Halleluyah!
Our Father and King look upon your children and see those who are suffering, who are in despair, and who have been cast off. Raise them up and deliver them from every circumstance and from every enemy. No matter how dire the situation the battle is not ours, but Yours. For it is you who forgives our sins, heals our diseases and redeems our lives from the pit. Give us rest and refuge beneath the shadow of Your wings. We praise you and give thanks for your mercy. In Yeshua's name - Amein
By In the Shade of the Tent | May 10, 2013 at 05:09 PM EDT | No Comments
The name David means beloved, and indeed David was beloved of Elohim. Saul, however was not. In Tehillim 21, David tells us how blessed he is that the Eternal is his salvation, that he has rescued him, conferred on him splendor and honor, and lengthened his days. What was the difference between David and Saul? They both sinned. David was forgiven, Saul condemned. David loved the Eternal. His heart sought Him, and He strove to obedience. When he fell into sin, he was forgiven because he truly repented. Of course there were consequences of his sin and David lived with that for the rest of his life, but his heart still sought the One True God.
Saul was disobedient and sinned also, but there was no real repentance and no real love for The Eternal . Yeshua said "Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also." Saul's heart was in the pride of his accomplishments.
I encourage you all to be like David and to strive for what is right, without care or pride of what you have or may accomplish, and knowing that all good things you receive come from Him. Set your eyes on Him, follow His Torah, and walk as talmidim of Yeshua. If you stumble do not wallow in your sin. Repent and seek forgiveness. Serve the Eternal, and place your wealth not in worldly things or accomplishments. For where your wealth is, so will your heart be.
For the king puts his trust in Adonai,
in the grace of Elyon; he will not be moved. Tehillim 21:7
By In the Shade of the Tent | May 03, 2013 at 04:55 PM EDT | No Comments
May YHWH answer you on the day of distress. May the name of the God of Jacob make you impregnable. vs 4
The Eternal has many names. These names describe His attributes. For instance YHWH-rohi Is Yahweh is my shepherd, YHWH yireh is Yahweh is my provider. It is very acceptable to call on Him using this names. In Scripture He is also referred to as The God of Israel and the God of Jacob. In Tehillim 20:4 David says May the name of the God of Jacob make you impregnable.
Why does he call him specifically the God of Jacob, and not Abraham or Isaac? Of all the fathers, Jacob endured the most hardship. He was forced to flee from Esau into exile. Years of servitude under Laban, being wed to the wrong woman, and then serving again for the one he did want, death of his beloved Rachel, Dinah's rape, the bad behavior of his eldest sons, (Reuben, Simeon, and Levi), loss of his son Joseph, and finally another exile in Egypt. Jacob had a very hard life, and disappointment after disappoint. Jacob himself said when addressing Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.” Genesis 47:9. David also had his troubles. Their lives tells us that our lives will not always be peachy. Obedience to Torah doesn't mean we will not have problems, but we know that The Eternal will not abandon us. He will see us through and gives us His protection.
He is our master, the one who looks out for our well being, vindicates, and rescues us from all danger. I praise Him for all that He is doing in all our lives. Recently a man tried to cause much damage to our family. He was a wolf in sheep's clothing. As with all wolves it is difficult to pretend to be a sheep for long. It is simply not in their nature. As time when on, I know something was not right, but The Eternal knew the whole story and as I look back now, I see His powerful Hand and how He guided us to the truth. This man was a danger to my family and to my granddaughter. He is sitting in a prison cell today, because although he caused many problems and trials for us, our Salvation and Protection covered us!
I love you, YHWH, my strength!
YHWH is my Rock, my fortress and deliverer,
my God, my Rock, in whom I find shelter,
my shield, the power that saves me,
my stronghold. I call on YHWH, who is worthy of praise;
By In the Shade of the Tent | April 19, 2013 at 03:20 PM EDT | No Comments
Natures reveals to us that The Eternal does exist and Torah show us how to relate to Him.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament tells of His handiwork. vs. 2
I remember the first time I looked up at the sky through a telescope. We lived in the country then, far away from city lights and at night the summer the night sky was magnificent but through a telescope it was breathtaking. All I could think of as the tears formed in my eyes, was my Elohim and the wondrous splendor He had created. We all tend to take for granted His glorious creation. Rushing around from day to day, how often do we stop and look around us and glorify Him for all He has made? We are all familiar with the phrase, stop and smell the roses? It means we need to slow down every now and then and appreciate what is around us. I agree, but I would amend it to say, stop, smell the roses and thank the Creator of all things and judge of all men! One of the purposes of creation is that they point to The Eternal as our creator. And if He cares for the smallest of His creations, how more so then for us?
“And why be anxious about clothing? Think about the fields of wild irises, and how they grow. They neither work nor spin thread, yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed as beautifully as one of these. If this is how God clothes grass in the field — which is here today and gone tomorrow, thrown in an oven — won’t he much more clothe you? What little trust you have!“So don’t be anxious, asking, ‘What will we eat?,’ ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘How will we be clothed?’ For it is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Don’t worry about tomorrow — tomorrow will worry about itself! Today has enough tsuris already! (Matthew 6:28-34 CJB)
The Torah of YHWH is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of YHWH is trustworthy, making the simple wise. The orders of YHWH are upright, gladdening the heart; the command of YHWH is clear, enlightening the eyes. (vs 8-9)
One of the analogies that Scripture gives us to describe our relationship to The Eternal is that of parent and child. A parent cares for their child when they are an infant, and provides all their needs, but as the child grows and learns, the parent expects that child to be obedient to him. "Don't touch that." "Don't go there." "Don't put that in your mouth!" Stating that YHWH is love and we have no need of Torah in our lives, would be the same as telling a child, "I love you! Do whatever you want!" That is not the message I received as a child, nor did any other child I I knew who had responsible and loving parents. The message was, "These are the rules. I want you to learn the difference between right and wrong because I love you."
Also - when Your servant is scrupulous in them there is great reward. vs. 12
Scrupulous means to be diligent, meticulous. We are to be careful in keeping His instructions, and being obedient brings blessings.
As you prepare to follow His Torah and enter into His Sabbath rest, take some time to give thanks for the beauty of His creation that surrounds you, whether it be the budding trees of spring, the beauty of sunset, blanket of stars in the sky or majestic mountains.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them. On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. Genesis 2:1-2
By In the Shade of the Tent | April 12, 2013 at 10:41 AM EDT | No Comments
This Tehillim was written by David before he was king. He had many enemies, including Saul who was the current king. They all had one thing in common, they wanted to destroy David. We like David, have enemies. Some call themselves our friends. (My daughter calls these frenemies.) The pain from this betrayal is worse than from the one who we know hates us. David loved Saul. He fought for him, he and Saul's son, Jonathan were like brothers, and he married Saul's daughter, Michal. The pain of having someone close to you trying harm you (whether bodily or otherwise) is very often difficult to describe. David said it this way:
The cords of death surrounded me.
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
The cords of Sheol were around me.
The snares of death came on me. (v. 4-5)
The thing we must to remember, is that no matter how bad the circumstances, the Eternal will rescue you from every trap set by those who desire to harm you.
I call on Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised; and I am saved by my enemies. v.3
Why was David and so many others confident that He would rescue them? People who owned slaves in this country use the Scriptures to justify what they were doing, however they made the mistake of applying their circumstances to a culture that they had very little understanding of. Western slavery benefitted the rich, but Israelite slavery benefited the poor. The word servant in Hebrew is eved. It means bondservant. In Scripture it was usually the bondservant who requested the servitude mainly for reasons of poverty. There was a contract between the owner and the servant. They would agree to do x-y-z, and the owner would provide food, shelter, and protection. The instructions for bondservants were the first ones given to the children of Israel after the Ten Commandments. In other words, this is something we should be paying attention to. Simeon (at Yeshua's circumcision), Paul, Timothy, James, Peter, and Jude referred to themselves as bondservants. The prophets before Yeshua definitely were. If you have said you will follow The Eternal, and live according to His Torah and have pledged to serve Him, then you are His bondservant. He provides for all your needs and is your protection.
Yeshua, our Messiah, and greatest Torah teacher expounded on the Torah. He taught us how to serve. We are not free, we are bondservants to our God! Our protection, retribution, and vindication belongs to the One that we serve. So serve Him with boldness and do not fear.
By In the Shade of the Tent | March 29, 2013 at 06:50 PM EDT | No Comments
This is the perfect Tehillim for going into this Shabbat and as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Messiah. It was written by David, and in it he talks about death, eternal life, and resurrection. Some people who believe in Yeshua but do not keep Torah, have no idea that these concepts were even established before "Jesus".
The fact that David was discussing these subjects tells us that these matters were very much understood at that time. There is no mystery here. It is really quite simple. Job said,
But I know that my Redeemer lives,
that in the end he will rise on the dust;
so that after my skin has been thus destroyed,
then even without my flesh, I will see God.
I will see him for myself,
my eyes, not someone else’s, will behold him.
rescue my soul from the wicked one, who is your sword. ( v.13b)
Some time when we are attacked we are being chastened. The wicked may think they are acting on their own, but actually they are executing The Eternal's judgements. This is a theme dominate throughout the Tanak.
O to be among those who die by your hand YHWH. who die of old age - whose portion is eternal life. (v. 14)
To die of old age is a blessing from The Eternal. He blesses us so that we can pass the blessings down upon our children. (v. 14b)
And I because of righteousness I shall behold your face, upon wakening I will be sated by your image. (v.15)
Shabbat Shalom to you all. May you be blessed as you commemorate the resurrection of our Messiah Yeshua. We agree with Job, that we know our redeemer lives, and though our bodies be destroyed, in our flesh we shall see our God!
By In the Shade of the Tent | March 22, 2013 at 06:17 PM EDT | No Comments
Preserve me, God, for in you do I take refuge.
My soul, you have said to Yahweh, “You are my Lord.
Apart from you I have no good thing.”
As for the saints who are in the earth,
they are the excellent ones in whom is all my delight.
Their sorrows shall be multiplied who give gifts to another god.
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
nor take their names on my lips.
Yahweh assigned my portion and my cup.
You made my lot secure.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
I will bless Yahweh, who has given me counsel.
Yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set Yahweh always before me.
Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my tongue rejoices.
My body shall also dwell in safety.
For you will not leave my soul in Sheol,
neither will you allow your holy one to see corruption.
You will show me the path of life.
In your presence is fullness of joy.
In your right hand there are pleasures forever more.
As we prepare for Sabbath and also to get as much done of Passover prep as possible, it was nice to stop and reflect on the words of this Tehillim.
He is the one in whom we seek shelter. Is there anyone who can protect us as He can?
As we prepare our homes, and our hearts to partake of Passover, we remember those who still walk in error. Those who give gifts to another god will experience sorrow. We pray that The Eternal will open the eyes of the blind and cause them to see the truth and walk in it.
He is the one who gives good counsel and instructs us in righteousness. We will put His ways always before us. Not only our souls, but our bodies will dwell safely.
My heart is full of joy. Joy for all of you preparing to meet Him on His day of rest, joy as we prepare to commemorate the feast of freedom from Egypt, but also our freedom from sin and death. How blessed we all are!
By In the Shade of the Tent | March 15, 2013 at 04:10 PM EDT | No Comments
1 YHWH who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.
For those seeking a closer relationship with YHWH, this Tehillim tells how it can be achieved. To dwell in His sacred tent, His mountain - not literally, but we can spiritually be there. I have met people during my life that were in that place. We all should seek constantly everyday to dwell with Him.
"Those whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous." In a word - Torah. But those of us who are Natsari, need to not only obey Torah, but to learn the principles of Torah taught by our Rav, the Mashiach Yeshua, for He is the greatest Torah teacher!
"Whose tongue utters no slander who does no wrong to a neighbor, and cast no slur on others." Even if they have wronged you, or spoken falsely against you, do not repay with like behavior. We serve the One True God, Creator of the universe. He fights our battles, and indeed has given us victory through Yeshua.
"Who despises a vile person, but honors those who fear YHWH" The word ma'ac is translated here as vile. One of it's meanings is one who rejects. Do not admire, praise, or compliment those who reject YHWH. Rather admire those who serve and fear Him.
"Who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind"
Wow! No need to say anything about that. Sometimes it's just good to let the words speak for themselves.
"Who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent." When you lend or give money to help the poor do not expect to receive anything extra back for it, and do not lie about those who are innocent or accept money or goods to give false testimony.
"Whoever does these things will never be shaken." If you follow the above then nothing coming against you will succeed. The Eternal will carry you on eagle's wings, and you will dwell with Him.
By In the Shade of the Tent | February 01, 2013 at 04:12 PM EST | No Comments
When YHWH restores the captivity of His nation, Jacob will exult, Israel will rejoice. Tehillim 14:7
Sin abounds. More and more people say in their hearts, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and practice abominations. David was writing about what he saw in his time, but he could very easily be talking about today. The world has forgotten The Eternal. However there is a remnant. We live in exile. He gazes upon the earth and to see who seeks after Him and follows His ways, and we will be gathered together when He restores the captivity of His people.
By In the Shade of the Tent | January 25, 2013 at 05:17 PM EST | No Comments
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David. How long, Yahweh? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart every day? How long shall my enemy triumph over me? Behold, and answer me, Yahweh, my God. Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death; lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed against him;" Lest my adversaries rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your loving kindness. My heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to Yahweh, Because he has been good to me.
This is not the song of a person who suddenly got bombarded with a catastrophe, and needs deliverance right at that moment. This is the song that you pray when you have been going through adversity for a long time and seems like everywhere you turn the enemy is gaining ground, and there isn't a single thing you can do about it. You pray and pray, and cry and pray some more. It isn't that you have lost faith. You're just TIRED! Your tired because you have been enduring for a long, long time. I know exactly how this feels because I have been enduring one particular trial for over a year now. Those of us who are going through a seemingly never-ending hardship or ordeal, don't believe that The Eternal has forgotten us, but our weariness overcomes us, and so we cry out as did David. However, he will give us rest - rest from our ordeals and from our enemies. How many times did David feel despair? Did Elohim leave him in that pit, even though sometimes his own sin caused him to fall into it? No and he will not leave us. After crying out to Him in his anguish David ends with "I will sing unto Yahweh, because he has been good to me."
Our problems may seem like a dark and never ending night, but we are never defeated.Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning! Amein.
By In the Shade of the Tent | January 18, 2013 at 04:41 PM EST | No Comments
You YHWH will guard them, you will preserve each one forever from such a generation, in which the wicked walk on very side, when baseness is exalted among the sons of men.12:8-9
Tehillim 12 deals with the abuse of the righteous, the poor, the needy. At such a time YHWH will arise and preserve them. This at a time "when baseness is exalted among men". The Hebrew word translated as "baseness" is zalal. It means to be morally loose, worthless, a glutton, riotous, vile. Has there ever been a time than the days we are living in right now that this is more true? Where people act in a despicable ways contrary to morality and the Torah? There was a time when certain behaviors were considered wrong, and those who participated in them were ostracized. But now we are living in a time when actions against others and behaviors are acceptable.
However, there a coming a time when the cries of the needy, the oppressed, those who mourn for lack of righteousness will be rescued by The Eternal. He will say, "Now I will arise!" (vs. 6). If you are oppressed, in need, despised, mourning of the lack of love and righteousness in the world, cry out to Him. He will hear you, and He will save and preserve you.
By In the Shade of the Tent | January 11, 2013 at 02:37 PM EST | No Comments
Happy Preparation Day! So sorry that I have been absent the past few weeks. The enemy is busy, but the battle has already been fought and won. The victory is ours!
Today's preparation day Tehillim is Psalm 11. There are two parts of this Tehillim that stood out to me. The first is verse 1.
For the Conductor; by David. In YHWH I have taken refuge. How dare you say to me: "Flee from your mountain like a bird!"
David is confronting those who tell him not to put his trust in the Eternal. No matter how dire the circumstances He does rescue and save us from our enemies. In 2 Kings 19, during the reign of King Hezekiah, the Assyrians invaded Judah and surrounded Jerusalem with 185,000 men. King Sennacherib of the Assyrians demanding their surrender stating that the gods of Assyria were stronger than the God of Judah. Hezekiah prayed, and Isaiah told him that the Eternal would deliver them. The next morning everyone of those 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were dead.
There are many that would like to harm us, to humiliate us and the God we believe in. They want us to live in fear, and they say "Your God is not real! We are our god!" As David said, how dare they?!
The second part of the Tehillim I want to mention is the very end. Verse 7 says:
For YHWH is righteous, He loves men of righteous deeds - those whose faces behold uprightness.
What are righteous deeds? The Hebrew word for righteous is tsadaq which means walking a straight line. How do we walk a straight line? Torah. When we obey Torah we walk the straight line.
The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5:16b
May you be blessed as you prepare to enter into His Sabbath rest.
By In the Shade of the Tent | December 07, 2012 at 04:17 PM EST | No Comments
Tehillim 10 begins with two questions - Why YHWH do you stand aloof? Why do you conceal yourself during times of distress? We all feel this way at times. Even though in our hearts we know it is not true. He has promised never to leave or forsake us. Man may fail us but our Elohim is not a man. Yes, the wicked will attack us. If you read Scripture we are not alone. The wicked believe that they can do whatever they want because they are convinced there is no God, therefore, no Divine Judge. (vs. 4) He does however, observe their mischief (vs.14). The helpless, the orphan, the humble, and the downtrodden he will defend. (vs. 15-17).
In ancient times when one had a grievance they went before the king who was considered wise and would render judgment. These were but mere men. How much more so will we be vindicated and righteous judgment rendered because we worship and serve the King of Kings! YHWH is King, forever and and ever. (vs. 16)
The Eternal will guide our hearts and will attend our cause. Do not allow yourself to be terrified of your circumstance, or of those who would harm you, for YHWH does see our plight and He is our champion. (vs.18)
By In the Shade of the Tent | November 30, 2012 at 04:35 PM EST | No Comments
Yahweh, place your mastery over them, that the peoples may know they are but frail men. 9:21
This is the last verse of Tehillim 9. Often there are those who feel they are above Yah and His word. They want to put Him in a box, and only take Him out when they need Him, or when they feel it is time to confront someone else with their sin. They make their own successes and are in charge of their own destiny. This however, is the furthest thing from the truth. The next breath we take is only because He allows it. (Tehillim 104:29). For some it is a difficult concept, because they are caught up in their own importance. But He says, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your way and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9.
Today I read an email from a teacher of the Word, and he wrote something that I thought was quote profound. It was, "Our life is not our own. We were born and no one gave us a choice of where we want to be born, who our parents will be, what color hair we are going to have, and if we want to keep our hair or be bald headed. The only real choice that we have is our fear of God. We are free to chose only this one most significant choice of our life, do we believe in God and trust Him, or do we deny Him."
Choosing to obey Him is to put Yah as master of our lives. When we do we realize how far above us He is and that we are but frail men.
By In the Shade of the Tent | October 19, 2012 at 03:27 PM EDT | No Comments
How majestic is your name! In all the heavens and earth there is no God but our God. He is our master. He is our salvation! He is the creator of all things and judge of all men. Look at the stars, the sun, the moon. He created these things and placed them in the heavens. Who are we, that you should care about us? As we enter in to your Shabbat, let us remember the majesty of your name, your salvation, your lovingkindness, your mercy, and your forgiveness. Amein!
By In the Shade of the Tent | October 12, 2012 at 01:17 PM EDT | No Comments
Falling in their own pit. This is how Tehillim 7 describes the one who makes evil plans against you. The Hebrew word for pit in this passage relates to a cistern. In Biblical times cisterns were dug or carved out of rock, and were usually 15-20 feet deep, but the opening was only 2 -3 feet wide and covered with a rock to keep out debris. During the season of rainfall in Israel these cisterns would capture the water and would then be used as a reservoir. Cisterns were also used to imprison a person. Much planning would go into digging a cistern (pit). Location, depth, width, etc. were all important considerations. Imagine gong through all that trouble, and then somehow falling into the pit you had dug. Seems pretty impossible, but that is exactly what The Eternal says will happen to those set out to destroy you. They have made a plan, dug the pit, but in the end what they planned for you will come upon them.
My protection lies with Elohim who saves the upright of heart Tehillim 7:11
By In the Shade of the Tent | October 05, 2012 at 05:33 PM EDT | No Comments
This is Psalm is prayed by one who is in a complete state of desolation. You are in distress, misery, fearful and hopelessness abounds with no way of escape. Have you been there? I have and will be again. Because we will live for Him and obey His commandments the enemy seems to be around every corner. Saul obsessed, hunted David constantly and it seemed there was no help for him. This Tehillim reveals how David felt. feeble, (v6) and in utter terror (v4).
Why did the Eternal allow David to suffer in this way? Why does He allow us to go through our trials and tribulations. I believe just as He was preparing David, strengthening him for the time when he would actually reign over Israel, the Eternal is also doing that same work in us. We don't know what the future is going to hold, but we are going through battles and trails to strengthen us for that time. We have to learn now that it is YHWH alone who hears prayers, rescues and sustains His people. Our enemies will be shamed and utterly confounded. (v11) How will we know this is everything is always smooth sailing? How will we know He will defeat our enemies if everyone loves us and shows us kindness? He does hear us, and accepts our pleas. We are His children. If you are going through difficulties do not worry. Just trust him. We don't need to know how the victory will be won. As my husband said only today, "It has already been decided in heaven."
By In the Shade of the Tent | September 14, 2012 at 10:57 AM EDT | No Comments
Do not be persuaded by any other way! As we approach Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) and the Ten Days of Awe, (the days from Yom Teruah to Yom Kippur in which we reflect upon our lives and teshuvah - return) understand that The Eternal despises all evil doers, revelers will not stand (vs6) and those who deceive will be condemned (v7). He alone is our refuge, and to Him alone do we cry out towards His Set Apart Place. (vs 3, 8 12).
YHWH will declare those who do evil guilty and they will be cast away (vs 11), while those who take refuge in Him and follow His ways will be sheltered (vs 12). He will bless the righteous. (vs 13)
Before Shabbat begins this evening spend some time with The Eternal. Renew your relationship with Him. Teshuvah!
Come, and let us return to YHWH; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. Hosea 6:1
By In the Shade of the Tent | August 31, 2012 at 01:30 PM EDT | No Comments
When I call answer me, O God of my vindication. 4:1 To vindicate is to clear from an accusation. I’m sure that we all have experienced being falsely accused or blamed for something that was not our fault. The Eternal knows and sees all, and even when we think the situation is hopeless, He is the one who vindicates us. What about when we are accused rightly? Through Yeshua we receive forgiveness from all of our sins.
Make teshuvah (return) to Him who is able to remove your sins as far as the east is from the west.
Be aware that YHWH has set aside the devout one for himself. 4:4 In troubling times we must remember that we need to wait on Him. We serve Him, not the other way around, and He has separated us for Him and His purpose. We should not go around lamenting our situations as one who has no hope. Our hope is in The Eternal because we serve the Creator of all things and the Judge of all men.
As David says, “In peace and harmony, I lie and sleep; for you, YHWH will make me dwell safe and secure. 4:9. Even when we are threatened by enemies all around, we sleep in peace and harmony because the God we serve keeps us safe and secure.
May you rest secure this Shabbat in the knowledge of His protection.
By In the Shade of the Tent | August 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM EDT | 2 comments
King David wrote this Psalm when he fled from his son Absolam who attempted an almost successful coup against his father. Imagine a child you loved, nurtured, educated, supported, and forgave, suddenly took counsel with men, whose clear aim was to destroy you? It is difficult to imagine that a child could turn against his father or mother, but it does happen. And if it happens to you, you will feel as though your heart has been ripped out. Even more so when The Eternal righteously judges the offender.
The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son! 2 Samuel 18:33.
Absolam had broken the commandment to honor his father and his mother, murdered his brother, and attempted to overthrow not just his father but The Eternal's anointed king. However David still loved his son and feared for the righteousness judgment that would surely come - "Is the young man Absolam safe?"2 Samuel 18:29.
Absolam did not repent of his sin, but instead joined together with men David had once called friends, and whose aim was to annilhilate him. They they had thought "Elohim will not deliver him.". Tehillim 3:2b
David knew that The Eternal would be his Shield and Deliverer against any who would seek his kingdom or his life. He is our salvation, no matter the hopelessness of the situation - even when the betrayal comes from our own child.
Pray for your children daily, that they do not turn away from following the narrow way, and that The Eternal will keep them safe from the influences of evil men and women.
By In the Shade of the Tent | March 26, 2011 at 04:15 PM EDT | No Comments
It is preparation day, 5:30 PM; 105 minutes until Shabbat starts, and at this moment I am sitting in my vehicle writing this week’s blog entry by longhand in the parking lot of a ballet school because my daughter had a last minute rehearsal for her recital. Oh well...this is part of what we endure living in exile. The rest of the world has no idea that asking a mother who keeps Shabbat to go out on preparation day for any length of time is the last thing she would ever want or think of doing. Isn’t it interesting that while the whole world is thinking TGIF, (and in a way so are we!) and ready to let their hair down and party, we are preparing to enter into His presence and rest? Well, I’ll save that pondering for another time. :)
This week I would like to look at verse 11 of Tehillim (Psalm) 2.
Serve Yahweh with awe, that you may rejoice when there is trembling.
I know what it is like to tremble with fear. It is not a happy place. When I was 15 years old, I found myself in a place that I had no business being in and I was scared out of mind. I was doing some serious trembling! I began to pray. - and I mean EARNEST prayer. What happened was nothing short of a miracle straight from the pages of Scripture, because I found myself back in safety. Just like Phillip was “caught away” when he was with the Ethiopian in Acts 8. I can say with definite assurance that our Master Yahweh is indeed wondrous and awesome, and a mighty deliverer!
This verse was quite appropriate this week, given Japan’s nuclear disaster and the affect it may have on the rest of the world. Now, I am not going to get into the question of the radiation levels and whether we should take potassium iodide or not. The point that I do want to make is that there was a lot of trembling going on when it was announced that the jet stream was going to bring radiation right across the northern hemisphere. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned. But what does the psalmist tell us? When we serve the Master of the Universe, the one true Elohim - with awe - you will be rejoicing. Why? Because He is a mighty deliverer! Our faith is a not social event. We are not new agers or humanists, nor worshippers of wood or stone. Our God lives! Is there any situation that He can not save you from? I think not. The entire world could go up in flames, but you will not be singed.
There is no doubt that things will get a lot worse, and we need need to start working diligently now , putting away that fear, and be concerned about serving YAH. Then when there is trembling, you will be rejoicing, not in the suffering of others, but in the way He has brought you out, just as our ancestors rejoiced at their liberation from Egypt after the night of terror.
Since I brought up Japan, I would like to say one more thing. I was quite distressed that after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that many Torah obedient believers on the Internet were doing some Monday morning quarterbacking, listing all of the sins of Japan, and it was a little appalling. Please, please do not make the mistake of thinking that you will not go through judgment. Remember that our ancestors had to endure some of the plagues of Egypt, before YAH set a difference between Egypt and Israel. I’m not sure about you but I struggle through everyday. Each year at Yom Kippur, we fast and pray. It is the day when YAH is judging the world. We are not sitting haughtily recounting the sins of others, but repenting of our own sins and praying for mercy.
Moriah told me about a scene she witnessed in Japan on the news. People had been standing in line for hours for water. Some of these people hadn’t had water in days. Yet, when an elderly person got into line, young people who had already gotten their water would give it to them , and then get back into the line.Respecting your elders is a Torah command.
You shall rise up before the gray head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh.Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:32
Remember the words of Rav Shaul.
Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn't fall. 1 Corinthians 10:11-12
Keep the people of Japan in your prayers.
Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek Yahweh: look to the rock whence you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him, and made him many.