Shalom Fellow Israelite,
These days the airways resonate with one particular name, “Donald Trump”. Without belittling that which is beyond comparison to the said person, I cannot help but take note of the “trump” part as it is greatly appropriate for this season, when we need to be especially attuned to the sound of YHVH’s “trump” – t’ruah. Last week we wrote about Tish’a Be’av and the reasons for the destruction of both the first and second temples. I also want to remind the Northern Israelites that the Tabernacle, which stood in Shilo in the mountains of Ephraim for over 350 years, with a city built around it, which was ultimately destroyed for the same reasons; rebellion (sin and iniquity) against YHVH and his testimonies, statutes and commands.
“Yet they [Northern Israelites] tested and provoked the Most High Elohim, and did not keep His testimonies, but turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; They were turned aside like a deceitful bow. For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, and moved Him to jealousy with their carved images. When Elohim heard this, He was furious, and greatly abhorred Israel” (Psalm 78:56-59). (So much so that the House of Yosef lost his inheritance.) “Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph, and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, but chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved” (Psalm 78:67-68). But now grace has been extended to us again through faith in the resurrected life of our Messiah Yeshua, to the glory of our Father (Romans 4:18-24). Thus the following scripture seems most appropriate as we prepare for the fall feasts: "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trump; Tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1 emphasis added).
Last week’s article ended with: “O house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of YHVH” (Isaiah 2:5b). When we walk into His light and righteousness, the darkness of sin will be revealed. (By the way, one of the very first Zionist organizations, which was formed in the Ukraine in 1882, used part of this verse – O House of Jacob come and let us walk…- for their name. Combining the first Hebrew letter of each of those words formed the acronym BILU).
For the past few months, planning of the 2nd Bney Yosef National Congress, we have been seeking the Father for direction. The above scriptures confirmed the course in which He has been leading: repentance, and reconciliation, without which there can be no unity, no nation, and no return.
“Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of YHVH shall be your rear guard” (Isaiah 58:8).
Last week we focused on Isaiah 60, and this week verse 8 of chapter 58 caught my attention, especially the last half. “…your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of YHVH shall be your rear guard”. “Go before you” is “halach le’fane’cha”. “Halach” is “walking, going”, with reference to the righteousness which makes up the Light. In a figurative way “halach” can mean “manner of life” or “behavior”. “Lefa’ne’cha” is literally “before your face”, thus your righteousness is seen in your actions; it goes before you or marks your presence, it is your spiritual face - “panim”. The last word in this sentence is “rear guard”, in Hebrew “asaph”, with its main meaning being “to gather, assemble, collect”. It is also the root of the name Yosef. Do these few words hint at the incumbent conditions upon the sons of Yosef, in order for their/our ingathering to take place?
We pray that each and every day will afford us opportunities to be more sensitive to the still small voice telling us to “walk” on the paths of righteousness (which leads to our inheritance) for His name sake.