Reminiscing on Sukkot
We just returned from celebrating the feast of Sukkot in Jerusalem. As usual it was glorious to be in the place YHVH chose to put His Name for this appointed time. Every encounter we had, whether planned or not, positive or negative, was meaningful and contributed to making our time in Jerusalem special. Let us share some of this wonderful experience with your via our annual picture report.
Yom Kippurim and the sins of our fathers
When we consider the world, we may be led to mistakenly believe that we can sin with impunity. However, sin without consequence does not exist. It may appear that ungodly people prosper more than the godly. They seem to be blessed in all areas of their lives, but if you look deeper, you will often find emptiness, heartache and depression. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be unique to unbelievers, we find the same pain amongst believers. This pain in both groups is eased with obsessions or addictions: work, ministry, prescription drugs, alcohol, co-dependent relationships, sex or thrills. We said that sin without punishment does not exist, but we don’t always see this punishment. How are we to understand this?
Making your voice heard on high
The next three appointed times on YHVH’s calendar is approaching, Yom T’ruah, Yom Kippurim, and Sukkot. It is always a good thing to “take stock” of our spiritual condition before we observe these days. Especially Yom Kippurim, a day of humbling ourselves before YHVH. It is part of Jewish tradition to do introspection for forty days before Yom kippurim, the month of Elul and the Ten days of Awe (the first ten days of Tishri.) The word “elul” means search, so this is very appropriate as we search our hearts during this time. People examine themselves and forgive and ask forgiveness of those they have wronged. Though we should be doing this all the time, I find it a good tradition. It’s like a spiritual house cleaning before the fall feasts. I am currently reading through the book of Isaiah, and Isaiah 58, struck a cord with me and it fits in very well with this context of searching our hearts. It showed me that only keeping YHVH’s commandments is not enough. If we only keep YHVH’s commandments, we are participating in false worship. This may seem like a harsh statement, but allow me to explain.
YHVH’s provision in the Sabbatical year
YHVH is in control of everything, He controls the weather, He gives rain in its season and He makes the plants grow. We believe YHVH has led us to keep the Sabbatical year of 2016 and we are doing it out of love for Him. This here is a report to show you what He is doing.
Cleaning out the chimney, the past and the leaven
YHVH is very practical. He uses things that happen in our lives to teach us and to help us grow in Him. This week has been one of those weeks. A week of growing in many respects. We are busy with renovation work and had the chimney cleaned. We also had a blockage in our sewage line which had to be cleaned out. YHVH used these two occasions to teach us. I think He used two incidents, because He may have wanted to make sure we get it. Let me share with you how, it may help you as well.
The wave sheaf and the sabbatical year
Nobody can deny that YHVH is in control of everything. We read of YHVH’s greatness throughout scripture. In Job 37:1-39:30, and in many other passages, YHVH’s greatness is described. How He has made and controls nature, the weather, and every living creature. He causes the lightning to strike, the rain to fall; He causes the wind to blow. YHVH is in control! If we believe this, which we and most people do, we cannot deny that YHVH was in control of what happened this year with the barley. YHVH made the rain fall, He caused the barley and other grains to germinate, it is also He who caused it to grow and develop the way it did. I believe YHVH did this for several reasons.