Every day we get up and face life with all its challenges. Life can be difficult and often is. We all suffer in some way and some, like Job, suffer in many ways at the same time. It seems to me, from personal experience, but also from speaking to other people, that life’s challenges have increased. Have you noticed it too? Not only are we facing increasing natural disasters, threats to our freedom, personal issues, but spiritually things have heated up as well. We live under immense pressure and it is increasing.
Why is this? Could it be that YHVH is trying to show us or teach us something? Could it be that He is calling us back to Him? Are we heeding that call? Is your relationship with YHVH first on your list? Do you obey Him as a child obeys his father? These are hard-hitting questions and we often put answering it aside thinking we still have time. What if we don’t?
We should be evaluating our lives and make sure we are in right-standing with YHVH. Pleasing Him should be our first priority, not to gain anything from it, but out of love. Pleasing YHVH equates to obeying His commandments.
15 â€œIf you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
Not only the commandments we choose to obey, but also the those we don’t understand or seem difficult to do. The Sabbatical year is such a commandment.
In approximately three months time, the new Biblical year will begin, a Sabbatical year. You can read how we know it is 2016 in the article When is the next sabbatical year?. It is the seventh year of the third cycle in the Jubilee. A year in which the land is to lie fallow, we are not to sow, prune or reap. However, the world around us is oblivious of YHVH’s cycles and appointed times. The new Gregorian year will begin, there will be lots of merriment, millions of dollars will be blown into the sky for entertainment and then the rat race will continue. Farmers will plow their lands, pour tons of chemicals on the dead soil and sow and harvest. To most it is just another agricultural year. This practice of using chemicals to move the land to produce, teamed with not allowing the land to rest is killing the soil. Disobedience is destroying our and our children’s future.
Where is YHVH, the Creator of the universe in all this? He didn’t institute this feast and it does not glorify Him. His new year begins on the first of Aviv.
2 â€œThis month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.
He is glorified if we choose to obey Him and celebrate His appointed times. Yet most of the population doesn’t. Do you still wonder why we live under such immense pressure?
When we read Leviticus 26, we read about this increasing pressure. How YHVH will use terror, natural disasters, plagues, war and captivity to get people to return to Him. He is merciful, He is not doing all this to destroy mankind, on the contrary, He wants us to choose Him and His ways. The next cycle after this Sabbatical year is the cycle of war. Are you seeing the signs already?
We still have time to choose YHVH and His ways and He may relent.
1 The word which came to Jeremiah from YHVH saying, 2 â€œArise and go down to the potterâ€™s house, and there I will announce My words to you.â€ 3 Then I went down to the potterâ€™s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. 4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. 5 Then the word of YHVH came to me saying, 6 â€œCan I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?â€ declares YHVH. â€œBehold, like the clay in the potterâ€™s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 7 â€œAt one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; 8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
YHVH is the Potter and we are the clay. It is His right to do with us as He pleases and He knows what is best for us. That is His desire for us – the best, even if it seems contrary to our ideas.
21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if Elohim, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
8 But now, O YHVH, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Yielding to YHVH
YHVH is in control, whether we accept the fact or not. We can choose to yield to His way or not. How arrogant we have become, thinking we hold our own destiny in our hands. Doing our own will and quarreling when things don’t go our way.
9 â€œWoe to the one who quarrels with his Makerâ€” An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, â€˜What are you doing?â€™ Or the thing you are making say, â€˜He has no handsâ€™?
Are you yielding to YHVH or are you opposing Him? Are you keeping YHVH’s commandments? Are you planning to keep the Sabbatical year? Have you studied for yourself to prove when the next sabbatical year is or are you following in the footsteps of teachers that say you only have to keep the Sabbatical year if you live in the land. Does YHVH the Creator of the universe only own a small piece of land? Can we limit Him in this way? Psalm 24 states otherwise:
1 The earth is the YHVHâ€™s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.
The phrase “when you come into the land” is used erroneously as an escape clause not to be obedient. This commandment to keep the Sabbatical year was already given in Exodus 23 together with a repetition of the weekly Sabbath and some of the appointed times. Later, this phrase “when you come into the land” is used when many of the, already given, commandments were repeated.
Let me give you a real simple practical example. When we go somewhere with our children, just before we reach our destination, we repeat some instructions to them to make sure they remember to obey. We would say: “When we get there, please be courteous to the people“. Is this instruction only applicable to that specific destination or did we repeat it to make sure they do it? I am sure all of you say that to your kids or had it said to you as children.
If this commandment only applies when we are in the land, all commandments after this phrase would only be relevant in the land if we were to use the same logic. We tend to turn things around to suit us.
16 You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, â€œHe did not make meâ€; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, â€œHe has no understandingâ€?
We think we know better.
Another example is cloning. Humans trying to manipulate genes and “creating” new organisms or crops with special features. This too will be our destruction. We are already paying for it with our health. Do you understand now why YHVH must take drastic measures to reach people who are blind and hard of hearing? We need to see and hear and share the message and warn the people. We need to repent and return to YHVH and obey His instructions.
The sad part is people don’t see and don’t hear. It’s like telling a smoker that he is destroying his lungs. The psychological addiction is too strong, it overrides the reality of danger. It is the same with worldly pleasures and material things. The pull of it is too strong and it lulls us into denial and we say to ourselves: tomorrowâ€¦ Time may be running out…
So, if the nation doesn’t repent, what then? What about those who choose YHVH and obey His ways? The reality is, we will still suffer, we will have to go through these times of trial, but YHVH will be there with us. YHVH is with us always. He helps us and guides us if we have chosen to live for Him.
He will allow all this to form us and to refine us. YHVH has a plan for the world and for each of us. He is the potter and we are the clay. We need to humbly submit to His will and obey His ways. When we obey YHVH’s ways and walk like He walked, we would touch lives and maybe even inspire others to obey. Y’shua isÂ our perfect example and we are to imitate Him.
19 Therefore Y’shuaÂ answered and was saying to them, â€œTruly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
Then, even in the most extreme case of losing our lives, our lives would not have been in vain and we will be with Him for eternity. We must live every day as if it is our last to the glory of YHVH.
24 This is the day which YHVH has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
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