6 January 2010 (Revee/Shavu'ot)
The Path of the Just
An Ever Brightening Journey for Yahweh's Own
Yesterday I was travelling. Freezing temperatures at -20°C and potentially treacherous roads covered with compacted snow and ice meant I had to drive especially carefully and not think too much about the cold gnawing at my fingers. Then at 4 a.m. this morning the power went off for eight hours, along with telephone lines, whilst it was -22°C and there was a fight to prevent the radiators from freezing, not to mention everyone at home. With the room temperature dropping one degree every hour in the main house and two degrees in the adjacent one where my 95 year old mother lives, we were concerned about her getting hypothermia. Finally, at noon, the power was restored with room temperature at 11°C! I thanked Yahweh that we had answered His prompting to install wood burners the previous year in the main house so that we could at least make my mother hot water bottles and hot drinks and slow down the freezing process in case of emegencies in mid-winter! With electricity, internet and phones out I wondered what life would be like should the things we take for granted like power and telecomminucations suddenly cease to be available - our whole way of life would change.
"But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day" (Prov.4:18, NKJV)
The passage I picked for today's devotional is full of hope for those who desire the Kingdom of Yahweh with all their hearts. But it is sandwiched inbetween a dire warning to be sober, make sure we stay on the strait and narrow and carefully avoid the broad, well-travelled path:
One of our problems as human beings is they we both seek and crave for familiarity. If we have not grown up with Yah'shua or known Him for very long there is always this temptation to return to old, well-trodden (even though) paths when the going gets tough. The unfamiliar path is often a lonely one and it is purposefully so narrow that we cannot walk with anyone by our side. On the path which is called 'Just' we walk with our Saviour alone - before us leading us, behind us guarding us, and within us giving is His life.
"Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; and their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence...The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble" (vv.14-17,19).
What is the light that keeps the pathway shining?
What is that "word"? An evangelical will tell you that it is the Bible and a Messianic that it is the Torah. They're both right, of course. But there's more to the "word" that the printed text of divine revelation, important though that is:
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps.119:105, NKJV).
which reminds us of what we were talking about two days ago.
"Yahweh is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Yahweh is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?...Teach me Your way, O Yahweh, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies" (Ps 27:1,11, NKJV)
It is a frightening experience to drive down a dark highway or walk a treacherous pathway on a dark night when there are no lights to shine on it. When we had our powercut last night I remember thinking how eerie everything looked with the barest of flickers coming from the house where a lone candle was burning. The darkened road, path or house makes you shudder a little and to try and walk a path by night with no light is a hair-raising experience. I remember the time my lights died on me years ago in Norway while I was driving home at night on snow-covered roads in the countryside, or on another occasion at night when it was pouring with rain. Both those experiences were not pleasant and I could so easily have ended up in a ditch, crashed into a parked car or worse. We are in exactly the same kind of peril if we try to walk this life without our Heavenly Father or His Son Yahweh Yah'shua the Messiah:
The longer and farther we travel in the light of His Word, the brighter and more visible grows the path. 33 years on since I was born again I know exactly where I am headed - I don't know what's over every hill or mountain but I know the way well enough to know when I am on it or when I stray off it. It therefore becomes vitally important that we keep IN Yahweh's Word, TO Yah'weh's Word, and IN His Son, Yah'shua, for this is our only true light in the dark corridors of mortality:
"But if we walk in the light as [Yahweh] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yah'shua the Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7, NKJV).
"Then Yah'shua spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life'" (John 8:12, NKJV)
If Torah is a light how foolish we are if we ignore it, how insane if we do not walk in it. Don't listen to the lies and excuses of those who say it cannot be done because that is the same as saying that the road cannot be lit: it can and is. Better still, Yah'shua is our Living Torah who empowers us to walk it, giving the written words life, which life then moves our beings to live it.
"For the commandment is a lamp, and the Torah (law) a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life" (Prov.6:23, NKJV).
Today is the fourth day of the week and corresponds to the fourth of the annual festivals, Shavu'ot or Pentecost. When the first talmidim or disciples were given an outpouring of the gift of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) in Jerusalem they were empowered to do everything Yah'shua, the Living Torah, commanded them to do. It is also the festival that marks our betrothal covenant to Messiah. What is our obligation? To obey and live the Torah just as a wife covenants to live and obey her husband's torah or rule. When we are obedient, the Bridegroom brightly lights our way so that we are enabled to successfully complete our mortal probation:
"For it is the Elohim (Yahweh) who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of Elohim (God) in the face of Yah'shua the Messiah" (2 Cor.4:6, NKJV).
Comments from Readers
Good words for the day. I am amazed too how the situations arise in our life to be able to witness to others where we would not think it possible. I have a nephew who has been in trouble, even spending about a year in a half-way house/camp he was sent to instead of prison. During that time he became involved in bible study and in that seeking after salvation for a time. After getting out he was pulled right back into the snare of the enemy of drugs and other things. Now, he is set to go back to prison but so far has not returned yet. I was thinking of him the other day and how the stronghold of the enemy takes our children and our relatives captive. Anyway, yesterday I had a job to go on and instead of the usual helper it turns out my nephew had agreed to come along and help! I could not plan such a thing! And was able to talk to him about many things of our faith at lunch and during travel. These young folks are like a fish caught on a hook and the enemy is reeling them in. But by that faith our savior can cut that line and get them back on the right path. In speaking to him, he knows he needs to do the right thing and as many do think they must change outward behavior first and then get their Heart right. But we know the Heart must become right first and then the outward follows. We being in that battle of overcoming all things until the end of this life will inherit that crown of life faithful until the end in whatever storm comes our way. And by faith in that unseen we speak blessings over these precious people who are lost in darkness and cannot see how much our Father and savior love them so. I write this for a blessing and that we speak to that wicked power to become underfoot even in the lives of our children and in our families where the enemy would destroy if there were no one to make intercession by that Power we are given of Pentecost of that Life of our Father and may these who are being called listen and submit to that Love and cleansing that they so desperately need. Shalom. (RDR 7 January 2010)