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from glory to glory…

Archive for the tag “encouragement”

The Day of Atonement: The Offering and The High Priest…

Messiah Jesus:

So Great an Atonement!

The Feast of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is one of the most solemn of the Biblical Holy Days. It is also complex in that those who are tuned in to the significance of this holy day realize there is both affliction of the soul and a thanksgiving for a way of reconciliation with God. I have written several instructive pieces for observance of Yom Kippur, all of them with what the Scriptures say of Messiah Yeshua at the center of them.

Yom Kippur comes from the Hebrew word kapporeth which means covering or mercy seat. The lid on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies was the mercy seat or kapporeth. On Yom Kippur the Jewish people beg God for mercy and forgiveness for their sins.

When we examine ourselves in the Light of a Holy God, we should realize that God owes us no means of atonement at all. The Day of Atonement is the blessed celebration of the grace of a Holy God in providing A Way for forgiveness of our rebellion and treason against Him.

My remembrance focuses on the power of the blood of God’s Holy One for the remission of sins, the rescue from condemnation, and the ransom from the power of sin–all given to those who trust in God’s Holy One, Messiah Jesus…

While I was studying the traditions of the Jewish observances of the Day of Atonement, I found the following among their traditional prayers:

Our righteous Messiah has departed from us. We are horror-stricken, and have none to justify us. Our iniquities and the yoke of our transgressions He carries who is wounded because of our trransgressions. He bears on His shoulder the burden of our sins, to find pardon for all our iniquities. By His stripes we shall be healed–O Eternal One, it is time that you should create Him anew!”

…straight from the text of Isaiah 53.4-6

The Offering…

Because there is no fellowship with a Holy God without satisfying His requirements under the Law for full atonement for unrighteousness, God Himself established the tradition forever that the Day of Atonement may not be celebrated without the offerings He appointed for that holy day. The following passages clearly outline the offerings and the duties of the high priest on this most solemn of days: Leviticus 16 and Leviticus 23.27-32

  • The blood of bulls and goats could only provide forgiveness until a man thought or did something sinful again; then more bulls and goats would have to die–over and over, again and again.

  • The Temple in Jerusalem is gone, and not even the sin offerings can be made anymore. God took away the Temple and the old sacrifices to give us a perfect Sacrifice through the Blood of Yeshua the Messiah.

  • If Yeshua’s atonement only pays for the sins of a believer, he would only be restored to the innocence of Adam. As soon as the believer sinned again, Yeshua would have to die again. But Yeshua’s atonement is so great that God does more than take away the believer’s sins. The blood of Yeshua’s atonement also rescues the believer from the enemies that rebel against God’s goodness–our sin nature and Satan’s influence on it. The blood of Yeshua’s atonement enables the believer to serve God without distrust in holiness and righteousness before Him all his days. The blood of Yeshua’s atonement cleanses the believer’s conscience from acts that lead to death, so that he may serve the living God! Messiah Yeshua! So Great an Atonement!

This bears repeating:

The blood of bulls and goats and lambs cannot do the job of cleansing the deep well of sin in the heart of a person. One minute after the sun went down on the Day of Atonement, a person could be in trouble again with God. The more a person was aware of sin in his/her life, the more often he/she was at the altar of sacrifice with a sin offering–until…

The Lamb of God…

The Scriptures tell of the provisions for the offering in God’s “First Covenant” for reconciliation and His “Last Covenant” for reconciliation in  Hebrews 10.1-4

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”

The description of God’s provision for the offering is spoken by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 53. The description of this great offering comes into clear focus in Hebrews 10.5-10. The Holy One Himself said…

…’Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Yom Kippur in the Newness of the Holy Spirit…

Remembering the holiness of God and the Great Atonement He accomplished through the blood of Messiah Yeshua are the most important traditions in celebrating the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Some Jewish traditions can help a child of God to do that; some Jewish traditions can distract from that calling–especially if the focus is upon observing the traditions while neglecting intimacy with God…If one has a personal “tradition” of neglecting intimacy with God all other times, he/she may not hear the call of God’s trumpet, and will not be ready and willing to observe the stillness God calls His own to practice during this holy season of rest…

If you believe that Yeshua is the Great Atonement, you can begin a new season of confessing your sins to God, trusting in Yeshua’s blood for forgiveness. Remember that the atonement of Yeshua is so great that it has the power to cleanse and renew your heart to obey God more and more…

Daily Cleansing…

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

–Psalm 139.23-24

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

–1 John 1.7-10

  • ŸWhat would it be like for us if we could not see when our appearance is less than acceptable to others: dirty faces, soiled clothing, unkempt hair, etc?  We would not have the advantage of knowing and correcting the problems…

  • ŸWhat would happen to us if we failed to bathe and brush our teeth. We would smell bad; others would avoid us. In our culture we would not dream of going to school or to worship services or to work in such an unacceptable condition…

  • ŸThe availability in our culture of soap and clean running water to make us socially acceptable. It would be easy for us to take it for granted…

  • ŸBelievers in Messiah Yeshua are called by the covenant feast of Yom Kippur to daily walk in the light of God’s Word; and to daily “bathe” and be cleansed by the blood of Yeshua, The Holy One.

how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him?”

–Hebrews 2.3

The Priest” (Go to Page 2)

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Feast of Trumpets and the Days of Awe 8

Listen to the sound of the shofar!

Remember the Great Day of Judgment and Messiah’s deliverance for those who trust in His atoning blood…

For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt…The great day of the LORD is near; it is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers…For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…” 

–Exodus 12.12-13; Zephaniah 1.14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5.9*

Our world cries for justice, yet hates judgment. Do you see the nonsense in that kind of thinking? Many are offended at the idea of judgment and even ignore it when they are sharing the gospel with people.

Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all… ‘But you are those who forsake the Lord, who forget My holy mountain, who prepare a table for Gad, and who furnish a drink offering for Meni. Therefore I will number you for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because, when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not hear, but did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight’.”

–Proverbs 28.5; Isaiah 65.11-12

They speak only of salvation and redemption.  But if there is no judgment, why bother with salvation and redemption? And if there is no judgment, then, beloved, there is no justice. Think about that the next time you hire a lawyer to settle your complaint in court…

The truth is that much of what we know about judgment comes from the lips of Jesus Himself. If you look closely at the way He refers to Himself in the Scriptures, you will see He calls Himself the “Son of man” which means The Judge in the Bible…

I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was  seated, and the books were opened. I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed… For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.’

–Daniel 7.10-14; John 5.22-27

Start to pray for those you know who are in danger of condemnation because of their rejection of Messiah’s atoning sacrifice.   Ask God to give you the words and the courage to share them with someone who needs to be reminded that judgment is coming…

‘But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be…Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doingBut if that evil servantbegins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’.

–Matthew 24.37-39,44-46,48-51

Will you be guilty of disobedience in your behavior with others when you face Messiah?

*NOTE: In the right hand column of my site, there is a link to Bible Gateway, which provides excellent, free, online access to multiple translations of the Bible. There is easy access with search windows to find passages either by a word or phrase or by the Bible reference itself. Enjoy discovering the Word of God online.

Fallen Co-Regents…

Early in this morning, 5:30, I awaken to a power outage in our neighborhood…In a ground floor garden condo, facing north, it gets dark without the help of interior lighting after sundown. But this was really DARK:  without the benefit of the glow of exterior security lights on the neighboring buildings… 

I felt my way to the room where I keep  my stash of tea light candles and kitchen matches to get some light for my nocturnal shuffling. Then I rummaged for flashlights and batteries. When I finally returned to bed, I was too stimulated to go back to sleep; so I prayed and reflected on Scriptures featured in  recent posts on my blog… all on the theme of the parables of the Kingdom of God–specifically, that Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of God, and His parables are word pictures of what the Kingdom of God is like… And Jesus is explaining the Kingdom of God to His listeners because  we were created to be co-regents and ministers with God over all His creation… and we messed up “royally…”

As I prayed, I remembered an encounter with one of my Sunday School children this past week–an encounter which, in that moment, forced me out of my comfort zone. I confess that over the months of working with the children in my class, I had begun to grow, and especially to grow more comfortable with them. We all grew, the children and I; but without fully realizing it, I had become settled into my little “organized kingdom…”

 With the advent of the new school year, the demographic changed, and God gave me a new little man to nurture in the Word and Kingdom of God. The little man was not having any of it; he is quite comfortable in his own little world where he is king…   

In the early morning moments of this day, remembering this encounter drew me into prayer for the child… And then for me… The answers from the Lord came flooding into my soul… 

Big question: How can a fallen co-regent even hope to approach answering Christ’s holy commission while in this tainted condition? More specifically, how can a fallen but sanctified Sunday School teacher–so much in need of grace–co-reign with Christ in the business of declaring the Kingdom of God to 15 wee fallen ones, each one in need of extra grace?

This is where I was awakened (in the early hours of a morning power outage) to the weight of the glory of God…

I could not access my computer, and I could not see to write the flood of things I was learning in my moments alone with the Lord. I never did get back to sleep, and I had a new Bible Study group to attend after breakfast.  As I lean heavily into the Holy Spirit to bring to memory what we exchanged in prayer in those glorious moments, here, I am pouring it all out as best I can…

‘Not by might, nor by power; but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.

–Zechariah 4.6 NKJV

I am called during this season of my life to nurture another generation in the knowledge of the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ… I am a member of the human race, a descendant of the ones created in the image and likeness of God for the purpose of  being co-regents and ministers with God in His Kingdom–all of creation… And I am a fallen regent…

But the commission has not changed; and in Christ, the commission is to declare the Kingdom of God revealed in the Bible and the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ: the “now” and the “not yet.” And I am still “becoming…”  I am “not yet” lifted to a  place where my responses in fallen encounters are either immediately or completely characteristic of a “made perfect” co-regent and minister with Christ…

…He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made man…For our sake… 

–The Nicene Creed

Wrapping my mind around the truth of the Nicene Creed: Jesus became incarnate; not like any other man in His Perfect Being, He dwelled in the vessel of a man born like any other man, for our sake

Yes, Jesus laid down His life for our sake; but His sacrifice for our sake began long before He was “led as a lamb to the slaughter…” before “He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.”  (Isaiah 53.5-7, NKJV)

The angels attended His incarnation, announcing the glory of the Lord. No less gloriously, He laid aside His resplendent majesty and became incarnate; and He lived as a man on our fallen planet, among His fallen co-regents…  for our sake and He told us what we had forgotten about the Kingdom of God… (Matthew 13.1-52, NKJV)  

By His incarnate life we can see how the God-Man, the Unfallen Regent, the One who is  “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2.9, NKJV) walked in this dusty existence as the Christus Rex, among and over all fallen creation–in full submission and communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit… at every turn… without fail… perfectly reigning with the Father and the Holy Spirit… for our sake even to death on a cross… to reconcile His fallen co-regents to submission and communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit as He is…

…where I am meant to be… where I am in my sanctification “now,” but in this dusty existence “not yet.” My reflexes are not yet always, completely, and perfectly tuned to seek God’s regency in my life, let alone to seek or comprehend His counsels at the lightning speed of life in times like these…

…when my Sunday School children need to see the presence of the Kingdom of God while I declare the Kingdom of God to them from the Word of God… even while yet a fallen co-regent with Christ… for such a time as this…

I am undone… God, help me… 

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

–2 Corinthians 12.9 NKJV

Parable of the Good Samaritan…

A short story which teaches a lesson; an earthly story with a heavenly meaning…what the Kingdom of God is like…

Jesus the Storyteller

(THE GOSPEL PROJECT FOR KIDS – SUMMER 2017)

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Mark 6.34

Bible Passage: Luke 10.25-37 NKJV   The Good Samaritan

  • Jesus told a parable about a man attacked by robbers…

 

  • A priest and a religious leader did not stop to help the man. But a certain Samaritan had kindness

 

  • Everyone who comes into the Kingdom of God enters by God’s kindness shown to them through the Lord Jesus Christ…

 

  • In the Kingdom of God kindness grows in the life of a believer in the Lord Jesus.

 

…He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made man…For our sake… 

–from the Nicene Creed

 

Parable of the Lost Son…

Another “catch” from my voyage through the summer Bible lessons in children’s Sunday school… This also from the units on the Parables of the Kingdom of God… for such a time as this…

Jesus the Storyteller

(THE GOSPEL PROJECT FOR KIDS – SUMMER 2017)

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Mark 6.34

Bible Passage: Luke 15 NKJV   

  • Jesus told a parable about people finding lost things…

 

  • People celebrated when they find what was lost

 

  • Everyone who comes into the Kingdom of God is there because Jesus has gone out to find them and save them from being lost…

 

  • In the Kingdom of God every child of God is glad for another lost person to be saved and welcomed.

 

 

 

Whose Kingdom?

We’ve been called to have dominion over the earth to the glory of God, but we want dominion for the glory of man. That’s what was going on at Babel—a distortion, an evil twisting of the legitimate task that God had given mankind.”

–R.C. Sproul

Our Story by R. C. Sproul

Go ahead! Read the link above; and then, I have some thoughts of my own to share… 


Shared this a year ago on my Facebook page. At that time, America was approaching a huge decision in its democratic privilege to choose leaders in the Executive and Legislative Branches of our government–which, in turn, would affect the choice of leaders in our Judicial Branch of government…

…As I have been reviewing 1 Kings 11 and 12 in my studies of last week. All about how king Solomon’s sin tore the kingdom apart and the life which the people of Israel faced in the wake of Solomon’s death…

Two men in the wake of Solomon’s reign: Rehoboam his son; and Jeroboam his servant. Two men who would not hear wise counsel.

Rehoboam rejected the wisdom of his father’s elders, but intensified his father’s oppression. Jeroboam rejected God’s wisdom and made Israel to sin against God. He did not heed God’s counsel and promise to him in 1 Kings 11.37-38. Jeroboam listened to his own paranoia and ego instead (1 Kings 12.26-28)…

Neither one of them sought God’s wisdom; neither one of them had a heart for what God’s Kingdom is to be…

Ever wonder how the faithful among the people of Israel felt at that time? Which king does one who loves God honor and recognize? With one comes the hardship of usurious taxes and service; with the other comes the state sanction against living worship of God and against finding reconciliation with God before the place He appointed for His Name to dwell and the means of grace…

It occurred to me that the tribes of Israel did not have to go along with Jeroboam’s political platform; they were not deprived of a choice. They did not deliberate on the ramifications of such a move, nor place limits on Jeroboam’s response to Rehoboam’s rigidity. They chose to go along with Jeroboam in his disgruntlement against the government of the House of David and set themselves at odds with the means of grace at Jerusalem…

Questions arise in my mind. Whose sin was worse? Does this historical event which reveals the inclinations of men’s hearts have significance for those who react to the state of government in our country? What do those who believe in Christ hold more important in a leader?

Patricia’s Facebook Thoughts – History


 

…And as I reflect on the lessons in our church’s Sunday School curriculum this year– Yeshua/Jesus declaring the Kingdom of God–I also reflect on R. C. Sproul’s article from TABLETALK, commenting on Genesis and the kingdom of man… (See the link I shared above. Really! Go ahead and read it! It will do your little grey cells good!) 

My earnest prayer is, “LORD, Jesus, Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

In my own dusty existence in this earthen vessel… Let the increase of His government have no end…

 

Afternoons in the Son–The Galactic Ride…

I wrote this three years back as a post on my Facebook page…Saw it in my memories today, and thought to share it more widely…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?”

–Psalm 8.2-4 NKJV

galactic ride

Good morning, dear ones! I’m sitting here near my dining room window looking out on the green “shire” whose edge reaches the great road through Reston. Busy bodies roll by in brightly colored engine carriages, all purposed on their various callings of the day. I wonder sometimes if they ever realize where they are in the vastness of the firmament. We are sitting on a jewel orbiting a star in the galaxy some 28,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way. Poised on an arm near the edge, we are still being hurtled through space at 600,000 miles per hour as the galaxy spins on its unseen center. Meanwhile the entire galaxy is hurtling through the vastness at 1.3 million miles per hour, while our little planet is spinning on its own axis at 1040 miles per hour, and rotating around our star in the galaxy at 66,600 miles per hour. Are you dizzy yet? What a ride!!! And God is in control of it all…

May you know the presence and providence of God in all your comings and goings where He has placed you in time and space this side of Heaven today!

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For Such a Time as This…

The Feast of Esther-Purim, Part 1

The Feast of Esther for Christians and Jews

Preface:   Recently, I have been revisiting the work I did years ago in the study of the Feast ofsaint hadassah Esther (aka “Purim”). While I was re-working the lessons I had written, I did some remedial reading on the Book of Esther in the Bible. What I found in the introductions in a couple of translations of the Bible made me aware of the possible/probable reason for the deafening silence in Protestant circles about both the Book of Esther and the celebration of Purim. This posture among my Protestant peers has been an uncomfortable and puzzling experience in times past and in my current experience. The introductory comments I have found concerning both the canonicity and historicity of the Book of Esther are close to anti-Semitic gossip masquerading as scholarship—so I won’t repeat it. But I will say that this experience is worse than hearing the rumor in some ecclesiastical circles that there is no Santa Claus (although, there is—he is St. Nicholas, a very different figure than the modern, commercial santa). As disappointing as that ignorance is, the glaring silence in Protestant circles about the Book of Esther is infinitely more questionable than the silence of God which their scholars hold suspect of the veracity of the accounts in the Book of Esther. And as it turns out, the Protestant scholars have their own scholarly fathers to thank for the “silence” of God in the Book of Esther…

 I found a respectable site which directed me to the lost portions of the Book of Esther: Book of Esther – RSVCE

 I encourage you to read it.

 “There are more things in heaven and earth…than are dreamt of in your philosophy…” (Wm Shakespeare). And if you wish to be encouraged about the ways in which God is working in heaven and earth to watch over His Word and His people, here is a link worthy of your attention: Should Christians Read the Book of Esther

There are reference links embedded in that page which will take the reader to discussions—some helpful, some not so much. I share these with you, not to incite seditions and divisions, but to encourage you in the Body of Messiah that God will not be kept silent on the matter of His promises and His sovereignty…

Coordinating the Celebration Date: Here is a link which will identify the corresponding calendar dates for each year’s Purim: Jewish-Roman Calendar

The day always begins at sundown on the Roman calendar date.  I have divided the celebration into two parts, the second celebration to be observed beginning the evening following the first night…

Theme Verse:  Romans 1.16:  “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

Theme:  Our World Needs Yeshua/Jesus

Aim:

  • To remember God’s plan of salvation revealed to the world through the Jewish people
  • To remember Satan’s battle against God’s plan of salvation
  • To remember God’s sovereignty, faithfulness and power to protect and preserve His people of purpose
  • To remember the power of the Gospel of Yeshua to bless Israel and the nations

Response:

  1. That we might see the awesome power of God in the Purim scriptures;
  2. That we might surrender our hearts to the purposes of God for the Jewish people;
  3. That we might comfort and awaken the Jewish people to the power of God in Yeshua; and
  4. That we might labor in protecting Israel from harm by declaring the true identity of the Christ to the Gentiles.

Blessed art Thou, O LORD our God, King of the universe! You who watches over Your people Israel; You who neither slumbers nor sleeps; You who has been a shade at their right hand, has watched over their coming and going, has spared them from destruction: so that this wretched Gentile could behold Your salvation from the Word they have faithfully preserved! You have engrafted me into Your vine and adopted me as Your child and an heir to the glorious riches of Israel’s Messiah. Let me not be ashamed of Your Gospel, O God! Make me a blessing to the Jewish people, for you have bound me irrevocably to Your purposes, O God.  Teach me to declare to the nations who “The Christ” is, that the Jewish people will never suffer harm at the hands of any who name His Name again. In Yeshua’s Name, I pray. Amen.


Adar 14: A Family Feast on the Book of Esther

Let all the children who are able to read take turns reading passages with the adults.

purim scroll

Points to Remember:

  • The festival of Purim is an ordinance for the Jewish people and their descendants to all generations.  The Book of Esther in the Holy Scriptures tells us that the feast was established by a Jewish man named Mordecai around 460 BCE. (Esther 9.19-32).
  • Esther 9.24 says the feast takes its name from the Hebrew word “purim” which means “lots” or “lottery.”  If one flips a coin or pitches dice he is casting lots or “purim.”
  • Esther 9.21 sets the celebration of Purim to be on the 14th and 15th of the month of AdarAdar is the twelfth month of the Hebrew calendar, occurring during the months of February/March in the modern solar calendar.
  • These two days were to be days of feasting, gladness, gift giving, and sharing with the poor (Esther 9.22).
  • The Jewish people relive the miraculous events recorded in the Book of Esther, which is known as the Megillah.

Notes:

  • How did the Jewish people get to Persia?  Didn’t God give them the land of Israel?  The Book of Exodus tells us that God made the Jewish people His own people.  He gave the Jewish people a Holy Covenant–a special agreement–which would make them His own people.  When they agreed to everything He gave them, they became joined to God and to His plans for them and for the whole world.  Nothing would ever change that bond.  God has punished many armies who have tried to kill the Jewish people.  But God warned the Jewish people in this agreement not to disobey Him, and never turn away from the way He gave them to have forgiveness of sins.  The Scriptures show that God chastened the Jewish people for their stubborn disobedience by letting them be ruled by the people whose gods were more attractive to them than He.  These people were their enemies and would often kill them and take them out of their land.
  • The story of Esther happened more than 100 years after God chastened the Jewish people for worshipping other gods.  As the prophets warned, God brought the invaders to destroy the land and take the people captive.  One of the powerful enemies that ruled over the Jewish people was Persia.  After 70 years of living in their enemy’s land, the Jewish people were finally permitted by a Persian king to return to Israel.  Not all of the Jewish people returned to the land.  As the prophets foretold, God provided many mercies for the Jewish people in the land of their captivity.  Life in the land of Israel would be hard until the cities were rebuilt and the farms were restored.  The Persian king would continue to control the land, and everyone in Israel would have to obey any command which came from the royal palace at Shushan. Thepersian_empireBook of Esther shows how God used a Jewish woman living in Shushan to protect His people in all the places of the world.  This Jewish woman remembered that her people are joined to God forever for His plan and His purpose.  The king and the people of Persia began to worship Israel’s God because of what they saw God do through her life.

Mordecai’s Prayer: 15 And now, O Lord God and King, God of Abraham, spare thy people; for the eyes of our foes are upon us to annihilate us, and they desire to destroy the inheritance that has been thine from the beginning. 16 Do not neglect thy portion, which thou didst redeem for thyself out of the land of Egypt. 17 Hear my prayer, and have mercy upon thy inheritance; turn our mourning into feasting, that we may live and sing praise to thy name, O Lord; do not destroy the mouth of those who praise thee.” –The Book of Esther, RSVCE

Esther’s Prayer:  “O my Lord, thou only art our King; help me, who am alone and have no helper but thee, for my danger is in my hand. Ever since I was born I have heard in the tribe of my family that thou, O Lord, didst take Israel out of all the nations, and our fathers from among all their ancestors, for an everlasting inheritance, and that thou didst do for them all that thou didst promise. And now we have sinned before thee, and thou hast given us into the hands of our enemies, because we glorified their gods. Thou art righteous, O Lord! And now they are not satisfied that we are in bitter slavery, but they have covenanted with their idols to abolish what thy mouth has ordained and to destroy thy inheritance, to stop the mouths of those who praise thee and to quench thy altar and the glory of thy house, 10 to open the mouths of the nations for the praise of vain idols, and to magnify forever a mortal king…” –The Book of Esther, RSVCE

  • In most of the common translations of the Bible the Book of Esther does not mention the name of God.  Although His Name is not mentioned, God’s sovereignty, faithfulness and power shout from the pages of the Book of Esther.  However, if you refer to the following link, you will find the lost portions of the Book of Esther: Book of Esther – RSVCE

These portions are still included in the Bibles printed in Eastern Christian lands but have been removed from most other translations for several questionable arguments, not the least of which was to economize on printing costs.


Option for Telling the Story of Esther from the Scriptures: Refer to the following passages in the Book of Esther, summarizing the scenes as they unfold the plan of God. The visuals I use are colorful felt figures from BCM International’s curriculum: FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, OT-Volume 4: Following God’s Trailblazers. The scene backgrounds can be flannel cloths of varying shades; or you may order flannel background scenes from BCM International by their number as noted in each scene.

 Scene 1:  Esther 1.1-5,10-22; 2.1-4:  Figures from BCM’S FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, OT-Volume 4: Following God’s Trailblazers:  #’s 3, 4, 26, 84;   Flannel Background:  SFB #22, Palace

Scene 2:  Esther 2.5-20:  Figures from BCM’S FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, OT-Volume 4: Following God’s Trailblazers:  #23, 83;  Background:  Plain Flannelboard

Scene 3:  Esther 2.21-4.17: Figures from BCM’S FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, OT-Volume 4: Following God’s Trailblazers:  #85 with #70 first; then #85 with #15;  Flannel Background:  SFB #12, Street Scene

Scene 4:  Esther 5.1-6.14: Figures from BCM’S FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, OT-Volume 4: Following God’s Trailblazers:  #84 and 84A with #83 first; then #84, 27, 27A, 27B with #70; Flannel Background:  SFB #22, Palace

Scene 5:  Esther 7-9:  Figures from BCM’S FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, OT-Volume 4: Following God’s Trailblazers:  #’s 70A, 82, 83, 84, 87, 87; remove #’s 70A, 82, and 87 when Haman is taken away to be hanged (Esther 7.9-10); add #88 (Mordecai) only when king Ahasuerus orders that weapons be allowed for the Jewish people (Esther 8.7-13);  Flannel Background:  SFB #22, Palace

©1990 and 2016, Patricia Stachew, Reston, Va; all rights reserved.

Feast of Esther–Purim, Part 2 continued on next page

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Morning Glory…

morning-skies

Have you ever had one of those times when the magnitude of God’s glory leaves you without speech? I am having one of those moments…

My mind is full of reflections on the glories of the readings of the last Sunday in the season of Epiphany… a moment in time where the Eternal Jesus becomes transfigured, revealing His glory…

Psalm 99; Exodus 24.12-18; Philippians 3.7-14; Matthew 17.1-9

And when I add my Monday morning time travel in the Word of God through 2 Corinthians 5.1-7.1 … my cup runneth over…

So I’m singing what was sung in worship on Sunday…

May the glory that is revealed and alive and sovereign in the Lord Jesus Christ attend you in all your moments… and make you sing to Him… for such a time as this…

Morning Glory…

morning-skies

Shabbat Shalom! Safely through another week, and another week closer to Messiah Jesus’ return…glorious thoughts…comforting thoughts in all circumstances…

Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge…I will sing a new song to You, O God; on a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You, the One who gives salvation to kings, who delivers David His servant from the deadly sword…Happy are the people who are in such a state; happy are the people whose God is the Lord!…And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak…Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal…For we walk by faith, not by sight…”

–Psalm 144.1-2,9-10,15…2 Corinthians 4.13,16-18; 5.7


Here is a link to view the passages of this morning’s adventure into timeless glory: Scripture Passages in NKJV

On this link, you may also find a menu from which to choose alternate translations…


A glimpse of the glorious work of God in the lives of those who believe Him…Ruth and Boaz had some temporal matters to settle, but Boaz approached the temporal with vision of what is eternal–he chose to stake his life on the Word of God (Deuteronomy 25.5-10)…Not worrying about whether he would lose his inheritance, he paid the price for his bride; and in so doing, he fathered a son who would become the grandfather of King David…Boaz walked by faith and not by sight; turns out he had perfect vision…

[Cannot say for certainty, but this occurs to me: Perhaps because of his faith,  Boaz’ name is credited as the ancestor of David instead of his relative Elimelech, whose name under the letter of the law would be “raised up” by the kinsman redeemer…]

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them…when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you…But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly…And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites...But…when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

–Matthew 6.1a,2a,3-4,5a,6

Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, whose mouth speaks lying words, and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood…

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee…

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth—if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy…That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style; that our barns may be full, supplying all kinds of produce; that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; that our oxen may be well laden; that there be no breaking in or going out; that there be no outcry in our streets.”

–Psalm 137.11; 2 Corinthians 5.1-5Psalm 137.5-6; 12-14

Blessed are those who walk by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, for their vision is perfect…Pray for those whose vision is myopically hindered by the things which are temporal. And…

 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…

For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: ‘This is My resting place forever…I will also clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy…”

…Psalm 132.6


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