Never Forget!

Adonai, Master, Creator
who set the round course of the world,
birth, death, and disease –

Creator, who caused veins, brains, and bones to grow,
who fashioned us air that we might breath and sing

Remember that we are incomplete
and inconsolable, our vision clouded by ashes.

Remember the chimneys, the ingenious habitations of death where part of
Israel’s body drifted as smoke through the air.
Remember the mutilated music of their lives.

We lament in fields of loneliness
for six million of our number torn away. Remember them.

There are some who have no memorial.
They are perished as though they had never been.
Forget them not.

Remember the landscape of screams
engraved at entrance gates to death.
Remember the unborn dreams.

Remember the terror of children, whose tears were burned. Remember the
agony of parents, whose blessings were consumed.

Remember the prayers of the dying,
the shame and suffering of the innocent.

Remember. We have not forgotten You
though all this has befallen us
.

Remember the God-forsaken millions in a silent world,
their loneliness was matched only by Yours.

Who is like You, Adonai, among the silent,
remaining silent through the suffering of Your children?

Are You not God, Adonai, that we may hope in You?
Renew the light of Your creation, which has been dimmed.

Renew in Your creatures Your image, which has been desecrated. Restore the
covenant, which Your people have maintained.

Remember the hopes of the slain
by sending redemption to Your shattered world.

In spite of everything which strangles hope,
help us to continue the sustaining song of their lives.

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Intercessory Prayer

Job 1:1-2; 4-5 (NASB)
“​1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. 2 Seven sons and three daughters were born to him.

4 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.”

Intercessory prayer is vital to G-d’s plan. Over the last few weeks I’ve come across many examples of how it brought salvation to the nation of Israel. Moses, Esther, Ezra, and more, all sought G-d’s providential deliverance in order to save His chosen people.

But interceding requires a strong relationship with G-d and faith that He will answer.

“You cannot intercede through prayer if you do not believe in the reality of redemption.”

These words are written in Oswald Chambers popular daily devotional, “My Utmost For His Highest”.

He goes on to say that intercession is, “having (G-d’s) mind and (G-d’s) perspective.” (1)

But to have Adonai’s mind and perspective, we must walk righteously before Him.

Job displays this righteousness throughout his trials because he lives it daily before his troubles even begin.

The very first verse of the book of Job lists four traits of Job that we should all desire. These characteristics carry him through the enemy’s attacks and keep him righteous in G-d’s eyes.

Job 1:1 says, “…that man was blameless, upright, fearing G-d and turning away from evil.”

First of all Job is blameless. He has integrity. He’s honest in his word and in his actions.

Psalm 1:3 says, “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.”

Job’s blameless walk gives him a confidence that he is going in the right direction and doing the right thing. He never second guesses himself.

Second, Job is upright. To be upright means to be level and straight.

Each of the four Gospels record the cry of John the Immerser when he quotes from Isaiah 40:3-4 and says, “Make ready the way of the L-rd,
Make His path straight!”

Job is already prepared to walk with G-d on a straight path.

Next, Job fears G-d. Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1;7, and Proverbs 9:10 all say that the fear of the L-rd brings us wisdom. But fearing HaShem also fulfills the commandment of loving your neighbor.

Lev. 25:17 reads, “So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your G-d; for I am the L-rd your G-d.”

In the 31st chapter of Job, he states many times over how he cares for others and shows compassion to widows, orphans and others in need.

This is not bragging on Job’s part. His fear of Adonai leads him to care for and provide for others just as The Almighty has taken care of him and his household. His fear of HaShem brings out respect and love for his neighbors.

Finally, Job turns away from evil. This is probably the most important trait that Job displays.

Proverbs 4:26-27 (NASB) tells us,
“26 Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.
27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.”

Job is careful to keep his walk right before G-d. He declares in 31:4, “Does He not see my ways and number all my steps?”

He knows that he is accountable for all his actions and must answer to both G-d and man for what he does.

Being this righteous man puts Job in the position of priest and intercessor for his family. He often makes sacrifices on behalf of his children on the chance that they may have, even inadvertently, blasphemed Adonai.

According to the Archeological Study Bible, the feasts his children indulge in may refer to birthday celebrations. With 10 siblings, they may have had a celebration almost every month of the year.

Strong drink was certainly a part of this. It loosens the tongue and can make us say things we don’t intend to. These insults can be hurled at The Almighty just as easily as a friend or family member.

So Job commits to his family to be the intercessor between them and G-d.

He intercedes for his children in order to turn away the wrath of G-d. He can do this because of his righteous walk.

However, Job’s times of intercession comes to an end. His children die tragically during one of their feasts. He gains more sons and daughters in the end and, undoubtedly, he also does whatever is necessary to teach them to fear Adonai.

But this can only go on for so long. Eventually death also overtakes Job and his prayers come to an end as he enters his eternal rest.

But we’re told in Hebrews 7:25 that we have an intercessor now who, like Job, has made a sacrifice for us on account of our sins. His walk on this earth is even more righteous than Job’s and He lives eternally in order to continue interceding.

Hebrews 7:25 (NASB) tells us: “25 Therefore He (Yeshua) is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Yeshua lives to intercede for us. He does not need to continually make a sacrifice since His death is sufficient payment to take away the sins of the world. Instead, He now covers us with His righteousness so we can share in His life.

While we’re still expected, and needed, to pray and seek G-d’s protection for those in need, we do this in partnership with our Savior.

So don’t turn away from intercessory prayer when it’s needed. We have examples in the Bible that show how effective it can be and we have Job to demonstrate that it’s a hallmark of a righteous person.

Blessed are You, O L-rd, our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who intercedes on our behalf for our salvation.

(1) http://www.utmost.org/intercessory-prayer/

Proclaim the Message

2Ti 4:2-3 (HCSB)
Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.

As Paul is sitting in his prison cell in Rome before his execution, he pens a final letter to his apprentice, Timothy, encouraging him to stand strong in the faith and persevere against those who distort the Word.

“Proclaim the message,” says Paul, “persist in it whether convenient or not.”

Timothy is encountering men who take part in “godless chatter” (2:16) and have a flawed theology. They try to bring up foolish and ignorant speculations hoping to cause an argument.

We see these kinds of people today, they’re called trolls and they live on the internet, but back in the first century, James has to deal with them face to face.

This has to be discouraging at times. These people maliciously argue and refuse to accept the Scriptures for what they plainly lay out as G-d’s plan.

Since these false teachers are influencing others in the congregation, Timothy has to move against them. He needs to be convincing in his arguments in order to keep weaker members of his flock from falling away under these strange teachings. He can’t afford to ignore the situation and he can’t afford to fail in explaining the true Word and its meaning.

In 2nd Timothy, Paul gives Timothy some of the best advice we can find on why we should study and use Scripture to explain our beliefs.

2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.”

Teaching others, even when we’re just explaining our beliefs to a stranger we just met, requires studying the Word. We must be able to handle it accurately since so much depends on it.

Charles Spurgeon remarked that what he dreaded above all else was to mistakenly convince someone that they were saved when they truly weren’t. Only by consistently studying the Word and allowing the Spirit within us to apply it to our lives, can we really know how to correctly explain it to others.

2 Timothy 3:15-16 is another quote from Paul encouraging Timothy to take up the Word in defense of the Truth: “And you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Messiah Yeshua. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness.”

Again, Paul is driving home that the inspired Word of HaShem is the preferred method of spreading the gospel message of salvation.

And Timothy is ready to take on this mission due to his having been raised in the Scriptures. He has studied them since he was a child and has been trained in the righteousness they provide.

Finally, in chapter 4, Paul lays a charge on Timothy.

“I solemnly charge you… Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not.”

Paul is speaking from experience here. He’s seen times when it’s exciting to speak the Word and when it’s difficult. He was stoned and left for dead; he was faced with lashes and chains for speaking the Words of Life.

So his charge to Timothy is not done lightly. Paul knows the road Timothy may face but he encourages him to take up the banner that Paul will soon lay aside.

It’s also up to us to study the Word so we too can share the gospel of salvation. We need to be ready to speak with anyone who questions us about our faith. We need to be able to warn someone with the truth of Scripture when they are in danger of false doctrines.

G-d has also called us to be teachers of His Word just as Paul charged Timothy to do. Let us answer that call and take up the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of Adonai.

Blessed are you, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who calls us to hold up the Word of G-d as a light in a dark world.