Tag Archives: Ten Commandments

An Awakened Spirit can Avoid a Dead Body

An Awakened Spirit can Avoid a Dead Body

It all started when I got to wondering about the word “profane” as used in the OId Testament. I had a feeling it meant to dishonor. While this is true, as with most Hebrew words there is a range of interpretation. Not only that, but there are two different Hebrew words that get translated as profane: zur and halal. Zur is the most frequently used word—76 times in the Old Testament, while halal is used only 21 times. Zur in the King James bible is almost exclusively translated as “strange.” But in many modern translations zur is translated as profane. Halal on the other hand is almost exclusively translated as profane.

So, you’re probably asking, “what’s your point?” Well, it’s this, my New King James Bible search of “profane” took me to the “profane” fire offered by Nadab and Abihu. How could their incense offering be profane? The offering was described by the Hebrew word zur—strange. Maybe then it was not the offering, but something more spiritually profound to which the Lord reacted.

Let’s revisit the event and see what might have been at play.
Nadab and Abihu, were the two eldest sons of Aaron, Moses’ brother.
Their tragic story is told primarily in the tenth chapter of Leviticus. The chapter opens describing the young men making an offering to the Lord which had not been commanded by God and which resulted in their death.

In acting as they did, Nadab and Abihu assumed a familiarity with God that was totally at odds with the solemnity of the occasion. They upstaged not only Moses, but also their father, Aaron, the High Priest. Their offering was a spontaneous act which they performed at the conclusion of at least seven days of very intense spiritual significance—the dedication of the priesthood.

Aaron and his four sons were each in their respective priestly garments. They were before the altar in the newly constructed Tabernacle. The sons’ father, the High Priest, had just blessed the thousands gathered to observe the event. The fire of the Lord had spectacularly roared forth and consumed the prescribed offering on the altar.

In their youth and in the exuberance of the event they apparently gave no thought as to how presumptuous and offensive their actions would be to God—how they were drawing attention to themselves and away from their father and from Moses. Their actions diminished the sacred impact of the pageantry of the event—Nadab and Abihu were editing the script—all this High Priest decorum wasn’t necessary, two kids with their own censers could define how you approached and worshipped God.

Their actions profaned, made God common, before the people. The judgment of Nadab and Abihu by God was deserved, swift and just. God did not want another repeat of the Israelites’ faithlessness evidenced at His descent on Mt Sinai the year before. It was there, gathered at the base of Mt Sinai, witnessing the awesome power of God, that the nation vacillated. In the intensity of that experience the Israelites opted to exchange an offered intimacy of relationship with God for one of intercession—as one voice they said, “Moses, you listen to God for us.” Now, in this climactic moment of pageantry in the dedication of the priesthood, God had to quickly, decisively restore His position of holiness, His preeminence and His plan for His chosen.

Although the text does not use both Hebrew words, I make the following distinction. The young men offered a strange, zur, offering, however, it was their inappropriate actions in the circumstance that profaned, made common, were halal to God. Nadab and Abihu attempted to define God in their image—to create a god that He is not—an idol god. Their individual spirit did not perceive God’s spirit—resulting in their dead bodies. God is a jealous God.

There is a tendency today to make God a buddy, a big, huggable bear. Let us not forget that although He loves each of us with a passion and is intimately approachable, He must be respected, esteemed, honored and worshipped. It is best to let Him decide how He wants to present Himself to us in any given situation. I may want the big teddy bear, but in His wisdom, I may need the correction of a father.

When my spirit is awake to His Spirit I will always make better choices, resulting in life for my body.

Yom Kippur–Day Ten–The Day

Yom Kippur Day Ten—The Day

It’s here, tenth of Tishri, tenth Day of Awe—Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement.

If you’ve followed my last two posts you are aware I am covering a commandment from the Ten Commandments each day from the Feast of Trumpets on 1 Tishri through 10 Tishri.

These ten days are called the Days of Awe, possibly because of the awesome experience the Lord intends Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to be for those who celebrate it.

The tenth commandment says “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” My first question was, “Why is this the tenth and final commandment?” You might say, why not? One had to be last why not this one? That was probably my answer before I started this study. I’ll explain:

Covet, to me, is a wizened word by itself. It just looks small and crunched up. It might even be deeply wrinkled and toothless. It surely has no vitality. Covet in the Hebrew is חמד (chamad) which translates, in addition to covet, to various shades of desire up to idolatry. I was going to do a word search of other occurrences of covet, but Ahab and Jezebel popped into my mind.

The whole sordid mess of these two is told in 1Kings 21. It’s got it all, practically the whole Ten Commandments in one story. And it starts with Ahab coveting the vineyard of his neighbor, Naboth. Ahab was even willing to pay for it. We have false witness, murder, parent-child considerations, stealing, idolatry and I bet Ahab didn’t keep Sabbath! It all started with Ahab just wanting a veggie garden.

The tenth commandment involves neighbor, as does Ahab’s story. I’ve previously covered the inclusiveness of this word in my ninth commandment review. I found it even includes my opponent. The final operative word of the “no covet” commandment, as I see it, is “anything.” This turns out to be the Hebrew word כל (kol). Translated an amazing 4000 plus times as “all.” Need I say more?

There are at least two morals to the story: First, what can start out as a seemingly reasonable want can rise to coveting when I let my mind and emotions out from under Spirit control. That wizened word can grow exponentially into full blown sin. Secondly, and maybe even more sobering on this day of confession, repentance and forgiveness is the generational consequence of sin. Read Ahab’s story to the end. As I repent I must take into account what I may have sown into the generational line and enlarge my repentance as required.

My premise is that the “no covet” commandment is totally appropriate for number ten. As the Ahab story points out, letting covet get out of hand can release a whole bevy of commandment consequence. The commandment gives you some examples where coveting is going to temp you, but winds up saying, כל—ALL coveting violates the commandment.

Wish I could leave you on a more positive note. But really, to think of the provision the Lord has made for our wholeness and the wholeness of our generational line is praiseworthy positive.

Yom tov.

Yom Kippur Preparation Day Nine

Yom Kippur Preparation Day Nine

Today at sundown begins the celebration of Yom Kippur. On this day nine of the Days of Awe I am considering the ninth commandment of the Ten Commandments. This commandment says, “you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.“

This won’t take long, my nearest neighbor is a half mile away and I really don’t know him all that well. So, I’ve had no opportunity to bear a false witness against him. What’s that you say, Lord, “think again.“

Maybe I should not take the English translation quite so literally and do a little Hebrew word study. I’ll start with “neighbor,” that should end my inquiry pretty quickly. The Hebrew word is רע (rea). Oh, my, that has a translation definition ranging from “husband” to “opponent.” The predominant thought is “neighbor,” but even “friend” and “another” are frequent translations. Looks like I’ll have to expand considerably those who might be affected by false witness.

I’m almost afraid to see what “false” and “witness” encompass. But I press on—time’s running out to sundown. “False” turns out to be שקר (shequer), short definition includes deception, falsehood, disappointment and emphasis on lying. Before I start pleading guilty I’ll look at “witness.”

This is quick, the Hebrew is עד (ed)—basically to see and tell. I won’t even try to consider what I hear through the grape vine and tell. I think that falls into gossip. That’s a whole other subject.

Before I left the “false” definition, I was already thinking of innuendo. I don’t right out speak falsely, but if the hearer wants to make some assumptions from what I said, isn’t that his sin? Maybe I give the impression I was a witness. Maybe I leave out a fact or two. As I said, a shading of my testimony from which I could look better, the other worse. I’m the hero, the other the villain. And, this is no longer just my next door neighbor to whom I could have been a false witness. This group now includes friends. It includes a husband, maybe a wife too. And, can you imagine an opponent? I can’t even give a little shaded information about my opponent?

As you can imagine, I have some work to do before sundown.
Shabbat Shalom

Observing Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

Observing Yom Kippur—Day of Atonement

“Afflict the soul” we are told in Leviticus 20:26 to observe Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement—O.K., how do I do that?

Maybe this just means a food fast from sundown to sundown.
If it does, the scripture could easily have said so, but, no, it says afflict. And it doesn’t say the flesh, which a food fast would affect, it says the soul. So, there must be more here than I have understood.

First, I’ll consider the word soul. This word has generally been accepted to mean mind, will and emotions. Obviously, we’re talking something more encompassing than flesh.

Now, let’s briefly consider the word afflict. This word is translated from the Hebrew word anah (עכה). Strong’s and other sources say the root word means to defile, as in to humble.

Now, it seems we’re getting somewhere. If I afflict my mind, will and emotions I’m going to do some serious checking on where I stand in the humility department of those areas.

As a starting point, it may just be me, but my pride factor comes up right away for review. Within the last ten days I experienced the Feast of Trumpets where I re embraced the giving of the Ten Commandments from Mt Sinai. The first of those commandments seems like the best place to start: you shall have no other god’s before Me.

Where, over this last year, have I elevated my mind, will and emotions?
Where have I been willing to take the credit? Could I possibly be raising myself up in pride as a god? Just how quickly and humbly do I admit Father’s hand in my activities of the last year?

After plowing that ground, I can continue down the commandment list: idols, vain speaking, Sabbath etc. I can give Holy Spirit a chance to “judge” the level of defilement and lack of humility of my soul—my mind, will and emotions—in the keeping or failure to keep the Commandments. Of course, Yeshu’s “amplified teaching” will guide my listening and measuring.

What a wonderful and wise provision of the Lord to give an opportunity for an annual assessment of the condition of my mind, will and emotions. Yom Kippur is not a big public celebration. It is a time to pull apart for a highly personal, introspective, intentional intimacy with Father. It is not a time of condemnation, but of rejoicing at the provision for confession, repentance and forgiveness we have through Messiah Yeshua.

To just let the day go by concentrating on not eating and waiting for sundown would be such a loss. Having embraced and reaffirmed the Ten Commandments at Yom Teruah (Trumpets) just a few days earlier, now on Yom Kippur I can “seal the deal” and really look forward to the fun and celebration of Sukkot (Booths) as a meaningful time of thanksgiving. A celebration of knowing I’m living in freedom, delivered from the bondage and confinement of my soul life.

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(Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement is observed on the tenth day of the seventh biblical month. This month has been given the name of Tishri. In 2018 on the Gregorian calendar used in the US it is Wednesday, September 19, but beginning at sundown on the 18th.)