Summary: Rediscovering how we are to respond to the Torah (Instructions) of Yahweh, lessons from Nehemiah 8
RESPONDING TO THE TORAH
Shabbat Shalom, YHWH bless you all. I hope that you all have enjoyed a joy-filled week and now we can come and rest and be refreshed in His presence by the washing of His Word, Amein! How we respond to the Word has a major impact on our lives; and we are able to visibly see in people’s lives if they respond to and how they respond to the Word. That means that your life too is in visible sight of others for they will be able to see how you respond to the Word of Elohim. More importantly, as we are all aware, it is how we respond to the instructions written in the Word and my message tonight is called, “Responding to the Torah”. The question is are you responding and what is your response, does it result in disobedience or obedience? As always the Word is useful for teaching us, rebuking us, correcting us and training us in righteousness, and so I would like us to read tonight from Nehemiah 8 and let us learn how we ought to respond to the Torah of YHWH. (Read)
Who knows what day it is? Yes we all know it is ‘Friday 20th 2010’ according to the world’s Gregorian calendar, but what day is it in YHWH’s calendar? The New Moon of the sixth Month was seen on the 11th August 2010, so tonight it is the beginning of the 10th of the 6th Month! This is very exciting for us… why? Because next month, the 7th month we have what is known as the ‘fall feasts’ of YHWH. The 1st of the 7th month is the Feast of Trumpets, the 10th of the 7th month is the Day of Atonement and the 15th of the 7th month, for 7 days, is the Feast of Sukkoth or Tabernacles. We are expecting the New Moon to appear on the 9th of September 2010 and so be alert and ready to come and celebrate Amein!
It is with this in mind that we pick up from our reading tonight –Chapter 8 starts by telling us what took place on the Day of Trumpets after the construction of the temple had been completed and family lines been established. This chapter once again stirred me with great excitement for the up and coming feasts and so it is with great passion that I want to stir you tonight in ‘responding to the Torah’ with joy as we get ready to celebrate His feasts as He has commanded us to. Why do we want to respond to the Torah in the correct way? Well when the people of YHWH get away from loving, reading and obeying the very Words He has given them, they very quickly find that they lose the blessing of Elohim. According to Psalm 1:1-3 – as we read last week – tells us that if we want to be fruitful then we are to ‘delight’ in the Torah! Unpacking this passage tonight it speaks of 3 ways that we are to respond to the Torah and speaks of lovingly responding with your all:
1 – UNDERSTANDING THE TORAH (MIND – 8:1-8)
What do I mean by understanding the Torah, as half the time most don’t understand it at first and figure that because they don’t understand they don’t have to do? What this is speaking of is an application of the mind, using the very intellect and ability He has given us to be available to hear and receive the Word. The term understand is used 6 times in this chapter and in Yahshua’s Parable of the Sower, the emphasis is on understanding – in other words how prepared is your heart to receive his Truth? What attitude do you have toward His Torah? Understanding and receiving can be compared to the planting of a seed in soil where it takes root and bears much fruit! Here the people assembled at the Water Gate with great anticipation. And we know that often in the Scriptures that water for washing is a picture of the Word of YHWH, and drinking water is a picture of being filled with the very Ruach HaQodesh (Holy Spirit), so they were assembled to be refreshed and cleansed through the hearing of the Word. It is when we come to drink of the Living Water – that is the very Torah of Yah that we allow the Ruach to work in and through our lives. It is the very Word that restores, refreshes and rejuvenates one’s life. Understanding implies the application of the mind, and we are told not to conform to the pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewing of the mind through the Word, and so understanding the Torah begins with being available to hear the Torah and giving attention to the Torah! How many of you when you went to a class at school and were present in body yet you paid no attention to what was being taught and later found yourself complaining because you didn’t understand that ‘worthless’ subject? I fear that the same is true today – for many may be present at a meeting where the Word is being read, yet their minds are elsewhere, or many are making themselves available yet the Torah is not being taught, others are simply choosing to be absent minded to the Truth and so defend their stance with great pride, yet complain that they are confused and are not interested in hearing what the Torah has to say, purely out of ignorance of understanding! This was the first time in years that the people of Israel;l had actually gathered to hear the Torah that Ezra read. It was Yom Teru’ah and they were hungry for the Word. I sent out a short email this week asking that very question to most of you – how hungry are you?