09 May – Additional Notes


Some of the Life’s greatest storms have hit me with full force. My early years were marred by domestic violence. I had been through 3 marriage break-ups, 10 changes of house, and 6 changes of school before my eleventh birthday. I had two life-threatening car accidents where I was thrown onto the street in one and hurled down a cliff in another. I lost my citizenship, 3 unborn babies, and my 18-year-old son. If life should surely have turned up roses after that, I recently sustained suicidal grief through oppressive condemnation-laced rejection that severed for a year my relationship with my daughter and only grandson.

But if “what you sow is what you reap” is a trustworthy saying[a], I have to at least take responsibility for anything I could have done that contributed to what I am currently experiencing. Problem is, there’s often a hundred small divergences from the guidelines in our Maker’s Handbook that contribute to our storms, and this clouds our vision on our part in the trouble caused and experienced. In addition, most people who are caught in some of the greatest storms won’t pin it to any level of “spiritual defection” at all. It’s not the fault of someone else’s choices (blame was the first thing that went on in The Beginning[b]), a spiritual reason is almost the last thing on our mind, being labelled “spiritually defective” is downright repulsive.

The only place to turn to is our Maker’s Guidebook for LIFE. If we were created in His image to life and operate in His Likeness[c], then it’s the manufacturer’s manual. If “…the entire Kitvei HaKodesh (collection of Hebrew scripture from start to finish) is Hashem-breathed (breathed out/spoken/from the voice of The Name – The LORD) and useful for hora’ah (teaching), for reproof, for correction, for training in tzedek (righteousness/fairness/justice)…”[d], then this chapter will hold something today for us as we watch the moral and cultural defection around us and decline even in our own families.

So, the first thing I notice in today’s chapter is Someone called Malach Hashem. [v1] This is the same Person called Malach Hashem came out on centre stage in Exodus 3:2 to speak with a man called Moses. Up until that point, the world had no idea of this family of Hebrews originally from modern-day Iraq who had become a stateless people group in Egypt. They were the smallest of all the nations.[e] However, that meeting was a significant turning point in the world’s longest running drama that takes in every family from every nation on earth today, and it hinges on Malach Hashem. His capitalized full name in English: Messenger The Name–The LORD or simply Messenger God. Now Messenger God comes out on centre stage again and this time He’s upset. He’s telling them that He brought them out of Egypt and led them into this land that He swore to their fathers, adding that He would never break His covenant with them. [v1]

If you are a non-Hebrew person and can’t see what I’m saying, this is an incredibly important gemstone woven into the fabric of HIStory – our Father’s Handbook for LIFE. And yes, as incredible as this sounds, it’s vital information for your eternal future. There are 3 world religions numbering more than half the world’s population who believe in the Creator God today. However, many aren’t reading His Guidebook for LIFE and as a result, are not aware of Malach Hashem – who He is and the role He played in HIStory. The Creator God Himself commanded His people saying…

“Hinei, (look here) I send Malach (Messenger – capitalized therefore His name) before you, to be shomer (guard/guardian) over you in the derech (path/Way), and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Pay heed to him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your peysha’im (sin, transgressions, deliberate rebellion – authority to judge and label our behaviour then exercise that authority to not forgive); [Reason?] for My Shem (My Name) is in him. But if you shalt indeed obey his [bat] kol (His echo voice) and do all that I speak (His voice is synonymous with the Creator God’s own words); then I will be an enemy unto your enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.” [Exodus 23:20-22]

A second Person is involved, and we have to take note because we have to listen to His voice. Why? Because Father God’s Name is embedded in Him. He is not an ambassador with a signet ring that can be taken from him. He’s not just one of the malachim (plural, one of the host of messengers/angels). Using the original Hebrew words, we’re commanded by our Maker to obey this Person’s “echo voice” because He can judge our behaviour if we rebel against Him. This level of authority to judge has been given to no other and in the places where He shows up on stage in this epic storyline throughout HIStory, He is roughly in the size and shape of a human[f], yet He is then called Hashem (literal translation = The Name – The LORD) a title only ever meant in connection with the Creator God’s name – not anyone else’s name.[g] This person is literally called “The Name”.

So, the first 3 verses in today’s chapter are crucial for us today if we’re to have any following at any level at all in the Creator God. So great is this Person that when He spoke, the entire nation of Israel wept at His words, they named the town “weepers”, and sacrificed an apology/forgiveness offering there. [v4-5]

The rest of the chapter showed how those with eye-witness connection to Father God’s direct intervention are strong and can influence others by their strength of faith as story-keepers. [v7] However, as soon as the grandparents die off, if the parents haven’t kept the family stories up and kept passing down to the children, another generation will arise without any knowledge of their family’s heritage and faith. [v10] HIStory has proven this fact to be true and there’s no need to test it. Instead, we who are parents and grandparents have a divine mandate, and at times an uphill battle, set before us. The reason? Because humans have a natural bias towards sliding backwards than pulling forwards or climbing upwards. [v11-13]

When life falls apart however, we can neither blame our Maker nor say He’s punishing us. Although Father God is as angry with us as any father would be when his kids flush their lives down the drain, destroy what’s been built up, or choose a life course that ditches all their training and it all goes to waste (though they would earn so much more money overnight if they would just return to what they were trained for), in almost every turbulent life experience, we’re often seeing the consequences of the choices we’ve made. The absence of blessing [v15] is as much a source of severe distress as all-out opposition with no deliverance. [v14] But throughout HIStory, Father God has proven Himself to be

“… The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” [Exodus 34:6-7]

It isn’t long then before Father God raises up Judges – not in judgement but people who have a capacity for judging between right and wrong and doing what is right by delivering Father God’s people from the fix that they got themselves into. [v16] Still, and as we often do today, as soon as things come right, we ditch the promises we made in distress and carry on as before. [v18-19] The key woven into this heartbreaking rendition of human behaviour are the words “…have not listened to My voice…” [v20] Exactly the command they received in Exodus 23:20-22, at the birth of this nation.

Today we can have a “thorn in our flesh” – something that doesn’t go away and it tests us. [v22] This isn’t the stick by which we’re hit by a ruthless Father. It all stems from the very Beginning when we were created in His own Image to operate in His likeness. The tests we face are good tests – like a sports car would be put through its paces after its freshly released from the manufacturer factory. This life is our testing ground – the preface and a test run before the real story of our Eternal Life.  Just as the Children of Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness before entering into their promised land, our 70+ years of Life on Planet Earth are just a drop in the bucket compared to our eternal resting place. But to quote Russell Crowe from the movie Gladiator: What we do in life, echoes in eternity.

CLICK to return to today’s “Daily Breadcrumbs”

[a] Galatians 6:7-8

[b] Genesis 3:11-13

[c] Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 139:13

[d] 2 Timothy 3:16

[e] Deuteronomy 7:7

[f] Genesis 16:7,13, 17:1, c18, 26:4, 32:24,30; Exodus 3:16, 4:5, 6:3

[g] Genesis 16:7,9-11; 22:11,15; Exodus 3:2; Numbers 22:22-35 (Orthodox Jewish Bible – OJB)

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