My Right Hand’s Skill – Mailing #2
First, can I invite you all to pray for the peace of Jerusalem on October 3rd with a worldwide gathering of Christians and Jews? Please visit my website for a video of the event and consider praying with your friends, family and congregations this Sunday – http://atomsound.net/mediashare/Jerusalem_100304.htm
Now I want to share a scriptural “midrash” (a hebrew word meaning ‘interpretation’ or ‘exegesis’).
It concerns God’s desire for humanity as a husband has desire for his wife… and how that ties into this season of joyful remembrance we know as Sukkoth – or the Feast of Tabernacles.
1st consider a few factors from scripture.
Yeshua is the Last Adam – 1Cor.15:45-48 (45) “This is what Scripture says: ‘The first man, Adam, became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (46) The spiritual does not come first, but the physical and then the spiritual. (47) The first man was made from the dust of the earth. He came from the earth. The second man came from heaven. (48) The people on earth are like the man who was made from the dust of the earth. The people in heaven are like the man who came from heaven.”
And He is the BrideGroom King – John 3:27-32 (27) “John (the Baptist) answered, ‘People can’t receive anything unless it has been given to them from heaven. (28) You are witnesses that I said, “I’m not the Messiah, but I’ve been sent ahead of him.” (29) ‘The groom is the person to whom the bride belongs. The best man, who stands and listens to him, is overjoyed when the groom speaks. This is the joy that I feel. (30) He must increase in importance, while I must decrease in importance. (31) The person who comes from above is superior to everyone. I, a person from the earth, know nothing but what is on earth, and that’s all I can talk about. The person who comes from heaven is superior to everyone (32) and tells what he has seen and heard.'”
And from His side flowed Blood and Water – See John 19:34 and Hebrews 10:22. The Word of God made flesh (John 1:1, 14) was “made to sleep” as was the first Adam (Gen 2:21) and the Bride of Messiah was born out of His side. From His side was born the Bride… and “the Groom is the person to whom the Bride belongs” (John 3:29)!
And the command is given “They shall become one” (Gen 2:24)!
His longing, then, as portrayed in Adam and Eve who were “So God created humans in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female.” (Gen 1:27) is for the two to “become one.”
And, believe it or not, this takes us to sukkoth! Tabernacles! Leviticus 23:33-44 (33) The LORD spoke to Moses, (34) “Tell the Israelites: The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Booths to the LORD. It will last seven days. (35) On the first day there will be a holy assembly. Don’t do any regular work. (36) For seven consecutive days bring a sacrifice by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day there will be a holy assembly. Bring the LORD a sacrifice by fire. This is the last festival of the year. Don’t do any regular work. (37) “These are the LORD’s appointed festivals. Announce them as holy assemblies for bringing sacrifices by fire to the LORD. Bring burnt offerings, grain offerings, other sacrifices, and wine offerings–each one on its special day. (38) This is in addition to the LORD’s days of worship, your gifts, all your vows, and your freewill offerings to the LORD. (39) “However, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered what the land produces, celebrate the LORD’s festival for seven days. The first and the eighth days will be worship festivals. (40) On the first day take the best fruits, palm branches, the branches of leafy trees and poplars, and celebrate in the presence of the LORD your God for seven days. (41) It is the LORD’s festival. Celebrate it for seven days each year. This is a permanent law for generations to come. Celebrate this festival in the seventh month. (42) Live in booths for seven days. Everyone born in Israel must live in booths (43) so that generations to come may learn how I made the people of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” (44) So Moses told the Israelites about the LORD’s appointed festivals.
Deuteronomy 16: 16 “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty handed”
Nehemiah 8: 14 “They found written in the Teachings that the LORD had given an order through Moses that the people of Israel should live in booths during a festival in the seventh month”
And in John 7: 2 – “The time for the Jewish Festival of Booths was near.”
Our family celebrates Sukkoth now – perhaps not to kosher standards – but we are certainly having fun and learning a LOT about God!
Tabernacles is the gentle reminder to all humanity (Zech 14:16) that we should remember how God dwelt with the “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38) of the Children of Israel (and some former Egyptians?) who came up out of Egypt’s slavery and journeyed in the desert of man’s destitute soul.
Is it not similar to the shulammite’s experience in the desert?
When she “learned to lean” on her Beloved?
Song Of Solomon 8: 5 “Who is this young woman coming from the wilderness leaning upon her beloved?”
So this is the Levitical edict given to the children of Israel – Lev. 23:42-43 (42) Live in booths for seven days. Everyone born in Israel must live in booths (43) so that generations to come may learn how I made the people of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
And this is the edict given to the entire world – Zech 14:16 “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
So perhaps we should ask ourselves, “Where are my family and I going to set up our tent?”
Better still! We can teach our children the COMPLETE meaning of the remembering of the “tabernacles:” The heavenly tabernacle is the New Jerusalem which comes down out of the sky at the end of Messiah Yeshua’s 1,000 year reign upon earth!
Revelation of John 21:2-3 (2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (KJV)
This is a building of massive proportions being physically constructed by our physically resurrected BrideGroom King. Ezekiel 45 seems to give some detail to it’s proportions and it seems that our Lord was a carpenter for a lasting reason! Verse 1 – “Set aside an area 43,750 feet long and 35,000 feet wide for the LORD. The entire area will be holy.”
And He is so much more – He inspires every architectural and scientific inkling! The primary builder of the tabernacle in the wilderness was a man named Bezalel.
Ex 35:30-33 (30) Then Moses said to the Israelites, “The LORD has chosen Bezalel, son of Uri and grandson of Hur, from the tribe of Judah. (31) The LORD has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, making him highly skilled, resourceful, and knowledgeable in all trades. (32) He’s a master artist familiar with gold, silver, and bronze. (33) He knows how to cut and set stones and how to work with wood. He’s an expert in all trades. (God’s Word)
If you think that Bezalel was skilled enough to build the tabernacle in the wilderness, don’t you think that Yeshua, who we know was a carpenter with Joseph, wi
ll be skilled enough to build a much, much larger tabernacle for all the children of the world?
In John 14:1-3 (1) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (KJV)
1st Peter 2:4-10 (4) And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, (5) you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (6) For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (7) This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,” (8) and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. (9) But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (10) for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. (New American Standard Version)