Friday, January 27, 2017

The Ketuvim--Yeshua is There! Part XXIV

We have been journeying through the Old Testament to find Jesus.  We have done just that: through His name, Yeshua ("salvation") we see how Jesus is a tender whisper throughout the Old Testament when the word yeshua is used to express salvation and deliverance.
If God implements the completion of His salvation plan with His Son, then you would not expect Jesus to just show up in the first century.  He would have been present throughout the unfolding of His Father's plan over the centuries as God chose His people and demonstrated His mercy and justice in the Jews and through the Jews.

Satan was cast out of heaven due to his overweening pride; since then, he has never cease to hound God's children.  He has been especially merciless to the Jewish people.  Satan has never had a shortage of willing human participants to join him in his slaughter campaign.

My deep respect for the Jewish people comes from their never-ending search for meaning.  Instead of viewing God as capricious, foul-tempered and unruly (just ask the Greeks and the Mesopotamians about their gods!), they sought Him and He sought them.  They then sang, wrote and prayed about this God, Yahweh, Adonai, Elohim, Who had revealed Himself to them.  They viewed history not as an never-ending cycle (ask the Greeks) but as a progression, with God as their Good Shepherd leading them on.

The finest king, whose golden rule of Israel also echoed of the Messiah to come, was David.  Despite all of his faults and sins, God loved Him and revealed Himself to him.

Let me draw an analogy here.  Sometimes I see God as the night sky in the mountains. Our sky right now is clear, black and the nights are so cold that the stars barely twinkle.  If I get out of my car, or all the lights have been running in the house, I look up and don't see many stars. My eyes are not acclimated to the dim light of a deep winter night in Idaho.  I don't stand outside and get acclimated, for it's 15 or 20 degrees outside.  But last night, I turned all of the lights in the house off, and stood, looking outside my dining room window.  The stars slowly came into view as my eyes adjusted.  I wanted to go outside and see the Milky Way, but it was too cold.

Whether I am looking up at the night sky or not, whether I am inside or outside, whether I see a few stars or bear the cold and stand outside long enough for all of them come into view, the night sky is still there.  It displays its beauty whether I am there or not.  I can stand in awe-struck wonder at its beauty or I can go to bed.

This is the beauty of the relationship between the Jewish people and God.  His beauty was there for them to enjoy, be awe-struck by and amazed.  Or when they weren't interested, for the burden of the Covenant had become too great for them, and they spiritually went to bed, God was still there, year after year, generation after generation.  He never stopped loving them.

He never stops loving us.  But He whispers.  He never shouts.  He guides.  He never pushes.  He coaxes, never compels.  He loves, never manipulates.  That is why the Old Testament and His working with His people is so lovely to read and behold the events that unfold.  He is faithful to His promises and to us:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord. (Lam. 3:22-26)

This was written after the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah. Even in the midst of utter heartbreak, the Jews gave meaning to the chaos they had witnessed.

Let us close our journey with a celebration of where Jesus' name is heard in the verb, yesha, or is a noun, yeshua, echoing in the Ketuvim ("Writings"), that section of the Old Testament that includes the Psalms.  David authored many of the Psalms and he gloried in his Lord.  Let us always do the same. In these troubling times, the Word of God (Jesus) is needed more than ever!

Oh, that yeshua for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad! (Ps. 14:7)

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my yesha, my stronghold. (Ps. 18:2)

We will rejoice in thy yeshua, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions. (Ps. 20:5)

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my yesha; on thee do I wait all the day. (Ps. 25:5)

The LORD is my light and my yesha--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps. 27:1)

But God is my King from long ago; he brings yeshua on the earth. (Ps. 74:12)

Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his yeshua day after day. (Ps. 96:2)

The LORD has made known His yeshua;
He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the yeshua of our God. (Ps. 98:2-3)

I will clothe her priests with yesha, and her faithful people will ever sing for joy. (Ps. 132:16)

O GOD the Lord, the strength of my yeshua, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
(Ps. 140:7)

For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with yeshua. (Ps. 149:4)

Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus.

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