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June 13 2012 4 13 /06 /June /2012 15:58

 

Taken from Parasha 37: Shlach L'Kha (Send on your behalf)

Found in Numbers 13:1-15:41 (But I got stuck in 14:20-45 so far...)

 

 

Plainly put, the proper timing of Teshuvah is when the Ruach ha Kodesh points out our sin, and the proper tone is one of humble subjection to whatever He has said we must do to stop sinning and become righteous!

 

But somehow we have gotten the idea that we can take our own sweet little time, that we can do it - change whatever we perceive He wants to change in us - whenever, or in whatever way, seems good to us, whenever we can "get around to it"! As if we are the ones in charge!

 

We live as though we think that sorrow over the inevitable adverse circumstances - which we have created with our wrong, unrighteous, unwise, rebellious, selectively ignorant choices - is the same as repentance. But we are mistaken! That is not repentance!

 

In fact, to make matters worse, it may very well be the same as flying G-d "the bird", the same as rubbing salt in G-d's wounds - and it has the effect of profoundly insulting Him! Because not only are we not sorrowing for the sin which caused our less than happy circumstances - most of the time we are only grieving that we can not have our ill-gotten cake and eat it at the same time! We are not grieving that we are dying from the poison! We are only grieving that the poison - which tasted so good to our misguided flesh - is gone! How incredulously stupid we are in our baser natures!

 

But it has been so from the beginning! Could Adam and Eve be satisfied with the abundance they had? NO! Did the Israelites ever cease grumbling against their deliverer? NO! They just kept on trying G-d's patience, resisting His commands until He had no choice but to wipe them out and start over!

 

But even then, even after He had made it clear that He was no longer with them, they acted as though it was all business as usual! They acted as though He couldn't have really meant what He said! They were still calling Him a liar to His face! They persisted in trying to now - finally - to obey what they had flatly refused to obey earlier, clearly after that opportunity to obey had gone!

 

They stubbornly, stupidly, decided that now they would go with the first plan He said, when clearly, He had stated that the plans had now changed, that, due their refusal to board it, the ship had sailed! The decided to do what He had been asking them to do after He made it clearthat they had grumbled themselves right out of the promised land!

 

They had been plainly told the deal, but decided to just live in denial, as if it had never happened, simply because they did not like the results of their disobedience! But denial is also NOT Repentance! And delayed obedience, especially after G-d has moved on to the next plan, is not obedience either - it is just another affront to G-d's authority. And it will not change the consequences of our disobedience. It will not change the "crop" which He has declared that we must "Reap".

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke of how G-d's people of his time had "cheapened grace". We live in a time that most things of G-d - Torah, Feasts, obedience, grace, repentance, forgiveness - have all been squandered and cheapened until the value is barely discernible. It is much like the native "Americans" who sold valuable land for a few trinkets of sparkly junk - thinking the things had value simply because they were beautiful and new to them, things which they could not make for themselves. The trinkets were worthless! But they appealed somehow to the desire of their fleshly nature.

 

But we have done no better! Instead of treating G-d like the sovereign of the universe, treasuring His Word above all else, and His presence above all else - we have treated Him more like a slot machine. We truly act as though we think that if we can just chunk in enough "change" as we "feel led", then eventually we will hit His "jack-pot" of "blessing". We have relegated "blessing" to mean the "Good Life", "The American Dream"; and that, of course, means a life of relative ease and indulgence of the many addictions and urges of the baser nature - in Hebrew it is known as the yetzer hara - or evil tendencies.

 

The Torah has been relegated to an "obsolete" document. And, sadly, we have bought the lie that obedience to its statutes is "legalism" from which "Christ" delivered us. Odd, since The Anointed One, Yeshua, followed it to the letter!

 

The Feasts have been relegated to optional historical lessons, which most who consider themselves the Bible believers have relegated to quaint, but unnecessary. But G-d decreed them to be the time table of His plans, the teaching tools of His future generations, and the foundation of all other teaching and life! How did such a disconnect occur?

 

Grace and forgiveness have been cheapened, as I said, to a mere feeling of remorse, a temporary sadness, over having our disobedience exposed and our "party" cut short! We take a rap on the hand, shed a few crocodile tears and then go right back to whatever it was that we were so enamored with! Thinking that we can stop when we want (we can't, if we could we would have never "gone there") , that G-d will let us know if it is really important (um.. He did), and that we will somehow magically be "made righteous enough for heaven" with very little effort on our parts (that is not in the Holy Scriptures anywhere - hence the terms, "walk", "fight", warfare", "race" - and others that imply strenuous training and WORK)!

 

And as I have noted any kind of strict adherence to the Word of G-d - previously called "obedience", is now considered to be radical legalism and anti-faith! But if our faith is not shown and acted out of obedience to His commands, then what is it based on? This is why Paul (Shaul) stated, "... show me your faith apart from your works, but I will show my faith by my works...faith without works is dead..." ! You see, the "work" of "faith" is obedience to what G-d has said! What He has written! All faith begins and ends in Torah! There is no other way! Yeshua is the living Torah! If that is so, then how can Torah be dead! How can it be obsolete? It can not.

We are "delivered" from the man made attempts to add to the Torah - or to take from it, those of times past and those of today! That is what Yeshua preached against! But He was Torah observant from start to finish. His life was described by Torah, prophesied by Torah, governed by Torah, and supplied by Torah! He spoke Torah, acted Torah, and fully Lived Torah - to the point that sometimes it appeared that He ate, slept and breathed Torah! It is the substance of Faith, which is the substance from which everything else is created! By it the worlds were framed and everything was called into being!

Why He ever chose to entrust this treasure of Wisdom into creations that were obviously not equal to Himself, why He ever decided to try to bring us into equality with Himself is a mystery that only He can solve. But He has. We have the power of life and death literally in our hands, and in our mouths. We will either speak creation or destruction. I have taken, am taking, an incredible amount of time absorbing and acting on this truth - which gets more glaringly obvious every day!

 

I have sensed that most of my parents' generation has died or is going to die in the wilderness of "Social Acceptance", which was exalted above the higher law of G-d's Torah. Will ours die in the even wilder wilderness of "Political Correctness", which has now been exalted above Torah? Perhaps the next generation of believers will catch the torch of Torah, that we, almost too late, have grasped and are trying to pass to them! Perhaps they will see the promised land?

I am suffering a bit of sorrow this morning, because I am beginning to wonder if we have turned - too late - to try and take the promised land! Finally, after all these years we have got the idea that we can do this - because He said so! But is it after we have been shut out from it by our own obtuse selective ignorance? I am beginning to think that it will be good enough for us to die in our own self-proclaimed wilderness and to leave the joys of the promised land to the next generation. But ultimately, that was our goal anyway wasn't it? To see that they "had better than we did"?

Unfortunately I see a social pattern that concerns me, because it shows that love is devolving. Whereas "the Greatest Generation" still burned with that Patriotic desire for "freedom and liberty for ALL", (except, apparently the ones who did not cut the muster on this side of the ocean) - my folks passed down to us a desire for good that seemed to extend only to "us four and no more"! There was a drive to see that we provided well, meaning to give as much ease as possible, for our offspring, and to heck with the rest of the heathen!

 

Now it seems that the offspring have a desire for themselves ONLY, and seem to have developed an attitude of "why bother to even have offspring to share it with, worry about or mess with?"! It has dwindled to "everyman for himself"! Now the parents who sacrificed and gave for them to be able to reach this level of ease will be lucky if they are cared for until they die! Much like the veterans who secured our peace were treated when they came "Marching home"! The "institutions" will handle them! We have arranged our society so that it is almost impossible to do the right thing by parents or children! G-d help us! We have fallen so far below Your mark!

 

My only hope in writing this is that the time for making real Teshuvah has not yet passed. That perhaps this sorrow I am feeling is from hearing G-d still saying, "You see what I have provided, now do what is necessary to have it, before I turn and walk away from you!" I am hoping that on the "mall map", the "You are here" arrow is pointing to the time when the spies have arrived with fruit, and we can still choose to go in and take the land that this fruit came from, or that at the very least, can still hope to be numbered with the faithful ones who grasped what G-d was saying and were prepared to obey His next command!

 

But I realize that either way G-d is justified, whether I make it into the promised land or not! Because I certainly have done my share of grumbling in this wilderness through which I have just passed! I have done my share of "wishing for the ease of bondage" - despite the obvious error of that whole concept! I have done my share of wishy-washy-ing back and forth from faith to flesh! I have done my share of fainting, of getting weary in well doing, of drawing back in fear of a pre-defeated foe! Of doubting His plan and fearing my flaws over His ability to get beyond them! Of demeaning what He has done in and for me, calling it "grasshoppers" and fearing the feet of the "giants", which He has said should be under my feet!

 

Today, yesterday, for weeks now - in fact, since Pesach - there has been a season of Returning, of Teshuvah, of sorrowing over sin! There has been a season of revelation in which I am seeing how far afield I have been, of how badly I have missed Him! There has been season of self-awarenesss in which I have realized that I was not on the path which I set out to be on, that some how the track got switched! And I have started the journey back to where I was supposed to be - to Torah.

 

The Word instructs us to see the examples written here in this parasha/portion of Torah, so that we do not incur a similar fate! Our fate is in our hands. It is placed within our hearts, it is to come out of our mouth and create the promised land for us. But we must stay obedient to the heavenly vision, Torah is our road-map, puzzle box top, clues and marching orders - whatever analogy we want to use. Teshuvah is quite simply a return to Torah, but we must come when drawn and directed by His Spirit, and the time to act is always now! Procrastination is the worst form of presumption. And contrary to popular examples, presumption is NOT Faith! If you find yourself off the path of righteousness may your journey back begin today, and if you are firmly there, then may the Shalom v'Elohim secure your position! Either way I wish you Happy Walking!

 

Selah!

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  • Sandra Carlton Duncan
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37  years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog  (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37 years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.

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