80:1) Ai??For the Chief Musician. To the tune “The Lilies of the Covenant.”
A Psalm by Asaf.
80:2) Hear us, Shepherd of Yisra’el, You who lead Yosef like a flock,
You who sit above the Keruvim, shine forth.
80:3) Before Efrayim and Binyamin and Menashsheh, stir up your might!
Come to save us!
80:4) Turn us again, `Elohiym.
Cause your face to shine,
And we will be saved.
80:5) Yahuah Tzva’ot,
How long will you be angry against the prayer of your people?
80:6) You have fed them with the bread of tears,
And given them tears to drink in large measure.
80:7) You make us a source of contention to our neighbors.
Our enemies laugh among themselves.
80:8) Turn us again, `Elohiym Tzva’ot.
Cause your face to shine,
And we will be saved.
80:9) You brought a vine out of Mitzrayim.
You drove out the nations, and planted it.
80:10) You cleared the ground for it.
It took deep root, and filled the land.
80:11) The mountains were covered with its shadow.
Its boughs were like `El’s cedars.
80:12) It sent out its branches to the sea,
Its shoots to the River.
80:13) Why have you broken down its walls,
So that all those who pass by the way pluck it?
80:14) The boar out of the wood ravages it.
The wild animals of the field feed on it.
80:15) Turn again, we beg you, Yahuah Tzva’ot.
Look down from heaven, and see, and visit this vine,
80:16) The stock which your right hand planted,
The branch that you made strong for yourself.
80:17) It is burned with fire.
It is cut down.
They perish at your rebuke.
80:18) Let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
On the son of man whom you made strong for yourself.
80:19) So we will not turn away from you.
Revive us, and we will call on your name.
80:20) Turn us again, Yahuah `Elohiym Tzva’ot.
Cause your face to shine, and we will be saved.
Sin casts a long shadow
When I was serving my apprenticeship at sea, I was fortunate to have engineers that taught me, not only the technical knowledge and skills required, but also the philosophy behind good engineering practice on board a ship. During this apprenticeship, I was to sail for four trips to South America and back. We berthed at Avonmouth, near Bristol, went on leave for a couple of weeks, then rejoined the same ship ready to sail for South America. While at sea, any work that was done was carried out with the knowledge that we would be coming back to the ship next trip. Therefore, it made us conscious of the fact that to do a second-rate job may cause us additional problems later on in life, not to mention the bad reputation that would result. A reputation (good or bad) lasts long after the work has finished.
Similarly, when my wife was doing her Masterai??i??s Degree, her research led to comments from prison inmates. When asked about their school days, everyone questioned could remember their best teacher and their worst teacher. Long after their schooldays, the inmates could recall the character of the best and worst teacher, even if they could not recall their lessons.
ai???you shall not bow yourself down to them, for I, Yahuah your `Elohiym, am a jealous `El, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me,ai??? (Exod. 20:5). This verse can be seen best in the way many abusive people come from abusive homes; alcoholics coming from alcoholic parents, gamblers from gambling families. So down through the generations becoming ever more difficult to break out of the cycle. Thus, the sin of the forefathers does indeed cast a long shadow. Sin is the responsible of the individual and is not attributable to the father. Nevertheless, we learn how to live our lives by following, either consciously or sub-consciously our parents. Like a bad reputation, sin has the habit of clinging onto a person and is difficult to shake off.
What then can be done about it?
ai???and showing lovingkindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.ai??? (Exod. 20:6). By being obedient to Yahuah. The only way to get rid of a shadow is to have light of such intensity and scope that there is no room for a shadow to exist.
ai???This is the message which we have heard from Him and announce to you, that Yahuah is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahshua the Messiah, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.ai??? (1 John 1:5-9). One of the results of accepting Messiah Yahshua as Saviour is that a line is drawn in the sand of time. Pre-salvation, the shadow of the sins of our forefathers reaches down through the ages.
ai???For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness. I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more.ai??? (Heb. 8:12). At the moment of salvation, all our sins are forgiven, not to be remembered any longer by Yahuah.
Do you have any family traits that cast a long shadow in your life?
Do you want that line be drawn and escape from the cycle of sin?Ai??
If you want to acceptAi??Fatherai??i??s offer of salvation through Messiah Yahshua, you need to ask Him in prayer along these lines. Use your own words but they must be genuine asAi??FatherAi??knows our very hearts and nothing is hidden from Him.
ai???Father, I am a sinner who needs forgiveness through your Son, Messiah Yahshua. Please forgive me of all my past sins as I accept that, Messiah Yahshua my Saviour, has taken upon Himself my punishment. By your Spirit, help me to live a life worthy of His sacrifice. Thank you,Ai??Father, for making this way back to you.ai???Ai?? Ameyn.
Father, we thank you for the power of your Word and that Word was made flesh in Messiah Yahshua so that in believing in His Life, Death and Resurrection we may have eternal life with you.
ai???Do not enter into the path of the wicked.
Do not walk in the way of evil men.
Avoid it, and do not pass by it.
Turn from it, and pass on.
For they do not sleep, unless they do evil.
Their sleep is taken away, unless they make someone fall.
For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the righteous is like the dawning light,
That shines more and more until the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness.
They do not know what they stumble overai???. (Prov. 4:14-19).
Father willing, we will gather again next Shabbat.