78:54) He led them safely, so that they were not afraid,
But the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
78:55) He brought them to the border of His sanctuary,
To this mountain, which His right hand had taken.
78:56) He also drove out the nations before them,
Allotted them for an inheritance by line,
And made the tribes of Yisra’el to dwell in their tents.
78:57) Yet they tempted and rebelled against Ha`Elyon `Elohiym,
And did not keep His testimonies;
78:58) But turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers.
They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
78:59) For they provoked him to anger with their high places,
And moved Him to jealousy with their engraved images.
78:60) When `Elohiym heard this, He was angry,
And greatly abhorred Yisra’el;
78:61) So that He forsook the tent of Shiloh,
The tent which He placed among men;
78:62) And delivered His strength into captivity,
His glory into the adversary’s hand.
78:63) He also gave His people over to the sword,
And was angry with His inheritance.
78:64) Fire devoured their young men;
Their virgins had no wedding song.
78:65) Their priests fell by the sword,
And their widows could not weep.
An ass does not stumble twice over the same stone
I can recall vividly my first day I joined a ship as a Cadet Engineer. I had just finished two years of college and thought that I was Yahuaai??i??s gift to engineering. Large engines, machines and boilers; bring them on. Can you imagine my thoughts when the first tool that I was given was a sweeping brush. Once I had mastered its use, I was promoted to the mop and bucket. From that day onwards, I always look at this important lesson as being the foundation of a highly successful career. The two ai???teachersai??i?? Jimmy and Big John were engineroom cleaners, but they taught me lessons over the coming months that I gladly passed on to many a new engineer or apprentice. Another ai???teacherai??i?? during those most informative of months was the Mechanic, Spanner Jack. His favourite lesson was to learn by experience making sure that it was other peopleai??i??s experience from which one learnt.
Another ai???teacherai??i?? that I learnt from was my Uncle Tom. He served his time as a Tool-maker for Rolls Royce and what he could not do with a piece of metal, could not be done at all. This is obviously exaggeration, but not greatly so. He had the knack of being able to do many things not necessarily associated with engineering. My grown up children still remember the times we were all invited over for dinner and we feasted upon home-made bread or ice cream or sampled his home-made wine. He did everything by the book. He was the only man that I knew that read instruction manuals for appliances from a toaster to televisions. One of his most often quoted lessons was that ai???nothing ventured; nothing gained or any engineer who did not a mistake never made anything at all.ai??i??Ai?? His attitude was that it was not a disgrace to make a mistake, but it was to repeat the same error.
Lessons like that are good for life, not just for engineering. Even just the other day, one of my daughters and her young daughter made meringues, but they did not turn out. I asked my granddaughter why she thought that they failed. After several moments of thought, she said that it was probably due to them having to hand-beat the egg whites. I then told her that her answer ensured that the meringues were not a failure after all as she had learnt a valuable lesson. Not only was it necessary to use a mechanical whisk but that failure is not wrong so long as lessons to improve are learnt from the failures.
Beloved, no matter how strong we are, there will always be occasions when we will stumble and fall. Nevertheless, we all must learn from these occasions essentially that we do not keep falling down at the same temptation. Is there anything that keeps tripping you up? ai???If your hand or foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into eternal fire.ai??? (Matt. 18:8). This may seem drastic, but for those who have gangrene this is a life saver. Gangrene is a condition where blood fails to flow to the extremes of limbs and tissue dies. Corruption sets in and the gangrene spreads until it consumes vital organs and death results. The only remedy is amputation.
So it is with Believers. Without the Ruach HaKodesh flowing freely around our bodies, teaching, leading and warning corruption can easily set in. Ignore the warnings, the heart becomes hardened and the Ruach is quietened, making the warnings harder to hear. So on and so forth in a downward spiral into sin. The deeper the spiral, the more drastic is the remedy. ai???Therefore brothers, be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble.ai??? (2 Peter 1:10).
ai???it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.ai??? (Luke 17:2). There was a television series wherein hidden CCTV cameras where located in car parks. The programme was highlighting the rise in thefts from cars. To do this, there were valuables placed in full view in cars. With the cameras rolling, there were scenes of people looking into cars, breaking in and stealing the contents. I find this, at best a disgrace and at worst falling foul of Luke 17:2. The valuables on view were there to entice a person into sin. OK, they should not be looking in the first place, but who amongst us has never cast a glance into a car as we were passing by?
ai???I ask then, did they [Yisra`elites] stumble that they might fall? May it never be! But by their fall, salvation has come to the Gentiles to provoke them to jealousy.ai??? (Rom. 11:11). Stumbling is not always a bad thing as Yahua is in ultimate control. The Yisra`elites were blessed with Yahuaai??i??s Word and with Messiah Yahshua coming to live amongst them. It is because of their stumbling that salvation spread out to the rest of the world. The Good News radiated out from Yerushalayim where the Saviour died and was resurrected. It was this perfect life that was given up so that all men (Yisra`elites and Gentiles) may come to know the grace and mercy of Yahua `Elohiym. All sinners can only be judged and all found guilty of their sin. The punishment for this sin is eternal damnation where suffering and torment will never end.
Nevertheless, Father sent His one and only Son to live and die for all Mankind. Messiah Yahshua took upon Himself the punishment due to all sinners; if only they believed this fact. His resurrection was the proof that Father accepted His sacrifice on our behalf.
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??
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???Flog a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will gain knowledge.ai??? (Prov. 19:25).
Father willing, we will gather again next Shabbat.