Shabbat Shalom! Counting of the Omer ai??i?? Day 29
17:1) A prayer of David.
Hear Yahua, my righteous plea;
Give ear to my prayer that does not go out of deceitful lips.
17:2) Let my sentence come forth from your presence;
Let your eyes look on equity.
17:3) You have proved my heart; you have visited me in the night;
You have tried me and found nothing;
I have resolved that my mouth shall not disobey.
17:4) As for the works of men, by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent.
17:5) My steps have held fast to your paths;
My feet have not slipped.
17:6) I have called on you, for you will answer me, Yahua.
Turn your ear to me. Hear my speech.
17:7) Show your marvellous lovingkindness,
You who save those who take refuge by your hand from their enemies.
17:8) Keep me as the apple of your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of your wings,
17:9) From the wicked who oppress me,
My deadly enemies who surround me.
17:10) They close up their callous hearts.
With their mouth they speak proudly.
17:11) They have now surrounded us in our steps.
They set their eyes to cast us down to the earth.
17:12) He is like a lion that is greedy of his prey,
As it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
17:13) Arise, Yahua. Confront him, cast him down.
Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword;
17:14) From men by your hand, Yahua,
From men of the world, whose portion is in this life.
You fill the belly of your cherished ones. Your sons have plenty,
And they store up wealth for their children.
17:15) As for me, I shall see your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with seeing your form.
Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai??So free we seem; so fettered are we.
When I first went to sea as an apprentice, every Wednesday morning was the Captainai??i??s Rounds. These rounds were inspections of everyoneai??i??s cabins and galley and sometimes the engineroom and deck stores. The Captain was accompanied on these rounds by the Chief Engineer (representing the engineering staff), the Chief Officer (representing the deck) and the Chief Steward (representing the catering staff). On one occasion, I was called to make the rounds with them as part of my education. Each were dressed in their uniforms with white gloves. If any dirt was found in a cabin, the Captain would wipe his gloved finger and point it at the Chief who represent the cabin occupant. Nothing was ever said, but the accusatory finger shouted ai???Get this cleaned!ai??i?? After lunch, there was a fire and boat drill. Once this was completed, the Captain and Chief Engineer went to the bar to drink pink gins.
It was the formality of the inspection that I remember so well; and the white gloves. I was determined that I was going to be Chief Engineer one day, wearing the white gloves. It was the impression that the Chief Engineer did very little physical work, some paperwork around lunch time and an afternoon drinking pink gin and having a nap. Unfortunately, at each subsequent promotion, the harder I worked; and I never worked so hard as when I was Chief Engineer. I must admit that I could have had it easier, but I enjoyed engineering and was only too happy to work. Although I was the Chief Engineer (second in command only after the Captain), I was not there to take things easy. Life at sea must be a team effort and no vessel could function well with some of the crew not pulling their weight. I cannot, even now, sit around when I know others are working.
ai???Have this in mind, which was also in Messiah Yahshua, who existing in the form of `Elohiym, did not consider it robbery to be equal with Yahua, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the execution stake. Therefore Yahua also highly exalted Him and gave Him the Name above every name.ai??? (Phil. 2:5-9).
It must be considered a great honour to be able to serve Father in anything He asks us to do. In fact, the root meaning of the word ai???ministerai??i?? is to serve. A person who wants to serve Father can only really do so by serving his fellow mankind.
ai???But Yahshua summoned them and said, ai???You know that the rulers of the Gentiles rule over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.ai??i??ai??? (Matt. 20:25, 26). This must have been a difficult concept for the early Believers to come to terms with. Throughout their whole experience, people sought positions of power and influence so that they can have others working for them. All secular and religious authority is in the form of an hierarchical structure. Then along comes the Master and literally turns this up-side-down.
Unfortunately, the term servant is looked down upon as a menial worker; one who is of little worth. This is far from the Biblical viewpoint. Here is a list of some Biblical characters who have made it onto Yahuaai??i??s list of servants:
Jer. 33:36 ai??i?? David
Jer. 46:22 ai??i?? Yaai??i??akov (Jacob/Yisraai??i??el)
Dan. 6:20 ai??i?? Daniyai??i??el
Dan. 9:11 ai??i?? Moshe (Moses)
Hag. 2:23 ai??i?? Zerubbabel
Rom. 1:1 ai??i?? Shaai??i??ul (Paul)
Jude 1:1 ai??i?? Yahuda (Jude)
Jam. 1:1 ai??i?? Yaai??i??akov (James)
Rev. 1:1 ai??i?? Yochanan (John)
This is a powerful list of people Father calls His servants. So it is not a bad list to join. However, there is One who tops all these:
Zec. 3:8 ai??i?? Branch/Messiah
ai???He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: but the knowledge of Himself shall my righteous Servant justify many and He shall bear their iniquities.ai??? (Isa. 53:11). From this prophet comes the title of the Saviour as The Suffering Servant.
Beloved, are you waiting to serve or to be served? We are called to emulate our Master who did not think it below Him to wash His disciplesai??i?? feet. He came to serve His fellow Man but how far are we willing to go be like Him?
ai???For you, brothers, were called for freedom. Only do not use your freedom for gain to the flesh, but through love be servants to one another.ai??? (Gal. 5:13). In serving on another we are actually serving Messiah Yahshua and, ai???If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honour him.ai??? (John 12:26). In serving Messiah, we are serving the One who sent Him.
ai???No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to one and despise the other. You are not able to serve Yahua and mammon.ai??? (Luke 16:13). In this verse, mammon represents the world system and the ruler of this system.
ai???It said to Him, ai???I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me.ai??i??ai??? (Matt. 4:9). In His wilderness trials, the Master was tempted by haSatan. If it was not the ruler of this world, this would not have been a temptation. The Master rebuked the Adversary not by refuting its right to give Him all things but by quoting Scripture. ai???Then Yahusha said to it, ai???Get behind me haHatan! For it is written, ai???You shall worship Yahua your `Elohiym, and Him only shall you serve.ai??i??ai??i??ai??? (Matt. 4:10).
Who or what do you serve? If you are not serving Father by serving Messiah Yahusha, then you must be serving haSatan. If this seems rather harsh take a look at the question again and truthfully ask yourself what is the centre of your worship.
ai???Yahusha answered them. ai???Most assuredly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin.ai??i??ai??? (John 8:34). Man was born to serve and if it is not Yahua, then it must be sin.
ai???But thanks be to Yahua, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto you were delivered. Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness.ai??? (Rom. 6:17, 18). Only Messiah Yahusha can break the hold sin has over us. That is what the execution stake did for Mankind. However, there must be a positive decision to accept all that Messiah has accomplished on our behalf.
ai???Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heat; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.ai??? (Matt. 11:29, 30). Sin, and its instigator haSatan, is a tyrant and a severe taskmaster. On the other hand Yahua loves you and wants you to love Him back.
Still not sure?
Then seek to serve Yahua.
If you want to accept 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 as Father 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, Father, for making this way back to you.ai???Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??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.
Father willing, we will gather again next Shabbat.