Hizkiyahu’s Illness ~ Yesha’hayu 38:1-8

In my last post, we concluded our mini-series of Yerushalayim’s Deliverance Foretold ~ Part 4 in Yesha’hayu 37:30-38. In this post, we learn of Hizkiyahu’s Illness in Yesha’yahu 38:1-8.

This post is deliberately short as I did not want to break up Hizikiyahu’s Poem beginning in verse 9.

1 Around this time Hizkiyahu became ill to the point of death. Yesha‘yahu the prophet, the son of Amotz, came and said to him, “Here is what Adonai says: ‘Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not live.’” 2 Hizkiyahu turned his face toward the wall and prayed to Adonai: 3 “I plead with you, Adonai, remember now how I have lived before you truly and wholeheartedly, and how I have done what you see as good.” And he cried bitter tears. 4 Then the word of Adonai came to Yesha‘yahu: 5 “Go and tell Hizkiyahu that this is what Adonai, the God of David, your ancestor, says: ‘I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; therefore I will add fifteen years to your life.

Adonai heard the prayer of Hizkiyahu and increased his lifespan by 15 years. Hizkiyahu was the descendant of David, who had been promised a son on the throne in Yerushalayim forever. Hizkiyahu may not have had an heir at this time (his heir, Manasseh, was 12 years old when Hizkiyahu died; see 2 Kings 21:1). This meant that if he died before the fifteen-year extension, the Davidic dynasty would come to an end.

6 Also, I will rescue you and this city from the power of the king of Ashur; I will defend this city.

The reference to the deliverance of the city from the king of Ashur may indicate that this episode took place during the Ashurim threat described in chapters 36-37.

7 The sign for you from Adonai that Adonai will do what he said is 8 that I will cause the shadow of the sundial, which has started going down on the sundial of Achaz, to go backward ten intervals.’” So, the sun went back ten intervals of the distance it had already gone down.” ~ Isaiah 38:1-8 (CJB)

Hizkiyahu’s sign brings to mind the sign offered to his father Achaz in chapter 7. While Achaz was not interested in receiving a sign, probably because he had other plans in mind, Hizkiyahu did not try to refuse the sign. Their contrasting responses reveal the difference between Achaz, who trusted in other nations, and Hizkiyahu, who believed in Adonai.

The return of the sun’s shadow on the sundial indicated a lengthening of the day that would be comparable to Adonai’s lengthening of the life of Hizkiyahu. The parallel account in 2 Kings 20:9-11 indicates that Hizkiyahu was allowed to choose whether the shadow would go forward or back. Hizkiyahu chose the latter since he considered that the more difficult feat.

In my next post, we begin to examine Hizkiyahu’s Poem in Yesha’yahu 38:9-22.

Click here for the PDF version.

Eliyahu ~ Part 4

In my last post, we explored The Obedience of Eliyahu and the Faith of a Goy in 1 Kings 8-16. In this post, we learn of A Miraculous Resurrection in 1 Kings 17:17-24.

A Miraculous Resurrection

17 A while later, the son of the woman whose house it was fell ill; his illness grew increasingly serious until his breathing stopped. 18 She said to Eliyahu, ‘What do you have against me, you man of God? Did you come to me just to remind me how sinful I am by killing my son?’ 19 ‘Give me your son,’ he said to her. Taking him from her lap, he carried him into the room upstairs where he was staying and laid him on his own bed. 20 Then he cried out to Adonai: ‘Adonai my God! Have you brought also this misery on the widow I’m staying with by killing her son?’ 21 He stretched himself out on the child three times and cried out to Adonai: ‘Adonai my God, please! Let this child’s soul come back into him!’ 22 Adonai heard Eliyahu’s cry, the child’s soul came back into him, and he revived. 23 Eliyahu took the child, brought him down from the upstairs room into the house and gave him to his mother; and Eliyahu said, ‘See? Your son is alive.’ 24 The woman replied to Eliyahu, ‘Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of Adonai that you speak is the truth.’” ~1 Kings 17:17-24 (CJB)

This is the first recorded instance in Scripture of the resurrection of a dead person. The evidence seems clear that the widow’s son actually died and didn’t just faint. He stopped breathing, and his soul left his body. According to James 2:26, when the soul departs, the person is dead. The great distress of both the mother and the prophet would suggest that the boy was killed, and both of them used the word “killing” concerning the event.

The mother’s response was to feel guilty because of her past sins. She believed that her son’s death was God’s way of punishing her for her misdeeds. It isn’t unusual for people to feel guilty in connection with mourning, but why would she point her finger at Eliyahu? She recognized Eliyahu as a man of God, and perhaps she thought his presence in the home would protect her and her son from trouble. Her words remind us of the question of the talmidim asked Yeshua, “Rabbi, who sinned — this man or his parents — to cause him to be born blind?” ~ John 9:2 (CJB)

Eliyahu’s response was to carry the boy to his upstairs room and to cry out to the Lord for the life of the child. He couldn’t believe that the Lord would miraculously provide food for the three of them and then allow the son to die. It just didn’t make sense.

Eliyahu didn’t stretch himself out on the boy’s dead body in hopes he could transfer his life to the boy, for he knew that only God could impart life to the dead. Indeed, his posture indicated total identification with the boy and his need, and this is an essential factor when we intercede for others. It was after Eliyahu stretched himself on the child for the third time that the Lord raised him from the dead, a reminder that our own Savior arose from the dead on the third day.

The result of this miracle was the woman’s public confession of her faith in the God of Israel. She now knew for sure that Eliyahu was a true servant of God and not just another religious teacher looking for some support. She also knew that the Word he had taught her was indeed the Word of the true and living God.

During the time he lived with the widow and her son, Eliyahu had shown them that God sustains life (the meal and oil didn’t run out) and that God imparts life (the boy was raised from the dead).

This miracle teaches us three crucial lessons:

  1. not all illness is the result of sin;
  2. God has power over sickness and death; and
  3. the purpose of the signs is to produce faith in the God’s Word.

Eliyahu hadn’t been in public ministry for a long time, yet his private ministry to the woman and her son was just as essential both to the Lord and to them. Eliyahu had proved the power of God in Ba’al’s home territory, so he was now ready to challenge and defeat Ba’al in the kingdom of Israel.

During these three years as an exile and a hunted man (18:10), Eliyahu has learned a great deal about the Lord, about himself and the needs of people. He has learned to live a day at a time, trusting God for his daily bread. For three years, people have been asking, “Where is the prophet Eliyahu?” Is he able to do anything to ease the burdens we carry because of this drought? But the Lord is more concerned about the worker than the work, and He has been preparing Eliyahu for the most significant challenge of faith in his entire ministry.

In my next post, we will continue to explore the Biblical story of Eliyahu in 1 Kings 18:1-15. In this passage, Eliyahu is ordered by God to return to Ach’av and meets up with ‘Ovadyah, who oversaw Ach’av’s palace.

Click here for PDF version.

The Christian Torah in A Nutshell ~ A Wrap-up

Since December 9, 2015, other than during the Jewish feasts and festivals, most of my teachings have concentrated on sitting at the feet of Yeshua and listening to Him as He taught His talmidim.  Our source document has been the Gospel of Matthew (Mattityahu).  The “Word in Life Study Bible” calls the Gospel of Matthew the Christian Torah.”

It’s time for us to move on from here and dive deeper into God’s Word.  However, since we have several new followers who haven’t been here from the beginning of this study and for those of us who may have forgotten what we learned, I want to take this opportunity to summarize where we’ve been.

Needless to say, this post will be rather lengthy given that I will be summarizing almost 80 posts.  So, here is the link to the PDF version.

I started my defining what a Biblical talmid is:

  1. One who is following the Messiah – has made Yeshua the Lord of their life. (Luke 9:3; John 8:31)
  2. One who is being changed by the Messiah – is becoming like the Messiah in attitude and action. (John 15:8; Romans 8:29, Galatians 4:19; 5:22-23; John 13:35)
  3. One who is committed to the Mission of the Messiah.  (Messiah’s mission is to save a lost world by installing a ministry of reconciliation and service to others.) (John 15:8; Matthew 4:19; 2 Corinthians 5:19-20)

Continue reading “The Christian Torah in A Nutshell ~ A Wrap-up”

Forgiveness ~ Part 2

To Be Like Yeshua Means – To Understand Who Is the Greatest in The Kingdom

In my last post, we introduced the concept of forgiveness.  In this post, we’ll exam another parable that states Yeshua’s teaching on forgiveness.

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

“Because of this [Yeshua’s instruction to Kefa to forgive seventy times seven], the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared with a king who decided to settle accounts with his deputies. Right away they brought forward a man who owed him many millions; and since he couldn’t pay, his master ordered that he, his wife, his children and all his possessions be sold to pay the debt.  But the servant fell down before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’  So out of pity for him, the master let him go and forgave the debt. But as that servant was leaving, he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him some tiny sum. He grabbed him and began to choke him, crying, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’  His fellow servant fell before him and begged, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’  But he refused; instead, he had him thrown in jail until he should repay the debt.  When the other servants saw what had happened, they were extremely distressed; and they went and told their master everything that had taken place.  Then the master summoned his servant and said, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt just because you begged me to do it.  Shouldn’t you have had pity on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’  And in anger his master turned him over to the jailers for punishment until he paid back everything he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat you, unless you each forgive your brother from your hearts.” Matthew 18:23-35

This parable is recorded only in Matthew and illustrates the need for unlimited forgiveness in the body of Yeshua.  The Believers, already part of the Kingdom of Heaven must therefore forgive in the following manner.  The presiding king decides that he wants to go over the books with his accountant and settle up on accounts receivable and accounts payable.  These deputies probably would be court officials, powerful men in their own right.  These were not slaves or servants in the strict meaning of the words, yet they were subservient to the king.  Until modern times, kings had absolute power over their subjects. Continue reading “Forgiveness ~ Part 2”

What is the cause of all the anti-Semitism in the world?

Here is an excellent post that is concise and to the point on why anti-Semitism exits in the world.

altruistico

Why does the world hate the Jews? Why is anti-Semitism so rampant in so many different nations? What is so bad about the Jews? History has shown that at various times over the last 1,700 years the Jews have been expelled from over 80 different countries. Historians and experts have concluded there are at least six possible reasons:

• Racial Theory – the Jews are hated because they are an inferior race.
• Economic Theory – the Jews are hated because they possess too much wealth and power.
• Outsiders Theory – the Jews are hated because they are different from everyone else.
• Scapegoat Theory – the Jews are hated because they are the cause for all the world’s problems.
• Deicide Theory – the Jews are hated because they killed Jesus Christ.
• Chosen People Theory – the Jews are hated because they arrogantly declare they are the…

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Yeshua Heals the Blind and Mute

To Be Like Yeshua Means – To Serve Others

In my last post, we looked at how Yeshua raised to life the dead daughter of the Jewish synagogue leader and the women with the issue of blood who way laid Him on the His way to the leader’s home.  In this post, we will complete Matthew 9 by examining two more miracles.

The Blind Receive Their Sight

“As Yeshua went on from there, two blind men began following him, shouting, “Son of David! Take pity on us!”  ~ Mathew 9:27.

Yeshua and the talmidim returned from there (that is, from Ya’ir’s house, 9:23), most likely with a crowd continuing in their wake.  Two blind men began following himThese men cried out for pity, meaning that they wanted Yeshua to help them.  Isaiah had prophesied that a day would come when God would open the eyes of the blind (see Isaiah 29:18; 35:5-6; 42:7).  These men called Yeshua Son of David, a popular way of addressing Yeshua as the Messiah.  It was known that the Messiah would be a descendant of David (see Isaiah 9:7).  This is the first time this title is used in Mathew. Continue reading “Yeshua Heals the Blind and Mute”

Yeshua Heals a Bleeding Woman and Restores a Girl to Life

To Be Like Yeshua Means – To Serve Others

In my last post, we learned what Yeshua had to say about fasting and new wine.  In this post, we continue in the Christian Torah by looking at two more miracles of Yeshua.  Mathew continues his account of Yeshua, in spite of the P’rushim, reaching out to two more unclean people—a woman with a bleeding disorder and a dead child—healing one and raising the other to life.  Again, His compassion outweighs legalism.

Yeshua Goes to Restore Life

“While he was talking, an official came in, kneeled down in front of him and said, “My daughter has just died. But if you come and lay your hand on her, she will live.”  Yeshua, with his talmidim, got up and followed him” ~ Mathew 9:18-19. 

Yeshua was interrupted by a man who came with a need.  To get the full story of this event, I will be pulling information from both Mark and Luke’s Gospel account to fill-in some of the blanks.  Mark and Luke say this man’s name was Ya’ir (Jarius) (see Mark 5:22; Luke 8:41).  He was a leader of the synagogue.  The synagogue leaders were responsible for supervising worship services, caring for the scrolls, running the daily school, keeping the congregation faithful to the Law, distributing alms, administering the care of the building, and finding rabbis to teach on the Sabbath. Continue reading “Yeshua Heals a Bleeding Woman and Restores a Girl to Life”

Yeshua Is Charged with Blasphemy

To Be Like Yeshua Means – To Serve Others

In my last post, we examined the story of the paralyzed man let down by His friends through a hole in the roof on His mat.  We used the account from Mark as it contained a few more details than Matthews account.  In this post, we will examine how He defends Himself from a charge of blasphemy.

Returning to our story from Matthew:

“On seeing this, some of the Torah-teachers said among themselves, ‘This man is blaspheming!’ Yeshua, knowing what they were thinking, said, ‘Why are you entertaining evil thoughts in your hearts? Tell me, which is easier to say — ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up and walk’? But look! I will prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” He then said to the paralyzed man, ‘Get up, pick up your mattress, and go home!’ And the man got up and went home. When the crowds saw this, they were awestruck and said a b’rakhah to God the Giver of such authority to human beings.” ~ Matthew 9:3-8 Continue reading “Yeshua Is Charged with Blasphemy”

Yeshua Heals a Paralyzed Man

To Be Like Yeshua Means – To Serve Others

In this post, we pick up our exploration of what it means to serve in Matthew 9.  Yeshua has just delivered two demoniacs from evil and is getting ready to return to His base of operation in K’far-Nachum.

“So he stepped into a boat, crossed the lake again and came to his own town.  Some people brought him a paralyzed man lying on a mattress.” ~ Mathew 9:1-2.  Mark actually gives a more detailed account of this story, so I’m going to use that passage to explore this amazing healing account.  As you read this narrative, try to picture yourself in the scene.  You can be one of the friends bringing their man to Yeshua for healing OR part of the crowd OR one of the Torah-teachers OR (my favorite) perhaps the owner of the house. Continue reading “Yeshua Heals a Paralyzed Man”

Yeshua Performs an Exorcism

To Be Like Yeshua Means – To Serve Others

We continue our series “To Be Like Yeshua Means – To Serve Others.”  We have learned that we are called as Yeshua’s talmidim to “serve others.”  We have seen Yeshua demonstrate His healing power with the leper, the Roman Officer’s assistant and Kefa’s mother-in-law and many more that were demon possessed or ill.   Yeshua reminded us that we have to count the costs if we are to truly follow Him and we also learned that following Him may put us in harm’s way.   In this post, we will look at Yeshua’s power over the supernatural or spiritual realm.

When Yeshua calmed the storm, He and His talmidim “arrived at the other side of the lake, in the Gadarenes’ territory, there came out of the burial caves two men controlled by demons, so violent that no one dared travel on that road. They screamed, ‘What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’ Now some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding.   The demons begged him, ‘If you are going to drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.’  ‘All right, go!’ He told them.  So they came out and went into the pigs, whereupon the entire herd rushed down the hillside into the lake and drowned. The swineherders fled, went off to the town and told the whole story, including what had happened to the demonized men.  At this, the whole town came out to meet Yeshua.  When they saw him, they begged him to leave their district.”  ~ Matthew 8:28–34. Continue reading “Yeshua Performs an Exorcism”