2:15 p.m. Monday January 23, 2023. 46F/8C.
Forewarned. Music drifts into the cabin from outdoors. Such a sound is rare here in the hollow. A delivery truck is parked in the drive. No doubt the driver is attempting to find a cell signal. He’ll soon enough discern that no cell towers exist out this far. Outside the cabin door, the creek is still splashing and bubbling on its way down the mountains. Two feral cats hide under the porch and watch the truck tensely. A jet plane transverses the sky, one of its many journeys, but this time dispersing clear chemicals instead of clouds. The music stops. The truck engine stops. A tall bearded young man steps toward the porch, holding a cardboard box. “Are you ready for the snow?” he announces as he steps gingerly amid mud and gravel. “All my deliveries are going out today, as much as I can get done. Then,” he slams his hand downward, into the air, “ten inches of snow for you! Eight inches for the terminal! I get a day off.” He’s laughing as he announces it. “Get ready.” Forewarned.
The Gospel of Matthew, chapter seven
Heavenly Father, thank you for people who care. Watch over that young man and keep him safe. Keep the animals of the forest safe. Keep the people of the forest safe. Keep the people of the storm safe. Lead us all to you. And guide us, please, as we read your word. Amen.
The older, Hebrew, manuscript says the following:
Yeshua Mashiach said to his talmidim, “You must not speak about the set apart writings before the refusing animals, and not bring the precious words before the pigs, that they do not trample them, and not tear them.”
The Hebrew Gospels, Matityahu 7, translation by Justin van Rensburg
It is stated a little different in the KJV:
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.Matthew 7, KJV
The set-apart writings were the Torah and the prophets, we would call that the Old Testament. The talmidim were the disciples. Refusing animals were pigs and dogs – they ate refuse, or food scraps and garbage. What were the pigs in this verse? People? Perhaps people who consumed all sorts of religion, and called them ALL holy? After being translated into Latin, Greek, and then into English, the verse seems to have changed meaning, but only slightly. Yeshua expressed love for the heart of the Torah and prophets. After translations, a warning about the safety of Bible teachers emerged with the pigs possibly turning and rending the speakers. Such a warning does not appear to have been in his original purpose.
Yeshua Mashiach was the Hebrew for Jesus Messiah. I find it extremely interesting that the older version of Matthew never once lost its boldness in declaring Yeshua as messiah. It was a point that Matthew made repeatedly.
The second point of amazement in this journey to hear the original words of our messiah, was his intense love and respect for the heart of the Torah and the message of the prophets.
We have it backwards, folks. We have most of what Yeshua did backwards. He didn’t fulfill the law so that we can ignore the law. He fulfilled the law so that we can be forgiven and accepted by God. I’m reading a whole different story that I once thought was true. Saturday is the sabbath, according to the law. As for the sacrificial laws, those are why we plead the blood of Yeshua. But we need to know the laws. We need to study them and know the heart of them! The heart of the law was the theme of Yeshua’s sermon on the mount!
We have the whole thing backward.
Life in the hollow, Monday
An image of Yeshua has visited in visions, and always comes in through the wall, not the door.
Until today, I had a box on that door jamb. I repent. Here’s why.
The box contained a tiny reference to the Shema. I took it down after praying over why the vision of Yeshua never comes in through the door. And why do the characters of my worst daydreams want to come in that way, through the door?
I did a re-read on the Shema. The Shema is that one law that begins, “Hear, O Israel: YHWH our God is one. YHWH. And thou shalt love YHWH thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Yeshua quoted that one as the greatest commandment. I think we Christians have taken that commandment to heart. We understand that we are to love our God.
Some Jews write that commandment, the Shema, in tiny script and put it in an attractive box and attach the box to their door posts and gates. Deuteronomy 6:9 says to do something LIKE that, “And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”
I had a box like that. I had it backward. When the law says, “they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes,” it doesn’t mean to write the law in script too tiny to be read, and hidden in a box and attached to the forehead, or a door post, or anywhere else, like a cheap good luck charm. Not that those boxes are cheap, but you get my drift.
It means to write the greatest commandment in places in our homes, on our doors, on anything we see with our eyes, and remember to obey. We cannot read the tiny script, hidden inside of a box! It has to be out in the open!
I had it backward!
It hit me, months ago, that we Christians nod to the Jewish tradition of never saying the name YHWH, instead we say “God” with a capital G. That’s not in the law. Man made that up as a fail-safe. The fail-safe is this: If we never speak God’s name, then we’ll never profane it, right? Wrong. That’s not the heart of the law. How about we just call on his name with love and respect?
We have it backward.
Then we ignore the words of Exodus 23:13, which says we are NOT to speak the names of idols and pagan gods. And it does not say that we’re allowed to speak those names if we’re doing an archaeological dig, or casting out demons. No, it says NOT to speak them.
We have God’s laws backward. We declared that Sunday is the sabbath, but in the Bible, Saturday is the sabbath. And after we declared Sunday as sabbath, we declared that if something new is introduced to the Christian community, it had better be in the Bible! Never mind that huge elephant of sabbath in the room!
I don’t know what to do with this new thing I’ve learned, all I know is that what I’ve always accepted as truth…
… is backward.