As we leave this land my heart is again torn. The tears stream down my cheeks as I think of the way God met each of us in our unique journey. On the one hand I am sad to leave because of the depth of uncharted faith lessons still uncovered, the people that God calls His chosen have become dearer to me, and the land itself, beckons me not to leave. On the other hand I am eager to return to America and put into daily practice the revelational lessons that have been revealed to us in His land. Truly, God has opened our eyes to the wonderful truths of His Torah.
I’m not exactly sure why this land has such an impact on me. Maybe its the invitation I feel from the Messiah of this land and people, to push in and seek Him in all aspects. Maybe it’s the close friendships built here. Maybe its the good falafel they have. Or even, the rich heritage of story and the heritage of our faith that is so plentiful in this land. Whatever it is, it draws like a rubber band.
It could be that there is the slightest bit of truth to the idea that God loves to honor the effort put forth by us mere mortals to journey around the world to visit the place where He specifically chose to put His Name, by meeting us in our unique journey when we meet Him there.
Let us explore our theme of this trip. The Abrahamic Covenantal blessing. When God called Abraham, He said,
“Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, SO THAT you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen. 12: 1-3(emphasis added)
When God appeared to Moses he referred to himself as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This triple confirmed covenant has 3 forms, 1 of each which was given to the patriarchs. To Abraham was the gift of being a blessing to the whole world, showing hospitality and engaging God as a friend. (Gen. 17 & 18) To Isaac was the gift of sacrificial giving, an example of which we find in (Gen. 26:18-22) And to Jacob was given the gift of struggle and the name Israel, which means in Hebrew, “one who wrestles with God,” because he wrestled with God all throughout his troubled life. Gen. 32. God identified himself by the 3 men that displayed these virtues. Throughout history we see God working to instill these virtues into His people. (Isaiah 51:1,2) In Jesus were these virtues brought to completion and fullness, in Jesus was the full measure of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and in Jesus was the promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob kept. Jesus was the blessing for all the families of the earth, to the Jewish people as Messiah, and to the nations as the blessing of Abraham.
According to Paul, we as modern day Christians are to be imitators of Christ. Therefore it becomes us to display these characteristics to the world around us. It doesn’t matter if you’re ministering to saved or unsaved, just be a blessing!
The questions whose answers hold the key to every Christian’s purpose in life is simple then, “What is a blessing? What’s it look like in flesh? What’s it mean to be a blessing?”
Lets look at the Hebrew word for blessing, “baruch.”
First of all, the Hebrew language is a pictograph language. For example, the first Hebrew letter, Aleph, has a form of an ox head, signifying strength and leadership, being the first in line. You can also see this in the English language if you turn the letter “A” upside down. See the horns? It comes from the Hebrew language. English is a mixture of all sorts of languages.
Anyway, the Hebrew picture, or definition for “baruch” is “to kneel.” It implies that a blessing is an act that lifts the other above yourself. It is simply to be of service to those lower than ourselves, abasing yourself to lift others above you. It is not to humiliate yourself. No! Don’t look down on yourself in order to lift others higher. It is the exact opposite! By lifting others up you are fulfilling your own identity in Christ! Are you also telling me God will bend his knee to those who bless Abraham’s descendants? The answer is yes! In accordance to God’s promise to Abraham! But even more important is our role as the church in this promise.
The church is created to be a blessing to the world through Jesus, in fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenantal blessing. Just like Israel was called to be a blessing to the nations, so we are called to be like Israel, being grafted in. The mission for God’s people has not changed! Jesus did not change Israel’s mission! His disciples established another arm of the movement, so to speak, when they preached the Gospel.
And don’t think for one moment that Israel has stopped being a blessing now that the church is in full swing. Modern day Israel and the Jewish people have made some of the greatest contributions both technologically and spiritually to the world. Israel even goes as far as sharing their technology for growing food in the desert to their Palestinian neighbors who constantly make life hard for them. We Christians would do well in learning from them. Instead we generally become biased against them because of the negative news media that always focuses on the bad.
I believe someday the Jewish people and Christians will unite like the 2 sticks in Ezekiel’s hand. (Ez. 37: 16-28) Despite our theological differences, we both have the same mission from God! If we Christians can somehow get rid of our devastating Replacement Theology, which replaces the literal Israel with a spiritual church, according to Jews I’ve talked to, the Jewish people will be much more willing to talk things over. It will open the doorway for them to consider the fact that Jesus truly is their Messiah! Some prophecies hint that once the people of God become united the way will be paved for the return of our Messiah, Jesus!
Until that day however, we must continually be a blessing to our enemies, strangers, neighbors, communities, friends, and family. For in so doing you will become a blessing to yourself as well, and a sweet savor to God, like the smell of the altar of incense in the Tabernacle.
Blessings, blessings, blessings and a thousand times blessings!
Here are six of the group.
^^ And Yours Truly. I have enjoyed writing this blog of our wanderings in the land for you! Please show your support of this continuing ministry of discipleship in the land by sharing these updates with your friends and family. Talmidim Studies is a non-profit organization with a passionate heart to teach our generations the rich Kingdom concepts found in this land. But we need your help as a community to do this. Check out our website at http://www.talmidimstudies.org/ to learn more of our mission. Thank you for following! Shalom!