For the first time in over a 100 years, Thanksgiving and Chanukah will fall on the same day, November 28th, 2013. Some have termed it "Thanksgivukkah", however my wife calls it, "Todanukah". (The Hebrew word for "thanks", is "toda".) According to one calculation, the next time that Thanksgiving and Chanukah will align perfectly will be 79,043 years from now! I expect we will all have gone to our reward by then.
When Daniel was in the midst of the lion's den…God was with him. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the midst of the fiery furnace…God was with them. It would have been perfectly easy for God to immediately transport these saints out of their difficulties, but no, He chose instead to be with them in the midst of their trials. God chose to reveal His power through the trials instead of exercising His power to remove them.
As Joshua led the children of Israel into the promised land it seemed that God had given them an impossible assignment — to conquer a foreign and hostile land with fortified cities and armies greater than their own. They had to go forth only on the basis of God's promise. They had to walk by faith and not by sight!
I came across an old legend about three cowboys crossing the desert on horseback by night. Suddenly, as they reached a rocky spot, a voice came from heaven and commanded them: "Friends, pick up some pebbles, put them in your pockets and do not look at them till morning." The men looked at each other in astonishment and began to do as they were told. The voice went on to promise that if they obeyed, they would be both glad and sad. The perplexed men put a few pebbles each in their pockets and went on their way.
During the Feast of Sukkot, the Jewish people took part in a water drawing ceremony on the last day of the feast. They would go down to the Pool of Siloam, draw water and bring it to the Temple Mount. Then they would pour out the water and recite Isaiah 12, "and with joy you shall draw water out of the wells (springs) of salvation." In Hebrew, the word salvation and Yeshua (Jesus, in Hebrew), are the same.
This is one of my favorite promises in the Bible — that God turns mourning into dancing! He takes away the anguish of being clothed in sadness and replaces it with gladness. However, notice what God doesn't do — simply stop your mourning and make it disappear. No, He transforms it…into joy!
This amazing passage defines all true believers in Messiah as "Abraham's seed and heirs according to God's promise". Abraham was known as the first Hebrew — literally, "one who crosses over!" Before he crossed over into the promised land, we know from the scriptures that Abraham lived in a deeply idolatrous society and that even his own father was an idol worshiper.
Knowing He was about to depart, Yeshua (Jesus) left His disciples with a final command: stay in Jerusalem, and wait…for the promise. Of the thousands who had witnessed His miraculous ministry and heard His amazing teaching, and the hundreds that had actually seen Him after the resurrection, we read in Acts that only 120 stayed and tarried until the promise arrived. But these 120 were steadfast. They waited the full term…
For centuries in Ethiopia, there have lived a people we now know as the Falashas. They kept all sorts of Biblical traditions and call themselves Beta Yisrael (House of Israel). As experts began to study the matter, it became clear that these were descendants of the Jewish people who came to Africa in ancient times and intermarried. Unbeknownst to many, a percentage of them became believers in Jesus over the years. Jesus (or Yeshua, as they called Him) became a part of their identity as Jewish people. Many Falashan Jews worshipped Jesus as their Messiah and continued to practice Jewish tradition.
This scripture makes an astounding promise — God ALWAYS leads us to triumph or victory! But can we ALWAYS count on this amazing word to be true?
Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Last night, after being on the road for nearly four months, I finally got to sleep in my […]
Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. True story! In 1940, a large and wonderful Christian family, the Rudolph's, announced the birth of their 20th baby! Though the baby was not expected to live, having been born prematurely and with polio, she defied all odds. She […]
One of my favorite "hidden" lessons in the Pesach (Passover) celebration "Seder" meal is the mystery of the “afikomen.” This specially prepared meal– during which the participants are reminded of Israel's supernatural deliverance from Egyptian slavery by the mighty hand of God– also includes 3 particular pieces of matzah, (unleavened bread). These three are placed in a "matzah tash" — a special pouch containing three compartments…
A reader asked a pointed question, "How do we claim the promises of God?" Sometimes the most difficult questions are best answered by men of faith, in this case, by a man who made a lifestyle of claiming the promises of God. I learned the answer to this question early in my walk when I read the autobiography of George Mueller.
In 2nd Samuel Chapter 9 we read of the story of King David and Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan and the grandson of the first king of Israel, King Saul. After Jonathan's death, David went forth to show kindness to Saul's house. Mephibosheth had become lame at the young age of five — he had lived his entire life as a cripple.
In a traditional Jewish marriage, a contract known as the 'ketubah',(which means 'that which is written', in Hebrew) is signed be both the bride and groom. Originally, it included the price of the bride, the promises that the groom must keep and the rights to which the bride is entitled.
In the Greek olympic games of old, a unique race was run. The winner was not the runner who finished first — it was the runner who finished with his torch still lit!
Over the past week, the possibility of war in the middle east has grown significantly. Last week, a National Intelligence Report (NIE) detailing Iran's significant progress towards military nuclear capability was delivered to President Obama. Over the weekend, Egypt's Prime Minister Morsi ousted his Defense minister along with the Egyptian Chief of Staff, in a radical shake up of the Egyptian army.
In the days of Isaac, there was famine in the land of Israel. It appeared then, that the right thing to do was to go to Egypt where there was plenty. But the Lord instructed Issac not to go, and instead cling to the promise that He made with His father, Abraham.
As we concluded Tisha B'Av last night, let's consider a lesson from this historic day. When the twelve spies returned from spying out the promised land, Joshua and Caleb alone gave a good report, saying the land is full of milk and honey. They believed the promise of God so emphatically that they tore their clothes and implored the children of Israel saying, "the Lord is with us, do not fear them!” Israel's reaction was unbelievably severe. They were ready to STONE the faithful spies!