** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 38
In the Path of Mephibosheth
Then David asked, “Is anyone still left from the family of Saul, so that I may extend kindness to him for the sake of Jonathan? …Mephibosheth was living in Jerusalem, or he was a regular guest at the king’s table. But both his feet were crippled. 2 Shemu’el (Samuel) 9:1, 13
After the warfare between the Dynasties of Shaul and David, there was consolidation of the tribes under David’s reign. He thoroughly defeated the Philistines, brought up the Ark into Jerusalem, built a home for his family, and began to lay plans for building a Temple for Yah’s Presence. Things were going exceptionally well for him, with 8:15 stating, “And David reigned over all Yisra’el, and David was doing right-ruling and righteousness to all his people.”
But something more needed to be accomplished. He asked of the remnant of Shaul’s House, the family of the former dynasty, if there were any yet alive. This would normally be a threat to any survivor as they posed a potential claim to the throne, but David’s motivation was one of covenant; that which he had made with Yehonatan. 9:1 says, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Shau’ul, that I might show him loving-commitment, because of Yehonatan?” There was one, Mephibosheth, a son of Yehonatan, dropped as a child and rendered lame in his feet. This one was living in the home of Machir [sold] son of Ammi’el [My kinsman is El], in Lo’debar [without pasture].
Once found, this crippled man is brought to the king of another dynasty, expecting to be eradicated. He dropped his crutches and fell on his face before David, probably an awkward and possibly a painful process. Instead of hearing the “zing” of a sword being unsheathed, he hears the words of mercy and restoration, “Do not fear, for I shall certainly show you loving-commitment because of Yehonatan your father, and shall return to you all the land of Shau’ul your grandfather, and let you eat bread at my table continually.”
Like Mephibosheth, we were found in a sold condition, though we were children of Yah. We were living like sheep without pasture, of the fallen house of the first Adam, condemned, expecting nothing more than judgement. Yet the King of the superior dynasty looked for us, found us, and promised the restoration of all things lost. He brings us to His table to eat of His food, His Word continually, sustaining us by His wealth and guarding the very life that should have been taken. We are not forgotten but searched for and restored. Let us rise to live worthy of such effort, focusing our minds on being thankful and righteous stewards of what has been entrusted to us.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 37
Is There Anyone Who Knows?
Have you ever heard someone state that God cannot forgive them of their sins or that they cannot forgive themselves ?
Somehow this person has become sure that whatever sin they believe they have committed is just too great to be forgiven, much less forgotten. Someone dear to me had not been to a worship service in 30 years, they loved the Lord but didn’t feel worthy of being in a house of worship. I finally asked, what is it that you believe God will not forgive. The answer stunned me. I sat there thinking that the adversary has robbed this person of so many blessings because this individual believed this was a great sin that God would not forgive so therefore never considered repenting.
Had this person been willing to repent before The Almighty he would have discovered the freedom of forgiveness.
In the book of Joel, God brought upon the children of Israel a plague that devastated the crops in the land. God assures them that another calamity is coming, one that nobody can endure. In the midst of the current plague God tells the people to “proclaim a fast, lament, spend the night in sackcloth, proclaim a solemn assembly, blow the trumpet, sound an alarm and cry out to the Almighty.”
While God is continuing to tell Israel about this next coming calamity, “the day of The Lord,” the King of Kings says to them “Yet even now, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning, and rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting from sending calamity.”
What comes next is absolutely stunning, Joel says “who knows whether He will relent or not?” This statement is very similar to the King of Nineveh’s statement, “who knows if The Lord will relent?” If repentance is not sought, and forgiveness requested, how will one ever know if God will forgive or not?
The only people who will ever know whether God will forgive and relent are the people who are willing to repent!
Those willing to acknowledge sin and repent will experience the attributes of the great I AM. The one who is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting from sending calamity.
Nineveh did exactly as God had pleaded, “return to me.” They put on the sackcloth, proclaimed a fast, lamented and blew the trumpet. By returning they ceased practicing their evil ways causing The Creator of the universe to relent from bringing calamity upon them.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 36
(1) “You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother. (2) And if he does not live near you and you do not know who he is, you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall stay with you until your brother seeks it. Then you shall restore it to him. (3) And you shall do the same with his donkey or with his garment, or with any lost thing of your brother’s, which he loses and you find; you may not ignore it. (4) You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and ignore them. You shall help him to lift them up again.
Do we seek to be a part of restoration? We often focus on our relationship with the Father but we do have a role to help each other? If we see a brother or sister having a difficult time (for the sake of this article, “lost their way”) do we seek to help them? We could try to ask questions or see where the need is, but our motive is equally important.
To restore something to its owner implies we have no ownership of that which we have helped. Why would I bring this up in context of people? When we help someone we often have some type of expectation that we put on them. We could expect a certain action, or a specific behavior, or words of affirmation, etc. because of our intervention.
This causes us to look at one fact, if we are to restore to the owner which is not us, do we have the right to put our expectations on them? To state another way, do we require someone to theologically, and doctrinally, agree with us in every point before we decide to help them? Do we think that when we offer help to someone that they must think and act exactly in accordance with my beliefs? Are we trying to restore them to the One they strayed from, or are we trying to make them our own?
We should always be seeking the heart and will of Yah. Our actions should be birthed out of love for Him and that which He created. When we encounter difficult times, we need to keep our eyes on the One who created us. Sometimes we need others to help us lift up our heads. If we are the one helping, make sure we don’t get in the way of those being helped so they can see the heart of our loving, heavenly Father.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 34
Forty Days of Teshuvah – The Season of Repentance
It was during those days that Yochanan the Immerser arrived in the desert of Y’hudah and began proclaiming the message, “Turn from your sins to G-d, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!’ Matthew 3:1-2 Complete Jewish Bible
The beginning of Teshuvah was marked one special day when Yeshua walked along the Jordan and desired to be “Immersed” or Mikvahed by John. Rebuffed, Yeshua replied in verse 15, “Let it be this way now, because we should do everything righteousness requires.” Then John let him. As soon as Yeshua had been immersed, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, He saw the Spirit of G-d coming down upon Him like a dove, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, Whom I love; I am well pleased with Him.”
Chapter 4 begins the forty days of Teshuvah with Yeshua being tempted by the Adversary in the wilderness.
I fear, we who have been brought up with this story, having read it over and over pass over it with a yawn while saying “Yes, I know this already.” But do we? Yeshua walked into the wilderness to be tempted, to have everything the Adversary throw at Him. From my studies of Torah, it has been revealed in part that the wilderness is the place of Abba’s Divine provision. Remember the Egyptians who were led out of bondage by Moses? Provisions for “forty years”. It was in the wilderness Yeshua knew Who He was and received Divine provisions.
This story we skim over is for our understanding of how important it is to live out these forty days in repentance. Yeshua believed it necessary and provided us an example, why shouldn’t we? In verses 15 and 16 of Chapter 4, we read, “Land of Z’vulun and land of Naftali, toward the lake, beyond the Yarden, Galil-of-the-Goyim the people living in darkness have seen a great Light; upon those living in the region, in the shadow of death, Light has dawned.” Isaiah 8:23(9-1)-9:1(2) We have seen with our spirit and our soul our Savior, should we not push through and follow His example?
After forty days had passed, it was and is, Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement, symbolic of the coming “day of the Lord” which is the reason for this ominous tone of the day. The Day of Atonement is fast approaching, after that Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. Are you ready? Should He return from the field, will He find you wearing the wedding garments of the Bride? There is much to do yet. Our own Tabernacle must be examined and cleansed. If there is any thing that presents itself, “leave your gift where it is by the Altar…” Matthew 5:24 please note, He didn’t say take your gift with you, He said leave your gift where it is by the Altar, meaning, this is not a suggestion, go, take care of business then come back and take care of your business with Me. He desires you!
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 33
Daniel’s Prayer of Repentance
When I think of prayers of repentance I recall the prayer Daniel offered up in Daniel chapter 9. Daniel was seeking the LORD for insight and understanding on the prophecy in Jeremiah regarding when the captivity would end in Babylon. Many of us probably have pondered when our own captivity would end.
Daniel displays an interesting protocol when petitioning The Almighty. He details that he sought the LORD by prayer and supplication with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. It’s interesting that Daniel chooses to humble himself three different ways here to bring himself before the LORD.
Now that the table is set, Daniel is ready to begin protocol. First, he praises the LORD by stating how great and awesome He is for keeping covenant with lovingkindness to those who love Him and keep His commandments. Next Daniel confesses on behalf of the entire nation for they have sinned, committed iniquity and acted wickedly against the LORD. The nation has rebelled and turned aside from His commandments and ordinances. Daniel goes on to state Israel has not listened to the LORD’s prophets who spoke to Israel’s kings, princes, fathers and people.
Daniel acknowledges righteousness belongs to the LORD. Open shame belongs to Israel in all the places He has scattered them for the rebellion and unfaithful deeds they have committed against the LORD.
Daniel continues, according to the Torah, a curse will be poured out upon Israel for choosing sin, rebellion, disobedience and turning aside from the Word of the LORD. Great calamity is a result of turning away from Torah, the foundation
of all matter.
Daniel also acknowledges compassion, forgiveness and blessings belong to the LORD. He pours these blessings upon those who turn away from sin, iniquity and transgression.
Now comes the amazing part, Daniel realizes that the LORD is righteous in keeping the calamity in store for the disobedient. The LORD is righteous in administrating punishment because He is doing what He has promised. The LORD is keeping His oath.
Following protocol, Daniel asks the LORD to turn from His wrath because He alone is righteous. He asks the Almighty, listen to this, “shama” his prayer, to incline His ear and “shema”. Daniel asks the LORD to open His eyes and look and see the condition of His people. Oh LORD “SHEMA”, Oh LORD forgive, take action and do not delay, because we are called by your name is Daniel’s plea.
Do you see the protocol Daniel took to ask for insight? Many of us would just simply say, Oh LORD please give me insight and wisdom to understand your prophecy. Daniel followed a protocol for petitioning the Almighty.
Daniel’s prayer protocol is so moving to the LORD that He immediately, while Daniel is still praying, sends the Angel Gabriel. Another interesting note is that Daniel understood the protocol of what time of day to make the petition, notice in verse 21 it states that it was about the time of the evening offering. Wow, that is the 3 pm time.
Perhaps we should consider Daniel’s protocol when approaching God Most High. The LORD was so pleased with Daniel’s prayer that an answer to his request was dispatched before his prayer was finished.
Gabriel says that Daniel is “highly esteemed.” Daniel was assured that the insight and understanding he sought would be granted.
During the 40 days of repentance may we keep Daniel’s prayer protocol in mind when we approach The Creator of heaven and earth, the King of Kings and the LORD of LORDS.