God will watch your reputation, if you watch your character

2/25/2006 6:12 AM

Title:  LET GOD PROTECT YOUR REPUTATION

S: Numbers 17:5 NKJV  And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you."

O: God was tired of their complaining against Moses.  He said, I will put an end to their complaints against YOU Moses.  He does it in a very dramatic way.  Asks each of them to bring their rods to Moses and they all carve their names on their rods.  There are 12 rods, one from each tribe.  God specifically mentions Aaron’s rod. 

But then He tells them that the rod that buds will be His chosen servant.  Not only does Aaron’s rod bud, but it leaves out and has ripe almonds growing on it.  It becomes a living tree – all by itself!  And they keep it in the tabernacle, because it would be a perpetual sign that God knows what he’s doing.

Ron Gladden once told me that his dad used to say, “You worry about your character and let God worry about your reputation.”  That’s exactly what God was doing with Aaron, he was protecting his reputation, and at the same time God was protecting His reputation.

Who’s reputation was protected with this one simple act?  God’s, Moses’, Aaron’s, and the whole camp of Israel’s reputation was protected.

A: I don’t need to worry about my reputation.  I need to worry about my relationship with God.  Today I am feeling like I’m short-changing things a bit.  I’ve spent too much time analyzing the data from the Explore the Prophetic meetings. 

But I hear God saying to me, “Rog, don’t worry about the stuff people say about you.  You can’t fix it.  You can’t change it.  You can only be a man after my heart.  So, simply put, take care of your relationship, and I’ll take care of your reputation.  You can trust me in this, I’ve never failed.”

P: Okay, Lord, I trust you.  I will follow you.  I will spend time with you each day.  Please continue to grow me into the man you want me to be.  Don’t ever give up on me.  I commit to daily spending time with you, Lord.  I pray you will help me and guide me to listen each day.  I love you.


 

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[Fwd: Don’t Be a Complainer]

*2/22/2006 6:06 AM*
*Title: /CRITICISM ISN’T GOOD/*
* S: *Numbers 11:1-3 NKJV *_The People Complain_*
Now /when/ the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD
heard /it,/ and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned
among them, and consumed /some/ in the outskirts of the camp. (2) Then
the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the LORD, the
fire was quenched. (3) So he called the name of the place Taberah,^[1]
because the fire of the LORD had burned among them.
Numbers 11:21-23 NKJV And Moses said, “The people whom I /am/ among
/are/ six hundred thousand men on foot; yet You have said, ‘I will give
them meat, that they may eat /for/ a whole month.’ (22) Shall flocks and
herds be slaughtered for them, to provide enough for them? Or shall all
the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to provide enough for
them?” (23) And the LORD said to Moses, “Has the LORD’s arm been
shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.”
* O:* Complaining and bitterness never helped anyone. Complaining never
does any good.
Self-righteousness not only leads men to misrepresent God, but makes
them coldhearted and critical toward their brethren. The elder son, in
his selfishness and jealousy, stood ready to watch his brother, to
criticize every action, and to accuse him for the least deficiency. He
would detect every mistake, and make the most of every wrong act. Thus
he would seek to justify his own unforgiving spirit. Many today are
doing the same thing. While the soul is making its very first struggles
against a flood of temptations, they stand by, stubborn, self-willed,
complaining, accusing. They may claim to be children of God, but they
are acting out the spirit of Satan. By their attitude toward their
brethren, these accusers place themselves where God cannot give them the
light of His countenance. {COL 210.1}
Conversation.–Good conversation will accompany a good conscience, as
surely as good fruit will be produced by a good tree. If a man is unkind
and churlish in his family, and to others connected with him, no one
need to inquire how he will manage in the church. He will exhibit the
same petulant, overbearing disposition which he shows at home. No man
can have the spirit and the mind of Christ without being rendered better
by it in all the relations and duties of life. Murmuring, complaining,
and fretful passion are not the fruit of good principles. –Vol. 4, p. 347.
But when Moses went to talk to God about the complaining, he complained.
And when he complained, God answered. When God answered, Moses was in
AWE. How could God do this amazing thing? I love God’s answer. “Is my
arm too short for this?” In other words, what makes you think I can’t do
this, Moses? Why do you think I’ve lost some of the power that took you
out of Egypt, that helped you cross the Red Sea, that moved you into
place on Mt. Sinai, and that wrote on a rock? Why do you feel that I
can’t do this? Is anything too hard for the Lord?
* A:* The moves in place to take out the current nominees are in fact a
bit of sorry grapes. It’s just a matter of not getting our way. I’m
inclined to believe that from at least a pragmatic point of view that
Jim Brauer is gone and that there is nothing we can do about it.
I well remember the 8^th grade teacher when I was in 9^th . She was
fresh out of college and had absolutely NO control over the classroom.
We liked her. She was fun. She taught English alright. She was a good
person. But the school board decided not to rehire her. I remember that
the students took up a petition and we all signed it, thinking we knew
best. The board evidently listened, because they rehired her. But she
never gained control of her classes and wasn’t rehired the next year.
And I’ve always thought that I should stay out of those things.
If I was involved in the nominating committee, I could have had a voice.
I was not involved and I did not have a voice. I’m not sure how much of
a voice I can get now.
But something definitely feels broken. These decisions aren’t supposed
to be “decided” until the actual constituency meeting and at that
meeting, there are votes for or against. But it feels like it’s already
decided. The four people on the list are:
Roscoe Howard
Jerry Page
Bill Miller
Ed Barnett
I don’t think Roscoe would take it. I don’t know much about Jerry Page,
other than years ago at the prayer summit Oregon But I know nothing
about his ability to lead. I think Rick and Peggy have liked them. I
think Bill Miller would be a good president and would take us down the
road to the TEAM1 Concept very well. And I don’t think Ed would do the
best job for us. Although I like Ed, I’m not sure we’re on the same page
overall. held and they came out as pray-ers.
Regardless of where this goes, I don’t want to play the part in getting
involved in a spirit of complaining. Ellen White says, “When brought
into strait circumstances, we dishonor God by murmuring and
complaining.” {RC 354.4} In another quote, that I could not find, she
says that the spirit of complaint is a spirit, but it’s not the spirit
of God.
I don’t want to be a complainer. I want to have a hand in fixing things,
not in tearing them down. I want to have a hand in repairing things, not
breaking them. I want to be known as a positive person, not a negative
one. I want to be known as a person of truth, not error. I want to be
known as a person who could help the situation (whatever it is), not
someone who can hinder it. I want to be known as a person who can work
with anyone, not as someone who must whine and get his way the whole time.
* P:* Lord, I pray for the Holy Spirit. I pray for a clean heart and a
clean mind. I want to think that this is more about you than about
politics. I pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit to guide us and to keep us
listening to you. I pray, Lord, for your will and your capacity to lead
us. I pray that I will follow.
Please remove any criticism and complaint from me, Lord. Please forgive
me if I’ve been a complainer. Please forgive me if I’ve been a whiner.
Please forgive me if I’ve not listened to you. Please forgive me if
through my complaining and criticism I may have discouraged someone.
Lord, come close to me. Please fill me and make me a man like you.
Please help me to walk with you. Please help me to listen to you. Please
help me to focus on you. I want to be a follower. I pray for you to come
into my heart and lead me to do so.
I love you, Lord.
I still pray for Jim Brauer. I pray you will give him courage. No matter
what, Lord, it’s nearly an impossibility for him to get back in office.
I would hate that it would happen because of political maneuvering. But
at the same time, I think that most people just don’t know and will
simply take the nominating committee’s report and go forward in trust
and ignorance.
But I trust you, Lord. And if you want the TEAM1 group to stand up as a
group and ask that things happen, then lead us to do so. If you want us
to stand up and say, NO, I will do that, Lord. I will do whatever you
ask me to do. Please just make it clear.
I pray for all you do, Lord. I love you and I will follow. I know your
hand isn’t shortened and you are still able to do what needs to be done.
I trust you, Lord. Thank you for being in charge.

Hearing God’s Voice

*2/20/2006 7:06 AM*

*Title: /TRUSTING GOD’S WORD/*

*S: *Act 27:24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought
before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’

Act 27:25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be
just as it was told me.

*O:* These are good words of Paul. In the midst of a terrible storm, he
trusts God. In the midst of a terrible battle of life and death, he
appears to not worry. Perhaps it was the angel that appeared to him.
Perhaps it was that he simply trusted God.

Hearing God speak, I think, would have an amazing impact on your life.
Moses heard God speak many times. Numbers 7:89 NKJV Now when Moses went
into the tabernacle of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice of
One speaking to him from above the mercy seat that /was/ on the ark of
the Testimony, from between the two cherubim; thus He spoke to him.

He heard God’s voice and He obeyed God’s voice. God speaking to you is
an amazingly humble opportunity. But it’s a scary thought too – I mean,
this is the Holy God, the Almighty God, the Ever Present God. And if
he’s speaking to you, a lowly servant, it’s a bit disconcerting. At the
same time, it’s a wonderful thing, a thing to be longed for.

I agree with the Psalmist – you can always trust God, because Psa 23:3
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His
name’s sake.

*A:* I’ve been in some very scary situations before that I wasn’t sure
that I would come out of them. At those moments, I turned to God in
prayer. But did I trust Him as much as Paul did? Did I hear Him as well
as Moses did? Did I believe that He would restore my soul as much as
David did?

I wish I could say that I did. I wish that I could say that I was fully
engaged in God and fully engage in listening to him all the time. That’s
my goal. That’s my desire. That’s my life and my walk. I wish it were
always true.

Daily, my time with God ought to be about hearing His voice. Daily, my
time with God ought to be about getting to know Him and what He’s trying
to say to me. It can’t be about truth – although it also can’t be
opposed to truth. It can’t be about learning information, but must be
about learning what God’s heart is. It must be about learning to be like
God.

Psalms 23:1-6 NKJV *_A Psalm of David._*

The LORD /is/ my shepherd;

I shall not want. (2) He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters. (3) He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

(4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

For You /are/ with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

(5) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup runs over. (6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell^[1] in the house of the LORD

Forever.

I have nothing to fear, because God is with me. I have nothing to fear
because I am listening to Him. I have nothing to fear, because He is my
God and my Salvation.

*P:* Lord, I’ve been having personal devotions now for nearly 17 years.
I’ve sat down and journaled most every day of those years. I’ve grown.
I’ve learned. I’ve changed. Yet, I don’t perceive that my daily worship
with you is over. I don’t perceive that I’ve somehow attained some good.
I don’t perceive that I’ve made it. Not at all!

Rather, Lord, I simply think of how much I am currently learning about
you and how much more I need to learn still. I understand that I must
continue to listen for your voice. I must continue to be guided by your
word and by your path. I know, Lord, that I have much more following to do.

So, I pray for the Holy Spirit to fill me. I pray for the Holy Spirit to
change me. I pray for the Holy Spirit to make me a man like You! I pray
you will continue to change me, mold me, and make me. I love you, Lord,
and I will serve you and listen for your words to me all the days of my
life. Thank you.

—————–

Lord, I pray for Jim Brauer today. He sent word out last night that he
wasn’t going to be re-elected as Conference President. Did Jim Greene
see the writing on the wall, and that’s why he left? Hmmm…. I pray for
Jim. He’s nearly everything I would hope for in a conference president.
He’s got ideas, future thinking, and he sets the boundaries for me. But
he doesn’t get in my way when I play the game of ministry. He simply
sets the boundaries and leaves the rest alone.

I pray for his courage. I pray for his strength. I pray for Jim’s
discouragement that is sure to hit. Lord, I pray you will bless him with
your presence. Bless him and give him hope, courage, and strength. I
pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit to guide him. I pray for the Holy Spirit
to live in him.

Left Behind and Systems Thinking

2/9/2006 3:43 AM

Title: LEFT BEHIND

S: Leviticus 10:16-20 NKJV  (16)  Then Moses made careful inquiry about the goat of the sin offering, and there it was–burned up. And he was angry with Elemazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron who were left, saying,  (17)  “Why have you not eaten the sin offering in a holy place, since it is most holy, and God has given it to you to bear the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?  (18)  See! Its blood was not brought inside the holy place; [1] indeed you should have eaten it in a holy place, as I commanded.”  (19)  And Aaron said to Moses, “Look, this day they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD, and such things have befallen me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, would it have been accepted in the sight of the LORD?”  (20)  So when Moses heard that, he was content.

O: There are a couple of things to notice here.  The first thing I want to notice is that in verse 16, the sons of Aaron “who were left.”  I want to put that into context of Jesus and his constant use of the OT.

Matthew 24:40-41 NKJV  Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.  (41)  Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.

Luke 17:34-36 NKJV  I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.  (35)  Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left.  (36)  Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”[6]

Jesus says that when the Kingdom comes, one will be taken, the other left.  Most Christians feel that this is precisely the words needed to prove the (secret) rapture.  They feel that the one taken is the one who is saved.  Yet if you go back to Leviticus 10, you see that the ones “taken” were Nadab and Abihu – they were destroyed.  But the ones left were Elemazar and Ithamar.  They continued to serve before the Lord as priests.

This just shows that the idea that scripture continued to interpret itself.  Strong’s defines it this way:

H3498

יתר

yâthar

yaw-thar’

A primitive root; to jut over or exceed; by implication to excel; (intransitively) to remain or be left; causatively to leave, cause to abound, preserve: – excel, leave (a remnant), left behind, too much, make plenteous, preserve, (be, let) remain (-der, -ing, -nant), reserve, residue, rest.

Strong’s uses the words, leave, remnant, left behind, etc.

I realize that this is likely an arguable point.  I also understand that the use of words can change and that going from Hebrew to Greek can change.  But it works to say that “things could be different than you’ve always thought.”  In other words, I don’t put this down as the most definitive understanding of scripture on this point.  But it is illustrative of another side of the coin for those who believe in the (secret) rapture.

On another note, the whole thing about Aaron not doing the sacrifice thing according to the prescribed plan of God: Moses comes in and let’s them have it.  Moses is addressing Aaron’s sons, but Aaron himself answers and basically says, “Look!  It wasn’t them, it was me!”  And Moses says, “Okay.”  Why?

Why is this different than Nadab and Abihu?  Was it because they knew better and here, Aaron simply forgot?  Was it that God had just destroyed Nadab and Abihu and he couldn’t afford to also lose the High Priest, Aaron?  If leadership is held to a higher standard, could it be that judgment may be more severe, but that because of leadership, leaders are left in power longer?  It’s the idea that everything rises and falls on leadership.  When a leader makes a mistake, then he can be forgiven.  When a leader makes a move on purpose to disobey, God steps in.

In A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown it says:

Lev 10:16-20

Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burnt — In a sacrifice presented, as that had been, on behalf of the people, it was the duty of the priests, as typically representing them and bearing their sins, to have eaten the flesh after the blood had been sprinkled upon the altar. Instead of using it, however, for a sacred feast, they had burnt it without the camp; and Moses, who discovered this departure from the prescribed ritual, probably from a dread of some further chastisements, challenged, not Aaron, whose heart was too much lacerated to bear a new cause of distress but his two surviving sons in the priesthood for the great irregularity. Their father, however, who heard the charge and by whose directions the error had been committed, hastened to give the explanation. The import of his apology is, that all the duty pertaining to the presentation of the offering had been duly and sacredly performed, except the festive part of the observance, which privately devolved upon the priest and his family. And that this had been omitted, either because his heart was too dejected to join in the celebration of a cheerful feast, or that he supposed, from the appalling judgments that had been inflicted, that all the services of that occasion were so vitiated that he did not complete them. Aaron was decidedly in the wrong. By the express command of God, the sin offering was to be eaten in the holy place; and no fanciful view of expediency or propriety ought to have led him to dispense at discretion with a positive statute. The law of God was clear and, where that is the case, it is sin to deviate a hair’s breadth from the path of duty. But Moses sympathized with his deeply afflicted brother and, having pointed out the error, said no more.

It seems that this is 1) a deeply rooted story in God’s grace, and 2) an understanding that God doesn’t just work in system 4, but also in system 5 and 6.  In other words, God IS concerned about right and wrong, but he’s also takes into account the circumstances around the issues.

A: System 1= Physical Safety.  System 2 = Personal Safety.  System 3 = Physical Safety.  System 4 = Moral and Social Stability.  System 5 = Personal Effectiveness and Achievement.  System 6 = Intimacy and Mutual Support.  System 7 = Averting Polarization.  System 8 = Sense of Oneness. 

    I wonder if this also mimics, or coincides with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
Physiological = System 1
Safety = Systems 1, 2, 3, and 4
Love/Belonging = Systems 4, 6
Esteem = System 5
Actualization = Systems 7, 8

We need all the systems.  We need to be supportive of all the systems.  Even though we may stand at different places, or we may spend our time thinking differently about the issues before us, it’s certainly clear that we need each of these systems.  The difference with Maslow is that that it is also clear that the systems are more of a continuum and not a hierarchy.

As God was forbearing with Aaron, even though he was in direct contradiction to the command of God, we also should be forbearing with each other on different issues as well.

P: Lord, I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me.  The whole systems thing, Lord, is challenging me.  It’s challenging me because for the first time I realized why the Todd’s of the world have opposed reaping meetings and why they have never come back and said it works.  They think in a different mindset.  It’s not about truth to them, it’s about relationship.  I believe, Lord, that people like Todd are System 6 gone to seed, because they never feel like they need more relationship, they have enough. 

Lord, give me wisdom as I seek to lead.  Most churches are about 40+% of System 4 and 20+% each of System 5 and 6.  I think The Adventure is about a 20-30-40 split on System 4, 5 and 6 respectively.

Lord, I need wisdom to know how to lead.  I need wisdom to know exactly what I should be saying and what I should be leading to.  I pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit to focus my attention on you and your pathway.  I pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit to guide me and for the Holy Spirit to focus me.

2 Entries on Sabbath Keeping

2/6/2006 7:51 AM

Title: Sabbath KEEPING

S: Nehemiah 10:31 NKJV  if the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year’s produce and the exacting of every debt.

O: As far as I can see, this is the ONLY place in the Bible that talks about not buying on the Sabbath.  This verse: Nehemiah 13:15 NKJV  In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions. 

This verse seems to address it, but not very directly.  It’s really talking more about working on the Sabbath than about selling/buying.

Neh 10:1-31

Conversion is separating from the course and custom of this world, devoting ourselves to the conduct directed by the word of God. When we bind ourselves to do the commandments of God, it is to do all his commandments, and to look to him as the Lord, and our Lord.

That’s taken from the Matthew Henry Concise Commentary. 

hat if the people of the land brought wares or any victuals on the Sabbath-day to sell, we would not buy if of them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and would let the seventh year lie, and the loan of every hand. The words וגו הארץ עמּי are prefixed absolutely, and are afterwards subordinated to the predicate of the sentence by מהם. מקּחות, wares for sale, from לקח, to take, in the sense of to buy, occurs only here. מהם נקּח, to take from them, i.e., to buy. קדשׁ יום beside שׁבּת means the other holy days, the annual festivals, on which, according to the law, Num 28 and 29, no work was to be done.

That’s taken from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

This again, seems to take the effect of working on the Sabbath.  Yesterday the Tiona’s came and I asked them about it.  They simply said that Jeremiah 17 talks about it.  It doesn’t.  It only talks about working on the Sabbath.  If I am to talk to people who go out to eat on the Sabbath, how do you deal with this? 

It could be said that Nehemiah 10:31 is simply a group of people who want to keep the Sabbath this time and in their zeal they added this prohibition to the Sabbath so they could maintain a tighter boundary. 

But is buying gas working on the Sabbath – hardly anymore work than getting dressed in the morning.  Is going out to eat on Sabbath working?  Not for those who are going out to eat.

A: I am not quite sure what to do with this.  I don’t know why it’s bugging me so much lately.  But I want to deal with it and I want to find some answers to it. 

P: Lord, I doubt that I’m going to start going out to eat on the Sabbath.  Yet, I am sure that there are things that pertain to this discussion that I may be missing.  I’m tired of people giving me trite answers.  I’m tired of people giving me answers that don’t pertain to the discussion.  I’m tired of the assumptions within the church world. 

I’m sure that I do them too, Lord.  But it seems that lately every time I have a question about things, no one can answer them.  If we are supposed to be people of the book, why aren’t we?

Lord, please lead me in this discussion.

The Jews have figured out 39 categories of prohibitions and they haven’t named buying and selling as one of them.

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabbat

Main article: 39 categories of activity

         Jewish law prohibits doing any form of melachah (“work”, plural “melachot”) on Shabbat. Melachah does not closely correspond to the English definition of the term “work”, nor does it correspond to the definition of the term as used in physics. Rather, it refers to the 39 categories of activity that the Talmud prohibits Jews from engaging in on Shabbat; they are exegetically derived (based on juxtaposition of corresponding Biblical passages) from the kinds of work that were necessary for the construction of the Tabernacle. Many religious scholars have pointed out that these labors have something in common ‑‑ they prohibit any activity that is “creative”, or that exercises control or dominion over one’s environment.

[edit]

         The 39 activities

As based on the Mishnah Tractate Shabbat 7:2, the 39 activities are:

 

   1. Sowing;

   2. Plowing;

   3. Reaping;

   4. Binding sheaves;

   5. Threshing;

   6. Winnowing;

   7. Selecting;

   8. Grinding;

   9. Sifting;

  10. Kneading;

  11. Baking;

  12. Shearing wool;

  13. Washing wool;

  14. Beating wool;

  15. Dyeing wool;

  16. Spinning;

  17. Weaving;

  18. Making two loops;

  19. Weaving two threads;

  20. Separating two threads;

  21. Tying;

  22. Untying;

  23. Sewing stitches;

  24. Tearing;

  25. Trapping;

  26. Slaughtering;

  27. Flaying;

  28. Tanning;

  29. Scraping hide;

  30. Marking hides;

  31. Cutting hide to shape;

  32. Writing two or more letters;

  33. Erasing two or more letters;

  34. Building;

  35. Demolishing;

  36. Extinguishing a fire;

  37. Kindling a fire;

  38. Putting the finishing touch on an object;

  39. Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain;

[edit]

Status of prohibitions

         Each melachah has derived prohibitions of various kinds. There are, therefore, many more forbidden activities on the Shabbat; all are traced back to one of the 39 above principal melachot. Direct derivatives (toledoth) have the same legal severity as the original melachah (although there are marginal differences); examples are the related activities of cooking, baking, roasting and poaching, all of which fall under “baking”. Indirect derivatives instituted by the rabbinic sages are termed shevuth and are much less severe in legal terms (e.g. they were not punished with stoning when this punishment was still in force).

         Given the above, the 39 melachot are not so much activities as “categories of activity”. For example, while “winnowing” usually refers exclusively to the separation of chaff from grain, and “selecting” refers exclusively to the separation of debris from grain, it refers in the Talmudic sense to any separation of intermixed materials which renders edible that which was inedible. Thus, filtering undrinkable water to make it drinkable falls under this category, as does picking small bones from fish (gefilte fish is a traditional Ashkenazi solution to this problem). Another example is the prohibition (according to Orthodox and some Conservative rabbinic authorities) on turning electric entities on or off, which according to some Halakhic poskim, is derived from one of the “39 categories of work (melachot)” known as “building” and “tearing something down” (the Hebrew word that is used can be interpreted as “destroying for the purpose of rebuilding”). The solution to avoid using electric appliances and switches commonly used involves pre‑set timers.

Perhaps the attitude of buying and selling deals with the idea of work – and that we shouldn’t make anyone else work.  Yet, the Sabbath command says don’t make anyone work that is WITHIN YOUR GATES.  Okay, in our mobile society, you might be able to make an argument for your gates are wherever you are.  But the command also says don’t go out of your homes….  What do we choose?  What do we pick and choose from? 

Lord, please help us.  Please guide us.  Please lead me.  I’m questioning.  I’m questioning this whole thing right now.  And I’m not sure I know why.  I mean, I’m not sure why I am questioning, because it’s unlikely that I will start eating out on Sabbath.  Milton’s words were good for me.  Whatever you do, your kids are likely to take it one more step.  That’s good boundary information and I’m not ready for them to go shopping on Sabbath.

Lord, I have to go and eat breakfast with the family.  Let’s keep having this discussion.  I love you.

 

2/7/2006 7:18 AM

Title: SABBATH KEEPING #2

S: Exodus 20:10 NKJV  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

O: Within your gates.  What does that mean?  Within thy gates” is equivalent to in the cities, towns, and villages of thy land, not in thy houses (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)

Most commentaries actually say this.  The ONLY place that it seems to say it differently is here:

Exodus 20:10 cjb  but the seventh day is a Shabbat for ADONAI your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work -not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property.

That’s the “Complete Jewish Bible.”  Isn’t it interesting that the Jews don’t mind asking Gentiles to do things for them that they would consider to be Sabbath-breaking activities, but it’s because they are not within the gates of their property. 

Isn’t it also interesting that you put this in line with the idea that most commentaries believe this to be the gates of the city?  This puts things into new perspective about going out to eat on Sabbath, buying groceries, doing business, etc.  It says, don’t make anyone who is within your city work. 

I’m sure that someone could argue that this pertains to your home town, but not when you are traveling.  Yet, it says within your cities.  It’s plural.  I’m not even going to go down that road and split hairs on it at all.

A: I have a new insight on this passage, Lord, today.  Gail pointed this out to me from the ICB, Kylie’s Bible.  I thought, “Oh brother, let me get a ‘real’ Bible and we’ll see.”  Very interesting to note that the “real” Bibles keep the word gates, and that is usually defined as their own home.  Yet, here we go and I have a huge confrontation about this and I find that it says, don’t make anyone work within your city/cities. 

I am again, convinced that buying and selling on the Sabbath isn’t good, because it makes people work on the Sabbath. 

P: Lord, I know you are leading me.  I know you are charging me with teaching my congregation.  How can I put this in relational language so that they too will understand it?  Please guide me, Lord.  Please lead me.

I love you.

Two Entries on Sabbath

2/6/2006 7:51 AM

Title: Sabbath KEEPING

S: Nehemiah 10:31 NKJV  if the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year’s produce and the exacting of every debt.

O: As far as I can see, this is the ONLY place in the Bible that talks about not buying on the Sabbath.  This verse: Nehemiah 13:15 NKJV  In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions. 

This verse seems to address it, but not very directly.  It’s really talking more about working on the Sabbath than about selling/buying.

Neh 10:1-31

Conversion is separating from the course and custom of this world, devoting ourselves to the conduct directed by the word of God. When we bind ourselves to do the commandments of God, it is to do all his commandments, and to look to him as the Lord, and our Lord.

That’s taken from the Matthew Henry Concise Commentary. 

hat if the people of the land brought wares or any victuals on the Sabbath-day to sell, we would not buy if of them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and would let the seventh year lie, and the loan of every hand. The words וגו הארץ עמּי are prefixed absolutely, and are afterwards subordinated to the predicate of the sentence by מהם. מקּחות, wares for sale, from לקח, to take, in the sense of to buy, occurs only here. מהם נקּח, to take from them, i.e., to buy. קדשׁ יום beside שׁבּת means the other holy days, the annual festivals, on which, according to the law, Num 28 and 29, no work was to be done.

That’s taken from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

This again, seems to take the effect of working on the Sabbath.  Yesterday the Tiona’s came and I asked them about it.  They simply said that Jeremiah 17 talks about it.  It doesn’t.  It only talks about working on the Sabbath.  If I am to talk to people who go out to eat on the Sabbath, how do you deal with this? 

It could be said that Nehemiah 10:31 is simply a group of people who want to keep the Sabbath this time and in their zeal they added this prohibition to the Sabbath so they could maintain a tighter boundary. 

But is buying gas working on the Sabbath – hardly anymore work than getting dressed in the morning.  Is going out to eat on Sabbath working?  Not for those who are going out to eat.

A: I am not quite sure what to do with this.  I don’t know why it’s bugging me so much lately.  But I want to deal with it and I want to find some answers to it. 

P: Lord, I doubt that I’m going to start going out to eat on the Sabbath.  Yet, I am sure that there are things that pertain to this discussion that I may be missing.  I’m tired of people giving me trite answers.  I’m tired of people giving me answers that don’t pertain to the discussion.  I’m tired of the assumptions within the church world. 

I’m sure that I do them too, Lord.  But it seems that lately every time I have a question about things, no one can answer them.  If we are supposed to be people of the book, why aren’t we?

Lord, please lead me in this discussion.

The Jews have figured out 39 categories of prohibitions and they haven’t named buying and selling as one of them.

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabbat

Main article: 39 categories of activity

         Jewish law prohibits doing any form of melachah (“work”, plural “melachot”) on Shabbat. Melachah does not closely correspond to the English definition of the term “work”, nor does it correspond to the definition of the term as used in physics. Rather, it refers to the 39 categories of activity that the Talmud prohibits Jews from engaging in on Shabbat; they are exegetically derived (based on juxtaposition of corresponding Biblical passages) from the kinds of work that were necessary for the construction of the Tabernacle. Many religious scholars have pointed out that these labors have something in common ‑‑ they prohibit any activity that is “creative”, or that exercises control or dominion over one’s environment.

[edit]

         The 39 activities

As based on the Mishnah Tractate Shabbat 7:2, the 39 activities are:

 

   1. Sowing;

   2. Plowing;

   3. Reaping;

   4. Binding sheaves;

   5. Threshing;

   6. Winnowing;

   7. Selecting;

   8. Grinding;

   9. Sifting;

  10. Kneading;

  11. Baking;

  12. Shearing wool;

  13. Washing wool;

  14. Beating wool;

  15. Dyeing wool;

  16. Spinning;

  17. Weaving;

  18. Making two loops;

  19. Weaving two threads;

  20. Separating two threads;

  21. Tying;

  22. Untying;

  23. Sewing stitches;

  24. Tearing;

  25. Trapping;

  26. Slaughtering;

  27. Flaying;

  28. Tanning;

  29. Scraping hide;

  30. Marking hides;

  31. Cutting hide to shape;

  32. Writing two or more letters;

  33. Erasing two or more letters;

  34. Building;

  35. Demolishing;

  36. Extinguishing a fire;

  37. Kindling a fire;

  38. Putting the finishing touch on an object;

  39. Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain;

[edit]

Status of prohibitions

         Each melachah has derived prohibitions of various kinds. There are, therefore, many more forbidden activities on the Shabbat; all are traced back to one of the 39 above principal melachot. Direct derivatives (toledoth) have the same legal severity as the original melachah (although there are marginal differences); examples are the related activities of cooking, baking, roasting and poaching, all of which fall under “baking”. Indirect derivatives instituted by the rabbinic sages are termed shevuth and are much less severe in legal terms (e.g. they were not punished with stoning when this punishment was still in force).

         Given the above, the 39 melachot are not so much activities as “categories of activity”. For example, while “winnowing” usually refers exclusively to the separation of chaff from grain, and “selecting” refers exclusively to the separation of debris from grain, it refers in the Talmudic sense to any separation of intermixed materials which renders edible that which was inedible. Thus, filtering undrinkable water to make it drinkable falls under this category, as does picking small bones from fish (gefilte fish is a traditional Ashkenazi solution to this problem). Another example is the prohibition (according to Orthodox and some Conservative rabbinic authorities) on turning electric entities on or off, which according to some Halakhic poskim, is derived from one of the “39 categories of work (melachot)” known as “building” and “tearing something down” (the Hebrew word that is used can be interpreted as “destroying for the purpose of rebuilding”). The solution to avoid using electric appliances and switches commonly used involves pre‑set timers.

Perhaps the attitude of buying and selling deals with the idea of work – and that we shouldn’t make anyone else work.  Yet, the Sabbath command says don’t make anyone work that is WITHIN YOUR GATES.  Okay, in our mobile society, you might be able to make an argument for your gates are wherever you are.  But the command also says don’t go out of your homes….  What do we choose?  What do we pick and choose from? 

Lord, please help us.  Please guide us.  Please lead me.  I’m questioning.  I’m questioning this whole thing right now.  And I’m not sure I know why.  I mean, I’m not sure why I am questioning, because it’s unlikely that I will start eating out on Sabbath.  Milton’s words were good for me.  Whatever you do, your kids are likely to take it one more step.  That’s good boundary information and I’m not ready for them to go shopping on Sabbath.

Lord, I have to go and eat breakfast with the family.  Let’s keep having this discussion.  I love you.

 

2/7/2006 7:18 AM

Title: SABBATH KEEPING #2

S: Exodus 20:10 NKJV  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

O: Within your gates.  What does that mean?  Within thy gates” is equivalent to in the cities, towns, and villages of thy land, not in thy houses (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)

Most commentaries actually say this.  The ONLY place that it seems to say it differently is here:

Exodus 20:10 cjb  but the seventh day is a Shabbat for ADONAI your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work -not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property.

That’s the “Complete Jewish Bible.”  Isn’t it interesting that the Jews don’t mind asking Gentiles to do things for them that they would consider to be Sabbath-breaking activities, but it’s because they are not within the gates of their property. 

Isn’t it also interesting that you put this in line with the idea that most commentaries believe this to be the gates of the city?  This puts things into new perspective about going out to eat on Sabbath, buying groceries, doing business, etc.  It says, don’t make anyone who is within your city work. 

I’m sure that someone could argue that this pertains to your home town, but not when you are traveling.  Yet, it says within your cities.  It’s plural.  I’m not even going to go down that road and split hairs on it at all.

A: I have a new insight on this passage, Lord, today.  Gail pointed this out to me from the ICB, Kylie’s Bible.  I thought, “Oh brother, let me get a ‘real’ Bible and we’ll see.”  Very interesting to note that the “real” Bibles keep the word gates, and that is usually defined as their own home.  Yet, here we go and I have a huge confrontation about this and I find that it says, don’t make anyone work within your city/cities. 

I am again, convinced that buying and selling on the Sabbath isn’t good, because it makes people work on the Sabbath. 

P: Lord, I know you are leading me.  I know you are charging me with teaching my congregation.  How can I put this in relational language so that they too will understand it?  Please guide me, Lord.  Please lead me.

I love you.