Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wonder why people don't bother to "know" God?

Woke up this morning pondering this thought: "I wonder why people don't bother to get to know YHWH?  People really don't.  They don't!  Examples:  Most in Christianity think they are "under grace", which apparently is understood to be a "get out of sin free card" because what I see many Christians doing (with a cross around their necks) is going around doing whatever they want without regard to any obligation on their part to know YHWH.  Similarly, most of what I see in Judaism is that they simply "believe and do what the Rabbi says" and they don't bother to know YHWH beyond that.  And those who leave the Messiah Y'shua altogether, for whatever reason, all I've observed in them is a complete loss of the Ruach (Holy Spirit) and they become rabid, vitriolic, hate-mongers against anyone who continues to believe in Y'shua!

The problem is, if you are a believer in YHWH, the Creator, whether you are Jew or Gentile, whether you do or do not believe Y'shua is the promised Messiah, you are expected to know Him!  It's part of the deal and it actually requires effort on your part!

In the Tanach (Old Testament) it's here:
Thus said יהוה, “Let not the wise boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty boast in his might, nor let the rich boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am יהוה, doing kindness, right-ruling, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” declares יהוה. (Jeremiah 9:23-24, ISR)
And in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) it's here:  Y'shua said:
Just as you have given him authority over all flesh that whomever You have given him, he will give to him life that is eternal.  Now this is life that is eternal, that they might know You, that You are the Elohim of Truth, and he alone whom You have sent, the Mashiyach Y’shua. (John 17:2-3, AENT)
How does one "know" anything? 

You study!  You spend time with the subject and learn it and practice it.  Great sports players are great through their knowledge of the game and their practiced skills.  People become good at their jobs by knowing all there is to know about their jobs and practicing what they know to do good work. Brain surgeons don't just take a scalpel and start digging around in the brain!  To "know" requires the active part of gaining knowledge!  We humans gain knowledge by actively seeking it and and study.  (Knowledge does not just "come" to you!  Remember how you were required to study to learn in school?)

Which brings me back to my thought: Why do people not know YHWH? 

We have an entire Book about Him - it tells us who He is, what he expects of us, how we are to behave and treat each other, what we can eat, how to be "clean" (both spiritually and physically) so we can be in His presence, and how to gain eternal life with Him!  Yet people choose to not read and study that Book, relying instead on what someone else has told them about YHWH.

YHWH is very clear in what He wants from us:
“Hear, O Yisra'el: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one! 

And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.  “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart, and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  

“And it shall be, when יהוה your Elohim brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Ya'aqoḇ, to give you great and good cities which you did not build,  and houses filled with all kinds of goods, which you did not fill, and wells dug which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you shall eat and be satisfied – be on guard, lest you forget יהוה who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage.  “Fear יהוה your Elohim and serve Him, and swear by His Name.  

“Do not go after other mighty ones, the mighty ones of the peoples who are all around you, for יהוה your Elohim is a jealous El in your midst, lest the displeasure of יהוה your Elohim burn against you, then He shall destroy you from the face of the earth.  “Do not try יהוה your Elohim as you tried Him in Massah.  “Diligently guard the commands of יהוה your Elohim, and His witnesses, and His laws which He has commanded you.  “And you shall do what is right and good in the eyes of יהוה, that it might be well with you, and you shall go in and possess the good land of which יהוה swore to your fathers, to drive out all your enemies from before you, as יהוה has spoken.   

“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the witnesses, and the laws, and the right-rulings which יהוה our Elohim has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Mitsrayim, and יהוה brought us out of Mitsrayim with a strong hand,   and יהוה sent signs and wonders, great and grievous, upon Mitsrayim, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes.   ‘And He brought us out from there, to bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers.  ‘And יהוה commanded us to do all these laws, to fear יהוה our Elohim, for our good always, to keep us alive, as it is today. 

And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.  (Deuteronomy 6:4-25, ISR)
When was the last time you read His Words and held them in your heart, impressed them on your children, spoke of them when you sat in your house, and when you walked by the way, and when you lay down, and when you rose up?  If you don't do these things, then how can you know YHWH?

As you look around at the horrors going on in the world today.  It's pretty clear we are in trouble - because FEW know YHWH.
It is because my people are foolish - they do not know me... (Jeremiah 4:22, CJB)

4 comments:

  1. The cross, the cross, that's what I heard them say. It is not the cross that saves them but the blood that Yeshua shed. It makes me sick when I hear them say the cross is what saves. It is Idolitry when you idolize the cross. A symbol does not save. Only knowing YHWH & Y'shua in truth will save you.

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    1. Amein, sis! Thanks for your comments! Shabbat shalom to you and yours!

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  2. How do I help a person who does want to know YHWH and to "be in faith" but says she is tired and struggles to have the true desire to read the Bible and to pray? She questions whether she truly is in faith and saved. I myself have a deep desire to read the Bible and study it, to know YHWH, to follow Him, to keep His commandments and to be found faithful and worthy. I consider everything in my worldly life to be trash compared to knowing YHWH. I just don't know how to give some of my desire to my friend, if it were possible. I know the Bible says that YHWH works in us to will and to act; Phil. 2:13. So does it mean that He hasn't worked in my friend to will and to act? I probably don't understand this Bible verse properly. Can you help me please?

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    1. Well, Anonymous, it is far too hard to assess this issue with just these few words in your comment, and without knowing your friend. The fact that she apparently "wants" to know YHWH and "be in faith" is a good sign. Her reluctance to read and pray may just be the overwhelming lack of understanding that comes from "browsing around" in scripture. Many scriptures, read by themselves, simply make you scratch your head because they don't readily convey a sensible meaning.

      Ask your friend if she has ever read the Bible, cover-to-cover. I suspect she hasn't. Challenge her to. See if she'll accept the challenge to read the entire Bible, beginning to end, in say, one year. Then tell her you are willing to talk with her about what she learned and what she found difficult and what she found simply incomprehensible. Then slowly reveal to her that all Bibles have "biases" and that now that she has read the whole thing, go back to those parts that did not make sense, and get other Bible versions, and other sources and start reading what others say, and see if some "aha moments" start coming. This might be just what she needs to "come alive". The goal is to get her to see there is a YHWH there to know, and that to know Him will take more than a single run through the scriptures.

      Regarding Philippians 2:13, here is what I do when I am trying to understand the meaning of a verse. In this case, I'd go back to Philippians 1:1 and start reading from there. In the NT letters, the opening chapter generally informs you to whom the letter was written, and what might be going on. In other words, it sets the stage for the meaning of the later verses in the letter.

      Here, Paul and Timothy are writing to the Set Apart believers in Philippi! So right away, you know the words in Chapter 2 are not to "just anyone". Paul is addressing those in Philippi who are already striving to live the faith. Thus, chapter 2 verse 13 is Paul's way of saying that Elohim is at work in them, for their desire (which is to spread the Good News of the Kingdom). So you can't apply this verse to your friend. While YHWH *may* be at work in her, she may also need something He is waiting for. That something may well be you! I don't know. Again, the fact that she apparently "wants" to know YHWH and "be in faith" is a good sign - YHWH may be moving!

      So, without pressuring her, let her know you are there to help, that you don't know everything, but that she might start by committing to first read the whole Bible. (If she says she has already, then ask her to generate a list of those things which left her wondering, then you have an "in" for further discussion.)

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