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GOD’s Commitment to Israel (Torah Portion Hosea 13)

GOD’s Commitment to Israel: Torah Portion Hosea 13

God’s commitment to Israel is everlasting, even though he has extended that commitment beyond the Jewish people.

This week, the Torah Portion Hosea 13 in particular, has stuck with me.
The LORD says to the Jews, “Yet I am the LORD your GOD.” (Hosea 13:4)

Hosea 13:1-11

“When Ephraim spoke, trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended through Baal worship, he died. Now they sin more and more, and have made for themselves moulded images, idols of their silver, according to their skill; all of it is the work of craftsmen.

They say of them, “Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!”

Therefore they shall be like the morning cloud and like the early dew that passes away, like chaff blown off from a threshing floor and like smoke from a chimney.

“Yet I am the LORD your GOD ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no GOD but Me; for there is no saviour besides Me. I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. 

“When they had pasture, they were filled; they were filled and their heart was exalted; therefore they forgot Me.

“So I will be to them like a lion; like a leopard by the road I will lurk; I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs; I will tear open their rib cage and devour them like a lion. The wild beast shall tear them.

“O Israel, you are destroyed, but your help is Me. I will be your King, where is any other, that he may save you in all your cities? And your judges to whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes’?
“I gave you a king in My anger, and took him away in My wrath….” 

Perhaps these verses grabbed my attention because I’ve been pondering lately GOD’s identity relative to other gods. Do you remember Paul spoke to the Athenians about their altar To The Unknown God and explained their unknown god was the Creator of the Universe, one not made by human hands? (Acts 17:23) Just this week I heard some new ideas about the Nephelim (giants – half angel half man; see Genesis 6:4) being behind much of the confusion, destruction and perversion arising across society in these days. I am aware that some people believe these Nephelim, who are the offspring of fallen angels called “sons of GOD” and the daughters of man, long ago were manifested as gods and given names in Greek such as Zeus, Apollo, Hermes and so on. There was nothing of this in the recent teaching, but rather sometimes, by association, GOD brings one idea (Yehovah GOD as the God of the Hebrews) to our minds in order for us to make connection with another idea (existence of other gods). So, I’ve been thinking about our Yehovah GOD in relation to other gods which man has idolised throughout history.

Any case, back to Hosea: 

In the context of Yehovah GOD declaring to the Hebrews that He is their GOD and they’d have none other (Hosea 13:4), and upon reflection of the Athenians and the fallen angels and Nephelim, I realise that whether a god has any power or not, different cultures have different gods. That the GOD of the Hebrews happened to be the actual GOD of the universe: all powerful, eternal, creator, is pretty awesome for them.

It really hits home to me, as a Gentile:

So, in Hosea 13, Yehovah GOD says the the Jews, “I AM” and He says it exclusively to them and they are to be exclusively His. 

Jesus (called Yeshua in Hebrew) tells his disciples not to go out to the Gentiles but only to those of the House of Israel (Matthew 11) and reiterates this to a Gentile woman who sought his help for her demon-possessed daughter when he says as recorded later in Matthew, “It is not good to take the children’s bread [ref to Jews] and throw it to little dogs [ref Gentiles]. And she said, “Yes, Lord, even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” And then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith. Let it be as you desire.” (Matthew 15:26-28). 

After his resurrection, Yeshua Jesus commissions his disciples to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

Yes, the Gentiles have been grafted in (Romans 11), adopted, welcomed into the Kingdom of GOD by faith. How heinous this must have seemed to the Jewish people of the time who had been brought up on their exclusive access to GOD; and yet those Jewish people who followed Jesus’ Way gave way to him, in faith. 

It is my heart’s desire to share Yeshua Messiah with those Jewish people who  have found the truth in Jesus. And of those still seeking more truth, yes, they need to know the Gentile Jesus is their Jewish Messiah. The Gentiles were accepted by him and have been grafted in, not to replace the Jews, but because GOD loves Jew and Gentile and his son. GOD has not excluded, replaced or abandoned His chosen children. He is still their GOD. He is simply now also GOD for the Gentiles as well, for those who will accept Him. Yeshua is Messiah to the Jews and Saviour to rest of the World,

“… It is too small a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)

Hallelujah and Amen.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Reflections and Poetry

To be or Not to be Evangelical: response to a borrowed post

Recently, I was sent an excellent, thought-provoking post from Brian Stiller, a fellow Canadian and faithful follower of Jesus. It raises some of the issues surrounding the term Evangelical.

At the heart of Sabbath Rest Ministries is a love for Jew and Gentile — followers of Yeshua and those who are not, but who seek Truth to marry history with theology.

Here is the post

To be or Not to be Evangelical

Here is my response

Dear Brian,

This is an important post. I’m glad you’ve written it.

The problem with “Evangelical” is not political although that off-shoot has arisen because of a weakness in Evangelicalism in its own right.
There are many good things. But it has a root problem and that is anti-semitism. Luther, as you rightly point out, has a piece of Evangelicalism in his teaching; however, his teaching is also tainted with anti-semitism. But that is only half the issue addressed. The other half is that the root of Protestantism is still based on Rome, when it divided the Gentile church from its Hebraic roots.
I truly believe the LORD is not happy with anything that removes His roots from any practice.
And so, in order to be truly Evangelical, we need to address the Sabbath, the Feasts, all orchestrated by GOD – Yehovah Himself – long before even the Jews had a nation or the Hebrews a family.
The root problem with Christianity is that its roots are twisted. We need to straighten them by following Jesus, including his Hebraic roots. He came not to replace but to fulfil the Law. It is not legalism to follow GOD’s calendar, it is integral to following Jesus. If being Evangelical could include that, then the label must remain. If it cannot, then following Jesus needs to have a new label which will include re-aligning with GOD’s calendar.
Although in Canada, anti-semitism and replacement theology are not obvious, they are in the UK where I currently live. I believe we need a clean sweep of our practices to embrace the roots that Jesus and the Apostles encouraged.
Keep writing Brian. It’s good stuff.
God bless, Shalom and in His love,
Sarah