OYB July 24
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Jul 24
12:8 "But they will become his slaves so that they may learn the difference between My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries." God sometimes uses forms of captivity to reveal the gift of the freedom we have in Him.
13:5 Don't you realize that the Lord, the God of Israel, made a lasting salt covenant with David, giving him and his descendants the throne of Israel forever? I wondered, what in the heck is a salt covenant? I found a really informative Messianic post that is very thorough about the salt covenant in Jewish culture. In fact, you may want to read the entire webpage for some Jewish perspective. Just know up front that I don't agree with everything this Jewish person says. They are exclusive about Jews having a special position with Messiah, and I believe Paul clearly teaches that we Gentiles are grafted in so that there is no distinction between the two groups with God. I believe (I certainly could be wrong, but I hope not) that the Jews being chosen in this world were only a picture of God's redemptive plan for mankind and that it is not an exclusive club in the future. However, this perspective makes some observations about how Gentiles have gotten things wrong too. There is a balance...there is error on both sides.
A COVENANT OF SALT FOREVER
In Numbers 18:19 it is stated that all of Yisrael's offerings offered to Yahweh must be offered seasoned with salt. This ordinance is a Jewish ruling that makes perfect sense, as Israel's sons and daughters are to engage in an eternal covenant of salt with Yahweh when offering their personal sacrifices. The term "covenant of salt" is indicative of the everlasting nature of the relationship between the children of salt, and their Elohim Yahweh. When we hear the term salt, the understanding is that the things Yahweh addresses are eternal, enduring, never changing, and abiding forever. All salt covenants then are eternal, and eternally binding on the sons and daughters of Yisrael, regardless where they are to be found, and regardless of whether a physical temple stands on Mt. Moriyah or not.
Salt on the other hand is a time proven and consistent preservative that prevents decay and corruption with enduring quality. The forefathers of Yisrael preserved their food with salt in place of the modern refrigerator. The important things of sustenance were preserved with salt. Israel's health was often preserved with baths in the Salt-Sea, which preserved their skin and appearance. Just as in the physical, so it is in the spiritual. All the important elements of Israelite worship must be preserved with salt. Salt typifies abiding, eternality, steadfastness, stability, and permanence and even the very character and reliability of Abba Yahweh Himself! Therefore every sacrifice and every ordinance in the First Covenant by definition must be eternal, since Israel could only approach Yahweh with ordinances using salt offerings. These salt offerings were known to be everlasting due to the eternal and enduring nature of salt's preservation power along with what it implied in the spirit realm. From this understanding, we see that all of Torah has been preserved by the eternal covenant of salt given to Yisrael. Israelite worship was to be characterized by steadfast eternal immutability, unlike the shifting sands of the "pleasure for the moment" motives of the nations.
SOLIDIFYING AND RENEWING FRIENDSHIP
Salt was also used to seal a bond of friendship forever. Brethren at an Israelite table would seal their friendship by the sharing of salt. In much the same way, Israelites were bonded with Yahweh with all the various approaches to Him being seasoned with the eternal salt covenant. It is the Master's desire to be sealed with us in an eternal covenant of friendship seasoned with salt. The Christians see Yahshua's High Priestly role as one of singing and whistling Amazing Grace to His Father Abba Yahweh after having offered His own blood once and for all. The Israelite does not accept that, seeing rather all of the eternal salt offerings of the First Covenant tabernacle, as ongoing and as taking PLACE LITERALLY through Yahshua, who performs them all before Abba Yahweh, albeit on a different and invisible plane. So the Sun-Day system of worship will never understand Torah, and adopt it as their constitution, until and unless they begin to see things in four dimensions applying all four levels of Hebraic interpretation before giving up on a mitzvah as "Jewish stuff."
13:14-18 When Judah turned around, behold, they were attacked both front and rear; so they cried to the LORD, and the priests blew the trumpets... then it was that God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah... God gave them into their hand. Abijah and his people defeated them with a great slaughter... and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the LORD, the God of their fathers. A great reminder that no matter how sneaky or powerful Satan's attacks are, I only need to call for help and God will soundly defeat him. This goes hand in hand with Romans 8:37 below today!
8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. The only way this could be possible is if God is truly sovereign, exerting more power over His creation than we once thought. His will prevails in matters of unfolding the details of life. Through many examples, the Bible teaches that an individual's will can prevail in response only—choosing sin or belief in any given situation. It is still a little murky to me, but making more sense than ever before.
8:29-30 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. This is pertaining to those chosen/elect in this age for the Kingdom (see verse 33). All of His chosen will be conformed to His Son, which is what we discussed this week as a "second death," that is, in addition to our physical death, it is choosing to take up our cross in this life to die to self in order to follow Christ. You can only be conformed to Christ by dying to self and following Him in obedience. Verse 36 describes the death for the chosen/elect: "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." BUT...continue on with 37...
8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
18:37-38 I chased my enemies and caught them; I did not stop until they were conquered. I struck them down so they could not get up; they fell beneath my feet. We must not live in the defensive mode. We must chase after that which threatens our pure devotion to Christ. That is our only true enemy manifested in lies.