Scriptural Epiphanies

Overlord or Overseer – 1 Kefa (Peter) 5

Shalom Kol Yisrael,

Recently a brother shared with me from 1 Kefa 5.  I was moved by the Ruach to share with you some of the insights Abba was showing me.

Biblical Understanding of An Overseer

1 Kefa 5: Therefore, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Messiah, and also a sharer of the esteem that is to be revealed, I appeal to the elders among you: 2 Shepherd the flock of Elohim which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but voluntarily, not out of greed for filthy gain, but eagerly, 3 neither as being masters over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock (Emphases added)

I will have to admit that whenever I hear the word “overseer” it conjures up images and scenes of slave masters in Alex Haley’s book and miniseries “Roots”.  But, in this passage, we are confronted with a very different overseer.  The Biblical example does not demonstrate a heavy handedness nor an attitude of “always being right”.  This overseer in YHWH’s kingdom is compelled voluntarily not to rule the flock, but to be an example to the flock.   That takes humility! 

Kefa further writes, “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you shall receive the never-fading crown of esteem. 5 In the same way, you younger ones, be subject to elders. And gird yourselves with humility toward one another, for “Elohim resists the proud, but gives favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, then, under the mighty hand of Elohim, so that He exalts you in due time, 7 casting all your worry upon Him, for He is concerned about you. (Emphases added)

Here the elders are not speaking to the younger ones, “Submit to me.”  But, their righteous example compels the young ones to follow the same example.  Most of us at one time or another have been extremely impatient with YHWH.  We want to have it all figured out.   In addition, we make decisions based on this impatience, while in the end if we had waited we would have experienced an “exaltation in due time”.

The Overlords of Korah

This past Torah Parashah is a great example of what Kefa is speaking about.  Here we see the rebellion of the sons of Korah.  Incidentally, the Hebrew root for Korah from Strong’s concordance says, “from the root qarach to depilate; make (self) bald”.  Let’s look at those verses in Bamidbar (Numbers) 16:

1 And Korah, son of Yitshar, son of Qehath, son of Levi, took both Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliyav, and On, son of Peleth, sons of Re’uven, 2 and they rose up before Mosheh with some of the children of Yisra’el, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, called ones of the meeting, men of name. 3 And they assembled against Mosheh and against Aharon, and said to them, “Enough of you! For all the congregation is set-apart, all of them, and YHWH is in their midst. Why then do you lift up yourselves above the assembly of YHWH?” 4 And when Mosheh heard, he fell on his face, 5 and spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning YHWH shall make known who is His and who is set-apart, and bring him near to Him. And let Him bring near to Him the one whom He chooses.”  (emphases added)

What do we know about Moshe and what can we discern from these men?  Bamidbar 12  says this of Moshe, “3 And the man Mosheh was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.”  Yet the sons of Korah were “men of name”; overlords who desired to make a name for themselves and control the flock instead of being living examples of meekness and humble obedience to YHWH like Moshe.

Spirits Warring Against A Biblical Overseer

Toward the end of chapter 5, Kefa finally ends this section with an apropos exhortation, “8 Be sober, watch, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in the belief, knowing that the same hardships are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 And the Elohim of all favor, who called you to His everlasting esteem by Messiah Y’shua, after you have suffered a while, Himself perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the esteem and the might forever and ever. Amein. (emphases added)

We are at war as I write this letter.  The devil is working every moment to tempt an overseer to become an overlord.  A spiritual war is taking place.  Spirits that seek dominion over you and I are fighting us right now.  And if we fail to discern this we will be consumed by our adversary the devil.  As we resist the devil may we always be reminded that we are not alone.  There are other brothers in this world that are experiencing the same kind of hardships that we are. 

I believe, 1 Kefa 5 is attempting to establish the qualities of a true overseer.  So the question bears asking, “Shall we stand against the spirit of the overlord and shall we desire to walk in a manner described by Kefa’s example of an overseer?”  We have a choice. How shall we then choose?

Shavua tov.

Tzefanyah Pappas
Chazak Chazak v’nitchazek
Let us be strong, let us be strong and let us
strengthen (encourage) one another!

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