Israel Thoughts on Home

Bamidbar (The Wilderness) Journey to the Promised Land

Shalom Kol Yisrael,

I have wrestled with Yah as to what He would have me write this week. I take the utmost care to write what comes from Him and not from myself. We are living in the day where it is very important to hear His voice. Last week, we saw how the Father speaks to us in a still small voice. This week we will learn that we cannot get to Yisrael, the Land of Promise, until we pass through the wilderness (Heb. Bamidbar).

The Wilderness

So often when we think of the wilderness, we think of the good aspects. Our clothes never wear out. We have abundant food and water. We have a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. But, we forget that the wilderness is full of contention and strife. Pride and arrogance were rampant in the wilderness. Is it any different today? Living in the diaspora should we expect anything different?

Through Gilgal to Yisrael

Just like our ancient forefathers we must pass through Gilgal to receive our inheritance. Gilgal is the place of cutting away of the flesh.

Yehoshua (Joshua) 5: 2 At that time YHWH said to Yehoshua, “Make knives of flint for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Yisra’el again the second time.” 3 So Yehoshua made knives of flint for himself, and circumcised the sons of Yisra’el at the Hill of Foreskins. 4 And this is why Yehoshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Mitsrayim who were males, all the men of battle, had died in the wilderness on the way, after they had come out of Mitsrayim. 5 For all the people who came out had been circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness on the way as they came out of Mitsrayim had not been circumcised. (Emphases added)

Notice how it is Yehoshua himself that does the circumcision. No one else is involved, Yehoshua circumcized all of the males himself. The cutting away of the flesh can only be performed by “YHWH is salvation” (Hebrew meaning of Yehoshua). Have we layed our lives down upon His altar and allowed our Salvation to set His flint knife to our lives? Are we seeking to justify an indulgent life or are we asking Him to cut away the self-indulgent attitudes that separate ourselves from Him?

If we truly allow Him to take His flint knife to our lives, we will understand the meaning of Gilgal. For Yehoshua further writes in verse 9, And YHWH said to Yehoshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Mitsrayim from you.” So the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day. Are we still experiencing the disgrace and the shame of Mitsrayim (Egypt)? Are we allowing ourselves to still be enslaved by others? Has our Salvation become our only King? For Scriputure says you can only have one master. “No one is able to serve two masters, for either he shall hate the one and love the other, or else he shall cleave to the one and despise the other. You are not able to serve Elohim and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

Entering Our Inheritance Only by Faith

Yehoshua 3:6 And Yehoshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass over before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. 7 And YHWH said to Yehoshua, “This day I begin to make you great before the eyes of all Yisra’el, so that they know that I am with you as I was with Mosheh. 8 “And you, command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the edge of the water of the Yarden, stand in the Yarden.’ ” 9 And Yehoshua said to the children of Yisra’el, “Come near, and hear the words of YHWH your Elohim.” 10 And Yehoshua said, “By this you shall know that the living El is in your midst, and that He is certainly driving out from before you the Kenaanites and the Hittites and the Hivvites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Yebusites: 11 “See, the ark of the covenant of the Master of all the earth is passing over before you into the Yarden. 12 “And now, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Yisra’el, one man from every tribe. 13 “And it shall be, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of YHWH, the Master of all the earth, come to rest in the waters of the Yarden, that the waters of the Yarden are cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and stand as a heap.” 14 And it came to be, when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Yarden, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as those bearing the ark came to the Yarden, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark dipped in the edge of the water – now the Yarden overflows all its banks during all the time of harvest – 16 that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Tsarethan. And the waters going down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Yericho. 17 And the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of YHWH stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Yarden. And all Yisra’el passed over on dry ground, until all the nation had completely passed over the Yarden. (Emphases added)

If you read further in this passage you will see that this occurred at the time of Pesach (Passover). The waters at this time would have been the highest and most turbulent. Yisrael would have to express their faith in the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaacov by stepping into these turbulent waters and standing in the Land of Yisrael. Shall we enter Yisrael by any way other than faith?

Crossing the Yarden to a Holy Inheritance

We fail to realize how precious the Land of Yisrael is to YHWH. There is a holiness to the Land that goes beyond our understanding. The Land is so holy that it will vomit the unrighteous out in due time if they fail to repent.

Vayikra 18:25 ‘Thus the land became defiled, therefore I punished it for its crookedness, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you, you shall guard My laws and My right-rulings, and not do any of these abominations, the native nor stranger who sojourns among you, 27 because the men of the land who were before you have done all these abominations, and thus the land became defiled, 28 So let not the land vomit you out for defiling it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 For whoever does any of these abominations, those beings who do them shall be cut off from among their people.(Emphases added)

Yehoshua, himself, was confronted with the holiness of the Land of Yisrael.

Yehoshua 5:13 And it came to be, when Yehoshua was by Yericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked and saw a Man standing opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Yehoshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” 14 And He said, “No, for I have now come as Captain of the host of YHWH.” And Yehoshua fell on his face to the earth and did obeisance, and said to Him, “What is my Master saying to His servant?” 15 And the Captain of the host of YHWH said to Yehoshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is set-apart.” And Yehoshua did so. (Emphases added)

The Voice of Man Our Destruction

The Captain of the host of YHWH quietly stands with His drawn sword. But, the voice of man clamors for our attention. The voice of man will not fight the fight of faith for in the day of battle the voice of man flees. Trusting in the voice of man leads to our destruction. Yet, our Captain has quietly drawn His sword. If we fall on our faces before Him, He will lead us through every battle.

O Abba, may we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of YHWH. Let us patiently await the day that You and only You exalt us and lead us home out of the wilderness.

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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