Doest Thou Correct Me?

Prophets get a bad wrap at times. However, I can see why. If someone were to ask you if you knew a prophet of Adonai, what would be your answer? There is much to ponder and sift through. Most think of Prophets and cringe. We read about them in the Bible, strong-faced men and women, adamant and strong-willed. The Biblical prophets never used their authority to sway the people or push their weight around. I think we get confused on what a prophet is because most “profits” (pun intended)we see roaming around today aren’t anything like the Biblical accounts we read about. Let’s take a walk with a few of these fiery men to get a better look into the heart of a prophet. We must remember that prophets are built and knitted together. Initially, they try to run from the call. Elijah was called a troubler of Israel, yet He was sent to correct the passive King Ahab. Let’s dissect what went down before one of the greatest showdowns we have ever read about between Elohim and the baalim.

” Now when Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, the one who causes trouble for Israel?” But he answered, “I have not troubled Israel. Rather, it is you and your father’s house—by forsaking the mitzvot of Adonai and going after the Baalim” (1 Kings 18:17-18).

Oh Ahab, why couldn’t you see that it was Adonai that had sent this “troubler”? What we see in others is first found in ourselves. Ouch! The prophet endures many crushing’s and desert seasons before Adonai sends them out among the people. Those seasons of pruning’s and refining’s give the prophet the assignment and prepare him to correct his brothers and sisters. I think many view the prophet as harsh, hypocritical, or judgmental. But if we don’t understand the process of making a prophet, we will see with a dark lens. It’s funny how we think it is the prophet coming as a stink eye, yet because of the lack of understanding of the prophet, it was the people who needed corrective lenses. It is wise we remain humble and teachable. Who sent the prophets? Let’s see. 

“Now it was after many days that the word of Adonai came to Elijah in the third year saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab; then I will send rain on the land. So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab” (1 Kings 18:1).

 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go and tell this people” (Isaiah 6:8-9).

” The word of Adonai came to him during the days of King Josiah of Judah, son of Amon, in the thirteenth year of his reign”(Jeremiah 1:2). 

” This is what the Lord says: (Amos 1:3).  

I want to back up a bit and go back to Isaiah 6. Something exciting takes place here. Isaiah sees a sight he will never forget. Prophets hear. The prophets see. Their senses are heightened because of everything they have endured in the night. Whether Isaiah was in a trance, had a vision, or was in a dream, he saw. 

” In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw Adonai sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the Temple” (Isaiah 6:6).

Can you imagine seeing six-winged, flying, fiery serpents that are passionately preaching holy, holy, holy? My heart paused for a second. In the presence of Elohim, I could not stand; could you? Then we read that one of these fiery ones, the seraphim, brings a lump of hot coal from the altar and puts it to Isiah’s lips. But before all this, Isaiah humbly cries out: 

Oy to me! For I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).

This introspection is the epitome of a prophet. They cry out day and night to El. They know they are not perfect, holy, or clean. They also know they are sent to a stubborn house. Amos and others cried, “Who will listen to me? I’m just a farmer; I am slow to speak.” Yet, the Holy One knows all this and still confides the most intimate, bittersweet riddles to His prophets. 

Adonai knows His prophets in the most profound sense of knowing! The mature prophet weeps in the hiding places of their caves. Then, when it is time, they appear with a deep-seated love that appears in the form of “harsh” correction and judgment. But is it? The one sent to correct must search the heart. Those that are corrected must search the heart. Is this too for our good? 

“And I am dwelling among a people of unclean lips.

For my eyes have seen the King, Adonai-Tzva’ot!”

 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a glowing coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips. Your iniquity is taken away, and your sins atoned for” (Isaiah 6:5-6)

See how Isaiah first shares his condition before sharing the state of his fellow people? In every story of a prophet, if we look close enough, we can see the humbling before the call to correct the body. Interesting, isn’t it? We must start to look at the body with all its offices (roles) the same way Adonai looks at it. Otherwise, we will not understand the voice of the prophet. We don’t see or hear what the prophet endures behind the scenes; we judge them as harsh by what we see in front of us. Some have had fiery coals placed on the lips to appease the iniquity. 

Our life lessons teach us how to minister to others. If my lips weren’t unclean, I wouldn’t have the authority to share how important it is to have clean lips—no lashon hara (evil tongue). But maybe what we think of as evil speech is a correction from Adonai? Love is correction. 

What are the prophets always saying? Come back to your first love! Why does this deeply offend people? I get confused, honestly. I have been corrected in my life many times, and each time it was painful to acknowledge my flesh issue. But because someone loved me enough to correct me, I could see. I could see how my ego was causing harm. I could see how my heart desired what it wanted, regardless of the cost to others and myself. I could see how my Abba longed to be echad (one) with me. Abba, we are a people of unclean lips, yet we are your holy priests! Duality at its best.  

Isaiah says something so brave: Hineni, hineni! Here I am, send me! Hahaha, I have to laugh because he is eager to serve Adonai of Hosts yet has no clue of the assignment. Adonai now gives the assignment. Can you relate? 

Then He said: “Go! Tell this people: ‘Hear without understanding, and see without perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people fat, their ears heavy, and their eyes blind. Else they would see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return, and be healed” (Isaiah 6:9-10).

Meme was found on Pinterest, I don’t own the rights to this image

 Did you spot the prophetic language: hear, understand, see, perceive, ears, eyes. It has always fascinated me how the prophet is a walking contranym, contradiction-a green stop sign, anyone? The prophet is an enigma for those witnessing the prophet and a surreal lifestyle for the prophet. The prophetic one is always trapped between the heavenly realm in awe and fear of what they see and hear from the Holy One. The prophet, though human, is trying to convey this spirit-filled message to their brothers and sisters. We must remember,

“Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

There is so much pain the prophet feels from all sides. I hope this blog has helped you understand the prophet a little more. This is just the tip of the iceberg or the entrance to the cave if you will. Please be more understanding with the Prophets assigned to you. Use wisdom when dealing with immature prophets; we all need correction.

Fruit Trees, Forbidden Fruit and Maturity

Shevet is an interesting month to me. Well, all of the heavenly seasons speak at depths we must stop to analyze. This month is about pleasure. That’s a word that sounds nice to our ears and appeals to our eyes. Pleasure in and of itself is not a bad thing. It’s when we allow pleasure to become our desire, to rule over us. As with all things in creation, balance is what’s needed. Desire is not a bad word either, but it needs to be kept in check. But what is pleasure, and how does it differ from desire? Collins dictionary defines pleasure as “if something gives you pleasure, you get a feeling of happiness, satisfaction, or enjoyment from it” That sounds lovely. Desire is “a strong wish, to do or have something.” As children of Adonai, we all have a full range of feelings, emotions, and desires. It is a natural and beautiful part of the image of Elohim. What gets us in trouble is when we would rather act like the beasts we share our creation day with instead uphold the Echad image of our Father. Now that we understand pleasure and desire better, I would like to shift our attention to this month. In Hebraic thinking, there is a theme, a tribe, a constellation for each month, along with many other topics. This may sound rather strange to some of my readers but bear with me here. This is not a form of witchcraft, nor is it modern astronomy. It is wisdom from Adonai Himself. 

“Then God said, “Let lights in the expanse of the sky be for separating the day from the night. They will be for signs and for seasons and for days and years” Genesis 1:14,

 “He makes the Bear, Orion and Pleiades, and the constellations of the south;” Job 9:9 

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;” Psalm 8:3

Shevet, which correlates to January, a winter month, is centered around the theme of pleasure, and the sense is what we eat, taste. The tribe for this month is Ashur, and both the blessings this tribe received were about pleasure and eating. It is believed that as believers, we can tap into each tribe’s blessings and strengths, and weaknesses. We need balance in all things at all times. It wouldn’t be proper training for Adonai’s children if it didn’t get set up that way.  

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2

What exactly does the theme for the month have to do with us? Much. The theme is literally what we will be tested in, physically and spiritually. What we eat and how we partake of pleasure will define what pop quizzes and chapter exams we will be handed.

“The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual” 1 Corinthians 15:46  

This chapter in Corinthians discusses resurrection. Each night we sleep, each month and year that passes, we are dying and resurrecting in both realms, hopefully. As with everything, each month is connected to the next and simultaneously cross-connected. Shevet cross-connects with Tammuz. Both are months of extreme weather; one starts winter the other starts the summer. Extremes in the physical usually mean extreme testing of our flesh. Tammuz is generally June/July, the theme is might/awe, and the sense is sight. When we look further at these two months, we see that in Tammuz, the might of our sight; what we were being refined in during the hot summer months will help or deter our refining during Shevet, our pleasure, and eating.

We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat” I must ask myself what do I eat, and from where is it served? Fast food delivers quickly, usually lacks nutrients, and has fillers to make up for poor quality; this means our taste buds are fooled. Entry-level fry cooks provide fast food, and I’m left feeling sluggish, tired, and have an upset tummy. I usually feel silly for wasting my money on such poor quality food, like Esau, my flesh desired food now! Quality food takes time to make, and there’s usually a long wait due to the care and bounty of flavors. The cooks are upgraded to chef level, and they know what it takes to make good, healthy, and tasteful food. I am left feeling satiated, content, and more inclined to be grateful for the bounty of flavors carefully created. Although it costs more, it is well worth it. How about when we make our food? In my opinion, this is the best way to eat. Yet, we still need quality ingredients and a time-tested recipe if we’re unfamiliar with the menu.

Let’s ponder this spiritually. Shevet is dubbed the month of trees. Tu’BShvat is a holiday that the Jews commemorate this month. Scripture says men are like trees. Galatians 5 mentions the fruit of the spirit. From what type of trees are we eating? Is the fruit ripe and ready? More importantly, what type of tree am I? Is my fruit ready to be eaten? I find this all so fascinating; I’m more intrigued by the fact our Heavenly Father laid down the answers to such questions. As always, on point and in the clutch!

23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden.[For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:23-25

Lots to ponder here. I wonder what it means to enter the land for us in the diaspora? Is this obsolete because we don’t live in Israel? I doubt it. Once we know the truth, we can never unknow it, un-hear it, and un-taste the goodness of Adonai. When we enter the land, spiritually speaking, we start our journey in becoming a whole bible believer. Our fruit is forbidden. Mainly because you don’t learn to walk without some form of crawling, you can’t become a humble leader without following a humble leader. Watch the fruit! As a gardener, I have learned that I don’t eat the fruit when planting the seed. It takes a period of nurturing, growth and maturity before I and others can share in the bounty. Following the protocols outlined in Leviticus 19, which discusses the various laws of Adonai, not Judaism, shows the proper timeline for one who has been fully engaged and active in their learning and maturing in the body of Yeshua. Keywords-fully engaged and involved; without this, we prolong our growth. In the orlah-forbidden years, we are to be learning to 

“Make every effort to present yourself before God as tried and true, as an unashamed worker cutting a straight path with the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

When our fruit is tasted in the fourth year, it is pleasing, an offering of praise to Adonai! Wow, so much to unravel in these little gems. This makes me stop and inspect my limbs—blossoms with choice fruit or dead, unwatered buds. Abba, let your words be the lamp that shines a light on my path! That fifth year is what we should desire- finally, the fruit is ready to eat. After enduring many different seasons and prunings, the fruit is delicious and ripe; as an added perk, the harvest is increased and prepared to share its bounty—what a beautiful picture of a mature believer.

What we see is what we desire. Without the seasons of maturity, we can harm others. Our sight helps in our tasting. What we taste will ultimately lead to our other senses.  

“You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.” Numbers 15:39

The heart and the eyes are the “spies” of the body — they act as its agents for sinning: the eye sees, the heart covets, and the body commits the sin- Rashi on Numbers 15:39 Hebraic thought is very different than our Western thinking. The heart and desire are usually described as the seat of emotion, but Biblically speaking, it’s the mind and kidneys. Our minds are intellect and inner thoughts, while our kidneys are the actual seat of emotions. Going back to fruit trees, we all know Eve’s desire wasn’t necessarily evil, but because it was off-balance, there were consequences for all her children afterward. Adonai is so unique that He weaves together all creation to and for all His creation. We can learn from the harsh heat of Tammuz how to traverse the frigid temperatures of Shevet. The sight of our might can help tame the pleasures of eating this month. We must watch what we eat and who is serving it. Is our fruit ready to be harvested, or do we need some more seasons of pruning? It’s vital to the body of Yeshua we follow the Elohim of order. His protocols, not ours. I pray this blog has blessed you, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. May we endure the forbidden years and progress to the time where our fruit is holy and an offering of praise to our Elohim, may we prepare our fruit, to be ready after our pruning’s and seasons of extreme tempting’s, may the bounty in our fifth year of being awakened in Torah increase because You are Adonai our Elohim! Shalom, and be blessed.

23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden.[For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:23-25

 If you are interested in reading more about anatomy from a Hebraic perspective, here’s an excellent place to start https://www.torahapologetics.com/language–word-studies/hebrew-anatomy-part-1-the-heart 

Works Cited:

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/pleasure

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/desire

https://www.inner.org/hebrew_calendar/index

 https://www.sefaria.org/Rashi_on_Numbers.15.39.2?lang=bi&p2=Numbers.13.25&lang2=bi&aliyot2=0

https://www.torahapologetics.com/language–word-studies/hebrew-anatomy-part-2-the-kidneys

https://www.torahapologetics.com/language–word-studies/hebrew-anatomy-part-1-the-heart