(I Thessalonians 2:4; II Timothy 2:2-8, 15)
Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to Yahweh approved a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing the Word of Truth (II Timothy 2:15).
Study and be eager, these two words are words of command and guidance to the servants of Yahweh. Eager implies great enthusiasm and zeal; knowledge with zeal is like fuel in a car; Knowledge acquired from the Word of Yahweh positions the servant of Yahweh in readiness to serve Him; it opens the eyes of understanding and insight into it. Knowledge of the Word of Yahweh positions the servant of Yahweh to be in agreement with His Holy Spirit and takes him to another level of spiritual perception and understanding; knowledge of the Word of Yahweh opens the ears to hear the voice of His Spirit; knowledge with eagerness and excitement makes us perform the work entrusted to us. But when we exercise zeal without knowledge, we find ourselves to be ignorant of the root cause and taking a stand for the wrong thing.
(Acts 16: 9-12; 16-34)
A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man from Macedonia stood pleading with him and saying, Come over to Macedonia and help us (vs. 9)! On the way to answer the “Macedonia call” Paul and Silas had to go through the “fire” being struck with many blows to the point of bleeding; they were thrown into prison (dungeon) with their feet fastened in the stocks (vs. 10). They faced many stumbling blocks, but none of them kept them from losing the focus of the call to Macedonia. Yes, they were bleeding and hurting physically, and their feet were fastened in the stocks, but they were strong spiritually to face the enemy’s weapons with praises to God, proclaiming His love to all who were listening to them in jail; and their spirits were free in Christ to proclaim the goodness of God.
That was the beginning of the fulfillment of the call. That stumbling block in front of them didn’t indicate a stop sign or a change of calling, but a yield sign in the calendar of God; an introduction to what God had in store for them. Their submission to God followed by praises to Him caused heaven’s door to be opened for God’s Power to be expressed through a powerful earthquake, where human powers could do nothing to stop it.
When we read such a tittle, Jonah’s experience comes to mind. Yes, and it is so this time. In his running away from answering the call to Nineveh, Jonah was swallowed up by a great fish, God had prepared to save him from death. For three days and three nights in the living room of the fish’s belly, Jonah had time to reflect on his foolish decision, that of running away from his calling. The fish not only provided safety for Jonah, but also a prayer room. In that uncomfortable environment, Jonah bent his heart toward God and said: I cried out of my distress to the Lord, and He heard me; out of the belly of Sheol cried I, and You heard my voice (Jonah 2:2). Imagine for a moment how awkward that must have been for him, and for the fish too, not being able to digest him for those three days. He could not burp him; neither release him. And Jonah? well, we can just imagine by placing ourselves in his place. He was probably in a fetus position, not being able to move freely. A nightmare that lasted him like forever, so we would express ourselves. This great fish provided Jonah the means of transportation, too. For God directed it to take Jonah where he was supposed to go. That must have been a bumpy ride for several miles to his destination. But in the darkness of that fish, Jonah learned to call on the Lord for his salvation. The Lord, Who is compassionate and abundant in lovingkindness, heard Jonah’s cry for help. He commanded the fish to disgorge Jonah and it did. That must have caused Jonah to have a change of heart, and when the Lord coming to him a second time saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach and cry out to it the preaching that I will tell you. So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord (Jonah 3: 1-3a). Smelling like fish, Jonah sure had a story to tell others and encouraged all not to behave like him.
(Luke 10: 38-42; John 12)
Now while they were on their way, it occurred that YAHSHUA entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching (vs.38-39). Bethany was the village where Martha, her sister and her brother lived. It was located on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem according to John 11:18. Today Bethany’s name is el- Azariyeh, meaning the place of Lazarus and it is a ruinous village; a village separated by wall where tourists no longer have access to it. But it remains with a beautiful and silent past, for our Savior often visited it and had supper with His friends, Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Lazarus was brought to life there and many came to believe in YAHSHUA. Bethany will always shine its past!
After the death and resurrection of Lazarus, YAHSHUA was invited to supper with them. While Martha served, Mary anointed Him with a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume] six days before His death. Spikenard or nard, according to Wikipedia, is “a class of aromatic amber-colored oil. It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the tabernacle was located in the first and second temples.” This perfume-oil was very significant in the action of Mary when she anointed the Savior six days before His death. It speaks volume concerning Him as the Lamb of God being prepared for the Passover sacrifice. Mary had no idea of the prophetic meaning her action had. She was only expressing her gratitude to Him, but at the same time, she was being part of the fulfilling of God’s plan for His Son. The Lord defended her action against those who criticized her and confirmed the purpose for her action by saying, Let her alone. It was [intended] that she keep it for the time of My preparation for burial (John 12:a). The Lord blessed Mary in return. Her action did not go unnoticed. He rewarded her by saying, Surely I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the entire world, what she has done will be told in memory of her (Mark 14: 9).
(Micah 7: 7; Joshua 24:14-15)
After the death of Moses, God established Joshua as the leader to take Israel to the Promise Land. He was Moses’ assistant, who faithfully followed him all the way. Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim. His determination to serve God was visible in all his ways of service to Moses. Joshua was born a slave in the land of Egypt, in the generation after Moses’. His father Nun was hopeful for the deliverance of Israel when he named his son “salvation.” That was of prophetical significance for the future of the nation of Israel’s freedom. Even more significant was the fact that his son would fulfill the prophecy to the letter. He stood as God’s warrior against the pagan nations before they entered the land and after. He remained faithful to the promises of God when he took charge of Israel: Only you be strong and courageous, that you may do according to the all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success (Joshua 1: 7-8).
when they came near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage at the Mount of Olives,
YAHSHUA sent two disciples on ahead, saying to them, Go into the village that
is opposite you, and at once you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her;
untie them and bring them to Me.
The day that that colt was born, one more page was turned forward on YAHWEH’S book. In the obscurity of His plan to His disciples and everyone else, even though the prophets of old had mentioned the things they were experiencing, their eyes were closed and their understanding was dull to the Light that was shining prophecies being fulfilled right before their eyes. Heaven however, was connected with YAHSHUA, and so were Moses and Elisha when they appeared to Him at the Mount of Transfiguration and discussed His exodus from earth in that year of A.D. 33. Five days before the Jews’ Passover our Lord makes a royal entry into Jerusalem in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, you King comes to you; He is just and having salvation, patient, meek lowly, and riding on a donkey, upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.”