Thursday, January 14, 2016

Torah Trails #15 Bo

Torah Trails
Rabbi Yehudah “Tochukwu” ben Shomeyr
Kristopher Shoemaker

#15 Bo
Exd. 10:1-13:16
Jer. 46:13-28
James 1:15, I Cor. 10:13
Memory Verses: Exd. 12:29, Jer. 46:28, Rom. 9:29

Exd. 13:1-2

Every physical thing has a mental and spiritual equivalent. Inspiration and ideas are the conception of the Spirit. The planning and mulling over the details of such is gestation and taking that through and bringing forth into reality is birth.  Think I`m taking things to far Well, sin has a similar process; “When lust has conceived it brings forth sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:15). The process is identical. You have a lustful thought, you dwell on it, thinking of ways to bring it to pass, you do it and bring it into this reality. Just as a physical body has a womb, so too our hearts and minds have wombs.

Physically, our firstborn is to be given and dedicated to the LORD. The same goes with livestock and crops, so why wouldn’t what proceeds from the heart and mind be any different?

“Whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Cor. 10:31

Bottom line, God comes first. He gets the first and the best of our everything; offspring, livestock, crops, income and ideas and plans.

Jer. 46:27-28

When we love and obey God and give Him our first and best of everything we can be assured such obedience will be rewarded. Past ground and territory and authority lost to the enemy will be returned to us we will overcome, prosper, prevail and rule.

“Abba YHWH Elohim, our lives are not compartmentalized and separated into the secular and the sacred. All is sacred and You deserve to be put first in everything we say or do. Help us Father to fully submit to You and allow You to have first place and accept the sacrifice of all our “firsts” to You and be glorified. In Yeshua’s Name, Amen!”

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Torah Trails #14 Va'era

Torah Trails
Rabbi Yehudah “Tochukwu” ben Shomeyr
Kristopher Shoemaker

#14 Va’era
Exd. 6:2-9:35
Ezk. 28:25-29:21
II Cor. 6:14-7:1
Memory Verses: Exd. 6:2-3, Ezk. 29:21, Rev. 16:21

Exd. 8:1-7, Rev. 16:13-14

A constant musty, humid stench with a hint or urine, a constant deafening drone of croaks, whistles and chirps. So loud you had to shout to converse with your neighbor, so loud you couldn’t even think! Everywhere you look, FROGS! You try to step and you trip or slip on a frog. You can’t sit or lie down without squashing a frog. The ground looks like a moving, living greenish wave of hoping frogs. Frogs like living, dirty popcorn, randomly popping up from the ground. Everywhere you look or turn; FROGS! In your bedpan, in your baking bowls, EVERYWHERE! In your water jar, on your food! You can’t sleep or eat. They leap on your head and with their moist, sticky pads, they crawl all over your body. No peace or quiet, it was enough to drive anyone to the brink of insanity!

YWHW verses the Egyptian god Heket. YHWH brought a countless hoard of frogs from the rive like a tsunami, but Pharaoh wasn’t impressed, his sorcerers could do similar. They too called forth frogs.

Frogs are unclean, defecate anywhere indiscriminately. One can be annoying, a dozen a nuisance but thousands are definitely a plague!

Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.  But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.  And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven. Ezk. 29:3-6

In the time of Moses and the plagues, Egypt the tyrant and taskmaster was worn down, decimated and defeated. In Ezekiel, Egypt is called a dragon and is pulled out of the river with fish stuck to its scales to flounder, thrash and die to become food for the scavengers. Dead and defeated.

Rev. 16:13-14

In Exodus, frogs are called unclean animals and a plague. In the Revelation there is mentioned 3 miraculous deceiving spirits described as unclean frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet, the evil, satanic trinity. In Ezekiel, Egypt is called a dragon. Egypt and the dragon both symbolize an evil, anti-Messiah, pagan and godless reign.

The Frogs in the Exodus YHWH used eventually led to the death of the firstborn and the utter demise of Egypt that kicked off the Exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt. In Ezekiel, Egypt was again defeated by YHWH by being yanked out of the river and ate by an army of scavengers. In the Revelation YHWH uses these deceiving “frogs” that will eventually lead to the defeat of the Dragon, the spiritual Egypt at the Battle of Armageddon.

Whoever thought something as humble and ridiculous as frogs could ever be used as a weapon of mass destruction? But our God YHWH can do and use ANYTHING!

“Abba YHWH Elohim, You never cease to amaze and astound us with your creative ways of warfare against the enemy on behalf of Your people. You, my God are indeed Great and Awesome and we praise You! In Yeshua’s Name, Amen!”

Friday, January 1, 2016

Torah Trails #13 Sh'mot

Torah Trails
Rabbi Yehudah “Tochukwu” ben Shomeyr
Kristopher Shoemaker

#13 Sh’mot
Exd. 1:1-6:1
Isa. 27:6-28:13, 29:22-23, Jer. 1:1-2:3
Hebrews 11:27
Memory Verses: Exd. 2:11, Isa. 29:23, I Cor. 14:25

Gen. 2:10, 14, 21, 3:11, 12, 4:2, 5:1, 6:1

  •   Moses’s life is the model of the life of a Believer. Like Moses, we are rescued, drawn out of a dangerous environment. Moses was in a river full of hippos and crocs, we were in and rescued from an environment full of sin, death, temptations, vices and snares.

  • Moses messed up big time! He killed a man. Most of us have never killed anyone but we all have in our lives; regrets where we screw up and it changed things for us forever.
  • Moses had to remove himself from his old stomping grounds and get away from his past, meet new people and work things out and thinking things through. We too, after a life changing event, we often change locations and stations in life as well as a new set of people surrounds us.

  • Then after time has passed, we have healed, changed, grown and matured, God often calls us back to our past for victory and closure, just as He did with Moses. But we don’t go empty handed and vulnerable, God, like Moses, equips us with a rod of authority. We go with intentions of setting others free and leading others out of the dangerous environment we once were in. In the end, after we see the impossible happen, though we were there and involved, it was by the work, might and empowerment of God all along.

Isa. 29:22-23

·       God did not send Moses back into the maul of the Egyptian crocodile to fail and be consumed, but to leave victorious and unharmed with a myriad of former captives trailing behind him. So too with us, God calls and equips us to succeed and be victorious.
·       You say, “I’m nothing, I’m a screw up!” Yeah! That’s the point, so the victory and success that is achieved can only be attributed to God. He reveals His power and might by using underdogs and rejects like us.

Heb. 11:27

When we realize it’s all God, we are just an instrument in His Hand, we fear no one or no thing, we allow Him to move through us. Does a clarinet worry if it will bellow out beautiful harmonious notes? No, that concern lies with the clarinet player.

“Abba YHWH Elohim, open a door for me this week to share my testimony with others; what You’ve done for, in and through me, so that You may be glorified, and others may be freed. In Yeshua’s Name, Amen!”

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Torah Trails #12 Vayechi

Torah Trails
Rabbi Yehudah “Tochukwu” ben Shomeyr
Kristopher Shoemaker

#12 Vayechi
Gen. 47:28-50:26
I Kings 2:1-12
Hebrews 11:21-22, I Pet. 1:3-9, 2:11-17
Memory Verses: Gen. 49:1, I Kings 2:12, I Pet. 1:9

Gen. 49:33

Jacob came into this world clasping the heel of his fraternal twin brother Esau. In mid-life he likely grabbed the foot when he wrestled with God and won. In the end he grabbed his own feet as he, “gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost.”

Jacob’s life was marked with grabbing and fighting for virtually everything he had from Esau and Laban. Crossing land and river it was marked by feet, which, like ones shoes, tells a lot about a person, about their journey in life.

Jacob grabbed, fought and wandered right up until he through his life was over. Then he was returned with Joseph his son whom he long thought he lost his grip on and it invigorated him and gave him new life. After which you never hear of Jacob grabbing, fighting or wandering ever again, except when he, “gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost.”

Jacob’s life began with a struggle but ended in peace. It began with getting a blessing and ended up with giving a blessing. Jacob ended his life giving his sons all he spent his lifetime getting and finally gave his blessing to each and every one of his sons, even to two of his grandsons that he adopted as his own.

Jacob entered the world with one hand full of the fleshy heel of another and ended with both his hands full of his own fleshy heels.

He began insecure, grabbing for another and ended secure content and at peace embracing himself. He was now complete, full of years and at peace surrounded by his family. May we be so fortunate.

I Kings 2:1

David on the other hand left some unfinished business for his son Solomon, but because it was a Kingly dynasty it was more like the passing of the torch, the transfer of a mantle or a calling. For us who have children or even folks whom we’ve mentored, what do we have to pass on to the next one in line? Wisdom, a legacy, a ministry? Like a will, something to think about and settle today because tomorrow is not a given.

Heb. 11:21-22

What Jacob gave his sons was something he actually didn’t have. It was a blessing, a prophetic gift for the future. He evaluated their character and talents and prophetically blessed them to give them a direction, a course for a successful future. He gave them what he wished for them to have in the form of a blessing. He gave the children of Israel his very soul.

It’s vitally important that we are prepared to bless our children and these we mentor before we die. When we know they are ready to leave the nest and start a life or ministry of their own.

“Abba YHWH Elohim, bless us with wisdom to be content with what we have yet strive for Your blessing so that we may in turn are able to bless the next generation. In Yeshua’s Name we ask and give thanks, Ameyn!”

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Torah Trails #11 Vayigash

Torah Trails
Rabbi Yehudah “Tochukwu” ben Shomeyr
Kristopher Shoemaker

#11 Vayigash
Gen. 44:18-47:27
Ezk. 37:15-28
Acts 7:9-16
Memory Verses: Ge. 45:8. Ezk. 37:28, Acts. 7:9-16

Gen. 45:1, 3, 4, Acts. 7:13

How did Joseph make “himself know” to his brothers? After all he was older, clean shaven and did not have the customary beard of Hebrews, his hair was covered and he was clad in Egyptian garb. He spoke Egyptian to them and had an interpreter translate. He looked like an Egyptian Ruler! There was no way they could have known it was Joseph, he was completely transformed!

So, how did Joseph make “himself known” to his brothers? He likely began speaking Hebrew, took off his head covering to reveal the wavy dark Hebraic hair. To totally convince them he might have opened his robe to reveal his circumcision, something Egyptians did not have.

When we humble ourselves and allow God to transform us and make us a new creature and when we encounter loved ones from our former life, they might not recognize us and look upon us as a foreigner or a stranger. To convince them it’s really us, we need to de-robe ourselves, become naked and genuine and bear our souls before them.

Ezk. 37:21

Yeshua has the same problem we and Joseph have. His brothers, His loved ones, didn’t recognize Him. Like Joseph whose soul was Hebrew and dedicated to God, but whose body was clad in Egyptian garments, so too Yeshua whom Gentiles call Jesus is a Jew through and through, but looks like a Greek philosopher than a Jewish Rabbi or Messiah. We must “de-robe” and take this Jesus from among the heathen and bring Him back into His proper Hebraic context and return Him, Yeshua, to the Land of His People and make Himself known as Savior, the Jewish Messiah to His brethren.

“Abba YHWH Elohim, equip and empower us to correctly and successfully make Yeshua known to His brethren, the Jewish People. In Yeshua’s Name, Amen!”