Saturday, March 23, 2013

Build in Babylon

Build in Babylon
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

I think I’m about to know how unpopular some of the prophets felt when they had to deliver their unpopular word. But when the heart and marrow of your bones burn with the Word that has been given you, you must speak and cannot hold back the message.

I am really disturbed at how some many are on this kick to make Aliyah to Israel. As if they will be safer or be closer to God there. Do not terrorist attack Israel too? Is the Earth not the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, and even if we make our bed in hell is He not there (Psa. 24:1, I Cor. 10:26. Psa. 139:8)!? We are to be in the world and not of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying HaShem does not tell certain people to move to Israel, I know He does, but not everyone who is a Jew or Hebrew is called to make Aliyah and or move to Israel today. Why you may ask, don’t you stand with Israel?

Of course I stand with Israel, but allow me to rip off the plastic mask of romanticism that some see as Israel. The Israel that exists today is not the Israel of David or Solomon’s or even Messiah’s time which is to come. Bottom line it is a secular state ran by secular, non-Torah keeping Jews. Second, Israel today does not even occupy a sliver of what David or Solomon’s Empire did, nor do they currently own or occupy the Promised Land dimensional boarders the Holy One gave to Abraham. The modern state of Israel that we’re talking about is only about the size of the state of New Jersey. You could walk the length and breadth of it in a few days. Imagine if EVERYONE who wanted to make Aliyah or live in Israel could; it would fast turn into the most overcrowded populated country in the world and knock India into second place! Yes, Israel has been reclaimed from a desert and turned into a paradise, but even so, there is not enough resources for all who wish to live in Israel. Many do not know this, but the Jews they fly in from Russia and Ethiopia, the government are hard pressed to start them off with sufficient resources to begin their new life in the Promised Land.  Thirdly, Judah may have been called home out of exile, but Israel of the Assyrian captivity still are, for all intents and purposes “lost”, in exile and have not been divinely revealed and or released from said exile.  There has been no Ezra, Nehemiah or Zerubbabel that has risen up with the call to lead the lost 10 tribes home.  And besides, not all the clans of all the lost 10 tribes have been found, only recently has the Almighty sent out His servants to seek them out.

Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. Jer. 16:16

Besides disobedience to Torah (Deut. 28) why was Israel sent off into captivity? The same reason the fall of the Tower of Babel occurred; we were commanded to spread out and carry the Truth with us. HaShem told Joshua for Israel to spread out and take the Land, drive out the squatter nations whose time was up, do to their sin. We are blessed to be a blessing to the nations.

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Gen. 12:1-3

…fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. Deut. 15:5-6

Yeshua, our Rebbe and our Messiah said we are to be salt and light to the nations of the world.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. – Matt. 5:13-16

He told us we are blessed to be a blessing and if we would not go willingly, He will make us go. He did it to Israel after they refused to fully obey Torah and take the Land and start blessing the nations.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matt. 28:18-20

We have failed miserably at this mandate to take Torah and Messiah to the Nations.

The Holy One of Israel has allowed some Jews and the lost Hebrew tribes of Israel to remain in the Diaspora until we wake up, repent and begin to obey and be the nations of priests He has called us to be!

And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. – Deut. 30:1-6

Have we really and truly with all of our hearts done this yet? With materialism, hedonism and antinomianism still within our midst as a people, and with us not even being a unified Body in love, I’d say we still have some repenting to do.

If we are being purged through our punishment in exile, why fight it? Does a child say to his father after being sent to his room, “Dad, I’ve been sitting on my bed for 3 minutes and I have thought about what I have done and I have learned my lesson and think I am ready to come out of my room.”? NO! It is not the child’s call, but the father’s call.  Deciding to up and move to Israel just because we are Jews and Hebrews doesn’t mean we should. A child doesn’t give his father an FYI, “Dad, I’ve been in here for 3 minutes, I’ve had enough I’m coming out!” If a child did as such, what would happen to him? He’d be punished further wouldn’t he? No, it is not our call to end the exile of Assyria and head to Israel, that even isn’t the Israel God meant it to be. Israel, we have been sitting in exile for approximately 3000 years and we have not been called to come out yet by The Father.

I am an odd duck, though Hebrew, I have no desire to live in Israel. Imagine, me a Rabbi, having no desire to live in Israel. Should I have my head examined? No, because I have already examined my heart. Would I like to visit Israel and see the sites and walk where Yeshua walked? Sure, but I certainly do not want to live there.  I love the Smokey Mountains but I would not want to live in the tourist trap of Gatlinburg Tennessee!  Why do I not wish to live in Israel? Because it is not my Israel, it is not Messiah’s Israel. If as a Hebrew, the Promised Land is my inheritance and Messiah will come to rule and reign and eventually make a New Heaven and a New Earth and a New Jerusalem that I will live in forever, why would I want to live in a crude imperfect facsimile?  

Ephraim, Kingdom of Israel, I give you the words of Jeremiah and Zechariah the Prophet:

Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon; (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;) By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord. For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.  And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. Jer. 29:1-14

And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong. Zech. 8:13

Be sure to where the LORD has called you. Settle in, build and be Salt and Light there. He will bless you so that you can be a blessing to others and then, perhaps one day we will hear the call to come Home.
I know what I have said is highly unpopular and highly controversial, but no more so than the words of Jeremiah in his day. Now the burden on my soul has been lifted and the fire in my bones has been released.
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr