As I prayed the prayers this morning, when I got to Aaron’s blessing, I was again ‘awe struck’ by His Name. יהוה It is spoken three times in that blessing. And again, the next prayer, the Shemah, this Name is again spoken three times.
The Shemah is the greatest of all the 613 commandments. Yeshua teaches this in Mark 12:28:
“One of the Torah-teachers came up and heard them engaged in this discussion. Seeing that Yeshua answered them well, he asked Him, “Which is the greatest mitzvah of them all?” Yeshua answered, “The greatest mitzvah is, `Sh’ma Yisra’el, יהוה Eloheinu, יהוה echad [Hear, O Israel, Yahu’ah is our God, Yahu’ah is one], and you are to love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding, and with all your strength.’”
As I read it this morning, I confessed to myself and to Abba that I know I do not love Him that powerfully; and immediately, this verse went through my mind as I almost began to castigate myself: “For Mashi’akh is the perfection [goal] of the Torah, for tzedaka to everyone who trusts. ” Romans 10:4
“10:4 good buddy!”
Knowing this is my goal, and not what I have achieved, but what I am to strive for, is very comforting.
So, I started walking through the Shemah slowly, chewing on this most important commandment.
שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יהוה אֶחָד.
Hear! O Yisra’el, יהוה is our Elohim, יהוה is ONE.
Oh, the truth that bubbles out of that one statement!
Yisra’el: A PRINCE with God. Strives WITH God, to be formed into His image.
Shemah, ‘hear’, is weakly translated into English. Shemah not only means ‘hear’, but it means ‘hear and respond’, in the sense of a soldier who takes in a command, processes it, and DOES it.
יהוה is OUR GOD
The Name יהוה separates Elohim from every other being who is worshipped, every other “god”. There are many “gods”, or spiritual entities who crave the worship of humans. They are the ‘fallen ones’. HaSatan, known as “Heillel Ben Shakhar”, [Isaiah 14:12] is the chief of those ‘sons of Elohim’ who rebelled against the Almighty some time before the creation of our heaven and earth. “Heillel” means ‘Shining One’; Why? For many reasons. He was a Keruv that ‘covered’, meaning he had been one of the two “close ones” that hovered over the Father in the Throne Room. [This is depicted in the Sanctuary, the two ‘keruvim’ hovering on the kaporet, the lid of the Ark of the Covenant.]
He was in Gan Eden, dressed in precious stones and gold, he was also ministering at the Altar of heaven; he WAS ‘bright and shining’, a glorious creature. [Ez 28:12-14] Yet he fell, and was cast out of his ‘close place’; because he loved pride more than he loved the Father. [Isa 14:12] He loved himself more than he loved the Father, who was far more glorious than he. He could not see that the Father MADE HIM that glorious, and gave him all that splendor.
When he fell, he took other ‘sons of Elohim’ with him. [many times in your English bibles, when you read ‘angels’, the Hebrew is ‘sons of Elohim’. Sometimes angels is translated from Malakhim, which means ‘messengers/emissaries,’ but many times it is ‘sons of Elohim’] 1/3 of the other “Armies” of Elohim went with him.
All of these ‘sons of Elohim’ who ‘fell’ from their glory are spiritual entities who, at the very beginning of creation, came to earth to confuse and deceive men, twist the Word of Elohim, and rob from God His due worship from mankind. They do that in many, many ways. This is a war that is raging, and most are oblivious to it, or do not know how to function in it. Many ‘talk’ about putting on the armor of Elohim, but precious few really do it.
Most people today do not believe in ‘spirits’; or, if they do, they ‘think’ that these spirits are harmless, or helpful to them [conjurers]. Most of the effect of what these supernatural entities do is relegated in the minds of the ‘educated’ into human mental disease and symptoms, and treated with drugs. Those who do know that there are ‘spirits’ out there that want to thwart the work of God in this world do not fully understand how they operate. They are clandestine, and very, very deceiving. Their primary mission is to TWIST THE WORD OF ELOHIM. If they can’t do that, they simply use a human agent and pose as ANOTHER god. To those who do not believe the Word of God, they do not have to twist the Word of God! They function for them in the form of other deities: Mithras [trinity] [and its pantheon], Ishtar [Easter] and her pantheon, Zeus, [yes, people do still worship him] Allah [and his pantheon… yes, they believe in the deity of other beings], Para Brahman, Buddha, Confucius, Woden [Wednesday] Thor [Thursday] Friatag [Friday, equivalent of roman Venus], Saturnus, and on and on and on….
I said all of that to say this. יהוה IS OUR ELOHIM. יהוה IS ONE.
We are to ‘hear and do’ this. What does that mean? TRUST and AGREE that ONLY יהוה is “GOD.” And that HE is NOT three, two, or many. HE IS ONE.
Yeshua affirmed this! OVER and OVER!
And, Yeshua is a permanent emanation of the Father in a human body, NOT a “separate but equal” “person” of three equal gods who are one ‘substance’ who are three who are one. [this is actually an Egyptian and Babylonian deity that Constantine worshipped until just before he died; but, instead of the original names of the ‘three in one’ individuals, those names were replaced with father son and holy ghost, and the whole conglomerate again called “Trinity”]
Yeshua is the Word, He was IN His Father in the beginning, and proceeded forth and CAME OUT OF His Father [John 8:42], and He became a body, a human. He is not His Father, but He perfectly represents Him, and is UNITED with Him. He is the ‘express [perfect] IMAGE of His Father. The Ruakh is exactly that: RUAKH, Breath! Power! Life! Fire! NOT a ‘third person’. The Ruakh emanates from the Father. It is not a separate ‘mind’ who happens to agree with the Father. This DEFIES the GREATEST command! God is NOT THREE [in one]. He is ONE, and He sent His Nature in Flesh to the earth as Yeshua, A MAN, now risen from the dead, who now gives us the Ruakh, from the Father. He is perfectly UNITED with the Son, BY the Ruakh, which HE GAVE to the Son. [Luke 3:22]
This is NOT a mystery! The ‘mystery’ of the good news is Messiah in US, sinful men! And since the Messiah is in us, the Father is also in us. [John 17]
We all presumably believe this, yet hopefully NONE OF US would presume to ‘be’ “God”, just because He is in us. Neither would Yeshua! His Father is IN HIM. He is the only man born not of flesh, but of the RUAKH. Yet, HE IS A MAN. STILL! He was SLAIN. Can God die? Really? Then He is not יהוה [the EXISTING ONE, who WAS, [ALWAYS] IS, and WILL BE.] Yet, Yeshua, the man, DIED. His Father was there to raise Him from the dead. And to exalt Him, stand Him at His Right Hand, and give Him all authority. And one day, everything He has been given, He will give BACK to the Father. He is subjugated to His Father, STILL. He is NOT “equal” to His father in every way, and He is not the same “substance” as His Father. He is FLESH AND BONE. Since we don’t know what ‘substance’ the Father is except SPIRIT, we CANNOT presume to say the FATHER is flesh and bone, since flesh and bone did not exist together until the creation. But Yeshua TOLD US, AFTER the resurrection, that HE [Yeshua] is FLESH AND BONE.
“Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I; feel me and understand; for a spirit has no flesh and bones, as you see I have.” Luke 24:39
Yeshua answered, “The greatest mitzvah is, `Sh’ma Yisra’el, יהוה Eloheinu, יהוה echad [Hear, O Israel, Yahu’ah is our God, Yahu’ah is one], and you are to love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding, and with all your strength.’”
That is what we are supposed to say “Amein” to! To give our TRUST to, to HEAR and DO. We are supposed to stay faithful to the MOST IMPORTANT COMMAND EVER!
And then, we are to LOVE יהוה our ONE ELOHIM with ALL OF OUR BEING:
Heart, Life, Effort. We do this by doing what HE said next: THESE WORDS WHICH I COMMAND YOU TODAY will BE in YOUR HEARTS.
What “words”? “D’varim”, the very name of the book of Deuteronomy, the summary of Torah or ‘second torah’ [the greek word Deuteronomy means ‘second law’]. This book starts with “THESE ARE THE WORDS”. “Eleh HaD’varim”
We are to put this WHOLE BOOK, [and thereby a full understanding of the whole Torah] IN OUR HEARTS. MEMORIZE IT!
We do THAT by:
IMPRESSING THEM upon our children
SPEAKING IN THEM [THESE WORDS, DEUTERONOMY] when:
sitting in the house, walking down the road, when we lie down, when we rise up.
We do that by: Binding them on our hands
Fastening them between our eyes as ‘frontlets.’
And, we write them on the doorposts of our houses, and on our gates.
Making the commands a part of EVERY PART of our lives!
This is the GREATEST command: Trust that יהוה is ONE, and that HE IS. LOVE HIM WITH ALL THAT WE ARE. HEAR AND DO HIS COMMANDS.
If we were to memorize the commands and impress them on our children using all these methods, the next generation would NOT FORGET!
But, what has happened. Man did not LOVE יהוה enough to preserve the use of His Name, to understand that He is ONE, to keep His Commands dear; and so many did not recognize HIS WORD when it came into the world in a body, perfectly obeying every command!
We did not love Him enough to continue to do what HE SAYS. We allow so much other ‘stuff’ to interfere with the greatest command. And since we do that, we are incapable of the other great command:
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
What’s funny is, you can’t do the first one, without doing the second one! And you can’t do the second one, without doing the first one!
Yokhanan teaches us this:
“If a man says, “I love Elohim,” and yet hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love Elohim whom he has not seen?”
I Yokh 4:20
So, the perfect mark of the Torah is to LOVE יהוה with every part of our being, with every action. The proof that we do that is that we actually, really, truly LOVE our brothers.
The commandments are ‘bidirectional’; they teach us first to love God, and then they teach us HOW to love our neighbor, even when we offend and are offended. NOT studying the Torah is ROBBING believers of the ability to do this. NOT HEARING the first command CLEARLY, and DOING it, is causing us NOT to study Torah!
The solution to all the worlds woes is the SHEMAH! HEAR AND DO !!