KEEPING COVENANT, 02.05.19
KEEPING COVENANT, 02.05.19
Rabbi Cal Goldberg, Beth Shechinah, Messages From the Bema:
- “The End is Just The Beginning,” message Oct.14,2017, posted Oct.17, 2017.
- “Let Your ‘Yes’, be ‘Yes,’” July 22, 2017, posted July 28, 2017.
God is a God of covenant, a faithful promise keeper. “I will never leave you or forsake you,” (Heb.13:5). “Adonai—He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be discouraged” (Deut.31:8). We can always count on Him . . . . Can He count on us?
“We live in a world today where things are constantly changing; but one thing that does not change is the Word of God, and the Word of God is God’s greatest gift . . . As a Messianic Congregation, we have a strong emphasis on God’s Word,” teaches Rabbi Cal Goldberg, Beth Shechinah House of Glory (http://www.bethshechinah.com/sermon/the-end-is-just-the-beginning-rabbi-cal-goldberg/ ). When we expect God’s blessings, when we make our requests, how often do we examine our own motives, our heart attitude? Is there an awareness on our part that we have an obligation to hold up our part of the covenant? If God is faithful to us, how is it that we can take it so lightly? Should we not also be faithful to Him?
Upon accepting Yeshua as our Lord/Master/Saviour, we enter a covenant with Him, by which we turn our lives over to Him, pledging to follow Him, His Ways, His Laws, His Word. Are we not then obligated to acquaint ourselves with His Word? “We need to memorize God’s Word; we need to get it in our heart. . . . If we neglect His Word we will experience truth decay,” says Goldberg (http://www.bethshechinah.com/sermon/the-end-is-just-the-beginning-rabbi-cal-goldberg/ ). This is such a necessity; yet how many fall short? God’s Word is so neglected, even in many denominations, in today’s churches, it is not being taught.
After becoming familiar with His Word, we must walk in the Word, being obedient to all that is proscribed. “The Torah of his God is in his heart.His steps do not slip” (Ps.37:31).
“Obeying Torah is the fruit of our salvation . . . .” Goldberg instructs (Goldberg, Oct.17, 2017) , and “At the time of salvation we enter into a covenant relationship. Adonai promised to always be there for us, and the Lord wants us to always be faithful to Him as well” (Goldberg, July 28, 2017).
“The End is Just The Beginning,” message Oct.14,2017, posted Oct.17, 2017.
“Let Your ‘Yes’, be ‘Yes,’” July 22, 2017, posted July 28, 2017.
“When you make a vow to Adonai your God, you are not to delay to make good on it—for Adonai your God will certainly require it of you, and you would have sin on you” (Deut.23:22). We see from this, that God clearly places an expectation upon us; to not follow through with what we have pledged IS sin. We need to be deliberate about that which we speak, not fickle, nonchalant, and careless. “Whatever comes out of your lips you are to take care to do, since you have vowed to Adonai your God a freewill offering that you have promised with your mouth” (Deut.23:24). It is essential to mean what we say, and only speak that which we intend: “When you swear a vow to God, don’t delay in fulfilling it. For He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better for you not to vow than to vow and not pay” (Eccl.5:4,5).
Goldberg speaks a message of caution. Words are powerful, he says: “Once words are spoken, they are difficult to undo. People tend to gravitate to the negative, and that’s what the flesh does. The words that we speak can be extremely powerful . . . . . The words that we speak can affect others. Words can hurt; and words do hurt” (Goldberg, http://www.bethshechinah.com/sermon/let-your-yes-be-yes-rabbi-cal-goldberg/ ). “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking treachery” (Ps.34:14). We know God’s Word is powerful; after all, He spoke creation into being: “By Adonai’s word were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth. For He spoke, and it came to be. He commanded, and it stood firm” (Ps.33:6,9).
Likewise, in our relationship with others, it behooves us to take seriously that to which we’ve agreed. We should not make vows or oaths for which we cannot follow through. Perhaps the long-range consequence of that vow will bring results which are harmful to us. We must use wisdom, and not be impulsive: “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul out of troubles” (Prov.21:23). Similarly, we must take care not to agree with words spoken against us that can have lasting harm. As Goldberg points out, “Words can hurt; words do hurt. We’ve all been the victim of a harsh word, an angry word, an insulting word; and we’ve all had to experience the consequences of those unkind words that were spoken against us” (Goldberg, July, 2017); but we need not come into agreement with those words, and thereby allow them to define who we are.
Now let us review James’ advice, and take it into our hearts: “the tongue is a small member—yet it boasts of great things . . . . the tongue is a fire . . . a world of evil placed among our body parts. It pollutes the whole body and sets on fire the course of life . . . From the same mouth comes blessing and cursing” (James 3:5-10). This can apply in any direction – i.e., whether we are speaking carelessly to or about others or of ourselves. “By making a rash and foolish vow, someone can bring a curse on themselves,” Goldberg states (http://www.bethshechinah.com/sermon/let-your-yes-be-yes-rabbi-cal-goldberg/ ), pointing out that “People are unknowingly bringing curses upon themselves by making vows . . . .” and makes reference to FreeMasonry, a secret society in which many oaths are made which bind individuals into bondage. “There are vows that we need to guard our hearts against . . .” We’ll take this no further, as it would be a major study on its own. Suffice it to say, that in being careless with words either spoken, agreed to/received, damage can be done that is once done, difficult to reverse.
As much as we must be cautious of that to which we commit, we must be faithful to those commitments we choose to make. When we enter into covenant with God the Father; when we enter into covenant with one another, it is important to let our “yes” be “yes”, and our “no” be “no.” (Matt.5:37). “Be responsible to fulfill what you’ve promised” (Goldberg, July, 2017).
© 2018, revised 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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