“Gracious is HaShem and righteous, our Elohim is merciful. HaShem protects the simple; I was brought low, but He saved me.” Psalms 116:5-6. The commentary on these verses says the following: “HaShem protects those whose faith is simple and innocent, who do not weave elaborate schemes and plots to protect themselves. Elohim protects the intelligent man who does not use his mind to assure his personal security but trusts in HaShem. Elohim also watches over the feeble minded, simpletons who lack the mental ability to protect themselves.”
WOW folks, what a week!! I thought last week was history making…sheesh!!! Who would have believed we would have ever been witness and directly affected in America with mandatory shut downs of entire states and cities? To be witness to the American economy collapsing or the mobilizing of the national guard and active duty armed forces to respond to a pandemic inside the borders of America? Truly these are history making times we are living in but they are NOT hopeless!
Are these stressful and troubled times? Absolutely yes! Are there enormous concerns with such things such as how to obtain enough food, prescription meds, etc? Absolutely yes! This said, this Op is going to be as much for me as it is for everyone else! Now more than ever we need to be reminded just Who exactly we serve and what He promises in times like these!!
Before we jump into this, as I always state, never forget the following:
– HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
– His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
– He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
– He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
– He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
– He says His Torah is eternal per Proverbs 3:19 and Psalm 119:160
– He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm Ps 119:45 and James 1:25
– He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
– He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
– He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
– He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
– He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
– He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
– He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
– He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
– He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
– He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
– He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
– He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
– He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
You may be confused by the title of this Op ‘Chazak! Chazak! Venischazeik!’. I assure you I will explain what it means and how it applies to you and I today! I will give you a hint….its Hebrew! I am hoping and praying when we reach that point you will be astounded and see how relevant it is to today’s current world.
One thing HaShem has reminded me this past week while watching all these historical events unfold is yes, while it is nerve wracking and very ominous, with nothing but uncertainty on the horizon, He has told us many times how to react to such events in His Word! When I read them, I was able to see exactly what He was saying and it completely removed the stress. It is these verses I wish to explore with the hope and prayer you can gain comfort in HaShem as well!!
As we end this weeks Torah portion i.e. Vayak’hel/Pekudei which is found in Shemot (Exodus) 35:1-40:38 and it is the final Torah portion for this biblical month of Adar and it is also the final Torah portion from the Book of Shemot! When we reach the end of a book from the Torah and finish reading the Torah portion, we recite the phrase: ‘Chazak! Chazak! Venischazeik!’ which translates into English “Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened!” Keep this in mind as we proceed!
With this said thus far, let’s examine the verses which HaShem led me too!
Yeshayah (Isaiah) 35:3-4 says “Strengthen weak hands and give support to failing knees. Say to those of impatient heart, ‘Be strong; do not fear: Behold, your Elohim will come with revenge, with Divine retribution; He will come and save you!’“ The commentary on this verse says “As the exile becomes longer and longer, and as the suffering increases, the leaders of each generation should strengthen those whose faith has become weakened, and tell them to be strong, for HaShem will avenge their suffering and redeem them!”
Have we been enduring the exile for a very long time? Oh yes we have…even when we were still in the systems of religion i.e. Christendom, we never knew we were suffering in the exile! And now in the infinite mercy and compassion of HaShem, He is using His creation around us to show us just how truly unfathomable, vast, eternal and incomprehensible He is, which means He is truly completely in control over all things…nothing escapes His gaze or slips out of His hands! Baruch HaShem!!
This is why I am posting the pictures in this Op that I am! Just stop and look at those pictures, look at the stars, the mountains, the colors, the snow, the water, the formations of the terrain, etc, because it all points to the mastery of HaShem over His creation! He placed every single star, every single rock, every single tree exactly where He wanted it because it serves a function! It serves Him! Remember His Word talks about even the rocks cry out to HaShem! The stars in the heavens sing unto Him! All of His creation serves a purpose! Which again translates into can He take care of His Own during a crisis the likes of which the country and the world is enduring right now as I write this Op? Absolutely yes He can and His creation reminds us He can and He will take care of us as long as we stay close to and trust Him! I digress.
Psalms 33:6-7 says “By the Word of HaShem the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their hosts. For He assembles the waters of the sea like a mound, He places deep waters in vaults.”
Consider Yeshayah (Isaiah) 44:24-28 which says “Thus said HaShem, your Redeemer and the One Who formed you from the womb: I am HaShem, Who has made everything; Who spread out the heavens by Myself, and firmed the earth of My own accord; Who abrogates the omens of the stargazers and makes fools of the astrologers; Who makes wise men retreat and makes their knowledge foolish; Who confirms the words of His servant, and fulfills the counsel of His messengers; Who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be settled,’ and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built up, and I will rebuild its ruins’; Who says to the depths, ‘Dry up’ and ‘I shall dry out your rivers’; Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, He will fulfill all My desires,’ to say of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be built,’ and of the Temple, ‘It shall be established.'”
Haggai 2:4 says “So now, be strong, O Zerubbabel, the Word of HaShem, and be strong, Yehoshua (Joshua) son of Jehozadak, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), and be strong, the entire people of the land, the Word of HaShem, and do, for I am with you, the Word of HaShem, Master of Legions.”
Psalms 27:14 says “Hope to HaShem, strengthen yourself and He will give you courage, and hope to HaShem!” The commentary on this verse says “If you make every effort to strengthen yourself in HaShem’s service, He will reciprocate by instilling courage in your heart so that your enemies will not weaken your resolve.”
Psalms 31:25 says “Be strong, and let your hearts take courage, all who wait longingly for HaShem.” The commentary says “David concludes (Chapter 31) by saying the example his many salvation’s should serve as an inspiration to others. Thus, even if one is subjected to suffering and his longing for relief lasts very long, he should never give up hope.”
II Chronicles 32:7-8 says “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid and do not be dismayed in the face of the king of Assyria and in the face of the entire multitude that is with him, for we have more with us than he has with him. With him is human might, but with us is HaShem, our Elohim, to help us and to fight our wars! The people were reassured by the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah.”
Daniel 10:19 says “He said, ‘Fear not, greatly beloved man. Peace to you! Grow stronger and stronger!’ As he spoke to me I strengthened myself, and I said, ‘Speak, my master, for you have strengthened me.'”
Can you see the theme HaShem is showing? We are to be strong and courageous BECAUSE HaShem is with us!! Now you may ask, ‘How do I be strong and courageous in the face of what is going on all around me in the country and the world?’ Consider what HaShem told Yehoshua (Joshua) after Moshe died and HaShem put him in charge of leading Israel:
Yehoshua (Joshua) 1:1-9 says “And it was after the death of Moshe, servant of HaShem, that HaShem said to Joshua son of Nun, Moshe’s attendant, saying, ‘Moshe My servant has died. Now, arise! Cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the Land which I give to them, to the Children of Israel. Every place upon which the sole of your feet will march I will have given to you, as I have spoken to Moshe. From the desert and this Lebanon to the great river, the Euphrates River, all the land of the Hittites to the Mediterranean Sea westward will be your boundary. No man will challenge you all the days of your life. As I was with Moshe so will I be with you; I will not let you part from Me nor will I abandon you. Strengthen yourself and persevere because you will cause this people to inherit the Land which I have sworn to their fathers to give to them. O that you will strengthen yourself and persevere very much in order to observe, to do, according to all of the Torah that Moshe My servant has commanded you. Do not deviate from him to the right or to the left, that you may succeed wherever you may go. This Book of the Torah is not to leave your mouth. You should contemplate it day and night in order to observe, to do, all that is written in it. For then you will make your ways successful, and then you will become understanding. In truth I commanded you, ‘Strengthen yourself and persevere.’ Do not fear and do not lose resolve because HaShem, your Elohim, is with you wherever you may go.”
Once more we see the crux of the matter is us doing, guarding and keeping His Torah as being the ONLY way to strengthen ourselves, persevering and having the level of courage required to move forward even in the midst of this terrible pandemic we are enduring! Remember He reveals the end from the beginning and when we read the beginning how He saved Israel, we can be reassured He will do so again!
On a side note this is precisely why I so utterly abhor and despise Replacement Theology Christendom and its Torah rejecting and Torah hating doctrine because it strips away the only way to survive in the face of these terrible troubles! That abominable doctrine tosses overboard the only hope there is! As a reminder, Torah has nothing to do with obtaining salvation, but it has everything to do with surviving and succeeding in this life, here and now! I digress.
If you ever feel overwhelmed and ask yourself ‘Where is HaShem and how can He be letting this happen?’ Consider the conversation HaShem had with Job in Job 38:4-40 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell, if you know understanding! Who set its dimensions? If you know, or who stretched a surveyor’s line over it? Into what are its bases sunken, or who laid its cornerstone? When the morning stars sang in unison and all the heavenly beings shouted, as He dammed in the sea with bolted doors as its flow emerged from the womb, when I put a cloud on it as its garment and a thick cloud as its swaddling, and I constrained it with My limits, and I emplaced a bar and bolted doors, and said, ‘Until here shall you go, and no further; and only here shall your waves flaunt their majesty!?'”
“Did you ever in your life command the morning, or teach the dawn its place, to grasp the edges of the earth and shake the wicked from it; as it changes itself, as a seal does to clay, as people come into being like the earth’s garment, as light is withheld from the wicked, and their raised arm is broken?”
“Have you penetrated the hidden depths of the sea, or gone to plumb the deep? Were the gates of death revealed to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death? Have you contemplated up the wide expanses of the world? Tell, if you know it all! What is the path where the light dwells? And darkness, where is its place, that you may take it to its boundary, that you may understand the paths of its home? Did you know when you would be born, and how many are the number of your days? Have you come upon the storehouses of snow, or seen the storehouses of hail, which I have kept for times of travail, for a day of battle and war?”
“Which is the way where light is dispersed, which the eastern sun spreads upon the land? Who fashioned a channel for the torrent, or a path for thunder clouds, that it may rain upon a land without man, and in a wilderness in which there is no person, to sate desolation and wasteland, to make vegetation sprout forth? Does rain have a father? Who begot the dewdrops? From whose belly did the ice come forth? Who gave birth to the frost of heaven? Like a submerged stone, the waters are concealed, the very depths are imprisoned.”
“Did you tie up the bond of Pleiades, or unbind the cords of Orion? Did you ever take out the constellations in their times or lead Ursa together with her children? Do you know the laws of heaven; did you place its rule upon the land?”
“Did you raise your voice to the clouds, so that a multitude of water should drench you? Did you dispatch lightning bolts, so that they would go forth, and then say to you, ‘Here we are!’? Do you know who placed wisdom in the innards? Or who imbued the heart with understanding?”
“Who, with wisdom, makes the heavens glisten, and Who pours from the flagons of heaven, when dirt flows with the poured out rain, and clumps are stuck together? Will you trap prey for a lion, or fill the need of lion whelps, when they hunch over their lairs, lie low in their den in wait? Who prepares nourishment for the raven, when its young ones call out to Elohim, helpless without food?”
He continues into chapter 39, but I hope you can see the gist of what He is pointing out to Job? HaShem, Master of Legions, is the Only One Who is in absolute and complete control over ALL of His creation and He does use His creation to bring judgment and wage war on a rebellious and wicked world, but at the same time He is fully able to shelter, provide and protect His Own!
Our job is to as He commanded Yehoshua (Joshua), be strong, be courageous and persevere in the midst of trouble and we certainly do live in troubling times!! Remember He says His Torah is a tree of life to those who reach out and take hold of it! Further Yeshua Himself confirmed in Yochanan (John) 4:22 that salvation is of the Yehudim (Jews), which means Judaism’s understanding of Torah IS the right and only way!
Take hold of His Torah today and start reading and learning it for yourself! He doesn’t expect perfection and He is always merciful when we fail! The more we study and start to apply His Torah to our own life, the more we grow closer to Him and the scales which have covered the eyes and heart will begin to come off…I know from personal experience!
With all this said, now more than ever in light of our current country and world may it be very soon in our days! I will end this op with: ‘Chazak! Chazak! Venischazeik!’ ‘Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened!’
- The Stone Edition Chumash by Artscroll
- The Writings Psalms by Artscroll
- The Writings Daniel by Artscroll
- The Writings II Chronicles by Artscroll
- The Writings Job by Artscroll
- The Milstein Edition The Chumash Shemot with the Teachings of the Talmud by Artscroll
- The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research