Torah Portion EKEV – Devarim (Deutoronomy) 7:12-11:25
Special Tu B’Av – Biblical Love Day Edition
Taking Care of Our Bodies
For you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
Shabbat shalom dearly beloved!
We have received a body and a soul with which to serve Him. How well are we taking care of these resources? Do we see our body, including mental and physical health, as a Resource for the Kingdom of our Elohim-God? Is the Biblical concept of “self-denial” a reason to neglect our appearance and our health?
The contents of this Shabbat Letter will be revolutionary for many that have been raised in Christianity without the Kingdom understanding, which stems from the Hebrew Foundations of our faith in the Jewish Messiah Yeshua.
There is a saying in Hebrew which many of us Jews that believe in the God of Israel rule our lives by,
“And you shall watch over your souls and wellbeing with great care”.
VENISHMARTEM LENAFSHOTEIKHEM AD MEOD
ונשמרתם לנפשותיכם עד מאוד
When Abram was 99 years old, Adonai appeared to Abram, and He said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Continually walk before Me and you will be blameless. Genesis 17:1
When The Almighty appeared to Abram (the Father of the Jewish nation and the Father of Faith for all believers in Messiah), He revealed Himself as EL SHADDAI. El Shaddai implies a God that has Nursing Breasts with which to nurse and nourish the multiplicity of His children. El Shaddai is like a watchful, caring, nursing Mother. I am fully aware that religion has espoused the fact that God is a male; however, the Hebrew Bible is consistent about showing us the attributes of BOTH male and female in the God of Israel. The Father is portrayed as a male, as is the Son-Yeshua portrayed as a male. But the Holy Spirit-The Ruach HaKodesh is portrayed as a female. Also all the attributes coming forth from the Spirit-Ruach such as Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge Initiative, Discernment and more are portrayed in the female gender (Chochma, Binah, Daat, Mezimha, Tushiha etc.)
The fact that the Elohim of the Covenant, El Shaddai, would reveal Himself as such is very revealing. In fact it sets the tone for the whole Covenant as given to the People of Israel. The God of Israel wants His children well and whole. In fact, He wants all of humanity well and whole; therefore, He made it contingent upon their relationship with His Covenant People-Israel (or the Jewish People of today).
My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. Genesis 12:3 TLV
Those that will bless, honor and do good to His Jewish People would be blessed and honored and good will come to them.
You can clearly see the Heart of the Father in the above Scripture which I call The Key of Abraham. El Shaddai desires that both His Covenant People Israel/the Jewish People of today would be well, blessed and honored – and that those nations that will fear Him and honor (bless and do good) to His People would enjoy wellbeing, honor and prosperity. The outcome of this awesome Covenant Instruction and Promise would be the wellbeing, honor and prosperity of all of Mankind. What an Awesome Plan and what an Awesome God! HaleluYah!
This desire of the Creator, the God of Israel for all of mankind to be in wellbeing is clear in the New Covenant when Yochanan (John the Beloved) writes the following,
Loved ones, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. 3 John 2 TLV
Yochanan was the closest to Yeshua, as he laid his head on his chest and listened to His heartbeat. In fact, all of Yeshua’s Mission was for the purpose of bringing wholeness to Mankind starting with the Jew First. Then those Gentiles that would join them through their Message (or what I call “The Gospel Made in Zion”, which is very different from the main-line religious message that most of you have heard and been schooled by) would be made whole.
The Ruach of Adonai Elohim is on me, because Adonai has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor and the day of our God’s vengeance, to comfort all who mourn to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called oaks of righteousness the planting of Adonai, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3 TLV
The main purpose for which we have been born is to Serve our Creator. All the above promises of wellbeing are for this outcome,
That they might be called oaks of righteousness the planting of Adonai, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3b TLV
Not one human being has any other purpose for his/her existence. When we keep this in mind, it shall go well with us. And we must keep this principle as the focus of our lives: taking care of our spirit, soul and body is an act of worship to our Creator.
Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that the Ruach Elohim dwells among you? 1 Corinthians 3:16 TLV
When I am prayed up, full of His Word and Spirit, I am strengthening my spirit to serve Him well. When I forgive others and receive forgiveness from Him, I am keeping my soul blameless for Him. When I choose to eat healthy foods, respecting the way He created my physical body – refraining from unclean animals, fat and blood (see Leviticus 11 and 17), and from sugar and refined foods – it is for Him I am doing this. I am making sure that I am healthy in spirit, soul and body so I can serve Him well and long all the days of my life.
When I choose carefully the clothes that I will wear, properly groom myself, manage my body weight and arrange my hair, take care of my skin and the like, it is for Him that I am beautifying myself. I want to make sure that I represent Him well day and night, inside and out. For me all that I do is an Act of Worship. I am fully aware that I live for Him and for Him alone. And that as I do so, He can use me to bring life, health, salvation, healing and deliverance to others and even to entire nations.
When a person defiles their body with immorality it is a serious sin and it brings curses and damnation. In fact, it starts a vicious cycle of distress and misfortune. Also too, when what you eat destroys your health and body, it is a serious offense towards the Living God.
Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe one with rags. Proverbs 23:20-21 NASB
Consider this the next time that you put food in your body: Is this going to make me more beautiful and healthy as I serve Yah? Or am I eating out of lust or pure neglect of the wonderful body that He has given me? You see, your body is the most marvelous resource and you need to keep it healthy, well cared for and beautiful – for Yah’s Glory. Dress it nicely but also feed it healthily and in a holy way. Take vitamins, drink pure and clean water, eat smaller quantities, and become knowledgeable about its proper maintenance.
For you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
If you have a machine, such as a car or a laptop, don’t you need to learn how to care for it? So why would we think that our bodies won’t require special care? Many Children of God are sick, overweight, sluggish, have bad skin, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, etc. Much of this could have been prevented with proper, natural care and self-control.
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it—just as Messiah also does His community. Ephesians 5:29 TLV
It is never too late to start and it is our reasonable Act of Worship.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1 NASB
When we put our bodies on His Altar as a Living sacrifice, we then realize that our body belongs to Him and it is for His Service. Therefore, we need to care for it, wash it, nourish it well, give it the proper rest, give it clean water, exercise it and dress it neatly and nicely. This is not vanity, but rather a practical Act of Worship to Adonai.
It is never too late to start! Repent, do Teshuva for neglecting your body and your health, for gluttony or over eating – and start getting fit inside & out. Be beautiful inside & out to represent Him and His Goodness to this generation.
Your Israeli Mentors and Friends
Archbishop Dominiquae and Rabbi Baruch Bierman
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