A particular verse of His Word has been regularly in my heart and mind recently:
Luke 21:36 "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
So much is going dark in the world, I sometimes wonder if we are already in the night-time. Yet we can't be, surely. But if this is only evening, how dark will night be? (John/Yonatan 9:4)
Also, this week, I was asked to give a Hebrew Prayer at a Christian gathering, together with a short study. As I prayed in preparation, and looked through my Jewish Hebrew Prayers, I believe I heard the LORD Yeshua say: "Say a Messianic Prayer." I turned to the prayer entitled, "Prayer for the Days of Messiah." Not only is this a daily prayer in the Jewish Orthodox world but it is a prayer which is said three times a day; morning, afternoon and night, just like Daniel.
"The Compassionate One! May He make us worthy of the days of Messiah and the life of the World to Come. He Who makes great the salvations of His King and does kindness for His Messiah, to David and to his descendents forever."
Isn't it beautiful? Did you know that Orthodox Jews cry out for the Messiah like this? And it sounds just like Luke 21:36 above. As I sat looking at the prayer in Hebrew, and remembering Luke 21:36, I felt myself focussing in my spirit on the word "worthy." May ye be accounted worthy to escape all these things. May He make us worthy of the days of Messiah. What does it mean?
"Worthy" in Hebrew comes from the root word: "zachah", which for Hebrew learners out there is made from the letters zayin, khaf and heh. Within the Hebrew word there are two sides; a receiving side and an active side, both in relation to God:
Receiving from God, "zachah" means: cleansed, to be counted as pure, to be made clean, to be acquitted. How completely does that describe what the Messiah Yeshua has done for us by His substitutional death and resurrection as the perfect Passover Lamb (Korban Pesach).
Doing for God, "zachah" means: to make oneself pure, to keep pure, to make oneself clean, to be morally pure as a characteristic.
Can you see the perfect will of God in just one word? This perfectly reflects the dichotomy of both receiving from and doing for the LORD, found in 2 Peter 1:1-8.
"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
There are many examples in this passage of both the gifts and promises of God to us and the holy response from us of giving diligence (making every effort).
Our response to the gift of salvation, hidden in the Hebrew word for "worthy," also reminds me of Philippians 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
One of the most loving things we can do, for the LORD and others, is to repent daily before the LORD and encourage each other upward toward greater holiness. I could give you many small examples of how the LORD has been leading me, during this last month of Elul during this time of deep spiritual repentance, to make every effort to live a holier, more repentant and surrendered life to Him as My soon-returning King.
And to find even deeper meaning, the Hebrew word for "worthy" also shares its root with two other words:
The first, Zecho-cheet, means: "crystal, referring to a transparent ornament." The LORD looks right through us. What does He see? Do I hate all and any sin in myself, even my hidden faults? "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse Thou me from secret faults." (Psalm 19:12)
This word for "worthy" reminds me of the Bible verses in Jude: "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." (verses 20-25). Being presented faultless by Him will mean we will be presented to our LORD like a "transparent ornament" for His joy! LORD, may it be so in my life, now and forever.
And the second word, Zachoo, means: "innocence." Isn't it beautiful that in Hebrew, the word for worthy is related to the word for innocence? It adds deeper meaning to the words, "Worthy is the Lamb!" found in Revelation 5:12, which says, "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."
The Hebrew connection between "worthiness" and "innocence" also reminds me of the verses from the New Testament, which say: "And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." (Matthew/Matityahu 18:3-4)
So, I am left with this incredible paradox that a life lived for the LORD involves both receiving from and giving to the LORD. If I cry out to Him, to be "accounted worthy to escape all the things which are coming on the world," then He enables me to humble myself like a child and agree that, "There is none righteous, not, not even one." (Romans 3:10-12). Plus He enables me to receive an obedient, passionate desire to make every effort to please Him because of His precious life-saving words that, "If ye love Me, keep my commandments." (John/Yonatan 14:15)
So, I end where I began: LORD make me worthy to escape all things that are coming on the world, and LORD make me worthy of the days of Messiah and of the World to Come, in Yeshua's Name, Amen!
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