Part 2 Why Don't They Get It?Dec 02, 2022
- Matthew 22:37-40
'And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”'
In the first part of this series, we talked about having a linear mindset and how that has prevented people from seeing the fullness of our Father’s creation. Once we start seeing His cyclical patterns, we are able to see Him and the love for His creation in a deeper, more intimate way. We also discussed that our loved ones who don’t understand His appointed times yet have in fact begun to light their menorah.
Today we’re going to explore what the word ‘rebuke’ means in Hebrew and how that differs so much from our western definition of the word. We’ll also go into how we attempt to help our friends and family find where their true safety lies.
How do we help our loved ones see and light the entire menorah?
Love, sister. Love Adonai and love your neighbor as yourself.
- Leviticus 19:16-18
'“You are not to go up and down as a talebearer among your people. You are not to endanger the life of your neighbor. I am Adonai. “You are not to hate your brother in your heart. Instead, you are to firmly rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You are not to take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am Adonai.'
Let’s take a look at the word rebuke, יָכַח (H3198).
The first letter is a yod and it represents the hand of Adonai and the judgment, covered in grace, that comes from the fire of His presence. Think of the burning bush that Moses encountered. It was burning, but the fire did not consume the bush. He has all the power to consume us, but he uses restraint.
When we connect the yod with the second letter, khaf, we get a more detailed picture of Adonai reaching His open hand out towards us, inviting us to partner with Him in His will. The khaf also represents the wings of the cherubim, His messengers, that cover the throne and the Ark of the Covenant. Like they flap their wings, moving the air from the throne throughout the earth, we are to be His messengers spreading His message throughout the earth.
Finally, when the yod and khaf are paired with the chet, we see Him teaching us His Torah under the Chuppah, a place where two people come together in agreement and discuss their responsibilities and roles, the ketubah. This is a safe place to ask questions and learn the terms of the covenant while being surrounded by walls of safety and security. The word chet can also represent sin, separation from sin, and a new beginning. If we are His messengers, we are to be His vessels showing our loved ones how to separate from sin and start anew.
The Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines rebuke (H3198) as, ‘to be in the front, in the forepart; hence figuratively, to be in the sunshine, to be clear, manifest, to appear, to make clear, to demonstrate, to prove.’
The Hebrew meaning of rebuke is much different than our western way of thinking of this word.
Miriam-Webster's definition of rebuke is, ‘to criticize sharply.’ According to Oxford Languages, the origin of rebuke is Middle English (originally in the sense ‘force back, repress’): from Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French rebuker, from re- ‘back, down’ + bukier ‘to beat’ (originally ‘cut down wood’, from Old French busche ‘log’).
Cut down wood. Oof.
Trees represent people in Scripture. Our tongues and the words that flow from our heart can either bring life and encouragement to people or completely tear them down and kill their spirit. See how significantly a cultural mindset can affect our interpretation of Scripture and subsequently our behavior?
The Hebrew shows us that rebuking is reflecting the Father by extending our hand out in kindness and gentleness, bringing people into the safety of the chuppah where they learn to separate from their sin, and making clear to them the beauty of His eternal covenant by demonstrating it and walking it out. We show them what their new beginning should look like with grace and restraint.
Screaming at people, criticizing them, repressing them, and pointing out everything they’re doing wrong is not going to do anything but upset them, turn them away, and cut them down. We cannot build up the Mishkan if we are tearing down those He has called.
Please sister, don’t be a Torah Terrorist or a Pagan Police Officer.
That is not a reflection of our Father at all, but the complete opposite. He will not take us out and humiliate us in front of our brothers and sisters for something we are doing out of ignorance and we should not do that either. All that does is instill fear in our communities. A fearful person is a lot less likely to take risks. If all we’re doing is spreading fear among our loved ones, how will they ever get the courage to change their entire life around? They’re much more likely to make adjustments when we are setting the example with our words and actions; humbly walking the way our Messiah walked this earth. Remember to use the same restraint that Abba uses with you.
If you’re a chicken mama, you know how tricky it can be to get an adventurous hen out of some bushes. Grabbing a stick, running after her, and trying to poke her out of the bush while yelling is the last thing you’re going to do. The poor hen will be terrified and go into fight or flight mode, causing her to wander deeper into the bushes.
The best way to get that hen back to safety is to put distance between you and the hen, get positioned beside her, and use a stick to gently guide her from behind towards the coop, where her true safety is. We need to be the same way with our brothers and sisters, coming beside them, extending our hand out in grace, and gently guiding them to the chuppah where their true safety lies!
Sisters, I pray this is encouraging you to handle your loved ones with grace. I completely understand how frustrating it can be watching people make the same mistakes over and over again, but imagine how the Father feels watching us. We aren’t perfect and He still has to place people in our lives that need to bring us under the chuppah for a lesson or two.
Again, please remember to utilize and extend the same restraint Abba so graciously gives us with your fellow brothers and sisters.
In the next blog, we’ll explore what it looks like when we bring people under the chuppah and what the repercussions are when we don’t love our neighbors as ourselves.
Be pressed and be blessed!
I want to give a huge thank you to Simonette Cherepanov for midrashing with me about this topic, and Brenda Stroth for helping me gain a deeper understanding of rebuke from a Hebrew perspective!
- Proverbs 18:21
'Death and life are in the control of the tongue. Those who indulge in it will eat its fruit.'
- Ephesians 4:29
'Let no harmful word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for building others up according to the need, so that it gives grace to those who hear it.'
- 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
'For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win over more of them. To the Jewish people I identified as a Jew, so that I might win over the Jewish people. To those under Torah I became like one under Torah (though not myself being under Torah ), so that I might win over those under Torah ; to those outside Torah , like one outside Torah (though not being outside God’s Torah but in Messiah’s Torah ), so that I might win over those outside Torah . To the weak I became weak, so that I might win over the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all means possible I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the Good News, so that I might be a fellow partaker of it. '
- 1 Timothy 5:1-2 NASB1995
'Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.'
- Jacob (James) 3:5-10
'So also the tongue is a small member—yet it boasts of great things. See how so small a fire sets a blaze so great a forest! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of evil placed among our body parts. It pollutes the whole body and sets on fire the course of life—and is set on fire by Gehenna. For every species of beasts and birds, reptiles and sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Adonai and Father, and with it we curse people, who are made in the image of God. From the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be.'
*Please Note: the verses used in this blog were taken from the TLV, Tree of Life Version, and may be numbered slightly different in other versions. Thank you!
Use COUPON CODE: "2023" AND GET 50% OFF YOUR FIRST MONTH! Then $19.99/month. Cancel Anytime
Stay connected with teachings, news and updates!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.