Focusing on the Hebrew months, Jewish festivals, and special days which continue to influence our lives.

A Journey of Choices

Learn about the Hebrew month of Iyyar

It has been several weeks since we celebrated Passover and Unleavened Bread, the time commemorating our Exodus from slavery to Pharaoh and the redemption we have received from HaShem, both from Egypt and by Messiah.

We are now well into the counting of the omer, which is the process to count 49 days or 7 weeks from the time of Unleavened Bread until the time of Shavuot or Pentecost (Lev. 23:15). The omer was a measured amount. In this case it was the amount of harvested barley that was brought to the Temple.

So now we have turned our backs toward Egypt and all that it had to offer us (cruelty, hate, bitterness, pain, separation from the Lord) and continue our trek to Sinai and the Promised Land and all that it has to offer (blessing, life, peace, joy, fellowship with the Lord). Some, the Bible tells, desired to return to Egypt, while other devoted ones pushed onward toward the Promise.

During this journey, which we commemorate now by the counting of the omer, we look forward to the giving of the Torah and of the Spirit. Each step of this journey, whether large or small, that takes us away from Egypt and our former lives and brings us closer to Hashem and His ways, is a step in the right direction. It sometimes is not easy to step in the right direction, but we can always pray to our Father who has promised to give us wisdom and guidance along the way. His promise is not to merely provide wisdom, but that he will provide a generous amount (James 1:5).

During morning prayers, we pray that the Holy One would imbue us with wisdom and that he would grant us understanding. Not only that, but we pray that we would not succumb to the Evil Inclination but would be attached to the Good Inclination and to good deeds. In Galatians 5, Paul likewise instructs us that we should put away the deeds of the flesh and to put on the deeds of the spirit:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Messiah Yeshua have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

So as we walk this journey from Egypt to Sinai and as we count off the days of the omer, we have an opportunity to make good choices. Indeed this journey goes longer than these 50 days, but this is an opportunity to put into practice what we can take with us for the rest of the year and every year. In this life we are given many choices. Ultimately the choices we make determine the outcome of our life on this earth and in the world to come. The Holy One desires that you would choose His good path and walk in it. Messiah Yeshua offers us atonement and redemption from the bondage of sin (escape from Egypt) and offers us, through His love and mercy, an opportunity to become citizens in His Kingdom. But remember, it is your choice whether or not you want to walk on His path.

Ask yourself with every decision, is this on the "Straight Path" which leads to life, blessing, righteousness, and to Messiah Yeshua or is this on the crooked path which leads to death, cursing, wickedness and away from Messiah Yeshua?

May the Father of all wisdom be with you as you walk your journey of life and may He grant you the discernment between the holy and the profane, life and death.

Our prayer is that you choose to forever walk on the path of life.

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(Tue) 7 February 2023 :: 16 Shevat 5783

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