An active trust that can calm our hearts

“”Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me.”

John 14:1

The disciples had many reasons for their hearts to be troubled. They were following an itinerant preacher, one who was being shunned by the local synagogues and who was calling out the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. They had given up essentially everything, their livelihoods and their social status, if they had any, to follow him.

Yeshua reassures them that to have placed their faith in him was equivalent to believing God; that is, in the fulfillment of his purpose and plan for Israel and the nations.

Yeshua is speaking here of the validity of his ministry as the spokesman for Yahweh God. Trusting in the words of Yeshua is equivalent to trusting the words of the Father, because he spoke exactly what the Father wanted him to say.

John 12:49-50: “For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak.””

To have faith or to believe is to place one’s trust in some thing or someone. The disciples had demonstrated where their trust was placed by following Yeshua wholeheartedly and completely. Their lives were bound together with his, and therefore with the life of the Father. This unity with him in all things is what caused their faith and understanding to grow.

For those of us today who are placing our faith in the words of Yeshua, we can be assured that we are believing the very words of God himself. In the same way as those early disciples, our lives should be bound together with his. When we are faithful in this way, we can rest secure in the knowledge that his words are continuing to come to pass. When we commit our lives to his purpose, as the disciples did, we can know that his kingdom is being established throughout the world. And knowing that God is continuing to accomplish his purpose in this world should prevent our hearts from being troubled.


If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

Why believers don’t need to be anxious

“Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day’s own evil is sufficient.””

Matthew 6:34:

Many believers understand that it is not necessary to be anxious about things that haven’t happened yet. Yet with all the information and uncertainty in our lives, it gets difficult to continue to keep our eyes on eternal things.

I have seen many believers take the perspective that we don’t need to be anxious because “God has everything in control,” or “everything will work out the way that it supposed to.” While those sayings may be essentially be true, that’s not what Yeshua is teaching us here. If we really look at what Yeshua is teaching us in Matthew 6, we have to see the word therefore.

He says therefore don’t be anxious.  The word means accordingly, or likewise. It means that Yeshua is asking us not to be anxious is based on something he said previously. So what is the context of this teaching? Let’s back up one verse and see what it says.

“But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33:

The context of his teaching is that we don’t need to be anxious when we are seeking first God‘s kingdom. Seeking first the kingdom of God allows us to not be anxious. Why not? Because when we are seeking first the kingdom, God will provide for all of our needs; that’s the promise.

Of course the logic then plays out that if we are not seeking first his kingdom we have every right to be anxious. God is not obligated to provide for our needs. If we are not seeking God‘s kingdom first, we have no idea what is coming our way tomorrow or anytime in the future. If we are not seeking God‘s kingdom first we get blown around by every wind of doctrine or circumstance that comes our way. If we’re not seeking God‘s kingdom first then we listen to false ideas and rumors and accept those things as being true, when we have no idea what they’re really based on.

Instead, I encourage you to not be anxious about tomorrow by trusting God and seeking his kingdom first. Then you can focus on today. Then you can focus on expressing and abiding by God’s kingdom right now. How can we show our love for God today? How can we show our love for others today?

Don’t be anxious; seek the kingdom, today.


If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

Fear of God removes all other fears

“Don’t fear, neither be afraid. Haven’t I declared it to you long ago, and shown it? You are my witnesses. Is there a God besides me? Indeed, there is not. I don’t know any other Rock.””

Isaiah 44:8:

If we are fearful, then we are not trusting completely in God.

This famous passage in the book of Isaiah speaks of the uniqueness of God compared to the idolatry of the world. People put their faith and their trust in all sorts of things when they are not trusting the God of the Bible. Perhaps it’s riches, armies, their own resources and strength, or other gods fashioned out of wood and stone; none of these provide the depth and security of trusting in the one true God.

We know he can be trusted above others because what he says has come to pass. His faithfulness which is demonstrated through his word gives us all the reason we need in order to trust him fully for the future we cannot see. Since he knows the end from the beginning, we can rest within his perfect will when we trust in him completely.

Trusting in him removes other fears: fear of men, fear of events beyond our control, fear of death. Additionally, when we are faithful witnesses of him to others, our trust is renewed, our faith is strengthened, and our fear diminishes as we recount his deeds among his people over the generations and millennia of time. This God can be trusted because he has demonstrated is faithful.

Therefore, we have no need to be fearful in this life. Fear evaporates in the burning presence of active faith in the one true God. Fear of God removes all other fears.


If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

Trusting in God or wealth

Core of the Bible podcast #27 – Trusting in God or wealth

In this episode we will be exploring the topic of trust, and how that in which we have placed our ultimate trust, God or Wealth, will always be evident in our lives.

Yeshua stated it this way:

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Matthew 6:24

You cannot be bound equally both to God and to your confidence in wealth. One will always take precedence over the other, and the results of following either will be evident in your life.

The issue that Yeshua focuses on is not necessarily the results of following either (which are evident throughout the biblical writings), but the complete inability of humans to multi-task serving God in among other responsibilities in this life. He says emphatically, “you CANNOT serve God AND wealth.” In literal terms, the text reads there is NO ABILITY to do both.

Looking at the example Yeshua gives us, it’s as if we were to picture ourselves as slaves, and we have two masters. These masters, while both responsible for us, can command us with conflicting information that would require actions that would go against the other.

For example, let’s say “Lord 1” commands us to fetch water from a nearby spring for his thirst, and immediately “Lord 2” commands us to get his slippers for his cold feet. Which command do we do first? We can’t do both tasks at the same time, and yet they are equally important. Do we get the water first, or the slippers? Both Lords are equally commanding and we are obligated to obey them both.

It becomes readily apparent that if we are to choose one Lord over the other as the primary Lord of us, then the secondary Lord’s commands are moved to the secondary position. In this case, if we chose Lord 1 and his water fetching as being primary, we would then do that task first, and Lord 2’s task of getting his slippers would have to wait.

Also of note is that Yeshua does not provide a third option, as if there was an option to have no Lords at all and just do whatever we want at any given time. He posits that those are the two options, either God or wealth, and we will in fact serve one primary Lord from those options.

This raises the point of just how powerful Wealth as Lord is; he (if we are to personify him for our discussion) actually rivals God in scope and influence, at least from our limited perspective in this world. This is also why he is so dangerous.

Let’s continue this little thought experiment of personifying Wealth as Lord. From our perspective, this Lord can control where we live based on our financial situation. He can control what and how much we eat based on our buying power. He can control the type of car we drive, or if we even have one. If we do have a car, he controls how long our commute is based on where we have to perform our work. He can control our daily lives based on other types of employment requirements we have: how long we have to spend each day at our jobs and how much time off we are allowed to do what we need to do for ourselves and our families, if we have one. Perhaps we have no spouse and children because the Wealth has not granted us the financial stability to do so. He controls our ability to receive appropriate health care, and may even be directly responsible for the length of our lives depending on how hard we have to work and what kind of dangers we face doing our jobs. The list goes on: where we can afford to vacation, what kind of clothes we wear, the social circles we are a part of, and so on.

Wealth as Lord is a very powerful master, indeed. When viewed from our limited perspective, it becomes immediately apparent why people choose to serve the Wealth as Lord, since Wealth appears to provide for the best outcomes of all of these things. Perhaps at times we have also served this Lord, as well. Even if we don’t always do what he wants us to do right away, many times we still answer his call.

But here is something to consider: perhaps if we can look beyond Wealth as Lord and see that there is only one Lord of Wealth, then we find that we only truly have one Master.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 – Be careful not to say, “My own ability and skill have gotten me this wealth.” You must remember the LORD your God, for he is the one who gives ability to get wealth; if you do this he will confirm his covenant that he made by oath to your ancestors, even as he has to this day.

1 Chronicles 29:12 – You [Yahweh] are the source of wealth and honor; you rule over all. You possess strength and might to magnify and give strength to all.

Proverbs 8:18, 21 – Riches and honor are with me [Wisdom], long-lasting wealth and righteousness. … that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, and that I may fill their treasuries.

If we are faithful with the Wisdom which God provides, we will have the ability to look to the only One who provides what we need, and that is God.

Yeshua confirms which Lord needs to always be first:

Matthew 6:32-33 for all these [things] do the nations seek for, for your heavenly Father does know that you all have need of all these; but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these shall be added to you.

We all have necessary obligations in life, but if our over-arching purpose for everything we do does not rest in God and his kingdom, then we have by default chosen to place our trust in the other option, and Wealth then becomes our Lord. We should always seek FIRST the kingdom and its priorities, and then place the concerns with wealth and provision as secondary, because the promise is then that these things “shall be added to you.”

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According to the New Testament writings, covetousness is equated with idolatry (Colossians 3:5). When viewed from this perspective, it is clear that God cannot be worshipped among any other gods, as one of many.

Yeshua makes it clear that every choice in life will fall under one heading or the other, God or worldly wealth, and whichever choice is made is a determination of which deity is being trusted.

Some of the writings which were contemporary with those of the biblical texts convey the dangers of focusing too much on the building of wealth and security of this world’s goods. While considered apocryphal by some, the writer of Ecclesiasticus penned the following practical wisdom almost three millennia ago:

Sirach 31:1-11 Wakefulness over wealth wastes away one’s flesh,

    and anxiety about it drives away sleep.

Wakeful anxiety prevents slumber,

    and a severe illness carries off sleep.

The rich person toils to amass a fortune,

    and when he rests he fills himself with his dainties.

The poor person toils to make a meager living,

    and if ever he rests he becomes needy.

One who loves gold will not be justified;

    one who pursues money will be led astray by it.

Many have come to ruin because of gold,

    and their destruction has met them face to face.

It is a stumbling block to those who are avid for it,

    and every fool will be taken captive by it.

Blessed is the rich person who is found blameless,

    and who does not go after gold.

Who is he, that we may praise him?

    For he has done wonders among his people.

Who has been tested by it and been found perfect?

    Let it be for him a ground for boasting.

Who has had the power to transgress and did not transgress,

    and to do evil and did not do it?

His prosperity will be established,

    and the assembly will proclaim his acts of charity.

This whole narrative proclaims the honor of the one who, even though he may be rich, does not seek after it with all of his being.  Acts of charity would be evident with him as he seeks to not transgress the commands of God, and therefore his prosperity would be established.

Yeshua also proclaims this same principle in a story that is related of an encounter he had in his day with a rich young ruler.

Matthew 19:16-22 – Now someone came up to him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to gain eternal life?” He said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich.”

In the case of this sincere seeker, Yeshua gets right to the heart of the issue and puts this young man in the cross-hairs of the decisive issue: in order to attain to eternal life or salvation, will this man trust in his riches, or simply place his trust in God?

We may view the man’s response with empathy, because, while the question isn’t necessarily directed at us, we should also understand we are faced with the same principle. Where do we stand when it comes to our wealth? Are we willing to place the needs of others over our own security?

In concluding his discussion with the rich young seeker, the disciples expressed their astonishment at this principle that he seemed to be espousing. Wasn’t it the rich who were shown to be blessed by God, and thereby the ones who were essentially guaranteed an entrance into eternal life?

Matthew 19:23-26 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! Again I say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” The disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.”

With God, what appears impossible to us becomes possible. It is not our trust that provides, but God who provides. Our trust in him merely becomes the means of demonstrating that it has been directed into the correct place when it is resting in the providence of God’s mercy and bountiful provision, whether for salvation or provision in this life. When that occurs, we then allow God the freedom to be God in our lives, and for him to provide and direct as he sees fit for his purpose and kingdom.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 – “Now God who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your supply of seed and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow. You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God…

1 Timothy 6:17-19 – Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others. In this way they will save up a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the future and so lay hold of what is truly life.

This statement by Paul to Timothy is a reference to the very principle Yeshua made to the rich young seeker. God is the one who provides us all things. Since that is the case, do we really think that we can somehow provide for ourselves in any meaningful way beyond what he has given us?

This is the root principle that Yeshua was revealing. If we are choosing to trust wealth over God, then we are looking to the provision rather than the Provider. That is the foundation of all idolatry: trusting in a created thing rather than the Creator.

Instead, let’s learn to move away from our own perceived security and into the only true security that exists: that which comes from God. Once we learn to trust God, to really and genuinely trust him for every provision, it’s as if a whole world of possibilities opens up, and allows us the freedom to actually seek first his kingdom.

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If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

Godly faith that roots up mountains

Truly I tell you that if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and has no doubt in his heart but believes that it will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Mark 11:23-24

These verses have been used in many ways over the years, most notably by the “name it and claim it” mindset prevalent in some of the various strains of Christianity. Within those groups, it is common to understand the meaning of this passage as being used as a measure of someone’s faith to serve their own greed. If one simply believes enough, they can have anything they desire.

However, in a 19th-century commentary on this passage from John Lightfoot, we find an interesting reference from the Talmudic literature of the Jews that may help to explain this unusual term:

The Jews used to set out those teachers among them, that were more eminent for the profoundness of their learning, or the splendor of their virtues, by such expressions as this: הוים  ﬠוקר הוא He is a rooter up of (or a remover) of mountains. “Rabbah Joseph is Sinai and Rabbah is a rooter up of mountains.” The gloss [or the interpretation is]: “They called Rabbah Joseph Sinai, because he was very skillful in clearing difficulties; and Rabbah Bar Nachmani, A rooter up of mountains, because he had a piercing judgment.”[1]

John Lightfoot. Commentary on the New Testament From The Talmud and Hebraica. Hendrickson Publishing. 1989. p. 283.

A modern commentary expands on this idea.

The Jews used to call their greatest teachers by the expression ‘removers of mountains.’ They would say for example that there was not in their days such a ‘rooter up of mountains’ as this teacher. He was so skilled that he could root up mountains. The expression was used to highlight the fact that the teacher had a profound insight into weighty or mountainous problems. Nobody could deal with those difficult problems. But this man could handle them. He was able to move these mountains as though they were small things.
We all had this kind of experience. One day, you wrestle with a particular issue, and it feels like you are facing a big mountain because you don’t know how to handle it. You just can’t move it out of your way. Every time you think about it, you find that you can’t cope with it. And then, you meet a very wise person. He understands your problem. He is able to help you. As he guides you, the problem you thought was so difficult suddenly becomes manageable. The obstacle, the mountain, has been removed.
Rabbi Rabbah bar Nachmani was a person like that. He was called ‘a rooter up of mountains’ in the Talmud ‘because he was exceedingly acute in subtle disputations.’ He had piercing judgment. The problems that people found insurmountable, this great rabbi could see right through it.
So this expression was applied to people who had deep spiritual insight.

Yves I-Bing Cheng, M.D., M.A., You will say to this mountain – Mt 17(14-21) (meetingwithchrist.com)

While the term may apply to those who have great spiritual insight and discernment, we need to keep the meaning of this metaphor within its proper context. Yeshua bases this whole notion of having great spiritual insight on a key principle: “Have faith in God,” (Mark 11:22).

As we review the language in that statement a little more closely, we see that it also carries several shades of meaning, as represented in various English translations:

  • Have faith from God
  • Have the faith of God
  • May the faith of God be in you

The qualifier is not stated in the Greek; typically when God is identified, the phrase is ho theos (the God). But when the qualifier ho is not there, as it is in this passage, it can also mean something along the lines of “godly faith” (the faith of God or from God) which some of these other versions bring out.

Having godly faith, even as small as a mustard seed, can provide a path through even the most difficult of problems. A godly faith is one that trusts that God ultimately has all things under his control, and that there will be a way through whatever challenge may be facing us.

Yeshua completes the thought by saying, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours,” (Mark 11:24). This isn’t a magic charm of faith to say that if we believe strongly enough, we can have whatever we want. Instead, armed with the metaphor of being “rooters of mountains,” believers always have the opportunity to trust God in finding a way through whatever barriers they may face. By committing all of our difficulties to God in prayer, we need to trust he has already provided the answers we need; we just need to open our spiritual understanding as “rooters of mountains” to see them.

The godly faith is one that trusts God for all things: our food, our drink, our clothing, as well as insights for a way through any challenges we may face. If this is the case, then what more can a person possibly need in this life that God has not already provided for us as believers?


If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

Trusting God rather than men

It is better to take refuge in Yahweh than to put confidence in man. It is better to take refuge in Yahweh than to put confidence in princes.

Psalm 118:8-9

Believers are sorely tested when it comes to this type of trust in Yahweh. This type of faith can define who we are. In our lives, we can be confronted with situations in which it can become necessary to make the hard decision to abide by the dictates and overtures of men, or to maintain our trust in God.

To complicate things further, the lines are not always as clear-cut and transparent as we would like them to be, which is why ongoing trust in God is necessary.

Albert Barnes comments on this trust:

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man – This is stated apparently as the result of his own experience. He had found people weak and faithless; he had not so found God. Compare Psalm 40:4; Psalm 62:8-9.
Psalm 40:4 – Blessed is the man that makes Yahweh his trust, and respects not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Psalm 62:8-9 Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge. Lowborn men are but a vapor, the exalted but a lie. Weighed on the scale, they go up; together they are but a vapor.
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man – Literally, “Good is it to trust in Yahweh more than to confide in man.” This is the Hebrew form of comparison, and is equivalent to what is stated in our version, “It is better,” etc. It is better,
(1) because man is weak – but God is Almighty;
(2) because man is selfish – but God is benevolent;
(3) because man is often faithless and deceitful – God never;
(4) because there are emergencies, as death, in which man cannot aid us, however faithful, kind, and friendly he may be – but there are no circumstances in this life, and none in death, where God cannot assist us; and
(5) because the ability of man to help us pertains at best only to this present life – the power of God will be commensurate with eternity.

Trust in God is preferred over trust in men because of man’s weaknesses and inability to always foresee the right way to go. In fact, many times the opposite is true.

Additionally, our trust in men can be broken when they are unfaithful and do not keep to their own standards and commitments. In these cases, we have to find another source of trust that is larger than our circumstances to be able to rise above the fray.

To trust in God is to have a resource beyond what the rest of the world can see or know, which is why it is so valuable. With the wisdom that God provides, believers can share this confidence with those who have no hope, or those who can’t see beyond the present situation. The encouragement we receive from trusting God can extend out to those around us who may also have lost faith in men.


If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

Trust that provides completeness

You will keep whoever’s mind is steadfast in perfect peace, because he trusts in you. Trust in Yahweh forever; for in Yah, Yahweh, is an everlasting Rock.

Isaiah 26:3-4

Hebrew is an interesting language from our Western perspective, because it is a language of concrete terms and phrases. While we can entertain abstract thought and concepts in our modern languages, Hebrew deals with reality images, things that can be observed, touched, or felt.

“Forever” is one of those abstract terms we find a lot in the English versions of the Writings, yet this phrase has a richer and deeper meaning when understood from the original languages. Translated literally, this phrase comes across something like “to the vanishing point,” or “that which is concealed.” This is a more tangible way of saying that which exists beyond what we can see or know about.

Another unique aspect of this term is that it is used of both what we would call the future and the past; it is the whole understanding of time from beginning to end, or more accurately, from horizon to horizon. Once you go over the horizon in either direction, you disappear and can no longer be seen. With its modifier, it conveys the idea of everlasting or perpetual. Not just something that exists from some point in time forward, but its perpetuity exists in both directions, past and future, horizon to horizon. It just always has been.

This is how Yahweh is described, as a Rock, a cliff or mountainside; an image of something massive and immovable. He is described not just as eternal like living forever, but as always having existed, present now, and always existing beyond the horizon of what we can see and know.

Because this is the true nature of Yahweh, Isaiah promotes trusting in him. In the picturesque speech of Hebrew phrasing, he never moves, never changes, stands towering over generation after generation, always visible and present.

Shalom is another one of those Hebrew phrases that conveys so more than what we can convey in English. It is peace in the sense of completeness or wholeness, as a cup that is perfectly full of liquid and needs no more. It includes all of the concepts like health, safety, prosperity, and rest. A person who has, or is, shalom is 100% of everything intended for human existence. That is a powerful word, and one that is sorely needed in our world today.

Isaiah says by placing our whole-hearted and constant trust in Yahweh, we can experience peace: shalom. And not just peace, but literally peace-peace: shalom-shalom. It comes across in English typically as “perfect peace.” What deeper desire in human hearts could possibly be lacking from this state of shalom-shalom; doubly full, doubly content, doubly complete?

This is what we can experience in this life when our trust is steadfast in Yahweh. He is the immovable, imposing, always-present Rock that provides every need so completely that we can be completely whole, twice over.

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If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

Trust is a straight path

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

This very famous passage of Scriptures is famous for a reason: it captures the essence of faith.

To trust whole-heartedly in Yahweh is to know and accept his Word, his torah, as being authoritative. It is to accept his rule over all of his creation, and to seek to represent his interests in our lives. Trust in Yahweh is not just an abstract belief, but a real understanding that produces right action. When our hearts are aligned with his purpose, our actions will follow.

To not rely on our own insight, we must defer to his explanations of those things which we cannot know. Our past, our future, the unknown, are all in his hands. His torah teaches us about how to live, and many times, if not most times, sets the standard for conflict with the current culture. We must look for his direction when we don’t know the way.

To acknowledge him in all our ways, we must recognize him in our daily activities and routines. We must always keep an eternal perspective through the struggles and trials of the present. Everything we do and say should be based on who he is, and what he has revealed about his creation.

His promise to those who trust in him is that by whole-heartedly trusting him, he will make their paths straight. A straight path has purpose and direction, and does not meander off of a specific course. It does not wind over hills that are hard to climb, and where dangers lurk around corners, but it is open and true to the horizon. A straight path is the shortest route to the destination.

This is trusting in Yahweh, the one true God of all.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

Have faith in Yeshua, God’s faithful representative

“”Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me.”

John 14:1

This statement by Yeshua is a pivotal moment of clarity and intimacy with his disciples. In the waning hours of his life and ministry, he is pouring into his disciples some of his most profound teachings.

Repeatedly throughout this passage, Yeshua claims oneness in unity with his father, God. As God’s authoritative representative on earth, Yeshua is stating that he has fulfilled his mission and his representation of God to his people. Placing their faith in him is the same thing as placing faith and trust in God.

This can only be so because of the Hebrew concept of agency. As God‘s anointed representative, everything Yeshua teaches is exactly what God would teach if he were on the earth. This is why Yeshua has been historically been recognized as God. His representation of God is so perfect, the two become indistinguishable.

Yet, rather than prove his Godhood, this exactness of representation is the very thing that makes him the Messiah, the Anointed One. The whole reason that Yeshua should be believed is because he perfectly represented the heart and will of the Father to his people. Those who were to place their trust in Yeshua would thereby be placing their trust in God.

This concept of agency, which is so common and original to the ancient Hebrew culture understanding, has been minimized or lost through the ages of non-Hebrew Christianity. In its place has arisen the philosophical construct of a trinitarian God which flies in the face of the long established Hebrew concept of the unity and oneness of God, the only true God.

Yeshua was encouraging his disciples to believe in him, not because he was God, but because he had faithfully represented everything God wanted them to know. This is the type of trust and faith that God desires of us: by believing in his Messiah, we are believing in him. And by believing in him, we are considered his children.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

Living out the wisdom of God

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through perseverance and through encouragement and comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:4

While Paul is here speaking about the writings that we would today call the Old Testament, in truth for believers today, the collective apostolic writings of the New Testament would also be included within the torah, or instruction of God. Paul’s admonition is that our learning should be based on this instruction of God. These writings have been designed for instructing us in wisdom. From this wisdom stems steadfastness, constancy, and cheerful endurance. This wisdom provides hope, expectation, or confidence.

For the first century believers, their hope was that they would be protected and spared through the rampant persecution of the Jews against their sect. Their hope was in the soon and coming judgment upon the wickedness of that generation that was to be poured out in the impending war with Rome. The writings of their forefathers were being fulfilled before their eyes, and they could draw encouragement and comfort to help them endure the troubling times they were living through. In like fashion today, we can also draw hope and encouragement through the writings of our spiritual forefathers in the Bible that have been handed down to us through the centuries.

Additionally, Paul’s admonition is that, based on the wisdom of the writings, we should be building one another up, not segregating ourselves further from one another.

We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. … May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:2, 5-6

Believers today have been entrusted with the most valuable commodity there is in a world of falsified news and social unrest: the truth of God’s instruction. If we lived like we really believed that, like we really trusted in the God of the Bible, the world would, for better or worse, take notice. The results would be dependent on how steadfast we would remain; to be tested if we could endure their onslaught with the cheerful endurance of our spiritual forefathers.

If we would, as Paul envisions, “join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” the impact on this generation could have similar effects that the faithful of that generation had, effects which are still resonating with believers down to our day thousands of years later.

Our faithful handling of God’s word is magnified when we actually live out what we say we believe. The best demonstration of faith is in living out the wisdom of God.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.