Saturday, September 26, 2009

When the King writes your name

I remember being at a Sabbath gathering several years ago. Gathered together, a few families who met at each other's homes for music, prayer and scripture study. Every week we'd read a portion from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. We would dissect the passages and discuss them. I enjoyed this because I knew I'd learn something new every week. And I did! I still do! Learn something new in the scriptures every week that is!

This particular day we read the passage where Yeshua (Jesus) is confronted by the scribes and Pharisees with the woman who is caught in adultery. Wanting to trap him, the local religious leaders bring the woman in to their midst and ask him, "Do you think we should stone her or not? The law of Moses says that we should, well what to do you think?"
What did Yeshua do? He begins to write something in the dirt. Has anyone every figured out what He wrote? Well for the first time, as I've never heard in church a plausible explanation, I heard from my fellow believer what the King possibly wrote in the sand.
This is awesome. Listen to this... and remember that understanding the Hebrew context to this passage and all other passages in the scriptures is essential.
When you read over this passage most people don't realize what has just happened and what day this event happens on. It happens the day after the "great day" of Sukkoth.
In order to place the day you have to look at the passages just before. In John 7:37 it states "on the LAST day of the feast, the great day...". This feast they are celebrating is Sukkoth, a.k.a. the Feast of Booths, a.k.a. as the Feast of Tabernacles. (Okay stop and go get out your scriptures and read this section so you know what I'm talking about). On the last day of this feast what happens... this is cool... Yeshua stands up at a very crucial part of the day's ceremony and declares "If any one thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.' "
Now I'll back up here for a minute. The Feast of Booths ends with a big huge ceremony. Now while I can't elaborate on all the details right now suffice it to say that this day is very special for God's people. Part of the ceremony entails the high priest walking, with a empty pitcher down from the temple mount through the streets to the lowest part of city, where he scoops up some water to take it back, through the streets back up to the temple. It's a big to do, with people following along like a big parade. Once he's back in the temple by the altar, he takes the pitcher and dramatically pours out the water on the altar. During this ceremony lots of Scripture verses pertaining to living water are read aloud, including the passage from Jeremiah 17. 5.
"Thus says the LORD: 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.
8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
10 "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."
11 Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch, so is he who gets riches but not by justice; in the midst of his days they will leave him, and at his end he will be a fool.
12 A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.
13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water."

AAAhhhh, did you read that. "Those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth"!

Okay so this is what's happened. In the middle of this special ceremony, the while the chief priest and all who's who is concentrating on the "living waters", Yeshua stood up and said to all who are there, that He is this living water. " Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.' ".
Well this stunned the crowd and everyone gasped in shock. Who is this guy AANNDD who does He think He is?
He knows their hearts and just like in the passage from Jeremiah, He knows that they don't like Him and all His claims to being the Messiah. Their hearts are forsaking the LORD, the fountain of living water.
So now that we know what happened on the day of the last day of the Feast, when Yeshua made His claim, we can take a look at what happened the following day. In the morning He goes back to the temple and the Pharisees bring the woman to Him hoping to catch Him up in something, so that they can arrest him. He takes a look around and squats down and begins to write in the earth. One by one He writes their names in the earth. This action of writing their names in the earth would have triggered their memories back to the previous day events, when He declared Himself the "Living Waters" (the Messiah essentially). Look back at the passage from Jeremiah...O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water." He's accusing them of forsaking the LORD, which compared to what this woman is accused of, is pretty much the same thing. They were committing adultery by forsaking the living LORD. See these men knew all the scriptures. They had been over these passage many, many times in their lives looking forward to the Messiah, who was going to dwell with them. This is the theme of this fall feast, which they would have celebrated all their lives. Now Yeshua shows up and declares Himself to be the "Living waters" and they miss it. Their hearts are turned away from the LORD and He points it out by writing their names in the earth. In their hearts, they where wanting to show how righteous they were, knowing the law and what to do with an adulterous woman. What they weren't expecting was the accusation returning back on them.
So now you know what I know about what Yeshua wrote in the earth.