19 April 2010 (Shanee/Matzah)|
Day #35, 5934 AM
The Right and Wrong Way
When the Scribes (Torah-teachers) and Pharisees asked Yah'shua (Jesus) to perform a sign for them, calling Him 'Master', they were only using this respectful term because the ordinary people were calling Him that already. In truth they considered themselves to be the Masters. They had political and religious control but very little in the way of moral or spiritual authority. Their chief interest was in maintaining their position of power.
Yah'shua had already performed many signs - a leper had been cleansed, sick people had been healed, demons had been driven out, a little girl had been raised from the dead, and blind people had had their sight restored. Every single one of these had been miracles of love and compassion. So what was the Pharisees' problem? They wanted their own sign so that it could be reckoned as 'The Pharisees' Own Sign' - they wanted it to be a part of their glory. They wanted to be even more important.
Yah'shua's answer to them must have left them feeling vexed and frustrated:
But in pointing to the "sign of Jonah" Yah'shua was, in fact, pointing them forward to His own death and resurrection. And for the believer the greatest sign of Yahweh's love and forgiveness, and His ultimate victory over death, is the resurrection. So in retrospect Yah'shua did give them a sign...only they would have to wait for it....after they had rejected Him, been judged and condemned.
"This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here" (Luke 11:29-32, NKJV).
Now we may ask for Yahweh for signs when there are important decisions to make. The trouble is, we don't always recognise the signs He has already given us in Scripture and in our experience, and until we take these into account first, He is unlikely to give us new signs. Yahweh's guidance often comes in ways we don't expect. He doesn't want to boost our spiritual one-upmanship, but to help us to become more aware of our need of Him, and of the needs of those around us.
We should, every now and then, pause and consider the signs that Yahweh has already given us of His love and care, and the ways in which He has guided us, especially when it has come to making important decisions. We should actually have these recorded somewhere, as in a Journal or Dairy, so that we can fall back on them and remember when we are going through a tough patch, and especially when we are having doubts. We have short memories so such records can be invaluable and save us from making unwise decisions in difficult times. Overarching all of these experience should be our own New Birth (the day we met Yah'shua, accepted Him as our Master and Deliverer, and experienced receiving new life) and the most important event in history: the cross, the empty tomb and all that the resurrection means is to us personally.
How has Yahweh guided you and answered your prayers? Were they answered in the way you expected? Let us consider how we might become more aware of Yahweh's presence in our daily lives, and in the decisions we have to make. We know that He will guide us when we are truly humble and dependent on Him. We also know that He has promised to give wisdom generously to those who feel their lack of it. Many of us are wondering what course we should take in these challenging times so we need a Father's wise prompting to get us in the right path. Let us give Him glory and honour!