Verse of the Week
And you shall say to this people, so says YAHWEH, Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.
Thought for the Week
It seems the folks in the US have abandoned their roots and lost their way. For example few today probably realize that historically there was another name by which the followers of Jesus were first known. They were known as followers of "The Way". In Acts 9:2 and 22:4 this is how Saul of Tarsus referred to the followers of Jesus - the people Saul persecuted and even killed. Saul again referred to the followers of Jesus as the way in Acts 19:9, 19:23, and 24:14. In Acts 24:22 we see that even Felix may have referred to Jesus' followers as the Way. We also see that Luke uses the term the way in Acts 18:25 and 26.
This reference to the "way" should come as no surprise since the way of God and the way of the Lord is mentioned in the Gospels almost a dozen times - along with the way of peace, the way of righteousness, etc. The way of YHWH is mentioned half a dozen times in the Original Scriptures (OT) and existed long before the Law was given to Moses (See Genesis 18:19). Knowing and keeping the way has always been essential and is seen as a test to man (Judges 2:22). Isaiah 35:8 tells us of The Way of Holiness as a way the redeemed will walk and enter but that the unclean cannot (refer to Revelations 21:27). For those looking for confirmation via more (deeper?) parallels between the Old and New Testaments they can be found, regarding the way, by also looking at Exodus 23:20, Deuteronomy 30:15/16, etc. A very clear example is John the Baptist's comments regarding preparing the way (Matthew 3:3) and the Original Scriptures comments in way Isaiah 40:3. This theme, of "the way", is the primary theme of the Didache right from the very beginning. Didache 1:1 - There are two ways, one of life and one of death! and there is a great difference between the two ways. We also see that Jesus proclaims that he is "the way" in John 14:6.
As a nation the US has lost its sense of direction and no longer follows the way - and mainstream churches own much of the blame. Although the US was founded upon Christian principles it has lost its sense of roots as well. Like a lost sailor the US is adrift and homesick: A homesickness that cannot be cured because the US has lost a sense of where home is - where its roots were planted. This is largely because mainstream Christianity has been fertilizing the soil with a load of manure that is packed full of weed seeds - and the trip these weeds take people on leads down a path called the way of death.
Jesus, in the Parable of the Four Soils (aka the Parable of the Sower), refers to both roots and fruit. Unless our roots are in the right soil we cannot bear fruit. Jesus also tells us that an evil tree cannot produce good fruit. Is it any wonder that as the US grows more evil with every passing generation that "good fruit" is fast disappearing? The US is becoming a spiritual "dust bowl".
So, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and the flame burns up the chaff; their root shall be like rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up like dust, because they have rejected the Law of YAHWEH of Hosts; and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel.
Without recognizing where its roots are and what path it is on the US is headed for destruction. This is true for individuals as well as nations. The bottom line is as we each travel our own path in life we have to choose the way we take and where we plant our roots. Where is your heart rooted? Are you following the way of life or of death?
Blessed is the man who trusts in YAHWEH, and YAHWEH is his refuge. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters. It sends out its roots by the stream, and it will not fear when the heat comes; but its foliage will be green; and it is not anxious in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit.
(Jeremiah 17:7-8) (See also Psalm 1:1-3)
Quote of the Week
Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots. - Victor Hugo, Intellectual Autobiography: Ideas on Literature, Philosophy and Religion
Comment: The children of YHWH will always prevail because they are rooted in the Way of Life. If you have a neighbor, or even an enemy, that has lost their roots or lost their way do more than just pray for them: Actions speak louder than words and by these actions we bear fruit. Putting love into action not only helps spread the True Gospel but also, when it takes root in others, brings glory to where it belongs - to YHWH.
Did You Know
According to astronomers the precession of the Earth's axis (the wobble) changes the position of the poles over the course of time. Our current "North Star", which is Polaris, will no longer be the "North Star" in about 500 years or so. COMMENT: It was also a different star a few thousand years ago. Only one light will always point the way - the Light of YHWH.
The angle between the northern pole star and the observer's horizon is equal to the latitude of the observer.
Roots provide four primary functions: Anchorage to the soil, Absorption of needed water, minerals, and nutrients, Conduction of water, minerals, and nutrients to where they are needed, and Storage of water, minerals, and nutrients for "hard times".