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October 14, 2023: Haftorah - Isaiah 42:5-43:10

This week's Haftorah reading is from Isaiah 42:5-43:10. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers as he hones in on Isaiah 43:2 and the assurance that the promises of ELOHIM'S protection and His help are available for all who “trust in His name.” Including the Israeli people who are going through such a horrific time right now! ELOHIM has promised that He would never leave us or forsake us! Let us trust in the YAH of our salvation in all things too!

Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftorah Portion:

Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftorah Portion – Isaiah 42:5-43:10

Israel has an important role: From out of Israel will come Messiah Yeshua who will be a light to the nations for opening blind eyes, freeing prisoners, and setting free those who are living in spiritual darkness. As Elohim’s covenant people, Israel is also called to be a light to the nations, not just in words but in demonstration of Elohim’s way of life. Israel’s calling was always meant to be “outward” so that every tribe, tongue and nation would see the salvation of Adonai.

We see this understanding when Yeshua instructed the Jewish disciples to “Go into all the world and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach Hakodesh, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). In this way, the Jewish disciples were truly a light to the nations.

This calling comes with a price! Adonai tells them, “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I am calling you by your name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). We see in Isaiah 43:2 that the price is in degrees…water, rivers, fire…seemingly to increase in intensity but having one thing in common. Elohim will protect and watch over them…they will experience victory at the end of the testing and trials. So, the water, rivers, and fire represent afflictions, trials, and difficulties we face, but He is with us in our most troubling times. We live in a world where people have free will and can cause pain. We have seen it in Israel this week. We live in a world where bad things happen and we don’t understand. But Elohim is constantly working all things out for His will. He has compassion for us! He loves us! We are His good work, His precious ones.

As the Israeli people are going through a horrific time as their “terrorist enemy” has attacked innocent people and performed horrendous acts…we need Elohim more than ever! He has promised never to leave us or forsake us, no matter what life may throw at us. We are redeemed by the precious blood of Yeshua. We have been bought with a price. We belong to the Father. His favor is upon all His children. He has promised us to cover us with His gentle calm and protect us by His perfect peace when our hearts rest in Him.

We have an assurance that the promises of Elohim’s protection and His help are available for all who “trust in His name.” This promise comes with a stipulation! In order to be fully protected we need to be fully committed to the Yah of Abraham, Isaac, and Ya’akov only! We cannot have any other gods before His Presence!

The children of Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry land and yet the same waters submerged the enemies of Adonai. The flames that were heated seven times hotter did not singe a single thread on the garments of Daniel’s three companions—and yet they consumed those that would throw them into the flames.

The children of Israel faced a physical enemy, and Elohim protected them. We face a spiritual enemy, but His protection and help is equally sure and steadfast for all who are called by His name. We must trust Yah at His Word! We must believe what Elohim has said and rest in the knowledge that He is in charge!

Even when it doesn’t seem like it is going our way…Elohim is still with us! He walks through the testing and trials with us and no matter what happens…even death…has no power over us! He even walks through the valley of death with us if that is His Will. The point is never stop trusting Him…He is in control and on the Throne. The Truth of Elohim’s

Word has been tried and tested by a myriad of followers down through the centuries who not only trusted Him for their salvation but continued to trust Him through all the circumstances of life. He has promised that He would never leave us or forsake us! Let us trust in the Yah of our salvation in all things too!

In order to have a better understanding of Isaiah 43:2, let’s look at each image that Isaiah uses. “When you pass through the waters, I will be there.” Isaiah uses two symbols, fire and water, to show the trials that the nation of Israel was going through—will go through—is going through now. When these two symbols are used together, they suggest totality of testing. The promise that we will see played out is that Elohim will protect His people despite the immense challenges they face.

During the wilderness experience, every time they passed through the waters it was over their heads. Crossing was dangerous! But Yah was with them, and He led them through! The reality of this life is that we will face trials and suffering. There will be “waters” we have to pass through and “fire” we will walk through. The promise of Isa. 43:2 is that Elohim will be with us.

“When you pass through the rivers. They will not sweep over you.” Isaiah is doubling down on the image. This is a similar image to the previous, but this time there is an element of rushing water. Every year people die in rivers because they got swept away in the current. The promise of Elohim is that when the rivers of life come our way, they will not sweep you over. Elohim will uphold His people. We see this happen with the nation of Israel in Joshua 3, when they cross the Jordan into the Promised Land.

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze.” Notice the theme here…when you pass through waters, when you pass through rivers, when you walk through fire. It’s not “if” these things happen, it’s “WHEN.” Isaiah is being very clear. In this life we will face trials and hardships. Elohim never promises His followers an easy life, but He does promise to be with us through it all! The final image is powerful! Fire is destructive and deadly. In a large blaze it can feel like there’s nothing you can do to stop it. That is what life feels like sometimes, like we are helpless to put out the “fires” that are surrounding us.

The promise of Isaiah 43:2 is that though we face fires, they will not consume us. Elohim will be with us and lead us through like He did Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego.

How do we apply the meaning of Isaiah 43:2 to our own lives? It boils down to having confidence in Elohim to do what He has promised in the midst of our suffering and difficulties. How can we display confidence? We keep our eyes on Yeshua when you pass through waters and walk through fire. Matthew 14:22-23 is an incredible story of Peter walking on the water. As long as he focuses on Yeshua he walks on water. It is only when he focuses on the storm and the waves that he sinks! Yet, Yeshua doesn’t hesitate and pulls him to safety.

Peter’s story tells us what we should and should not do during storms. We should boldly step out into the trial and follow Yeshua as we keep our eyes only on Him! We should not take our eyes off of Him and look at the circumstances because we will sink.

Whatever you are going through right now—whether water, rivers, or fire—keep your eyes on Yeshua and the storm (trial, testing) that you face will not take you out! Elohim is with you and He will lead you through!

Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,

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Have a blessed Sabbath. Trust in Adonai in whatever you are going through. He will be there right beside you all the way! He will bring you out! He will help you through the water, rushing tides, and the blazing hot fire. He is our Yah! He is with you always!

Shalom Aleichem

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