Sadly, chapter seven of Isaiah is not read during the regular Shabbat readings. But we do read in the Haftarah (prophetic portion) for this Shabbat about the Messiah:
“To us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Jewish sages also believed that women would first receive the teachings of the Messiah.
While Yeshua taught many women, we know from Scripture that another Miryam became the first eye-witness to Yeshua’s resurrection from the dead—the absolute sign of Yeshua’s Messiahship and victory over sin.
“Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Miryam of Magdala, from whom He had cast out seven demons.” (Mark 16:9)
In a culture where women witnesses were not perhaps given credibility, this is an extraordinary event that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) wanted us all to know.
Meeting with God at the Foot of the Mountain
Standing at the foot of the mountain on the third day, the people of Israel met with God, as He descended with thunder, lightening, thick clouds, and the loud sound of the shofar (ram’s horn).
The whole mountain was covered with smoke, since God came with fire, as it is written, “The Lord is a consuming fire.” (Deuteronomy 4:24)
It was such a fearsome sight that the people trembled and told Moses,
“You, speak with us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak with us, or we will die.” (Exodus 20:19 )
Thankfully, we have not come to such a mountain of darkness and fire and deafening, fearful noise, but to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and the angels—to Yeshua.
We are, therefore, entering a kingdom that cannot be shaken—we are entering “the city of the living God, heavenly Yerushalayim; to myriads of angels in festive assembly; to a community of the firstborn whose names have been recorded in Heaven; to a Judge who is God of everyone; to spirits of righteous people who have been brought to the goal; to the mediator of a new covenant, Yeshua; and to the sprinkled blood that speaks better things than [the blood of Abel].” (Hebrews 12:22–24)
Even though we are under the grace of the New Covenant, in which the laws of God are written on our hearts, the commands of God, written with His very own finger on tablets of stone are eternal and true for all people in all covenants.
Keeping His commandments is how we show our love for God. His commandments provide a guide for a healthy, happy, productive, and harmonious life in relationship with God and with other people.
“For this is love for God, to keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)
Yeshua has not set us free from sin so that we can live lawless lives. The Word of God even warns that our prayers may not be heard if we are walking in blatant disobedience to God’s laws.
“One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” (Proverbs 28:9)
The law of God guards our relationships. The first tablet containing the first five of the Ten Commandments deals with our relationship to God. The second set of five commandments deals with our relations with our neighbor. That is why Yeshua said that loving God and loving our neighbor sum up the commandments. (Matthew 22:37–40)
The God of Israel is not an impersonal “force,” but a God of love who becomes intimately involved with the affairs of mankind to save, rescue, redeem and deliver. This is the God who is worthy of our love and devotion, and no one else.
Jealousy and Faithfulness
We see from the second commandment that anything that we place first in our lives other than God is idolatry. God is, by His own admission, a jealous God. The Hebrew root of kanna (jealous) means the just indignation of one injured.
When we choose another over God, He is injured, as a husband or wife is injured by an unfaithful spouse.
Today the world is filled with idols: wealth, fame, power, position, money, work, sexual relations, celebrities, sports, even relationships. We so often make these things our priority, tending to put our trust and confidence in other things or people; however, only God is absolutely trustworthy.
God’s prophetic word promises that one day His people will no longer tolerate any idolatry in their lives, but the day will come when the Lord shall say, “What have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you.” (Hosea 14:8)
May this be the generation that seeks the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and may we become united in the love of Messiah, worshipping the One True God in Spirit and Truth.