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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Twenty-Sixth (The World)

One of the toughest things as believers is navigating how to live in the world. There are many aspects of the world that are not in line with the expectations YHWH has from us. He has provided His word to guide us, but there are structures in place that sort of corral us into a life that requires we do certain things to be able to have necessities like food, clothing and shelter.

What do I mean by that? The structures I'm referring to are things like governments, money, schools, etc. Even if you find a remote location to live, out in the woods somewhere, in most cases there will be a government entity that requires some sort of taxes, at a minimum. This wasn't always the case, but as government started to grow it began to require some income to provide services like military protection and generally just operation of the government entity.

And how do you pay these taxes? The man-made structure of currency. Originally based on what man deemed "precious metals," it's now just based on "special" paper and dependent on how much of that paper man prints. When man caused his separation from YHWH (Genesis 3:23), and therefore created the requirement for him to take care of himself in the world rather than walking with YHWH, these man-made structures started to develop.

Cain developed a focus on sowing and reaping while Abel developed a focus on tending sheep (Genesis 4:2). As the world population grew, if someone that tended sheep needed some fruit or vegetables, and there wasn't enough love of your neighbor to just provide it, the two needed to come to some agreement so neither would feel slighted as a result of the transaction. They had to have some agreement of the worth of the items they were bartering with. Naturally, demand would allow those with items of scarcity to require more of the other individual to complete the transaction.

In the end though, no matter what, all these things, whether they be money, livestock, plants, metals, etc., were created and given to us by YHWH. Therefore, we technically don't even have the right to require anything of someone that needs what we have, let alone make up something like paper money, decide how much that money is worth, and then require that of someone that needs what we have.

Regardless, this is the world we live in and somehow we have to figure out how to survive in a place that has already started to demand things contrary to YHWH's word for us to be able to earn the money they made up, decided the value of, and then required from us for them to give us food, clothing and shelter. And it's not looking like that's going to get any better. In fact, it looks like it's going to get much worse.

You can see in the world today there are very powerful entities run by those that neither believe in Yeshua as their Savior nor practice the things He taught, and depending on your personal beliefs on the book of Revelation and what it prophesies, these entities seem to have a lot of characteristics of things like the beast and his prophet. At a minimum, that being having an antichrist spirit.

In a way, believers today are in a similar situation as Israel when they were in Babylon (2 Kings 24:1) and, to a lesser degree, Egypt (Exodus 1:8-14). The reason being in both of these events the Israelites were under the control/rule of those not loyal to YHWH. Obviously, we are not being made to do hard labor with brick and mortar or in the fields like the Israelites in Egypt (Exodus 1:14), but when you read how that situation played out it makes you wonder how that scenario actually occurred.

Today, it's common when you read or hear about the Israelite's slavery in Egypt that a picture of them being whipped and I remember some even showing them building the pyramids! However, when you look at scripture a little closer you'll see they originally went there simply to live. Joseph had already been there, so his brothers joined him. They lived peacefully, and multiplied, but when a new king, that didn't know Joseph, took over he had the Egyptians start to force the Israelites to work.

How do you think that would play out? They were already living and working beside the Egyptians. In fact, one of them, Joseph, was held in such high regard the Egyptians mourned when his father died (Genesis 50:2-3). So how exactly did this new pharaoh get those same Egyptians to oppress the Israelites? Propaganda.

He told the Egyptian people that the Israelites were a threat to convince them something needed to be done (Exodus 1:9-10). This was far from the truth, yet it was enough to motivate the Egyptians into enslaving the people they once lived in peace alongside. You can see this same psychological tactic today as people are given propaganda about how certain people are causing outbreaks of diseases and therefore need to have restrictions imposed on them. And what's the common thread? Fear.

But that king didn't stop there. He also told the Hebrew midwives to kill the male Israelite babies being born (Exodus 1:16) in an effort to control their population. So, their king, the individual YHWH appointed to rule over them (Daniel 2:21, Romans 13:1), ordered them to do something evil, something against YHWH. And what did they do? They feared YHWH so they did not follow that order.

When confronted about it, they lied (Exodus 1:19), which is also against YHWH (Leviticus 19:11, Proverbs 12:22, John 8:44). However, despite this lie, YHWH was good to them (Exodus 1:20) and even blessed them with families of their own (Exodus 1:21). So, even though we are told we need to submit ourselves to those appointed over us (Romans 13:1-2, 1 Peter 2:13-15), these midwives did not do everything their king said, and yet were still blessed and YHWH was good to them.

Some would look at what they did and call it an abomination, since they know that's what scripture says lying is (Proverbs 12:22). They may even judge those midwives harshly for what they did and rebuke them. But we know we are not to judge others, but leave that to the one that gives the Law (James 4:12). We also know that, on a similar point, everyone is at a different point in their journey with Yeshua and we shouldn't pass judgment on anyone based on how they understand His word (Romans 14:1-3).

Personally, I believe YHWH leads each of us to different focuses and understanding of His word based on what He intends for our lives and based on our predispositions to certain things (of course those predispositions are due to how He created us!). So, perhaps there are some things that you understand and believe in scripture that someone else will never come to realize, and that's ok. Not only are we told not to judge, we are told to be merciful just as YHWH is (Luke 6:36), and just as He was with those midwives.

If you notice, nowhere did I tell you exactly how to live in the world, and there's a reason for that: I can't. I mean, technically I can, but in the end it has to be something from your heart that you work out with the Holy Spirit based on a study of scripture. If I tell you what my view is it's just going to be words to you. You may trust those words enough to try to follow them, but they won't be true to you unless you were moved by the Holy Spirit into them. Additionally, as you study you will naturally grow strong in faith and understanding of His word. So, study YHWH's word, and let the Holy Spirit lead you to what living in the world while being a child of Him actually means!

Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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