Torah Portion

Dear Torah Portion Reader...

I am very excited that the Spring Feast is just around the corner! We are now in the final preparation count-down, which for us at Lighted Way Ministries is an "all-hands-on-deck" scenario. In the next few weeks and days, I will be finishing the book "God's Amazing Star Secret" (which I pray to have fresh from the press at Passover, on April 1, 2018), I will be writing the sermons, putting together the children's program, cooking (and freezing) the casseroles to serve during the Retreat week, and more...

In order to accomplish all of this, I will not be taking time to write the Torah portion commentaries during this period of time. However, that does not mean that anyone need to get behind. The following is the Torah reading and study schedule for the next few weeks. As you keep up with this schedule, you will be on track to complete all 613 Statutes this year. So, from now to April 14, the Torah portions will be posted without comment. Commentary and the usual Torah portions will resume on April 15. Thank you for your patience! And happy studying in the meantime :-)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Heavenly Purpose When Things Go "Wrong"

One of the Most Important Questions You Can Ask During a Crisis: WHY, GOD?

How can you trust that God has got you and that He is working in your life when everything goes wrong and there is no visible reason to have any hope? God is bigger than your senses. God is stronger than your feelings. God is more real than your circumstances. In fact, God is your REALITY – not your circumstances! This is what Job lived by, when he said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” 

You can trust God that much, too! And when you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of the greatest adversity, you are presented with a major opportunity to do so.
Instead of shaking your fist at the devil, who has unleashed curses in your life – look higher. You don’t belong to the devil. You belong to your Heavenly Father. He has allowed you to be placed in the heart of a very dark situation. Have you stopped to ask (prayerfully) – WHY? 

And no- don’t go there with the devil who accuses the brethren and points to your past sins as a reason…  The past is washed away, in God’s Eyes – for you have confessed and repented for all of that…  So WHY? When you can answer this question, your most trying "prison" will be transformed into the Throne Room of God – for you will be living in His Presence. Your despair and sense of waste will be replaced with a mission – for God has a reason and purpose for you right there, in the middle of that trying situation.

I have always loved the story of Corrie Ten Boom. She was taken to Ravensbruk, which was a terrible concentration camp. There seemed to be no reason to hope, as most who went in those gates were exterminated. And while there, apparently waiting for death, the misery of their existence was worsened by a lack of food, lice in the barracks, cruelty from the guards, not enough clothing for warmth, and many other causes for suffering. At first, Corrie could only see as high as her difficult circumstances. She was miserable. 

Then, one day, God helped her to look higher. He was still in charge in her life. He hadn’t forgotten her! God was calling Corrie to bloom in that dark and terrible place where He had allowed her to be planted. Finally, Corrie asked WHY! And when she could answer that question, precious ladies – many of whom would later be sent to the gas chamber – were comforted by Corrie and led to Christ. There was truly a beautiful reason WHY God had allowed Corrie to be placed in Ravensbruck!

Consider the inspiring of the missionary, Otto Koning, a Dutch missionary to Papua, New Guinea. About 40 years ago, Otto and his wife helped to establish a small mission station in New Guinea. They set up a medical clinic and began teaching the natives about God. The work was difficult, but rewarding. Then, one day while Otto was out, he saw a half-naked, spike-through-the-nose, scary-looking warrior blocking his path. The man had a spear, which he brandished threateningly at Otto. The native spoke sharply to Otto in his own language, which Otto couldn’t yet speak.

Discerning that he was unable to communicate with Otto verbally, the man resorted to using his sharp spear to herd Otto, driving him into the jungle. Otto was terrified! He was certain that he was the captive of a cannibalistic tribesman and would soon be served up for supper!

“Hey, God! Where are You?” Otto prayed, mentally. “Are you busy? I need You to notice what’s going on here with me! I’m in big trouble!”

By this time the native had taken Otto all the way through the jungle to the river, where the man’s canoe awaited. The man forced Otto to get into the canoe by again prodding him with the trip of his spear. The man climbed in after Otto and rowed them several hours upriver.

When they stopped, Otto was taken into a strange village where the people spoke a language he could not understand. Otto was tired, hungry, miserable, and terrified. It seemed that God’s protection must have been withdrawn from his life.

The man took Otto to the center of the village and stood him before an imposing man, whom Otto guessed must be the chief – because of his more elaborate body-decorations, piercings and paint. The chief spoke to Otto and grew obviously upset as he realized Otto couldn’t understand him. Otto closed his eyes and prayed quietly.

Suddenly, the warrior who had captured him herded him back to the canoe, returned to the place where he’d found him and dropped him off again! It was now late into the night, but Otto was free! As abruptly as the terrifying ordeal had started, it had come to an end. Otto hurried home were his worried wife was so grateful to see him still in one piece. They had quite a prayer session thanking God for His Protection, but unsure why God had allowed the whole experience in the first place.

It wasn’t until a couple of years passed that Otto learned WHY he had been taken that day. Again, Otto was out on mission business, when the same terrifying warrior once again blocked his path, brandishing a spear.

“Oh no! You again!” Otto blurted, speaking under his breath in English.

Then the warrior began to speak to him again – only this time, Otto could understand his words having had time to learn the native language!

“My great chief has heard that you have finally gotten smart enough to speak,” the man said, bluntly. “You will come with me.”

There was no room for argument. And Otto was taken to the same village as before. Once again he stood before the chief.

“Long ago,” the chief began, “the Great Spirit gave me a dream. He told me that a white man would come to these parts. He would help people with healing. And this man would teach people how to die. Finally, you came. And when you did, I knew you were the man from my dream. But when I sent my warrior to bring you here, I was disappointed to learn that you were too stupid to speak. We sent you home. Many from my village have died, without your teaching. I, too, nearly died from a sickness waiting for you to learn to speak. Finally, now you can tell me how to die, as the Great Spirit said you would.”

Quickly getting over the offensiveness of the chief’s words, Otto prayed to understand what he meant by “teach people how to die.” Suddenly it dawned on him that the man was referring to what happens after you die. In other words, the man was waiting to hear how to find Eternal Life! Otto was stunned! That terrible day, long ago, when Otto had thought God finally protected him from being eaten – the truth was that Otto was on a mission assignment! But in all the intervening time from then to now, Otto had never once thought to pray and ask God WHY He had allowed this “crisis” to come to him. Otto now realized that if only he had thought to pray to know why God had allowed it, God might have been able to reveal His deeper purpose sooner – and lives might have been saved!

Otto spent several days teaching the chief and his villagers about God. A message was dispatched to his wife to let her know that he was safe and was on a Heavenly assignment. During his time with them, the whole tribe was converted. It was a powerful experience – and it could have happened sooner, if only Otto had understood WHY!

Think about it! WHY has God allowed you to be in the particularly trying situation in which you find yourself? Why THAT situation, specifically? Why YOU, specifically? Have you prayed to know? Can you answer that question yet? This should be a focus in your turmoil. Pray to bloom where you’re planted. Pray to be submitted into the Father's Hands - able to be used of Him. Pray that God will be glorified in you and in the trying circumstance. Pray! And seek to know why He has brought you into this place in your life. One thing is certain. You’re not forgotten! Rather, your Heavenly King has brought you into a circumstance, like queen Esther of old, "for such a time as this".