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Seeing with Wonder: Further thoughts on Toldot

Seeing with Wonder

Further thoughts on Parashat Toldot...

by John J. Parsons

The commandment not to take the Name of the LORD "in vain" (Exod. 20:7) implies that we must affirm the sanctity, meaning, significance, and worth of life itself. We must never live as though God does not exist, or, to state this positively, we must "set the LORD" always before us (Psalm 16:8). It is therefore forbidden to ignore the miracle of existence, to scoff at the value of life, or to debase ourselves by refusing to receive the truth. We are to take every thought "captive" to the reality of the Messiah (2 Cor. 10:5). Everything belongs to God, and every moment we have is beholden to Him...

שִׁוִּיתִי יְהוָה לְנֶגְדִּי תָמִיד
כִּי מִימִינִי בַּל־אֶמּוֹט

shi·vi·ti · Adonai · le·neg·di · ta·mid
ki · mi·mi·ni · bal · e·mot

"I have set the LORD always before me;
 because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken."
(Psalm 16:8)

Hebrew Study Card

Finding deliverance from profane thinking requires concentrated focus, or "kavanah" (כַּוָנָּה). As it is written: "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Messiah" (2 Cor. 5:10). We are instructed to "bring down reasonings" (λογισμοὺς καθαιροῦντες) and every high thing that is lifted up against the knowledge of God (κατὰ τῆς γνώσεως τοῦ θεου) and to bring every thought "as a captive" to the obedience (ὑπακοὴν, from ὑπό: by, under, + ἀκούω: hear, obey) of Messiah. We can do this negatively by fighting against evil thoughts and censoring the inner evil of our hearts, or we can do this positively by being "captivated" by the words and love of Yeshua,  and often we have to do both! This is the deeper meaning of "profanity" - to deny reality, to live in willful ignorance, and to miss the wonder of God's presence.  If we sanctify God in our hearts, we will be far less likely to use God's name in vain, of course.

God invites you to come to Him for relationship... Since God is a Person, He wants to know you as a person. He is not interested in formulaic prayers, religious rituals, or your membership at a particular religious organization. God wants to know your inmost thoughts and heart. Drawing near to God is God's way of drawing near to you... In other words, as you draw near to God, He will draw near and touch you. (more here)

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