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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - How To Meditate On God's Word In Hebrew

Jonathan Bernis - How To Meditate On God's Word In Hebrew

Jonathan Bernis - How To Meditate On God's Word In Hebrew
TOPICS: Meditation, God's Word

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom and welcome to Jewish Voice. Thank you for joining us today. I'm Jonathan Bernis, and I'm joined once again by my co-host, Ezra Benjamin. Ezra, we often use the word, Yeshua on the program and some may know who we're talking about, and some may not. But we're talking about Jesus.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Jesus, is not his given name. His given name was a Hebrew name and it's Yeshua, and it means salvation. Today, we're going to look at the word Yeshua, because there's so much meaning. Ezra, take from there and why Yeshua? Why was his name called Yeshua?

Ezra Benjamin: Right, you know, Jonathan, I'm thinking of actually, in mainstream worship, you at home watching today may have heard this, more and more people are actually singing the name, Yeshua. And we know we're talking about the Lord, we're talking about Jesus, but why are we saying Yeshua? What does it mean? And before we get into that, I wanna say, you know, we know Jesus answers to his name in any language. Jesus in English, Jesus in Spanish, yesu, you know, in other languages and yet none of those ways that we say it in the languages we speak as our first language, as our heart language, were the name he was given originally how do we know that? We see it in Matthew 1:21. This is announcing Mary, Miriam in Hebrew would become pregnant by the involvement of to the Holy Spirit, and would give birth to this son. And Matthew 1:21, Jonathan, says, "And you shall call his name Yeshua, because he will save his people from their sins". Yeshua in Hebrew means, literally, very simple, one word, salvation. And so, what the Jewish people understood was that this Messiah would come, this deliverer, the Savior would come, and his name was his purpose. His name is salvation because he would bring salvation to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He would save his people from their sins.

Jonathan Bernis: It's one example why Hebrew is so important, because you can't understand the idea of, you'll call his name Jesus.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Saving his people from their sins until you understand the Hebrew. His name is Yeshua because Yeshua is salvation.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. You know, Jonathan, one of the questions we get so often from our partners, from those who write to us is, "Why did Yeshua have to die? Why did the Messiah have to die"? And yet, in his name is the answer, right? You'll call his name, salvation, because he'll save his people, the lost sheep of the house of Israel from their sins. And we know according to the scriptures that without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins.

Jonathan Bernis: Right. Hey, something you said, I wanna go back to. More and more worship, especially with younger believers...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Are incorporating the word Yeshua, why do you think that is? I'm fascinated by that.

Ezra Benjamin: I think there's a hunger to understand, if you will, I'm gonna borrow Paul's language from Romans 11 for a minute. That root of the olive tree that Jew and gentile believers are apart of, either as natural branches grafted back in through faith, or as wild olive branches. Gentiles, people who were apart from Israel being grafted into that faith of Abraham. I think there's a hunger to say, "What's the story beyond my own salvation experience"? And that, Jonathan, is so much of why we spend so much time on this program talking about those Hebrew roots of your Christian faith. Because you've been grafted into a story that goes beyond your own salvation experience. It's thousands of years old. It's from the beginning of beginnings. It's from Genesis through Abraham, through Isaac, through Jacob. You are part of a people of God who believed his promises and it was accounted to you for righteousness. And I think, especially in my generation, in that younger generation, there's a hunger to say, "I need to be part of something bigger than myself". And singing the name Yeshua, worshipping Yeshua, the Jewish man, son of the living God connects us to a story that's beyond Jesus, my personal redeemer and says, "Ah, this is the one that's been waited for. This is the Messiah we've waited for throughout history. I'm part of the people of God".

Jonathan Bernis: That's a great answer. I think it's fascinating. I really do. And another song that's so popular now, "The Lord bless you and keep you," which is the Aaronic benediction.

Ezra Benjamin: Totally.

Jonathan Bernis: Which has been the prayer of the people of Israel well before the New Testament, since the Exodus, so it's amazing...

Ezra Benjamin: And you know, it's a blessing for all of us who call upon the name of the Lord, Jew, and gentile alike. But that song that Bethel has made so popular, and now hundreds of other worship artists around the world singing it in their own language is as you said, actually the Aaronic benediction. God said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, this is how you bless the children of Israel". And so, by faith, you all have been grafted into that olive tree, you're part of that blessing. That blessing comes upon you. And yet, Jonathan, so many Jewish people around the world don't know that that blessing that God would turn his face toward, and shine upon us, who is first for the house of Israel.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah. Tens of millions have it. Something is going on here.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And I'm just amazed by it.

Ezra Benjamin: The return to the Hebrew language.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, we're talking about Yeshua.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: In particular, Adonai yeshu'ati, which is the Lord my salvation. And the idea that this is not a New Testament concept solely. Of course, it's very prominent in the New Testament, but it goes back to the old.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And it goes back to the Torah. It's foundational. We're talking about this argument that Jewish people have that Jesus is not to be found in the Old Testament. True, but you're not looking at his Hebrew name, his given name.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: When you look at his Hebrew name, Yeshua, it's everywhere. Isaiah 12:2, great example. Let's look at Isaiah 12:2 together. It says this, "Surely God is my salvation". He is my Yeshua.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeshu'ati.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Here. "My salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself," isn't that interesting? "Is my strength and my defense, he has become my Yeshua". My Jesus, there it is, folks.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. And the context here, Jonathan, of Isaiah 12, real quickly is that God's saying, "There's gonna come a day when I'm gonna regather the outcasts of Israel. And in that day, you're gonna say, 'oh, now I see that God is actually my salvation'". Not just my provider, not just my deliverer, he's my salvation.

Jonathan Bernis: I don't want people to miss the significance of Isaiah 12:2. This is written hundreds of years before the New Testament is written.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Hundreds of years before Jesus is ever born.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And Jonathan, the verse right after 12:2, Isaiah 12:3 says this, "With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation". From the wells of Yeshua. Remember, what did Jesus say? He said, "I'm the living water. Anyone who believes in me," according to the scriptures, out of him will flow rivers of living water. And we see right here those rivers of salvation, those wells of salvation, as you said hundreds of years before Jesus walks on earth.

Jonathan Bernis: You should read Isaiah 12, tonight. Just pray and read Isaiah 12. It's just astounding. "God is my salvation, I'll trust and will not be afraid. The Lord himself is my strength and my defense. He has become my salvation".

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: So rarely we see the deity of Yeshua in this verse. You have to have eyes to see it, but it's there.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Here is Jesus in the Old Testament, ladies and gentlemen. Jesus is in the Old Testament.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: But his Hebrew name, his given name, Yeshua, he is our salvation. -. That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: God himself has become our salvation. I'm so glad for this.

Ezra Benjamin: I am too, Jonathan.

Jonathan Bernis: I am so glad for this.

Ezra Benjamin: And, you know, that expression, "I myself," the Lord, the Lord himself, we see that elsewhere in the scriptures. We actually see it in Exodus. God says, "I myself, I myself will pass through the land of Egypt". And he's doing that to judge the Egyptians. To judge any household that didn't have the blood of the lamb on its doorpost. And so, God says, "I myself will judge those who don't trust in me, those who don't put their faith in me". But here, the Lord, the Lord himself is also our defense and our salvation.

Jonathan Bernis: Yes, so true. And when you learn the Hebrew characters, you start to see it in various forms throughout the Old Testament.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: It's one book, Genesis to Revelation.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: One book. Hey, stay tuned, we have to take a quick break. But when we come back, we wanna dive into more scripture about Yeshua. We are so excited to share with you about this and also, how God is using Jewish Voice to bring God's salvation, his Yeshua, the message of his salvation to Jewish children in remote areas of Zimbabwe. Take a look.

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome back. Hey, before Ezra and I dive back into the scriptures, in just a minute, I wanna first say thank you. On behalf of everyone in Jewish Voice, thank you for your generous support of this ministry. We could not do what we do without your help, so thank you. Ezra, we are so grateful.

Ezra Benjamin: We are. And on behalf of children, Jewish children in Zimbabwe and beyond, I wanna say, on their behalf, thank you making it possible for these kids to hear the good news of their Yeshua, their salvation, for the first time in their lives.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah. It's incredible thing to experience. You're investing, by the way. Ezra, let's jump into the next scripture. I love talking about Yeshua because it aligns perfectly with our mission.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: That's what Jewish Voice is about. So, what's our next scripture?

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, it comes from Psalm 62, and this is actually a Psalm of David. And as I read this, I don't know, I'm excited to share it with our audience here. Not just this verse, but the whole context. It says in Psalm 62:2, "Truly he," God, "Is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress. I will never be shaken". You know, David had some tough times in so many of the Psalms, even this one, were written during times when David's being persecuted. Maybe he's running for his life. He's literally hiding in caves because there's people who wanna kill him. And he says in verse 1, right before this, "Truly my soul finds rest in God, my salvation," my Yeshua, "Comes from him alone". It's incredible.

Jonathan Bernis: It is. Everywhere, he's everywhere in the scripture.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeshua is to be found. If you seek me, you will find me.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Just familiarize with the Hebrew letters for Yeshua, and you'll just find him everywhere in the scriptures.

Ezra Benjamin: And, you know, I'm challenged as I read this verse, "Truly he's my rock, he's my strength and my salvation, the one who's saving and delivering me. He's my fortress, the strong place I can go to to be safe. I'll never be shaken". And Jonathan, my questions is, do we really believe that? Do we walk around as sons and daughters of God, living out that because God is our salvation or Yeshua, we actually believe that we'll never be shaken? No matter the circumstance, no matter the challenge, no matter what comes our way. Are we behaving as though we cannot be shaken 'cause our salvation comes from the Lord?

Jonathan Bernis: This is why meditation, not some esoteric meditation, but Hebraic meditation to retell, to repeat, to mutter, to confess, hagah, repeated again and again. This is a great one to be saying over to ourselves. Over and over again. "Truly he is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I will never be shaken". That's how to get through a pandemic.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: That's how to get through a shaking. He is my rock and my salvation. Lord, you are my fortress. I will not be shaken. And guess what? You won't be shaken.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, you said the word real quickly, but let's just focus a little bit on it for a minute. The Hebrew word for meditation is hagah. And what's important for you listening today to understand is, you know, we think of meditation, either we think of it in an Eastern religious way or, you know, as believers in Jesus we think, "Okay, I'm gonna meditate on the Word of God," and it's like this, right? It's silent. I'm just meditating on the Word of God. And yet, the idea in Hebrew is literally to speak forth repeatedly. To let it continually flow from our lips. So, meditation in the original language, in the Hebrew, hagah, requires us to speak out the Word of God. To meditate the Word of God literally means to speak it and proclaim it, over and over in our lives.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, because spoken word is a creative force.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: You know what God said to Joshua? I love this. He said, "If you'll mediate in this way, by keeping my word on your lips". It's a strange thing until you understand it. "If you'll keep my words on your lips". In other words, if you say it over and over again, you will be successful. Everything you do will be successful.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: That's a pretty good promise.

Ezra Benjamin: It is. And, you know, thinking back in the context, you know Jonathan, people didn't have printed scriptures in the day the Bible was written. It was literally written on sheep skins, penned by the scribes and nobody's carrying around a Torah in their back pocket. Joshua wasn't carrying around a Torah. So, what's the way that you keep the Word of God in your heart? What's the way that you meditate on it and carry it with you in your life? Is you speak it forth.

Jonathan Bernis: Don't let it depart from your lips.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. That's it.

Jonathan Bernis: That's right. And it works, it works.

Ezra Benjamin: It does.

Jonathan Bernis: Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. It works. We believe with the heart, not with the mind, with the heart and then we confess unto salvation.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Adonai yeshu'ati, the Lord is my salvation. Why don't we jump to the New Testament?

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: And share one from the New Testament. Hebrews 7:25, we just picked that. There's so many, by the way, we just picked out a few here. Hebrews 7:25, we have it up on the screen. "He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them". He is able to save completely.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Those who come to him.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. And Jonathan, you know, all, many if not all listening today, we can bare testimony to having our sins forgiven, right? That salvation of being forgiven, going from a sinful nature in Adam to becoming a new creation in the Messiah, and yet, to be saved completely. Do we walk around as men and women who aren't just forgiven of our sins, who are being saved and delivered by a God, who we really believe is Adonai yeshu'ati, God my salvation. Able to save and deliver me out of every circumstance.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah. This is how to get pulled out of circumstances, you know, we're either gonna be buried by circumstances, they're gonna be weighing us down or we're gonna walk above the circumstances. This is how...

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: To trust in a God who has become our salvation and to get it into our hearts. It works.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. Jonathan, I'm just, I'm meditating on, I wanna speak out. I wanna hagah these words from Hebrews 7:25 right now. He, Yeshua, Jesus is able to save completely, to entirely save and deliver all those who come to God through him. And look at what it says, "Because he always lives to intercede for them". Do you know, right now, just with the eyes of your heat, your mind's eye, Yeshua resurrected from the dead, victorious over sin and death, is standing at the right hand of the father interceding for you. He always, he's eternally alive and his function in heaven now, until he comes back to earth to rule and reign as the King of kings and Lord of lords, is to intercede for you and me who call upon the Lord, who call upon the name of the Lord. What an incredible promise?

Jonathan Bernis: It's incredible.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeshua's interceding for us.

Jonathan Bernis: We take it for granted.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: We forget. We are overcome by circumstances. I think some of us haven't recovered from the pandemic.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Covid's still going on, but just the isolation and the change has really affected you. Some of you who are watching too much news, it's mostly bad news. Some of you are just spending too much time on social media, bad news. You gotta get back into the word. You've gotta confess the word. You've gotta spend time with God. You've got to claim your citizenship in the Kingdom of God and you've gotta focus on your salvation that God hasn't changed, that the king is still on the throne. I don't know who's going to be present in three years, but I know the King of kings is on the throne still and the Kingdom of God is unshaken.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: Do you hear me? Unshaken.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: So, get back into the reality that you are a citizen of heaven, that Yeshua has paid the penalty for your sins, that he's at the right hand of the father making intercession for you. That he knows every need before you have need of those things. Trust him again. He wants to restore you. He wants to restore the joy of your Yeshua, the joy of your salvation. We need to step away for just a minute to share some opportunities and resources with you. However, I'm excited because if you've been looking for salvation and maybe you have never come into an encounter with Yeshua, this is about relationship. Maybe you're looking for hope, maybe you're looking for God to touch a loved one, a sibling, a spouse, a brother or sister with Yeshua, with salvation. God wants to answer your prayer. Stay tuned and get ready to receive. We'll be right back.

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome back. Ezra, we've spent this entire program talking about Yeshua.

Ezra Benjamin: Salvation.

Jonathan Bernis: Salvation. Beginning in Genesis through Revelation, the central message of God is salvation. "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will you rest," how? "By entering into my salvation".

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: We would be remised today if we didn't offer you an opportunity to receive Yeshua, to receive salvation into your life. God sent his only son, and you will call his name Yeshua. He will save his people from their sins. That's what he wants to do in your life. If you have never invited Yeshua into your life, he's standing at your door right now, the door of your heart, he's knocking and he's saying, "Let me in. I'll change your life. I'll transform you". For me, it happened 43 years ago. God transformed my life as he revealed Yeshua to me, his salvation, he wants to do the same for you.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: So, please don't let this moment pass.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: All it takes is a simple acknowledgement of accepting his free gift and atoning for your sins, asking him to forgive you and he will. He's paid the price. He sent his son for you. He loves you. So, I want you to do that today. Just ask him, "Lord," just, you can say this out loud, "Lord, please forgive me. I want to live for you and I receive your Yeshua, Jesus into my life. Come into my life and change me forever. I choose to live for you". If you said that prayer or any prayer like that, I want you to contact us, you're beginning a whole new life. This program was for you today. And we're believing with you for the salvation of your loved ones, of your family members. We and our household shall be saved. Ezra and i, we're agreeing together. We have people in this ministry that will pray for you. If you'd like more information about Jewish Voice, you can log on to our website, and send us those prayer requests. We'll continue to pray for your needs. We have a team here at Jewish Voice that's committed to praying for your needs by name. We believe in the power of prayer, and we care about you. And more importantly, God cares about you, he cares about your family. So we're standing with you, please know that. As we close our program today, I wanna remind you of what God ask of each of us to do on a daily basis, "To pray for the peace of Jerusalem," according to Psalm 122:6. And as you do it, the Bible says, "They shall prosper that love thee". Until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis and Ezra Benjamin saying shalom and God bless you.
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