Rabbi Schneider - Leave Your Wilderness Behind
God bless you and shalom beloved ones. My name's Rabbi Schneider. Welcome today to a very important episode of Discovering the Jewish Jesus. I'm gonna be taking you inside the Holy Land. I want to share an experience as we begin today, that I had that really helped me to appreciate how special Israel is; not just because it talks about the places that God moved in the pages of scripture, but because God is still very connected to the physical land of Israel today.
Going back over fifteen years ago, I had a desire in my heart to go to Israel, but as many of you know it's expensive. And at the time it would have been a huge financial sacrifice for me to go there. I wanted to go, but I put off going, because frankly it would have been a big financial stress. But I went to sleep one night during this time period and I had a vision of the night in my sleep.
What happened was this, I was outside of the earth looking down on it from outer space, like an astronaut would who went up in a rocket, gets up in the air hundreds of miles and is able to look down upon the earth from outer space. I'm looking down at the earth from outer space and I see beloved ones, on top of the earth a sphere, a round sphere and this round sphere was right on top of the globe, right on top of the world and this fear was going up from the earth into the heavens. And then on top of this sphere that came up from the top of the world, listen, was the land of Israel and I felt the glory of God. And the Lord was communicating to me in that experience that Israel is lifted up on the earth in a way that no other place on the earth is lifted up. God is connected to the land in a very unique and special way.
Now I don't want to discount the fact that God is everywhere and we can experience Him fully everywhere and anywhere He wants to manifest Himself. But still the other side of that coin is that Israel is God's chosen land. I'm gonna take you in today's show to three special places inside the Holy Land. First of all, we're gonna go outside the caves of Ein Gedi and I'm gonna be talking about a principle that we saw emanating from David's heart that we're gonna be able to apply to our lives today. Following that segment I'm gonna take you inside Sodom and Gomorrah and talk about what we learned about Sodom and Gomorrah and how it relates to our earth walk today. Then finally we're gonna conclude by going to the wilderness at Sinai and I got a really special word that's gonna be directed just to you. Thank you for staying tune beloved. I love you. Let's now go to the land of Israel.
I'm just outside of Ein Gedi and it reminds me of how David hid in the caves of Ein Gedi when he was fleeing from Saul. It amazes me how David was persecuted by Saul, how his life was pursued for such a long time and yet he refused to rise up against Saul and he said, "I will not arise against the Lord's anointed". That was truly supernatural, that as ungodly as Saul's behavior was, David would not stretch forth his hand against him, because he had such a respect for the office that Saul was standing in.
You know often times today we have lost that in our culture. We have a great sensitivity to sin, but we don't have much of a sensitivity to authority. And yet when we look for example at Noah, when Noah got drunk, we find out that two of his sons protected his dad's office. They protected Noah's dignity by walking into the cave backwards, but one of the sons exposed his father's nakedness. And you know what? The one who exposed his father's nakedness ended up being cursed. Again I want to say to you, it's important that we learn to cultivate not just a sensitivity to sin, but also beloved, a sensitivity to authority, because all authority comes from God. And we need to respect people in the offices that they're standing. This is Rabbi Schneider saying God bless you from Israel and shalom.
Let's state it again. Consider Saul is king, he's pursuing David, he wants to take David's life. David is hiding in Ein Gedi. On several occasions David had the opportunity to take Saul's life, to protect himself from Saul killing him. But instead David did not retaliate against Saul, because David said, "Far be it from me to strike the Lord's anointed". And what really strikes me about this is that here David was dealing with a corrupt king. Saul was defiled at this point and yet David would not touch him, although Saul was defiled, because Saul was standing in the office of God's anointed. It showed that David respected God's authority.
You see, the reason David didn't take Saul's life is not because David respected Saul so much as an individual, but it was because David respected God, God's sovereignty and God's authority. And the reason I'm driving this point home, is that our culture has become so defiled in spirit towards authority figures. But here's what we need to remember, although the authority figures beloved, in our generation often times aren't pure, often times they're motives are not right, often times what they do is not legitimate, just like Saul was not pure and just as he was not showing legitimate actions. But we need to be like David, David didn't take out vengeance on people who were standing in an office of authority, because he recognized that authority figures represent God's authority.
Now I realize that there can be exceptions to this, but the problem is in today's generation we always want to make it the exception. In other words, we don't like something our pastor said, so what do we do? We start gossiping about him. Beloved, just because we didn't like something our pastor said, that's not a reason or excuse that we can use to start gossiping about our pastor. David wouldn't have done that, not because he respected everything that Saul said, but because he respected God and because he respected God he respected the office that Saul was standing in.
Listen, without respect in our culture our culture is gonna collapse, it's gonna crash. We need to respect police officers. Yes, some are defiled, some are corrupt, but we can't just hate the whole police department. We've got to respect the institution. This is what the book of Romans teaches us. We've got to respect the elderly. We've got to respect our teachers. We've got to respect people in government offices. Not that we have to agree with them, but we can't develop a defiled spirit against them, even if they themselves are defiled, because we recognize the scripture said, "All authority comes from God and he that resist authority is resisting the ordinances of God".
Now I realize that there's a mystery and a balance to this, but beloved I just want to restore to your heart today the basic and the general principle that we must learn, listen now, to show respect and appreciation for authority figures. And it's not based upon the individual, it's based upon the fact that God is authority and because we recognize His authority, we respect authority figures in the world. I hope this helps you. I think it teaches us that no matter where we go we want to respect the authority figure in that place.
In other words, if we go into a restaurant and the manager in that restaurant is the authority figure in that restaurant, we want to show simple respect. We want to respect, again, the elderly. I want to really encourage you to show love and respect to your spiritual leaders. The scripture says to not do so would be unprofitable for you. So let's restore beloved, a culture of sanctity and respect to our hearts, because you know what? When we show respect to other people, listen now, it makes us taller.
The same thing I believe applies for women. Today so often times women they think they've got to fight against men, because too often times men have not acted appropriately and because men maybe you know have misused their, you know their office of being a husband as the head of the home. They've misused it and so as a result women are often times feeling like they can't trust any man, they have to just you know defend themselves, always be on the offense.
But I want you to know woman of God, you don't have to be like that. You just have to submit to God, walk in His ways and you know what's gonna happen? It's gonna make you taller. To be submitted and to show respect, when it's done with the right spirit, does not make one weak or short. It makes one strong and tall. Let's learn from the life of David, who is a man who loved God with all his heart, how to show respect for authority, even often times when the person that's in the office of authority falls far short from being perfect. Well I'm gonna take you to a new segment in Israel right now. We're gonna switch gears completely. Let's go to Sodom and Gomorrah.
I'm here in Israel at the Biblical city of Sodom. You can see behind me a large pillar. Some actually say that that was Lot's wife. I don't know about that. What I do know, is that this is the Bible city of Sodom that's spoken of in the Torah, in the Old Testament. Beloved, the Lord destroyed this city. There were many sins that were going on, but the primary sin that the city was destroyed, was the perversion of homosexuality.
Now I know today in our culture that it's considered normal, that it's an acceptable lifestyle. But if we're basing our faith, if we're basing truth on the written word of God, we find that both the Hebrew Bible the Torah as well as several places in the New Testament, that this city was guilty of sodomization of homosexuality. Beloved, what God created we can not say is no longer applicable. In other words, God created male and female in His own image, He created them. And just by looking at the uniqueness of the male anatomy and the female anatomy we can see that sexually they were made to go together. That's why a child can be conceived between a man and a woman, but no child can be conceived between a man and a man or a woman and a woman.
So I just want to say this, as culture is changing and as people's value system changes, it should not affect the believer. We as believers need to keep our value system rooted in the word of God regardless of what the culture outside of us says. See the Bible says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but let your mind be renewed by the word of God". I believe that the spirit of homosexuality is gonna continue to increase around the world. Not only is it intensifying in the western world, but countries and nations around the earth that haven't been affected by it are now beginning to be affected.
I often travel to Africa and they've tried to resist what's going on in the United States in terms of our value system here, but they're finding slowly the value system of the United States, including the acceptance of homosexuality is now permeating into parts of Africa. I just want to encourage you beloved, we love all people. Your sin has been forgiven just as a homosexual, someone who's practicing that lifestyle is forgiven, but we can't call what's wrong right and what's right wrong. Homosexuality will always be in disarray with what the Word of God teaches. Listen, we have to choose right. We have to choose truth. And even those who may feel that they've been homosexual ever since they've been born into the world, you know what the Bible tells us, that in Christ Jesus old things pass away and all things become new.
I want to say finally in closing, my love goes out to people who are practicing that lifestyle, the homosexual lifestyle. But Jesus loves us too much to leave us where we're at. If you find yourself trapped in a homosexual bondage today, I want you to know King Jesus is able to change you, wash you and transform you. Beloved, God loves us, but we can't make God in our own image. If we say we believe in Jesus then we've got to believe in the Jesus of the Bible, because it's the only record we have of who Jesus is.
The Bible teaches us that God made man in His own image, male and female and He created us distinct. I want to encourage you today, don't be conformed to the culture of the world. Take your cue from God's word. God loves you too much and He loves me too much to leave us where we're at. Let's get into alignment with Him and if we need help in this area beloved, call out to Him with all your heart, strength, soul and mind and He will conform you to the image that He originally designed you in.
Now I'm gonna take you to the wilderness of Sinai. It doesn't look like there's much there, but beloved that's the point. I'm gonna come back in just a few moments and make a very practical application from the wilderness for your life today. I'm in the Sinai wilderness of Israel. You can see the incredible beauty behind me. The beauty of the wilderness. Do you know this is the place that the Lord called the children of Israel to out of Egypt to worship Him. We read for example in the book of Exodus chapter five, verse one, that Moses and Aaron went before Pharaoh and they said to Pharaoh, "Let my people go on behalf of the Lord". That they might come into the wilderness to celebrate a feast and to worship Me.
This is an incredible spot. Think about it, the Lord called Israel to worship Him, to sacrifice to Him and to celebrate before Him in this place, in the wilderness. If you think about it, it's kind of puzzling. I mean why would God call Israel into the wilderness to worship Him and why did He tell them to make a feast before Him and to celebrate before Him in the wilderness, because often we think of the wilderness as really a place that's lacking, a place where there's not much water and very little food, there's not much to look at.
So why the wilderness? Because beloved it's in a place like this that the Lord often times meets us most dearly, most clearly. You see it was only when the children of Israel were in the wilderness that the supernatural manna appeared on the ground six days a week for forty years and it was only while they were in the wilderness that they were able to visibly see the Shekhinah glory of God as it rested over the tabernacle as a fire by night and a cloud by day.
I want to say to you today, if you're in a wilderness, don't waste your wilderness, because it's often in the wilderness where Father's voice will be more clear. It's often in the wilderness that we learn lessons that we're able to carry with us for the rest of our life. In fact beloved ones, there's some things, let me say it again, there are some things that we can only learn in the wilderness. So let's not waste our wilderness. The Apostle Paul said in II Corinthians chapter one, that He was burden excessively beyond strength, so that he despaired even of life. But then He said, "This wilderness so to speak happened, that He would learn to trust in God that raises the dead".
Remember His power is perfected in our weakness and often times the wilderness can be a place of weakness. But I'm telling you, God will meet you there. I want you to know you can't escape a wilderness. In fact I believe that our life consists of a cycle of wilderness experiences and that it release into greater joy and breakthrough. You see God as I said, does things in our life when we're in the wilderness that He can't do when life is going easier and we're surrounded by comfort. You see the wilderness represents the fact that we have no provision other than God. That's where Jesus went when God empowered Him for ministry. Remember He came out of the Jordan River and the Spirit of the Lord immediately led Him into the wilderness where He fasted there for forty days.
I want you to know, if you're in a wilderness right now, it's probably just where you're supposed to be and you don't want to miss what God can do in your life by complaining. But rather recognize that it can be a great blessing for you, because generally we make the most spiritual progress and receive the most from God, not during the easiest times in our life, but during wilderness times where we have to dig deep. Of course wildernesses look very different for different people at different times.
Wildernesses can come in many ways. But a wilderness experience is when you feel perhaps empty inside, or you've lost something in your life that's very important to you, a time when you have no crutches that can satisfy you, when you have a need that no one can meet but God. These types of experiences force us to depend on Him and depending on Him, because there's no where else we can go, beloved, this dependency creates a river for God to flow into our lives from. I want you to hear me today. When I look back in my life, the times that I've grown the most have been the times that have been the most difficult times. And now I look and I see the platform that I'm on and the place of ministry that I'm able to minister out of and you know what? The foundation is the wilderness.
So listen, don't waste your wilderness. Learn how to walk through the wilderness times with a sense of expectation and anticipation that even though things might feel empty, God is doing a great work, get it now, underneath the surface. Your drinking deeply during these times even though they may feel very unpleasant. Remember Paul learned this lesson. He learned when he was in a wilderness, he was dealing with a messenger of Satan, it was a wilderness experience of types. He called to God, "God take this away from me. This is painful. This hurts". But you know the Lord said to him, "Paul, My power is gonna be perfected in your weakness and in your weakness Paul I'm gonna make you strong".
Beloved, I love you. Most importantly God loves you and if you'll learn to walk through your wilderness praising God by faith, thanking Him that you're receiving something deep in it, God's gonna do for you some very special things that He can't do for you except when you're in the wilderness. Remember life is a cycle. It's seasons of joy and breakthrough and then seasons of trials and wilderness. Let's learn how to handle both with a joyful and a thankful heart. Let's walk by faith not by sight and not by feeling and when we do that we're gonna get strong, and when we get strong beloved ones, we're gonna become happy because we are strong.