Rabbi Schneider - Who Is God to Me? (Yahweh Shalom)
We're going through the Old Testament or as we say in Hebrew, the Tanakh, and we're looking at places where Father God identified himself by name, Yahweh, and connected his sacred holy name to a function of salvation that he's performing in and for his people. I'm not gonna go back and review from the beginning today. I really want to encourage you to get the entire series. I just want to simply make mention that on the last episode we were looking at Father's covenant name, Yahweh Macadesh, from the Book of Leviticus, chapter number 20, verse number 7-8. And in this section of Scripture Father said, consecrate yourself to me and be holy for I am Yahweh Macadesh. I am the Lord that sanctifies you. And beloved ones, what we said was that Father God is supernaturally involved actively in the lives of his people transforming them into the likeness of his Son. But he isn't doing it independently of us. He's doing it as we cooperate with him.
That's why he begins there in Leviticus, chapter 20, verse number 7, by saying before he says, I am Yahweh Macadesh, he says right before that consecrate yourselves to me and be holy. So I want to simply introduce one more Scripture in conjunction with this concept right now before we move on today to the next covenant name of God that we'll be studying. I'm going now to the Book of Timothy. I'm going to chapter number 2 of 2 Timothy. I want you to think about this in relationship to what I've just stated. Hear the Word of God. This is what the Lord says to us through Paul in the Book of Timothy, verse 21: Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those that call on the Lord from a pure heart, but refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.
Notice this is the same concept here. The Lord is calling us to separate us, ourselves unto him, denying ungodliness. And as we do this, beloved, there is going to be a supernatural transformation and great fruitfulness. Did you notice there that Paul said that in someone's house are many different vessels, some for common use, some of, of tin, you know, some of bronze, some of silver, some of gold. In other words, what's gonna determine whether you bear fruit thirtyfold, sixtyfold or a hundredfold? It's gonna be, beloved, your cooperation with God. Remember Jesus said, some will bear fruit thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some a hundredfold. What's gonna determine whether you'll bear fruit thirtyfold or a hundredfold? It's you, beloved, in cooperation with the grace of God.
So in conclusion then today regarding this, I want to simply say, the Lord's power is at work in our life, but he's waiting to activate, to release power into us. He's waiting for us to open our heart by saying yes to him and seeking to obey him, denying the things of the world that corrupt us, and saying yes to him. As we do, power is gonna be released. We're gonna again be transformed into the likeness of his Son and we're gonna be bearing more and more fruit. And so at his return, he's gonna reward to you and I according to what we've done by his grace alone. So again, get the entire series because I talked about that in much more detail on last week's broadcast. Let's continue today with the next covenant name of God. I love this covenant name of God, Yahweh Shalom. Everybody knows Shalom, right. Everybody that's watching today at least has heard the word Shalom. It's probably the most well-known Hebrew word.
Now in Israel today the word Shalom is used in many different ways. For example, in the United States when we greet somebody, we say most often hello or hi. But in Israel the greeting is Shalom. Often times in Israel the word Shalom is used as well when we're leaving someone. And so it's used as a greeting. It's used as a way to say good-bye. But biblically speaking, the word Shalom is so much deeper. Biblically speaking the word Shalom carries with it the concept of wholeness, completeness, restoration and fullness, spirit, soul, mind and body. And so Yahweh, our Savior, has made a covenant, get this now, of Shalom with his people. In fact, one of the most well-known Hebrew blessings comes from the Book of Numbers. It's called the Aaronic Blessing. Many of you have heard it before. In fact, those of you that watch Discovering the Jewish Jesus hear me say it at the end of every broadcast, right.
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift you up with his countenance, get it now, and the Lord, it ends with, and the Lord give you his peace.
What's the actual Hebrew word for peace there? It's the word Shalom. Yahweh, your Father, has entered in to a covenant of Shalom with you. In other words, he wants to bring his children into complete peace. He wants to totally restore us, beloved, into a state of divine peace, spirit, soul, mind and body. You know, there's some things we can pray for and we're not sure if we're praying exactly according to God's will. In other words, you may pray about a certain job. You may want a certain job but sometimes you, you can't be completely sure that that's what the Lord's will is for you. You can pray for it and maybe Father will answer your prayer. But maybe he has other plans, because the Bible says, his ways are higher than our ways even as the heavens are higher than the earth. Some things we can pray for, we can desire, and God will answer some of those prayers. Some he may not answer. And actually it's in our best interest that he doesn't answer all our prayers. But one thing that you can believe for and pray for that he definitely will answer is to bring you in, get it now church, to greater Shalom, to greater peace, because it's Yahweh's will to bring his people into peace. He says over his people, I am Yahweh, your Shalom.
Now where does this come from? This sacred name, this covenant name of Father, Yahweh Shalom, comes from the Book of Judges. In the Book of Judges, the Israelites had been oppressed by the Midianites. And Gideon is out one day, and while he's out the angel of the Lord appears to him. And Gideon says to the angel of the Lord, if it's really you and if I've really found favor in your sight, then why are you letting all these bad things happen to your people, and where are the miracles that I heard about during the time of Moses? Doesn't that sound like you and I today? We say, God, if you're really real, if you really love me, if you really love your people, then why are you letting all these bad things happen? And also, where is your power? Where are the miracles?
And so what Gideon spoke to the Father about is very similar to the things that you and I have called out to the Lord about at times. Let's listen to this in the Book of Judges, chapter number 6. I'm gonna begin there in verse number 11: Then the angel of the LORD, and many believe that the angel of the Lord is Yeshua himself, Jesus himself. Hear the Word of God again: Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged, of course this is a different Ophrah, right, which was in Ophrah.
Let's continue on: and Gideon was there beating out wheat in the wine press. I'm going now to verse number 12: The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior. Then Gideon said to him, O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian. Then the LORD looked at him and said, Go in this your strength. And by the way, this is a solid reason to take ahold of the fact that the angel of the Lord here was Jesus himself, what we call the pre-incarnate Jesus, before Jesus came into the world in the flesh 2,000 years ago, because it says, the Lord looked at him. Listen again, verse 14: Then the LORD, Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey (YHWH), this is God's sacred name, Yahweh, then the LORD looked at him and said, Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?
I'm skipping down to verse 17: So Gideon said to Him, If now I have found favor in Your sight. In other words, the Lord has given Gideon a charge, but Gideon is still plagued by doubt, and unbelief, and confusion. So he looks out to, he looks up to the Lord for reassurance and he says once again, verse 17: So Gideon said to Him, If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You that speaks with me. Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before you. So this was the sign that Gideon was looking for. He wanted to present an offering to the Lord, and he wanted to see what God would do, what supernatural sign, what miracle the Lord, Lord would perform. Picking up in verse 19: Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them.
Now listen to verse 20: Then the angel of God said to him, Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. Get it church, then the angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight. When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD, he said, Alas, O Yahweh God. For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face. Then the LORD said to him, Peace, Shalom to you, do not fear; you shall not die. Then Gideon built an altar there to Yahweh. And whenever you see the word in your Bible, capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D, the original Hebrew is the four letters that make up God's sacred name, Yahweh, called Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey (YHWH).
Here we go again, verse 24. The Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, to Yahweh, and named it, get it here church, Yahweh, is Peace. And so Gideon's heart was troubled. He was afraid. He wondered where the God of miracles was. He wondered why Israel was being oppressed. But Yahweh came, brought assurance and peace to Gideon's heart because listen, Yahweh God, through Jesus, has made a covenant, hear me now, of peace with his people. You see, God wants to bring you and I into his peace. This is forever his will. You don't ever have to doubt this. If you pray to Father for his peace and you make it a consistent prayer, I promise you, if you're serious about it, if you're giving yourself over to him, if there's a big yes in your heart to God, if you're really seeking to overcome and pick up your cross, deny yourself and follow Him, I'm promising you right now, church, Father God will strengthen you in his peace. He'll give you rest.
Jesus said, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, come to me and I will give you rest. In fact, this desire for peace was one of my focal points for about a year, going back several years ago. I was focusing as one of my primary prayer requests, listen this is really a very unusual testimony I want to share with you. One of my primary prayer points going back a number of years ago was Father, give me more peace. Strengthen me in peace. And I had been praying this for about a year. Then one night, beloved one, I went to sleep and I had a God dream. Now let me simply say that most of my dreams are not God dreams. But you know what? Every now and then Father God, King Jesus, show up in my sleep and I have what's called a God dream. This what Peter spoke of in Acts, chapter 2, quoting from the Book of Joel when he said, the Lord has poured forth his Spirit on all flesh. And the result of this is that in our sleep Father God is gonna speak to us through our dreams.
Now not all dreams are from God. Some are from the, the just processing of stimuli that has happened in our life, in our mind. In other words, our mind is just processing the things that we've been through in life. Some of it can come from the enemy, but some dreams come from God. So this was a God dream. Again, I'd been praying for peace for a solid year. I go to sleep one night, and in my sleep I find myself in this lush forest. It was so beautiful. It was so green. And this beautiful, tropical, lush forest that I was in was surrounded by these big rock formations. In other words, I was in the center of the forest. But around the perimeter of the forest there was something like a circle of big, huge rocks, big, beautiful cliffs and boulders; kind of sealing off this forest as a sacred, secret place. And on these cliffs on these rocks that secluded the forest that I was in the center of was this beautiful, lush, green ivy.
So get the scene. I'm in this beautiful, tropical rain forest type of, of atmosphere, so lush. Surrounded by huge cliffs and rock formations to seal it off so that it became a beautiful, sacred, sealed off, secret place. And as I'm in this beautiful, lush forest, suddenly, beloved one, the peace of God begins to roll over me like billows. I can't even explain it. It was one of the most emotional encounters that I've ever experienced in my life with the Lord. I mean, I emotionally felt the peace of God rolling over me, wave after wave. It was absolutely and completely supernatural. It was peace that was independent of circumstances. It was literally the peace of Yahweh God himself rolling over me. And then as this was going on, I felt the Spirit of the Lord leading me deeper into the center of the forest where there was a simple wooden picnic table set up. The picnic table again was very simple but I knew in the dream that it represented the table of plenty; that the picnic table in the center of the forest represented just God's absolute abundance.
And so I felt the Spirit of the Lord leading me once again into the center of the forest, to the picnic table where I was gonna partake of even more of God's Shalom. And just as I felt the Spirit of God leading me deeper into the center of the forest, immediately I smelled in my sleep pizza. And it was like the pizza was this far from my nose. And it was the most poignant smelling pizza and the best smelling pizza I ever smelled in my life. And immediately when I smelled that pizza I got hungry. Immediately my, my, my senses, my appetite was aroused. And so I got double minded because on the one hand I'd been praying for Father's peace for a year and now he's actually bestowing it on me. And he's leading me deeper into the forest where I can experience more of a supernatural peace. But at the same time my fleshly nature was aroused as I smelled that pizza in the dream, and I got double minded.
And this is all in my sleep. And in my sleep I'm asking, what should I do? Should I go deeper into the forest or should I take a bite of this pizza? And I thought to myself well maybe I could have a bite of the pizza and then go deeper into the forest. And as soon as I thought that, the dream ended. The encounter with the Lord ended. And I got out of my bed. I was so grieved. I couldn't believe what I had just done; that I had traded in the peace of God, the most beautiful emotional encounter perhaps that I had ever had in my life up to that point. I traded it in, listen, for a lousy piece of pizza. I got out of bed. I got on my knees. I said, Father, forgive me. Please forgive me. I can't believe I did that. I'm so sorry. I'll never do that again. Father, I said, I'm gonna go back into the bed. I said, put me to sleep. Let the dream return and give me another chance.
But you know what happened, beloved? The dream never returned. I went back to bed and it didn't happen again. The next morning when I got up, I was still so grieved at what I had just done. And I sat down before the Lord, I said, Father, I'm so sorry. I said, what happened? How did that happen? I said, was that the devil that was trying to steal that from me? I said, or Lord, did you arrange that? Were you the divine architect of that dream? And then I considered, you know, even if it was the devil that came there with that piece of pizza to try to rob me from, from the peace of God, I said, even if it was the devil, I said, Father, I still believe that you engineered that dream. What is it that I need to learn?
And here's what I felt Father was saying to me. If you want more peace you have to deny yourself the flesh, because if you feed the spirit and deny the flesh, you're gonna be built up in the Holy Spirit. You're gonna be built up in peace. But if you feed your flesh, you're gonna be built up in the things of the world which won't give you peace. So I am here to say to you and to challenge you, beloved, when you fast the things of the world, whether it's TV, whether it's the internet, whether it's listening to wrong music, whether it's going on fasts with your food and controlling your appetite, whether it's fasting certain relationships, if you fast to feed your spirit because of your love for God, Yahweh Shalom is gonna built you up in his peace, because when you sow to the Spirit, you're gonna reap from the Spirit love, joy and peace. Yahweh Shalom loves you and he wants to give you and I, beloved one, more of himself.