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We all like to hear good news and like being encouraged.
The bible gives us plenty of encouragement.

It also tells us not to worry about things but to cast our cares on the Lord. Worry is like a rocking chair: Both give you something to do, but neither gets you anywhere.
I’d like to share two words with good with you today that are encouraging words... Mikveh Yisrael

They are found in a strange place—in the book of Jeremiah the weeping prophet because they were penned in difficult times.

The book of Jeremiah can give the appearance of doing nothing but bring judgment, doom and gloom because Israel was in big trouble.

They were God’s own special people who had a covenant, but had broken it and were being taken away captive into a foreign land.

Although they broke the covenant, God remained faithful and in the middle of all this seeming disaster, He sent words of encouragement and the assurance that their predicament was only temporary.

Whatever you are facing at present, please be assured that God’s got you covered and is working on a plan that will see you come out the other side smelling as sweet as roses.

Sometimes when we are in the middle of a crisis or things are not going well it is easy to react to those situations and circumstances and get afraid, react negatively and pray for them all to go away.
They do not alway go away, or at least in the way we expect and in the time-frame we have in mind. Sometimes God is working on something and we would be better off finding what that something is.

My wife and I have often found that when we were going through some stuff and fretting over it, that  God had been doing things behind the scenes and we were oblivious of it at the time.
Afterwards, we looked at each other and wondered why we ever fussed as we did. It would have been much easier to have stopped striving and go with the flow and let the Lord do His thing.

As it was in Israel’s day, “prophets” were telling them all kinds of nice things, but God had not sent them. They were basically making it up, but Jeremiah was a totally different man. He actually tried to avoid being God’s man, making all kinds of excuses that God ignored. He forgot, as we can so easily do, that God knew all about him,before he was born and had a plan for his life that had to yet be unfolded and put into action.

We too can be like that. God has a plan for you that may still be a work in progress and I can assure you from all that scriptures reveal that it will be good. It might not be the way you expect it, but it will be the right one.

Whilst those “prophets” kept saying everything would go well, God told Jeremiah something completely different. In Jeremiah chapter 29, He told them to build houses and live in them; to plant gardens and eat the fruit they grew; to marry and have families, all still in captivity in a foreign land. He even told them to pray for the peace of the city where their captors took them, because when things went well for their enemies—it would go well for them.

That makes no sense at all, if we think in the natural, but when we see things from God’s perspective, everything can be different. I don’t know about you, but I want to see that difference. The reason is that those hard times and difficulties we are going through will not remain forever.

Jeremiah also said:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.

For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out its roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat comes, but its leaf shall be green, and it shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit, Jeremiah 17:7-8

This is a hint of what I really want to share. God mentioned water. That Hebrew word Mikveh (מִקְוֶה) in the title has two main meanings, The first time it is mentioned is in creation.

And Elohim called the dry land ‘earth,’ and the collection of the waters He called ‘seas.’ And Elohim saw that it was good. Genesis 1:10

This is the first time God called something good. The phrase is Mikveh Mayim, or pool of water.

Interestingly Mikveh has another meaning that means “to wait for eagerly”. Psalm 27 is a good illustration. Here are a few selected verses::
יהוה is my light and my deliverance; Whom should I fear? יהוה is the refuge of my life; Whom should I dread? One matter I asked of יהוה—this I seek: To dwell in the House of יהוה All the days of my life, To see the pleasantness of יהוה, And to inquire in His Hěḵal. For in the day of evil He hides me in His booth; In the covering of His Tent He hides me; On a rock He raises me up. And now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me; And I offer in His Tent with shouts of joy; I sing, yea, I sing praises to יהוה. Hear, O יהוה, when I cry with my voice! And show me favour, and answer me. To my heart You have said, “Seek My face.” Your face, יהוה, I seek. Do not hide Your face from me; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O Elohim of my deliverance. Teach me Your way, O יהוה, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. What if I had not believed To see the goodness of יהוה In the land of the living! Wait on יהוה, be strong, And let Him strengthen your heart! Wait, I say, on יהוה!

Water is the most abundant resource on earth and the basis of all life of which God is the origin. He is the giver of our most cherished “wellspring” and the receiver of our deepest “hopes”. Even though God was “punishing” the people for their sins, He was encouraging them to “wait eagerly” for the fulfillment of His covenant promise to them.

In these troubled times, we can be comforted by the assurance that the promises of Mikveh Yisrael the Hope of Israel” are being fulfilled. Many people are indeed fearful in these days, but God clearly intends to shower His love and affection  on us.

I confidently state that because the bible begins winding up in Revelation this way:

A voice went out from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great!” Then I heard what sounded like the roar of a huge crowd, like the sound of rushing waters, like loud peals of thunder, saying, “Halleluyah! Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, has begun his reign! “Let us rejoice and be glad! Let us give him the glory! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his Bride has prepared herself— fine linen, bright and clean has been given her to wear.” (“Fine linen” means the righteous deeds of God’s people.) The angel said to me, “Write: ‘How blessed are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb!’ ” Then he added, “These are God’s very words.” Revelation 19:5-9

Jesus Himself gave an assurance and a personal invitation, saying:

“I, Yeshua, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the Messianic communities. I am the Root and Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star. The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ Let anyone who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let anyone who is thirsty come—let anyone who wishes, take the water of life free of charge.” Revelation 22:16-17 with an invitation:

Despite what may or may not be happening, look at the very last words seen in the entire bible:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelation 22:21

Natreih Raḥamana u-varkhei May God guard and bless you.

Robert


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