Monday, November 28, 2005


Hear. Love. Keep.

The Shema, a declaration from Moses, was given to Israel not long before the Jordan crossing with Joshua. Dr. Gary Cohen believes few Jews today realize the Shema was recited by Jesus as the great commandment. Jesus then added, "...the second is like unto the it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:36-40--an eyewitness account)

The Shema whittles down the complexities of faith: Hear. Love. Keep (the Word). Teach. Apply (to mind and hands). Display boldly in your homes. To keep God and His commandments in our hearts as a people and nation is proving to be a private and public struggle of grand proportions. Jesus warned us about affluence, false teaching, and outright hostility. As Dr. Cohen points out, "In God We Trust" is the latest aim of attack while the Ten Commandments battle yet rages. We are still in defense mode when any good General will agree, offense is the best defense. Isn't there a leader out there who can wage a massive assault on secularism. Get the Bible and prayer back in the schools!

"Israel, however, was plainly commanded that God and His name was to be kept in the center of their vision and on their hands that worked and built." (Cohen; Zion's Fire, p. 14) They were to overcome until Meshea, the Anointed One, came. This "Messiah would be a) one sent by God, and b) one filled with the Spirit of God." (Cohen)
Cohen then quotes the twelfth principle of the "Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith" (Moses Maimonides, 12 century A.D.) "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and though he tarry, I will wait daily for his coming." This hope is displayed every year at Passover Seder with the place set for Elijah, the prophet who would announce Messiah's arrival. (Malachi 3:1& 4:5; Isaiah 40:3)

John the Baptist, who did prepare the way for the Christ by crying in the wilderness for the people to repent, cleanse themselves of sin in a public demonstration of baptism in the River Jordan, and start afresh a new life. Why is it clear from the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth that his name was to be John--not Elijah? God went to the trouble of naming the baby was important. God's ways. Who can know them?

Dr. Cohen lists a few Messianic prophecies. I will include their fulfillment in Jesus Christ and historical Scripture
next time.

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