Putting YHWH First

The subject of this study is "Putting YHWH first." It is not all-inclusive by any means. It is something that can be expanded upon in our daily lives, as each of us study and meditate upon His Word.

Psalms 119:105 - Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Yes, the word of YHWH is light! But of course, there are many interpretations concerning its meaning. So, how do we know that we are understanding the true and intended meaning of the word? For insight into this question, let's turn to Rabbi Yahushua...

Luke 11:34 - "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. 35 - Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. 36 - If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp doth give thee light."

For an illustration of "when thine eye is single"...

Proverbs 4:25 - Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 - Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 - Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. 

Concerning the eye being evil, and the body being full of darkness...

Proverbs 4:19 - The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Our ability to understand truth is not something that we can gain on our own!

Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. 

We are told to obey YHWH's commandments... 

Deuteronomy 5:32 - Ye shall observe to do therefore as YHWH your Elohim hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

When someone asked Yahushua, what was the most important commandment?...

Matthew 22:37 - Yahushua said unto him, "Thou shalt love YHWH thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 - This is the first and great commandment."

Our Heavenly Father has promised to give his people this ability. Another way of stating that our bodies are "full of light", is to say that our "hearts are circumcised"...

Deuteronomy 30:6 - And YHWH thy Elohim will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love YHWH thy Elohim with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. 

It is interesting to note, that in the old testament, the Hebrew word for "heart", Strong's #H3824, is at times translated, "mind".

As we grow in truth, our ability to please the heavenly Father will begin to become apparent. Again, it is not something that we can do on our own...

Proverbs 4:11 - I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 12 - When thou goest, thy steps shall not be hindered; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

When we put YHWH first, we shall be rewarded!...

Psalm 91:9 Because thou hast made YHWH, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; 10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

And again, stressing the importance of putting the truth ahead of our own interests...

Matthew 16:24 - Then said Yahushua unto his disciples, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow me. 25 - For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life, for my sake, shall find it. 26 - For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

John 12:24 - "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 - He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 - If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour."

Putting YHWH first involves honoring his greatness...

1Chronicles 16:8 - Give thanks unto YHWH, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 9 - Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. 10 - Boast in his set apart name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek YHWH. 11 - Seek YHWH and his strength, seek his face continually. 12 - Remember his marvelous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; 13 - O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. 14 - He is YHWH our Elohim; his judgments are in all the earth.

YHWH himself states the attitude that is required...

2Chronicles 7:14 - "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Understanding the importance of the Heavenly Father's name cannot be overstated! To put him first, we must realize this truth!

Psalms 9:10 - And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, YHWH, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Concerning self righteous spiritual leaders, who only pretend to put YHWH first...

Luke 11:39 - And Yahushua said unto him, "Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. 40 - Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? 41 - But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you."

When Yahushua advises the hypocrites to "give alms of such things as ye have", he is probably referring to not only physical things, but also to the spiritual realm. In other words, when dealing with people, humility is a must! Yahushua said...

Luke 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, "When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. 13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." 

Yahushua gives us words of assurance....

Luke 12:32 - "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 - Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34 - For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

In order to prove our trustworthiness, we need to watch! Yahushua said...

Luke 12:35 - "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36 - And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 37 - Blessed are those servants, whom the master, when he cometh, shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38 - And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 - And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. 40 - Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."

Kefa (peter) asks...

Luke 12:41 - Then Kefa said unto him, "Rabbi, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?"
  42 -
And Yahushua said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43 - Blessed is that servant, whom his master, when he cometh, shall find so doing. 44 - Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45 - But and if that servant say in his heart, 'My master delayeth his coming;' and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 - The master of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers."
  47 - "And that servant, which knew his master's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 - But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

Yahushua did not come to bring peace, but rather, division!

Luke 12:49 - "I am come to send fire on the earth; and how I wish it be already kindled! 50 - But I have an immersion to be immersed with; and how am I distressed till it be accomplished! 51 - Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52 - For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 - The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."

We need to be able to interpret the times in which we live!

Luke 12:54 - And he said also to the people, "When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, 'There cometh a shower'; and so it is. 55 - And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, 'There will be heat'; and it cometh to pass. 56 - Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?"
  57 - "Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? 58 - When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. 59 - I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite."

It is extremely important that we do not become ensnared into the "traps of the world". And if we find ourselves entrapped, we need to pray for mercy to be "set free".

Encouragement to rend (tear to pieces) our heart... 

Joel 2:12 - "Therefore also now," saith YHWH, "turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning."  
  13 - And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto YHWH your Elohim: for he shows favour and is compassionate, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and he shall relent concerning the evil.

Yahushua's commentary concerning our doing acts of righteousness...

about helping those in need...

Matthew 6:1 - "Take heed that ye do not your kind deeds before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 - Therefore when thou doest a kind deed, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, to be praised by men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 - But when thou doest a kind deed, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 - so that your kind deed shall be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly."  

about prayer...

Matthew 6:5 - "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 - But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

about fasting...

Matthew 6:16 - "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 - But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 - That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."  

about storing up material possessions here on earth...

Matthew 6:19 - "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 - But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 - For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

The desire of YHWH concerning his people...

Deuteronomy 5:29 - "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!"

YHWH will test us to see if we truly love HIM. He did so with Abraham...

Genesis 22:1 - And it came to pass after these things, that Elohim tried Abraham, and said unto him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Behold, here I am." 2 - And he said, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."  

Then dropping down to verse 9...

Genesis 22:9 - And they came to the place which Elohim had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10 - And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

At this point, Abraham is stopped by an angel of YHWH, and was shown that YHWH had provided him a ram to offer, rather than his son Isaac. Then in verse 15...

Genesis 22:15 - And the angel of YHWH called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 - And said, "By myself have I sworn", saith YHWH, "for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 - That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 - And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."

So, Abraham was rewarded greatly for having YHWH first in his life!

If we have chosen to walk the walk with YHWH, we must remember that "the joy of YHWH is our strength" (Nehemiah 8:10)...

Psalm 100:1 Make a joyful noise unto YHWH, all ye lands. 2 Serve YHWH with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that YHWH he is Elohim: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For YHWH is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

King Shaul was also tested by YHWH, to see if he truly loved YHWH...

YHWH, through Samuel, warns king Shaul to hearken unto his commandments...

1Samuel 15:1 - Samuel also said unto Shaul, "YHWH sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of YHWH. 2 - Thus saith YHWH of hosts, 'I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3 - Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.'"

but Shaul did not obey, as he was commanded...

1Samuel 15:7 - And Shaul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. 8 - And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 - But Shaul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.  

as a result, YHWH regrets having made Shaul king...

1Samuel 15:10 - Then came the word of YHWH unto Samuel, saying, 11 - "I am grieved that I have set up Shaul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments." And it displeased Samuel; and he cried unto YHWH all night.

rebellion is as witchcraft; stubbornness is as idolatry...

1Samuel 15:22 - And Samuel said, "Hath YHWH as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of YHWH? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 - For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of YHWH, he hath also rejected thee from being king."

Shaul feared man  more than he feared YHWH...

1Samuel 15:24 And Shaul said unto Samuel, "I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of YHWH, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice."

Shaul attempts to justify himself...

1Samuel 15:30 - Then he said, "I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship YHWH thy Elohim." 31 - So Samuel turned again after Shaul; and Shaul worshipped YHWH.

Then, Samuel does what Shaul failed to do...

1Samuel 15:32 - Then said Samuel, "Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites." And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, "Surely the bitterness of death is past." 33 - And Samuel said, "As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women." And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before YHWH in Gilgal.  

Samuel never again saw King Shaul until the day of his death...
 

1Samuel 15:34 - Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Shaul went up to his house to Gibeah of Shaul. 35 - And Samuel came no more to see Shaul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Shaul: and YHWH was grieved that he had made Shaul king over Israel.

King Shaul was put to the test, and he failed! His thoughts seemed to be, "I can do what is right in my own eyes, and if what I do is displeasing to YHWH, then I will turn with sacrifice to be forgiven." We must be on guard against such folly, because it is human nature to have such an attitude!!

Psalms 51:16 - For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 - The sacrifices of Elohim are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O Elohim, thou wilt not despise.

A proud look is the "light of the wicked"; it equals darkness!

Proverbs 21:3 - To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to YHWH than sacrifice. 4 - A high look, and a proud heart, and the lamp of the wicked, is sin.

When we show forth pride, we fail to put YHWH first!

Proverbs 11:2 - When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Proverbs 13:10 - Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom...

Proverbs 8:13 - The fear of YHWH is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the perverse mouth, do I hate. 14 - Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. 15 - By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. 16 - By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. 17 - I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

The need for patience is exalted...

Proverbs 16:32 - He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Yahushua has wisdom from the Father. He possesses the "words of life"...

Matthew 18:3 - And he said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 - Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 - And whoso shall receive one such little child, in my name, receiveth me. 6 - But whoso shall cause one of these little ones, which believe in me, to stumble, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 - Woe unto the world because stumblingblocks! for it is necessary that stumblingblocks come; but woe to that man by whom the stumblingblock cometh!"

What exactly is meant by "stumblingblock"? It is something "that causes someone to sin". To better understand this concept, let's turn to the Torah...

Leviticus 19:14 "Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy Elohim: I am YHWH." 

Yahushua is the master! He made a clear distinction between those who are his followers, and those who are not...

Luke 10:16 - "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me."

When Yahushua sent the seventy out to prepare his way, he gave instruction, telling them how to discern who was worthy to receive the truth...

Luke 10:1 - After these things He appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. 2 - Therefore said he unto them, "The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Master of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. 3 - Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. 4 - Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. 5 - And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house.' 6 And if a son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again." 

Yahushua said that if a son of peace is there, then your peace will remain upon that house; but if he is not there, then it will come back to you. We need to learn to fear YHWH and not man! In the book of Acts, the apostles were being persecuted by Yahushua's enemies...

Acts 5:27 - And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28 - Saying, "Did not we straightly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us."
  29 - Then Kefa and the other apostles answered and said, "We ought to obey Elohim rather than men. 30 - The Elohim of our fathers raised up Yahushua, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31 - Him hath YHWH exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 - And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Set Apart Spirit, whom Elohim hath given to them that obey him."
  33 - When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.

The apostles trusted YHWH, putting Him first! We are admonished to always be ready to defend what we believe...

1Kefa (peter) 3:15 - But set YHWH apart in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 - having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in the Messiah may be ashamed. 17 - For it is better, if it is the will of YHWH, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Shaul (paul) testified that he was not ashamed of Yahushua...

Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the glad tidings of the Messiah: for it is the power of YHWH unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 - For therein is the righteousness of YHWH revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." 

More about stumblingblocks, with Yahushua stressing the importance of forgiveness...

Luke 17:1 Yahushua said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."

We must continue to remember that the word of YHWH is a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto unto our path!..

Proverbs 3:1 - My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 - For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 - Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 - So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of Elohim and man. 5 - Trust in YHWH with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 - In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 - Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear YHWH, and depart from evil .8 - It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

The following are words of encouragement...

Colossians 1:12 - Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us worthy to be partakers of the inheritance of the set-apart ones in light: 13 - Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 - In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 - Who is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn of every creature

Yahushua said....

John 14:15 - "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

The apostle John reiterates... 

1John 2:3 - Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 - He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 - But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of YHWH is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 - He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

In conclusion...

1 Chronicles 29:11Thine, O YHWH, is the greatness, and the power, and the splendour, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O YHWH, and thou art exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. 13 Now therefore, our Elohim, we thank thee, and praise thy honourable name.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of YHWH, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.


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