God’s Land Journey

Blessings friends!

I would like to share an inspiring video series produced by my academic advisor, mentor, and friend Dr. Karl Coke, Ph.D. This series visits 52 biblical sites in Israel, and opens for the viewer the geographic importance of each location. Having viewed several episodes, I can confirm that each episode is enjoyable, informative, and opens the text of Bible in a way that only Israel can; at each site, Scriptures are displayed on the screen related to the location. It is simply an amazing production, and a gift to the Body of Messiah.

From God’s Land Journey website:

We invite you to join us on a virtual journey to the place where the Bible and the Land speak for themselves. Dr. Karl Coke and Anton Farah, Senior Israeli Guide, take us on a geographical tour through the most important Biblical sites in Israel. From Mount Hermon in the North, to Eilat in the South. From the Jordan River in the East, to the Mediterranean Sea in the West.”

Visit their website!


In the Cover of Night

“And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (Gen. 1:5).

There are times in the life of faith when we walk in darkness, as in the night, not spiritual darkness. Simply because there is a period not directly in the metaphorical sunshine, where everything is shiny and happy, does not mean you are out of God’s will.

Jacob wrestled with God at night (Gen. 32:24), spoke with Him, held on to Him, and was blessed by Him, all under the cover of night; until Jacob walked out into the sunrise, forever changed.

Remember, sometimes the greatest transformations happen as we wait for sunrise.

“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (II Pet. 1:19).

Be well. Shalom.

Communal Responsibility

*Leviticus 16:1 – 20:27

This week’s double portion of Acharei Mot/Kedoshim draws our attention to the balance between communal and personal responsibility. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, addresses both personal and communal sin, repentance, and atonement, publicly.

What is the lesson?

While there is great comfort in private confession, holiness is a communal endeavor, as the word, “you shall be holy,” “you” is plural – the community. This is the honing of personal ethics, based on the ethical norms of the Torah, by communal association.

As James writes, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (Jas. 5:16).

In this we find personal responsibility, as well as, communal accountability.

The beauty of our reading is that we recognize personal and communal shortcoming, while endeavoring to turn the page of renewal together, as we trust in the Messiah, Who is the “the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).

Shabbat shalom.