A Tale of Bunny Trails

  • Taking A Chance – A Tale Of Bunny-Trails

    A friend of many years thought to do me good by setting me straight concerning my tracking down our family’s genealogical record, the book of generations: she called my quest of faith being on a “bunny trail.”

    I was amazed at how my friend viewed my believing G-d for the impossible, thinking that it was true friendship by being “honest” with me about this matter, since apparently no one else loved me enough to set me straight about my “hopeless” pursuit.

    During my time of meeting with the Lord I mentioned to Him my friend’s assessment of my search and how astounded I was by it. It seemed that I heard Him chuckle, as though amused by her labeling my quest as being on a “bunny-trail.”

    Then the Holy Spirit took me on a journey, the account of which may seem lengthy. However, the voyage lasted but minutes. It is comparable to speed reading: some people can take in a whole paragraph and know what it says, while some can even take in a whole page.

    The Spirit had me travel down the “bunny-trails” of Bible heroes.

    Noah Building An Ark Greatest Show On Earth

    Page 1
    Noah-ttl-wht

    The first stop-over was Noah: for 120 years he warned about an unknown phenomenon – RAIN! – no one of his generation had ever seen or experienced. He warned, he preached, and together with his three sons began to build a ship. Not only did he build it away from a body of water, after a few years it became apparent that it was going to be humongous, absolutely gigantic!

    ark_constructionThe people roared with laughter.

    It became a regular “tourist attraction” to come and watch Noah build this huge sort of a boat away from any body of water, and much too big and heavy to transport it to the sea. They brought even their picnic lunches while listening to Noah preaching, warning and prophesying. They considered him a true comedian, if not a total fool. Whatever he was, they regarded his quest to be an obsession which served as a great entertainment.

    The mere thought of Noah assembling every type of animal, fowl, beasts, reptiles, crawling things and insects, etc. and get them to enter the ark was a never-ending source of amusement, of guessing, discussing and arguing, and many placed huge bets on whether or not Noah would succeed with this.

    There was a constant audience, ever watching the progress of the building of the ark1, and how and when he would gather the creatures together, and with what he would feed them. It was the “tale” of the century, broadcasted across the globe, for Noah’s generation was not a club-swinging, donkey-riding backward race but a highly advanced Adamic one, albeit utterly corrupt, violent, godless and immoral, who recognized no natural nor moral boundaries.

    After having completed the building of the “boat” of gigantic dimensions, Noah and his family began the ingathering of foods – all sorts of foods, which were bound to rot and fill the ark with an unbearable stench; yet Noah brought large carts filled to capacity into the ark. People were holding their bellies for laughing. Never had they seen anything so absolutely ridiculous and foolish, it actually became outrageously funny, the more as Noah, Shem and Yaphet never stopped preaching repentance and warning of the coming deluge.

    Noah’s “bunny trail” was the most talked about laughing stock at the “talk shows” of that generation; no amusement compared with watching and listening to Noah, and mocking his quest.

    One day, however, a strange noise was heard, getting ever louder as it seemed to near Noah’s “boat.” People came running to seearkanimals2 what it was until there was an audience so vast it could not be numbered. The noise grew, the sound of it threatening, frightening, until suddenly the reason for it became apparent: animals of every kind and size, beasts, reptiles, fowls, and every kind of creeping thing came running, walking, stomping, crawling, flying toward one place – Noah’s BOAT! They all moved as though they had a shepherd who directed them toward this one place, and none of them strayed to the left or to the right, to eat a little here or there. As though hearing a voice no one else could, almost like hypnotized, the creatures ventured toward Noah’s ark and straight up the wide, long gangway as Noah and Shem stood at the foot end of it to guide the animals on, while Yaphet, Ham and the women guided the animals into their respective stalls, lofts, caves and nests.

  • Noah Building An Ark Greatest Show On Earth

    Never had anyone ever seen such a spectacle! The report of it traveled far and wide, astounding people while the “experts” were discussing the possibility of such a happening. But none seemed to take this extraordinary event to heart and consider in their mind if perhaps there was a “kernel of truth” to what Noah had warned them about for the last 120 years. And even if here and there one wondered about it, immediately all the others would say:

    “What? Are you going to join now Noah on his bunny-trail? Don’t be ridiculous. This thing with the animals is just some freakish coincidence. That’s all.”

    Multitudes watched Noah and his family entering the ark; the whole area around the ark had been turned into something like an amusement park, with eateries and all sorts of shops having opened up there for people to eat, drink, watch, buy souvenirs and be merry. For seven days it was the “biggest show” on earth the pre-deluvian world had ever known until – a hand was seen reaching out of heaven, closing all the windows in Noah’s boat, and bolting the huge door shut.

    This strange sight caught the people’s attention, and some slight uneasiness began to beset the assembled masses. Then, suddenly, they sighted something they had never witnessed before – huge, dark clouds joining up in rapid movement into one awful, gloomy layer, blanketing out the blue sky of just minutes ago.

    waters-rising

    Then the first raindrops fell, quickly turning into a fierce downpour, with huge lightning bolts flashing to and fro and deafening thunder pounding. The people fled their Nohaic amusement park, being in such a rush they even left things behind, scattering, running, in search of a shelter from the torrentuous rain. Soon the creeks and rivers began to swell, then sweep over their banks and in a matter of a few days the lower laying houses were flooded. The downpour never stopped, and to make things worse, underground springs and fountains broke through, pouring into the raging flood, causing the waters to steadily rise, while people frantically tried to reach higher grounds, but in vain.

    ark_in_waves2Nobody was laughing anymore. Nobody was mocking Noah any longer, saying that he was on a “bunny trail” with the building of the ark. Noah had seen with the eyes of faith what was coming what the doubters and mockers did not see. Whatever they could not prove did not exist for them. Due to their longevity, their knowledge had increased exponentially to the point at which they considered belief in G-d a superstition. They did not need G-d as they were playing G-d themselves.

    However, Noah and his pursuit of a “bunny trail” was being vindicated by G-d in a most terrifying way, while the doubters and mockers perished in the reality of Noah’s “bunny trail.”

     

    Gustave_Dore_Noahs_ArkcovenantwithNoah

    1 All ark pictures, including the one in the title, are by: Noah’s Ark Graphics

  • Abraham The Friend Of God

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    Next we traveled into Abraham’s days. He just had been told by G-d2 that He was going to make him a great nation3, that G-d was going to give the land Abraham was traveling through to his descendants4, and that he would have a son by Sarai and be a father of many nations. The Scriptures often compact time just as a tele-lens compacts space and distance – it cannot be determined.

    It probably is fair to say that most people reading the account about Abraham assume that he believed G-d immediately for an heir by Sarai, because in Gen. 15:6 we are told that he believed IN the L-RD regarding the promise of descendants. However, it never occurred to him that G-d meant it via his barren wife, Sarai. G-d had only said that He would raise up one from Abraham’s own body, who would be his heir5.

    Abraham shared with Sarai what G-d had promised. Hence, Sarai’s suggestion of having intercourse with her Egyptian maid Hagar made perfect sense to both6, for G-d had not as yet mentioned anything about giving him a son by Sarai; no, the Almighty only spoke of “descendants.”

    Furthermore, in Abraham’s days it was customary to have another woman – a maid servant or a concubine – bear upon the womb of a barren wife to give her and her husband an heir who would continue the family line.

    Hence, it was not lack of faith which moved Sarai and Abram to choose this natural way of obtaining an heir, through whom G-d’s promise of descendants would be fulfilled, and making of Abram a great nation. They had waited ten years – Abraham being already eighty-five years old, nearing eighty-six7 – before taking this common-sense step of faith, not realizing that the heir G-d promised to Abraham from his own body would be brought forth supernaturally and not according to human strength.

    G-d did not need their “help” to bring to pass what He had said.

    G-d let thirteen more years pass, when Abraham (his name was still Abram) had reached an age – ninety-nine years – that was past fathering a child. Then He appeared to him again and in a gentle sort of way reproved him, for He said to him: “I am G-d Almighty; walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect – blameless, whole-hearted, complete. [Then] I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.”8

    Why, had he not walked blamelessly before the Lord, every day with all his heart? G-d seemed to think otherwise. Abram recognized the reproof immediately and fell on his face, making obeisance in the reverential fear of G-d9. Then G-d spoke words concerning a promise and a covenant, which have resounded throughout all generations into our days, a promise and a covenant so great all nations, peoples, tribes and tongues would be effected by it10.

    Finally, following G-d’s “pre-amble” of covenants, of making of Abram the father of many nations, He said to Abram, “As for Sarai your wife,…I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her… she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”11

    This promise was so astonishing, Abraham had to laugh, albeit falling on his face because he feared G-d12. This was simply too incredible, even for him. Here he was, nearly a hundred years old and Sarai ninety, way past the years of conception, in addition to her barreness. And now he and Sarah (for G-d had renamed her as well) should suddenly have a son brought forth from their own bodies? Who wouldn’t laugh at that? The mere thought was preposterous.

     

    Credere Vistes – Faith Precedes the Miracle

    Hence, he appealed to G-d for Ishmael, the son come forth from his own body.

    However, G-d was insistent: “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Yitzhak (which means ‘mocking laughter,’ or ‘laughter in mockery’); and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him…” G-d restated His divine purpose a second time, adding to it a time frame within which the promise would come to pass13.

    Then, and only then did Abraham fully believe G-d for the impossible, holding no distrust whatsoever, and without delay fulfilled the sign of G-d’s covenant with him – to be performed in the flesh of the implement from which proceeds the seed.

    With the sign of the circumcision performed, Abraham had moved onto that “bunny trail” of faith, which believes for the utterly impossible, in hope believing against all hope to see G-d’s promise fulfilled, Who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist14.

    It was at this moment in time that Abraham’s faith was reckoned to him as righteousness, for all the odds were stacked against G-d’s promise coming true. At that instance Abraham’s footprints began to be carved – like chiseled into rock – into that mountain of faith which cannot be ascended by any other means15.

    Notwithstanding, Abraham did this time not share with Sarah what G-d had said to him, lest she would judge him being on an absurd “bunny-trail” of his own imagination. Sarah heard of going to have a son by Abraham for the first time from the Lord’s own mouth, while she was inside the tent baking cakes of bread16. The idea was so ludicrous in her estimation, she couldn’t help herself but laugh, mockingly17.

    It was then that the Lord spoke words that would silence any doubter, and those who consider the one who believes G-d for the impossible and who in hope believes against all hope to be on a “bunny-trail” or “wild goose chase”:

    “IS ANYTHING TOO DIFFICULT FOR THE L-RD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”18

    Although Sarah tried to deny that she had laughed, the Lord did not let it pass. She had considered all of this an outrageously ridiculous “bunny-trail” of Abraham’s vivid imagination, but the Lord “nailed” it by giving a definite time.

    Twenty-three years had passed, and now that they were too old to bring forth a child in their own, natural strength – NOW the Lord confirmed the promise with His own appearance, and a date.

    This was no longer a “bunny-trail.” It was exactly as is written, that “faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality – faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.”19

    In the movie, “Voyage of the Unicorn,” the theme running through it like a red thread, beginning and ending the movie with it is, “Credere vistes” / “Believing is Seeing,” and “Faith precedes the Miracle.” It never said anything about a “bunny-trail.”

    2 The beautiful art of G-d’s covenants with Abraham is by Pat Marvenko Smith, on her web site “Revelation Illustrated” .
    3 Genesis 12:2 4 Gen. 12:7; 13:15-16 5 Genesis 15:2-4, 5
    6 Genesis 16:1-2 7 Genesis 16:3 8 Genesis. 16:16
    9 Genesis 17:3 10 Genesis 17:4-14 11 Genesis 17:15-16
    12 Genesis 17:17

     

    13 Genesis 17:21 14 Ro 14:17-18, 20-21
    15> See “3 Visions of the Way of Righteousness” 16> Most likely something similar to the flat Yemenite breads called Malauach and Jachnun
    17> Gen. 18:6, 9-12; it is interesting to note on the side, what Sarah mentioned in mocking laughter, “… shall I have pleasure…?,” in view of her and her husband’s advanced age; rather than saying, “shall I have indeed a child by him?” Since she never had conceived, all she knew was the marital pleasure she and Abraham had enjoyed. We are given here a sweet little glimpse into our hero of faith having been a great lover
    18 Genesis 18:14. 28:24-2 19 Heb. 11:1, Amplf. Bible

  • Abraham’s Eternal Footprints Of Faith

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    G-d moved up several notches on the scale of Abraham’s faith when one day he told Abraham – who was by that time at least one hundred and thirteen, for he had been one hundred years old at the birth of Isaac20– “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”21

    Isaac was the only son of divine promise, born of the will, power and Spirit of G-d, while Ishmael was Abraham’s son born of the will and power of the flesh.

    This divine request was beyond being shocking, unreasonable, unfathomable – it simply could not be. G-d loathed, utterly abhorred human sacrifices. Yet Abraham did not argue with the Almighty. He did not even ask the reason for such a dreadful request.

    No, he just rose early in the morning before Sarah was up, took two of his young men and Isaac, split some wood where nobody could hear it for the burnt offering, and left. He did not tell anybody what G-d had commanded him to do: not to Sarah, not to Isaac, and not to Eliezer his most trusted servant. Had he told any of them they would have tried to prevent him from carrying out this deed.

    Surely, they would have argued, Abraham could not have heard this from G-d; without a doubt he had misunderstood the Almighty. He would be putting G-d to the test with such an abhorrent act, and it could only end in utter tragedy.

    This was worse than being a “bunny-trail,” this was sinning against G-d, against Isaac and Sarah, bringing G-d’s curse upon them and utter grief. G-d would never require a human sacrifice, much less Isaac, the very miracle of a son given to them by G-d Himself. Abraham anticipated this and hence tried to avoid it by literally sneaking off before anybody could ask a single question why he was taking off with Isaac and split wood.

    Can we even begin to imagine what Abraham felt and thought and pondered those three days22 of his journey toward Moriah?

    The demand G-d made is not even comparable with a father willing to have his son serve as an elite soldier who would be sent onto very dangerous missions and could get killed in the service to his nation. It is not comparable to a father losing his son to an act of terror, or in a shoot-out where the son served as a police officer to save lives.

    No, Abraham himself was to kill and then burn his unique son whom he loved more than his own life – he, the father of this gift from G-d was to take his promised son’s life and offer him up as a burnt offering23.

    Abraham fought a battle of faith during this three-day journey only comparable to the battle our Lord Yeshua, the Promised Son, fought for His soul, the divine Father having ordained that He be offered up as a sacrifice – as the Passover-Lamb of G-d and becoming Se’ir L’azazel for us.

    Would anyone dare call this being on a “bunny-trail?”

    When Abraham sighted the place from a distance his love, faith, and hope in G-d won the battle. He had believed and trusted G-d’s promise about this son, about the covenant with him and with his descendants after him24, and he knew that G-d abhorred human sacrifices. Hence, whatever G-d’s motive and purpose was with Isaac’s Aqeda25, He would fulfill His promise, even if He was not going to keep Abraham from killing his son. In order to fulfill the promise and the covenant G-d would have to raise Isaac from the dead26.

    But oh, what price Abraham nevertheless had to pay for his pursuit of this “bunny-trail”: although G-d did prevent him from killing Isaac, the son did not return with the father home to Beer-Sheva. He journeyed further south into the Negev, into the wilderness of Paran, to Beer-lahai-roy, where Ishmael and Hagar had their tents27, while Sarah, after she learned what Abraham had done, separated from him and moved to Hebron.

    Abraham was ninety-nine years old and Sarah ninety, when G-d made the promise to Abraham and the covenant with him28. She therefore was at least ninety-one years old when Isaac was born, and one hundred and four years (assuming Isaac was 13 years old, the age of accountability) when Abraham took Isaac to Mt. Moriah. She died at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven, having therefore lived in Kiriath-Arba by Hebron29 for twenty-three years, away from Abraham and without Isaac.

    We are not told if Abraham ever explained to her the reason for his action, and whether or not she forgave him. She died in Hebron, which indicates she may not have forgiven him.

    Moreover, Abraham mourned his beloved wife alone, for Isaac did not come to mourn together with his father his mother’s passing. He feared and distrusted his father ever since the Aqeda, and to a degree also G-d Who became “the Fear of Isaac.”30 Only after Rebekkah became his wife was Isaac comforted over his mother’s death, carrying out the act of marital union in his mother’s tent to symbolize the continuation of her and her son’s love, while putting an end to his mourning. But he still kept living by Beer-lahai-roy31.

    Such was the long and painful “bunny-trail” of Abraham, whose footprints are imprinted for all time for everyone who will believe G-d for the utterly impossible and trust and hope in Him even against all hope, like Abraham did.

    20 Genesis 21:5 21Genesis 22:2 22Genesis 22:4
    23 Encyclopedia.com/YouTubeDisplay
    24 Romans 4:20-21 25 Definition of Aqeda:
    26 Hebrews 11:17-19 27 Gen. 22:19; 24:62 28 Genesis 17:1, 17
    29 Genesis 23:1-2 30 Genesis 31:32 31 Gen. 24:62, 67; 25:11

  • David The Shepherd Boy Defies The Enemy Of Israel

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    The next stop-over was David the youth, just when Samuel was showing up at his father Jesse’s house in Bethlehem in search of G-d’s chosen one, whom he was to anoint as the next king over Israel74.

    Jesse had eight sons, seven of whom were with their father in Bethlehem. When Eliab the firstborn walked in, tall and handsome, Samuel thought, “Surely the L-RD’S anointed is before Him.”

    Then G-d answered Samuel with words which are among my most favorite of His sayings, and which I have totally taken to heart: “Do not look at his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for G-d does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the L-RD looks at the heart.”75 Amen!

    All seven sons filed by before Samuel but G-d chose none of them.

    What? Did G-d not send him to the house of Jesse to anoint one of the man’s sons? Yet none of the seven were it.

    “Are these all your children?” Samuel inquired, somewhat astonished. Then Jesse told him of his youngest son who was out on the pastures tending his father’s sheep.

    No one got to sit down until the youngest of eight brothers was fetched. In came David, a youth smelling after the fresh outdoors, his head crowned by a thick shock of shiny red locks, beautiful sky-blue eyes sparkling in a ruddy sun-tanned, lovely face, his young body, partially covered with a fleece, well-shaped and equally ruddy from the sun76.

    Samuel’s heart instantly went out to this youth, something he did not imagine possible after having been so fond of Saul and greatly grieved over him failing to obey G-d which resulted in G-d’s rejection of him77.

    “This is the one,” G-d said right away. “Up, anoint him.”

    Then Samuel anointed David, the youngest and least important of eight brothers, right there in the midst of all of them. Immediately the Holy Spirit came upon him mightily from that moment on forward.

    The Holy Spirit now took me straight to the battle field, where King Saul and the Israelites were encamped over against the Philistines, who once again came to attack Israel as was their practice out of their malice of heart toward G-d’s people, always seeking to destroy them in never-ending enmity78.

    Their champion, a big mouthed giant called Goliath, for forty days morning and evening kept insulting and challenging the Israelites to send one of their champions forward to do a one-to-one battle. Whoever would win by killing the other, his people would become servants of the people of the victor79.

    Just as the Philistine shouted again his insults, David walked up to greet his three oldest brothers who had joined Saul in the battle. Their father Jesse had put together some supplies for his sons and sent David to bring them to his brothers80.

    David witnessed the men of Israel fleeing from before Goliath, afraid of him. Dismayed at the sight, he inquired of the men standing near-by what the prize would be for the man who would kill this Philistine and take away the reproach from Israel. Upon their reply he decided to be that man.

    Then he said something one could wish today’s leaders of Israel would have the faith and nerve to say to the international community of nations regarding a Palestinian state on Israel’s covenanted soil: “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine [Arafat; and now Abbas], that he should taunt the armies of the Living G-d?”81

    74 1 Samuel 16:3 75 1 Samuel 16:6-7 76 1 Sa 16:11-12; 17:42
    77 1 Samuel 16:1
    78 1 Samuel 17:1-3; Eze. 25:15; … as is the case until this day with a rogue people who call themselves Palestinians.
    79 1 Sa 17:9 80 1 Sa 17:10-11, 12-20 81 1 Sa 17:26-27

  • Who Is This That Would Taunt The Living God?

    page 6

    Eliab, David’s oldest brother, overheard what David said to the men. Hot anger flashed up in him against his youngest brother: “Who did this little greenhorn think he is, being barely out of his diapers and still wet behind his ears?”

    Ever since Samuel anointed David instead of him, Jesse’s firstborn – tall, handsome, a real man and warrior – to be the next king of Israel, he could not speak kindly to David. He felt offended by G-d and highly annoyed and humiliated that He passed over him and all of his six brothers in favor of this milk sucking youth keeping sheep (which was the lowest job usually assigned to the youngest member of a family), who looked like a girl so pretty and not like a man.

    “David is not fit to be a king,” Eliab thought, embittered. He simply could not accept G-d’s choice of the youngest brother. It pricked his pride terribly, preventing him from feeling happy for David, and being proud of him.

    Consequently he shouted angrily at him, “Why have you come down?” (‘Did he already want to play king?’)

    “And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness?”, implying that David was a poor sort of a shepherd. “I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart…”

    The way Eliab saw it – blinded by jealousy and bitterness – was that David already thought himself superior to his brothers and failed to show the respect due the heir in their father’s house.

    “Because Samuel anointed him he now thinks to be already acting as the future king of Israel?”, Eliab grumbled in his mind. “The dupe is on a ‘bunny-trail’ if he thinks that he, the midget, could defy and kill that giant trained in warfare82. Ha, what a joke!”

    G-d and Samuel made a mistake to anoint his baby-brother to be king. “It will never be,” Eliab thought bitterly. “Carving flutes and singing pretty little songs to the lyre is not the stuff that makes for kings.”83

    But David kept on asking until someone told King Saul of him, who summoned David, while Eliab kept close after him to see what else his brother was up to. When he heard David say to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight with him,” he almost chocked on his own saliva.

    “Oh my G-d,” he caughed, “my baby brother is really on a bunny-trail! He’ll get himself killed!”

    But when he saw David getting clothed in Saul’s armor who was well over a head taller than David, he had to hold his hand over his mouth to keep from laughing out loud. David really looked like a midget in Saul’s armor, the tip of the sword actually touching the ground.

    “This is hilarious!”, Eliab muttered under his breath, watching with malicious pleasure his brother trying to walk in this warrior’s outfit.

    “Forget it! I can’t go in this,” David exclaimed and took it all off. Then he went, with his stick, slingshot and five smooth stones, to confront Goliath.

    The Philistine disdained David’s youth and handsome appearance, cursing and insulting him. Eliab stood like frozen to the ground in utter disbelief about David’s foolishness, unable to view this as faith. It was much worse even than a bunny-trail and he began to fear for David’s life, for their father Jesse loved him.

    Every man, both Israelite and Philistine, watched like transfixed this youth who wore no cover whatsoever approach the giant enclosed in full armor, a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders and carrying a spear the size of a weaver’s beam, and a huge shield84. Everybody could hear what the Philistine roared at David but David’s words got swallowed up by the noise the Philistines made, beating on their shields with their swords and shouting, “Goliath! Goliath!”

    But then David seemed to be shouting as well, as now Eliab could hear him say, “… that all the earth may know that there is a G-d in Israel; and that all this assembly may know that the L-RD does neither deliver nor save by sword or by spear; for the battle is the L-RD’s and He will give you into our hands!”85

    David’s words caused Eliab to feel ashamed and convicted of wrong doing, but he was too proud to acknowledge it and repent. Instead, he turned and walked off, no longer wanting to watch.

    “He is mad, he is a religious fanatic and it’s not faith but presumption that got him to speak and act that way,” he reasoned to himself.

    Suddenly there arose an ear-shattering, earth-rocking shout; then one could hear the metallic beat of swords against swords and on shields, and the thunder of a multitude of trampling, running feet. That clamor could make one’s heart stop and blood freeze in its veins – so frightening was the sound.

    David had won! He had killed the giant Philistine!

    G-d vindicated David’s faith and His own holy Name by guiding that small projectile like a powerful rocket deep into Goliath’s forehead, right between the eyes, making the giant fall face forward like a felled tree. Goliath’ own sword in hand, David beheaded this big-mouthed Philistine86.

    Without a doubt, this was quite a “bunny-trail” David had been on. His deeds, his reign, and his psalms have endured more than three thousand years, having encouraged and comforted uncountable millions, enriching them with joy and delight, providing them with counsel and guidance.

    But who knows anything about Eliab? Most don’t even know his name and that he was David’s eldest brother, the heir in their father’s house.

    Indeed, G-d does not look at the outward appearance of man, and chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and the weak things of the world to shame the things that are strong, as well as the base things of the world and the despised, even the things that are not that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before G-d.

    Just as it is written, “Let him who boasts boast in the L-RD.”87

    82 1 Samuel 17:33
    83 However, the exact opposite was the case about David, for a servant of King Saul described David thus: “… A son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the L-RD is with him.” 1 Sa 16:18
    84 1 Sa 17:7 85 1 Sa 17:42-47 86 1 Sa 17:48-54
    87 1 Cor. 1:27-29, 31; Jer. 9:23

  • David The Fugitive And Cave Dweller

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    The Spirit wasn’t finished with taking me through David’s “bunny-trail.” There I suddenly stood, watching the muchbeloved, future king of Israel climbing out a window and sliding down bed-sheets, then running for his life for I knew the story, of course. Next I saw him packing of the bread of the Presence – something utterly forbidden for anyone but the anointed priest – in the presence of the high priest Ahimelech, and taking Goliath’s sword88.

    The Spirit took me in rapid succession from one place of David’s hide-outs to another, filling me with empathy for David the fugitive and cave dweller.

    Had not Samuel anointed him to be king? Yet here he was, running for his life from Saul who was still king of Israel. More and more men joined David, many of them outlaws as well, others out of distress or discontentment, but also out of admiration for David, and others yet who believed in him and G-d’s calling on his life. Even members of David’s own family joined up with him89.

    Yet many people thought David was pursuing a mirage, being the captive of a delusion, following on a bunny-trail. Most remained with Saul out of loyalty to their king, while others – out of a perverse pleasure of seeing David being constantly on the run – would disclose to Saul David’s hide-out. And some would betray David for the sake of a reward from Saul.

    Hardly had he and his men made a cave livable (such as the cave of Adullam which became their stronghold90) so that during the hot, humid summers a breeze would blow through and cool them; and in the cold, rainy winters the clammy wetness would be kept out and they would not all get sick from it. It was difficult to keep a fire going without any smoke giving away their where abouts.

    He and his men watched over other men’s property in exchange for food and drink; they defended people from raiders and thieves in exchange for much needed supplies91. He was forced to live and act like a rogue, and he hated every moment of it.

    But – he drew closer to G-d, more even than he did when he was keeping the sheep. He learned to utterly depend on and trust in Him, having his every step guided by him, his every decision. G-d was in everything for David, and apart from Him life was simply unbearable and not worth living.

    It was during this time, and these moods of total desperation and hopelessness when he encouraged himself in the Lord, in hope believing against hope, that David wrote his most beautiful Psalms, which have been like soothing balm and medicine in the lives of countless people who have felt as desperate and hopeless as David did at times.

    Was David pursuing a bunny-trail? No!

    G-d was training him in the art of leadership under the most adverse circumstances; he was preparing him to become Israel’s greatest and most beloved king ever. He was training this young man, who had killed the bear and the lion bare-handed, and slain the giant Philistine champion Goliath with a mere stone from a slingshot, to know his G-d at all times and in all circumstances; not ever looking to man or leaning on the arm of flesh; not entrusting himself to any man no matter how wise, but lean on G-d alone.

    Leading such a rough, tough flock of six hundred men92 from every imaginable background required much skill, else quarrels leading to fighting and even killing would be a frequent occurrence. It was not quite the same as leading a flock of senseless sheep who don’t know their way unless their shepherd guides them.

    David learned to maneuver between all those different personalities and developed great diplomatic skills and the art of negotiating. He learned the warfare of a raid93 as well as doing battle in war, such as he did when still serving Saul. He learned to adapt quickly to changing needs, circumstances and environments, and always stayed one step ahead of Saul until – he and his six hundred men ran out of caves and forest coves to hide in. They had no more safe place to go in all of Israel94.

    For if there was one man in Israel who did not for one moment consider David following on a bunny-trail – this man was King Saul. He was absolutely certain that one day David would be king and the kingdom of Israel would be established in his hand95.

    The day came when David had no choice but to go over to the much hated, perpetual enemy of Israel – the Philistines.

    He had gone there once before when he sought refuge by King Achish of Gath, when he was still alone, without his camp of men. He so feared Achish might kill him when it became known to the king that he was David the Israelite whose fame had spread abroad on account of having killed more Philistines than Saul ever did. He resorted to acting completely insane in order to escape alive.

    Never would he forget that time and how degraded, how totally loathsome he had felt when forced to behave like a madman in the presence of – of all people – the hated Philistines96.

    “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul,” David pondered. “I have no other option but to escape into the land of the Philistines.”97

    “O Lord my G-d, how much lower must I stoop?” he lamented.

    “How much more must I demean myself? I am already a flea of a man, like a lonesome partridge on a tree top, despised by all men98, hated and in constant danger for my life. Why did you send Samuel to anoint me as king?” he now cried, at a real ebb of his faith and hope.

    “Look, I am an outlaw! I am a fugitive! And now I have no choice but to go over to our worst enemy and humble myself before him. Why, O Lord? My soul is utterly cast down within me! Deliver me and help me, O my G-d, for you alone are my stay!” David pleaded with loud cries, a little apart from his men who nevertheless heard their leader implore G-d.

    This was the worst day so far in David’s life. He felt utterly crushed.

    88 1 Sa 22:9-10 891 Sa 22:1-2; 26:6-7 90 1 Sa 22:1
    91 1 Sa 25:2-8, 14-16 92 1 Sa 23:13; 27:2; 30:9 93 1 Sa 23:1-5; 27:8-9
    94 1 Sa 23:13, 25, 24-26, 29; 1 Sa 30:26-31; the word “strongholds” refers to the many caves along the Dead Sea in the Judean wilderness, including those at En Gedi. They are terribly hot in the summer and cold, clammy and wet in the winter.
    95 1 Sa 24:20 96 1 Sa 21:10-15 97 1 Sa 27:1 98 1 Sa 26:20

  • From Shepherd Boy To Fugitive To Beloved King Of Israel

    page 8

    But there was yet a worse day to come, so very awful that nothing could look more impossible, more unattainable and beyond all reach as David becoming king of Israel.

    Achish, the Philistine king of Gath, had given David and his men the town of Ziklag, upon David’s request, and they and their wives and children had lived there for a year and four months, when Achish gathered together his armed camps for war against Israel. David and his men joined up and were following in the rear of Achish into the battle. However, the Philistine lords remembered the song that had been sung about David, that ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.’

    They therefore warned their king about David, and requested that he should not go out with them to battle against Israel. Then Achish, although not in agreement with them, sent David and his men back to Ziklag99.

    When they arrived on the third day they found Ziklag raised to the ground and burned, with their wives and children gone and all of their possessions. The Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and came also upon Ziklag, overthrowing it.

    David and his men mourned and wept until no strength was left in them.

    Then David’s men spoke of stoning David because they were greatly embittered against him because of their wives, sons and daughters.

    Never had David been as distressed in his whole life as at this moment in time, but he turned to the only One Who could help and deliver him — and encouraged and strengthened himself in the L-ORD his G-d100.

    From burned down Ziklag in the land of the Philistines and the loss of absolutely everything to the throne of Israel was completely hopeless, an absolute absurdity. To believe in such a likelihood was a “bunny-trail” of bunny-trails.

    Yet, the men of Judah came and anointed David king over the house of Judah, after he and his men had returned and lived in the cities of Hebron. For Saul and his three sons, among them Jonathan, David’s dearly beloved friend, had fallen in battle against the Philistines, an event David mourned greatly101.

    For seven years and six months David reigned over Judah from Hebron, G-d raising him up from being a shepherd following after sheep, to being a shepherd of His people, going in and out before them.

    And after the murder of Abner – Saul’s commander in chief of Israel’s armed forces – by Joab; and the murder of Ishboshet – Sauls’s son reigning over Israel – all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and made a covenant with him before the L-RD, then anointed him king over Israel.

    David was thirty years old, when he became king and he reigned forty years: seven and a half years over Judah from Hebron; and thirty-three years over all of Judah and Israel from Jerusalem102.

    For ten years he had lived in caves and countless hiding places, even in the enemy’s land, a fugitive, an outcast, with no end of his trials in sight. To keep believing that one day he would be king over all of Israel surely was utter foolishness in the eyes of any common-sensed person.

    He was but a youth, only a shepherd of sheep, a loser on the run for his life. This was not a walk of faith, it was but a – bunny trail?!

    Was it?

    David and the L-RD answer this with Psalm 89:1-4, 30-37:

    ‘I will sing of your steadfast love, O L-RD, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations. For your steadfast love was established forever, your faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

    ‘You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: I will establish your descendants [seed] forever, and build your throne for all generations…”’

    ‘If his [David’s] children forsake My law, and do not walk according to My ordinances, if they violate My statutes and do not keep My commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with scourges; but I will not remove from him My steadfast love, or be false to My faithfulness.’

    ‘I will not violate My covenant, or alter the word that went forth from My lips. Once for all have I SWORN by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His line [offspring; seed] shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before Me. Like the moon it shall be established forever, My faithful witness in the sky.’

    David’s Psalms and grave are with us until this day, and so are many of his descendants, among whom G-d has kept both the royal lineage and the lineage of Nathan, Solomon’s full brother; both of which being the lineages of Yeshua of Nazareth.

    But will G-d keep the doubters and those who believe in “bunny-trails” rather than in “Nothing is too difficult for You, O L-RD?”

    Let the faith of Abraham prevail and his footprints endure forever; let Joseph’s faith prevail and inspire generations yet to come; let David’s triumphant faith encourage us and make us emulate him. And let Noah’s faith, perseverance and endurance be an example to us – for the days of Noah have once again dawned upon the earth.

     

    99 1 Sa 29:1-7, 8-11 100 1 Samuel 30:1-6 101 2 Sa 2:3-4; 1 Sa 31:6
    102 2 Samuel 2:11; 5:1-5

  • Joseph – Dreamer Of Prophetic Dreams

    page 9

    Skipping the adult Isaac and his son Jacob, the Spirit of G-d journeyed straight over to Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, into that moment in time when Joseph was trying to find his brothers in order to bring his father a report about them in compliance with his request32.

    His brothers spotted him from far33, and began talking about him, angrily, mockingly, certainly not brotherly.

    “Here comes the dreamer,” Bilhah’s and Zilpah’s sons said34.

    “Yeah, the tale bearer,” said another.

    “Yup,” chimed in another, “father’s personal spy. You know, that is really what pisses me off, that father does not fully trust us and sends this spoiled brat after us to see if we are doing what is right in his eyes, or anything wrong.”

    “Exactly,” another one joined into that discussion, while watching Joseph coming closer. “There he goes, telling us his stupid dreams35, actually implying that he is better than we are? And while we are doing all the hard work, Dad keeps this puppy of a son soft and save at home, not only giving him an education but on top of it he makes him the future heir and chieftain…”

    Actually, they were jealous of him and hated him for all of this, and could not speak to him on friendly terms36.

    “That’s what really gets me,” another fell into the conversation. “This is so unfair, so unjust for father to do. Reuben is the first born and to him belongs the chieftain’s coat and the future leadership of our family clan,” the half brother spoke in pretended righteous indignation for Reuben’s sake.

    Indeed, all of them were Joseph’s half brothers, for while they all had Jacob for father, they did not have all the same mother. In fact, it were the sons of Jacob’s concubines – Dan and Naphtali, full brothers by Bilhah, Rachel’s former maid; and Gad and Asher, full brothers by Zilpah, Leah’s maid – who most resented their father’s favoritism of Joseph, whom they not only disliked heartily for this reason, but moreover hated him since the time when Joseph, then seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock together with them. Joseph tattle-taled bad things about them to Jacob37.

    Just who did this spoiled brat think that he was? A prince before whom they would bow? Yeah, a dreamer on a bunny-trail, that’s who he was with his ridiculous dreams.

    Then one of them whistled through his teeth, then whispered so Joseph wouldn’t hear it: “And here he comes, actually wearing this damned coat, showing off. Is he trying to prove to us that one day he will be ruling over us, telling us what to do, and we shall bow before him?38 Man, that pisses me off.”

    “Me, too,” several of them said as with one voice.

    “Let’s put an end to his bunny-trail of dreams. Let’s show him the reality of life – let’s kill him and get rid of this show-off dreamer for good.”

    “But what will we tell father?” one asked.

    “We’ll say, ‘A wild beast devoured him,’” another replied.

    “Yeah, good idea. Then let us see what will become of his dreams.”39

     

    32 Gen. 37:13-17 33 Gen. 37:18 34 Gen. 37:19
    35 Gen. 37:5-7, 9-10 36 Gen. 37:11, 4 37 Gen. 37:2
    38 Gen. 37:8 39 Gen. 37:18-20

  • Joseph And His Brothers

    page 10

    Just then Joseph arrived, greeting his brothers happily, all of whom he loved, though he did not like what some of them did, and how they spoke of their father when they thought nobody heard them. Almost all of themresented Jacob for his blatant favoritism of Joseph and his never-ending mourning for Rachel, Joseph’s mother, while Leah, mother of six of Jacob’s twelve sons, and the two concubines, mothers of two sons each, were still around and had to listen to this.

    They all thought this so wrong and it deeply embittered them against their father, but the sons of the concubines and Leah’s younger sons hated Joseph for it. Their desire to get rid of him peaked as Joseph approached, clad in the multi-colored coat to come and spy on them.

    “Lets kill him – NOW!” they all agreed, getting up from their ‘kumsitz’, except for Reuben and Judah, the firstborn and the fourth son of Jacob by Leah40. These two were the noblest and most responsible of the twelve, not hot tempered like some of them nor given to violence like Simeon and Levi41. They knew the storyof how Leah happened to have become Jacob’s wife, and had always felt somewhat beholden toward Rachel who had been defrauded by their mother Leah. This fact had caused them to feel guilty toward Joseph and Benjamin ever since they had been old enough to realize the nastiness of the scam done to Rachel and their father.

    They never managed to feel proud about their mother, to hold her in high esteem; she was blemished in their eyes. And now Rachel had even died at the birth of Benjamin. They could not and would not agree to robbing their father moreover of the beloved son of his beloved Rachel.

    Reuben, who had sat aside and not with them around the fire, overheard their plotting. Getting up he said with a lowered voice, “Let us not take his life.” Squatting among them, he continued, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay hands on him.” His plan was to rescue Joseph out of their hands and return him unharmed to his father42.

    They all got up, meeting Joseph with a broad smile and greetings, only to seize him, strip him of that oh so hated coat, and throw him into the pit, the deepest they could find out of which Joseph could not escape without help43.

    So callous were their hearts toward Joseph and so seared their conscience toward their father Jacob, they sat down to eat a meal, unmoved by their brother’s cries for mercy, by his pleas and weeping44.

    Except for Judah, whose heart began to turn at the fear and despair of his young brother. When he saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming down from Gilead, he had an idea how to rescue Joseph out of this pit where he would have perished without food and drink, in the heat of day and the cold of night, or getting killed by one of the wild beasts in the fields.

    So he said to his brothers, “What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood?” All turned toward him. Had Judah changed his mind?

    “Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites,” he continued, “and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” The plan appealed to all of them, but Reuben did not hear it as he had gone after some straying sheep45.

    They threw a rope into the pit to pull Joseph out, whose heart lifted in hope that his brothers heeded his pleas and let him go. He was utterly unprepared for their next move of how to get rid of him, and his voice got stuck in his throat from utter horror when he was being sold to the Ishmaelite slave traders for twenty shekels of silver46.

    “Good luck and much success on your bunny-trail, you dreamer!” his brothers called after him, laughing and slapping each other on the shoulder, as though they had accomplished a fantastic deal, while Joseph was dragged on foot behind a camel, his neck and hands fettered.

    40 Gen. 29:32-35 41 Gen. 34:25-29 42 Gen. 37:21-22; 42:22
    43Gen. 37:23-24 44 Gen. 42:21 45 Gen. 37:25-27
    46 Genesis 37:28

  • Joseph The Hebrew Sold As Slave in Thebes, Capital Of Ancient Egypt

    page 11

    Now the Spirit moved in rapid succession, skipping Reuben, skipping Jacob, down to Thebes47 He took me, to the world-renowned market where also slaves were auctioned off. There stood Joseph among many other slaves on one of those large concrete slabs, neck, hands and feet fettered48, naked except for his loin-cloth.

    He stood out from among the others to be sold as slaves like a sore thumb: his skin was fair, not darkened like of the others; he was smooth and not hairy, his bodily shape like of one of the artist’s marble sculptures, and his facial features noble and very handsome49, crowned by a mane of shining, chestnut-colored locks.

    During the endless days of journeying toward Egypt (although no longer dragged behind the camel, as he was a very valuable “merchandise” and this arduous trek would have ruined him), Joseph pondered the dreams he had been given, the actions of his brothers and the reality of his situation over and over, while suffocating in the stifling heat of day and freezing at night in the wilderness they traversed on the trade route along the Dead Sea and the Red Sea.

    Was he indeed imagining things, pursuing a foolish “bunny-trail?” Were his brothers right with mocking him for his beliefs, and his father with rebuking him? They hated him because of the dreams. He wished he had not told of them.

    But where was G-d in all of this? Was it not He Who had given him these dreams?

    “Have I really been merely imagining things?” Joseph asked himself over and over again. He had been so sure, so certain it were divinely given visions that showed him his future. But now it looked as though G-d had forsaken him, for He did not spare him this nightmare; He had not saved him from the murderous hatred of his brothers.

    “Bunny-trail! Bunny-trail!,” it echoed inside him. “Who is going to bow before a slave? That’s all you are now, a slave! You won’t be a chieftain, ever, and certainly not one before whom your brothers bow. It would be best you had never been born!”

    Joseph was like in a wrestling match, grappling with conflicting thoughts and feelings, struggling for his faith, to have his hope and trust in G-d, and the love for Him, survive this ordeal.

    Here he stood, naked, humiliated, no longer the favorite of his doting father, in the midst of a tossing sea of humanity – shouting slave traders praising their “merchandise;” slaves whimpering, crying, cussing, insulting both slave traders and buyers; and buyers touching, fingering and searching the bodies of the “merchandise” in a most embarrassing manner, opening their mouths like of horses to check their teeth; bargaining with the traders over the price of each slave – when suddenly he felt himself lifted out of it like into a solitary place. He did not know if this was real, physical, or in his mind or spirit. He found himself in a sort of space-less dimension, soothing, calm, with soft colors floating about him moved as by a gentle breeze. Then he heard a voice:

    “Do not fear Joseph; I Am the Lord, the G-d of your fathers. I am with you, and will not leave you nor forsake you. Only trust in Me and wait patiently for Me, and I will bring to pass everything you have seen in those two visions. Do not lose faith, do not abandon hope, for it is I Who is with you and will accomplish all My purpose for you and through you. Here I Am.”

    Just as suddenly as he had been lifted out of the market place and it’s turmoil into this lovely space of peace and quietness, so suddenly he stood again on that concrete slab. But he was changed, no longer beset with despair, with anger, hopelessness, fear and doubt. He knew now: no matter what it looked like, G-d was with Him and would deliver him, and perform everything the visions had promised.

    He was not pursuing a “bunny-trail,” as his brothers had alleged.

     

    47Thebes_Egypt; Ancient City of Thebes; Thebes; Ancient Trade Routes; trade in Egypt; Ancient Egypt; slavery in ancient Egypt; slave markets;
    48 Psalm 105:18 49 Genesis 39:6

  • Joseph Rules Potiphar’s Household and Affairs

    page 12

    Just then he spotted a noble Egyptian walking toward him, obviously in search of a particular type of slave. He immediately saw Joseph and knew, that with him he was getting himself a superb house slave. The Egyptian paid a good price for Joseph50, and took him to his house.

    For ten years Joseph was Potiphar’s right hand. Potiphar was the captain of Pharaoh’s body guard, he was the chief of security, a man by nature distrusting and suspicious, especially in the position he held. Yet he came to totally trust Joseph, so much so that he placed him over everything he owned in house and field51.

    Even though Joseph was still but a slave – albeit a highly positioned slave52 – G-d was proving to him that He kept His word as He was giving him favor with his master and blessing and prospering everything Joseph touched and undertook. On account of Joseph G-d’s blessings were also on everything Potiphar owned. Joseph patiently persevered in faith, waiting for G-d to fulfill His promise and bring to pass the dreams.

    But then the opposite happened, worsening Joseph’s state of affairs instead of improving it: he got thrown into jail on the basis of a lie. He had proven faithful to both G-d and his master, and as a reward for it he ended up in prison, divested of every comfort, privilege, luxury and authority.

    Joseph had proven utterly faithful and trustworthy throughout the ten years in Potiphar’s house. Potiphar knew his favorite slave who was almost like a son to him, that this Hebrew was a G-d-fearing man who would not dream of breaking trust by having an affair with his wife.

    And Potiphar knew his wife – always on the look-out for a handsome young man to use him for her pleasure. Potiphar was a very busy man as pharaoh’s chief of security, while his wife was at home, bored and lusting. He knew what she was doing but paid no attention to it as long as she was discreet about it. His position did not allow for a scandal.

    But this time he could not overlook it quietly, for his wife had made a great noise, telling everybody in his household that Joseph had tried to rape her. He knew she was lying and that Joseph was innocent, but he had no choice: to save “face” – his and hers – he had to declare Joseph guilty and put him in prison.

    Potiphar was fuming with anger against his wife. Because of her adulterous escapades he now lost his best slave, one for whom he had feelings as a father for his son. In order not to make it too hard on Joseph he did not cast him into the dungeon for common criminals, but placed him into the jail where pharaoh’s prisoners were confined, who usually were noblemen, highly placed officials at pharaoh’s court53.

    Now the chief jailer was accountable directly to Potiphar, who saw to it that the man would not only treat Joseph kindly but in fact put him in charge over the whole jail, because Potiphar knew that the Lord would prosper whatever Joseph did. Eventually the chief jailer did not supervise anything but Joseph was responsible for whatever was done in the king’s jail54.

    Not long after this pharaoh’s chief cup bearer and chief baker got confined in this jail, which actually was part of Potiphar’s house (an adjacent complex), the same jail where Joseph was confined. As the captain of pharaoh’s bodyguard55 he put Joseph in charge of those two high officials.

    Joseph’s faith had remained unshaken, although at first he wrestled with his worsened lot, having been rewarded with jail for his faithfulness and holy fear of G-d.

    “Bunny-trail! Bunny-trail!” it resounded again in his mind. “And what has now become of your dreams? You are a Hebrew slave in an Egyptian prison. You’re never going to get out of here! Forget your high-minded visions. You’re a fool, a dreamer pursing bunny-trails.”

    But as he saw that Potiphar was behind easing his imprisonment as much as possible, he realized that his master knew that he was innocent. But as the captain of pharao’s bodyguard he had no choice: he could never let the Hebrew slave’s words prevail over his Egyptian wife’s. Impossible! It would have been unacceptable, an outrage, and Potiphar could have lost his position.

    50 In ancient Egypt money was not being coined and used; they would exchange items of value, and for a valuable slave the exchange was probably in silver or gold or other precious items.
    51 Ezek. 28:24-26 52 Genesis 39:9 53 Psalm 9:19
    54Gen. 39:21-23 55 Gen. 40:1-4, 7

  • Joseph – Grand Vizier Of Egypt

    page 13

    Day after day passed, causing Joseph to sometimes lose track of time, which stretched on from day into night, day, night, day, and no end in sight of his confinement. There were moments when his soul got cast down within him, when everything looked so bleak and hopeless, so gloomy and distressing. He prayed early every morning, and when he had extra free time, but G-d was silent.

    Again and again he had to remind himself of the visions and what G-d had said to him in this lovely spaceless place. He had to remind himself of all the good G-d had done to him, and how he constantly watched over him and surrounded him with favor, even in this lowly place and seemingly hopeless situation.

    He came to the point where he just continually reminded the Lord of the promise in the visions, of what He had said, and thanked Him for accomplishing it and bringing it all to pass. He confessed to Him again and again that he believed G-d will set him free from this prison and bring him into that place of honor prepared by Him for Joseph.

    Then, one morning – nearly a year had passed – when he entered the room of the cup bearer and the baker, he noticed they looked rather dejected. Come to find out both had had a dream that same night, but of different content, and neither of them knew what to make of it, nor was there anyone to interpret it.

    “Do not interpretations belong to G-d?”, Joseph said. “Tell it to me, please.”56

    G-d gave Joseph the interpretation of each dream, and it came to pass just as Joseph said: the chief baker got hanged, but the chief cup bearer was restored to his office.

    Joseph had appealed to the cup bearer to remember him when all went well with him, and to be so kind as to mention him to pharaoh to get him out of this house. Yet the chief cup bearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him57.

    Joseph’s situation looked utterly hopeless at that time. Here he was, a Hebrew slave forgotten in an Egyptian dungeon, far away from his beloved father who believed Joseph was dead. There was no one to make an appeal for him, no one to set him free. Would he ever get out of there?

    At times he fell into deep depression, even despair. He knew he could not, must not listen to that voice that would mock him over and again, saying, “Bunny-trail! Bunny-trail! Dreamer, fool, loser!”

    The only remedy he found against this was – praising G-d! He would sing to Him, dance before Him, worship Him on his knees with face to the ground, repeating constantly, “I believe! I believe! I do not doubt! I am waiting for you! Yes, O Lord, in hope I believe against all hope! See how totally hopeless it looks for me? Yet I believe! I hope! I trust! I have not given up. I trust and hope in your faithfulness, in your steadfast love, in bringing to pass what you said.”

    Hearing his confessions spoken out loud renewed his faith, swept away the depression and despair, and he felt renewed in hope and strength. Even though two full years had passed already since both baker and cupbearer had left the jail58, Joseph refused to succumb to the voice of doubt and the bunny-trail.

    And G-d was working on his behalf: G-d gave pharaoh a dream no one could interpret, neither priests nor wise men nor magicians. Then the chief cupbearer remembered Joseph and told pharaoh of him, who immediately sent for him.

    Thirteen years had passed59 in which Joseph, the former spoiled brat and darling son of his father had been refined like silver in the furnace of the earth, like gold molten and poured – purged of all impurities – into a new vessel, destined for honor, for great things.

    That particular day he got up like every morning, going about the business of taking care of the jail and the prisoners. He did not know in the morning of that day that in the evening of that self-same day he would have become the most powerful man in Egypt next to pharaoh.

    When pharaoh’s servants came to fetch him, he wore his stained prison clothes, his hair and beard grown long in those two years of being a forgotten Hebrew slave. It was a physical expression of “What does it matter? Who sees it? Who cares?”

    Now he hurriedly shaved and put on the decent clothes pharaoh’s servants had brought60, for who would dare appear before the king looking like and smelling like a vagrant? Pharaoh told his dreams, G-d gave Joseph the interpretations, plus the wise counsel what to do and how to prepare for the coming seven year-famine61.

    In one single day G-d raised Joseph up from the “ash heap” into a place of great honor, power and authority62. Did this now still look like Joseph had been on a “bunny-trail?”

    Having the knowledge of what was ahead, and realizing the position into which G-d placed him by pharaoh, Joseph came to understand with a jolt why G-d had brought him into Egypt and made him lord over all of the land, next to pharaoh: he was to save his family – the one with whom G-d had made an everlasting covenant – from perishing63. And alongside saving them, he also would save all of the Egyptians and everyone else that would come to him for grain64.

    And in an instant, like in a flash, he knew that his brothers would come down to Egypt for grain and bow before him, the Egyptian lord, who held in his hands the power over life and death.

    From that moment on Joseph planned and prepared carefully for their coming. He decided not to reveal himself to them immediately, but see first if and how they had changed for the better. He determined to appear only in his splendid, official Egyptian garments, and speak with them via an interpreter65.

    Let them believe he was an Egyptian, because doubtlessly they would never, even in their wildest dreams, believe this mighty man to be their brother Joseph, the provider of the “bread of life.” Never would a Hebrew in Egypt rise to such an exalted position, much less a Hebrew slave66. They probably assumed him dead, anyway67.

    And they did come, all ten of them except for Benjamin, his beloved younger brother, the youngest of the twelve. And they bowed down before him with their faces to the ground68.

    And when they came down a second time to Egypt for grain, and brought with them Benjamin in compliance with Joseph’s strict injunction, all eleven now bowed before him to the ground – in his own house, not only once but twice69.

    And finally, they fell down to the ground before Joseph, in utter distress70, still unaware that he was their brother who was testing them to see if they had changed for the better and were repenting of their deed against Joseph.

    Indeed, the day came when they repented of the evil they had done to Joseph and asked him to forgive it, and fell down before him – the brother whom they had mocked following on a “bunny-trail” of dreams – one more time71, in complete fulfillment of the two visions, for all of his family was under his authority and in his care, everyone of them having made obeisance to him who was the lord of the land and their Savior72.

    They had hated and despised him, mocked and ridiculed him, had been jealous of him and could not bear his presence, taking offense at him assuming, that he thought himself better than they were.

    “Believing is seeing” – and Joseph’s faith endured despite all the trials and testings, and he persevered in hope and trust while the Word of the Lord tested him, until the time that his word came to pass73.

    G-d vindicated Joseph the “dreamer,” and highly exalted the “fool” and “spoiled brat” in the sight of his brothers and father, for he became Israel’s savior and alongside them of the whole world.

    What a “bunny-trail!” Hallelujah!

     

    56 Gen. 40:5-8 57 Gen. 40:12-15, 18, 20-23 58 Gen. 41:1
    60 Gen. 41:1-14 61 Gen. 41:15-37 62 Gen. 41:38-44
    59 Gen. 41:46 / see Gen. 37:2: Joseph was 17 when he arrived in Egypt, and 30 when he stood before pharaoh, second in command, the mighty Prime Minister of Egypt.
    63 Gen. 45:5-8; Ps 105:17, 19 64 Gen. 47:14, -15, 25; 41:57 65 Gen. 47:14, -15, 25; 41:57
    66 Gen. 42:32 67 Gen. 42:13, 32; 44:20 68 Gen. 42:3-6
    69 Gen. 42:26, 28 70 Gen. 44:14 71 Gen. 50:17-18
    72 Genesis 50:20 73 Psalm 105:19

  • page 14

    From here the Spirit of G-d did not take me to diverse other Bible heroes of faith, not even to Daniel, the greatly beloved one, but to – Nazareth, to that precise moment in time when Yeshua stood before all his neighbors andacquaintances in his neighborhood synagogue, from the Bimah103 reading from the Parsha of that Shabbat104. He was handed a Haftorah scroll, namely that of the prophet Isaiah, and read to them from Isaiah 61:1, then he sat down again. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.Then He said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

    They all wondered at the gracious words spoken by Him, and were saying complimentary things about Him to each other, for most of them knew Him since the time that He came back from Egypt with his parents.

    Since Yeshua’s youth he had been working with Joseph in his carpenter shop, making chairs and tables and other furniture, fixing doors and window frames. Everybody knew Him by name and he knew everybody by name as well.

    “Is not this Joseph’s son?” one asked his neighbor, astounded, while several others were shaking their heads in amazement and noted, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Miriam, and brother of Yaacov and Yoses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?”

    “Where then did he get all these things, and this wisdom,” they asked each other with astonishment, “seeing he never sat at the feet of the great teacher Gamaliel105 or any other great rabbi? And how does he, the carpenter, work such miracles as we have heard that he has performed with his hands?”106

    And they took offense at Him that He was acting like He was “somebody” when in fact he was just the carpenter’s son, and as the rumor alleged, born out of wedlock107.

    It was believed that Joseph was His natural father. However, rumors persisted that He had been conceived out of wedlock. The gossipers and slanderers of the town would not let such a delicious morsel of scandal subside into oblivion. Especially the self-righteous ones, pretending to be wholly devoted to the Law and appalled by Miriam’s “trespass,” indulged in tittle-tattle about her and her son.

    And now He was telling them – they who were born to properly married parents – that their ancestors were not good enough in the sight of G-d in the days of Eliyah, when there was a great famine, because G-d sent him to Zarephat, to a widow woman in Sidon and not to one in Israel. He moreover mentioned Elisha having cleansed only Naaman, the Syrian, from leprosy, but none of the many lepers in Israel.

    Furthermore, the carpenter – for that’s who He was in the sight of all listening to Him – had the incredible impudence to refer to Himself as a prophet Who was not welcome in his hometown Nazareth, implying that they were just as undeserving of Him as Israel had been in the days of Eliyah and Elisha.

    They were infuriated! Just who did this ‘mamzer’108 think he was? Holier than thou? A prophet? Perhaps the one prophesied about in the book of Isaiah He just had read from to them? For did He not say, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing?”

    What sort of a “bunny-trail” was this man on whom they all knew as the carpenter, but who seemed to think that He was a man sent by G-d to save Israel?

    Now they all shouted to each other and at Him, and in utter rage rushed upon Him, driving the ‘blasphemer’ out of town toward the edge of the hill upon which Nazareth is built, intending to throw Him down the cliff.

    But this was not the way the Father had ordained for His Son to die, nor was it the appointed time. In swift flight angels came who, while not seen by the raging crowd, covered Yeshua with their wings and bodies while He passed through the midst of His attackers and went away109.

    The Holy Spirit took me in rapid succession from scene to scene, through the whole three years of Yeshua walking among His people, preaching, teaching, healing, delivering, saving, feeding the hungry and raising the dead.

    Each time when He was in the presence of people who thought themselves important, of being somebody of standing and influence, invariably they took offense at Him. Especially the religious leaders and the Pharisees found it intolerable that this nobody of a carpenter from Nazareth was trying to convince the people that He was the Messiah they expected, that He was sent by G-d and that, in fact, He was actually the Son of G-d.

    While He undeniably performed great and most astonishing miracles, there was no way this man was the Messiah, and most certainly not the Son of G-d but rather a mamzer, according to reliable reports from Nazareth. The man was totally deluded, pursuing the bunny-trail of a madman, and therefore dangerous. Sure, the people loved and adored Him, they believed in Him but – what did they know? They were ignorant!

    No matter how great His deeds, how prophetic Scriptures were conspicuously fulfilled by works and words no one had ever done or spoken in Israel, they insisted that Yeshu of Nazareth (they refused to say His full Name as they knew perfectly well that it means “salvation”) was an impostor110 on a very dangerous “bunny-trail.” They claimed that He was possessed by Beelzebub and that He did His miracles by the power of this demon111 and not by the power of G-d, and hence steadfastly refused to believe in Him, no matter what.

    103 Elevated podium from which to read from the Torah and Haftorah scrolls on every Shabbat and commanded holidays.
    104 Lk 4:16-19; as a visiting citizen of Nazareth He was invited to make an “Aliyah,” which is “going up” to the Bimah to read a portion of the Parsha.
    105 Gamaliel was Yeshua’s contemporary as well as the teacher of Paul the apostle when he was still known only as Shaul of Tarsus; Ac 5:34; 22:3
    106 Mark 6:2 107 Lk 4:22; Mk 6:3
    108 ‘Mamzer’ is the Hebrew word for “bastard”; it is a person born of relations between whom marriage was forbidden by the Mosaic law; as well as of one who was conceived and born out of wedlock. However, there are more appropriate interpretations of this term extant. Whatever the correct meaning, it was and is used as an insult.
    109 Luke 4:23-30
    110 Matt. 27:63; the KJV translated the Gr. word “planos” as “deceiver”; it implies a “roving imposter, deceiver, misleader”
    111 Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:21-22

  • He Was Wounded For Our Transgressions, Bruised For Our Iniquities

    page 15

    Suddenly the Holy Spirit halted again and there was Yeshua, standing bound before Herod, the tetrarch of Galileewho happened to be in Jerusalem just then. Herod had heard all sorts of reports about the miracles Yeshua had done, and so he wanted this Galilean – purportedly a mere carpenter – give a performance for his entertainment and that of his entourage.He questioned Yeshua at length, but He made no reply. No matter, the chief priests and scribes who had come as well vehemently accused Him, all shouting furiously at the same time. Seeing that the Nazarean was a complete bore and disappointment and not anything of what these Jewish religious fanatics accused Him of, Herod and his soldiers decided to get still some entertainment out of Him.

    They arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe taken from Herod’s garments, spoke to and treated Him contemptuously and mocked Him of pursuing a “bunny-trail” by believing that He was the Messiah, the Son of G-d, Israel’s Savior and King112.

    Herod’s soldiers bowed before Yeshua while one of them said, “O King of the Jews, will you not give me new hair on my head? It has all fallen out.” Roaring laughter. Then another said, “Oh yes, mighty King of the Jews, won’t you please make me more virile to please my wife?” Now even Herod held his belly for laughing. Insult after insult, mockery after mockery, accompanied by the Jews’ vile accusations, yet Yeshua only kept His head bowed, His eyes toward the ground, never saying so much as one syllable, not making any sound at all.

    Watching and listening, my heart cringed and I felt hot yet mute anger against Herod and his men. But there was nothing I could say or do for I was held fast in a time bubble from which I could only watch and observe. I was on a journey of “bunny-trails” Abba in heaven had chosen to let me experience, but with no option of interference or altering the happenings or outcome of events.

    Yeshua was sent back to Pilate with the verdict of being innocent of all of the charges brought against Him by the high priests, scribes and Pharisees. Nevertheless, in order to placate them and the rabble, Pilate yielded to their clamor – despite his wife’s warning to have nothing to do with this righteous man113 – and promised to have the innocent man flogged, a severe punishment114 for a man found guilty of wrong doing. For Pilate cared more for Pilate and his position and career than for justice, especially when it concerned the Jews’ religious matters115.

    In an instant I was in the praetorium of the Roman cohort, Pilate’s own battalion of soldiers, as they were mocking and beating Yeshua with bamboo reeds (after He had already been beaten a first time with thirty-nine lashes116 with that terrible Roman whip made of leather strings with sharp bones attached at their tips).

    I knew this account in dreadful detail because when I wrote The Unchangeable Calendar of G-d 117, the Lord revealed to me the inhuman, awful, most horrible suffering the Son of G-d had to endure as Son of Man for our redemption and salvation.

    In fact, I have come to suspect that Mel Gibson YU and his team, when doing research for the film he was going to make, may have come also upon the web site of the Electronic Tabernacle and read the account of the last 48 hours in Yeshua’s life on earth as Son of Man and Lamb of G-d. Gibson is the only film maker who has produced a work that is the most faithful to the actual happenings in the last 48 hours in Yeshua’s life. All other movies about Yeshua, His ministry of three years and His suffering and death and resurrection, have been “politically correct,” carefully avoiding to offend anyone, including, of course, the Jews.

    While I fully understand the fear of Jews that Gibson’s movie might trigger what happened after every Easter Sunday preachings in Russia, when Christian masses rushed upon Jews in hot fury, beating, killing, burning – what became known as Russian “pogroms” – the movie is nevertheless Gibson’s crowning work. It is impossible for him to ever top this one, which represents the most accurate depiction of these happenings and Yeshua’s suffering.

    Fearing a renewed outbreak of pogroms set off by Gibons’s film, “The Passion of the Christ,” every Jewish organization and every Jew of any influence at all came against this movie and Mel Gibson. It evidently so totally upset him that he tried to drown out his anger, disappointment and humiliation by drinking. He made the mistake to drive in this condition, got stopped by police, and without thinking first gave vent to his utter frustration about the Jewish antagonism against him and the movie and their defiance. One has not heard from him since, even though he did sincerely apologize.

    But back to this voyage of bunny-trails.

    The soldiers stripped Yeshua of Herod’s gorgeous robe stuck to the dried up blood, ripping Yehua’s wounds open and bleeding again, and put a scarlet robe on Him instead. Then they pressed a crown of horribly long thorns into His forehead so that blood spouted forth and ran down His face. Kneeling before Him they mocked Him, “Hail! King of the Jews!”

    On the balcony of the first floor, encircling the inner court of the praetorium filled with onlooking soldiers, more soldiers stood and laughed, inciting their comrades to more vile and hateful mockings.

    Indeed, was this supposed to be the King of the Jews? Look at Him, He was so disfigured He hardly was recognizable as a human being, His body covered with horrible wounds and gaping stripes. This was not a man one would desire for one’s acquaintance, much less to have for king118.

    What a religious madman!

    112 Luke 23:6-11 113 Matt. 27:19 114 Luke 23:16 115 Luke 23:13-25
    116 The lashing was so severe that just one more lash, the fortieth, often would lead to the death of the victim
    117 The Unchangeable Calendar Of G-d 118 Matt. 27:27-31; Mk 15:16-20
    Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion Of The Christ”

  • Yeshua of Nazareth – A Man Of Sorrows, Despised And Rejected By Men

    page 16

    “Hey, you king of the Jews!” someone shouted. “Don’t you know you’re on a bunny-trail? Has no one ever told you in all honesty that you are a deluded madman?” Now loud cackling could be heard from the balcony facing Yeshua.

    “What on earth makes you think you are a son of God? Look at yourself! Is that what would happen to a true son of god? Would any god allow this to be done to his son?” Others ‘yeah-yeahed’ this by stomping their foot in rhythm.

    “You’re so deceived, man, you’re so deluded! Sure, you haven’t done any wrong, for Pilate and Herod found you not guilty of any charges brought against you by your religious leaders. But all the same, you’re a poor idiot fantasizing about yourself, and all that you’ve been good for after all is having some fun with you.” Roaring laughter by all, then more bowing mockingly while clapping their hands.

    It was the worst of mockery I’d ever seen or heard, ever imagined possible. But a much worse one was yet to come.

    Just then Pilate came into the praetorium, and when he saw Yeshua he shivered from the shock of what the Galilean looked like – utterly disfigured and bloody. Is that what should be done to an innocent man?

    Pilate shook himself vigorously as though he could shake off the guilt that momentarily assaulted him. He reached for Yeshua’s hand and took Him out before the crowd one more time, in a final desperate attempt to free this gentle albeit deluded Nazarean from death by crucifixion.

    “Behold the Man!”, he shouted. But in vain, the rabble only mocked and ridiculed Yeshua, their hearts as of stone so callous despite Yeshua’s heart-rending appearance. They kept screaming for Yeshua’s death on a Roman cruxifix119.

    Then Pilate ordered a bowl of water to be brought, and in the presence of all the people and Yeshua he washed his hands and declared, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” Then all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children.”120

    Then Pilate released Him to be crucified.

    In an instant the Spirit took me to the site of the crucifixion, a sight that no artfully carved, empty cross hanging in a church over an altar can convey.

    The Holy Spirit had me look at this scene from a different perspective than when He showed it to me the first time.

    I saw Yeshua, the Son of Man, hanging helplessly from a rough wooden cross, forsaken by all His disciples save one, John, and even His family stood far off except for His dearly beloved, gentle mother Miriam.

    Here He was, pinned with huge nails inescapably to this instrument of slow, torturous death, visibly in horrific agony of pain and thirst. He looked so awful, so pitiful, so utterly forsaken and forlorn. The rabble that had followed to watch the spectacle of the crucifixion was yelling, jeering and shouting obscene insults, while some of the Roman soldiers were sitting on the ground in front of the cross, laughing and gambling for Yeshua’s seamless tunic of fine linen made by his mother121.

    Others were standing around, watching him and the two robbers crucified together with Him, waiting to see what would happen and listening to what He and the other two were muttering up there on their crosses. They moved to the side when the chief priests and scribes and some Pharisees walked up to the cross, posting themselves in front of Yeshua.

    There they stood, dressed in their finest of religious garments, hands on their hips, feet apart as one who takes a stand, and wagging their heads in a mocking gesture.

    “Oy! Oy!” they said, sarcastically, “He saved others but cannot save himself. He is the King of the Jews?” they said with scornful laughter in reference to the sign, written in three languages of the time – Hebrew, Latin and Greek – Pilate had the soldiers place on the cross, which served as justification for the execution: “Yeshua of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”122

    This indirectly implied that He had challenged the supremacy of Caesar over the Jews whose leaders claimed that they had no other king but Caesar.

    “Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him,” one of the scribes taunted Yeshua.

    “Yes,” another one laughed, rocking from side to side in an almost dancing fashion, “He trusts in G-d; let G-d deliver him now, if He desires him; for he said, ‘I am the Son of G-d.”YU

    The robbers on either side of Yeshua also reviled him in the same way123, but one of them repented after he heard Yeshua’s words of forgiveness, His cries to the Father, and saw His loving care for His mother despite His unspeakable agony. He said to Yeshua, “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Then Yeshua promised, “I tell you the truth, today you shall be with me in Paradise.”124

     

    119 John 19:1-16 120 Matthew 27:24-26 121 Mt 27:33-36; Jn 19:23-25; Lk 23:32-38
    122 John 19:19-20 123 Matthew 27:39-44 124 Luke 23:42
    Isaiah 52:13-15 – “Behold, My Servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. As many were astonished at Him – His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, so shall He startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of Him; for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand.”

    Isaiah 53:1-1-12 – “Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the Arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew grew up before Him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He had no form or comeliness that we should look at Him, and no beauty what we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men and forsaken; a man of sorrows and great pains, and acquainted with grief and man’s sickness; and as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.

    “Surely He has borne our griefs and sicknesses and carried our sorrows and pains; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by G-d, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

    “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. By oppression, false accusations, lies and slander and by unjust judgment He was taken away. And as for His generation, who among them considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of My people? And they made His grave with the wicked and with a rich man in His death, although He had done no violence, and there was no deceit in His mouth.

    “Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick [with our sicknesses]; when He makes Himself, even His very soul, an offering for sin, He shall see His spiritual seed and offspring, He shall prolong His days; and the will and pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand; He shall see the fruit of the travail of His soul and be satisfied; by His knowledge shall the Righteous One, My Servant [the Branch] make many to be accounted righteous; and HE SHALL BEAR THEIR INIQUITIES.

    “Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the mighty and strong; because He poured out His soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

  • The Lamb Of G-d Has Become The Lion Of Judah and King Of Kings

    page 17

    Yeshua’s situation looked so utterly desperate, so beyond all hope, His cause and aspirations lost forever. He certainly did not look like the future Lord of lords and King of kings. Far from it. Rather, the appearance was that of a loser, a religious madman led astray by a deluded mind, imagining himself to be Israel’s Savior and the Son of G-d.

    Talk about a major “bunny-trail!” No man had ever been more deluded than this Galilean, Yeshua of Nazareth, when the truth of the matter in the eyes of most was that he was a carpenter, a carpenter’s son, born out of wedlock125.

    Should Miriam and Joseph have told how Yeshua had been conceived supernaturally? Should they have told about the angel Gabriel coming to her, announcing that G-d had chosen her to be the mother of Messiah, and that she would conceive Him by the power of the Holy Spirit?

    Yeah! Right! Aha! Sure! And people would just have believed this story and accepted it as truth? Ha! On the contrary! It only would have made matters worse, and while it was bad enough that Miriam was slandered of having conceived Yeshua out of wedlock, with that story they would moreover have declared her mad, and then concluded with Yeshua that “the apple does not fall far from the tree.”

    Here He was now, dying a horrible death on this cross, and that would be the end of his fantasies, and of being resurrected unto eternal life and being King of Israel.

    Sure, He had had some special powers – the religious leaders claimed it was by the demon Beelzebub – and performed some amazing miracles. But Son of G-d, getting resurrected from the dead, Savior of Israel, Messiah? Come on, this went too far even for the most spiritual and knowledgeable, insightful and tolerant person. If the religious leaders called him a fake, a deceiver and imposter, then that’s what he doubtlessly was, because they had more knowledge and insight than ordinary people.

    This Nazarean had been on the worst of all possible bunny-trails, and now had reached the end of it.

    This is what it looked like, when Yeshua hung for six hours of infinite suffering on this rugged cross, fighting the battle of all battles, the greatest anyone has ever fought. Not only were the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees, the Roman soldiers and the rabble deriding, mocking and insulting Him, furthermore all the legions of hell were assaulting Him to get Him to give up, to doubt, to lose faith, hope and trust.

    “Bunny-trail! Bunny-trail! You were on a bunny-trail!” they whispered into His mind.

    “You were imagining things, you fool! Now see where that has taken you?” they continued with their malicious intent to shake Him upon Whom hinged the future of Israel and all of mankind.

    “You’re not the Son of G-d nor the Messiah of Israel. You will die and not rise from the dead. You’re done with, you’re a loser, you are to be more pitied than those two robbers crucified with you. They are just plain robbers, but you are a deluded idiot, a religious fantast, gone mad!” they hissed into His mind while He was just struggling with the realization that even the Father Himself had forsaken Him, and that He was all alone, without any help whatsoever from above.

    “So, die now and curse G-d, for He has forsaken you anyway. You only imagined Him to be with you, but He really never was. And now you know that you are on your own, alone. Give up, let go of your delusion, forget your dreams!” They kept pounding His mind with every imaginable vicious lie, desperately trying to get Him to listen to them, be turned by their insinuations and quit.

    “You should have bowed to me and worshiped me while you had the chance,” Satan now scoffed at Yeshua, seeking to find a gap in Yeshua’s faith and trust in the Father in order to infiltrate Yeshua’s mind and twist the truth so badly that He would believe the lies to be the truth, and the truth to be a lie.

    “You will die now, and you shall not live! And I shall see you in hell! Hahaha!”

    And so it was – Satan did see Yeshua in hell. But to his utter horror the Son of G-d came to take away from Satan the keys of Hades and Death133, Satan’s most trusted servants. Yeshua had delivered by His death and burial the body of flesh of the Son of Man – which had been made the receptacle of mankind’s collective sin and of all their sicknesses, diseases and plagues – to which Satan, Hades and Death had a claim. But now, as the Son of G-d, He stripped Satan of all power and authority for everyone who would come to Yeshua for salvation unto eternal life, in repentance and by faith.

    What looked like an utter defeat, a totally hopeless situation, with Yeshua being on a “bunny-trail” doomed to failure, was G-d’s way to deliver mankind from their captivity to sin, corruption and death.

    G-d sent His Son first of all to the lost sheep of the House of Israel126 to save for them a great number of survivors, even though they were the smallest of the peoples. Alongside them a vast multitude of Gentiles from every people, nation, tribe and tongue127 would be saved as well who would come to faith in Yeshua Who became the “Bread of Life”128 for all who will believe. They would be “engrafted” into Israel, joined unto G-d’s Covenant people129 so that there would be but one fold, one flock and one Shepherd130.

    Yeshua’s “bunny-trail” became the path to eternal life in G-d’s Kingdom for everyone who would believe.

    The Holy Spirit had completed the voyage He took me on, and now I saw the Lord smiling while He said, “You see, you are in good company, My child. All of them believed My Word and promises and trusted Me in the face of the utterly impossible, in hope believing against all hope131 — as you were made to see clearly,” He added

    “As long as it is in the power of a man to bring to pass what I spoke,” He continued, “it will not bear witness of Me and of Who I am. Only if it is beyond human power, wisdom, wealth and skill to perform what I promised, THEN it bears witness to the fact that I am the L-RD, the only G-D, the only Living and Eternal G-d, the Almighty Creator, the Holy One of Israel.”132

    “Never be shaken in your faith, hope and trust,” He encouraged me now, “wait patiently for Me and you shall see all the things I told you, revealed and made known to you, all the things I showed you and the words I gave to prophesy over you, come to pass. For I am faithful and my steadfast love for you, for the whole House of Israel and for David, My servant, endures forever.”133

    “You are not on a ‘bunny-trail’,” and with this affirmation concluded the matter.

    Then He quickened to me 2 Chronicles 16:9, and said that I was one of those in whose behalf He would show Himself mighty:

    “The eyes of the L-RD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show His might in behalf of those whose heart is blameless toward Him,” meaning who wholly believe and trust in and rely on the Lord.

    Amen and Amen!

     

    125 Jn 6:41-42 126 Matthew 15:26; 10:6 127 Rev. 5:9; 7:9
    128 Jn 6:33-35, 49-51, 53-58 129 Ro 11:17:24; Eph. 2:11-13, 19 130 John 10:14-16; Isa.56:6-8
    131 Ro 4:18; 2 Cor. 4:18; Heb. 11:3 132 1 Cor. 1:19-30 133 Revelation 1:18

    A Prayer of Faith unto Salvation:
    “Yeshua, Lord, I believe that you are Who you claim to be, and that you are the Savior of the world, and my Savior. I deeply repent of all of my sins, of the life I have been living away from G-d, and I ask you to please forgive me all my sins, and come into my heart. Please, from this moment forward, be my Savior and my Lord, the Lord of my life. I surrender all to you. And in your Name I ask the Almighty G-d, your Father and now also mine, to please forgive me all my sins, and make me a new creation, with my old life passed away and gone.”

    “Thank you, Lord Yeshua, for becoming my Savior, and thank you, heavenly Father, for giving me a new and eternal life in Yeshua, your Son. Amen and Amen.”