I was only in the US Army for about four years, but was blessed to attend multiple special skills schools as well as a nice variety of deployments to several parts of the globe. When Napolean Bonaparte said, “a soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon,” he might have been speaking of me. No question, I loved the challenge of hard schools and difficult duties. In a twisted way, suffering is fun. It separates the men from the posers.
In spite of the fact that I recognize those bits of colored ribbon fade and will eventually be destroyed by fire, I still pine for those days of testosterone, sweat and tears. Maybe it’s just the way I’m wired.
Being wired that way, though, is not necessarily a bad thing… Maybe it has usefulness for the Kingdom. Throughout Scripture, over and over, we witness God taking simple and seemingly insignificant men and women to do significant works. We remember Gideon, David, Ruth, Esther, Josiah, etc. The list could go on and on.
Well, you and I, though we may feel insignificant in a world gone mad, live in a time of history wherein it is clear God is raising up men and women from among the ‘nobodys’ and ‘who is thats’ to do an amazing work in our day. But, what ‘bit of colored ribbon’ motivates us to fight long and hard?
You may think, ‘I don’t need no stinking ribbon…’, but Scripture actually speaks of an everlasting reward and acknowledgement that is well worth pursuing. Now, we do not pursue for the sake of the recognition or reward, but we could consider them to be motivating benefits to pursuing the King and His Kingdom at all costs, even selling all that we have for the pearl of great price.
We can easily consider those many who’s race is run and understand that in the Eternal Kingdom, they will be recognized and remembered for their contribution. We consider the faithful and if we hold them in high regard now, how much more so in the Olam?
So, how can we contribute in this day? What role would be more significant than anything else? What acknowledgement s available to every one of us, including even the seemingly most insignificant?
I’m glad you asked! Isaiah 58:12 says,
“Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the paths in which to dwell.
This little verse can slip by the reader so fast that they may not stop and ponder the gravity, the immense gravity of what it is saying!!
There is more Scripture about the division and restoration of Kingdom Israel than even of the Mashiach. There is at least as much prophecy about the restoration of Kingdom Israel as there is about the coming of the Mashiach to Whom the Kingdom belongs.
Consider the titles in the above verse and recognize, these are challenges to take on a particular role and perform a specific function!!
- Rebuilder of the Ancient Ruins
- Raiser of the Age-old Foundations
- Repairer of the Breach
- Restorer of the Paths
Imagine, for all eternity, bearing the title Repairer of the Breach! To me, that is so very heavy that it takes my breath away, yet Scripture in multiple places and ways challenges us to take on that very mantle to prepare the way for the King! It is the ‘bit of ribbon’ that should motivate each of us to work long and hard and at great personal cost for the sake of the Kingdom.
[Some may argue that it is the Mashiach’s job to repair the breach, restore the paths, rebuild the ancient ruins… and in one sense, yes it is. BUT, this passage is clearly directed at the people, individuals and corporate, who will begin to obediently walk in the ancient paths and be obedient to the everlasting covenant. The fact is, God, in accomplishing His purposes, works through men. Just read Scripture and fulfilled prophecy.]
So, what are the ancient ruins, the breach to be repaired, the age old foundations?
God’s intention has always been one people. From Gan Eden, before he committed treachery and sinned against the Creator, Adam was the priest and king of his domain. In Exodus 19:4-6 we see that after being redeemed and mikvah-ed, Israel came to the Mountain to receive a covenant that, if obeyed, would restore them to being a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Like Adam’s sin of disobedience and covenant breaking, we see Israel act the same way at the foot of Sinai with the golden calf.
While there was a measure of restoration, it was short lived, and in Jeroboam and the division of David’s Kingdom into Israel (Northern 10, also known as Ephraim) and Judah (Southern Kingdom), we see the ultimate breach and destruction of ancient foundations that lasts until today. As I have demonstrated multiple times on this blog, the breach between the House of Judah and the House of Israel is a breach between Judah and Ephraim (who largely does not know who he is) within Christendom.
The breach that needs to be repaired is the breach between Jews and Christians. These are the two kingdoms of Ezekiel 37:22 that are clearly identifiable today. Just as prophecy foretold, the northern kingdom was scattered and completely forgot who they are, yet, they worship, albeit imperfectly, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Being called Repairer of the Breach is something we can all aspire to. Every one of us, once we understand where the breach is, what the ancient ruins are, what the paths are, can begin to assist in the restoration! Here’s how:
- Get yourself right! The first step is to get yourself right! This involves discovering the ancient paths, the age old foundation of Torah and leaving the paganism of our fathers.
- Repent of any sins against Judah! This involves many, many aspects regarding false worship, forced conversions, antisemitism, false theology, etc. See Lev. 26:40-46
- Pray DAILY for Restoration! Make no mistake, it was not until God heard the groanings of Israel in Egypt that He remembered His covenant with Abraham. We need to be crying out for HIM to hear and take action.
- Be a light/witness! Begin to be a light to the truth of Scripture in whatever sphere of influence God has given you. But, be careful. Being a light does not mean you have to set people on fire… We need to lovingly share what we have learned. If they are unwilling to listen, move on.
- Work toward a united Ephraim! We need to get our own House in order before we truly have authority to seek reconciliation with Judah. The Messianic/Hebrew roots community is pretty fractured, a propensity for division that we imported from Christianity. One way to actively participate is to attend the BYNA Summit, March 4-6, 2016 and find where you fit to help begin connecting Ephraim in North America (and in Europe).
- Participate in a B’ney Yosef National Shabbat. If you do not have one local, then contact us and start one!! We are happy to help!
Daily strides, sometimes small, sometime larger, can be taken by each of us to repair this breach and restore the ancient foundations, the paths in which to dwell.
Be not bothered by the naysayers and religious elites that speak against us. Nehemiah, especially chapter four, would demonstrate a parallel between them and Sanballat/Tobiah who impeded the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem.
If living in this time period is not exciting enough, and if the work does not motivate you to DO something every day toward the restoration of kol Yisrael, maybe this bit of ribbon will help….
…you will be called the repairer of the breach…
Baruch haba b’shem YHVH!!