40 Days of Devotions


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40 Days of HEBREW Devotions
Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg and Pinchas Shir with Jaime Purcell
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ISBN: 9798649330992
40 Days of Hebrew Devotions, Copyright © 2020 by Eliyahu Lizorkin-Eyzenberg. Cover design by Pinchas Shir. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author ([email protected]).
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Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION .......................................................................... 6 DAY 1 – SLOW TO ANGER ............................................................ 7 DAY 2 – BLESSING & CURSE ....................................................... 9 DAY 3 – EL SHADDAI................................................................... 11 DAY 4 – OFFERING ......................................................................13 DAY 5 – IMAGE .............................................................................16 DAY 6 – MERCY.............................................................................19 DAY 7 – HOLY GARMENTS........................................................ 22 DAY 8 – A SOLDIER..................................................................... 24 DAY 9 – SIN................................................................................... 26 DAY 10 – SATAN ........................................................................... 28 DAY 11 – RIGHTEOUSNESS ....................................................... 30 DAY 12 – YOUNG AND GREAT .................................................. 32 DAY 13 – RABBI ............................................................................ 34 DAY 14 – LOVE ............................................................................. 36 DAY 15 – THE GOSPEL ............................................................... 38 DAY 16 – TOGETHER.................................................................. 40 DAY 17 – JACOB & ISRAEL ......................................................... 42 DAY 18 – YESHUA ........................................................................ 44 DAY 19 – ARMIES ......................................................................... 46
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DAY 20 – NATIONS ...................................................................... 48 DAY 21 – ARMAGEDDON ............................................................ 50 DAY 22 – TORAH .......................................................................... 52 DAY 23 – RAINBOW ..................................................................... 54 DAY 24 – HOLY ............................................................................. 56 DAY 25 – JUDAH ........................................................................... 58 DAY 26 – HEBREW ....................................................................... 60 DAY 27 – HALLELUIAH............................................................... 62 DAY 28 – PENTECOST.................................................................64 DAY 29 – NISSI .............................................................................. 66 DAY 30 – SHALOM........................................................................68 DAY 31 – ZION .............................................................................. 70 DAY 32 – YIREH............................................................................72 DAY 33 – OBSERVANCE .............................................................. 74 DAY 35 – GLOW.............................................................................78 DAY 36 – HAKIPPURIM ............................................................... 80 DAY 37 – IDF ................................................................................. 82 DAY 38 – KNESSET.......................................................................84 DAY 39 - GEMATRIA .................................................................... 86 DAY 40 - CHANUKAH .................................................................. 88
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Introduction
This short devotional is a little different from others you may have encountered. It focuses not on some great theological truths or even practical life matters but looks at select Hebrew words used in the Bible. It shows you something you may not have seen before by exploring the meanings of Hebrew words hidden behind the familiar English text.
Our brief commentaries and explanations are supplied with some short prayers. They may appear a bit unusual to you at first. They follow the Jewish tradition of praying communally as one people (even when praying alone). The famous “Lord’s Prayer” uses only plural pronouns and follows this same practice. So feel free to use the prayers that we supplied or pray in your own words if you prefer. Just don’t forget to reflect after reading each section.
We sincerely hope that you will hear God speak through the Hebrew words you encounter as they connect the dots and take you to new places. Thanks for letting us be your guides on this journey.
Pinchas Shir Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg
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DAY 1 – SLOW TO ANGER
SCRIPTURE: Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” (Ex. 34:6-7)
Over and over, throughout the Day of Atonement services, the worshiping community breaks out into a familiar song in Hebrew, reciting the very same words YHVH pronounced as He shielded Moses from the power of his own presence (Exodus 34:6-7). One of the truly intriguing things that God declared about himself is hidden beneath the English translation. God said that He was ‫ ֶא ֶרְך ַא ַפ ִים‬(pronounced: erech apaim).
If you can’t read Hebrew, don’t feel bad (although God knows you owe it to yourself to start learning at least some Hebrew already!). Not many people know the meaning of this ancient Hebrew phrase. You see, erech apaim literally means, “[He] has a long nose.” What in the world could that possibly mean in reference to God? The answer is actually very simple.
Imagine looking at someone getting angry. Their nose is visibly enlarged. The nostrils widen as their indignation is expressed in facial changes. The saying that God has a very long nose (note: in this passage nose is in plural
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form) is a beautiful ancient Hebrew idiomatic expression pointing out that God is very slow to anger. I am so happy that most of our English translations get this idiom right: “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger ‫,( ֶא ֶרְך ַא ַפ ִים)‬ and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin.” (Ex. 34:6-7) PRAYER: O, Lord of the Universe, Creator of all things, we praise you that you revealed your name to Moses your servant, and to us so long ago. Though we do not comprehend your name fully, it still tells us so much about you. As we come before you overwhelmed by your presence, just as Moses was so long ago may your very long nose be a reminder of your kindness. As seasons and time pass and we need your patience and longsuffering again and again. May we experience your immense mercy and grace when we need them most! And may our noses also get longer and longer as we get to know you in an even more intimate way. As we encounter our neighbors and friends may we learn how to be more gracious and slow to anger by following your example.
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DAY 2 – BLESSING & CURSE
SCRIPTURE: Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).
Sometimes we take the idea of what is a blessing for granted. We even say “God bless you” when someone sneezes, but what is a blessing?
God promised to Abraham in Gen.12:3 “I will bless those who bless you ‫ ,( ַו ֲא ָב ְר ָכה ְמ ָב ְר ֶכיָך)‬and the one who curses you I will curse ‫ .(ּו ְמ ַק ֶל ְלָך ָא ֹאר)‬The Biblical command enjoined on all who worship God of Abraham is crystal clear – they must bless the descendants of Abraham, the people of Israel.
In Hebrew, the verb to bless is ‫ לברך‬(pronounced: levarech) comes from the root ‫ ָּב ַרְך‬(barach). This root is directly connected to the word “knee” ‫ ֶּב ֶּרְך‬(berech) which implies kneeling and rendering service to someone. God is not saying he is going to “bend his knee”, but as we think about it, the meaning of this verse can be something like “I will serve those who serve you.”
In this promise, the opposite of a blessing is a curse. God also tells Abraham that everyone who curses ‫ ( ְמ ַק ֶל ְלָך)‬him will be cursed ‫ ( ָא ֹאר)‬by God in return. The
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strength of the promise, however, is somewhat lost in translation.
The first word for “curse” ‫ ( ְמ ַק ֶל ְלָך)‬comes from a root that literally means to “make light of someone or something heavy”. But the second word for “curse” ‫ ( ָא ֹאר)‬which God renders comes from a completely different root that can mean something like “to utterly destroy”. Taking into consideration the translation can flow like this: “I will serve those who will serve you and the ones who make light of you I will utterly destroy.”
Could the guarantee of God’s protection over the children of Abraham be made any clearer?!
PRAYER: Almighty LORD, Most High, the author of our faith, you wield power over all who live and hold us in your hand. The power to bless and to curse is in your hands, the power to increase or to diminish also. You chose to preserve the fortunes of some and allow plans of others to unravel and fall apart at the seams. Why we may never understand. The seed of Abraham has a special place in your plans for our world and you determine whom to bless and whom to curse depending on how they treat the patriarch’s descendants.
Thank you for your warning, for your promise, for making your will plain to us in this regard. Guard us, Oh, LORD that we may not bring curses to ourselves by going against you who reign on high in light and power, in grace and justice.
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40 Days of Devotions