HASHEM, do not rebuke me in Your anger, not chastise mein Your wrath. Favor me, HASHEM, for I am feeble; heal me, HASHEM for my bones shudder with terror. MY soul is utterly terrified, and You, HASHEM, how long? Desist, HASHEM, release my soul; save me as befits Your kindness. For in death there is no mention of You; in the grave who will praise You? I am wearied with my sigh, every night I drench my bed,with my tears I soak my couch. My eye is dimmed because of anger, aged by my tormentors. Depart from me, all evildoers, for HASHEM has heard the sound of my weeping. HASHEM has heard my plea, HASHEM will accept my prayer.Not every problem has a solution, but there is always a way to manage it. Bit by bit we can learn to use self control. Anger is a part of the animal soul within us…the visceral, self serving side that is devoted to pride. The practice of humility in the face of anger will stave off the wrath of destruction. Moshe was the most humble man….
In last week’s Torah portion, Parasha Chukat…Moshe is still mourning the loss of his sister Miriam when the people again come at him because they have no water. They are impatient and selfish and he finally looses it. He looses his self control under great duress and becomes bitter and angry with the people. Though God has given him specific instructions he looses all “sight” of God’s intention and reacts….in anger. He strikes the rock and pays the most costly price: he shall not bring the people to the promised land, Eretz Yisrael.Numbers 20;6-13
Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the congregation to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and fell on their faces. The glory of HASHEM appeared to them. HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the staff and gather together the assembly, you and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes that it shall give its waters. You shall bring forth for them water from the rock and give drink to the assembly and to their animals.” Moses too the staff from before HASHEM, as He commanded him. Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation before the rock and he said to them, “Listen now, O rebels, shall we bring forth water for you from this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock with his staff twice; abundant water came forth and the assembly and their animals drank. HASHEM said to Moses and to Aaron, “Because you did not believe in Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Children of Israel, therefore you will not bring this congregation to the Land that I have given them.” They are the waters of strife, where the Children of Israel contended with HASHEM, and He was sanctified through them.Just as the water flowed abundantly, so too…anger….and once it is released it is very hard to stop it or even redirect it to a “safe” place. The verses below are all connected by a thread of warning against anger and the “bad fruit” we all should be aware of at this point. Also the tie of practicing control over your actions and your WORDS (evil speech- Lashan Harra)…and drowning the fire of rage in the submission to God and love.
Proverbs 19;11 It is intelligent of a person to be slow to anger, and his splendor to ignore offense.
Anger is poison. It keeps us from living a meaningful life.
Cry out now! Is there anyone who will answer you? To which of the holy beings will you turn? For anger kills the fool; envy slays the naive.
However, “I would beseech the Almighty and direct my words to God, Who performs great deeds that are beyond comprehension, [and] wonders beyond number; Who gives rain upon the face of the earth and sends water over the outlying fields, so as to place the lowly on high, and uplift the blackened with salvation; Who thwarts the plotting’s of the cunning so that their hands will not produce results; Who traps the shrewd with their trickery, and causes the plans of the devious to turn to folly. By day they encounter darkness, and at midday they grope as in the night. He delivers [their victims] from the sword, their mouths, and the destitute from the hand of the mighty. Thus there is hope for the poor, and iniquity shuts its mouth. Behold, fortunate is the man whom God rebukes! Do not despise the Almighty’s discipline: For He inflicts pain and bandages it; He crushes, and His hands heal.
How do we “defeat” anger?
Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him. Indeed, just as the Lord has forgiven you,so you must forgive.
Above all these, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together perfectly;
and let the shalom which comes from the Messiah be your heart’s decision-maker, for this is why you were called to be a part of a single Body.
And be thankful- let the Word of the Messiah, in all its richness, live in you, as you teach and counsel each other in wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude to God in your hearts.
That is, everything you do or say, do in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Is anger warranted? Often we think that it is. To rise above the offense, we must practice unconditional forgiveness. Wear the offenders shoes and walk a mile…then return to your place and show humility and love instead. This is God being revealed in you. Drown “it” with kindness, remember the compassion God has shown you and reflect that in situation of challenge.
Proverbs 15; 1-8
A gentle reply turns away wrath, but a galling word incites anger. The tongue of the wise will enhance wisdom, but the mouth of fools will spout foolishness. The eyes of HASHEM are everywhere seeing the evil and the good. A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but corruption of it is damage of the spirit. A foolish one despises his father’s discipline, but he who harbors reproof will become clever. The house of the righteous one is greatly fortified, but with the arrival of a wicked one it becomes sullied. The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but not so the heart of fools. The offering of the wicked is an abomination to HASHEM, but His desire is the prayer of the upright.
In the sin of the lips lies a snare of evil, but a righteous person escapes travail. From the fruit of a man’s mouth he will be sated with good, for the recompense of a man’s handiwork will be returned to him! The way of the foolish one is upright in his eyes, but the wise man heeds counsel. The foolish one’s anger will become known on that very day, but a clever man conceals his shame. One who [always] spouts the truth will give righteous testimony, but a witness saying falsehoods [personifies] deceit. There is one who speaks [harshly] like piercing’s of a sword, but the tongue of the wise heals. True speech is established forever, but a false tongue is only for a moment. Deceit lurks in the heart of those who plot evil, but for those who counsel peace there is gladness. There will not befall a righteous man any iniquity, but the wicked are filled with evil. False lips are an abomination to HASHEM, but those who act in faith are His desire.
If you are devoted to God you should attempt to allow Him to be a part of ALL of you….He knows the desires and the thoughts of your heart and He will answer you.
Once we have Him upon us as a sign, we bear Him as our banner….we should not be behaving in anger, or any other way that would fail to sanctify Him, or heaven forbid…represent Him by disgrace. He is gracious and forgiving…Slow to Anger and Abundant in Kindness…..as should we attempt to be an all deeds and speech.
Ya’akov (James) 1;17- 27
Every good act of giving and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father who made the heavenly lights; with Him there is neither variation nor darkness caused by turning. Having made His decision, he gave birth to us through a Word that can be relied upon, in order that we should be a kind of firstfruits of all that he created. Therefore, my dear brothers, let every person be quick to listen but slow to speak, slow to get angry; for a person’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness! So rid yourselves of all vulgarity and obvious evil, and receive meekly the Word implanted in you that can save your lives. Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it! For whoever hears the Word but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, who looks at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But if a person looks closely into the perfect Torah, which gives freedom, and continues, becoming not a forgetful hearer but doer of the work it requires, then he will be blessed in what he does. Anyone who things he is religiously observant but does not control his tongue is deceiving himself, and his observance counts for nothing. The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans, and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.
Ephesians 4; 22-32
then, so far as your former way of life is concerned, you must strip off your old nature, because your old nature is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires; and you must let your spirits and minds keep being renewed, and clothe yourself with a new nature created to be godly, which expresses itself in the righteousness and holiness that flow from the truth. Therefore, stripping off falsehood, let everyone speak truth with his neighbor, because we are intimately related to each other as parts of a body. Be angry, but don’t sin- don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger; otherwise you leave room for the Adversary. The thief must stop stealing; instead, he should make an honest living by his own efforts. This way he will be able to share with those in need. Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them. Don’t cause grief to God’s Ruach HaKodesh, for He has stamped you as His property until the day of final redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted; and forgive each other, just as the Messiah God has also forgiven you.
Colossians 3; 5-12
Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature– Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry); for it is because of these things that God’s anger is coming on those who disobey Him. True enough, you used to practice these things in the life you once lived; but now put them all away- anger, exasperation, meanness, slander and obscene talk. Never lie to one another; because you have stripped away the old self,with its ways, and have put on the new self, which is continually being renewed in fuller and fuller knowledge, closer and closer to the image of the Creator. The new self allows no room for discriminating between Gentile and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, foreigner, savage, slave, free man; on the contrary, in all, the Messiah is everything. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Galations 5; 19-25
And it is perfectly evident what the old nature does. It expresses itself in sexual immorality, impurity and indecency; involvement with the occult and with drugs; in feuding, fighting, becoming jealous and getting angry; in selfish ambition, factionalism, intrigue and envy; in drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you now as I have warned you before: those who do such things will have no share in the Kingdom of God! But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self control. Nothing in the Torah stands against such things. Moreover, those who belong to Messiah Yeshua have put their old nature to death on the stake, along with its passions and desires.
Through anger we step into the field injured and open the door for error.
Moses inquired insistently about the he-goat of the sin-offering, for behold, it had been burned!- and he was wrathful with Elazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons, saying: “Why did you not eat the sin-offering in a holy place, for it is most holy; and He gave it to you to gain forgiveness for the sin of the assembly and to atone for them before HASHEM? Behold, its blood was not brought into the Sanctuary within; you should have eaten it in the Holy, as I commanded!” Aaron spoke to Moses: “Was it they who this day offered their sin-offering and their burnt-offering before HASHEM? Now that such things befell me- were I to eat this day’s sin-offering, would HASHEM approve?” Moses heard and he approved.
When you are angry, you can not even think, it is consuming and thus there is no room for God. Therefore it is as if you had committed idolatry.
God has put us in every situation we come into. Everything we have or will have, everything that is presented in our lives…from all angles and directions is from God.
He desires that each situation end in good, He is good and want the best for us.
He sees the outcome at its inception…
Yoseph was able to discern that though he has suffered at the hands of his brothers it was God’s master plan for him to be where he was put for His purposes and for the livelihood of his family and thus the entire future of Israel. He didn’t rail at his brothers he forgave them, and gave the glory to God.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me, if you please,” And they came close. And he said, ” I am Joseph your brother- it is me, whom you sold into Egypt. And now, be not distressed, nor reproach yourselves for having sold me here, for it was to be a provider that God sent me ahead of you. For this has been two of the hunger years in the midst of the land, and there are yet five years in which there shall be neither plowing nor harvest. Thus God has sent me ahead of you to insure your survival in the land and to sustain you for a momentous deliverance. And now: it was not you who sent me here, but God; He has made me father to Pharaoh, master of his entire household, and ruler throughout the entire land of Egypt.
I pray you will have a blessed and fruitful week, filled with peace and humility,
we all need refinement…be accountable to yourself, your family, your community and your King!
Forgive me Father for I have erred! Pardon me my King for I have wilfully sinned; for you pardon and forgive! Please O, God, I have erred been iniquitous and willfully sinned before you from the day I have existed on earth until this very day, please act for the sake of Your Great Name and grant me attonement for my iniquities, errors, and willful sins through which I have erred…from my youth until this day. And make whole all the names I have blemished in Your Great Name!
Yom Chamishi Tammuz 15, 5772
Thursday July,5 2012
The Stone Edition Tanach- Artscroll
The Complete Jewish Bible Translated by David H. Stern
Torah Club Volume 2 Audio CD, Mitzvah Moment; Parasha Chukat