Answers, Questions, Faith
Did you know that scholars have discovered approximately 3,300 questions in the Bible? The very first question in the Bible was not asked by any human, but by a serpent. In Gen. 3:1 the serpent asks Eve a question, "Did God really say?" Eve was tempted to doubt God's truth and responded by disobeying His words. As if this were not bad enough, she added to His words. Deut.4:2 and Rev.22:18-19 say the same thing. Do not add or subtract from the Word of God. Rev.22:18 says if we add to the Word, He will add plagues to our lives. Rev.22:19 tells us if we subtract from the Word, he will take away our share in the Tree of Life. The enemy of our soul is still tempting us with the serpent's question. Eve's doubting the words of God, led to her separation from the Spirit of the Lord. Every time we make a decision without seeking guidance from the Word of God, we face the same danger of becoming an independent spirit separated from God's truth, His Word.
In Gen. 3:9 we see God's first question to man, Adam, "Where are you?" Of course, God knew exactly where he was, but Adam had to give an account for his self-appointed independent positioning. What God was really asking was, "How is everything working out for you now (that you have disobeyed Me)?"
In the Yeshivas (Hebrew schools of Higher Learning) the highest accolades go to those who are able to ask good questions. "Judaism is considered a faith based on asking questions, sometimes deep and difficult ones that seem to shake the very foundations of faith itself 'Shall the Judge of all the earth not do justice?' asked Abraham. 'Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people?' asked Moses. 'Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?' asked Jeremiah." Quote from Britain's Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
As believers in Messiah, we must learn to ask the right questions. Asking questions is an art form that has been lost to many of us in our Roman-Greco society. We need to know what to do and how to do it in order to receive answers to our questions, "The Lord will judge and determine and solve and settle the cause and cases of His people" (Heb.10:30 Amp). Our faith has everything to do with receiving answers from the invisible world (Heb.11:1) and an invisible God (I Tim.1:17).
In Mark 5:25-30 we read an incredible story. We meet a woman who has had an issue of blood (hemorrhage) for twelve years. Please note, twelve is an interesting number in the Hebrew alphabet. The twelfth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is called the lamed. The lamed is a picture of an "ox goad." An ox goad is a sharp stick used for prodding cattle forward. The word, "lamed" is related to the root word "lamad" which refers to both teaching and to learning. The lamed is positioned in the middle of the Hebrew alphabet, much like our physical heart in our bodies. Isn't learning the Word of God and not doubting His Word, CENTRAL to our lives? The Word of God is as an ox goad pricking man's heart to action. Jesus is the Word of God. We will see later, in this story, how all this ties together.
"This woman suffered many things of MANY physicians" (Mark 5:26). Putting herself in the position of dependence upon the physicians, caused her to become worse physically, as well as financially exhausted. How many times have we chosen avenues in our lives similar to this lady's dependence on physicians, rather than go straight to the Scriptures? She must have had many questions as to why she was not being healed. Once she couldn't pay for any more treatment, her questions about her health went unanswered. She may have been deemed by the physicians as incurable. Can that which we seek apart from the counsel of the living Messiah, prolong a similarly "incurable" disease in us? Is that from which we are seeking relief, aside from God's Word, causing us more suffering? Did the Lord allow her, and will He allow us to become bankrupt to get us to seek only Him?
"When she HEARD of Jesus, she came in the "press behind" and touched his garment" (Mark 5:27). Think for a moment of the term press behind. To press behind can mean "to watch from a distance." Are we watching from a distance, afraid to PRESS in and through the multitude to get to Him? I like to think of the multitude as all the thoughts that bombard us daily, often keeping us from Him. How many years have we allowed our situations to control us, instead of us pressing through in faith to touch HIM for the solution? How many days have we allowed the enemy to ask us questions intended to cause us to doubt God's Word? He said in the Torah, that He is the healer (Exod.15:26). He said in the Prophets, that by His stripes we WERE healed (Isa.53:5). He said in the Writings, that He is the Lord who heals ALL of our diseases (Psalm 103:3).
It is by faith that the woman presses in and is prodded to touch the HEM OF HIS GARMENT. The Hem of the Garment, the fringe, represents the 613 negative and positive Torah laws, specifically the "instruction" of God. Numbers 15:38-41 is known as the "Law of the Fringe". After all the doctors had failed her, she must have remembered what the Torah said. "For she said, if I may but touch only His clothes, (the hem of his garment) I will be cured." (Mark 5:28) Once she does touch him, He ASKS a question. "WHO TOUCHED MY CLOTHES?" (Mark 5:30) "But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had been done in her, came and fell down before Him and told HIM all the truth." (Mark 5:33) His question brought her into fellowship with HIM and she was able to tell Him all of her heart. What great news! I believe years of grief, doubt, unbelief, bitterness, anguish, hopelessness, and loneliness were removed from her soul at the very moment of Her contact with Him, The Word. He is the ANSWER. "And he said unto her, Daughter, your FAITH has made you whole; go in peace, and be whole of your PLAGUE" (Mark.5:34). She had a plague. Had the enemy been able to lie to her all those years? Had she doubted God by subtracting from the Word and opening herself up to the plague? Are we subtracting from the Word? Have we relied on men's formulas instead of pressing into HIM, the source of all healing?
There is much hidden in this story. There is positioning, as symbolized by the lamed; there are questions, good ones from the Lord and evil ones from satan; there is the truth of confession; finally, there is healing that comes from faith in action. All biblical faith is centered in the person, Messiah. The Hebrew word for faith is "emunah." This word is comprised of the Hebrew letters (aleph + mem + nun). Emunah comes from the Hebrew root word, "Aman" which among many things means "to go to the right hand," or "to turn to the right." Jesus is a picture of the "Right hand of God." Ben-jamin = Son of the Right Hand.
Simply put, the changes we are seeking will come from turning to the right hand. May we be transformed/changed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2).
Blessings and honor,