Having Light in Our Dwellings
by YahChannah Wolf

 Most of you here are young enough that you cannot think to imagine, much less remember, living in a home that was not even wired for electricity. Without our electricity for lighting we would feel like we were truly isolated and discomforted, since along with the lights, comes our computers, our radios and televisions and for many our heating and our cooling.

As a child I remember well having the light from the fireplace or an oil lamp as the only illumination in our house. Knowing nothing different your eyes would adjust to the lesser light until you felt you were seeing fine. You came to the point that you did not bump into things, you could tell where you were going, somewhat.

Only in the morning were you able to see all the dust you had left when it was your turn to dust the furniture. You found the little pile of dirt your sister had left while sweeping the kitchen floor after the supper dishes were washed. A little dust here and a little dirt there. If light had not come with daybreak, can you imagine how our house would have looked to those who came in with light?

We may find and remove all the dust and dirt in our houses but do we allow it to slowly accumulate in our day to day lives while we adjust to a little darkness entering our thinking, our actions, until our eyes are able to discern our way, but not clearly.

We can no more know, what we do not know, than we can see, what we do not see. It is vital to our very survival to keep the light shining on the way so we can see clearly and not stumble and find ourselves skipping merrily down the wrong road complimenting ourselves on our vision.

We need windows for the sun to shine into our houses to give us light during the day. In fact we need clean windows.

We also need to be open to the light (enlightenment) from the Source of all light and all understanding. We need to refuse to continue walking in any degree of darkness concerning the way He has laid out for us in Torah.

Can we immediately understand all, have perfect vision and understanding? I doubt it, short of a miracle but we can help drive away darkness for ourselves and for others. When we share the light we have, it does not lessen what we have, rather we receive more.

Tender and open hearts, a desire to know Him and understand His Torah, are necessary requirements if we are to receive light from YHWH.

How can we have light in our dwellings?

YHWH hardened Paroh’s (Pharaoh’s) heart.

Shemot (Exod) 10:20-23

20        But YHWH hardened Paroh’s (Pharaoh’s) heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.

21        And YHWH said to Moshe, Stretch out your hand toward the heavens, that there may be darkness over the land of Mitzrayim ( Egypt ), even darkness which may be felt.

22        And Moshe stretched forth his hand toward the heavens; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Mitzrayim for three days:

23        They did not see one another, nor did any rise from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

Why do you think all the children of Yisrael had light in their dwellings but Mitzrayim sat in darkness?

May we explore together some ways to keep the light shining and to dispel the darkness?

Vayikra (Lev) 3:17

17        It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings and meeting places, that you do not eat fat or blood.

We want to have light to see, we eat what He says is food, good clean food for us.

He speaks of Shabbat in:

Vayikra (Lev) 23:3

3          For six days shall your work be done: but the seventh day is the Shabbat of rest, and a miqra qodesh (a set-apart convocation); you shall do no work on that day: it is the Shabbat of YHWH in all your dwellings and meeting places.

Do we want light? Then we call qodesh (set apart) what He calls Qodesh. We do what He has told us to do on His Qodesh days.

We are told concerning Chag HaShavuoth or Chag HaBikuriym (Feast of FirstFruits):

YHWH must ALWAYS come first.

Vayikra (Lev) 23:14

14        You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your Elohiym. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.

Vayikra (Lev) 23:21-22

21        On that same day you are to proclaim a miqra qodesh (a sacred assembly) and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.

22        "'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am YHWH your Elohiym.'"

Proclaiming a miqra qodesh and doing no work is followed immediately by the directive to look out for the poor and the ger, the sojourner among you.

Do you want light? Be generous with your Brethren and those who have chosen to dwell among you.

Yom HaKippuriym (Day of Atonement)

Vayikra (Lev) 23:26-32

26        YHWH said to Moshe,

27        "The tenth day of the seventh month is Yom HaKippuriym, (the Day of Atonement). Hold a Miqra Qodesh (a sacred assembly) and deny yourselves (to fast, to humble yourselves), and present an offering made to YHWH by fire.

28        Do no work on that day, because it is Yom HaKippuriym, when atonement is made for you before YHWH Eloheykha

29        Anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people.

30        I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on that day.

31        You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.

32        It is a Shabbat Shabbaton (a sabbath of rest) for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your Shabbat."

Unresolved conflicts with our brothers and sisters are somewhat like dirty windows. They block out the light He wishes us to walk in. Yom HaKipuriym is a time to get things cleaned up internally, within ourselves but also externally with others. We are required to do all we can to remove any animosity that exists between us and another of YHWH’s children.

We are to cry out over injustice, wickedness and lies. Pray for the peace of Yerushalayim and for the ‘community’ in the U.S., Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Canada, Israel or the many other countries represented here tonight.

David cries out at the pain of being betrayed by one who was once a trusted friend and counselor:

Tehillim (Ps) 55:9-16

9          Confuse the wicked, O YHWH; confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city.

10        Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it.

11        Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.

12        If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising him self up against me, I could hide from him.

13        But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,

14        with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of Elohiym.

15        Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave, for evil finds lodging among them.

16        But I call to Elohiym, and YHWH saves me.

YesheYahu (Isa) 32:17-18

17        And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

18        And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

YermeYahu (Jer) 9:23-24

23        This is what YHWH says, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:

24        But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows ME, that I am YHWH, Who exercises goodness, kindness and faithfulness, also just judgment and righteousness in the earth: for I delight in these things, says YHWH.

Do we have wisdom, strength and riches, they mean nothing unless we know and understand the Almighty Sovereign YHWH.

Vayrikra (Lev) 25:18

18        Do My statutes. Keep My judgments and do them and you shall dwell in the land in safety.

B’MidBar (Num) 35:34

34        Therefore do not defile the land which you shall inhabit, this wherein I dwell: for I, YHWH dwell among the children of Yisrael.

Bereshith (Gen) 1:3-5

3          And Elohiym said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4          And Elohiym saw the light, that it was good: and Elohiym divided the light from the darkness.

5          And Elohiym called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

He said the light was good, let us walk in the light so we may clearly discern the road to walk upon.

Tehillim (Ps) 56:13

13        For You have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before Elohiym in the light of life.

Tehillim (Ps) 89:15

15        Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence, O YHWH.

YesheYahu (Isa) 2:5

5          O house of Ya’acov, come and let us walk in the light of YHWH.

He calls us to walk in the light so we may not stumble.

Let’s wash our windows, humble ourselves before Him that we might have light in our dwellings, now and forever more.

YesheYahu (Isa) 26:1-4

1          In that day this song will be sung in the land of Yahudah : We have a strong city; Elohiym makes salvation its walls and ramparts.

2          Open the gates that the righteous may enter, the people that keeps faith.

3          You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.

4          Trust in YHWH forever, for YAH, YHWH, is the Rock eternal.

Friends, whatever we do, let’s not allow our eyes to become so accustomed to the darkness until we are no longer even aware of all the un-YHWH-like happenings around us. Can you see violence and not flinch? Can you listen to people using profanity and barely notice? Do you watch rated XXX movies and wonder what all the fuss is about? We can get used to anything if exposed to it enough.

Let’s do a little looking into our dwelling place and see if we need more light. We are to be different. We are to be set apart. We ARE to have light within our dwellings