Trust & Toil
REST AND WORK
“Moshe assembled the entire assembly of Bnei Yisrael and said to them:`These are the things that YHWH commanded to do them:On six days work shall be done, but the seventh day shall be holy for you,a day of
complete rest for YHWH;whoever does work on it shall be put to death.You shall not kindle fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day’.”(From our parashah – 35:1-2)
At first glance work, then rest, seems pretty straightforward. Work six days and rest on the Seventh, but, we all know there are many who struggle with work and many with entering into Shabbat rest. Whatever the issue, the bottom line is really whether we have Bitachon (trust), either in our work or in His rest.
Bitachon (trust) is the recognition that everything that happens is in YHWH’s control. What is the meaning of trust though? Does putting our trust in YHWH mean that YHWH will always do good for us? What would be the point of trusting in our Creator if He does bad to us? Do we do Torah or Shabbat so that good will come to us? Many, I suppose would say yes, that our motive is selfish, that we have nothing within ourselves to give back to YHWH, so we are obedient mainly for selfish reasons, but that’s a very, very, unfortunate personal assessment, that way of thinking is based on religion, dualism and materialism. In reality Bitachon (trust) points to our “spiritual being” in YHWH, if you like, we are participating in YHWH through Mashiyach. Mashiyach is in us, our trust is the connection (consciousness of) our spirits within the Ruach haKodesh.
Bitachon comes from the Hebrew word batach (trust) as in, “Batach b’YHWH with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.”
In other words, tell your heart, speak to yourself, tell your intellect and soul by your spiritual man to Batach b’YHWH”, trust in Him but in fact JOIN WITH HIM, join into His Ruach HaKodesh be One in Him as Mashiyach Y’shua taught us from Yochanan 17:11 “…that they may be one as We are.”
Would the same things have occurred in our lives (good or bad) whether we trusted or not? Why do we assume that we deserve good? What inherent thing within us demands that we deserve good things always? Isn’t a father and mother’s love for their child far greater than the material things they can offer to them? A child has little or no idea the levels of protection their father and mother are providing 24/7, even as the child grows they won’t fully understand until they have their own children to love and protect.
The Father’s love towards us is far greater than the things we get in this life, even the things that we can see with our eyes. But, at what point in life can we see beyond reward and look at “being”? Herein is the answer to Batach (trust). Being. Human spirit being. Divine being. YHWH said “I am that I am.” At this very moment we are being, we are alive in the moment and our spirit being is what allows us to connect with Shemayim (heaven), there are specific guidelines that YHWH Created but unfortunately religion and politics has re-framed Torah into the lower worlds.
We are most certainly a product of our Batach (trust) rather than what we have to show for our toil. The character within us, the loyalty and honor we carry as individuals emanates from within, evolving from the bitachon (symbiotic trust relationship) we have in YHWH. All the decisions we make are a reflection of where our trust lies, whether in YHWH or self, the more we trust the more we become, not the more we have. Unfortunately, the materialistic, humanistic, relativistic pagan world offers us a dualistic way of understanding YHWH that is based on paganism, it was formed from ideas surrounding Greek deities and culture, I could give you hundreds of examples.
Our wealth or social status is not a measure of our bitachon (trust). Our intelligence or intellectual capability, our talent, our popularity is not a measure of our bitachon. In Mashiyach there is a divine component within us that is chayil (valiant) for righteousness (right doing) that is animated by our trust. The more we exercise trust the more valiant we are to observe Torah and have Torah written upon our hearts, but, not for external reward, rather for our state of being in YHWH. This is what compels us to observe Shabbat and have Torah written upon our hearts, how and why would we want to measure that with stuff of this world?
Throughout Scripture we read about “judgment and justice”, “justice and judgment”, the “habitation of justice” being where YHWH resides. We have been entrusted by YHWH with His Covenant and His Word and each of us judges ourselves whether we consider ourselves worthy to be obedient, or whether we choose to go our own way.
The lower world (carnal or material mindset) expects things in return for trusting YHWH, the higher world enters into YHWH as the reward in itself. Those who deserve and those who don’t are both given good things from YHWH, it rains on the just and the unjust however “being in YHWH” is something we must seek and find, it’s not handed to us on a platter, or forefathers can encourage us and talk about it and tell about their relationship with YHWH and His Mashiyach, but it is up to each one of us to experience and become.
YHWH’s Word says that the Goodness of YHWH leads a man to teshuva (repentance) but in the spiritual realm the pursuit of material wealth apart from YHWH is a curse that brings a host of demons and judgments that most folks have little or no resources to deal with. The pursuit of wealth does this, not wealth itself. When a man spends his life pursuing and focusing on wealth it is at the expense of his being, herein lies the perfection of work six days and rest on the Shabbat, like Trust and Toil we see that Rest and Work provides a balance that allows us to gauge ourselves and make assessments from YHWH’s perspective of our life rather than our own assessment of ourselves.
If we trust in YHWH for material wealth, what’s in it for YHWH? What does the Creator of the Universe gain by handing over stuff to His people? What does a father and mother gain by handing over toys to their child? Do we win our children’s trust with stuff? Honor, loyalty, love, respect, compassion, equality, community, prosperity and all the things of Mashiyach is what we desire for our children and with these qualities material things are the most enjoyed, appreciated and shared.
Obedience and disobedience are demonstrations of our trust,obedience is trust in YHWH, disobedience is simply trusting in ourselves.
Modern Jewish secularism has shifted Jewish consciousness from relying and trusting in YHWH to trusting in ourselves. Bitachon is the name for the security checks one passes through in Israel before boarding the aircraft or, before entering a bank, shopping mall or café. The Ministry of Defence is the Misrad habitachon. Bitachon is also the warranty for an electrical appliance. Bituach is the insurance you buy for your home or car, and bituach leumi is social security.
According to Torah, Bitachon (Trust) is not a philosophical principle. It is an avodah (work/service) that we are required to live by. By actively trusting in YHWH, we make a change in our present situation, right here, right now. We Trust and we become. We trust and we evolve. We trust and we change. We Trust and we see Mashiyach within us the Hope of Glory. Trust is our way of responding to Who YHWH is and what He has done for us and how we enter into spiritual life in Him!
With Tefillah (Prayer) & Teshuva (turning to YHWH/repentance) we have the ability to change our situation and our relationship with YHWH, right here, right now, instantly. Through teshuva we draw close to YHWH. Even though before we were not deserving, through teshuva we transform ourselves before YHWH, our Father delights to give us our hearts desire but these things are tied to our being, not our doing.
Herein is where the Church and Rabbinical Judaism as missed their greatest opportunities for Mashiyach. Church people lash out at Torah observant brothers as “legalists” and “Judaisers”, it just rolls off their lips long before they seek the Word of YHWH or let their Spirit understand, why we as Netzari are Torah Observant. It has nothing to do with theology, I have no great desire to debate with anyone on theology, help yourself, enjoy what you know about Mashiyach it’s between you and he, not me. But the point is that a person who has their “being” in Mashiyach also see Him in and as Torah, the Living Torah and there is no dichotomy of time or application because YHWH is the same yesterday, today and forever. YHWH’s Word is the same always however the Covenant’s He has made with humanity have evolved since the fall of man because we, not HE, needed another approach to the Kingdom of Elohim.
We trust that Master YHWH is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, all we receive from YHWH is good, even if we don’t think so, we have transformed ourselves in Him and He lives within us. Both good and bad things happen to us because we live in a fallen world, we are sojourners and pilgrims in a world that has put off Torah and Mashiyach and have gone it alone.
Many say, I’ve trusted in YHWH (God, the Lord, Jesus etc) and good never came to me, no, you trusted in your trust. You employed your understanding, your religious ideas, you trusted in what you chose to trust in, not what YHWH revealed about Himself in Torah and Mashiyach, that’s the big difference. It’s YHWH’s Way or man’s way not both.
Hishtadlut / Striving (Effort) Toil
Man’s obligation to help himself.
Torah says “On six days work shall be done” -everyone is obligated to work, this isn’t a multiple choice question. Work is a burden for some and for others it’s an addiction that they love so much they can’t get enough of. “Six days work shall be done” is a Commandment for us to make an effort, how we make that effort is left to our own free will, here is where Trust and Toil are two different sides of the same coin.
If we have grown tired of putting forward our best effort, we have tired of balancing Bitachon (trust) with Hishtadlut (effort). By the way, this principle is well discussed and understood in the Jewish world, herein lies the true power of wealth. In Hebrew there are many ways of saying “work”, for example there’s Melachah (work) as in:
“And on the seventh day Elohim ended his Melachah (work)” Genesis 2:2.
So was YHWH tuckered out after creating the Universe? Sweating, heavy breathing… that kind of stuff? No. He demonstrated what OUR Melachah is, not His. Our work is to discover Him! All the work we do in the material world is connected with His divine work in the Heavenlies.
Melachah comes from the Hebrew root word Malakh (Angel) and is most commonly associated with the 39 melachah (39 elements of work) that was done during the building of the Mishkan (tabernacle). YHWH called us to build the Mishkan on earth from the pattern of which is in heaven, the work of building the tabernacle is in conjunction with the tikkun olam (rebuilding of the world) after sin brought a curse upon us. The Mishkan represents the Image of Elohim and the World to Come.
“And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought YHWH’s offering to the Melachah (work) of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his Avodah (work/service), and for the holy garments.”
The connection of Malakh (angel) with Melachah (work) forever reminds us of the Divine Nature of what we accomplish with our six days of labour. So it’s not only the satisfaction of that beautiful screaming sound of a new Ferrari that we choose to work so hard for, or the other stuff we “need” in this life, but the fact that or work is managed by our “being.” When YHWH says He gives us the delights of our hearts He really means it, He gives us delights within our own being that we cannot understand apart from Him, and we cannot enter in unless we also arrive in Shabbat with Him. Those of you who observe Shabbat as a lifestyle will know what I’m talking about, those who don’t observe Shabbat only have a theology or intellectual ideas to base their theories on, but the fact is that YHWH is Elohim of reality, He isn’t a theory, He actually exists.
Let’s tie Melachah in with another Hebrew word for work Ma’aseh:
Ma’aseh (work) as in “And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our Ma’aseh (work) and toil of our hands, because of the ground which YHWH has cursed.”
YHWH put a curse on His own Perfect Creation because one man and one woman thought they could do a better job of running the universe that YHWH.
Everyone say together… “they thought they could do a better job.”
YHWH is an equal opportunity employer, the result of sin was toil, but within toil is the self-realization of our being. Ask anyone who struggles with their job, anyone who can’t hold a job, anyone who isn’t satisfied with their lives, or their income, or their choices in life. There is no way a persons inner being is in harmony if they are not satisfied with the work of their hands and vice versa.
If a person is content with who they are, there is nothing they can’t do as work or service to others that isn’t satisfying. We can see that our work is how we also demonstrate our love to others through service, we enjoy taking those we love out for fine dining, vacations, beautiful oneg spreads, parties, beautiful homes and things to beautify life with and YHWH calls us to beautify Shabbat and oneg (delight) in Shabbat. Oneg has even evolved to become the term we use for our mid Shabbat meal as we are Commanded by YHWH to delight in Him, in His Shabbat and have Joy within ourselves!
Many people LOVE their jobs, some know they are going overboard and have become workaholics, they can’t stop, work is an addiction. Work is their identity, the stuff they have is their measure of success, they have made work it their “being” but the Commandment of Shabbat is both work and rest, Toil and Trust and is perfect in Justice.
Within our being the power of choice to love our work or resent it is available, and to delight in Shabbat or choose to ignore it.
The Hebrew Ma’aseh is work, as in “work your butt off”, any kind of work will do. The more we understand our being in YHWH, the more we see work as a reward in itself. As I write I’m thinking of family and friends and brothers and sisters in Mashiyach all over the earth, I’ve met millionaires and billionaires and I met lots who always need a few bucks, and I’ll never forget the guy I pulled out of a dumpster in Vancouver, but what is consistent with everyone is that…
Work is tied to the individual power of choice YHWH gave us.We make work our freedom, or our prison.
The Nazis had a wicked little lying ditty that said: “Arbeit macht frei” or “work makes free” but YHWH says our freedom or liberty gives us our work, we choose our work and we are thankful for the work of our hands and we thank YHWH for what He has given us to do in this life.
Hasatan the destroyer wants us to be heavily laden by our work, vexed and troubled to do our work since YHWH commanded… “six days shall thou labour”. The Adversary wants our work to be meaningless, toilsome, bothersome, redundant, unproductive and unsatisfying, he wants us to hate our job so that we will hate who we are, so that we will hate YHWH who gave us the simcha (joy) and oneg (delight) and hiddur (beauty) of being co-labourers within Creation itself.
Another Hebrew term for work is Avodah as in, “Fulfil her week, and we will give you this also for the Avodah (work) which you shall serve with me yet seven other years.” Avodah is probably the most common Hebrew word for work.
And Pharaoh put Israel to “the work”:
“Let there more Avodah (work) be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.”
A whip on our backs puts a whole new element on work doesn’t it? The Nazis “work program” for the Jews made Pharaoh look like a Sunday picnic, far, far beyond beneficial slavery for themselves, the Nazis exemplified haSatan’s ultimate work program:
Rather than break the Jewish people, Jews became more industrious and devoted to their “work” than from since Jerusalem was rebuilt after the return from Babylon. Massive contributions in medicine, physics, communication and the arts and sciences erupted when Jews obtained a homeland and set out to make it a beautiful place for themselves to live, and the whole world benefits.
If you ever want to see a people who enjoy their work, sit by a busy street corner just after Shabbat is closing in Jerusalem, watch Israelis as they prepare to get back to their 6 days of work. Soon after Shabbat is over the roads are transformed into revved up cars, buses, taxis and motorcycles, the restaurants and shops begin to open and within a few hours after sunset Jerusalem is alive, thriving and humming away. On Friday morning in Jerusalem there is a noticeable heightened level of activity that transcends the other days of the week. The fervour on Friday builds through the day as Jerusalemites and visitors prepare for Shabbat the intensity is fun and exciting to be part of the energy of preparing to rest. Work while it is light because when it get’s dark on man can work, as the sun sets the Jewish people pray, rejoice and celebrate the Commandment to keep Shabbat because it is a part of our being, not a theology or idea but the reality of YHWH and His Mashiyach.
We also find the Hebrew Avodah used in the “Avodah (work) of the Miskhan” (tabernacle), “work of the House of Elohim” and “work of the heart.” Jews have a relationship with “Avodah” that is part of their “being”, this is part of the tikkun olam (rebuilding of the world) after the fall of man, we each get to participate in this magnificent Messianic restoration in the Repairer of the Breach who is Mashiyach.
We are spirit beings who have souls and bodies that permit us to create (work). As “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” so does our choice of work and how we work express part of our “being” and trust in YHWH and His Mashiyach. There is nothing wrong with being interested in and wanting money. If money interests you, if that’s what you used as a barometer of how you selected your “work” then I hope money satisfies you enough that you really enjoy your work because of it, but somehow I doubt that.
It seems that when we go after the highest paying jobs those challenges, the competition and the momentum of our work infuses us with more energy and we tend to get a lot of satisfaction from both the money and the victories we experience as individuals and as a team. However the stewardship of our money and resources also brings blessings or curses according to our “being” and the choices we make as a result of our trust in YHWH or lack thereof.
Avodah (work) is the most commonly used word for “work” in Israel and among the Jewish people, it is also has a beautiful aspect of Avodah lev, the work or service of the heart that is traditionally known as prayer. If one connects his daily routine avodah (work) that puts food on the table with avodah (work) that is our dialogue with YHWH, this puts a whole new perspective on our attitude about what work is. Our relationship with and attitude about work isn’t mundane, it is Kadosh l’YHWH (set apart unto YHWH).
YHWH created Mashiyach “a little lower” than the angels, angels aren’t confined to the material world of time and matter, but we know angels have “work” and YHWH has “work” and we know about the “work of Mashiyach” and our work is part of the work our Heavenly Family, there’s many cases in Tanakh of work satisfaction here’s one:
“And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before YHWH his Elohim. And in every Ma’aseh (work) that he began in the Avodah (work/service) of the House of Elohim, and in the Torah, and in the commandments, to seek his Elohim, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.” Every one of us can have a beautiful work experience if we return to Bitachon (trust), if our work is hidden in Mashiyach.
The House of YHWH speaks to us of Creation, Creation was an event that affected all of mankind, not only Jews. The House of YHWH is a place of prayer for all nations. Creation includes the Seventh Day Shabbat, it is not just for Jews. Creation balances Bitachon (Trust) with Hishtadlut (Toil). The Seventh Day Shabbat is part of the reasonable service or histadlut unto YHWH, this is how we put Him in the SEAT of Government over and beyond our striving and our efforts. Herein lies the single greatest principle of Trust and Faith that has ever been revealed to mankind, through, work six days and rest on Shabbat.
Shabbat is a divine element that must be looked at as Mashiyach himself, as so with our work during six days. Both are a connection between Heaven and Earth. If we don’t do our work in six days then we can’t truly enter Shabbat rest because we haven’t exercised our free choice in our being, to create and work and serve YHWH, ourselves and others. I know many people who spend the bulk of their paychecks on Thursday and Friday for a celebration on Shabbat, a friend joked one time saying his Rabbi said that you can eat anything you want on Shabbat and you will never get fat, steak, prime rib, everything, cheesecake, desserts all you can eat… as long as you don’t eat on the other 6 days of the week. Shabbat is preferred because this is when YHWH designated time for us to have with Him!
If you don’t have the freedom to choose to work then you are enslaved either internally by your own mind or externally by a slave master, neither is of YHWH. Everyone knows what our reasonable service and responsibility is to ourselves and others, but the beautiful thing is that if our work life is a mess there is an answer and a solution.
Return to trust. Return to the center of our being in YHWH. Return to the joy of obedience. Return to YHWH and He will rebalance our Trust with our Toil and give us a new beginning. Today is the acceptable day of Salvation. I pray you will hear His Voice and delight in your Trust and Toil as unto YHWH.
If we make it our work to Trust in YHWH, if that’s our work and we define it to ourselves as such, then we will enjoy creating wealth, storing up wealth for our children and our children’s children, helping others. We will delight ourselves in YHWH because we will see that He gives us all the delights of our hearts, because of who we are in Him, not because we deserve anything.
Mashiyach “working” within us… that is Perfection.
YHWH be with you,
Baruch Ben Daniel
“The Torah which a man learns in this world is but vanityompared to the Torah of Messiah.”Midrash Qohelet 11:8