Heat… Last week I wrote about the unexpected rain we experienced. August in our region is known for high temperatures. We always told people who wanted to travel to Israel to avoid August because it was miserable outside most days. Here in Cyprus it is almost always in the 90’s and often close to 100.

That is upper 30’s and low 40’s for those who follow the Celsius thermometer. In Israel it was more of a dry heat. The humidity here makes us sweat. At least here in Cyprus there are lots of swimming pools. Our current home does not have a pool, so we opted for a water park pass that has been our life saver this year. It helps to “beat the heat.”

But, enough on the joys of how to try and stay cool. What does heat have to do with the Word and our spiritual lives? We have all heard different teachings. Let’s look at a couple of verses.

Deuteronomy 28:22 Adonai will strike you down with wasting diseases, fever, inflammation, fiery heat, drought, blasting winds and mildew; and they will pursue you until you perish.

Why would God do this? We have to go back to verse 15:

“But if you refuse to pay attention to what Adonai your God says, and do not observe and obey all his mitzvot and regulations which I am giving you today, then all the following curses will be yours in abundance:

In between 15 and 22 are many curses that God will send, and they continue for many verses after. After reading them I don’t think that I want to disobey the commands of  Adonai.

As God brings Israel back to her glory, Isaiah 4 gives us insight into the beauty that will occur. Verse 6 says:

A sukkah will give shade by day from the heat; it will also provide refuge and cover from storm and rain.

God’s sukkah, which is a covering, will bring refreshment to the land. He will watch over them. A sukkah is the “tent” the Jewish people build during the festival of Sukkot. They eat in it every night and some sleep in it. It is a wonderful time to be in Israel. As you walk through Jerusalem (and drive through the land) you see these three sided additions to balconies and on the sides of homes. They have palm branches for their “roof” so they can see the greatness of God and be reminded of all that He has done for them.

A “sukkah” to provide refuge from the heat. What a blessing for those who choose to walk in His ways.

As we move into the New Testament, we see that Jesus used heat in some of His teachings. Matthew 20:12

These latecomers have worked only one hour, while we have borne the brunt of the day’s work in the hot sun, yet you have put them on an equal footing with us!’

The hot sun. The Israelites knew all about the heat of the day. The parable Jesus told spoke of workers hired to work in the field. Obviously those listening did not think it fair that someone who came halfway through the day received the same pay as someone who started the day and worked through.

The teaching of Jesus was clear, for those who wanted to understand. It doesn’t matter when you choose to follow Adonai, when you do the blessing is the same for all. The heat of the day will affect us all. But when we choose to follow the Master, He will give us all life eternal.

We cannot speak about heat without looking at the book of Revelation 7:16

They will never again be hungry, they will never again be thirsty, the sun will not beat down on them,nor will any burning heat.

The verses above are actually from the book of Isaiah. As John received his revelation and wrote his words, Adonai gave Him reminders from the Prophets. We all look forward to the day when those who will surround the throne of the King of kings will “never again be hungry or thirsty.”

The verse above once again tells us that those who choose to follow the commands of Adonai, believe in Him and His Words, they will be blessed. They will one day surround the Throne and no longer feel the beating sun.

We live in days of “global warming.” I know the atmosphere is changing. I can agree with some things that scientists say are happening. But, I also know that some of these changes are happening to wake us up and prepare us for what is coming.

The KING is coming and we need to be ready.

The heat we face is not just physical heat. We also have spiritual heat that comes at us. Words thrown out against us. Temptations placed in front of us. Decisions that must be made. We are getting hit from all sides and it is spiritually exhausting. Just like physical heat can drain us, spiritual battles will as well.

We must find our place of refuge in His Sukkah. We must find our place to rest in His Words. His promises are true. When we ground ourselves in His Truth, we will be blessed. He can prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies and we won’t think twice. We will continue to enjoy His peace because He is our Shepherd.

Finding our place of rest in Him will prepare us for His coming. The heat will tire us, but His strength will get us through. We will continue to walk in His Truth so we are ready when the King comes.

Keep on grounding yourself in His Words. Let His Words bring you the peace and strength you need. Find ways to rest in Him so you are READY when He comes. Don’t get caught without your oil. Keep your lamp burning with His oil. The oil of gladness and the oil of joy.

So many thoughts about HEAT. Just prepare and be ready!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rose Horton

Photo by Cullan Smith on Unsplash