"Uniting Christian & Jewish Clergy from Around the World"
"May darkness and deep gloom reclaim it (the day of Job's birth); may a gloom-darkened cloud lie over it; may what blackens the day terrify it." [Job (Iyob) 3. 5 Tanakh, Kethuvim]
After sitting for months in awful misery, Job uttered this doleful, dismal damnation. Total misery was the principal ingredient of the sad wailing of the confused patriarch as he finally let go and cursed the day he was born. [Job/Iyob 3. 3] Job had been living a long while in the grim "shadow of death" — but could not die. This cry of Job contains the first of several reference to "the shadow of death" in HOLY SCRIPTURE. In the OLD COVENANT there are eighteen such references, of which ten are in the Book of Job.
The HOLY ONE HIMSELF asked, "Have the gates of death been disclosed to you? Have you seen the gates of deep darkness or the shadow of death?" [Job (Iyob) 38. 17 Tanakh, Kethuvim] These are well-spoken expressive questions, for no one in Job's day had ever returned from death.
No one has personal knowledge of what really lies beyond those terrifyingly depressing doors. No one, that is, except the YESHUA ha'MASHIACH. HE said, "I am HE that lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen! And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." [Revelation 1. 18] When the LORD JESUS conquered death, HE destroyed its sting (not its sorrow). In confident assurance as was King David, we can say— "Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness in the shadow of death, I fear no harm, for YOU are with me; YOUR rod and YOUR staff — they comfort me." [Psalms (Tehillym) 23. 4 Tanakh, Kethuvim]
The last reference in the OLD COVENANT to the dark shadow of death is. . ."Seek the LORD, WHO turns the deep darkness and the shadow of death into dawn; and darkens day into night." [Amos (Amus) 5. 8 Tanakh, Nevi'im] The last reference in the HOLY SCRIPTURES is when Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, thanked GOD OMNIPOTENT that "the DAYSPRING from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." [Luke 1. 78 - 79] When we have a personal relationship with the LORD MESSIAH YESHUA, the sting of death is gone. . . and beyond the Veil of Death is seen — the Dawn.
Sha'alu (Pray) for the shalom (Peace) of Jerusalem and all of Israel!
Praised are YOU, O LORD our GOD, RULER of the world, by whose law the shadows of evening fall and the gates of the morning are opened. Infinite as is YOUR power, so is YOUR love. By YOUR laws and commandments, by statutes and ordinances YOU have led us in the way of righteousness and brought us to the light of truth. Therefore at our lying down and our rising up, let us meditate on YOUR teachings and find in YOUR laws true life and length of days. O that YOUR love may never depart from our hearts. Praised are YOU, O LORD, WHO has revealed YOUR love through MESSIAH YESHUA.