This morning before awakening I had my hands stretched over my head as I slept. When I awoke and put my arms down I realized that the bracelets on my arms were entangled and I couldn’t separate my arms! So for the next five minutes I tried to set myself free. Upon releasing the bracelets I heard the L-rd say, “People wake up every day in chains, crying out for freedom. These aren’t just people in jail, but prisoners in their hearts and minds. Pray for the captives to be set free.”
Chains can be decorative like my bracelets- שַׁרְשְׁרֹת [sharsherot] – these were beautiful filigree chains used in the Temple. But I believe the chains that the L-rd was referring to were אזקים [azakim] as in Jeremiah 40:1-2. People are bound אסר [asur] in chains. Another word for chains can be נְחֹשֶׁת [nechoshet] – brass, copper, metal or more specifically chains or fetters:
- Lam 3:7 – He has walled me in so that I cannot go out; He has made my chain heavy.
- Judges 16:21 – Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.
- 2 Sam 3:24 – “Your hands were not bound, nor your feet put in fetters; as one falls before the wicked, you have fallen.” And all the people wept again over him.
- Jer 6:28 – All of them are stubbornly rebellious, going about as a talebearer. They are bronze and iron; They, all of them, are corrupt.
The verse that jumped off the page for me was Jeremiah 6:27 “I have made you an assayer and a tester among My people, that you may know and assay their way.”
In this same chapter it’s written in Jeremiah 6:16-17 Thus says the L-rd, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it. And I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
So I felt the L-rd was calling His watchmen to be assayers and testers among His people.
Now of course the Parashat HaShavuah would be in tune with this word – of course! I just love how the L-rd weaves all things together so beautifully.
Exodus 1:22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.”
Then I heard the L-rd say that the Nile River was the world’s first abortion clinic.
Isaiah 27: 6 In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, and they will fill the whole world with fruit.
“This is the promise I gave to Israel.”
Isaiah 27:9 Therefore through this Jacob’s iniquity will be forgiven; and this will be the full price of the pardoning of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones like pulverized chalk stones; when Asherim and incense altars will not stand.
And then He said, “And this is how they will reach the breakthrough.”