This is the seventh blog in the series on The Lord’s Prayer. The previous blogs are Rediscovering the Power of The Lord’s Prayer, Our Father in Heaven, May Your Name Be Sanctified, May your Kingdom come Your Will Be Done, Give Us Our Daily Bread, Forgive Us the Debt of Our Sins, and Do Not Bring Us Into the Hands of a Test. Now we will continue to the seventh line of the prayer.
And protect us from all evil.
Comments and Cultural Insights
1. Many English translation have – “protect us from the evil one,” but that’s not what Jesus taught. When we put his words back into the Hebrew language he spoke, this is what he taught his disciples to pray - “protect us from all evil.”
2. Jesus was hinting at the words of Psalms 121:7 – “May Yahweh protect you from all evil.”
3. Jesus was not talking about protection from a personified form of evil called “Satan.”
4. The Hebrew word RAH is the word translated “evil.” It first appears in the Jewish Scriptures in the story of the Garden of Eden. Pay close attention to what RAH meant in that context – “acts done by humans that are unpleasant to the Creator’s eyes because they destroy and harm lives, make lives less functional and decrease the quality of life.”
5. “Protect us from all evil” is a request to “protect us from the evil acts done by other people” and “protect us from evil acts done by me.”
6. The Creator introduced TOV (good) into the creation through His actions that were all were TOV.
7. Adam introduced RAH (evil) into the creation through his actions -- he changed God’s commandment, failed to protect Eve from the serpent, chose to obey the words of a wild predatory animal instead of the commandment of Yahweh and introduced death into the creation.
4. The Hebrew word TOV describes “acts that are beautiful and pleasant to the Creator’s eyes because they protect and preserve lives, make lives more functional and increase the quality of life.”
Making the words of The Lord’s Prayer a Reality in Our Lives
1. A central concept in the Jewish Scriptures and the New Testament is “God endowed humans with the freedom of choice,” therefore humans are responsible for their own actions. This is a foundational requirement for justice to exist.
2. This is found in the Torah in Deuteronomy 30:15, 19 - Behold, I place before you today life and TOV (good) and death and RAH (evil) . . . choose life so that you and your descendants may live!
3. The above verses are the basis for a key principle for “protecting from all evil” – when making decisions always choose options that are TOV. This is what Yahweh told Cain to do when he was angry with his brother Abel. Cain chose to do RAH instead.
4. In the New Testament (James 1:14-15) we find -- Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. A foundational principle of the Torah is found in the opening creation account in Genesis – “subdue the Earth.” This means that each person must be taught and learn to subdue the earthly appetites, desires and longings of the earth-soul they share with the animals. Impulse-control and self-discipline are divine traits humans are endowed with that animals lack. Animals act on instincts.
5. Praying “protect us from all evil,” reminds us our role “as our brother’s keeper.” Adam failed to guard and protect Eve, while Cain became his “brother’s killer” instead of “his brother’s keeper.”
Do not continue until you consider the implications of this line of The Lord’s Prayer, especially if you identify yourself as a Christian.
1. Did your Jesus teach the same thing as what Yeshua taught above?
2. Did your Jesus teach you a different meaning of evil?
3. How many of your prayers focus on human actions as the sources of evil?
4. Are you teaching your children what Yeshua taught or doctrines that church leaders from different cultures created centuries later?
5. What impact would over two-billion Christians doing what the Real Yeshua taught have on our world today?
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