"And the eved of YHWH must not quarrel; but be gentle to all men, able to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose him; so YHWH somehow will give them teshuvah to their acknowledging of the emet; and that they may come to their senses and leave the snare of s.a.tan, who has taken them captive to do his will."
One thing this verse is saying, "Servants of YHWH must be able to meekly instruct those that oppose them, so that YHWH will somehow give them the desire to repent when they acknowledge the truth."
Teaching and instructing those who disagree. How does that sit with you?
I am okay with not quarreling. Gentleness and patience too. I am all for getting people out of the snare of the enemy and to teshuvah. Even teaching is doable. But teaching those that are against truth? That's not exactly the most comfortable thing ever. It's hard when people don't share our views. But this is what Scripture says.
Don't panic. Let's look at what this passage is not saying. Just before this, in verse 23 it says, "Avoid foolish and unlearned questions, because they breed arguments." And earlier verse 14 expressly states, "Do not engage in word battles." So apparently YHWH distinguishes between arguing and instructing. Therefore, this is not a call to endless debates and hostile disagreements. What a relief! We are to instruct, not argue.
But what does it mean to instruct someone with meekness? While many of us tend to think of meekness as something akin to being a pushover, the meaning in this context is that of gentleness. I don't know about you but it's easier for me to learn when the instructor is kind and patient with me. It's difficult to learn algebra when the teacher is overly critical or won't slow down to help a student understand something they're missing. Learning a new job skill is much easier when the trainer is kind, and doesn't call you an idiot for not getting it right the first time. So in this context meekness has a lot to do with fruits of the Spirit like gentleness, patience, humility, and kindness.
Okay...but I'm not a teacher! Actually, if your desire and intention is to be a servant of YHWH, you should be teaching others his Word. Why? Because this is the means that YHWH uses to bring people to teshuvah--to repentance and turning to him! I love the word play here with 'instructing' YHWH repeatedly describes the Torah as the instructions. We are to teach others YHWH's instructions in the Torah on how to live so they can turn and repent. Does this mean you have to have a degree in teaching or start a Bible study? While those could be used to instruct, that's by no means a prerequisite for following the instruction to teach others. There are many different ways to do that.
1. Be obedient to the Word. Honoring Shabbat, celebrating the festivals of YHWH, eating as he instructs, and so forth. When others see you doing something different from the cultural norm it is an opportunity to learn that YHWH has better ways. Most people will see your actions before they hear your words.
2. And tell others why you're doing it. Telling your friends you can't go shopping on Saturday because you want to honor the Sabbath is okay to do! Sharing with your coworkers that you are taking time off to celebrate Sukkot is great! Letting others know why you live the way that you do is an invitation for them to follow suit.
3. Plant small seeds and ask questions. We all need to break the nasty habit of giving verbal acquiescence to beliefs and philosophies that are against the truth, just because it's uncomfortable to disagree with someone. However, it doesn't do anyone any favors when we don't give them an opportunity to understand Scripture better. "Yahusha also said..." "Where does it say that in the Bible?" "How does that fit with this verse that seems to say something different?" These are all gentle phrases that plant a seed of learning more truth.
4. Learn to say, "Because that's what the Word says." There are a million and one arguments against Creationism, keeping Torah, not eating pork, or marriage as defined by Scripture. It's not about having a comeback, perfect theological understanding, or amazing explanation of the 'why' behind YHWH's instructions. It's just about living as he says we should. I don't understand everything about Scripture. I just follow it because he said to.
5. Have these words on your gates. Mezzuzahs on your doorpost, a menorah on the mantle, and bookshelves with resources for studying and understanding Scripture show your guests that you take your faith seriously. And guess what? These teach truth even when your words don't. The delivery man can see an outdoor mezzuzah when he drops off a package, your children can be reminded of Scripture when it's framed or written on a chalkboard even when you aren't home.
6. Clothe yourself in Yahusha. I am convinced that when YHWH instructed us to have his words on our hands it wasn't only for our reminder and benefit. I get asked about my Shema bracelet all the time, from cashiers, friends, and new acquaintances. Others can learn about the Netsarim faith by how we dress and present ourselves.
7. Share truth online. Post better translations of Scripture verses on social media or share a picture of a feast day celebration. While we shouldn't get into debating there are a lot of forums that ask religious questions and there aren't many answers that line up with the Hebrew or Netsarim faith. Most of Western culture spends at least some time online each day. I hope they get to see things other than sensationalized news, gossip, and funny videos.
8. Put a Google Yahusha sticker on your car. This was a recent thing for me. Now people who pass me on the freeway or see my car parked (who I would probably never get a chance to meet or talk to) are invited to find out the real name of the Messiah.
9. Bring it up! We don't find it unusual when someone mentions the bad day they had, work frustrations, a new recipe they tried, the garage sale they're hosting this week, what they thought of the political debate, and so on in conversation. So why do we hesitate to mention the new Scripture study we are taking part in, or how much we are looking forward to Shabbat? I certainly would like to live in a world where YHWH's ways are part of everyday discussion. That starts with me.
10. Give advice based in truth. When someone comes to you for advice or your opinion make it clear that your words are based in Scripture. This goes for everything from what to do about conflict with a coworker to what to have for dinner. Our friends and family need to see the Word of YHWH as a place for practical advice and instructions on how to live.
11. Create content or support someone who does. You have probably noticed that resources for the Hebrew faith are very limited. What are you doing about that? Are you financially supporting ministries you attend and learn from? Have you considered supporting a translation of Scripture that uses the name of YHWH? What about putting your skill set to work writing or editing books, volunteering to help at your congregation, creating Torah school curriculum for children, or making lovely Scripture designs to post on Pinterest? These are all a means that others learn from.
12. Pray! We all need to pray for opportunities to instruct others and for the skill and creativity to do so well. We should also pray that YHWH would use us to cause others to turn to him.
So this list shows us that instructing others in YHWH's ways doesn't mean you have to teach a class or debate someone on the merits of obeying Scripture. And remember, we are told to share with those who not only disagree with us, but who oppose the truth. A lot of them are going to keep opposing YHWH's truth after we offer instruction. As much as we would like our teaching to be light bulb moments we must also recognize there are times when we will be met with scoffing and rude remarks and that's okay. That doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong. It's not about being an eloquent speaker or seeing amazing results. Moshe's words to Pharaoh were met with ridicule and scorn and he never did get Pharaoh to teshuvah, but YHWH's goal was still accomplished.
We have to remember that far too many are dying without Yahusha and that real compassion is sharing truth with them, no matter how we may be mocked and hated for it.
This isn't about your teaching ability. It is about your willingness and YHWH working through you. Even when it's hard and your words or actions are ridiculed, YHWH is giving others the desire to teshuvah.