Are you a Judah-izer?
No, that’s not a typo.
You’re thinking it should be Judaizer, right?
So what is a Judaizer? “Judaizers are Christians who teach it is necessary to adopt Jewish customs and practices, especially those found in the Law of Moses, to be saved,” so says Wikipedia.
In essence, they were people-pleasers rather than God-pleasers, obeying the Law rather than the Word, insisting that Gentile converts to Christianity observe certain Old Testament rites, especially circumcision.
The apostle Paul shook his finger at the Galatian church for being such Law-keepers, seeking to influence others to “live like Jews” (Gal. 2:14 RSV).
Paul told them, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1 NKJV)
No more bondage. We have been set free, no longer law-abiders but Word-abiders. Or are we? Are we still man-pleasers or are we God-pleasers?
Do we display a Sunday-morning-saved face to others, wearing our signs of the cross around our neck or stuck to our car?
Or are you a Judah-izer?
Or are we pleasing Him with our display of love, honor, and praise all week long?
To please Him, we follow His Word and the most important of all…we praise Him!
So, if God-pleasers praise Him, we must be Judah-izers.
So what is a Judah-izer?
Names in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, had great meaning.
Judah was the fourth son of Jacob by Leah. Because of “Leah’s praise to the Lord on account of his birth: ‘Now will I praise [Heb. odeh] Jehovah, and she called his name Yehudah’ (Gen. 29:35).” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)
Yehudah or Judah means praise or praised. It comes from the Hebrew word yadah, meaning to use or hold out the hand, especially to worship with uplifted hands, to give thanks, to laud.
And where is the word used the most in the Bible? Wanna take a guess? I’m sure you guessed right: Psalms. Where David’s heart is poured out in thanks and praise to God. David, a man walking in obedience to God, as God said, “I have found David…a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.” (Acts 13:22b NKJV)
You think God says the same about us as He did David?
God created us to give Him glory, to raise our hands in thanksgiving, to place our hearts of pain and suffering on the altar of sacrifice praising Him, to be God-pleasers because we love Him.
Matthew Henry wrote in his commentary, “That which was burnt upon the altar is called the food of the offering…It fed the holy fire; it was acceptable to God.”
Therefore, may all our offerings of sacrificial praise and thanksgiving burn to be holy food to the Lord, producing the sweet-smelling aroma that rises up to greet the Lord.
From your deepest pit, say as Jonah from his belly-pit of a giant fish to God, “But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving.” (Jonah 2:9 NKJV)
And that is a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
Would others consider you a Judaizer or a Judah-izer?
May you be blessed in your Judah-izing…Lynn