'The Way' with Kevin Pauley
Originally posted on 12/02/2019
This is what the Lord says: The wise must not boast in his wisdom; the mighty must not boast in his might; the rich must not boast in his riches. But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me - that I am the Lord, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things.[This is] the Lord's declaration. – Jeremiah 9:23-24 HCSB
Have you ever had anyone ask you, “What does a papaya taste like?” Or, “What was it like, jumping out of an airplane?” There are some things that simply beggar the imagination. One cannot know the true vastness of the Sahara without standing in its scorching glare. One cannot grasp the immensity of the Himalayas without climbing them. This is the appeal of adventure. Adventurers know that the only way to truly experience the many beauties and wonders of life is to participate in them tactilely.
There is a certain camaraderie that is shared by those in the military. It comes from suffering together. But it also comes from long watches over lonely posts. Endless card games and discussions of what we’ll do once we get back to the “real world.”
It is the same with God. We can begin to know God by witnessing the life of His Son and taking to heart that without His righteousness ascribed to our poor miserable souls, there is no hope. Without Him we can do nothing. Yet, there is so much more.
We can get to know God by working with Him, dreaming with Him, hoping with Him. It is in those long hard days - pulling on His yoke, sharing our fears and misunderstandings with Him, learning at His feet in the evenings - that we truly get to know Him.
It is only when we invite Hashem into every aspect of our lives and dedicate each step to the glory of His Name (Kiddush Hashem) that we will enter into that intimate d’vekut with Him. When we do, we will find that He shows faithful love, justice and righteousness. That is the essence of Tzedekah. That is the goal of the tzaddikim.
God will enter into this relationship with us when we accept Him at His Word. He has longed for such a partnership since He came walking in the Garden of Eden. You will turn Him away if you do not have the same driving passion that He has for Tzedekah. Righteousness is the core of His being. Charity and compassion are the essence of His nature. Good works are the natural outcome of living steadily and obediently in His presence.
One last thing, did you notice how all the things we naturally think are so wonderful (intelligence, power, influence, wealth) He completely disregards? Ethics is what He longs for. Righteous living is what turns Him on. It’s what makes Him tick.
 Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 26:12; 45:5; Ezekiel 14:9; Amos 3:3; John 15:5; Romans 8:20; Philippians 2:13
 Matthew 11:28-30
 Genesis 3:8
 Acts 9:36; 1 Timothy 6:18; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Titus 2:7,12-14; 3:8,14; Hebrews 10:24