Newsletter Articles

Mishpocha (Family)

Mishpocha (Family)

By Eric Carlson on February 1, 2024

The Kingdom of God is based upon two relationship models. The first model is between every individual and God, the second is between upon every individual and the people around you. Your immediate family, your friends, and neighbors, those whom you work with, those with whom you either have business or social interactions, then people in general. The basis of family or Mishpocha is based upon the original covenant established by God with and through Avram in:

Genesis 12:1-3. Now ADONAI said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families (mishpachah {mish-paw-khaw’}: Family, tribe, clan, guild, nation) of the earth will be blessed (“Va’avarechah” whose root word for “bless” is “barak”, an action on God’s part to bestow a blessing, and act of adoration upon His own, places individuals or nations in and under God’s favor, under His protection, with provision, power, and sustenance).”

The most dramatic and substantive changes that occur in your life come from God, not anyone or anywhere else. Throughout Scripture we see God using ordinary people who were given divine assignments who then, in turn, did extraordinary feats of the supernatural. Adonai took an ordinary person by surprise. Avram wasn’t necessarily looking, searching, or shopping for a divine mission from God. God knew his heart, character, and integrity and knew that he was trustworthy. The life of righteousness that he was living garnered God’s attention. God invaded Avram’s life to begin building a nation of people unto Himself, solely dedicated to His plans and purposes-family. Through this Family, Mishpocha of God would come the Messiah, a savior, the Mashiach who would redeem the world and by which all the families of the earth would be blessed!

What God is saying in Gen 12:3 is that those who positively interact with Avram and his descendants (us), those who become part of the Mishpocha, part of the family of God will be blessed, placed in God’s favor, protection, provision, power, sustenance. All that God has is at your disposal when you live in a covenant relationship with Him!! As a reminder, a curse is essentially a lack of the blessing, you are not living in God’s favor, protection, provision, power, and sustenance. Any person or individual who blesses Israel will also receive the same benefits but, even more importantly, become part of the Mishpocha, the Family! The Family unit is God’s initial and foundational level of worship. Family is how it started in the beginning, all of God’s creation:

Genesis 8:19. every animal, every creeping thing and every bird, whatever moves on the earth, according to their families (mishpachah {mish-paw-khaw’}: Family, tribe, clan, guild, nation), went out of the ark.

All of God’s creation, all species, all animals, all humans are bound together by Families. The family unit is God’s basic order in His creation. After the flood the Lord divided the lands according to their families:

Genesis 10:5. From these the islands of the nations were divided into their lands, each according to its language, according to their families, in their nations.

God rewards obedience to Him through families:

Exodus 1:21. Indeed, because the midwives feared God, he made them founders of families

Exodus 12:3-4. Speak to all the assembly of Isra’el and say, ‘On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household – 4 except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it.

If you’re single or your family is too small your neighbor’s band together with you to become part of the family. Here is the critical kingdom of God, heavenly, biblical understanding: Family is not always birthright. Family is association, clan, neighbors, it’s not always by birth. Israel (mixed crowd) worshiped in the wilderness by family.

Exodus 33:8-10. Whenever Moshe went out to the tent, all the people would get up and stand, each man at his tent door, and look at Moshe until he had gone into the tent. 9 Whenever Moshe entered the tent, the column of cloud would descend and station itself at the entrance to the tent; and ADONAI would speak with Moshe. 10 When all the people saw the column of cloud stationed at the entrance to the tent, they would get up and prostrate themselves, each man at his tent door.

The Mishkan, the Tent of Meeting, and the Tabernacle were actually very small. Only Moshe could enter in while Joshua would stand at the entrance. As Moshe was before God each man would be at his tent, his family would worship God in their family structure as Moshe spoke with God in the Tabernacle. This family structure of worship will be the same in the end:

Zechariah 14:17. If any of the families of the earth does not go up to Yerushalayim to worship the king, ADONAI-Tzva’ot, no rain will fall on them.

The family structure is the key. The book of Numbers contains mind numbing chapters of Genealogies, list after list categorized by the Families of a mixed crowd that departed from Egypt. Joshua distributed land to the same mixed crowd that departed from Egypt in the Promise Land by families. There is no biblical word or situation that describes or mentions step, step-brother, or step-daughter.

Esther 2:15. When the turn came for Ester the daughter of Avichayil, whom Mordekhai had adopted as his own daughter (bath {bath}: daughter, girl, adopted daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, granddaughters, female child), to appear before the king, she didn’t ask for anything other than what Hegai the king’s officer in charge of the harem advised. Yet Ester was admired by all who saw her.

Esther became Mordechai’s daughter. No Step-daughter terminology is used by Mordekhai, Esther is His daughter. This is the same terminology used in the Brit Chadesha regarding Gentiles coming into the Kingdom of God:

Ephesians 1:5. He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be his sons (huiothesia {hwee-oth-es-ee’-ah}: adoption, adoption as sons, that relationship which God was pleased to establish between himself and the Israelites in preference to all other nations ) – in keeping with his pleasure and purpose –

Even Avraham and our people who would become known as Israel was established in a relationship with God founded upon adoption. Father Abraham was the first Hebrew or Jew, but this occurred because God adopted Him, brought Him into Covenant. And the terminology, Children?

Genesis 46:8. These are the names of Isra’el’s children (B’ney Yis’real: Children of Israel) who came into Egypt, Ya’akov and his sons: Re’uven Ya’akov’s firstborn;

This is the same way God brought the Gentiles in! It’s interesting that modern translations entertain divisions where there are none. In the sad story of Avimelech, the son of Gideon through a concubine who killed his seventy brothers:

Judges 9:5. He went back to his father’s house in ‘Ofrah and killed his brothers the sons (Ben: a son as a builder of the family name, male child, child, grandson) of Yeruba’al, all seventy of them, on a single rock, except for Yotam Yeruba’al’s youngest son, who stayed alive because he hid himself.

Now let’s read the same verse in “New Living Translation” translation:

Judges 9:5. (NLT) He went to his father’s home at Ophrah, and there, on one stone, they killed all seventy of his half brothers, the sons of Gideon. But the youngest brother, Jotham, escaped and hid.

The actual Hebrew text never states Half Brother. This highlights the danger of modern translations based upon modern culture. When modern euphemisms are used the meaning is changed! God is a God of unity, HaSatan is the author of division and divisiveness. Many divisions have sprouted over the centuries. The family has been attacked, corrupted, and destroyed.

Amos 9:11. “When that day comes, I will raise up the fallen sukkah (Shakan: root word of Mishkahn, Sukkah, and Mishpocha) of David. I will close up its gaps, raise up its ruins and rebuild it as it used to be,

The family unit, the Mishpocha of David will be restored. Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah. Yeshua Himself came and died to restore the family unit.

John 1:12-13. But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God, not because of bloodline, physical impulse or human intention, but because of God.

Yeshua gave us the right, the access, the ability to be children of God, all, regardless of race, culture, or background become part of God’s family! Yeshua died for it!

Ephesians 2:19. So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family (oikeios {oy-ki’-os} belonging to a family, domestic, intimate, belonging to one’s household, related by blood, kindred, belonging to the family of God.)

Related by blood, this is so powerful, by the blood of Yeshua that binds us all together! When you receive Yeshua you become part of the family, God’s Family. This plays out in the congregation level. When you join Congregation Zion’s Sake or identify with us or make Congregation Zion’s Sake your home. The common thing we hear among believers is that you submit to the Rabbi or Pastor as a congregate. This is true in a chain of command, authority structure sense. But when you join here you are joining a family, Mishpocha, we are blood relatives. With our family you become a citizen of Israel and a member of God’s family. The family includes the wisdom of the elders, teaching and structure for the children, Feast Day group gatherings, fellowship, protection, and support. Family lifts you up when you’re down, they celebrate with you when you win the victory! Family speaks truth to you even when you don’t want to hear it! Families disagree, sometimes argue but always remain family. We walk out, we practice our relationship with God every day in our interactions with each other, our family in love! We see this powerfully revealed in two references:

I John 3:10. Here is how one can distinguish clearly between God’s children and those of the Adversary: everyone who does not continue doing what is right is not from God. Likewise, anyone who fails to keep loving his brother is not from God.

I John 4:20-21. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen. Yes, this is the command we have from him: whoever loves God must love his brother too

You know the importance of family because of how HaSatan strives to keep you from it. From divorce to child abuse, sex outside of marriage to pregnancy outside of marriage, from abortion to woman abuse, from rejection to shame, HaSatan has been working overtime to destroy the foundational fabric of God’s family, of the communal structure of worship and fellowship. HaSatan seeks to divide the family! Just as you die without a relationship with God you also whither without other human contact! WE NEED EACH OTHER! You cannot do it alone!

Often individuals and Families come here and cannot assimilate to the family. There is something wrong. So many possess what’s been termed the “Orphan Spirit”. They come from broken homes or congregations and bring their brokenness and dysfunction to a Congregational family where they cannot assimilate because of their brokenness and dysfunction. To every wondering individual and family please stop wandering, stop going from family to family.

The only way to overcome and heal is to commit to a family and work through the brokenness and dysfunctions when things get difficult. To heal we must give to God the dysfunctional understanding of what families are and receive deliverance from manmade stigmatisms and titles we’ve received such as step or half brother or sister, and stepmother or stepfather. Join the family, stop bouncing around congregation to congregation and never being part of the family!

It’s the one thing we actually miss from my military service. We enjoyed in the Submarine service something we don’t have yet within the body! The following is list (though not inclusive) of behaviors and conditions that generate family division, keeping God distant.

Raised by a single parent or a child of divorce.
Single Pregnancy.
Abused as a child physically, spiritually, or mentally.
Abused as a girl/woman physically, spiritually, or mentally.
Abused as a boy/man physically, spiritually, or mentally.
Had an abortion.
Struggling with pornography (Man or Woman).
Struggling with any addiction.

I pray the blood of Yeshua over all these behaviors and more for divine, supernatural healing and deliverance. I pray for all family divisions, schisms, and separations be torn down and removed that we may live in unity, as one in Messiah!

The family is an integral unit of society, a bastion of love and support, and a vehicle for spiritual growth. It’s love and respect that keep our personal and congregational families united!

Blessings and Love,
Rabbi Eric S Carlson