Beth Yeshua International • Monday • October 14, 2019 Feast Service: Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

 
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Expounding the Torah

Did Moses speak in tongues? Tradition says that Moses spoke the words of the book of Deuteronomy in the seventy languages of humanity.

Portion Summary

Devarim (דברים) is both the title for the last book from the scroll of the Torah and the title of the first Torah portion therein. Devarim means “words.” The English-speaking world calls this book Deuteronomy. The Hebrew title for the book comes from the opening phrase of the book: “These are the words (devarim) which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness” (Deuteronomy 1:1).

One ancient name for the book of Deuteronomy is Mishnah HaTorah (משנה תורה), which means “repetition of the Torah.” This is similar to the Greek Septuagint name Deuteronomos, which means “second law.” The English name Deuteronomy is derived from Deuteronomos.

The book of Deuteronomy is dominated by Moses’ farewell address to the children of Israel as he urges them to remain faithful to the covenant and prepares them for entering Canaan. During the course of the book, Moses reviews the story of the giving of the Torah at Sinai and the trip to the Promised Land, reiterates several laws of Torah and introduces new laws. The book seems to follow the general pattern of an ancient Near Eastern covenant treaty document.

As we study the first week’s reading from the book of Exodus, the children of Israel are assembled on the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho.

Special Shabbat Reading

Special readings are applicable this Shabbat.

  • Shabbat Chazon (שבת חזון | Vision)
  • Haftarah: Isaiah 1:1-27

Shabbat Chazon (“Sabbath [of] vision” שבת חזון) takes its name from the Haftarah that is read on the Shabbat immediately prior to the mournful fast of Tisha B’Av, from the words of rebuke and doom coming from Isaiah in the Book of Isaiah 1:1-27. It is also referred to as the Black Sabbath due to its status as the saddest Shabbat of the year (as opposed to the White Sabbath, Shabbat Shuvah, immediately precededing Yom Kippur).

Regular Shabbat Readings

  • Devarim (דברים | Words)
  • Torah: Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
  • Haftarah: Isaiah 1:1-27
  • Gospel: Matthew 24:1-22

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Outline

  • TORAH
    • Deuteronomy 1:1 | Events at Horeb Recalled
    • Deuteronomy 1:9 | Appointment of Tribal Leaders
    • Deuteronomy 1:19 | Israel’s Refusal to Enter the Land
    • Deuteronomy 1:34 | The Penalty for Israel’s Rebellion
    • Deuteronomy 1:46 | The Desert Years
    • Deuteronomy 2:26 | Defeat of King Sihon
    • Deuteronomy 3:1 | Defeat of King Og
  • PROPHETS
    • Isaiah 1:1 | Introduction
    • Isaiah 1:2 | The Wickedness of Judah
    • Isaiah 1:21 | The Degenerate City

Portion Summary

Devarim (דברים) is both the title for the last book from the scroll of the Torah and the title of the first Torah portion therein. Devarim means “words.” The English-speaking world calls this book Deuteronomy. The Hebrew title for the book comes from the opening phrase of the book: “These are the words (devarim) which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness” (Deuteronomy 1:1).

One ancient name for the book of Deuteronomy is Mishnah HaTorah (משנה תורה), which means “repetition of the Torah.” This is similar to the Greek Septuagint name Deuteronomos, which means “second law.” The English name Deuteronomy is derived from Deuteronomos.

The book of Deuteronomy is dominated by Moses’ farewell address to the children of Israel as he urges them to remain faithful to the covenant and prepares them for entering Canaan. During the course of the book, Moses reviews the story of the giving of the Torah at Sinai and the trip to the Promised Land, reiterates several laws of Torah and introduces new laws. The book seems to follow the general pattern of an ancient Near Eastern covenant treaty document.

As we study the first week’s reading from the book of Exodus, the children of Israel are assembled on the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho.


The book of Deuteronomy opens, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah” (Deuteronomy 1:1). Those words preface more than thirty chapters of Moses continuously talking. The sages puzzled over this. How did the man who was slow of speech become so eloquent? Just a few verses later, it says, “Moses undertook to expound this Torah.” According to Jewish tradition, Moses expounded the Torah in the seventy languages. The Midrash Tanchuma takes up the discussion.

Come and see! When the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, “Go and I will send you to Pharaoh,” Moses said, “Woe! You are giving over the mission to me? I am not a man of words.” He said, “There are seventy languages known in Pharaoh’s court, so that if anyone comes from a foreign country, they can speak to him in his language. I am going as your apostle, and they will question me, and I will tell them that I am an apostle of the Almighty, and it will be obvious to them that I do not know how to converse with them. Will they not mock me and say, ‘Look, the apostle of the Creator of the universe who created all the tongues! He is unable to comprehend or answer.’” This is what Moses meant when he said, “Woe, I am not a man of words.” … forty years after the exodus from Egypt, however, he expounded the Torah in seventy languages, as it says, “He explained this Torah.” (Midrash Tanchuma, Devarim 2)

According to this story, Moses felt unqualified to serve as an apostle of Hashem because he could not speak in all seventy languages. After the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai (i.e., Shavuot) Moses no longer suffered with that impediment. He demonstrated to the people of Israel that he could now teach Torah in all seventy languages.

We should be able to see the connection to our apostles who spoke the good news in all languages on the day of Shavuot. On that day that they became apostles of the Almighty and His risen Son, they received the gift of languages.

The seventy tongues represent the seventy mother-languages spoken by all humanity. The presentation of the Torah in every language alludes to the universal quality of the revelation of God through the Torah of Moses. Just as Moses is said to have expounded the Torah to Israel in every language, likewise, the disciples proclaimed the good news of Yeshua on Shavuot in every language.

Expounding the Torah is a job for every disciple. In the same way that it is incumbent upon us to spread the gospel in every place and at every time, it is also incumbent upon us to teach the Torah. After all the Torah is very much a part of the gospel, and the message of the gospel is quite meaningless without the Torah. Therefore, we are all called to emulate Yeshua, our teacher, who dedicated His life to proclaiming the gospel and teaching the ways of Torah.

When properly presented, the Torah should be an avenue to Messiah. It should be a central part of the good news of the kingdom and the call for repentance in the name of our Master. One who undertakes to teach the Torah to others is like one imbued with the Holy Spirit on the day of Shavuot. (Click to Source)

 

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Torah Commentary – Pinchas”Phineas” – Zeal In The Camp – SCRIPTURES FOR July 27, 2019

Torah Commentary
Pinchas”Phineas”
Numbers 25:10-30:1
1 Kings 18:46-19:21
2 Timothy 1-4; Titus 1-3; Philemon 1
Zeal In The Camp
Reading about the Hebrews and their journey through the wilderness  has taken on so much meaning in the past few years. With each passing year it becomes more and more special to read about their lives. It is not that the accounts of their lives become more exciting, but as His Day approaches, reading about the lives of the Hebrews causes me to sit back and allow my own thoughts to wander. I think about how different their walk was from ours today, but with the differences come so many striking similarities. Their walk was different because times have changed, but it was so simular because people do not change.
This week we read about people who no matter the blessings of The Almighty in their lives desired the quick passing pleasure of sin rather than the righteousness of their Creator. We read about one man who took the bull by the horns and made a difference. If you look between the lines we also see the masses called the majority who just sat and watched as spectators on a sideline.
The main character in the opening words of this weeks Torah is a man named Pinchas. He came on the scene rather quickly last week and became the hero of the day to stop a plague which was sweeping through the people because of sin in the camp. His heroic efforts cause him to not only take a place in recorded history, but also brings him and his family into a promotion promised not only for the lifetime of Phichas, but forever.
What was it that brought about the blessing Pinchas would walk in? It is boiled down to one word, zeal. But what exactly is zeal?
Webster defines zeal as “great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.” Zeal is something which is easy to define, but rather hard to teach. Fact is, I do not think you can teach zeal. You can teach emotions and hype which last about as long as the passing pleasure of sin, but zeal is another matter. I have come to the conclusion after years of teaching that there is no way to teach zeal. Zeal can not be taught, zeal must be caught!
Pinchas did not get his zeal from a book. We are not told where Pinchas got his zeal from. It could have been directly from Moses himself. Or maybe it was Joshua? There is an interesting thought. Maybe there is more to the man Joshua than we know up to this point. So far all we know about him is that he stuck pretty close to Moses most of the time. He was no doubt addicted to the presence of Elohim, for when Moses left the Tabernacle, Joshua would stay behind. What was Joshua doing with his time during a normal day though? Maybe he was passing on a zeal he had not been taught, but rather had caught from his time in the presence of Moses and of course Elohim Himself. If this is so, it sure paid off not only in the life of Pinchas, but in the lives of many Hebrews that infamous day.
This of course brings us to a question. How is our zealousness today? Do we have the kind of zealous pursuit of HaShem that causes others around us to sit up and take notice? Do we have a zealousness that is affecting other people around us? Are we ever zealous enough about Him for people to notice?
A zealous lifestyle will cause you to do things others are not willing to do. Zealousness will cause you to step out of a crowd like Pinchas or a Judas Maccabee. It will cause you to do things others are just not willing to do. Zealousness will cause you to be different from the crowd. Zealousness will cause you to be admired by some, but not accepted by most. Zealousness will cause you to be misunderstood most of the time. Zealousness will cause you to loose many friends, but in the end have the greatest influence on people. Above all, zealousness for Him will cause Him to be zealous over you. Personally I can not think of a better reason to desire to catch this wonderful trait of His the scripture calls zealous. (Click to Source)
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Torah Commentary – Korach (Korah) – The Stand Which Proved The Man – Joined To HaShem – SCRIPTURES FOR July 6, 2019

Torah Commentary
Korach (Korah)
Numbers 16:1-18:32
1Samuel 11:14-12:22
2Timothy 2:8-21
Jude 1-25
The Stand Which Proved The Man
We come to the infamous account of Korach this week. You have to admit that with all that has happened in the camp since Israel left Egypt, events which clearly showed Moshe as the leader, this was a pretty gutsy move made by Korach. Well, maybe gutsy is not the right word to use here. How about just plain dumb?
Imagine the looks on the faces of those who stood in rebellion as the ground under their feet began to shake. Maybe a gentle rumble preceded the earth splitting in two before swallowing the mass group of “position seekers”. This is an incredible display from Yah confirming His seal of leadership on Moshe…As most of you know, I love the quote by John Wayne, “It’s hard to stop stupid!” I wonder if Mr. Wayne might have come up with that quote after reading this week’s Torah portion. Probably not, but it sure fits.
In Chapter 17 we read that it was the very next day after the Korach incident when stupid re-entered the camp. Consider the scene. The ground may have still been separated in the very spot where Korach and his bands had once stood. Even with the evidence of judgment still smoking in front of them, the people rebelled with complaints against Moshe.
What is the theme we are seeing? We find it by reviewing the previous portion where Miriam and Aharon spoke against Moshe . Rebellion is at the heart of their actions. Pride goes before a fall. We see rebellion against Moshe, the Torah and Yah’s direction for them.
In our walk, we must begin to look at Torah, Yeshua and walking in His principles as a package. It is all or nothing, not multiple choice. Most of us are accustomed to going to a restaurant and ordering from a menu. We find the combination which is close to our desires. If one item isn’t appetizing we ask the server if we can make a few changes like substituting onion rings for the fries. Is this our mindset regarding Kingdom living? In their day it was “Hold the manna, we will take a large order of quail!” What are we trying to substitute?
We read this week of a story of Aharon, Moshe’s brother, that shows he “got it.” In the past, we found Aharon to be a people pleaser. He walked through some rough trials before reaching this portion. He was not known for taking a stand. It appears Aharon learned from his mistakes displaying, in this account, to be the man Yah created him to be.
When the plague permeated the camp Moshe and Aharon fell on their faces to intercede for the people. Moshe gave Aharon specific instructions to “Take your fire pan, put fire from the altar in it, lay incense on it and hurry with it to the assembly”. Scripture records Aharon’s immediate obedience. He took a stand for the community through intercession and action. As a matter of fact, he responded to the instruction and “ran” to their aid. Imagine the scene. Aharon was no spring chicken in age you know, but he ran to take the stand to what Scripture records as “between the living and the dead.”
How did Aharon know the plague would stop? He didn’t. That is the overlooked point. This event was more than giving an account of the people’s rebellion towards Moshe’s leadership. It was about the transformation in Aharon, the man he had become. It was unclear to Aharon the outcome of his obedience. He simply followed directions. He was willing to die trying to save the sheep called Israel.  On this day Aharon proved himself to be a true shepherd.
This act of obedience or rite of passage could have been the catalyst for Aharon to be trusted with the budding rod. His humility and shepherd’s heart led to him being a shadow of the ever budding life of Messiah in the camp!
For a shepherd, the question of giving his life for sheep who may not be very deserving is one which is easy to give a verbal answer “yes” to. It is not until a shepherd is tested that he or she finds if they are truly up to the task.
May we see more people like Aharon raised up in our day.
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Weekly Torah Readings: Sh’lah L’kha – from One New Man Bible – Jun 29, 2019

Sh’lah L’kha

Spies Named

13.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 2.Send men for yourself, so they can spy out the land of Canaan, which I AM giving to the children of Israel. You will send a man from each tribe of their fathers, each one a leader among them.” 3.And Moses by the commandment of the LORD* sent them from the wilderness of Paran, all those men were heads of the children of Israel. 4. And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur;  5. of the tribe of Simeon, Shafat the son of Hori; 6. of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh; 7. of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph; 8. of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun; 9. of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Rafu; 10. of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi; 11. from the tribe of Joseph, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi; 12. of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli; 13. of the tribe of Asher, Setur the son of Michael; 14. of the tribe of Naphtali, Nabbi the son of Vofsi;15. of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.

Hoshea Renamed Joshua

13:16. These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Joshua. 17. And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up here in the south, and go up on the mountain 18. and see the land, what it is and the people who live there, whether they are strong or weak, few or many. 19. And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it is good or bad and what cities there are that they live in, whether in tents or in strongholds. 20. And what the land is, whether it is fat or lean, whether or not there is wood in it. And be of good courage and bring of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes.

Spies Go Out

13:21. So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, as men come to Hamat. 22. And they ascended by the south and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of the giants were. (Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23. And they came to the brook of Eshkol and cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a staff between two men; and they brought of the pomegranates and of the figs. 24. The place was called the brook Eshkol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from there. 25. And after forty days they returned from spying out the land.

Spies Report

13:26. And they went and came to Moses and to Aaron and to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, to the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh, and brought back word to them and to the whole congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. 27. And they told him and said, “We came to the land where you sent us and surely it flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28. But the people that live in the land are strong and the cities are walled, very great! And moreover we saw the children of the giant there. 29. Amalek lives in the land of the south and the Hittite, the Jebusite, and the Amorite live in the mountains, and the Canaanites live by the sea and by the Jordan.”

13:30. And Caleb calmed the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it.”

13:31. But the men who went up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” 32. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had spied out for the children of Israel saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that eats up its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it were men of great stature. 33. And there we saw the Nefilim, the sons of Anak (Giant), who come of the Nefilim, and we were in our own sight like grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

Evil Report Wins

14.1. And the whole congregation lifted up their voice and cried, and the people wept that night. 2. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or we had died in this wilderness! (1 Cor. 10:10) 3. And why has the LORD* brought us to this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? Was it not better for us to return to Egypt?” 4. And they said to one another, “Let us make a captain and let us return to Egypt.”

14:5. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the entire assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6.And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were of those who spied out the land, tore their clothes,7. and they spoke to the entire company of the children of Israel saying, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 8. If the LORD* delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 9. Only do not rebel against the LORD*, neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us: their defense has departed from them and the LORD* is with us. Do not be in awe them!” 10. But the whole congregation ordered to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD* appeared in the Tent of Meeting before all the children of Israel.

14:11. And the LORD* said to Moses, “How long will this people provoke Me? And how long will it be before they believe Me, for all the signs that I have shown among them? 12. I shall strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and will make of you a greater nation even mightier than they.”

Moses Pleads with the LORD*

14:13. And Moses said to the LORD*, “Then the Egyptians will hear it (for You brought up this people in Your might from among them) 14. and they will tell the inhabitants of this land, for they have heard that You, LORD*, are among this people, that You, LORD*, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands over them, and You go before them, by daytime in a pillar of cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. 15. Now if You will kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard Your fame will speak saying, 16. ‘Because the LORD* was not able to bring this people into the land which He swore to them, therefore He has slain them in the wilderness.’ 17. And now, I beseech you, let the power of my Lord be great, according as You have spoken saying, 18. ‘The LORD* is patient and of great loving kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.’ (Exod. 34:6,7) 19. Pardon, I beseech you, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your loving kindness, and as You have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.”

The LORD* Pardons

14:20. And the LORD* said, “I have pardoned according to your word. 21. But as truly as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD*. 22. Because all those men who have seen My glory and My miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness and have tested Me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice. (Heb. 3:8) 23. Surely they will not see the land which I swore to their fathers, neither will any of them who provoked Me see it, 24. except My servant Caleb because he had another spirit with him and has followed Me fully, I shall bring him into the land where he went and his seed will possess it. 25. (Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwelled in the valley.) Tomorrow turn and go into the wilderness by the way of the Reed Sea.”

Israel Sentenced to Forty Years in the Wilderness

14:26. And the LORD* spoke to Moses and to Aaron saying, 27. “How long will I bear with this evil congregation that murmurs against Me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against Me. 28. Say to them, ‘As truly as I live, says the LORD*, as you have spoken in My ears, so will I do for you: 29. your carcasses will fall in this wilderness and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, that have murmured against Me. (Jude 5) 30. Doubtless you will not come into the land, which I swore to make you dwell in, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31. But your little ones that you said should be a prey, those I shall bring in and they will know the land which you have despised. 32. But as for you, your carcasses will fall in this wilderness. 33. And your children will wander in the wilderness forty years and bear your backslidings, until your carcasses are wasted in the wilderness. 34. After the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, each day for a year, you will bear your iniquities, forty years, and you will know My enmity.’ 35. I AM,the LORD*, I have said, ‘I shall surely do it to all this evil congregation that are gathered together against Me, they will be consumed in this wilderness and there they will die.’”

14:36. And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made the whole congregation to murmur against him by bringing up a slander upon the land, 37. even those men who brought the evil report on the land, died by the plague before the LORD*. 38. Except Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh still lived, who were of the men that went to spy out the land.

14:39. And Moses told these sayings to all the children of Israel and the people mourned greatly. 40. And they rose up early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain saying, “Here we are and we will go up to the place which the LORD* has promised, for we have sinned.”

14:41. And Moses said, “Why do you now trespass the commandment of the LORD*? But it will not succeed. 42. Do not go up so you are not smitten before your enemies, for the LORD* is not among you. 43. For the Amalekite and the Canaanite are there before you, and you will fall by the sword because you turned away from the LORD*, therefore the LORD* will not be with you.” 44. But they presumed to go up to the hilltop, nevertheless the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD* and Moses did not leave the camp. 45. Then the Amalekite and the Canaanite who lived on that hill came down and struck them, and crushed them to Harmah.

Offerings in the Land

15.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 2. “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them,

“When you come into the land of your homes, which I AM giving to you,

3. and will make an offering by fire to the LORD*, a burnt offering or a sacrifice in performing a vow or in a freewill offering or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savor to the LORD* of the herd or of the flock, 4. then he that brings his offering to the LORD* will bring a grain offering of two tenths of an ephah of flour mixed with the fourth of a hin of oil. 5.And you will prepare the fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering with the burnt offering or sacrifice, for one lamb. 6. Or for a ram, you will prepare a grain offering two tenth parts of flour mixed with the third of a hin of oil. 7. And for a drink offering you will offer the third of a hin of wine, a sweet savor to the LORD*. 8. And when you prepare a bull, a burnt offering or a sacrifice in performing a vow or peace offerings to the LORD*, 9. then he will bring with a bull a grain offering of three tenths of an Ephah of flour mixed with half a hin of oil.

10. And you will bring for a drink offering half a hin of wine, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the LORD*. 11.Thus it will be done for one bull or for one ram or for a lamb or a kid. 12. According to the number that you will prepare, so will you do for everyone according to their number. 13. All that are born of the country will do these things after this manner, in drawing near with an offering made by fire, a sweet savor to the LORD*. 14. And if a stranger lives with you or whoever is among you in your generations, and will make a fire offering of a sweet savor to the LORD*, as you do, so will he do. 15. One ordinance will be both for you of the congregation and also for the stranger that lives among you, an ordinance forever in your generations: as you are, so will the stranger be before the LORD*. 16. One Torah and one manner will be for you and for the stranger who lives with you.”

15:17. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 18. “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them,

“When you come into the land where I bring you, 19. then it will be, that when you eat of the bread of the land you will offer up a heave offering to the LORD*.

20. You will offer up a cake of the first of your dough for a heave offering. As you do the heave offering of the threshing floor, so will you heave it. 21. Of the first of your dough you will give a heave offering to the LORD* in your generations.

15:22. “And if you have erred and not observed all these commandments, which the LORD* has spoken to Moses, 23. all that the LORD* has commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day forward that the LORD* commanded him among your generations, 24. then it will be, if anything has been committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that the entire congregation will offer one young bull for a burnt offering for a sweet savor to the LORD*, with his grain offering and his drink offering, according to the manner and one he goat for a sin offering. 25. And the priest will make atonement for the entire congregation of the children of Israel, and it will be forgiven them, for it is ignorance and they will bring their offering,  a fire offering to the LORD* and their sin offering before the LORD*, for their ignorance, 26. and it will be forgiven the whole congregation of the children of Israel and the stranger who lives among them, seeing all the people were in ignorance.

15:27. “And if any person sins by mistake then he will bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering. 28. And the priest will make atonement for the one who sins ignorantly when he sins by mistake before the LORD*, to make atonement for him, and it will be forgiven him. 29. You will have one Torah for him who sins through ignorance, both him who is born among the children of Israel and the stranger who lives among them. 30. But the person that does anything with a high hand, whether he is born in the land or a stranger, he blasphemes the LORD*, and that one will be cut off from among his people. 31. Because he has despised the Word of the LORD* and has broken His commandment, that person will be utterly cut off: his iniquity will be upon him.”

Working on the Sabbath

15:32. And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath. 33.And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to the whole congregation. 34. And they put him in custody because it was not declared what should be done to him. 35. And the LORD* said to Moses, “The man will surely be put to death. The whole congregation will stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36. And the whole congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones and he died, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

Prayer Shawl (Sh’ma, Part 3)

15:37. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 38. “Speak to the children of Israel and bid them to make fringes for themselves in the wings of their garments throughout their generations and that they put upon the fringe of the border a thread of blue, 39. and it will be to you for a fringe, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD* and do them, and that you do not seek after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you used to go astray, 40. so you will remember and do all My commandments and be holy to your God. 41. IAM the LORD* your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I AM the LORD* your God.” (Click to Source)

Torah Commentary – Sh’lach L’cha (Send on your behalf) – The Tourists Connection – SCRIPTURES FOR June 29, 2019

Sh’lach L’cha (Send on your behalf)
Numbers 13:1-15:41
Joshua 2:1-24
Hebrews 3:7-19
The Tourists Connection
If a list were made of the top ten stories the Hebrews are known for during their sojourn in the wilderness, the account of the twelve spies would certainly be found. Many fingers have been pointed at the faithless reports given by the ten spies. Is there a deeper level of understanding regarding the reason behind the difference in the statements shared by the ten versus the two? Could we find another lesson from their experience that can give instruction to us today? Let’s see.
The Hebrew word translated as spies is “tuwr.” It is interesting that the word sounds like our English word “tour”, though it is not the actual root of the word. We can use the comparison to draw a lesson. We can look at these men, not as it describes as “in the Land”, but rather as tourists? At the time, they were travelers, not dwellers. Consider, after all, when they returned to camp they brought back souvenirs of fruit of the land to show off. The fruitful bounty could have been inspiration to take the Land as Yah directed. Yet, it is not what they brought back on their shoulders which truly mattered, instead, it was what was in their hearts.
It is hard to envision the immense feast of produce these men saw or the terror of the massive size of its inhabitants during their “tour.” A few years back a section of the wall of Hevron was found that dates back to the time of Scripture. On one of my trips in Israel I was able to visit that section of unearthed wall. I remember just staring at it. I have always had a connection to Joshua. The haftorah readings for the Torah portion related to my birthday are verses in the first section of Joshua. That day at the wall I just stood and stared as I considered that ancient stone and pondered whether it may have been a spot Joshua had fixed his own eyes upon.
All twelve of the men saw the same sites, ate the same food and walked the same soil, so why the different accounts given upon their return? Most would say it was based on their level of faith which to some measure, I agree with. Going back to our original question whether we have another lesson from the spies experience, let us consider this point of view. I believe we can also reflect on the word “connect”. Joshua and Caleb connected with the Land. They were able to see past the giants inhabiting the area, even the bountiful harvest. It was their King’s Land. He was calling them to possess His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Their heart connection to Yah instilled a deep passionate connection for His Land, their inheritance. It appears the other ten did not make this connection.
My friend and brother Hanoch Young says it best, if you connect with the Land, the Land will connect with you. For Joshua and Caleb, the Land became a part of their very hearts. Sadly it seems for the others it was just another random handful of dirt.
As with Joshua and Caleb, you and I will fight for our heart’s desires and what and who we are connected to. That connection will manifest itself in actions which may in the end be termed faith, but faith begins with the relationship established in our heart.
What did Joshua and Caleb connect to? The answer is found in Deuteronomy 11:12 which reveals to us that the eyes of Yah are continually on that Land. Eyes do not lead your heart, they follow your heart. What your eyes gaze upon is an outward manifestation of where your heart is.
The eyes and hearts of Joshua and Caleb connected with the eyes and heart of the Father Himself. This is why they were allowed to enter the Land and would later give their very lives to possess it.
What caused Joshua and Caleb to connect with the Land and the others did not? I wish I could give you a complete answer. What makes one person go to Israel and weep while another is engrossed in taking pictures and playing on their cell phone? That is a question I cannot answer, but I am certain it involves the heart.
I have taken hundreds of people to Israel through the years. Most everyone will take pictures, bring home souvenirs and have stories to tell friends and family when they return. For the majority the memories will fade and become like the memories of taking the children to an amusement park. For others, life will never be the same. What is the difference? I do not know. What about the person who has never stepped foot in Israel, but yet the mention of the word brings tears to their eyes? I don’t know.
Joshua and Caleb connected to Israel on that day. They joined to the heart of their Father. This connection gave them the faith to see past giants and other obstacles. Their relationship gave them the blessing to cross over Jordan and enter into the Promise Land!
My prayer as I read this Torah portion is, “Father, I desire a heart like Joshua and Caleb, a heart for what is important to you. Give me the heart that brings forth the faith to see past giants so I too may enter your Land, my destiny!” (Click to Source)

 

Nostalgia for the Familiar – June 22, 2019

Regular Shabbat Readings

  • Beha’alotcha (בהעלותך | When you set up)
  • Torah: Numbers 8:1-12:15
  • Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:14-21

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Summary

The third reading from the book of Numbers and the thirty-sixth reading from the Torah is called Beha’alotcha (בהעלותך), a word that literally means “When you ascend.” It comes from the first verse of the portion, which could literally be translated as “When you ascend the lamps” (Numbers 8:2), a reference to the fact that the priest had to step up to clean and light the lamps of the menorah. This portion is jam-packed, telling the story of the consecration of the Levites, the first Passover in the wilderness, the silver trumpets, the cloud of glory, the departure from Sinai, the grumbling in the wilderness, the first Sanhedrin and the punishment of Miriam.

Portion Outline

  • TORAH
    • Numbers 8:1 | The Seven Lamps
    • Numbers 8:5 | Consecration and Service of the Levites
    • Numbers 9:1 | The Passover at Sinai
    • Numbers 9:15 | The Cloud and the Fire
    • Numbers 10:1 | The Silver Trumpets
    • Numbers 10:11 | Departure from Sinai
    • Numbers 11:1 | Complaining in the Desert
    • Numbers 11:16 | The Seventy Elders
    • Numbers 11:31 | The Quails
    • Numbers 12:1 | Aaron and Miriam Jealous of Moses
  • PROPHETS
    • Zec 2:6 Interlude: | An Appeal to the Exiles
    • Zec 3:1 Fourth Vision: | Joshua and Satan
    • Zec 4:1 Fifth Vision: | The Lampstand and Olive Trees

Portion Summary

The third reading from the book of Numbers and the thirty-sixth reading from the Torah is called Beha’alotcha (בהעלותך), a word that literally means “When you ascend.” It comes from the first verse of the portion, which could literally be translated as “When you ascend the lamps” (Numbers 8:2), a reference to the fact that the priest had to step up to clean and light the lamps of the menorah. This portion is jam-packed, telling the story of the consecration of the Levites, the first Passover in the wilderness, the silver trumpets, the cloud of glory, the departure from Sinai, the grumbling in the wilderness, the first Sanhedrin and the punishment of Miriam.


In Numbers 11:4-9, nostalgia for the food of Egypt sweeps over the camp of Israel. “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.” (Numbers 11:5-6)

The same often happens to us after we take on a life of discipleship. For a while, it is fresh, new and exciting. It is invigorating, and each day is filled with new discovery. But after a period of time, the novelty wears off. We begin to miss the old vices and entertainments. We begin to feel nostalgic for ways of life that we have turned our backs on. When this happens (and it is normal that it does) we must press on all the harder in pursuit of our righteous Savior. It is normal for the heart to yearn for straying, but it is not normal to stray after the heart. We know better. If we will only press on, we will discover further joys, greater depths and new thrills in the pursuit of God.

Believers who begin to keep the commandments of God come from a variety of denominational and religious backgrounds. Typically, when they do, they commit to a life of Torah which they pursue with a proselyte’s zeal.

Everything changes. Your calendar, your holidays, your day of worship, your friends, your rhythm of life, the places you go, your style of worship, the entertainment you watch—everything is different—even the food you eat. It is normal to, at a certain point, long for some of the old things you have left behind. Believers in the Torah movement often feel bewildered by the strangeness of the new world they have entered. They reflect back on the simpler days when a Sunday morning worship service was nearly the full extent of their expression of faith. They long for the simplicity they once knew. “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic…” (Numbers 11:5) But the manna on which we now feed is the one who has descended from heaven. He is the bread of life, and He beckons us to eat of Him alone, and to follow Him alone. This is the way to life. (Click to Source)

Do Not Do As They Do

He commands us to be a people set apart, easily distinguishable from the secular context around us. One of the most obvious ways in which we should be different is in the area of sexuality.

May 4, 2019

Portion Summary

The twenty-ninth reading from the Torah and sixth reading from Leviticus is named Acharei Mot (אחרי מות), two words that mean “after the death.” The title comes from the first words of the first verse of the reading, which say, “Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron” (Leviticus 16:1). Leviticus 16 describes the Tabernacle ceremony for the holy festival of the Day of Atonement. Leviticus 17 establishes general rules for sacrifice and sanctuary. Leviticus 18 lays down specific laws about permitted and forbidden sexual relationships.

Regular Shabbat Readings

  • Acharei Mot (אחרי מות | After the death)
  • Torah: Leviticus 16:1-18:30
  • Haftarah: Ezekiel 22:1-19
  • Gospel: Matthew 15:10-20; Mark 12:28-34

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Outline

  • TORAH
    • Leviticus 16:1 | The Day of Atonement
    • Leviticus 17:1 | The Slaughtering of Animals
    • Leviticus 17:10 | Eating Blood Prohibited
    • Leviticus 18:1 | Sexual Relations
  • PROPHETS
    • Eze 22:1 | The Bloody City

Portion Summary

The twenty-ninth reading from the Torah and sixth reading from Leviticus is named Acharei Mot (אחרי מות), two words that mean “after the death.” The title comes from the first words of the first verse of the reading, which say, “Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron” (Leviticus 16:1). Leviticus 16 describes the Tabernacle ceremony for the holy festival of the Day of Atonement. Leviticus 17 establishes general rules for sacrifice and sanctuary. Leviticus 18 lays down specific laws about permitted and forbidden sexual relationships.


As the children of Israel traveled from Egypt to the land of Canaan, the LORD warned the people of Israel not to imitate the ways of the Egyptians (do not turn back to the evil of your past), and He told them not to learn the behavior of the Canaanites (do not be seduced by new temptations).

You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. (Leviticus 18:3)

The Egyptians and Canaanites practiced sexual immorality as if they were obeying a legal code. This is why the Torah says, “You shall not walk in their statutes” (Leviticus 18:3). Rashi explains that “their statutes” refers to matters etched into the fabric of the society—so basic to the culture that they are observed as if they are laws. He points to the entertainments found in “theaters and stadiums” as an example of pagan statutes. In other words, the statutes of the world are those reflected in the entertainment values of the world. We are not to walk in them. God’s people are supposed to be a completely different breed of people, “So that the land to which I am bringing you to live will not spew you out” (Leviticus 20:22).

In the first century, sexual immorality wove through the warp and woof of the Roman world. Devotees of the gods followed their mythological, sexual exploits and imitated their base behavior in temple rituals which, in some cases, even incorporated sanctified prostitution. Roman culture, for all its austere talk of moderation, indulged in all manner of perversity, lewdness, and depredation.

The apostles applied the laws pertaining to strangers in the midst of the people of Israel to the Gentile believers. Leviticus 18 specifically includes those strangers in its jurisdiction: “You shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you” (Leviticus 18:26). Therefore, the laws that govern sexuality apply equally to Jewish people and God-fearing Gentile believers.

The apostles reinforced the ruling in their epistles. In passage after passage, the apostles exhorted the disciples to live lives set apart from the sexualized Gentile world and free from sexual immorality. The Gentile believers adopted Jewish standards of modesty, dress, and decorum. In the midst of the sexually charged atmosphere of the first century, the believers stood out as a people set apart. The apostle Peter observed, “[The other Gentiles] are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you” (1 Peter 4:4). (Click to Source)

 
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Torah Reading – Aharei Mot – One New Man Bible – May 3, 2019

Leviticus 16:1 – 18:30

Day of Atonement Service

16.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD* and died; 2. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron your brother, so at all times he does not come into the Holy Place within the veil before the cover, which is on the Ark, so he does not die: for I shall appear in the cloud upon the cover. 3. Thus will Aaron come into the Holy Place with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. 4. He will put on the holy linen tunic and he will have the linen breeches upon his flesh and will be girded with a linen belt and he will be attired with the linen turban. These are holy garments, therefore he will immerse his flesh in water and so put them on. 5. And he will take from the congregation of the children of Israel two he goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. 6. And Aaron will offer his bull of the sin offering, which is for himself and make atonement for himself and for his house. 7.And he will take the two goats and present them before the LORD* at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 8. And Aaron will cast lots upon the two goats, one lot for the LORD* and the other lot for Azazel. 9. And Aaron will bring the goat upon which the LORD’s* lot fell and offer him for a sin offering. 10. But the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel will be presented alive before the LORD* to make atonement with him and to let him go for Azazel into the wilderness.

11. And Aaron will bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and will make atonement for himself and for his house, and will kill the bull of the sin offering which is for himself. 12. And he will take a fire-pan full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD* and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small and bring it within the veil, (Rev. 8:5) 13. and he will put the incense upon the fire before the LORD*, so the cloud of the incense may cover the cover that is over the Testimony, so he will not die 14. and he will take of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger upon the east side of the cover, and he will sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times in front of the cover. 15. Then he will kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull and sprinkle it on the cover and in front of the cover. 16. And he will make atonement for the Holy Place because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins, and so he will do for the Tent of Meeting, and because of the One Who remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17. And no one will be in the Tent of Meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place until he comes out and has made atonement for himself and for his household and for the whole congregation of Israel. 18. And he will go out to the altar that is before the LORD* and make atonement for it and will take from the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. 19. And he will sprinkle some of the blood upon it with his finger seven times and cleanse it and sanctify it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

16:20. “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place and the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he will bring the live goat, 21. and Aaron will lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat and will send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a fit man. 22. And the goat will bear upon itself all their iniquities to a land not inhabited, and he will let the goat go in the wilderness. 23. And Aaron will come into the Tent of Meeting and will put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the Holy Place, and will leave them there, 24. and he will immerse his flesh in water in a Holy Place and put on his garments and come out, and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people and make atonement for himself and for the people. 25. And he will burn the fat of the sin offering on the altar. 26. And he who lets the goat for Azazel go will wash his clothes and immerse his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. 27. And the bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, will one carry forth outside the camp, and they will burn their skins and their flesh and their dung in fire. 28. And he who burns them will wash his clothes and immerse his flesh in water, and afterward he will come into the camp.

16:29. “And this will be a statute forever for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month you will afflict your souls and do no work at all, whether it is one of your own country or a stranger that lives among you, 30. for on that day the priest will make atonement for you, to cleanse you so you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD*. 31. It will be a Sabbath of rest for you and you will afflict your souls, by a statute forever. 32. And the priest whom he will anoint, and whom he will consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, will make the atonement, and will put on the linen clothes, the holy garments, 33. and he will make atonement for the holy Sanctuary and he will make atonement for the Tent of Meeting and for the altar, and he will make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the congregation. 34. And this will be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year.”

And he, Aaron, did as the LORD* commanded Moses.

Instructions for Preparing Meat

17.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 2. “Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the children of Israel and say to them, This is the thing which the LORD* has commanded saying,

17:3. “Any man whatsoever of the House of Israel who kills an ox or lamb or goat in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp 4. and does not bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting to offer an offering to the LORD* before the Tabernacle of the LORD*; blood will be imputed to that man. He has shed blood and that man will be cut off from among his people 5. to the end that the children of Israel may bring their offerings, which they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them to the LORD*, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to the priest and offer them for a peace offering to the LORD*. 6. And the priest will sprinkle the blood on the altar of the LORD* at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and burn the fat for a sweet savor to the LORD*. 7. And they will no longer offer their offerings to evil spirits, after whom they have gone astray. This will be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.

17:8. “And you will say to them, Whatever man there is of the House of Israel or of the strangers that sojourn among you that offers a burnt offering or feast offering, 9. and does not bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting to offer it to the LORD*, even that man will be cut off from among his people.

17:10. “And whatever man there is of the House of Israel or of the strangers that sojourn among you, who eats any manner of blood, I shall even set My face against that one (Acts 15:20) who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. 11. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for your lives on the altar, for it is the blood that makes atonement for a life. (Heb. 9:7) 12. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, No one of you will eat blood, neither will any stranger that lives among you eat blood.

17:13. “And whatever man there is of the children of Israel or of the strangers that sojourn among you, who hunts and catches any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he will even pour out its blood and cover it with dust. 14. For it is the life of all flesh; its blood is for its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, You will eat the blood of no manner of flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood: whoever eats it will be cut off. 15. And everyone who eats that which died of itself, or that which was torn by beasts, whether it is one of your own country or a stranger, he will both wash his clothes and immerse himself in water and be unclean until the evening, then he will be clean. 16.But if he does not wash them or immerse his flesh, then he will bear his iniquity.”

Do Not Stray!

18.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses, saying, 2. “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them,

“I am the LORD* your God. 3. You will not do after the doings of the land of Egypt in which you dwelled, and after the doings of the land of Canaan where I bring you, you will not do. Neither will you walk in their ordinances. 4. You will do My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them, I AM the LORD* your God. 5. You will therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does he will live in them. I AM the LORD*. (Rom. 10:5, Gal. 3:12)

18:6. “None of you will approach anyone that is near of kin to him, to uncover nakedness. I AM the LORD*!

18:7. “The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother, you will not uncover. She is your mother, you will not uncover her nakedness.

18:8. “The nakedness of your father’s wife you will not uncover. It is your father’s nakedness. (Gen. 9:22)

18:9. “The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or daughter of your mother, whether she is born at home or born abroad, their nakedness you will not uncover.

18:l0. “The nakedness of your son’s daughter or of your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you will not uncover, for theirs is your own nakedness.

18:11. “The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of your father, she is your sister, you will not uncover her nakedness.

18:12. “You will not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister: she is your father’s near kinswoman.

18:13. “You will not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s near kinswoman.

18:14. “You will not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother, you will not approach his wife: she is your aunt.

18:15. “You will not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law: she is your son’s wife, you will not uncover her nakedness.

18:16. “You will not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife: it is your brother’s nakedness.

18:17. “You will not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither will you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to uncover her nakedness, for they are her near kinswomen: it is incest.

18:18. “Neither will you take a wife together with her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her lifetime.

18:19. “Also you will not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.

18:20. “Moreover you will not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, to defile yourself with her. 21.And you will not let any of your seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither will you profane the name of your God. I AM the LORD*!

18:22. “You will not lie with a male as with a woman: it is an abomination.

18:23. “Neither will you lie with any beast to defile yourself with it. Neither will any woman stand before a beast to lie down with it: it is perversion.

18:24. “Do not defile yourselves in any of these things, for the nations that I cast out before you are defiled in all these, 25. and the land is defiled: therefore I visit its iniquity upon it and the land itself vomits out its inhabitants. 26. You will therefore keep My statutes and My judgments and neither your home born nor any stranger that lives among you will commit any of these abominations. 27.For all these abominations the men of the land that were before you have done and the land has become defiled. 28. So the land will not vomit you out also, when you defile it, like it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29. For whoever will commit any of these abominations, even those who commit them will be cut off from among their people. 30. Therefore you will keep My ordinance, so you will not commit any of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them. I AM the LORD* your God!” (Click to Source)

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Torah Commentary – Va’era (I appeared) – His Promise – SCRIPTURES FOR January 13, 2017

Torah Commentary
Va’era (I appeared)

jesus-jew-2

Exodus 6:2-9:35
Ezekiel 28:25-29:21
Romans 9:14-17
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
His Promise
It is too easy for us to scan through Torah portions that have become familiar to us. I challenge you to slow down and consider the people who are living these recorded days then bring the words forward to our day and our lives. Take for instance the four “I Wills” of Exodus 6:6-8. These are words we speak of every Passover, but have we really considered them?

Here are the four promises. “I will free you, I will take you as my people, I will bring you into the Land and I will give you your inheritance”. For the Hebrews, they did not listen to those words because they were discouraged due to slavery. Are we not listening to them because we are prosperous? Ouch!

Let’s look at the promises one by one for ourselves. I am going to ask some questions regarding the promises. Pray about what they mean to you and how you might answer them.
“I will free you.” – Free us from what? We are free, aren’t we? Are we?
“I will take you as my people.” – We are already His people, right? Can we truly be His people while living in exile?
“I will bring you into the Land”- How do we define “the Land”? Interesting that for some this is actually a question.
“I will give you your inheritance.” – Do we know what our inheritance is? Hint. Look at Deuteronomy 33:4 for one. Look at “I will” number three for the other.
How is our longing to walk in the “I Wills” or are these words only spoken at Passover with no meaning. Is it similar to saying “Next Year in Jerusalem”?
The balance of this Torah portion will be devoted to the dialogue of Moshe and Aaron with Pharaoh as well as the plagues. What are these plagues about? Are they really judgments on the Egyptians for making the Hebrews into slaves? At one level the answer is yes, but let’s look at it from a different angle. Are the plagues more about the Hebrews seeing what life in Egypt really was? Is the fall of Egypt as the world power more about ripping their love of Egypt away so they could realize Egypt as exile and not home? How does that speak to us? Just how many plagues would it take for you to pack your bags and not “Move to Beverly” or “Head west young man”, but to leave everything behind and head east to home?
One more thing, in Exodus 9:16 Moshe is told to tell Pharaoh that the only reason he has been kept alive is to show forth the power of the Almighty and make His name resound through the earth. As Moshe was heading to the palace to deliver the message, did he stop and think that these words were not only for the Pharaoh, but were for him? Moshe’s parents could have followed the orders of the Pharaoh and put him to death. He could have been eaten by a croc in the Nile River. He could have been put into slavery instead of raised in the palace. He could have been put to death after he killed an Egyptian. He could have died of thirst, starvation or a rattlesnake bite in the desert. Moshe was alive. His life had been spared and protected. Why? For the same reason as Pharaoh, to show forth the power of Yah and make His name resound on the earth.
Any idea where I am going next? Think about it. What about you and me? Through the years I have had the honor of sitting down and getting to know many of you. You have told me about some of your past and I have shared with you some of mine. A theme has arisen many times in conversations when we look back and see how many times our lives were protected and spared by the Almighty. I wonder how many times He spared us and we did not know it? Why were we kept alive? Why were we called to the walk we are on? Is it not for the same reason Pharaoh was kept alive, the same reason Moshe was kept alive? Humbling isn’t it. Guess it just proves one more time that life really is not about us, but it is truly about Him.  (Click to Source)

 

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