*Psalm 148;1 Halleluyah! Praise HASHEM from the heavens; praise Him in the heights: 2 Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His legions. 3 Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all bright stars. 4 Praise Him, the most exalted heavens. 5 Let them praise the Name of HASHEM, for He commanded and they were created. 6 He established them forever and ever, He issued a decree that will not change.
7 Praise HASHEM from the earth: sea giants and all watery depths; 8 fire and hail, snow and vapor, stormy wind fulfilling His word; 9 mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all cedars; 10 beasts and all cattle, crawling things and winged foul; 11 kings of the earth and all regimes, princes and all judges on the earth; 12 young men and also maidens, old men together with youths. 13 Let them praise the Name of HASHEM, for His Name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven. 14 And he will have exalted the pride of His nation, causing praise for all His devout ones, for the Children of Israel, His intimate people. Halleluyah!
–This Psalm couldn’t be more perfect to open our dive into one of the shortest Torah portions, but perhaps the most crucial of all…the marriage! The giving of the Ketubah (marriage contract)! The revelation of God on Mount Sinai! God has taken His bride from the land of her captivity, and led her to His holy mountain. Taken her as a bride into the wilderness and here on mount Sinai He comes to her, expresses His marriage terms and Israel as ONE accepts! He bestows upon her the Ten Utterances, the Ten Words (commonly known as the Ten Commandments)…to be commitments as from a bride to her groom.
*Exodus 18; 1 Jethro, the minister of Midian, the father-in-law of Moses, heard everything that God did to Moses and to Israel, His people- that HASHEM had taken them out of the land of Egypt.
5 Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, came to Moses with his sons and his wife, to the wilderness where he was encamped, by the mountain of God.
7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and he prostrated himself and kissed him, and each inquired about the other’s well being; then they came into the tent.
8 Moses told his father-in-law everything that HASHEM had done to Pharaoh and Egypt for Israel’s sake- all the travail that had befallen them on the way- and that HASHEM had rescued them.
9 Jethro rejoiced over all the good that HASHEM had done for Israel, that He had rescued it from the land of Egypt. 10 Jethro said, “Blessed is HASHEM, Who has rescued you from the hand of Egypt and from the hand of Pharaoh, Who has rescued the people from under the hand of Egypt. 11 Now I know that HASHEM is greater than all the gods, for in the very matter in whish [the Egyptians] had conspired against them…!”
12 Jethro the father-in-law of Moses, took a burnt offering and feast offerings for God; and Aaron and all the elders of Israel came to eat bread with the father-in-law of Moses before God.
-Jethro- Yitro- means excellence. Jethro has stature in his homeland. Jethro, once an ‘advisor’ to Pharaoh left Egypt unwilling to be a part of the evil decrees against Israel. Still, he was an idolater. Was it the incredible plagues in Egypt which toppled ‘The’ superpower of the known world or churning of an entire elite army by walls of water which removed the veil for Jethro? Was it the miracles and wonders in the Wilderness as Israel was carried step by step by their God? Was it the defeat of yet another great army on their way to the mountain? Whatever the case, he comes to Moses now as they arrive and camp at the Mountain of God. We learn from Moses how to honor a guest, an elder and a parent (in-law or other, and the fifth devar-word-commandment hasn’t even been ‘given’ yet, is this just Moshe’s character or is this something established from Adam handed down, generation to generation?) He meets him upon his arrival, humbles himself (greatly) in the presence of others, and takes him into the tent. Here Moses recounts all the things that have happened (though Jethro may have had word up till now, this is the first hand account) I can imagine Moses’ intensity, emotion, excitement as he expresses all the things that have happened from when they last parted company! It is Moses who is scrupulous to glorify God in all his recounting, surely well aware that this moment may be the turning point in Jethro’s life….a turning point that will change him forever.
-O Lord I pray that we all can become aware of interactions such as these in our day to day (and other more designed) encounters!! Please Lord give us the heart to understand what moment (though we should glorify and praise You at ALL times!) our giving glory to You might change a persons perspective! Giving water to a seed planted and allowing You to reveal Your Wondrous Self to them!
It is Moses who declared God RESCUED them all along the way! And we see Jethro not only embrace these things, declare them himself but become transformed by the Ruach ha’Kodesh (Holy Spirit).
Review: the elements of Covenant= verbal declaration, witness(s), blood (offering, etc.), meal or bread. Wine. We can clearly see that Jethro is coming into Covenant with the Holy One Blessed is He. He declares: “Now I know HASHEM is greater…”, he brings offering to HASHEM, the elders and Moshe are witness as they eat bread ‘before’ the Lord! Halleluyah!! And why is this extra special? For those of us who know what it is like to come from the depths of sin ‘idolatry’, whether it be drugs or other addictions, adultery, robbery or any of the things that cause us to be slaves to death…..to come from this darkness into the Light, is the journey of a lifetime and steps which continually cause us to become attached to LIFE, and The Creator. Only from this depth of despair can the steep climb take us to such heights, and once we look down at where we have come from….we can then look up in awe at our Father and His great love and mercy. Expressed in its fullest in Yeshua Ha Mashiac- Jesus the Messiah. Our living word, our Teacher for righteousness our Wonderful Counselor!
*Isaiah 9;5 For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us, and the dominion will rest on his shoulder; the Wondrous Advisor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, called his name Sar-Shalom [Prince of Peace];6 upon the one with the greatness and dominion and the boundless peace will prevail on the throne of David and on his kingdom, to establish it and sustain it through justice and righteousness, from now to eternity. The zealousness of HASHEM, Master of Legions, will accomplish this!
*Isaiah 40;12 Who measured the water in His palm, gauged the Heavens with a span, measured in a huge vessel the dust of the earth, and weighed the mountains with a scale and hills with a balance? 13 Who can appraise the spirit of HASHEM, His man of counsel who informs Him? 14 From whom did He seek counsel? [Who] gave Him insight? [Who] taught Him about the path of justice? [Who] taught Him wisdom? [Who] explained the way of knowledge to Him? 15 Behold, all the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are reckoned like the dust rubbing off a scale; behold, He will cast away the islands like dust.
*Psalms 1;1 Praiseworthy is the man who walked not in the counsel of the wicked, and stood not in the path of the sinful, and sat not in the session of scorners. 2 But his desire is in the Torah of HASHEM, and in His Torah he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree deeply rooted alongside brooks of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf never withers; and everything that he does will succeed. 4 Not so with the wicked; rather [they are] like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked shall not be vindicated in judgment, nor the sinful in the assembly of the righteous-6 for HASHEM attends the way of the righteous, while the way of the wicked will perish.
*Exodus 18;13 It was on the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood by Moses from the morning until the evening.
[Moses] 16 “When they have a matter, one comes to me, and I judge between a man and his fellow, and I make known the decrees of God and His teachings. ”
[Jethro] 18 You shall surely become worn out- you as well as this people that is with you- for this matter is too hard for you, you will not be able to do it alone, 19 Now heed my voice, I shall advise you, and may God be with you. You shall be a representative to God, and you convey the matters to God. 20 You shall caution them regarding the decrees and the teachings, and you shall make known to them the path in which they should go and the deeds that they should do. 21 And you shall discern from among the entire people, men of accomplishment, God-fearing people, men of truth, people who despise money, and you shall appoint them leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens.
23 If you do this thing- and God shall command you- then you will be able to endure, and this entire people as well, shall arrive at its destination.
–Again Moshe teaches us a great lesson. Take good advice! Its one thing to ask for advice or counsel and then consider it, its quite another for someone to see a ‘problematic’ issue in you or your life…have a person not only identify it to you but then advise you as to a solution. In all Godly counsel I would suggest that scripture or at least God centered values would be involved as well as compassion…and again, a possible solution. Perhaps if we happen to find ourselves in the shoes of the counselor/advisor we can keep that in mind before advising? Note that Jethro starts out and finishes this advice/counsel indentifying that it will only work if God is in it. “God be with you” in this appointment of Judges, and if you do what “God shall command you” in this…it will go well for you. The Midrash brings out some interesting things to note: Had Moses summoned and sent word to Jethro to bring his wife and kids there? Would he have? With this in mind what Jethro may also be seeing is the Husband and father to his daughter and grandchildren overworked and with little time to devote to his family being the sole judge of all Israel….a needy people.
What is criteria for these judges? I think we should note how clearly active this text is. To bring about the solution to this problem Moshe must discern (explaining this word to my daughter I stressed that this is not just a preference, choice, or picking. This is an important decision that must be prayed over, thought about and carefully examined.) and appoint. These men are not identified as kindly, loving, well meaning….but men of accomplishment. They have done something of true value in their lives for their community. Rather than men who love the Lord, delight in the blessings, grace and mercy of the Lord (though surely these men ‘do’ the aforementioned things)….these men Fear God, would carefully beware… not to transgress against God’s people or God for righteousness sake for the sake of His integrity and the integrity of the camp of God. Men of truth! Men who DESPISE money! These men would not be susceptible to bribery or greed. Rare!
A destination is not a stop over, break, rest, detour, or diversion en route to something bigger and better. There surely will be these things along our journey but if action is taken, the destiny and destination will become exposed…revealed….and arrived at! God will lead you there, step by step.
–The destination for The Children of Israel is the Holy Land. But first God needs to give them something….their everlasting faithful road map, their eternal compass.
O Lord I pray that we could discern to appoint such leaders in this nation. O Lord please appoint for us soon in our days, good leaders and good shepherds who have not removed Your fear from their eyes, with truth on their tongues and in their hearts…who despise money and know that it is Your Word that is more precious than much gold!
*Luke 12;42 The Lord replied, “Nu, who is the faithful and sensible manager whose master puts him in charge of the household staff to give them their share of food at its proper time? 43 It will go well with that servant if he is found doing his job when his master comes. 44 Yes, I tell you he will put him in charge of all he owns. 45 But if the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking his time coming,’ and starts bullying the men- and women- servants, and eating and drinking, getting drunk., 46 then his master will come on a day when the servant isn’t expecting him, at a time he doesn’t know in advance; his master will cut him in two and put him with the disloyal. 47 Now the servant who knew what his master wanted but didn’t prepare and act according to his will, will be whipped with many lashes; 48 however, the one who did what deserves a beating , but did not know, will receive few lashes. From him who has been given much, much will be demanded- from someone to whom people entrust much, they ask still more.
*Proverbs 1;2 [In order] to make known words of wisdom and discipline; to make words of understanding discernable; 3 to accept wise discipline, righteousness, justice, and fairness; 4 to provide simpletons with cleverness, a youth with knowledge and design; 5 that a wise one may hear and increase [his] learning, and a discerning one may acquire strategies; 6 to understand parable and epigram, the words of the wise and their enigmas. 7 The fear of HASHEM is the beginning of knowledge; foolish ones scorn wisdom and discipline.
2;1 My child: If you accept My words and treasure my commandments with yourself, 2 to make ears attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding 3- [for] only if you call out to understanding 9 and give forth your voice to discernment, 4 if you seek it as [if it were] silver, if you search for it as [if it were] hidden treasures-5 then you will understand the fear of HASHEM, and discover the knowledge of God. 6 For HASHEM grants wisdom; from His mouth [come] knowledge and understanding. 7 He has secured the eternal Torah for the upright ; it is a shield for those who walk in innocence, 8 to safeguard the paths of justice, for He protects the way of His devout ones.
*Revelation 14;7 …”Fear God, give Him glory, for the hour has come when He will pass judgment! Worship the One Who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water!”
–The sages have brought out the question, Why is this all important Parasha…the very one that sets Israel apart to God as a holy nation…named after Yitro-Jethro, the Midian father-in-law of Moses? As we read we will see that God makes covenant with Israel and in doing He charges them to be light to the world, to be holy and set apart for His service…and a big part of that service being ministers and priests…to give the Word to the world and to sanctify God in it! Jethro doesn’t stay for this revelation at Sinai, why? In 18;27 we read: Moses sent off his father-in-law, and he went to his land. Having come into covenant with God it wasn’t enough for Jethro to stay and bask in the shade of the cloud, to enter into the promises and eat of the fruit of God’s blessings to Israel. He was compelled to return ‘home’ to be a minister to his people…in a whole new way. As a servant of the One True God he felt charged to return and convert as many in his community as possible! Baruch HASHEM! A man changed, charged and ready to serve.
*Isaiah 6; 9 He said, “Go and say to this people, ‘Surely you hear, but you do not comprehend; and surely you see, but you fail to know.’ 10 This people is fattening its heart, hardening its ears, and sealing its eyes, lest it see with its eyes, hear with its ears and understand with its heart, so that it will repent and be healed.”
*Exodus 19;3 Moses ascended to God, and HASHEM called to him from the mountain, saying, “So shall you say to the house of Jacob and relate to the Children of Israel. 4’You have seen what I did to Egypt, and that I have borne you on the wings of eagles and brought you to Me. 5 And now, if you hearken well to Me and observe My covenant, you shall be to Me the most beloved treasure of all peoples, for Mine is the entire world. 6 You shall be to Me a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the Children of Israel.’ 7 Moses came and summoned the elders of the people, and put before them all these words that HASHEM had commanded him. 8 The entire people responded together and said, “Everything HASHEM has spoken we shall do!” Moses brought back the words of the people to HASHEM.
–The eagle is often referred to in scripture, what is so special about the eagle? Unlike other birds who carry their young in their talons below their breast, closest to the ground and to danger (such as the arrow of a hunter on earth below them), the eagle carries its young on its back, securely placing its own body in the ‘line of fire’ to protect its young. Can you imagine our loving Father, guarding us in this way, bringing us to Himself and again stating as He did at Marah…if we will “Hearken” and “Observe”. This means we will have to soften our ears and observe as in…walk, act! Do. Take up what God has charged us to do…be ministers bringing light into each and every day. How? Mention His Name, thank Him in all things, give Him the credit and glory in the presence of everyone you meet, offer your testimony when you hear that still small voice beckoning, express Chessed (loving-kindness) to those in need…physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, pray, sing, smile, love, keep His ways dear and always strive to connect to Him more by blessing others and illuminating His constant presence by declaring His Name! God is good! God willing! Praise be to God!
*Deuteronomy 32;9 For HASHEM’s portion is His people; Jacob is the measure of His inheritance. 10 He discovered them in a desert land, in desolation, a howling wilderness; He encircled them, He granted him discernment, He preserved him like the pupil of His eye. 11 He was like an eagle arousing its nest, hovering over its young, spreading its wings and taking them, carrying them on its pinions. 12 HASHEM alone guided them, and no other power was with them. 13 He would make him ride on the heights of the Land and have him eat the ripe fruits of My fields;…
*Revelation 1;3 Blessed are the reader and the hearers of the words of this prophecy, provided they obey the things written in it! For the time is near! 4…Grace and shalom to you from the One who is, who was and who is coming; from the sevenfold Spirit before His throne; 5 and from Yeshua the Messiah, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the earth’s kings. To him, the one who loves us, who has freed us from our sins at the cost of his blood, 6 who has caused us to be a kingdom, that is cohanim for God, his Father- to Him be the glory and the ruler ship forever and ever. Amen.
*1 Kefa (Peter) 2;9 But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to posses! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; before you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
*Isaiah 40;27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and declare, O Israel-‘My way is hidden from HASHEM, and my cause has passed by my God’? 28 Did you not know? Did you not hear? HASHEM is the eternal God, the Creator of the ends of understanding. 29 He gives strength to the weary, and grants abundant might to the powerless. 30 Youths may weary and tire and young men may constantly falter, 31 but those whose hope is in HASHEM will have renewed strength; they will grow a wing, like eagles; they will run and not grow tired, they will walk and not grow weary.
*Exodus 19;9 HASHEM said to Moses, “Behold! I come to you in the thickness of the cloud, so that the people will hear as I speak to you, and they will also believe in you forever.” Moses related the words of people to HASHEM. 10 HASHEM said to Moses, “Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and they shall wash their clothing. 11 Let them be prepared for the third day, for the third day HASHEM shall descend in the sight of the entire people on Mount Sinai. 12 You shall set boundaries for the people roundabout, saying, ‘Beware of ascending the mountain or touching its edge; whoever touches the mountain shall surely die.”
-The third day resonates throughout scripture as significant. Incredible that it is in Yeshua’s resurrection on the third day…eternal life is revealed and possible for all mankind. Yeshua ascends and only by his service for our sake…at the right hand of the throne are we able to access the King. Here at Sinai on the third day, God descends and gives the eternal Torah, the living word the means by which we are able to plug in, bind and connect ourselves to the route to holiness…the avenue of attachment to our Maker and our King! Incredible that at this very moment of Glory and revelation…the King deigns to magnify Moshe! Talk about sharing the spotlight! This is the God I serve! Halleluyah! Sanctification. Order. Boundaries. From the very beginning God is clear, He will not be worshipped in any way that resembles the Pagan rituals, He will be honored in accordance with His will. He has given us all specialized gifts and tools by which to render honor to the King! Someday we will all know and understand the way in which He designs, until then….a fervent desire to conform to His instructions given in scripture and to keep healthy boundaries in all aspects…being separate from the world in our worship of God. Despite what we may have been told…we will not reach the world with the Gospel….by looking and acting like the world. In making the Sanctuary of the Holy One be more comfortable and acceptable to the world…in order to somehow ‘trick’ them into stumbling across revelation, or at least ‘getting them in the door’ and letting the Spirit do the rest…this doesn’t seem acceptable or viable. Obedience to God while in the world is the challenge that sanctifies, makes holy and illuminates that which the world will take note of without profaning or diminishing it!
* Joel 2;1 Blow the shofar in Zion and sound the trumpet on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of HASHEM has come; it is near-2 a day of darkness and thick darkness, a day of cloud and thick cloud, spreading over the mountains like the dawn- a numerous and mighty people; its like has not been from eternity, and after it there will never again be, until the years of generation after generation. 3 Before it fire consumes and after it flame scorches; before it the land was like the Garden of Eden, but after it a desolate desert; there is no remnant from it.
*I Kings 8;10 And it was as the Kohanim left the Sanctuary, that the cloud filled the Temple of HASHEM. 11 The Kohanim could not stand and minister because of the cloud, for the glory of HASHEM filled the Temple of HASHEM. 12 Then Solomon said, “HASHEM said that He would dwell in the thick cloud. 13 I have surely built a house of habitation for You, the foundation of Your dwelling forever.” 14 Then the king turned his face and blessed the entire congregation of Israel, while the entire congregation of Israel was standing. 15 He then said, “Blessed is HASHEM, God of Israel, Who spoke with His word to my father David- and fulfilled with His power, saying, 16 ‘From the day when I took My people Israel out of Egypt, I did not choose a city from among the tribes of Israel in which to build a Temple where My Name would be; but I chose David to rule over My people Israel.’
*Exodus 19;16 On the third day when it was morning, there was thunder and lightning and a heavy cloud on the mountain, and the sound of the shofar was very powerful, and the entire people that was in the camp shuddered. 17 Moses brought the people forth from the camp toward God, and they stood at the bottom of the mountain. 18 All of Mount Sinai was smoking because HASHEM had descended upon it in the fire; its smoke ascended like the smoke of the furnace, and the entire mountain shuddered exceedingly. 19 The sound of the shofar grew continually much stronger; Moses would speak and God would respond to him in a voice.
*Isaiah 6;3 And one would call to another and say, “Holy, holy, holy is HASHEM, Master of Legions; the whole world is filled with His glory.” 4The doorposts moved many cubits at the sound of the calling, and the Temple became filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am doomed: for I am a man of impure lips and I dwell among a people with impure lips, for my eyes have seen the King, HASHEM, Master of Legions.” 6 One of the Seraphim flew to me and in his hand was a coal; he had taken it with tongs from atop the altar. 7 He touched it to my mouth and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity has gone away and your sin shall be atoned for.” 8 I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who shall go for us?” And I said, “Here I am! Send me!”
*Isaiah 7;2 It was told to the house of David, saying, “Aram has joined with Ephriam”; and his heart shuddered, and the heart of his people, like the shuddering of the trees of the forest in the wind.
*Jeremiah 23;9 Because of the [false] prophets My heart is broken within me, all my bones tremble; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine- because of HASHEM and because of His holy words.
*Genesis 15;5 And He took him outside, and said, “Gaze, now, toward the Heavens, and count the stars if you are able to count them!” And He said to him, “So shall your offspring be!” 6 And he trusted in HASHEM, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
12 And it happened, as the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold- a dread! great darkness fell upon him.
17 So it happened: The sun set, and it was very dark. Behold- there was a smoky furnace and a torch of fire which passed between these pieces. 18 On that day HASHEM made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants have I given this land….
*Ya’akov (James) 2; 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but has no actions to prove it? Is such “faith” able to save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes or daily food, 16 and someone says to him, “Shalom! Keep warm and eat hearty!” without giving him what he needs, what good does it do?
17Thus, faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead.
18 But if someone will say to you have faith and I have actions. Show me this faith of yours without action, and I will show you my faith by actions!
19 You believe that “God is one”? Good for you! The demons believe it too- the thought makes them shudder with fear!
20 But, foolish fellow, do toy want to be shown that such “faith” apart from actions is barren? 21 Wasn’t Avraham avinu declared righteous because of his actions when he offered his son Yitz’chak on the altar? 22 You see that his faith worked with his actions; by the actions the faith was made complete;….
–Covenant by definition is something that cannot be annulled, replaced or removed. It can not be exchanged or done away with. One covenant does not do away with or replace another covenant. The biblical covenants of the Lord are meant to be interacting parts, layered upon each other…in order to reveal the ultimate purpose and goal of connection, redemption and revelation. The Covenant of the Pieces between God and Abraham was one by which God makes a promise, there is no…if you do this I will do that. And even while he sleeps, visions of Yeshua’s day and Israel’s travail and redemption whirling in his head….Yeshua in the manifestation of the Torch of fire (also present at Sinai) ‘walks’ through the pieces on Abram’s behalf. It is the Lord making all the steps here. At Sinai God presents the opportunity for an active covenant, ‘If you keep My commands…” doing your part you will be My treasure forever. Because of the failure of Israel to keep their side…blood was the cost. Because Yeshua substituted His precious blood on behalf of Israel and all those who had, are and will graft themselves into the Promise made to Israel by God forever….THE COVENANT(S) are binding and stand eternally.
*Acts 2,1 The festival of Shavu’ot arrived, and the believers gathered together in one place. 2 Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. 4 They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and they began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
*Joel 3;1 And it will happen after this, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy; your elders will dream [prophetic] dreams, and your young men will see visions. 2 Even also upon the slaves and upon the maidservants in those days I will pour out My spirit. 3 I will set wonders in the heavens and on earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke; 4 the sun will turn to darkness and the moon to blood [red], before the coming of the great and awesome Day of HASHEM.
–On this Shavuot (Weeks) also known as Pentecost, at Mount Sinai, God verbally expressed the Ten Words or Ten Utterances also known as the Ten Commandments. (It should be well known that there are much more than ten commands or ordinances in the Torah.) These words were inscribed on two tablets. Five on one tablet indicating commands regarding man’s relationship to God. The second tablet indicates commands referring to the relationships among people. These we look at and separate into Positive and Prohibitionary. I will try to enumerate them: (#1)Exodus 20;2 I am HASHEM, your God, Who has taken you from the land of Egypt.-Positive-Belief in God. (#2) verse3(-6) You shall not recognize the gods of others in my presence…make a carved image…not prostrate yourselves to them…-Prohibition against idolatry. (#3) verse 7…not take the Name of HASHEM, your God in vain…-Prohibition of vain oaths (using His Name for no valid purpose). (#4) verse 8 Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it…the seventh day is Sabbath to HASHEM, your God; you shall not do any work…-Positive-the Sabbath serves as a constant reminder that God is the Creator. (#5) verse 12 Honor your father and your mother…-Positive-God attached special significance to the honor He wants us to show parents, God regards this as if w, in honor our parents, are honoring God. Exodus 20;13 contains ‘commands'(#6)You shall not kill;-Prohibition against murder-there is a difference between ‘killing’ and murder. Murder is premeditated. This command corresponds to the first commandment in that those with the true belief in the Creator as the sustainer of human life will not commit murder.(#7) you shall not commit adultery; Prohibition against adultery- this command corresponds to the second commandment in that one who betrays the marital relationship which is holy and is a shadow of our relationship with God, can be expected to betray God (idolatry is spiritual adultery.) (#8) you shall not steal-Prohibition against stealing- this can refer to Kidnapping. This command corresponds to the third commandment in that one who steals will swear falsely to cover his tracks. (#9) You shall not bear false witness-Prohibition against bearing false witness, this includes slander and gossip. (#10) Verse 14; You shall not covet-Prohibition against coveting- mortal rulers can legislate against murder and theft…only our Divine Lawgiver can demand that people sanctify their thoughts and attitudes. Why are these weighty issues denoted in one verse in the form of a “quick” list? Perhaps we should note this indication not only that God draws attention to the first five…Declaration that He is God and He is the Only One! Honoring His Name! Remembering HIS Holy Sabbath! Honoring your parents (which honors God)!…but that we should beware that each one of the following commands…lead to the next. If you can covet, that can progress into adultery, if that desire becomes great enough you can be capable of murder….it is a strong lesson of caution! Additionally, they come as a set. We are not allotted the discrimination to determine which one applies for our lives and which one we can put on the ‘back burner’. IF you believe that Yeshua is divine, IF you believe that God is TRUE and unchanging…could it ever follow that He would do away with one tiny piece of this precious gift to us? The gift= the entire counsel of His Living Word. It is his ‘flesh’ and it is what he gave us from the day He formed Adam from the dust. Eternal.
*John 1;1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing made had being. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it.
14 The Word became a human being and lived with us, and we saw his Sh’kinah. (Divine Presence)
*Psalm 119;1 Praiseworthy are those whose way is perfect, who walk with the Torah of HASHEM. 2 Praiseworthy are those who guard His testimonies, they seek Him wholeheartedly.
*Exodus 20;15 The entire people saw the thunder and the flames, the sound of the shofar and the smoking mountain; the people saw and trembled and stood from afar. 16 They said, “You speak and we shall hear; let God not speak to us lest we die.” 17 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for in order to elevate you has God come; so that awe of Him shall be upon your faces, so that you shall not sin.” 18 The people stood from afar and Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.
–Here we see the people are afraid. They are “pulling back” while Moses is approaching the Lord. Sure Moses is not new to direct communication with the Almighty- El Shaddai! It is understandable in one sense that the people are afraid…but I pray on that Day that we will all be eager to hear His voice and approach when the Shofar sounds…at the extended blast, I pray that we will all ascend to God without fear!
*Exodus 20;21 ” ‘An altar of earth shall you make for Me…
22 And when you make for Me an Altar of stones, do not build them hewn, for you have raised your sword over it and desecrated it. 23 You shall not ascend My Altar on steps, so that your nakedness will not be uncovered upon it.'”
–Our God asks that the Altar…the place where the people will find atonement for their sins, and offer their worship and thanks to God…His altar be of earth and stone. Not lavish gold and silver, not sculpted and shaped…’imperfect’ and natural so to speak. This is the God I serve and the One I long to draw near to….connection comes from keeping our ‘side’ and by active faith. The ladder, the Way..is the Word made Flesh, the eternal Yeshua whom we await! He fought for Israel from the exodus from Egypt…He fought all along the way and spilled His blood to ensure that if we keep His commands and walk with His love in our hearts loving each other…we will have a place beside him someday.
*Joshua 23;3 You have seen all that HASHEM, your God, has done to all these nations before you; that HASHEM, your God, has fought for you.
6 Strengthen yourselves very much to observe and do all that is written in the book of the Torah of Moses, not to deviate from it to the right or to the left, 7 not to come into these nations, those who still remain with you; you shall not mention the name of their gods and you shall not cause others to swear by them, you shall not serve them and you shall not bow down to them. 8 Only cling to HASHEM, your God, as you have done up to this day. 9 HASHEM has driven out great and powerful nations from before you, and not a man stood against you, to this day. 10 One of you chased a thousand, because HASHEM, your God, it is He Who fought for you, as He spoke to you. 11 You shall beware greatly for your souls, to love, HASHEM, your
–Baruch atta Adonai Eloheinu Melech haOlam, Blessed are You Lord our God, King of the universe, You alone have planted among us life eternal! Blessed are You ADONAI, Lord…gracious giver of the Torah!
Thank You HASHEM for Your patience for Your mercy, for the abundant love I can not express in words!
Thank You for deigning to look upon Your children, thank You for caring about each breath we take…each word we utter…I pray we all will have the scales removed from our eyes, our ears softened and our hearts humbled before You. May You bring us all to the understanding of Your Faithfulness, and Eternal Unchanging Presence in this life…God Who Was, God Who Is and God Who Shall remain forever in splendor!! Yours is the Kingdom and Dominion over every living creature! May we truly hear and respond “Everything You have said we will do! And strive to understand!” I pray that might Yeshua take up this prayer as a sweet aroma of incense before Your throne and that each and every person who glances over all the wondrous things of You Living Word be moved, and Blessed by Your Magnificent and Holy Spirit! In Yeshua we may climb the ladder that separates us from Your Heights! Only by Him may we even come before You, and in his name I ask these things as I pray….amein!
*II Peter 1;3 God has given us everything we need for life and goodliness, through our knowing the One who called us to his own glory and goodness. 4 By these he has given us valuable and superlative great promises, so that through them you might come to share in God’s nature and escape the corruption which evil desires to have brought into the world. 5For this very reason, try your hardest to furnish your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if you have these qualities in abundance, they keep you from being barren and unfruitful in knowledge of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 9 Indeed, whoever lacks them is blind so shortsighted that he forgets that his past sins have been washed away. 10 Therefore brothers, try even harder to make your being called and chosen for certainty. For if you keep doing this, you will never stumble. 11 Thus you will be generously supplied with everything you need to enter the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah. 12 For this reason, I will always remind you about these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you already have. 13 And I consider it right to keep stirring you up with reminders, as long as I am in this tent of a body.