Parashah Re’eh-Behold Scales of Blessing and Curse; Worship in the Place He Rests His Name
II Kings 22; 15 She said to them, ” This said HASHEM, God of Israel: Say to the man who sent you to me, 16 ‘Thus said HASHEM: Behold, I am bringing evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants- [namely] all the words of the Scroll that the king of Judah read- 17 because they have forsaken Me and burned offerings to the gods of others, in order to anger me with all their handiwork; My wrath has been incited against this place, and it will not be extinguished.’ 18 And concerning the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of HASHEM, thus should you say to him: ‘Thus said HASHEM, God of Israel: [Regarding] the words that you have just heard- 19 because your heart is soft and you humbled yourself before HASHEM when you heard that which I have spoken about this place and its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse; and you rent your garments and cried before Me, and I, too, have heard- the word of HASHEM. 29 therefore, behold, I will gather you in to your forefathers- you will be gathered to your grave in peace- and your eyes will not see all the evil that I am bringing upon this place.'”
–This week’s Torah Sedra (Parashah, Portion) begins with words that echo throughout the generations and they are to be heard by each and every one of us. The timing is perfect as usual with our King and lines up directly with Rosh Chodesh- The head of the month- of Elul. The word “Elul” is similar to the root of the verb “search” in Aramaic. This is a time of introspection and repentance. The Talmud writes that the Hebrew word “Elul” can be expanded as an acronym for “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3). Elul is seen as a time to search one’s heart and draw close to God in preparation for the coming Day of Judgment, Rosh Hashanah, and Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It is very evident in my personal life that the Lord is grabbing the attention of His servants. The word Re’eh very often used in scripture is more than just Behold! It is to see, consider, discern and to have experience. I truly feel that there are some trials ahead and in progress which are meant not only to test the reigns of our heart,but also to see if we will truly walk in the trust which keeps us near the Lord or not. This experience in walking in trust, in addition to hearing what the Lord is telling us and being obedient to it from a place in our heart that holds a longing to serve our King…will bring out the realization of more and more failures and flaws we have. Why? Drawing nearer to the Holy and Most High God, in whom there is no wrong…shines a light on our shortcomings. If this seems a curse, re’eh…think about it a little bit more.
Consider that the Lord is bringing us through all these challenges as a manner of preparing us for the tasks ahead. Tasks we can not re’eh-see yet, for if we could…perhaps we might want to turn around, run away or hide. The Lord gives us bit by bit the measure we can handle and nothing He has presented before us it too much for us to overcome.
I Corinthians 10;11 These things happened to them as prefigurative historical events, and they were written down as a warming to us who are living in the acharit-hayamim (end of days). 12 Therefore, let anyone who thinks he is standing up be careful not to fall! 13 No temptation has seized you beyond what people normally experience, and God can be trusted not to allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. On the contrary, along with the temptation he will also provide the way out, so that you will be able to endure.
Ra’ah (raw-aw)- to see( literally or figuratively); advise self; appear; approve; behold; consider; discern; have experience; gaze; take heed; look on; mark; meet; perceive; regard; respect; think.
Nathan (naw-than)-to give; add; apply; ascribe; assign; bestow; cast; render; charge.
Cuwr (Soor)- to turn off; decline; depart; leave undone; be past; rebel; remove; revolt; turn aside; withdraw.
Devarim11;26 See (ra’ah), I present (nathan)before you today a blessing and a curse. 27 The blessing: that you hearken to the commandments of HASHEM, your God, that I command you today. 28 And the curse: if you do not hearken to the to the commandments of HASHEM, your God, and you stray (cuwr) from the path that I command you today, to follow gods of others, that you did not know. 29 It shall be that when HASHEM, your God, brings you to the Land to which you come, to possess it, then you shall deliver the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30 Are they not on the other side of the Jordan, far, in the direction of the sunset, in the land of the Canaanite, that dwells in the Canaanite, that dwells in the plain, far from Gilgal, near the plains of Moreh? 31 For you are crossing the Jordan to come and possess the Land that HASHEM, your God, gives (nathan) you; you shall possess it and you shall settle in it. 32 You shall be careful to perform all the decrees and the ordinances that I present before you today.
Judges 2;17 But they would not hearken to their judges either, for they would stray after the gods of others and prostrate themselves to them. They would turn (cuwr) quickly from the path that their forefathers had traveled, to hearken to the commandments of HASHEM; they did not do so.
James 3;6 Yes, the tongue is a fire, a world of wickedness. The tongue is so placed in our body that it defiles every part of it, setting ablaze the whole of our life; and it is set on fire by Gei-Hinnom itself. 7 For people have tamed and continue to tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures; 8 but the tongue no one can tame- it is an unstable and evil thing, full of death-dealing poison! 9 With it we bless ADONAI, the Father; and with it we curse people, who were made in the image of God. 10 Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing! Brothers, it isn’t right for things to be this way. 11 A spring doesn’t send both fresh and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12 Can a fig tree yield olives, my brothers? Or a grapevine, figs? Neither does salt water produce fresh. 13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him demonstrate it by his good way of life, by actions done in the humility that grows out of wisdom. 14 But if you harbor in your hearts bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, don’t boast and attack the truth with lies! 15 This wisdom is not the kind that comes from above; on the contrary, it is worldly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there will be disharmony and every foul practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is, first of all, pure, then peaceful, kind, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and hypocrisy. 18 And peacemakers who sow seed in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
–The blessing on one side and the curses on the other side…the mountains are scales. These blessings and curses are not only to be heard, but beheld…we stand in the middle, in the gap. Every single choice we make should be viewed in such a sense. Especially those choices which present to us a chance to uphold the Righteous Just nature of our King. Behold you are valuable and worthwhile and it matters to God every utterance of your lips. Behold, when you tear down a brother thinking you will find excuse for a failure of your own, all you’ll find is the scale which once leaned toward connection will dip into the way of dissention. Behold, as your lips profess to convict brethren to scrupulously guard your comings and goings, purchasing and investing and then you take advantage of the generosity of another, where the scale had once leaned toward a Godly directive it will dip into a depth which ends in your being connected directly to corrupting a righteous path. When lips which preached peace and unity, control of the tongue and gentleness in spirit wag continuously pointing out faults and stubbornly ceasing to be appealed to, the scales which once leaned in the way of true revelation and enlightenment will dip into the depths of bitterness and pride. We are all guilty but the Lord tells us that if we repent and truly return to Him and work on changing our ways we will not only be forgiven but the scales of blessing will overflow in our favor because of the mercy and restoration from the open hand of the King.
Devarim 12;1 These are the decrees and the ordinances that you shall observe to perform in the Land that HASHEM, the God of your forefathers, has given you, to possess it, all the days that you live on the Land. 2 You shall utterly destroy (abad, abad) all the places where the nations that you shall possess worshipped their gods: on the high mountains and on the hills, and under every leafy tree. 3 You shall break (nathats) apart their altars; you shall smash (shabar) their pillars; and their sacred trees shall you burn (saraph) in the fire; their carved images shall you cut (gada) down; and you shall obliterate their names from that place. 4 You shall not do this to HASHEM, your God.
Abad (aw-bad)- to wander away; lose oneself; perish; break; destroy.
Nathats (naw-thats)- to tear down; beat down; break down; cast down; pull down; overthrow; destroy.
Shabar (shaw-bar)- to burst; break; crush; tear; destroy.
Gada (gaw-dah)- to fell a tree; to destroy anything; cut; hew down.
Saraph (saw-raf)- to be set on fire; kindle; cause to make burn.
– God couldn’t be any clearer, the people are not to be influenced in any way by the idolatry around them as they enter the Land. There’s much more to this though. They are not to worship the Lord in any other way than He has prescribed. The Lord wants nothing to do with anything that will resemble this pagan worship, He goes so far as to say destroy, destroy, destroy, cut down, burn and then destroy even the name (which speaks of the memory and ‘legacy’) of these idols and false Gods. We are never to attach the Holy Name of our God and Savior to any such thing, heaven forbid. Devarim 12;4 is the first of several “You shall not do this to HASHEM, your God”. This is not the way you shall worship the Lord.
–You can skim over this next part or ignore it completely, I am sure that will be the common and easy thing to do. The information below is about some of many pagan origins of Christmas. They are not from one source, but many and they are not hard to find. I was recently told that there were many people within the church who have no idea about any of this. Therefore I feel responsible to sound the alarm, again. For “That’s not what it means to me” and other such responses I would refer you back to the Scripture in your bible for counsel and pray the Lord take it from there.
Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25. During this period, Roman courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the weeklong celebration. The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.” Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman.
The ancient Greek writer poet and historian Lucian (in his dialogue entitled Saturnalia) describes the festival’s observance in his time. In addition to human sacrifice, he mentions these customs: widespread intoxication; going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license; and consuming human-shaped biscuits (still produced in some English and most German bakeries during the Christmas season).
In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians. The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.
Christians had little success, however, refining the practices of Saturnalia. As Stephen Nissenbaum, professor history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, writes, “In return for ensuring massive observance of the anniversary of the Savior’s birth by assigning it to this resonant date, the Church for its part tacitly agreed to allow the holiday to be celebrated more or less the way it had always been.” The earliest Christmas holidays were celebrated by drinking, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (a precursor of modern caroling), etc.
The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston observed in 1687 that “the early Christians who first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens’ Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.” Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681.However, Christmas was and still is celebrated by most Christians.
Just as early Christians recruited Roman pagans by associating Christmas with the Saturnalia, so too worshippers of the Asheira cult and its offshoots were recruited by the Church sanctioning “Christmas Trees”. Pagans had long worshipped trees in the forest, or brought them into their homes and decorated them, and this observance was adopted and painted with a Christian veneer by the Church.
Norse mythology recounts how the god Balder was killed using a mistletoe arrow by his rival god Hoder while fighting for the female Nanna. Druid rituals use mistletoe to poison their human sacrificial victim. The Christian custom of “kissing under the mistletoe” is a later synthesis of the sexual license of Saturnalia with the Druidic sacrificial cult.
–With love and willingness to remain an active ‘part of your lives’ I send these messages, again I have the blog email open for any questions or comments or concerns. God bless you and guide you continually:
Proverbs 21;1 Like streams of water is the heart of a king in the hand of HASHEM, wherever He wishes, so He directs it. 2 A man’s every way is upright in his eyes; but HASHEM resides inside his heart. 3 Doing what is right and just is preferable to HASHEM than an offering. 4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart are the plotting of the wicked, a sin. 5 The thoughts of the zealous are purely beneficial, but all hastiness is only for loss. 6 The accumulation of treasures through a false tongue is a smitten vapor; they seek death. 7 The robbery of the wicked will cause them to fear, for they refuse to execute justice. 8 The way of a man is [sometimes] inconsistent and strange, but a pure one’s every deed is upright.
Devarim 12;5 Rather, only at the place that HASHEM, your God, will choose from among all your tribes to place His Name there, shall you seek out His Presence and come there. 6 And there shall you bring your elevation-offerings and feast-offerings, your tithes and what you raise up with your hand, your vow-offerings and your free-will offerings, and the firstborn of your cattle and flocks. 7 You shall eat there before HASHEM, your God, and you shall rejoice with your every undertaking, you and your households, as HASHEM, your God, has blessed you. 8 You shall not do like everything that we do here today- [rather,] every man what is proper in his eyes- 9 for you will not yet have come to the resting place or to the heritage that HASHEM, your God, gives you.
–Darash (daw-rash)-to tread or frequent; to follow (pursuit, search); to seek or ask; inquire; search.
The Proverbs text above reminds us that we can not rely on our own thoughts, it is not about our personal preferences in worship or even study. When one has a heart to seek (darash) the Lord it is ongoing, it evolves into something larger and more encompassing until it inhabits all of your being. It is a pursuit after God which will become your whole purpose of living and because of the heart HE has put within you. You will not be satisfied any longer in a man made type of worship, with allotted devotion and understanding prescribed by doctrine without context or knowledge of ancient language.
Job 11;4 You say, ‘My teaching is pure; I am virtuous in Your eyes.’ 5 But if God would speak and open His lips to you, 6 He would relate to you hidden recesses of wisdom, for His sagacity is manifold. Know, then, that God exacts from you less than your iniquities! 7 Can you achieve understanding of God? Can you fathom the extent of the Almighty? 8 It is like the heights of heaven; what can you do [to understand]? It is deeper than the Pit; what can you know? 9 Its measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. 10 If He were to cause death or to aggrieve, and then convene [the heavenly beings], who could challenge Him? 11 For He discerns deceitful people; He sees iniquity, though He seems not to notice. 12 Let the hollow man acquire a heart! Let the one who is [like] a wild ass be reborn as a man! 13 If you would focus your heart, and spread forth your hands to Him! 14 If there is iniquity in your hand, put it far away; and let not sin dwell in your tent. 15 Then you would lift your face without blemish; you would be steadfast and never fear. 16 Then you would forget misery; you would remember it as water flowed by. 17 [Your] fate would be brighter than the noon; it would glimmer like the morning. 18 You would be confident, for there would be hope; you would lie down entrenched in security (betach) .
–Nuwach (noo-akh)- to rest; settle down; stay; let alone; withdraw; give comfort.
Betach (beh-takh)-a place of refuge; safety; assurance; boldly, confidence; hope; trust.
Just as the Lord used Noach (whose name comes from this root- to rest, comfort) to allow for life to continue giving comfort to the remnant of mankind and all creation, just as the Ark came to rest at the appointed time, so too the Children of Israel are promised rest and comfort.
God promises refuge in what will become their Home and Heritage. This is a place in which we can find ourselves…in the hope, trust and safety of the Lord’s promises. We create a refuge in our own home when there is peace and the continual effort to make them holy, set- apart places where the Lord will rest His Name.
The first thing Noach did when he left the Ark was bring up offerings (Korbanot-draw near) to the Lord.
The Children of Israel are to settle and as the Tabernacle comes to rest they immediately begin their service to the Lord, as prescribed by Him and order their lives and worship accordingly.
This is the second time on the text we see our Father command that the people rejoice!
(Samach- to brighten up! To become gleesome! To cheer up! To be glad, joyful and merry!) With each other, in their service and not only that but in their every undertaking (Mislowach- presentation; sending out; business to be discharged.) This means all that comes forth from you is to be done with a sense of brightness and light.
Genesis 8;1 God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the animals there were with him inside the Ark, and God caused a spirit to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, and the rain from heaven was restrained. 3 The waters then receded from upon the earth, receding continuously, and the waters diminished at the end of a hundred and fifty days. 4 And the Ark came to rest (nuwach) in the seventh [month], on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
Devarim 12;10 You shall cross the Jordan and settle in the Land that HASHEM, your God, causes you to inherit, and He will give you rest (nuwach) from all your enemies all around, and you will dwell securely. 11 It shall be that the place where HASHEM, your God, will choose to rest His Name- there shall you bring everything that I command you: your elevation-offerings and your feast-offerings, your tithes and what you will raise up with your hand, and the choicest of you vow-offerings that you will vow to HASHEM. 12 You shall rejoice before HASHEM, your God- you, your sons and your daughters, your slaves and your maidservants, and the Levite who is in your cities for he has no share and inheritance with you. 13 Beware for yourselves lest you bring up your elevation-offerings any place that you see. 14 Rather, only in the place that HASHEM will choose, among one of your tribes, there shall you bring up your elevation-offerings, and there shall you do all that I command you.
–The place God chooses in perpetuity is Israel, Jerusalem, the Holy Temple. His eyes and Heart are here all (Kol- the whole; all; every) the days (yowm- a day; age; always; everlasting; perpetually.) Yeshua told of the time when the Temple would be torn down, yet in years to come people would worship in Spirit and truth. Was this to dismiss the Temple in Jerusalem? Heaven forbid. For the Lord declared in the Isaiah text it would be house of prayer for all peoples, and there will be offerings. Yeshua also showed by his example and that of his disciples that he honored His Father’s house.
The Devarim text is an invitation to the people, Yeshua himself offers all of us such an invitation: John 14;1 Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me; so that where I am, you may be also. 4 Furthermore, you know where I am going; and you know that way there.”
I Kings 9;1 It happened when Solomon had finished building the Temple of HASHEM and the king’s palace, and every luxury of Solomon that he had wished to make: 2 HASHEM appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 HASHEM said to him, ” I have heard your prayer and supplication that you supplicated before Me. I have sanctified this Temple that you have built, to place My Name there forever, and My eyes and My heart shall be there all the days.
Isaiah 56; 4 For thus said HASHEM to the barren ones who observe My Sabbaths and choose what I desire, and grasp My covenant tightly: 5 In My house within My walls I will give them a place of honor and renown, which is better than sons and daughters; eternal renown will I give them, which will never be terminated. 6 And the foreigners who join themselves to HASHEM to serve Him and to love the Name of HASHEM to become servants unto Him, all who guard the Sabbath against desecration, and grasp my covenant tightly- 7 I will bring them to My holy mountain, and I will gladden them in My house of prayer; their elevation-offerings and their feast-offerings will find favor on My Altar, for My House will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.
John 4;19 “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet,” the woman replied. 20 “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you say that the place where one has to worship is Yerushalayim.” 21 Yeshua said, “Lady, believe me, the time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Yerushalayim. 22 You people don’t know what you are worshipping; we worship what we do not know, because salvation comes from the Jews. 23 But the time is coming- indeed, it’s here now- when the true worshippers will worship the Father spiritually and truly, for these are the kind of people the Father wants worshipping him. 24 God is spirit; and worshippers must worship him spiritually and truly.” 25 The woman replied, “I know that Mashiach is coming” (this is, “the one who has been anointed”). “When he comes, he will tell us everything.” 26 Yeshua said to her, “I, the person you are speaking of, am he.”
–This will be the third mention nearly back to back of coming to the appointed place, with the appointed offerings, to rejoice with the service to HASHEM. It is the second reminder to bless and never forget to care for the appointed spiritual leadership, the Levites.
Our portion now provides a separation from the pagan nations who used death and the ingesting of blood in such a way that God wants to draw a clear line between His sanctities and His servants and them (pagan idolatrous people and practices).
While you may slaughter and eat meat from clean animals apart from the Temple service and its offerings, you are not to partake of eating blood and it is to be poured out and disposed of.
We eagerly await the return of Yeshua Ha Mashiach, his victory and our rejoicing in his reign!
I pray he makes a tiny small place for his servant…where even from afar I can hear the sound of the worship and smell the sweet incense!
Devarim 12;15 However, in all your soul’s desire you may slaughter and eat meat, according to the blessing that HASHEM, your God, will have given you in all your cities; the contaminated one and the pure one may eat it, like the deer and the hart. 16 But you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it onto the earth, like water. 17 In your cities, you may not eat: the tithe of your grain, and your wine, and your oil; the firstborn of your cattle and your flocks; all your vow-offerings that you vow and your free-will offerings; and what you raise up with your hand. 18 Rather you shall eat them before HASHEM, your God, in the place that HASHEM, your God, will choose- you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, and the Levite who is in your cities- and you shall rejoice before HASHEM, your God in your every undertaking. 19 Beware for yourself lest you forsake the Levite, all your days on the Land.
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. 5 And it will be that anyone who calls on the Name of HASHEM will escape, for on the mountain of Zion and in Jerusalem there will be refuge as HASHEM said, and among the survivors whom HASHEM summons.
Philippians 2;12 So my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed when I was with you, it is even more important that you obey now when I am away from you: keep working out your deliverance with fear and trembling, 13 for God is the one working among you both the willing and the working for what pleases him. 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure children of God, without defect in the midst of a twisted and perverted generation, among whom you will shine like stars in the sky, 16 as you hold on to the Word of Life. If you do this, I will be able to boast, when the Day of the Messiah comes, that I did not toil for nothing. 17 Indeed, even if my lifeblood is poured out as a drink offering over the sacrifice and service of your faith, I will still be glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise, you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Avah (aw-vaw)-to wish for; covet; desire; be desirous; long; lust (after).
Avvah (av-vaw)-longing; desire, lust after; pleasure.
Tsavah (tsaw-vaw)-enjoin; appoint; charge; commandment; set in order.
Chazaq (khaw-zak)-to seize; be strong; courageous (figuratively to strengthen; cure; help; repair; fortify);
Nephesh (neh-fesh)- a breathing creature; vitality; body; breath; appetite; lust; mind; mortality; soul.
Yashar (yaw-shawr)-straight (literally or figuratively); righteous; upright.
Devarim 12;20 When HASHEM, your God, will broaden your boundary as He spoke to you, and you say. “I would eat meat,” for you will have a desire (avah) to eat meat, to your heart’s (nephesh) entire desire (avvah) may you eat meat. 21 If the place where HASHEM, your God, will choose to place His Name will be far from you, you may slaughter from your cattle and your flocks that HASHEM has given you, and I have commanded (tsavah) you, and you may eat in your cities according to your heart’s (nephesh) entire desire (avvah). 22 Even as the deer and the hart are eaten, so may you eat it, the contaminated one and the pure one may eat it together. 23 Only be strong (chazaq) not to eat the blood- for the blood, it is the life (nephesh) – and you shall not eat it with the meat. 24 You shall not eat it, you shall pour it onto the ground like water. 25You shall not eat it, in order that it be well with you and your children after you, when you do what is right (yashar) in the eyes of HASHEM.
–When we are working for what pleases God, it becomes our soul’s longing and desire to be righteous before Him. Despite the realization that none of our deeds could ever make this righteousness come about…we are yet called to strive for it! This is exemplifies our faith. It changes it from being something that we do out or reason or even strategy and becomes a true trust and faith that we can find favor with God and lust after His pleasure with us…truly desiring to be a humble servant becomes a part of our essence…our breath, our soul.
Consider the text, the Lord wishes to fill and will allow for the satisfaction of the desires (avvah)of our soul (nephesh). All he asks that we remain strong (chazaq) when it comes to conforming to any other set of standards or practices than His own. He instructs that it will take courage not to become like the nations around them, not to even investigate their idolatry or manner for truly this would be a compromise of the very vitality of the people. Therefore in doing what the Lord asks, not what is right in our own eyes…but adhering to the straight and upright path in the eyes of HASHEM we will not stumble and His eternal Word will be our constant guide. This is all He what He has asked the people from their departure from Egypt and what He still places before the people who wish to be a part of His eternal covenant.
Exodus 15;26 He said, “If you hearken diligently to the voice of HASHEM, your God, and do what is just (yashar) in His eyes, give ear to his commandments, and observe all His decrees, then any of the diseased that I placed in Egypt, I will not bring upon you, for I am HASHEM, your Healer.
I Samuel 12; 21 Do not turn away for [that would be to] pursue futilities that cannot avail and cannot rescue, for they are futile. 22 For HASHEM shall not forsake Him people for the sake of His great Name; for HASHEM has sworn to make you for a people unto Him. 23 And I, also- far be it from me to sin against HASHEM and refrain from praying on your behalf; rather I shall instruct you in the good and proper (yashar) path. 24 Only fear HASHEM and serve Him faithfully, with all your hearts, for look how much He has done for you.
Jeremiah 31;6 For thus said HASHEM: “Sing, O Jacob, with gladness, exult on the peaks of the nations; announce, laud [God], and say, “O HASHEM, save Your people, the remnant of Israel!”‘ 7 Behold, I will bring them from the land of the North and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, the pregnant and the birthing together; a great congregation will return here. 8 With weeping they will come and through supplications I will bring them; I will guide them on streams of water, on a direct (yashar) path in which they will not stumble; for I have been a father to Israel, and Ephriam is My firstborn.
–Basar (baw-sar)- flesh (from its freshness); body; kin; nakedness; self.
Dam (dawm)- blood (as that which when shed causes death); by analogy, the juice of grapes; figuratively bloodshed; guiltiness; innocent.
Devarim 12; 26 Only your sanctities that you will have and your vow-offerings shall you carry, and come to the place that HASHEM will choose. 27 You shall perform your elevation-offerings, the flesh (basar) and the blood (dawm), upon the Altar of HASHEM, your God; and the blood (dawm) of your feast-offerings shall be poured upon the Altar of HASHEM, your God, and you shall eat the flesh (basar) . 28 Safeguard and hearken to all these words that I command you, in order that it will be well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the eyes of HASHEM, your God.
–Carefully consider Verse 28- Safeguard (Shama-guard, protect, attend to observe, preserve and regard) and hearken (Shama- to hear intelligently with the intention of obedience), all (Kol-the whole) the words that I command (tsavah-appoint; give charge; set in order) you, in order that it will be well (yatab-sound or beautiful; successful, happy right; be content; find favor.) with you and your children after you forever (achar- hereafter; posterity; remnant), when you do (asah-accomplish; advance; bear; bring forth; follow; maintain; serve.) what is good (towb- best; better; kind; loving; pleasant; fair.) and right (yashar-straight; upright) in the eyes of HASHEM, your God.
This verse is packed with the root meaning, design, purpose and destiny of beings who will attach themselves to God and His ways. To study the Word, to know about it and to teach others to know and uphold His testimony. True service to HASHEM comes with first the willingness to listen, and then we must strive to be in a position close enough to hear what He is telling us (by being in the word, constantly). His design is for this to be in a close and growing relationship, companionship…this is why He gave us His Torah…sent the Prophets to call His people to return to the Torah and then Yeshua to fortify the Torah and furnish us with everything we would need to execute it with all our hearts, souls and resources. Let us sit in awe at this and understand that we, so very small are sought after by the Most High God and Creator of all things, let us in turn eagerly await the sound of His voice!
–Kataluo (kat-al-oo-o)- to loosen down; to demolish; destroy; dissolve; overthrow; throw down; come to naught.
Nomos- from a primary NEMO= to parcel out, especially food. Law.
Pleroo (play-ro-o)- to level up; to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence); satisfy; execute; verify ; accomplish; fill up; make full; fully preach; perfect; supply.
Matthew 5;17 “Don’t think I have come to abolish (kataluo) the Torah (nomos) or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish (kataluoo) but to complete (pleroo). 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah- not until everything that must happen has happened.
–Logos- something said; reasoning or motive; the Divine Expression.
skenoo (skay-no’o)- to tent or encamp; to occupy; to reside (as God did in the Tabernacle);dwell.
John 1;1 In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word (logos) was with God, and the Word (logos) was God. 2 He was with God at the beginning.
14 The Word (logos) became a human being (sarx) and lived (skenoo) with us, and we saw his Sh’kinah.
–Pahgo (fag-o)- to eat (literally or figuratively.)
Sarx- flesh; meat of an animal; the body (as opposed to the soul or spirit or as a symbol of what is external or as the means of kindred); human nature; a human being.
Pino (pee-no)-to imbibe (literally or figuratively); drink.
Haima (hah-ee-mah)-blood; literally (of men and animals) figuratively (the juice of grapes); bloodshed; kindred.
Zoe (dzo-ay)- life.
Trogo- to eat; gnaw or chew.
alethos (al-ay-thoce)- Truly; indeed; surely; verily.
John 6; 53 Then Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless you eat (pahgo) the flesh (sarx) of the Son of Man and drink (pino) his blood (haima), you do not have life (zoe) in yourselves. 54 Whoever eats (trogo) my flesh (sarx) and drinks my blood has eternal life- that is, I will raise him up on the Last Day. 55 For my flesh (sarx) is true ( altheos) food, and my blood (haima) is true (altheos) drink. 56 Whoever eats (trogo) my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I also live in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live through the Father, so also whoever eats (trogo) me will live through me.”
–Nomos known as the Law or Torah comes from a word meaning to parcel out food. John tells us Yeshua is the Word, from the beginning, he came as flesh (sarx) and tabernacled among us. Yeshua invites us to His table in direct connection with our Torah text, to eat of His flesh (the word) and to drink of his blood (speaking of the libations). He set up the sacrificial system so that we could better understand the idea of a working relationship, connection to the Divine, protocol of the King. The Feasts or Moadim- Appointed Times of the Lord were all bound with the Mishkan and Temple Service. Please consider expanding your understanding and connection to your King and Savior, the ultimate Korban- offering- draw near…
by reviewing these teachings about the Temple service (link to part 1 of 5) :
and Feasts of the Lord (playlist of 5 videos):
Devarim 12;29 When HASHEM, your God, will cut down the nations, to which you come to take possession from them, before you, and you will take possession from them and settle in their land, 30 beware for yourself lest you be attracted (naqash) after them after they have been destroyed before you, and lest you seek our their gods, saying, “How did these nations worship their gods, and even I will do the same.” 31 You shall not do so to HASHEM, your God, for everything that is an abomination of HASHEM, that He hates, have they done to their gods; for even their sons and their daughters have they burned in the fire for their gods.
Genesis 3;1 Now the serpent was cunning beyond any beast of the field that HASHEM, God had made. He said to the woman, “Did, perhaps, God say: ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’? 2 The woman said to the serpent, “Of the fruit of any tree of the garden we may eat. 3 Of the fruit of the tree which is in the center of the garden God has said: ‘You shall neither eat of it nor touch it, lest you die.'” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die; 5 for God knows that on the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God , knowing good and bad.
–Note the similarity in the words Serpent and Trap (Serpent= nun chet shin; Trap- nun kof shin).
Nachash- a snake; serpent.
Naqash -to entrap (with a noose), literally or figuratively; catch; snare.
The trap of the serpent was to cause Chavah (Eve) to doubt the Word and Instruction of the Lord. The trap was to cause her to consider looking at what was forbidden from through her own reasoned perspective , her own eyes other than from God’s viewpoint on the matter. The trap was the degradation of the honor of God’s command, replacing it with the reasoning of man. The Lord tells His people not to become ensnared and caught up in the idolatrous worship of the people they would dispossess.
How are they to keep on the straight path and do what is right in the eyes of God? How are we to do the same? May I submit what we NOT do: let us not strip ourselves of the ‘bar’ God has established and given us in His Torah for a life that will tie us to Him in perpetuity, let us not consider expendable and ineffectual the Torah which God and His beloved servants and the prophets call Eternal, Trustworthy, Perfect, True, the way to find Life, let us not fall into the trap of the serpent-the destroyer who would like nothing better than to remove from the worship and growth of God’s people…the very thing which will allow for an even closer connection with the enemy’s nemesis Gods Son and our Savior, illuminated and magnified in every page of his Torah.
I will speak of the eternal truth in His Torah, I am not ashamed to bear witness, my life is testimony that no matter how dark things become…the Lord is Light and His way is Good and Lasting. What a man can say about this testimony or the way it is delivered may cause me to become further separated, in this I praise…
it is not mans preferences I seek to bow to, or to please.
Keep the Genesis text in mind as we move into the verses containing God’s instructions about the dietary expectations of His covenant members .
Matthew 7;15 “Beware of the false prophets! They come to you wearing sheep’s clothing, but underneath they are hungry wolves! 16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Can people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every healthy tree produces good fruit, but a poor tree produces bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, or a poor tree good fruit. 19 Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire! 20 So you will recognize them by their fruit. 21 Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. 22 On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform miracles in your name?’ 23 Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness (anomia)!’
–Anomia (an-om-ee-ah)- violation of law; transgression of law; wickedness; unrighteousness; iniquity.
Nomos, law, used in your bible in the place of the word Torah (which the more accurate meaning is to hit the mark rather than law).
The Master Yeshua warns us to beware of false prophets and gives us the very same indicator as our Torah text. If a prophet or a dreamer of a dream announces or proclaims anything which is contrary to the Torah, do not be fooled by the miracles and wonders he may have performed and even if these are done so bearing the name of the Lord…if he entices you against the Torah or to transgress any of the commandments of the Lord he is not of God.
Isaiah 30;9 For it is a rebellious people, dishonest children; children who are not willing to hear the teaching of HASHEM; 10 who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not see true visions for us! Speak pleasant things to us; see fantasies for us. Veer from the way, stray from the path. Remove from our presence [the word of] the Holy One of Israel!”
Something to think about: of the monotheistic religions we know of which would be the most likely to have these false prophets of whom Yeshua refers to? Which would prophesy, expel demons, and perform miracles in the name of Yeshua or Jesus? Islam? Judaism?
This warning hits very close to home especially in these days which draw short before the return of our Redeemer: Matthew 24;4 Yeshua replied: ‘Watch out! Don’t let anyone fool you! 5 For many will come in
my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray. 6 You will hear the noise of wars nearby and the news of wars far off; see to it that you don’t become frightened. Such things must happen, but the end is yet to come. 7 For peoples will fight each other and there will be famines and earthquakes in various parts of the world; 8 this is all the beginning of the ‘birth pains.’ 9 At that time you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and put to death, and all peoples will hate you because of me. 10 At that time many will be trapped into betraying and hating each other, 11 many false prophets will appear and fool many people; 12 and many people’s love will grow cold because of increased lawlessness (anomia).
It is for all people that I pray, at all times, with all kinds of prayers…that we all see more and more the wondrous things of Your Torah. How many of Your people see that they already walk in Your Statutes, Ordinances and Decrees? How many realize they are Torah Keepers? Because they are working and striving to emulate their Master Yeshua and follow the teachings of His disciples, they uphold the foundation and contents of the Scripture they love…they already fortify the Torah just as Yeshua did.
If somehow this understanding could become revealed and unleashed how much more so would your remnant expand, thrive and shine!!
Devarim 13;1 The entire word that I command you, that shall you observe to do; you shall not add to it and you shall not subtract from it. 2 If there should stand up in your midst a prophet or a dreamer of a dream, and he will produce to you a sign or a wonder, 3 and the sign or the wonder comes about, of which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us follow gods of others that you did not know and we shall worship them!”- do not hearken to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of a dream, for HASHEM, your God, is testing you to know whether you love HASHEM, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul. 5 HASHEM, your God, shall you follow and Him shall you fear; His commandments shall you observe and to His voice shall you hearken; Him shall you serve and to Him shall you cleave. 6 And that prophet and that dreamer of a dream shall be put to death for he has spoken perversion against HASHEM, your God- Who takes you out of the land of Egypt, and Who redeems you from the house of slavery- to make you stray from the path of which HASHEM, your God, has commanded you to go; and you shall destroy the evil from your midst.
II Peter 2;1 But among the people there were also false prophets, just as there will be false teachers among you. Under false pretenses they will introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and this bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 Many will follow their debaucheries; and because of them, the true Way will be maligned. 3 In their greed they will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their punishment, decreed long ago, is not idle; their destruction is not asleep!4 For God did not spare the angels who sinned; on the contrary, he put them in gloomy dungeons lower than sh’ol to be held for judgment.
–The Lord reminds the people at the close of the section above of their redemption from Egypt, all the true signs and wonders they were well aware of. Similarly Peter reminds the people in the mentioning…not to forget their Redeemer who has bought and paid for us all! Because of our redemption we should ever be reminded that our service to Him is our supreme service, anyone or anything that entices us from this service is type of idol and adultery.
Devarim 13;7 If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is like your own soul will entice you secretly, saying, “Let us go and worship the gods of others”- that you did not know, you or your forefathers, 8 from the gods of the peoples that are all around you, those near to you or those far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth- 9 you shall not accede to him and not hearken to him; your eye shall not take pity on him, you shall not be compassionate nor conceal him. 10 Rather you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be the first against him to kill him, and the hand of the entire people afterwards. 11 You shall pelt him with stones and he shall die, for he sought to make you stray from near HASHEM, your God, Who takes you out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 12 All Israel shall hear and fear, and they shall not again do such an evil thing in your midst.
–No matter where we go, whom we are with, where the Lord will take us we can not allow ourselves to become persuaded to be like the world, those who are not in covenant with the Lord. We are charged to share the Truth and to present the Good News at all times to all we meet, but we can not under any circumstances compromise the Name of our King. If we claim to have the name of Yeshua and the stamp of being His on our lives we must act accordingly.
We can not be bought or gratified, tendered or diverted by any one who speaks against or leads away from His commandments, even family members or those we hold dear as our very own soul….can not be distracted from His appointed definition for our lives and our walk in it as defined by Him alone.
There is One you will be held accountable to in the End. One who is your Judge. One Head to Whom we owe allegiance, and if we have confessed Him, we have vowed this allegiance.
These texts are very difficult and show the extreme and uncompromising nature of our King. The choice may come down to being considered treacherous by men you love, or committing treason against the Most High God. We must love the Lord more than ourselves, more than any thing, more than any one else.
Luke 12;47 Now the servant who ken what his master wanted but didn’t prepare or act according to his will, will be whipped with many lashes; 48 however the one who did what deserves a beating, but didn’t 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. 49 “I have come to set fire to the earth! And how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have an immersion to undergo- how pressured I feel till it’s over! 51 Do you thing that I have come to bring peace in the Land? Not peace, I tell you but division! 52 For from now on, a household of five will be divided, three against two, two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Micah 7;1 Woe is me, for I am like the last pickings of the summer fruits, like the gleanings of the grape harvest; there is no cluster to eat; my soul yearns for a ripe men is no more. They all lie in ambush [to shed] blood; they trap each man his brother, with a net. 3 [They expect] to benefit from the evil of their hands: the officials ask [for bribes]; the judge [has a share] in the payment; and the nobleman expresses his selfish desires; and they plait them together. 4 The best of them is like a thorn, the upright one, like a hedge of thistles. On the day of your expectation, your punishment will come; now you will become perplexed. 5 Do not trust a friend; do not rely on an official; guard the doorways of your mouth from the one who lies in your bosom. 6 For a son disparages [his] father; a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the people of his household. 7 As for me, I put my hope in HASHEM and await the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
–Bliya’al (bel-e-yah-al)-without profit; worthlessness; destruction; wickedness; evil.
Qereb (keh-reb)- the nearest part; center; among; bowels; midst; within self.
Nadach (naw-dakh)- to push off; mislead; compel; draw away; out cast; thrust away.
Darash (da-rash)- to tread or frequent; to follow (for pursuit or search); to seek or ask; inquire; make inquisition; question; search.
Chaqar (khaw-kar)- to penetrate; to examine intimately.
Sha’al (shaw-al)- to inquire; to request; to demand; consult; request; require.
The people are held directly responsible by God to ensure that there is not lawlessness and evil in the Land that He gives to them. They are to be involved in each other’s lives when it comes to accountability to the Lord and His commandments. His moral, ethical, spiritual standards. This doesn’t mean gossiping from one tribe to another, pointing out failures and flaws. This is the idea of snatching a brother from the fire.
Jude 1;23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and yet others, show mercy, but with fear, hating even the clothes stained with their vices.
If there was an abomination ( Towebah – something disgusting morally; an abhorrence; idolatry.) committed from your midst (the word quereb is powerful, meaning from your center or nearest part, your guts thus this too will be a weighty charge, the Lord doesn’t take it lightly and knows the implications in this responsibility He gives us)…there is to be an investigation.
Three different words with three similar meanings: darash- to search and inquire. GO THERE, you make steps to seek out a brother in trouble once you have heard.
Chaqar- intimately examine. INVEST, take the time to not only find out what the need is but allow your brother to reveal the issue as a process for the disclosure of the problems unto his own heart.
Shalal-to inquire and require. CONVICT, ask questions established through prayer and use of the treasure in the word which speaks to all creation…and require, with strong love…answers.
If we can be more actively involved not so much in conversions and evangelism but in the maintenance of our homes, communities and the more remote connections we have made…reaching out when there is a need, offering just counsel which builds when there is a problem, holding each other accountable for our actions and words…not for our own sake but for the sake of health and the honor of the Lord declared our lives…there could be true change for the better which would last longer than a warm glow from a prayer or worship session which rarely extends even through the course of a work week no matter how beautiful and God given (the fleeting nature of a ‘spiritual high’ -which by the way is not a shortcoming of the Lord but of our own highly distracted flesh). There should be active and consistent involvement in one another for the greater lasting good.
In the text, post investigation and verification of this idolatrous treacherous activity comes the responsibility of the whole community to act. Not only to speak up and speak out but in this case….demolish all traces of evil from the Land (the place God has chosen to put His Name) and the place from where it had become infected.
Every inhabitant, animal, scrap of gold or thread of linen…anything the corruption has touched, the ill gotten ‘gains’ used as bait by the destroyer to ensnare…must be utterly destroyed.
In verse 18 we learn it is not okay to take an offering or a gift from any banned source. Man may use gifts to soften our resolve to sanctify the Lord in every aspect of our lives, but we are not to be fooled into thinking there can be any advancement from gifts from any source or type of apostasy toward the King, what will result if we accept such gifts even with the intention perhaps to ‘make good’ from their ‘value’…is the scoffing at the Name and integrity of our God and the mocking of the dignity of a people who can seemingly be bought or sold. Do not reach into the fire, it all must be burned completely.
Reading the Judges text below after the Devarim lesson we can now better understand what was going on. The community organize themselves, equip themselves, carefully and thoughtfully plan for their efforts and then go with zeal and the commitment to obey the Lords commands in this matter…to confront the ones in their midst who had done evil in the Land. (Read Judges Ch 19 for more context).
Devarim 13;13 If in one of your cities that HASHEM, your God, gives you in which to dwell, you hear, saying, 14″Lawless (bliya’al) men have emerged from your midst (quereb), and they have caused the dwellers of their city to go astray (nadach), saying, ‘Let us go and worship the gods of others, that you have not known'” – 15 you shall seek out (darash) and investigate (chaqar), and inquire (sha’ar) well, and behold! it is true, the word is correct this abomination (towebah) was committed in your midst (quereb). 16 You shall surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword; lay it waste and everything that is in it, and its animals, with the edge of the sword. 17 You shall gather together all its booty to the midst of its open square, and you shall burn in fire completely the city and all its booty to HASHEM, your God, and it shall be an eternal heap, it shall not be rebuilt. 18 No part of the banned property may adhere to your hand, so that HASEHM will turn back from His burning wrath; and He will give you mercy and be merciful to you and multiply you, as He swore to your forefathers, 19 when you hearken to the voice of HASHEM, your God, to observe all His commandments that I command you today, to do what is right in the eyes of HASHEM, your God.
Judges 20;8 All the people arose as one man, saying, “No man will go out to his tent and no man will turn away to his house! 9 Now, this is the thing that we should do to Gibeah: [We will advance] against it by lot; 10 we will choose ten men out of every hundred of all the tribes of Israel- and a hundred of every thousand and a thousand of every ten thousand- to obtain provisions for the people, so that they may act, when they go to Geba of Benjamin, in accordance with the disgusting act that was committed in Israel.” 11 Then all the people of Israel gathered together at the city, as one man, as comrades. 12 The tribes of Israel then sent men through all the clans of Benjamin, saying, ” What is this outrage that occurred among you? 13 Now turn over the lawless men who are in Gibeah, and we will put them to death and eliminate the evil from Israel.”
–Directly connected to the verses which contain the Lords prohibition of cutting the skin are the dietary laws. He begins this portion with the Target, Purpose, and Point of these commands. You are children to the Lord your God! For us to function at our peak, to fill out with energy and spirit the design of our Creator in our physical bodies and spiritual essence we must be healthy. Filling ourselves with good food, fresh water and likewise the Good Word of God, good music, good conversation, wholehearted prayer. Exercise and fresh air, maintenance of our skin and hair. These are the very things we wish for our own children so that they can experience life and nature, creation….and marvel in it at their height, joy and delight.
It causes us to then praise God at a higher level. We would not want our children to consume smoke which would damage their lungs or drugs which damage their bodies and separate them from reality, and us.
We would be pained if our children were gashed or beaten especially if this pain was self inflicted!
So too our Father feels for us. We can not think that in carving a scripture into our skin we are transcending this command and modifying it to become something that will give Him honor.
This goes right back to worshipping God in the way He set, within the boundaries that He outlines and gives us in His Word. What we eat and whether or not we have a tattoo is NOT an issue of salvation.
The Lord bought and paid for us, nothing is beyond Him and there is no corruption He can not cleanse from us if we ask it of Him.
The purpose of eating biblically clean is to be set apart and holy. To choose to eat from a Godly Diet, clearly defined in Scripture. Going right back to the Garden there were clear boundaries, the Tree and its fruit were not even to be touched.
The dietary laws are placed in the same place as the abhorrence of idolatry and other immoral behavior which would defile Israel and her holiness. So why then is then that the carcass which is wholly unacceptable for Israel, can be sold to a gentile? This word Ger- speaks of someone “just passing through”. A person not in covenant nor bound to the covenant privileges and responsibilities. This person has no intention of keeping these commandments nor does he intend on submitting to God.
The commandments of our King are not to strip us of things we delight in. They are not to be blocks over which we stumble and anguish. The Gracious and Righteous Commandments of God are the epitome of protection. Covenant membership brings the security of being guarded by God’s gracious commandments and comes with the responsibility to live in obedience to the One who redeemed those in His covenant.
Devarim 14;1 You are children to HASHEM, your God- you shall not cut yourselves and you shall not make a bald spot between your eyes for a dead person. 2 For you are a holy people among all the peoples on the face of the earth. 3 You shall not eat any abomination. 4 These are the animals that you may eat: the ox, he sheep, and goat; 5 the hart, deer, and the yachmur, the akko, dishon, the teo, and the zamer. 6 And every animal that has a split hoof, which is completely separated into two hooves, that brings up its cud among animals- it may you eat. 7 But this shall you not eat from among those that bring up their cud or have a completely split hoof; the camel, the hare, and the hyrax, for they bring up their cud, but their hoof is not split- they are unclean to you’ 8 and the pig, for it has a split hoof, but not the cud- it is unclean to you; from their flesh you shall not eat and you shall not touch their carcasses. 9 This may you eat of everything that is in the water: anything that has fins and scales you mat eat. 10 And anything that does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean to you. 11 Every clean bird you may eat.
19 And every flying swarming creature is unclean to you; they shall not be eaten. 20 Every clean bird may you eat. 21 You shall not eat any carcass; to the stranger who is in your cities shall you give it and he may eat it, or sell it to a gentile, for you are a holy people to HASHEM, your God; you shall not cook a kid in its mother’s milk.
Malachi 3;7 Since the days of your forefathers you have veered away from My laws and you have not observed them. Return to Me and I will return to you! says HASHEM, Master of Legions; but you say, ‘For what should we repent?’ 8 Should a person steal from God, as you steal from Me? And you say, ‘How have we stolen from you?’ [By withholding] the tithes and terumah-offerings! 9 You are cursed with a curse, yet you [continue to] steal from Me, the entire nation! 10 Bring all the tithes into the storage house, and let it be sustenance in My Temple. Test Me, if you will, with this, says HASHEM, Master of Legions, [see] if I do not open up for you the windows of the heavens and pour out upon you blessing without end. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for you, and they will not destroy for you the produce of the ground, and the vine will not cast off its fruit for you in the field, says HASHEM, Master of Legions. 12 All the nations will praise you, for you will be a land of delight, says HASHEM, Master of Legions.
Devarim 14;22 You shall tithe the entire crop of your planting, the produce of the field, year by year.23 And you shall eat before HASHEM, your God, in the place that He will choose to rest His Name there- the tithe of your grain, your wine, and your oil, and the firstborn of your cattle and your flocks, so that you will learn to fear HASHEM, your God, all the days. 24 If the road will be too long for you, so that you can not carry it, because the place that HASHEM, your God, will choose to place His Name there is far from you, for HASHEM, your God, will have blessed you- 25 then you may exchange it for money, wrap up the money for whatever your soul desires- for cattle, for flocks, for wine, or alcoholic beverage, or anything else that your soul wishes; you shall eat it there before HASHEM, your God, and rejoice- you and your household.
Matthew 23;23 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim (Pharisees)! You pay tithes of mint, dill and cumin; but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah- justice, mercy, trust. These are the things you should have attended to- without neglecting the others! 24 Blind guides!- straining out a gnat, meanwhile swallowing a camel!”
–The Master was not undermining the Tithe nor the Temple or any of the Torah commands, He never did. Had it been so, He would certainly not have been received at all among the Jews who kept and loved the Torah and who saw him believed and loved him as well, seeing that He upheld it…marveling in the way He fortified it with an understanding they never knew…from the heart. (There were MANY Jewish believers in Yeshua at that time, in fact much of the Apostolic writing is directed to them.)
What Yeshua brings out is the fact that these men are tithing crops which grow native in the Land of Israel and didn’t require a tithe. Going far out of their way to ensure they performed beyond the command while Yeshua upholds and proclaims that the purpose of the Torah is to show God’s justice, mercy and instill trust in its safe-guardian’s. Meanwhile he clearly states that all the matters of the Torah were to be cared for and well tended to, cherished.
The Devarim text confirms this ideal when the Lord extends the avenue for person who would be unable to carry or sustain his tithe for the Journey to the Temple (The Place where the Lord will Place His Name). This person may go and sell his produce then bring the money to The Place and bring his offering and there rejoice before the Lord. The appointment isn’t rescheduled, the commandment is not canceled. This effects not only a desire within God’s people to keep the command but a route, a way and in the end is delight!
Proverbs 11;24 There is one who scatters and one who gathers more, and one who refrains from what is proper, only for a loss. 25 The soul that blesses will grow fat, and one who sates [others] will himself be sated. 26 One who withholds produce will be accursed by the nation, but blessing will be on the head of the provider. 27 He who seeks good [for others] seeks [God’s] favor, but he who searches out evil [for others], it will come upon them. 28 He who trusts in his wealth- he will fall, but the righteous will sprout like foliage. 29 One who troubles his household will inherit wind, and the foolish one will become a servant of the wise of heart. 20 The fruit of a righteous one is a tree of life, and a wise man acquires souls. 31 If a righteous person is punished on earth, surely a wicked one and a sinner.
Devarim 14;27 You shall not forsake the Levite who is in your cities, for he has no portion or inheritance with you. 28 At the end of three years you shall take out every tithe of your crop in that year and set it down within your cities. 29 Then the Levite can come- for he has no portion or inheritance with you- and the proselyte, the orphan, and the widow who are in your cities, so they may eat and be satisfied, in order that HASHEM, your God, will bless you in all your handiwork that you may undertake.
Matthew 6;9 You, therefore, pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven! May Your Name be kept holy. 10 May Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven. 11 Give us the food we need today. 12 Forgive us what we have done wrong, as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us. 13 And lead us not into hard testing, but keep us safe from the evil one. For kingship, power and glory are Yours forever. Amen.’ 14 For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will not forgive yours.
–We are like debtors before God. Sin is held against us on the account books of heaven. We are charged to forgive the sins of others. The seventh year represents the day of Redemption in the future when God will forgive all the sins of Israel. (Jeremiah. 31;32 For-the word of HASHEM- I will place My Torah within them and I will write it onto their heart; I will be a God for them and they will be a people for Me. 33 They will no longer teach, each man his fellow, each man his brother- saying, ‘Know HASHEM! For all of them will know Me, from the smallest to their greatest- the word of HASHEM- when I will forgive their iniquity and will no longer recall their sin.)
Yeshua’s free gift of grace to us was not free for him.
How much did he pay to ransom us and pay for our debts?
How many of our debts have been forgiven?
How much should we forgive?
To do what is most difficult for us, is to conquer our flesh and depart from it.
To forgive before we have even been asked for it, is the following the example of the very thing Yeshua has done for us.
Devarim 15;1 At the end of seven years you shall institute a remission. 2 This is the matter of the remission: Every creditor shall remit his authority over what he has lent his fellow; he shall not press his fellow or his brother, for He has proclaimed a remission for HASHEM. 3 You may press the gentile; but over what you have with your brother, you shall remit your authority. 4 However, may there be no destitute among you; rather HASHEM, will surely bless you in the Land that HASHEM, your God, will give you as an inheritance, to possess it, 5 only if you will hearken to the voice of HASHEM, your God, to observe, to perform this entire commandment that I command you today. 6 For HASHEM, your God, has blessed you as He has told you; you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will dominate many nations. but they will not dominate you.
II Corinthians 9;6 Here’s the point: he who plants sparingly also harvests sparingly. 7 Each should give according to what he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 Moreover, God has the power to provide you with every gracious gift in abundance, so that always in every way you will have all you need yourselves and be able to provide abundantly for every good cause-
II Samuel 16;11 David then said to Abishai and all his servants, “Here my own son, who has issued from my innards, seeks my life, so what now of this Benjamite? Let him be; let him curse, for HASHEM has told him to. 12 Perhaps HASHEM will see [the tears in] my eye and HASHEM will repay me with goodness instead of curse this day.”
-We are to care for those in need, to visit the sick and the elderly. Those who can not make their way to us for help we are to seek out. Not for our own gain or honor or glory…it is said one of the greatest ways of giving is in such a way that it is given without any one knowing, causing no shame to the receiver in the accepting of the charity. Our text reminds us that the Lord does hear all our cries and He has said that if the destitute person should cry out to Him and you had been able to or charged to perform a service to him and had refrained (especially on purpose) He would hear from heaven and respond. When we give it should cause us great joy and delight knowing that we are walking in the gracious ever caring ever nurturing ways of our King. Let us keep in mind the very best way to give real aide to our fellow human beings and brethren is to provide a way for them to support themselves. Its a wonderful thing to buy a poor person a meal or give them some money. Its is much more to provide a way for them to remove themselves from their current situation and have a life lived without dependency on such charity. Best of all, use each opportunity to testify about and remind the downcast and downhearted of all that is possible with God!
Devarim 15;7 If there shall be a destitute person among you, any of your brethren in any of your cities, in your Land that HASHEM, your God, gives you, you shall not harden your heart or close your hand against your destitute brother. 8 Rather, you shall open your hand to him; you shall lend him his requirement, whatever is lacking to him. 9 Beware lest there be a lawless thought in your heart, saying, “The seventh year approaches, the remission year,” and you will look malevolently upon your destitute brother and refuse to give him- then he may appeal against you to HASHEM, and it will be a sin upon you. 10 You shall surely give him, and let your heart not feel bad when you give him, for in return for this matter, HASHEM, your God, will bless you in all your deeds and in your every undertaking. 11 For destitute people will not cease to exist within the Land; therefore I command you, saying, “You shall surely open your hand to your brother, to your poor, and your destitute in your Land. ”
Luke 18; 18 One of the leaders asked him, “Good rabbi, what should I do to obtain eternal life?” 19 Yeshua said to him, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good but God! 20 You know the mitzvot- ‘Don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t give false testimony, honor your father and mother….” 21 He replied, “I have kept all these since I was a boy.” 22 On hearing this Yeshua said to him, “There is one thing you still lack. Sell whatever you have, distribute the proceeds to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come, follow me!” 23 But when the man heard this, he became very sad, because he was very rich. 24 Yeshua looked at him and said, “How hard it is for people with wealth to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God! 26 Those who heard this asked, “Then who can be saved?” 27He said, “What is impossible humanly is possible with God.” 28 Kefa said, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29 Yeshua answered them, “Yes! I tell you that everyone who has left house, wife, brothers, parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 will receive many times as much in the ‘olam hazeh (this world), and in the ‘olam haba (world to come) eternal life.”
–God wants for us all freedom, the freedom to use the abilities and resources He has given us to work hard to create a place where He is welcomed and honored and continually beckoned to dwell. Dependency on any man is a sort of separation from Him. He has redeemed and liberated the people from Egypt that they might follow Him and serve Him. The slave who chooses to rely on the provision of their human master once given freedom in the seventh year obtains a physical sign. The threshold of the home is the doorway to covenant. When one would enter your home marked by the mezuzah which contains the text of the vow “The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and resources”- written on the doorpost of the home, you are responsible for the provision for and well being of that person. (This is one reason Lot went to the extent of offering his daughters to the men who were pursing his ‘guests’ in Sodom. Genesis 19) This is a covenantal thing and the awl brings forth the blood which seals it. The place of the sign is the ear, the ear which decided to decline the freedom the Torah granted him.
Devarim 15;12 If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, will be sold to you, he shall serve you for six years, and in the seventh year you shall send him away from you free. 13 But when you send him away from you free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. 14 Adorn him generously from your flocks, from your threshing floor, and from your wine cellar; as HASHEM, your God, has blessed you, so shall you give him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and HASHEM, your God, redeem you; therefore, I command you regarding this matter today. 16 In the event he will say to you, “I will not leave you,” for he loves you and your household, for it is good for him with you, 17 then you shall take the awl and put it through his ear and the door, and he shall be for you an eternal slave; even to your maidservant shall you do the same. 18 It shall not be difficult in your eyes when you send him away free from you, for twice the wage of a hired hand- six years- has he served you; and HASHEM, your God, will bless you in all that you do.
Jeremiah 17;5 A curse on the person who trusts in humans, who relies on merely human strength, whose heart turns away from ADONAI. 6 He will be like a tamarisk in the ‘Aravah- when relief comes, it is unaffected; for it lives in the sun-baked desert. in salty, uninhabited land. 7 Blessed is the man who trusts in ADONAI; ADONAI will be his security. 8 He will be like a tree planted near water; it spreads out its roots by the river; it does not notice when heat comes; and its foliage is luxuriant; it is not anxious in a year of drought but keeps on yielding fruit. 9 The heart is more deceitful than anything else and mortally sick. Who can fathom it? I, ADONAI, search the heart; I test inner motivations; in order to give to everyone what his actions and conduct deserve. 11 A partridge hatches eggs it did not lay; like this are those who get rich unjustly: in the prime of life their wealth will desert them; in the end they will prove to be fools. 12 Throne of Glory, exalted from the beginning! Our Holy Sanctuary, Hope of Israel, ADONAI! All who abandon you will be ashamed, those who leave you will be inscribed in the dust, because they have abandoned ADONAI, the source of living water. 14 Heal me ADONAI, then I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for you are my praise. 15 They keep asking me, “Where is the word of ADONAI? Let it come now.” 16 As for me, I have not run away from being a shepherd who follows you; you know I didn’t want this fatal day; what came from my lips has been clear to you. 17 So do not be my ruin, you, my refuge on the day of disaster. 18 Let my persecutors be ashamed, not me; let them be terrified, not me.
Devarim 15;19 Every firstborn male that is born in your cattle and in your flock, you shall sanctify to HASHEM, your God; you shall not work with the firstborn of your ox, nor shall you shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 Before HASHEM, your God, shall you eat it, year by year, in the place that HASHEM will choose, you and your household. 21 If it shall have a blemish- lameness or blindness or any other serious blemish- you shall not slaughter it to HASHEM, your God. 22 In your cities shall you eat it, the contaminated one and the pure one alike, like the deer and the hart. 23 However you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it onto the ground like water.
–The portion Re’eh- behold! Concludes with the text regarding the Feasts of the Lord, appointed times. They have not expired or been replaced. They are a shadow (tsel) of things to come.
Psalm 63;8 For You have been a help for me; in the shelter (tsel) of your wings I joyously sing.
Carefully examine this thought beloved of God. TSEL- shade; shadow; DEFENSE.
Song of Songs 2;3 Like the fruitful, fragrant apple among the barren trees of the forest, so is my Beloved among the gods. In His shade (tsel) I delighted and [there] I sat, and the fruit of His Torah was sweet to my palate. 4 He brought me to the chamber of Torah delights and clustered my encampments about him in love. -Stone Edition Tanakh
In this Tsel or Shadow we find joyous song, delight…
Isaiah 25; 4 For you were a stronghold for the meek, a stronghold for the meek, a stronghold for the destitute when he was in distress; a shelter (tsel) from downpour, a shade (tsel) from the scorching heat, when the fury of the mighty was like a downpour against a wall.
In this Tsel or shadow we find provision, shelter and shade, relief from the world and evil in it which pursues us…
Hosea 14;8 Those who dwell in His shade (tsel) will return; they will revive [like] grain and blossom like a vine; their repute [will be] like the wine of Lebanon. 9 Ephriam [will say] ‘What more need have I of idols?’ I will respond and I will gaze upon him. I am like an ever-fresh cypress tree; your fruit will be provided from Me.
So as we read let us consider that a shadow is not negative at all, in fact it is an essential part of our armor. Being aligned with God’s calendar in connection with His Moadim- Appointed feasts HIS Sabbaths means we have a defense for the days to come and will come to know even more about the substance of the Messiah, also consider the audience of the Colossians text would never have been judged as far as not eating clean or keeping the feasts. Paul’s audience would certainly be eating clean and keeping the feasts, the judgment would have been about the manner in which they ‘performed’ these things:
Colossians 2;16 So don’t let anyone pass judgment on you in connection with eating and drinking, or in regard to a Jewish festival or Rosh-Hodesh or Shabbat. 17 These are a shadow ( skia) of things that are coming (mello), but the body (soma) is of the Messiah.
Skia- shadow; shade.
Mello- to intend; sense of purpose, duty; things which are to come; WILL.
Soma-the body, AS A SOUND WHOLE; substance.
Please read Deuteronomy 16 as a whole and learn about the Feasts of the Lord. We are quickly entering the season of the Fall Feasts. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Succos all fall in September. Please review these links for more about the Moadim:
Please contact me at email@example.com for more information I would be happy to help and encourage you!
Deuteronomy 16;16 Three times a year all your males should appear before HASHEM, your God, in the place that He will choose: on the Festival of Matzos, the Festival of Shavuos, and the Festival of Succos; and he shall not appear before HASHEM empty handed , 17 everyone according to what he can give, according to the blessing that HASHEM, your God gives you.
–According to all that He has given us may we seek to bless Him and thank Him continually. The time we enter is a time of Repentance. It is set by Him and when we are in tune with this we will clearly see what is manifest in our lives and the world around us. Before Yom Kippur the heavens are torn open with the sobbing cry of the Shofar at Rosh Hashanah…and the peak of the Feasts the time of rejoicing remembering the temporary nature of this life at Succos. It is He Who is calling those with a heart to repent and return to His structure or defense for the times to come. I pray we all arm ourselves with His Torah, His set times and keep the appointments He has made for us. Understanding that we are free in Yeshua, redeemed so that we might follow him into the desert and trial…remain true to our vows and come into the Covenant and the Promise prepared and well equipped to be responsible and accountable members of His Covenant People.
Psalm 62;2 For God alone my soul waits silently, from Him comes my salvation. 3 He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; my Stronghold, I shall not falter greatly. 4 Until when will you plot treacherously against a man? May you all be slain- like a leaning wall, a toppled fence. 5 Only because of his loftiness have they plotted to topple [him], they delight in deceit; with his mouth each one blesses, but inwardly they curse, Selah! 6 For God alone, wait silently, my soul, because my hope is from Him. 7 He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; my Stronghold, I shall not falter. 8 Upon God rests my salvation and my glory, the Rock of my strength, my Refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at every moment, O people! Pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us, Selah! 10 Common people are but vanity! Distinguished people are but deceit! Were they to be lifted up to the scales, together they would be lighter than vanity. 11 Trust not in oppression, and in robbery place not vain hope; though wealth flourishes, set not your heart on it. 12 One thing has God spoken, these two have I heard: the strength belongs to God: 13 and Yours, O Lord, is kindness, for You repay each man according to his deeds.
Barukh Attah ADONAI, Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam…
Blessed are You Lord our God Creator and King of the universe, You have blessed us with Your Torah of Truth, You have blessed us with the entire counsel of Your living word.
You alone have planted among us Life Eternal.
Blessed are You Lord our God, Gracious Giver of the Torah.
In Yeshua’s Name, Amein.
–It is with trembling I come before You my King.
Not knowing so many things…
but the trial and questions have led to more trust…just as You said!
Oh righteous King Who is faithful and sure.
Thank You for calling us to be a part of Your restoration…
of giving back to Your people their armor and defense.
I asked that You empty me and You answered….
according to Your word, will and way will I strive to walk.
I praise You for all You are doing,
shower blessing and renewal over all your people…
please continue to call, return and charge us with all You will have us do,
while we await our beloved savior,
it is in Yeshua’s name I ask this and I praise…
-The Complete Jewish Bible-David H. Stern
-The Stone Edition Tanach- artscroll
-Interlinear Scripture Analyzer
-Onkelos On the Torah- Understanding the Bible text
-The Stone Edition Chumash- artscroll
-The NAS bible
All this time I have been searching for ways to serve my King more, because I am so very thankful for the incredible work of restoration He has done in my life and in the world around me. As He calls His people to return to His eternal Torah and to find His Son, our Savior and Master in it….and to learn to live it out I realize that this blog is not enough. If there is anything here that you have found of value, anything that has bothered you or that you do not understand of agree with, if there has been a change of thought or heart….I have set up a new email account so that I can make myself available to field any and all concerns, or questions you might have. What tools are there out there for you? How do I keep the Torah? How do I keep the Sabbath? How do I honor my King in the way He has designed? I am far from an expert and learn every single day but with the hand of the Lord and the amazing things He has made available to me, I will do my very best to provide any of you what you are looking for. In addition to pray with you, for you and I think of it this way, questions and thoughts lead to more investigation and study and mediation in the word, that is the means for true Spiritual growth…lets learn together, asking and searching. I don’t want to just type out scripture for hours, (though it is my absolute pleasure to do so) and not be willing to participate in the message I feel that the Lord wants His people to hear and be molded by. Keeping in mind that my number one job is fostering a Spirit of service to the King within my own household, I will accept all the grace you can give me in response time, but I pray you will have already witnessed my desire to be faithful and perseverant, I will strive to do the same for all of you. Here is the contact address: