It’s all too easy in today’s crave-the-cutting-edge lifestyle to forget who got us to where we are today. Abraham is called “father of us all” because his trust in God is the model for saving faith in God’s Son, Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ) (Rom. 4:16–5:2). In this week’s Torah portion, חיי שרה Chayei Sarah (“Sarah’s life,” Gen. 23:1–25:18), we learn how important Abraham’s wife Sarah is in The Way from our old way of life to our new one in Mashiakh.
This week’s Torah reading is called כי תשא Ki Tisa (“when you take”), covering Ex. 30:11–34:35. The Torah reading shows us how Messiah Yeshua represents His people before His Father as Aharon walks through the sacrifices and prayers on the Day of Atonement.
We also see Messiah Yeshua in Moshe’s response to the sinful spectacle with the Golden Calf. Moshe’s simple confession of Israel’s sin to the Lord and his willingness to pay the price himself are all echoes of our Messiah Yeshua’s heart. God rejected Moshe’s profound offer of atonement because He has already prepared for Messiah Yeshua to make the atonement Moshe wanted to make for Israel.
Continue reading Parashat Ki Tisa (כי תשא): Exodus 30:11-34:35
Read study notes and listen to recorded discussions by teacher Richard on this week’s Torah reading, פקודי Pekudei (“countings”), covering Ex. 38:21–40:38.
Also, check out teacher Daniel’s studies on the standard Haftarah (Writings and Prophets) reading for this week.
The people of Israel being making the different parts of the Tabernacle in Exodus 38-39. In Exodus 40, the people assemble the Tabernacle with Moses handling the final touches. The book of Exodus ends with God’s signaling His approval of the work of the people’s hands by visibly dwelling within the Tabernacle.
There is a lot of exactness described in Exodus 39-40 for the design of the furniture and implements of the Tabernacle of Israel. One lesson we can draw from this is every piece of furniture had its own exclusive place. Every item had its irreplaceable function in God’s house. We were all brought to God’s High Priest first. Yeshua the High Priest presented us to the Father. When God calls us to Himself, He calls us to our irreplaceable task too. Another lesson from the directed precision is God trained the people to stay where He stayed and move when He moved.
When Yeshua told the elders that the scriptures speak of Him, many of us had no idea how much Messianic foreshadowing is found in this book. The exit from Egypt after Passover and the journey to Canaan was orderly, not chaotic. The journeys to and from Egypt, for Abraham, Joseph, Jacob and the Messiah are a lesson for us.
Haftarah: 1st Kings 7:51–8:21
A description of the design of Solomon’s palace seems more appropriate for an architecture textbook than the Scriptures. Yet the elements of the design tap frequent symbols in Scripture, pointing to the roles of “priest” and “king” in the Messianic Age.
Like with the previous passages on the design of the temple and Solomon’s palace, the design of the two pillars at the entrance of the temple reveals the prophecy by Ezekiel’s lying on one side and the other. Solomon was prophesying the number of years the temple would stand before being destroyed.
Continuing the lessons from the items in the temple Solomon built for God, we look at the washing basins and see a parallel between the design elements and the role of God’s Spirit in cleaning the lives of believers and our role in that.
Continuing the 1st Kings 7 exploration of the lessons of the design of the temple Solomon built for God, we see a division of copper and gold items. The lesson of copper in the outer temple area and gold in the inner temple area is God wants to clean us by moving us from the world of the Snake to God’s world.
The lessons of God’s covering His people’s rebellion and moving His dwelling among His people, symbolized in the appointed times of Yom Kippurim and Sukkot, were acted out on a human level during the dedication of the first temple.
King Solomon built a structure for God’s presence to occupy in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), but Solomon’s prayer points toward God’s people’s being the dwelling place of God.
A chiastic structure buried in 1st Kings 8 compares messianic figures of Moshe (Moses), David and Shlomo (Solomon) by changing up the historical and thematic order of them. This swapping is very important because it reveals elements of the character of the Messiah.
Why did Abraham the nomadic “father of faith” pay so much for a tomb for his wife Sarah? What’s the connection between Abraham’s and King David’s picking a certain son as the successor over other, older sons? Are does the symbol of a well in the account of Yitzkhak marrying Rivkah and in Yeshua’s encounter with the Samaritan woman teach us about the Mashiakh’s work of bringing new life out of death? These are questions tackled in this discussion of the Torah portion חיי שרה Chayei Sarah (“life of Sarah”), covering Genesis 23-25.
In 1st Kings 22, we read about the final events that lead up to Ahab’s death. For those of us who are trying to walk a righteous life, the mistake and foibles of the unrighteous can still provide us powerful lessons, including the danger of making promises in haste and only listening to part of God’s instruction rather than all of it, but probably the most important lesson from this final chapter of Ahab’s life is that God does not need 400 voices to teach you His truth. He only needs one.
It had been 70 years since Israel had any exposure to the temple in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) and to God. Eliyahu (Elijah) is starting from scratch with them. Eliyahu’s story is God’s message to Israel. It’s all tied together. Eliyahu’s interactions with Ahab and Yezebel (Jezebel) dominate the story but the purpose of these interactions were to teach the people of Israel about God.
We can see here how Israel has progressed in their knowledge of God and His law since Eliyahu started his ministry.
Whether the children of the Northern Tribes had forgotten God on accident or on purpose, the result has been the same: apostasy. Eliyahu (Elijah) had an uphill battle trying to reintroduce God to the children of Israel.