Jealousy vs. contentment. Covetousness vs. peace. Humility vs. pride. This continual battle against short-sighted self-will and trust in the LORD’s over-the-horizon view underlies the rebellion against Aharon (Aaron), God’s anointed, led by Korakh (Korah) in this week’s reading — קֹרַח Korakh, Leviticus 16–18.
This foreshadows the rebellion against the ultimate of God’s Anointed, Yeshua the Mashiakh (Jesus).
Continue reading Parashat Korach (קרח): Numbers 16–18
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“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, ‘AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST’ [Psalm 95:11], although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:2–3 NASB)
We all have “pivot points” in life, times when a decision or circumstance dramatically changes our lives, sometimes irreversibly. A pivot toward lifestyle and character in step with the Kingdom of God leads to a fulfilling life, regardless of good times or bad times. A pivot away from the Creator can be “sin that leads to death,” unless we respond to Heaven’s warning “today” and “enter His rest” via the Passover Lamb, Yeshua (Jesus).
Such a huge pivot in the history of our ancestors in faith is recounted in the Torah reading שְׁלַח Shelakh (“send,” Numbers 13–15), when a “bad report” about Israel’s prospects for settling in a land of giant warriors, walls and grapes persuaded many of the generation of the first Passover, Red Sea crossing, etc. to abandon the LORD’s leadership.
Continue reading Numbers 13–15: Overcoming fear in doing the right thing
Rebelliousness, laziness and fear lead us to fight against, avoid and run from what we know — or should know — we should do. This week’s reading, שְׁלַח Shelakh (“send,” Numbers 13–15), takes a deep dive into a pivotal moment where all three killers of Israel’s faith in the LORD and His messengers.
Continue reading Parashat Shelach (שלח): Numbers 13–15
As the Torah reading בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ Beha’alotcha (“when you raise up” [the lamps]) begins, the menorah and the Levites are dedicated to God’s service, and the Tabernacle is ready for business.
However, this reading is permeated with all sorts of ingratitude and complaining, from the people complaining about the manna to Miriam and Aaron complaining about Moses. God doesn’t put up with any of it. Whether it’s sending down a consuming fire or a plague, God doesn’t put up with people grumbling about His provision.
Continue reading Parashat Beha’alotecha (בהעלתך): Numbers 8–12
The common Torah reading for this week (נָשֹׂא Nasso, “take up” or “carry,” Num. 4:21–7:89) continues the census of the priesthood of Israel, caretakers of the earthly embassy of the Creator. Yes, there’s a Messiah-centered connection between determining who could enter the מִשְׁכָּן Mishkan (“Tabernacle”), testing the faithfulness of a wife, commissioning and decommissioning someone under a Nazirite vow and the 12 days of gifts from each of the tribes of Israel at the dedication of the Mishkan.
Continue reading Parashat Nasso (נשא): Numbers 4:21–7:89
All of us will face trying times that will reveal who we really are, our character. The Torah reading בְּמִדְבַּר Bamidbar (“in the wilderness”) over Num. 1:1–4:20 takes us along with our ancient ancestors in faith on a journey toward true rest God provides. That’s a trek that’s as relevant now as it was then.
Continue reading Parashat Bamidbar (במדבר): Numbers 1:1–4:20
“As God is my witness, I will do that.” Such words can roll off our tongues easily, but we can forget that One is witnessing such a vow and watching to see whether we respect the Creator enough to follow through. That’s why Moshe (Moses), Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ) and His apostle Ya’akob (James) warned us against dragging the LORD in to co-sign on our promises.
Continue reading Parashot Matot/Massei (מטות/מסעי): Numbers 30–36