How would you say YHVH demonstrates His love? The common answer for Christians is He sent His Son, Yeshua, to die for us. Jews would answer He gave His Torah and made an everlasting covenant with their forefathers. Both are correct answers and can be understood in light of one another. Read More »
In our text this week, Jesus comes from the Galilee to John at the Jordan to be immersed. Knowing who stands before him, in bewilderment, John asks, “…and do you come to me?” A question that rings true in the heart of every disciple who has truly seen themselves in the light of His holiness. Read More »
When I’ve had conversations with believers and non-believers alike about the Old Testament they always bring up the brutality and merciless nature of God because of the instructions given to go in and conquer the land; and they are right to a point. Read More »
This week’s portion was packed full of wonderful teachings. Moses addresses the people by reminding them where they came from and where they were going. I can imagine hearing his commanding voice address the people. Read More »
[dc]S[/dc]omething else I realized about Moses’ unfortunate situation. He had been empowered with the ability to perform many miracles. His words and actions in obedience to YHVH brought about plagues, protection, and provisions. However, when you carefully look at all YHVH did through Moses, you will see that YHVH never did anything the same way twice. Up to this point, Moses listened carefully and obeyed YHVH to the letter. Read More »
Let’s continue with our study of Korah. Although Moses knew what a mistake they were making, he humbly gave the assembly the opportunity to stand before YHVH to clearly see who YHVH would choose for the duties and responsibilities they so desperately coveted. Moses warned them they were going too far with their discontent and gave them a night to consider the matter. Read More »
I read the story of Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10 several times and it continued to send me in a state of shock and disbelief until this week. Having completed a study cycle through the Torah, and connecting it with the rest of the bible, I understand things now I wasn’t able to just in the context of the story. Questions arose such as “Why would YHVH strike two priests who just completed their ordination?” and what was meant by “strange fire?” The Christian and Hebrew commentators alike haven’t been able to define strange fire, but the scriptures clearly state the men did something YHVH did not command and there was devastating consequences for their actions. Remembering that Leviticus is a book which teaches about the holiness of YHVH and what was necessary to draw near to Him, it’s pretty obvious He meant business about the dos and don’ts of entering His presence.
This is difficult for me to write because how does one share with others the importance of how they should approach YHVH in a culture where God is friend, and it’s okay to have a relaxed, easygoing attitude. Christianity doesn’t typically teach how to approach the Father, but through whom. Not that it’s wrong per se, but I’m learning it’s not a complete understanding. These young men were ordained priests of the tribe of Levi of the people of Israel. They were chosen by YHVH. They weren’t unbelieving gentiles, yet they suffered a terrible consequence for approaching YHVH outside of His commands. I believe this lesson is as applicable today as it was to the people then because according to the apostolic writings believers are called a royal priesthood. When a person enters into covenant with the Creator of the Universe through His Son Yeshua, they are being grafted into the covenant and nation of Israel. In a very real sense, a convert becomes Hebrew in the eyes of YHVH. If that be the case, shouldn’t believers approach YHVH the way He instructed Israel back in the Torah? If we approach YHVH with our own ideas of what is right and good, will it be acceptable to Him or strange fire? Some may argue Paul taught a new gospel, one that allowed those who entered the covenant through Yeshua to not follow all the commands of YHVH, but could an apostle of the Son of the God really do such a thing? If the God of the Old Testament changed His mind for a new generation of believers, could the writers of the testaments pen the title “Unchanging” of YHVH?
As priests serving under Yeshua, what duties are we responsible to perform? And as members who were grafted into Israel, what are our responsibilities? How do we ensure we don’t offer “strange fire” in our acts of drawing near to YHVH? Can we conclude that since people aren’t being struck dead when they worship they are offering acceptable sacrifices and worship to the Father? Needless to say, there are still many questions that can be asked on this subject. I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do believe YHVH sent His Spirit to indwell in us so we could gain a clear understanding of His truth; however, the key is in the dedication of the believer to study and ferret out the truth without accepting spoon-fed sermons and teachings. I’m sure I have just set many of my readers aflame. I write this not to be divisive, but out of love. The last thing I want to see are dear friends and family lack the power, perseverance, peace, contentment, strength, and integrity to live victorious lives in the here and now. All has been promised and a way has been provided, but it takes so much more than has been taught over the last 1500 years or so of Christian history. The time continues to draw near for the return of our Messiah and will we be ready? If we don’t know the scriptures for ourselves, we may end up like the 5 virgins who were not prepared for the return of the bridegroom. Study the scriptures, know the truth. It will make a difference in life today and the life to come.
Sometimes when I read a portion of scripture that seems to be a repeat of information I processed earlier, I have to work extra hard to find something new because I am convinced there are no unimportant words in scripture. Last week’s portion had a reoccurring phrase which caught my attention. The phrase was “as the Lord commanded Moses.” I’ve been taught that if something is repeated in scripture, take note because it’s important, but as far as I can tell this phrase was repeated 17 times. Boy, I had better take note now! Everything YHVH instructed Moses with regards to building the tabernacle was done exactly “as the Lord commanded Moses.” There isn’t one time something was built, made, created, fashioned or sewn contrary to the YHVH’s instructions. That tells me a lot about Moses’ integrity towards YHVH. But even more so, was the significance of Moses obedience. It says in Exodus 40:34 after Moses completed the work that “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”
Wow! When was the last time I followed YHVH’s instructions so completely His glory filled my earthly tabernacle, me? What would be the manifestation of such a filling? There are many signs, but one spoke strongest to me and can be found in Acts 4:31 which says –
“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (emphasis mine)
To be filled with the glory of YHVH should give me boldness to proclaim Him to all around me. That is the sign I should be exhibiting. Father, may my word and actions show the world Your glory!