WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READING
WEEK 32 | Behar | בהר | “On the Mountain”
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”1 John 4:7-8
Love. It is undeniably more than just a feeling…
In this weeks portion, we find Mosheh on the Mount talking with God and immediately we are met with God’s love, in that He is even willing to talk to us! Love of us and for us continues as a theme throughout the entire portion as we see it poured out upon the land and all the creatures He created. Leviticus 25:2 “When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall observe a Sabbath to YHWH.” Not only did Yah give a Shabbat (Sabbath) to us, but also to the land and all the livestock in the land every seventh year. This land Shabbat is observed to YHWH. By keeping it, it is not only our way of being obedient to Him, but also to show we love and trust in Him to provide in the sixth year all that we will need for that year and then the next two years as well. By trusting in Him, the land will provide three years worth of crops, our daily bread, His love poured out for us.
Yah then gives instructions for His Jubilee year. This year will be a year of release in which each person could return to their original land possession. Yah knew that some would not manage the land well, or they might perhaps decide to sell off a birthright. He provided a way for the children of Israel to regain the lost land that was portioned out to each family every 50 years. We are reminded not to exploit each other, charge interest to one another, or oppress one another, but to fear Yah and love each other.
“And you shall do My laws and guard My right-rulings, and shall do them. And you shall dwell in the land in safety, and the land shall yield its fruit, and you shall eat to satisfaction, and shall dwell there in safety.”Leviticus 25:18-19
If we obey, he will provide for our every need!
We have a Father who loves us abundantly and cares about us so much. He reminds us through His Son that since he even cares for the grass, how much more will He provide for us, His children created in His image. We can rest and trust that during a Sabbath year and Jubilee year, all of our needs will be met.
“And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious , saying, “What shall we eat?” Or “What shall we drink?” Or “What shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
We’re reminded in Exodus 23:4-5, “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.” If we are to care this much for the animal of our enemy, how much more so ought we to care and love for not only the animals of our brother’s, but also for the brother himself? We are to redeem our brothers, take them in as hired servants instead of slaves, care for them by providing provisions without seeking profit, send our brothers out in the Jubilee with their children, and treat them with kindness. We are to love them like Yah loves us! Our brothers were “bought with a price” by Yah out of Egypt, just as we were, and as such, we are all servants of the Most High. “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:20-21
Adding to our understanding of Yah’s love, our reading in Isaiah is about our Redeemer. Isaiah 49: 26, “All flesh shall know that I, YHWH, am your Saviour, and your Redeemer, the Elohim of Jacob.” Yah loved us so much, that He sent his only Son, Yeshua, to be our Kinsman Redeemer, just as we are called to be kinsman redeemers for our brothers. He will come as a covenant of the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the ruined inheritances, to set the captives free, Isaiah 49:8-9. We have been bought with a price, let us never forget that (1 Cor 6:20, 7:23). We are now servants of our Messiah. He loved us to the point of death, even death on a cross, bearing our iniquity and shame. Never forget the high price He paid to ransom us from the wages of sin (DEATH). This debt can never be repaid, praised enough, thanked enough, or worked out enough with fear and trembling. However, we can choose every day to die to ourselves, pick up our cross and bear it, working for Him as a servant, counting it all joy, performing each task with thanksgiving, bearing one another’s burdens, giving a hand up and not just a hand out. Matthew 25:37-40, “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Remember to always have the HEART of a servant! Yeshua asked Peter three times in John, Chapter 21, “Do you love Me?” He tells Peter to “Feed My lambs,” “Shepherd My sheep,” and “Feed My sheep.” We need to ask ourselves this same question, “Do we love Him?” Are we truly loving our brothers? All who believe are the sheep of Yeshua, and as servants we are called as Peter was, to feed them, not only physically, but also spiritually. Who may receive their portion of the promised daily bread from your hand today? Be as those in Colosse who in Colossians 1:4 Paul says show love for the set-apart ones, namely other believers, other brothers and sisters. Be as they are in verse 10, walking worthily of the Master, pleasing all, bearing fruit in every good work.
We move onto the portion reading from 1 Samuel. In Chapter 14, Jonathan purposed to go up to the Philistines to attack them. He apparently wasn’t happy with waiting and took it upon himself to get something done. The Philistines held the high ground, the position of power in battles of this time. Jonathan tells his armor bearer a crazy plan, “See, we are passing over to the men – and show ourselves to them. If they say this to us, “Wait until we come to you,” then we shall stand still in our place and not go up to them. But if they say this, “Come up to us,” then we shall go up. For YHWH has given them into our hand, and this is the sign to us.” Why is this plan so crazy? As a small force attacking a larger force who holds the high ground, you would normally want to try to sneak up and attack with stealth and surprise. Jonathan throws out our conventional wisdom and relies instead upon Yah to fight the battle for him. He simply stands up and declares himself to the Philistines and lets Yah work. What does the armor bearer say to this: Jonathan you’re crazy!, I’m going back to the tent!, You’ll get yourself killed!, I’m not having any part of that!, Have you spoken with your father the king about this?, Why can’t we take some more men with us?. The armor bearer doesn’t say any of that. As a servant with a true heart for his master he says in verse 7, “Do all that is in your heart, incline yourself. See, I am with you, according to your heart.” The armor bearer trusted Jonathan and ultimately Yah. The odds didn’t matter. The possibility of death didn’t matter. He chose to serve! He chose to stand tall in the midst of the enemy and proudly be seen for who he was!
When our Master calls you, are you going to give excuses or are you going to stand tall, be seen, shout His name, and do the work He has called you to do? Will you care for your brothers, loving them as yourself? Loving them more than just with your feelings? …..even to the point of death?
“Choose this day whom you will serve…But as for me and My House, we will serve the Lord.”Joshua 24:15
Be sure to join us again next week, Week 33, for the Weekly Scripture Reading.