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THE FARMER

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READING
WEEK 33 | BECHUKOTAI | בחקותי | “IN MY STATUTES”

The story goes a little something like this…

“It’s a nice spring day. The frost is over. It’s time to get to work. The Farmer walks out onto his field and overlooks it’s grand expanse of rolling hills, plots of acreage planned out to be a birthing ground for the different types of seeds to be planted, and for the job ahead of bringing forth a sufficient crop for the year. He contemplates to himself, “Will it rain this year? Will we have a good crop?”. Tired and weary, he turns back to his dented, old, red pickup truck and heads back to the barn to get the tractors prepared and the seeds ready for planting.

The muddy old farm dog and the farmer’s son come bopping along, “Pop, reckon we will have a good harvest this year?”, he says. Pop turns back and says “Yah willing and the creek don’t rise, son”. He gathers his equipment and seeds and heads to the field on his bouncing tractor and says a prayer to the Father above to bring the rain; the sun; and the help to sow, grow and reap a bountiful harvest for the year.

It’s the deep south. It’s hot and humid and you just never know exactly what summer’s growing season has in store. Generations past have seen famine, drought, storms, floods, and blights. Will the hard work of farming be rewarded? The seeds get dropped every so often onto the rich, fertile soil and then covered back up with hopes that each little grain or seed will bud from the ground. He spends a long, hard, hot day laboring to provide food for his family and community and puts his trust in the hands of the Master Gardener.

He’s done for the day. He puts away the tractor. He stores up the remaining seeds. He switches off the barn light, leaves his muddy boots at the door and heads inside to a home-cooked meal made by the loving and diligent hands of his faithful wife. Grace & thanksgiving are said, he gobbles up last year’s canned green beans and a scratch-made biscuit. He’s bone tired, yet thankful. He’s worn but blessed. He’s old but able. Bed calls and without a moment of thought, he drifts to sleep.”

So what’s next, Reader?

Does the Farmer just read the back of the seed package and say “Oh I see here, we have 60 days until harvest so I’ll just rest on my laurels until then”? Does he put away the hoe and the tiller and think his work is done for the season?

Not even hardly! Any person who has ever grown a garden – even a flower bed for that matter! – knows that isn’t how it goes. There are weeds that pop up daily. As a family that really does live in the “south” and plants a fairly decent sized garden each year, today we walked outside to our garden, after being gone for a week, and there, in and around our beautiful plants is the prettiest green grass you ever did see. Whether we like it or not, it’s beginning to take over the garden – even choking out our corn and green beans! One week of failing to maintain and you end up with a full day or two worth of work (at least), of tilling, weeding and back-breaking labor. (PS. How does grass grow so well in a garden but not on your front lawn? It’s the greatest gardening mystery ever!)

This week’s portion is perfectly timed with the season we are in of planting, laboring, and praying for Yah’s blessing of abundance from the garden. We pray specifically for rain and for our produce to feed others as well as our family. When we started coming to the full understanding of Torah, we came across the verse from Zechariah 14:17 “And it shall be, that if anyone of the clans of the earth does not come up to Yerushalayim to bow himself to the Sovereign, יהוה of hosts, on them there is to be no rain. And if the clan of Mitsrayim does not come up and enter in, then there is no rain. On them is the plague with which יהוה plagues the gentiles who do not come up to observe the Festival of Booths.”

This verse really struck a chord with us as a small scale farming family. We understand the importance of rain on our land in a very real way. We understand the importance of tending to a garden, ie: doing the work required to reap a harvest. We see the give and take required to have a relationship with the land. And now, because of the understanding that we are to pursue Torah, we see the utmost importance of obedience to Yah’s Word and how there are natural consequences to spiritual disobedience.

‘If you walk in My laws and guard My commands, and shall do them,
then I shall give you rain in its season, and the land shall yield its crops, and the trees of the field yield their fruit.” Leviticus 26:3

Failure to Shema, hear and obey His commands, results in earthly consequences and because there are earthly consequences, there are spiritual consequences. Not having rain in the physical land of Jerusalem can also be applied to us, as Israelites, if Yah so chooses. But more importantly, in a spiritual manner, His favor can be poured out on us or it can be held back. Obedience produces fruit, physically and spiritually… ripe peaches or fresh green beans… but also love and joy and self control, and more!

“Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, seeking יהוה: Look to the rock you were hewn from, and to the hole of the pit you were dug from. Look to Aḇraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you. For he was alone when I called him, and I blessed him and increased him. For יהוה shall comfort Tsiyon, He shall comfort all her waste places. For He makes her wilderness like Ěḏen, and her desert like the garden of יהוה. Joy and gladness are found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of song. Listen to Me, My people, and give ear to Me, O My nation, for the Torah goes forth from Me, and My right-ruling I set as a light to peoples. Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, a people in whose heart is My Torah: do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their revilings.”

Isaiah 51: 1-7

Are we willing to walk in obedience and be a daily, living sacrifice, even in the face of physical suffering and persecution? Whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid? The One who makes our physical wilderness like Eden and our personal deserts like a garden, He is able to bring rain. He’s able to produce the joy and thanksgiving in our hearts. Our fruit is a byproduct of what we’ve sown into. Were our seeds planted in fertile soil? Did we do the work? Did we “breakup our unplowed ground” (Hosea 10:12)?

“The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1


“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” – Luke 12:5

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” – Deuteronomy 11:18

Many people have done teachings and videos and sermons on Colossians 2 and have shared their thoughts on what the “beggarly elements” are or what “traditions of men” means and even about what was “taken away and nailed at the stake”. We encourage you to be Bereans and study these for yourself and test them to the Word of Yah. These scriptures are crucial to understanding the The Way and Paul’s teachings. But for this blog, we want to focus on the theme here of preparing your garden for harvest.

Colossians 2:4-5 “And this I say, so that no one deceives you with enticing words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your belief in Messiah. 6 Therefore, as you accepted Messiah יהושע the Master, walk in Him, 7 having been rooted and built up in Him, and established in the belief, as you were taught, overflowing in it with thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one makes a prey of you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary matters of the world, and not according to Messiah. 9 Because in Him dwells all the completeness of the Mightiness bodily, 10 and you have been made complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and authority. 11 In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Messiah, 12 having been buried with Him in immersion, in which you also were raised with Him through the belief in the working of Elohim, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having blotted out the certificate of debt against us – by the dogmas – which stood against us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the stake. 16 Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths. 17 which are a shadow of what is to come – but the Body of the Messiah. 18 Let no one deprive you of the prize…

At this point, the Colossians, by majority, were Gentile converts. Christ had come and ascended, and Paul is teaching them The Way and how these things of old are a shadow of what is to come in the natural (physical) and in eternity (spiritual). He was preparing them for the laborious work in the “fields”. On top of that, and to clarify, the law was NEVER self-imposed worship, humiliation, harsh or for the flesh! It wasn’t harsh or even difficult to NOT eat pig or shellfish. It wasn’t dogma to keep Sabbath. It wasn’t for the flesh to keep the feasts/festivals. It wasn’t of this world to obey Yah but it was unto Yahweh as obedience to His commands that we do these things, as was what was being taught to them by Paul.

Georges Seurat Peasant with a Hoe

So for us as well, let no one tell you that it is wrong to do such things – eat clean, celebrate a festival or keep Sabbath. Let no man tell you that you do not have to “tend your garden”, so to speak. Let no wind or scorching sun take away your hope or trust in the One who paid our debt for us. We are to walk worthy of the manner of our calling as Farmers.

Yah says to obey His commands. To keep His right rulings. To Shema. To hold fast to what is good. He’s reminding us here that we have to remember the steps to walking out The Way, according to steadfastness and belief in Yah and in the Messiah, being established in Him and not being swayed by any false teaching or traditions of men.

The story continues…

"The Farmer tended his garden daily. His tomatoes grew fat and juicy, his corn was tender and tall, the melons were ripe and sweet. His son watched and learned by walking in Pop’s ways as a faithful steward of the land. Ma was blessed with a bounty of vegetables to can and put up for the winter and worked joyfully and with thankfulness for Yah’s goodness. Their lives were quiet, peaceful and they walked in obedience, worthy of their calling."

Until next harvest...

The season is hot, folks.
The work is hard.
The laborers are few.

Be a “farmer” and reap the blessed harvest of His refreshing and nourishing rain.

Be sure to join us again next week, Week 34, for the Weekly Scripture Reading.

The Return of Messiah

• Sabbath Snippets •

This blog post might be a little long winded, but will certainly be worth the read!

THE RETURN OF MESSIAH – Trumpets or Atonement?

Continue reading “The Return of Messiah”

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

 

“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.”

Matthew 6:28-33

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.

GOOD NEWS

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READING:
WEEK 28 | METZORA | מצורע | “LEPER”

From Genesis to Revelation, beginning to end, we see a full picture of the plan set forth by Abba Father, from Creation to Death & Resurrection to Eternity. In all settings and in all books, the Word points forward to the Messiah or looks back, pointing to the Messiah. The Good News.

2098. euaggélion – the Gospel – literally, “God’s good news.”

The Gospel (2098 /euaggélion) includes the entire Bible, i.e. it is not limited to how a person becomes a Christian.

Bible Hub: Strong’s Concordance

From a prison cell, Paul speaks of this Good News, a message that isn’t limited to just a few chapters in the Scriptures. He’s experienced the Word come alive in him and he’s willing to stand fast in the face of adversity and trial. He’s being held in chains for being a follower of Jesus (Y’shua), counting it all joy and considering it an advancement of the Word. His witness is incredible! He has people trusting his Master and being BOLD to speak fearlessly and spread the message out in the world… all due to his witness and his willingness to walk out the Good News.

This week’s Torah portion is from Leviticus 14-15, laws or instructions about the leper and how to handle a bodily discharge. The readings continues the discussion of being set-apart as holy before the Almighty God. Here we see specific guidelines for the safety and health of a leprous person and also a woman dealing with any discharge of blood. This includes her niddah (monthly menstruation) or an abnormal discharge. Also we see Yah give instructions for male emissions of bodily fluids. In any of these situations, we are to be mindful of any surface our bodily fluids touch. Surfaces are unclean & flesh is unclean when in contact with leprosy, blood or semen. We are instructed to wash ourselves and are unclean until evening. Some instances and situations call for a longer span of uncleanness. What we see here is a part of the Good News, which includes being washed by water and being made clean. “Let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.”


“Let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.”

HEBREWS 10:22

Yeshua came and made a way for us to come boldy to the throne of grace, receiving his mercy and his finding his grace (Heb 4:16). He was prophesied in Isaiah to lead the blind, to make darkness light and to make crooked places straight. Does this mean we won’t experience “chains” like Paul? Does it mean bad things won’t befall us? Absolutely not! But those things will hopefully, if we allow it by dying to our flesh, advance the Good News!

If our Creator is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do, we should take seriously the need to be set apart and clean, having eyes to see and ears to hear, washing ourselves in the water of His Word and the blood of the sacrifice of the Lamb. To be prepared for when the hard times come so that we aren’t caught off-guard and unable to stand fast through the trials and temptations.

“When you pass through the waters, I am with you; and through rivers, they do not overflow you. When you walk through fire, you are not scorched, and a flame does not burn you. For I am יהוה your Elohim, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, your Saviour.”

Isaiah 43:2

We have witnesses to this truth! Daniel in the lions den. The Israelites fleeing Egypt. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fire. There are many more but two or three are really all we need! We can trust Him at His word that He cares for us, is making a way for us in the “wilderness” of this world.

This portion is a timely reminder to humble ourselves and with all trembling to FEAR & OBEY YAH! To sanctify ourselves so that we bear fruit of the Spirit that is righteous, being defenders of the whole Word of Elohim our Father and Yeshua our Savior so that love might be extended more in knowledge and discernment. For the Good News to be spread unto all the earth.

Euaggelion. The Gospel of Yeshua, for Elohim’s glory! HalleluYAH!

Be sure to join us again next week for the Weekly Scripture Reading.

THAT YOU MIGHT BELIEVE

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READING:
WEEK 27 | Tazria | “She Will Conceive” | תזריע

Childbirth.
Leprosy.
Sin.
Unclean.
Idolatry.
Fear.
Faithlessness.
Corruption.
Death.
Atonement.
Well-doing.

All these words come to mind in a summarization of this week’s readings. It is a hard stretch to go from childbirth purification to battles with the Philistines to Yeshua’s death to rejoicing! But amazingly we, again, get to see that happen. It’s a beautiful picture of the Gospel, from beginning to end. Life to Death. Yah’s promises and His plan being fulfilled.


In the Portion, Leviticus 12 and 13 are paired together and we see childbirth and leprosy together, which seems rather odd. After digging into the Word and seeking out the purpose of them together, we see a clear idea that Yah means for us to be clean in body and in mind, for all generations; holding fast to what is good. Childbirth is to be followed by a purification and “sin offering”. We had to search out to understand why childbirth would be considered a sin when we know that procreating was Yah’s original plan.

“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

Genesis 1:29(a)

What we found is very simple really… to enter the Tabernacle, one must be completely clean, inside and out. A bodily discharge of fluid and/or blood made one unclean. The act of childbirth in and of itself was not a sin. Just like with leprosy, the body was unclean, impure; therefore, the person needed purification (and a sin offering) because it would be a trespass against Yah to enter His holy place. There is a longer period of time for women who bear female babies than males and some believe this is because the female child is born with the eggs that her body will need to bear life for future generations. Is this true? We aren’t sure but it is a beautiful thought! Yah is never lacking in details and surely there is a perfect reason for this doubling in length of uncleanliness.

Uncleanliness is not only a matter of the body being in an unclean state. It’s a matter of the heart. Can you imagine what it felt like to have to walk around the outside of the camp shouting “Unclean! Unclean!”? It surely would be a process of humbling yourself and purifying your heart. One could choose to turn away from Yah, who allows such “uncleanliness” and hard times, or he can turn to Abba and trust His will and His plans! As believers, we have the ability to draw near to the Father and repent, to trust in Him and endure through the suffering and hardships as our bodies and minds heal – being reborn and preparing us for Eternal Life!

Ancient Mikvah

In the the reading from Isaiah, we hear a loud warning against not trusting Yah and heeding His direction. Yah gives a challenge to the idolatrous people to show their power – “Let them!” “Present your case!” He says. His challenge is obviously rhetorical and he’s encouraging Israel that He alone is sovereign and in control. “See all of them are useless!” He says, “I shall also uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.” He makes a mockery of the idolatrous people and confirms His promise and reveals His glory! His challenge to them is an admonition to us to keep ourselves from impure, idolatrous ways and to trust in Him and He will take care of our enemies.

“The scope of these verses is to silence the fears, and encourage the faith, of the servants of God in their distresses. Perhaps it is intended, in the first place, for the support of God’s Israel, in captivity; but all that faithfully serve God through patience and comfort of this scripture may have hope.”

Matthew Henry commentary

What do we see happen next in 1 Samuel? FAITHLESSNESS & IDOLATRY.

How fast they fall.

Depiction of Dagon next to the Ark of the Covenant

In short, the Philistines kill 4,000+ Israelites. They capture the Ark of the Covenant. Eli dies hearing of the Ark being captured and the death of his sons. Phineas’ wife dies after childbirth from the same. The Philistines are very proud people, hoping to worship the Ark by putting it beside their idol god, Dagon. Dagon falls at the hand of Yah. The Philistines profane the Ark and are plagued with tumors (the piles/hemorrhoids). They die by the thousands. They send the Ark back to Israel but not without much fear. The Israelites do nothing it seems!

So much death and destruction all due to the lack of fear of the Most High. They chose idolatry over eternity. Evil over good. They turned their ears from prophecy that foretold that this day would come and their impure hearts became their demise. As we see prophecy being fulfilled and the world worshipping false gods, do we recognize how quickly hearts turn from Truth to chase after their own vain ways? Yah will not be mocked and what pleasure is there in this world if there is no communion with Him? What glory is there if “The esteem has departed from Israel…” (vs. 22)? There is nothing new under the sun!

This week, for those who follow the Zadok Calendar, we celebrate Pesach (Passover) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Seems fitting the Torah Portion aligns with the reading from John of the crucifixion of Yeshua. Where there was sin, there needed to be atonement. Where there was uncleanliness, there needed to be purification. It was the Day of Preparation for the Passover, Yeshua (Jesus), is brought to Pilate – who found no guilt in Him! He was dressed in a purple robe and a crown of thorns placed on His head. “Crucify him!” “Impale him!” they cried. And Yeshua submits to the authority given to Pilate from Yah. What a humble picture of what it looks like to submit and believe in the promise that is going to be fulfilled. To trust Abba Father in all His ways. It was prophesied, Yeshua submitted and became the Passover Lamb that would fulfill the need to offer a sin sacrifice any longer.

Can you imagine? I don’t think we can. We are so far removed in society, much like the Israelites with the Philistines, turning from Yah and seeking after our own passions and pleasures and many have fallen asleep. But praise Elohim we have the Holy Spirit (Ruach) poured out in us, those who believe & obey, and satan WILL fall before Yeshua. He has no power in our lives! Much like the challenge given to the idolatrous people by Yah, we can boldly challenge this world: “Show us your power and we will show you our ELOHIM!”.

Praise YAH! He is no longer on the cross/stake. His body was removed.

It is finished! HE IS RISEN!

“And he who has seen has witnessed, and his witness is true. And he knows that he is speaking the truth, in order that you might believe. “

John 19:35


“I have no greater joy than to hear
of my children walking in truth.”

3 John 1:4

A NEW BEGINNING

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READING:
WEEK 26 | Sh’mini | “Eighth”| שמיני

THE EIGHTH DAY

Throughout scripture, there is a mention of an “eighth day”. How is this since we know that a biblical week is seven days? We know that Creation was seven days and that the seventh day represents completion and rest, as in the Sabbath! So what’s this eighth day we see mentioned? Let’s look into a few of the references to the eighth day in scripture:

  • CIRCUMCISION – Unclean due to birth and then made holy by circumcision – “On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.” – Leviticus 12:3
  • PURIFICATION – Beasts, persons with leprosy, priests, the tabernacle, Nazarites – certain circumstances and instances we see uncleanness until the eighth day whereby then they were made clean and able to rejoin/fellowship/sacrifice(d) – Leviticus 14:8-10; Leviticus 15:13, 14; Leviticus 22:6; Numbers 6:9, 10; Ezekiel 43:26, 27;
  • SUKKOT – “Shemini Atzeret” – the eighth day of Sukkot, a holy convocation (assembly) – Leviticus 23:36 – “It is a separate—yet connected—holy day devoted to the spiritual aspects of the festival of Sukkot. Part of its duality as a holy day is that it is simultaneously considered to be both connected to Sukkot and also a separate festival in its own right.” [1]

While the biblical calendar does not have an “eighth day”, we know that the eighth day is a counting of eight days after a beginning of an event (ie. birth, festival/feast, cleansing from a sickness, etc.). The eighth day represents cleanliness and/or holiness; or a new beginning. Many have used the eighth day as a “sign” that we can change Yah’s commands and the Sabbath day, His specific order of all things. But we know that Yahuah does not change and He is steadfast, forever!

“God is not human, that he should lie,
   not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

Numbers 23:19

SET APART

This week’s Torah Portion and weekly reading, again, has a recurring theme. (Isn’t that always the case? and doesn’t it show us how amazingly Yah’s Word flows from beginning to end in perfect harmony revealing Abba’s fingerprint on everything?) Moses and his people are commanded to make their offerings on the eighth day and to follow His instructions (laws) exactly as he described to Moses on the mountain. If we haven’t already, we start to see the importance of not forgetting his commands in this chapter of Leviticus. The sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, give a “strange fire” unto Adonai, which he says is unauthorized and contrary to the commands given and they are consumed by Adonai right then and there! The Father MUST be honored. He MUST be set apart and our offerings to Him MUST be set-apart. We MUST not change what He has ordained. His specific ways are for our good and for His glory! Which leads us to the food laws…

Photo by Reena Newman

Creeping things, split hooves, chewing cud, fins and scales: all things that set apart clean and unclean foods. Scripture specifically names many animals and insects, reptiles and fish that are NOT food for us to consume. They are an abomination. Unclean. Once again He is specific in His instructions. In this instance, like the process we learned about with the sacrificial system, He’s speaking to us in what we can and cannot put into our bodies, our temple. Remember, we “must be holy because He is holy” (Lev 11:44). More information about food laws can be found here andhere [2], it can be a lengthy subject in and of itself so for time sake, we are going to focus on one animal in particular: THE EAGLE.

In this portion of scripture, including Isaiah, the reference of the eagle stood out due to the Bald Eagle being the national bird for the USA. It’s a very majestic bird and one of the largest predatory birds. They can fly higher than all other birds of prey in order to take in the “big picture” of the land below so that they may go after what they are seeking. Isn’t that beautiful imagery of what it can be like to be a follower of The Way? He mounts us on wings like eagles, equips us that we may not grow weary or faint, and He makes us able to see the “big picture” from beginning to end, that we may have eternal HOPE now and for a future “eighth day”! HalleluYAH!

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? That ELOHAI, YAHUAH (God) is the everlasting YHWH (God), the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall utterly fall: But they who wait upon ADONAI shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” 
– Isaiah (Yeshua’Yahu) 40:28-31

REAL LIFE

The flesh must die when life is breathed into a believer by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). Isaiah said “Make straight in the desert a highway for Elohim!”. Our flesh, like grass, must die, and like the flower, fade away, to make way for the Father to do his glorious work in us. And the promise we have is that the Word of God stands forever! We cannot be scared or worried to look set apart, to act differently than the rest of the world, and to fly high above all circumstances so that we can see the bigger picture… all so that we can have that final rest. The shalom of our Creator on the eighth day. Like Hannah says in the reading of 1 Samuel: “There is no one set apart like Elohim”… her heart rejoices that Yah is in control and that He is sovereign and just.

Peter had an opportunity. Pilate had an opportunity. We have an opportunity. Will we take it? Will we offer strange fire to him? Will we consume abominations making ourselves unclean? Will we deny him? or will we mount up on wings like eagles and die to our flesh?

Everyone who is seeking after Truth will find Truth and will walk in the commands of the Father. Everyone who is of Truth, hears the voice of Yah and the Truth will be with you FOREVER! Don’t lose the reward you worked for. Aspire for things not of this world and train like the priests, preparing for the eighth day: a complete reward of eternal life through Yeshua Ha’Mashiach! The esteem of Yah WILL be revealed and ALL will see it! Every knee SHALL bow! Praise Adonai!

Our prayer is that as the Body we would respond like Samuel: “Speak Adonai, your servant hears!”

References:
[1] Shemini Atzeret; Wikipedia – the free encyclopedia
[2] “Are All Things Clean? (Mark 7:19)” – 119 Ministries YouTube