Global Prayer Team - 6/18/2020
In this week’s Torah portion one learns an importa...
Global Prayer Team - 6/18/2020
In this week’s Torah portion one learns an important lesson about commitment and one’s word. If you are a believer then you have made an oral commitment to G-d; for Paul speaks about the need to confess with one’s mouth the L-rd Yeshua (See Romans 10:9-10). Obviously this confession implies a commitment of one’s life to the Lordship of Messiah Yeshua. In other words, a believer has been sanctified to Yeshua. Sanctification has many aspects, one of which is being set apart for a purpose. One learns from the Scriptures that not only can individuals be sanctified, but so too can objects. According to Jewish law, once something has been sanctified to G-d, it can never be used for any other purpose.
In Parashat Korach one reads about a great rebellion against Moses’ leadership. 250 rebels stood with their fire-pans in their hands ready to offer a strange fire to HaShem. In the end, they were slain; however their fire-pans remained. One reads that Moses is instructed,
“Say to Elazar the son of Aaron, the Priest, ‘pick up the fire-pans from amid the fire and the incense, scatter further, for they (the fire-pans) were sanctified.” Numbers 17:2 (see Numbers 16:37 for English readers)
Please compare my translation with the King James Version:
“Speak unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, and scatter thou the fire yonder; for they are hallowed.”
There are a couple of unique things about this verse. First, there are two different words in this verse for fire. The KJV translated the first word “burning” and the second word “fire“. I have no problem with the first rendering by the KJV of “burning”, but it is important to realize the second word relates to the incense offering that was placed on the fire-pans (censers) that was apparently still burning. It is incumbent upon the reader to understand that Aaron is being instructed to remove the incense from the fire-pans prior to doing something with these fire-pans. The reason for this is that the fire-pans had been sanctified, while the incense that the 250 rebels were using was most likely improper (a strange fire). There is likely a play on words in the Hebrew text. The word “to scatter” can also be a totally different word in Hebrew, although written in the exact same way, which has a meaning of “strange” as in a “strange fire” which relates to the incense offering (See Leviticus 10:1). The point here is that Elazar is being instructed to remove the incense offering of the rebels from the fire-pans, scattering the incense as the KJV says “yonder”. I translated the word “further”, as meaning away from the Tent of Meeting.
After completing this, the reader is told that the fire-pans were hammered into a covering for the altar (See verse 3, English readers 16:38). The question that needs to be asked is why were not the fire-pans simply discarded rather than made into a covering for the altar? Some would answer this question based upon additional information provided in the text, i.e. “so they could be a sign (reminder) to the Children of Israel” not to behave like Korach and his rebels. Although this is true, it also needs to be stated that the fire-pans could not simply be discarded because they had been sanctified. In other words, because of this sanctification, they could only be used for a holy purpose (Please remember that the word sanctified or sanctification is derived in the Biblical languages from the word “Holy”).
Hence, because the believer has been sanctified, he must also remember that it is forbidden to engage in any behavior that is not appropriate for a follower of Messiah. In a symbolic manner, Elazar is functioning like the Holy Spirit, Who always leads the believer to separate himself from those things that G-d rejects or disapproves of. As you read Parashat Korach on Shabbat, ask the Holy Spirit to show you what things you need to remove from your life so that you are not behaving like Korach and his congregation, but rather like the true servants whom HaShem had chosen.
Global Prayer Team - 5/28/2020
This week’s P...
Global Prayer Team - 5/28/2020
This week’s Parasha (Torah Portion) is Naso (Exodus 4:21-7:89). Here are a few words from Baruch about this portion of Scripture:
“What guides your life? The answer should be the truth of the Word of G-d illuminated by the Holy Spirit. Too often we allow emotions and other personal considerations to lead us to make decisions which are in conflict with Scripture. Obviously grace and forgiveness are factors, but they should never cause one to ignore the spiritual ramifications of sin. If one does, it can affect others who are innocent of the situation.
In this week’s Torah portion, HaShem instructs Moses to send from the camp of the Children of Israel certain ones who had spiritual impurity. Although some of these conditions may not be connected to a sin they have committed; nevertheless, the ones who were impure were commanded to be put from the camp (See Numbers 5:1-4).
It was likely the congregation would not know which ones had contracted the spiritual impurity from sinful behavior and which ones simply were infected by coming in contact with the impurity. For example, if one were to just touch a corpse, this act would cause him to be expelled from the camp as would one who had contracted a disease from a sexually immoral act. Certainly the one who had accidentally come in contact with a dead body would not want to be thought of by others as one who may have been sexually immoral. What is the lesson for us in these verses?
The first principle involves the one who has been sent from the camp. This principle teaches that one should not to be concerned with what others may or may not think about him. G-d knows the truth and it is ONLY His opinion that matters. The second principle is for the congregation. It is not to think the worst about another, but rather to assume the best possible explanation for the situation. These two principles are probably not new to anyone who is reading this, but they are frequently forgotten or simply ignored.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would convict you of violating these principles the next time you do. Better yet, pray that He would keep you from violating them.”
Global Prayer Team - 6/4/2020
This week’s Torah Portion, Behaalotcha, is a...
Global Prayer Team - 6/4/2020
This week’s Torah Portion, Behaalotcha, is a reading of Numbers 8:1 - 12:16. Here is a little commentary by Baruch on this passage:
In this week’s Torah portion one encounters the same tendency that exists today among some believers which was also present among the Children of Israel in the wilderness. People expect G-d to give to them what they want instead of seeking how they might serve Him and do His will. One reads that there was a group with the Children of Israel that spoke the following:
“And the gathered, which were in his midst (the midst of the people of Israel) lusted a lust and also the Children of Israel responded and cried and they said, ‘Who will feed us meat?’ We remembered the fish which we ate in Egypt for free, the squash and the watermelon and the eggplant and the on-ions and the garlic.” Numbers 11:4-5
The Hebrew word which I translated “the gathered” is והאספסף is derived from the Hebrew verb, “to gather”. It is understood as referring to those Gentiles that gathered with the Children of Israel during their wanderings in the wilderness. When this group began to complain and lusted after the things they lacked in the wilderness, the Children of Israel joined in and asked for meat as they were unsatisfied with the manna. They asked for meat in a very significant manner. They did not turn to HaShem and beseeched Him directly; rather they cried out, “Who will feed us meat?” There are two important aspects to this statement. The first is that the word “who” shows an openness to any god. The point is that they were not only dissatisfied with the manna, but also with the G-d Who provided the manna and the “who” reveals that if another were to provide them meat, they would embrace him. Scholars understand this as demonstrating Israel’s tendency to fall into idolatry so easily. The second aspect is that they asked “Who will feed us meat”. This means that it was not only that they wanted meat provided, but they wanted to be fed as a parent feeds an infant. This shows an immaturity (a spiritual immaturity) that is the basis for Israel falling into sin once again so easily.
Paul taught that “the Kingdom is not food and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Please note that the phrase, “…and joy in the Holy Spirit” refers to the contentment that is found in a personal relationship with Messiah Yeshua which is experienced by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit. If one is not satisfied with knowing and serving Him, but rather emphasizes the material, i.e. food, then it demonstrates how far away he is from HaShem.
The fact that they lusted after life in Egypt and said that they ate for free is certainly not an accurate statement. Satan often deceives those who lust after sin into believing that the sinful life (Israel was in bondage to sin in Egypt) is much different than the reality of the matter. Satan at times re-moves the memory of the pain and misery of sin when we are considering sinning again and we only focus upon the fleshly gratifications. So often, lust gives birth to sin, because one is deceived by the father of lies, and fails to consider the plans and purposes of the L-rd.
You too are on a journey, not a journey of the pursuits of fleshly pleasures or even obtaining your will. Your will needs to be nailed to the cross because one’s will is not HaShem’s will. What we may lack in this age for the pursuit of righteousness is pale in comparison to what the faithful will receive in the Kingdom.
Ray points back to Exodus 33:14 14 And He said, “My pre...
Ray points back to Exodus 33:14 14 And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Jesus' audience would have thought of this verse when he said "I will give you rest. (in the Hebrew)" When he said "you will find rest for your souls" later, they would have thought of Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you shall find rest for your souls. "Walking in the Desert DVD: They Were not Wandering lesson" When Jesus' Jewish audience heard Him say "I will give you REST" it would have been an amazing claim to them because HaShem is the one who gives rest - this is a claim to divinity! They would have recognized when He said "and you will find rest for your souls" that he was claiming to be the way - that ancient path in Jeremiah 6:16. This would have been radical for them!
See also Psalm 81:13, 16 "How I wish my people would listen to me, that Isra’el would live by my ways! [My PATH]..They would be fed with the finest wheat, and I would satisfy you with honey from the rocks.” Tasting God while on the path, even when it is hard - taste as a means to experience God - Honey is what God "tastes" like - sweetness that you sometimes can't experience except in the hardness of the rocks.