SHABBAT SHALOM: PARASHA: MISHPATIM (ordinances/judgments)
EX 21:1-24:18...................JEREMIAH 33:25-26.....................MATT 5:38-42
In this Parasha, we see many different mitzvoth/commandments that Adonai has given to Moshe to relay to Am Israel. If we read through them all, we can see that many are still for today, unfortunately, many people do not consider this, many were given to curb or discourage crime, theft, especially if the thief were caught, would have to pay double.
Another unfortunate mind-set, many, even Christians, believe that these commandments were "only" for Israel, that under the "New Covenant" we would not have to live under these. yet obedience to these has nothing to do with our "salvation" relationship with God. that issue is separate. "by faith in the sacrifice of Yeshua we are saved" the commandments were given so that, as believers, we might walk in a holy, life-style before Adonai, and our fellow man,. and many of these commandments have to do with our fellow man.
The first part deals with the issue of slavery. The type of slavery that Adonai talks about is NOT the slavery that we in America have learned about; The fate of thousands of Africans that were imported to the colonies, and lived in bondage for life. Slaves under the rule of Israel were only slaves for 7 years, afterwards, they were set free, and the master had to give them food, grain, oil, wine, etc so that the slave could begin a new life. The master had to treat them well, NOT mistreat them, there were consequences for mistreatment of slaves.
However, some slaves loved their masters and did not wish to leave, then, a ring was placed in their ear, indicating that, under their own free will, they were bonded to their masters, for "life" that would be until the year of Jubilee, "life" was 50 years. But looking at this in a derashic sense, Yeshua paid our price, and thus we were "released" from our slave master, Satan, before we come to Yeshua, we are slaves to sin, after we are released from the curse of sin, we now follow a new master. Do we really, would we really seek to be released from HIM? ....or... like Rav Shaul says, "we are bond slaves to Yeshua" by our own free will, we are willing to follow in his footsteps, obey his voice through the Torah and the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) his rewards are worth it.
But there is another type of slavery, slavery to materialism, the love and pursuit of money, things, fame, importance, etc, and putting those thing ahead of our relationship with Adonai, makes us "slaves" to those things. Material things do have their place in our lives, but we should never become "slaves" to those things.
EX 21:18,19 Read these verses, they make sense even for today. If someone loses his or her temper and hurts someone, the least that person should do is pay the Doctor bill, pay his lost wages, maybe that way, the person will think twice before losing it and striking out and knocking the other person into the middle of next week.
EX 21:24,25 "Eye for an eye, Tooth for a tooth" doesn't mean that if you knock out my tooth, I get to knock out yours, it means I have to take you to the dentist and pay for a dental implant, (refer to verses 18, and 19 above) or "just and equal compensation for damage done"
EX 21:33. Makes sense even for today. It is probably a rule on construction sites, it is only a safety precaution to prevent accidents. If not, then we are inadvertently, "standing idly and allowing our brother's blood to be shed " or causing loss of property, limb, wound, etc
EX 22:18 "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" now THAT is a strict commandment, yet we live in a country that promotes freedom of religion, that commandment is not for today, rather we should reach out to those who follow Satan and pray for them, that they might come out of darkness and into the light of Yeshua
EX 22:21; 23:9 "Thou shalt not vex a stranger...." twice it is mentioned, Adonai considers this very important, that ALL people are treated right, both natural born and immigrants alike. We live in a country of immigrants, our ancestors were immigrants, yet today, many are "vexed" and are being sent back, separating families, harassment, etc, this nation is looking for judgement, unless Bible/Torah based values are returned to.
Adonai wants us to remember his feasts (23:14) since ALL point to Yeshua and illustrate Messiah in different ways.
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What a statement when we read this, "If my covenant is not.......then I will cast away the seed of Jacob" But we can see that HIS covenant is Permanent, His covenant is valid day and night, The Torah is for today as well as for yesterday, Just as Israel Lives, His Torah, his covenant lives, His "Living Torah" lives,
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Yeshua is teaching some strong points. At times, difficult to follow through with, yet he points out that if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the left. Many think this as a sign for passifism, to not defend yourself if attacked, but I believe this could be in
response to verbal insults or verbal abuse, to "turn the cheek" would be to ignore the insults and/or verbal abuse and not seek retaliation, to "strike back" with equal insults, rather to "pray for the person and forgive the person" (who knows, the person might have had a bad day, cat might have died)
Shabbat Shalom..................Rabbi Ben Avraham