PARASHA: "b'chukotai" (in my statutes)
LEV 26:3-27:34.................JER 16:19-17:14...............2 COR 6:14-18
What are "statutes" one may ask? they are rulings and conditions related to the law, in this, related to HaShem's mitzvoth. We find that verse 3 is very interesting, and it starts with an "IF" which means "conditional"
"IF you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and perform them...THEN...."
There are three interesting words here; "Walk" "Keep" and "perform" one might say that they are all the same. But why would God mention them like that if they mean the same thing? It is a difficult question to answer, since they all seem to be saying the same thing. Statues are the details of the commandments, we must, "walk" "Keep" and "perform".
We might be reminded of three things which we all go through in the learning process; "knowledge" "understanding" and "wisdom" ; "Y'diy'ah" (knowledge) "Havanah" (understanding) "Chochmah" (wisdom). When we study God's Word, especially his mitzvoth, we gain "knowledge" but some say that with "knowledge" and no more, well, that and 10 cents will get you a cup of coffee, (when was coffee 10 cents? maybe in the 1950s) BUT...if we add "understanding to the knowledge we gain, then that is more, We can read a lot, BUT do we UNDERSTAND what we read? I could read a manual on heart surgery, but I probably would not understand what I read, unless a doctor explains it to me, in more basic terms, if after that, I understand, then....I would have advanced from "knowledge to understanding". Perhaps knowledge and understanding, when it comes to the commandments, would mean that we are "Keeping" in mind what HaShem is teaching us through the Torah. However, if we "put into action" what we have learned, first by knowledge, then proceeded by "understanding" then, we are achieving what God has had in mind for us, that is "performance"
One can "walk" YHVH's statutes in our minds and hearts, "Keeping" them in mind, and then, "Performing" them, so, what we learn we must put into action. We can see that in every job in this world. A doctor learns from books, lectures, thus gaining knowledge and understanding, then he "practices" what he has learned as an intern, and when he has perfected his "performance" he gets his license to practice medicine,
There is a lot to learn in God's Word, He has given us his commandments in order to live a "Kadosh" lifestyle before HIM and before our fellow man (and woman) he has not given us these to make our lives miserable, but to clarify what is holy and un holy, clean vs unclean, especially since we live in a fallen world dominated by sin. The curse of sin has been conquered and vanquished by Yeshua HaMashiach on Calvary's cross, our "Yeshuah" (Salvation) has been secured in HIM, We have gained "righteousness" through HIM, now, we must live a "righteous" lifestyle. (doing what is correct and Kadosh) being "Tsaddikim"
Chapter 26 deals with "conditions" "IF...THEN" "IF YOU DON'T.....THEN" All blessings, relationships, contracts, etc are all "conditional" even salvation is conditional, IF we repent of our sins, and turn from our sinful ways, and accept Yeshua/Jesus as our LORD and Savior, THEN we will be saved, salvation will be ours for all eternity. It is not an automatic thing, Yeshua died for our sins, and it is a free gift, only IF we accept it, by repentance (Teshuvah) If salvation were something automatic, being granted to every single soul on earth at the time of death, then "heaven" would soon become a "hell" with all the Adolf Hitlers, Stalins, etc up there doing there "thing"
the blessings given to Israel were earthly blessings, speaking of their crops, rain, etc, on the condition that they might OBEY his commandments... BUT IF YOU DO NOT OBEY ME...vs 14 then come the curses, is it any different today? I would say not. To stay out of jail, obey the "commandments" of the law of the land. If you want your home to be the state prison, then DISOBEY the laws of the land.
Chap 27 deals with "vowing" and "dedicating" things to Adonai. Back then, it came with a small cost. If a person "vowed" or promised, dedicated something or someone to the service of Adonai, the person had to pay a small price in silver, Today, we see almost the same thing, We can dedicate ourselves to teaching HIS Word, but we have to PAY a bit of silver during our tenure in a Yeshiva or Bible college to get ourselves ready. One time I sent 30 Bibles through Malawi Bible society, to people in small town in that African country, but I had to purchase those bibles through the Bible society, the bibles were "dedicated" to those people, but it still "cost" me some money. So we can see the relationship between money, and dedicating, vowing, etc. Rav Shaul (Paul) paid a "price" to be a "Nazarite" for a time, he got a hair-cut and had to pay a fee.
and this is the end of the book of Leviticus.
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"Oh YHVH, my strength and my fortress" the prophet speaks through the Ruach HaKodesh. "The Gentiles will come to you" and is this not true? the whole world has come to YESHUA and HIS WORD for salvation. The prophet outlines blesses and curses, if Israel chooses to follow Adonai, yet Israel rejected the commandments of God, thus the prophet writes "the sin of Y'hudah is written with a pen of iron, and with a point of a diamond, engraved on their hearts" So all of the people were made "conscious" of their sin....Yet He will "cause them to know My hand and my might, and they shall know that my name is YHVH", in 17:7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in YHVH" So, we can trust in YESHUA and receive his blessings...............or reject.............and receive curses, this is a similar message to the Torah message in Leviticus.
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2 COR 6:14-18
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers" we interpret this more in marriage relationships, which makes sense, both husband and wife should be born again believers
if not, many times, trouble will come forth. But this can also refer to very close friendships, the closer people become, the more our "intimacies" will surface, and the un-believer will see that we are "of Yeshua" and not "of the world" there will be friction,
"Come out from among THEM and be separate (Kadosh, Holy) " which is the calling of ALL PEOPLE, to leave "Egypt" and cross over to "Eretz C'naan" leave the world of sin, and the slavery to sin, and come to YESHUA and be part of HIS PEOPLE. But it doesn't mean we can't relate to lost people, sure, but there is a limit, we should not engage in unrighteous activities which are sinful that they might invite us to do..
.....and you shall be my sons and daughters....So, we are "kol B'nei Elohim" (all children of God) those who have accepted Yeshua as Mashiach and LORD. Baruch HaShem
rabbi Ben Avraham