PARASHIYOT: “B’Har” (on the Mountain) and “B’CHUKOTAI (in my statutes)
LEVITICUS 25:1-26:2…… JEREMIAH 32:6-27………LUKE 7:1-8:56
“Give it a rest! Will ya?” I am sure you have heard that expression before, or “Give it a rest already!”
People tend to say that when one continues in some theme or argues over a point which is not really worth it, HOWEVER, this is what God is saying when He sees the earth, soil, ground being over-worked; “Give it a rest!” just as people need to rest and take their “Shabbat rest” so does the land which really belongs to HIM, we are just using it.
This parashah deals with the giving the land a rest after six years of planting and harvesting, on the seventh year the land shall rest. This, agriculturally, is very sound and comes from the mouth of the creator of all the earth. The reason is quite simple to understand. Crops, such as corn, wheat, barley, vegetables, etc., when they grow in the soil, take in nutrients, quite like us, when we eat, we absorb nutrients from the food we eat. Imagine the land after 6 years of planting and harvesting, all those nutrients, minerals, chemicals from the soil, are being absorbed by the crops sown, if the land does not have a chance to rest and renew itself, it will soon become useless, quite void of nutrients…so… a year’s rest will give the soil enough time to replenish itself.
We can apply this commandment today, to allow the land to rest after six years of planting and harvesting, even families that have little vegetable gardens in the back of their houses. May they enjoy six years of vegetables and then in the seventh year, just dump compost in the soil, food that goes bad, moldy bread, etc., don’t put it in the garbage, bury it in the garden, do that in that seventh year, and then the next year, plant and harvest again.
We can look at ourselves in a similar way. How do we count our lives? By a 365-day year? Or by sabbaticals? If we were to count our years by the day, we could say we have many days and years ahead of us! Really? Do we know tomorrow? (didn’t think so). However, if we were to count our years on earth by counting by sevens? How many “sabbaticals” have we lived? How many “might” be left? If I were to count my sabbaticals, I would have to count starting in 1954. 1954-1960 first seven years, 1961-67, the second sabbatical. I would have to ask myself, what have I done or accomplished in each of these periods of seven years? Anything of importance? Have I influenced other lives? If we count by sabbaticals, we will find that we really don’t have many sabbaticals to live.
What do we do in our “seventh year?” wouldn’t it be wonderful to “rest” a whole year? Or just dedicate that “seventh year” to full-time ministry work? That would be quite hard to do for those of us that work for a living.
Who depend on a salary. Don’t think the boss would be very happy to hear us say; “Boss, I want to take off for this year, it is my “sabbatical” I’ll come back next year at the same time!” (Yeah, uh-huh, weeelll, you might not find your job waiting for you after a year) but we do have the summers to rest. If we could divide the year into seven parts, we would end up with more or less 1.7 months of time. Why not minister during 1.7 months? Share God’s Word, teach the WORD to others, for those who can take off a year without compromising their jobs, take every seventh year and just take that time to rest, travel, minister, hike, walk, leave behind gospel tracts, visit different churches and/or Messianic synagogues, and may ADONAI supply ALL of your needs.
26:2 “YE SHALL KEEP MY SABBATHS! AND VENERATE MY SANCTUARY.
We can look at this in the spiritual realm as well. We are like the crops, which are planted, by Adonai, on this earth, to grow in HIM, reach maturity, yet there comes harvest time, when we will be harvested to go back home, to our eternal Sabbath’s rest, to enjoy our “Yovel” our time of “Jubilee” to reap what we have sown, souls that have come to YESHUA through our testimonies, believers who have grown to maturity through “teachers of the WORD” it is not enough to give out the WORD of God, there must be the ones who teach it, like seeds that are planted and watered. For this reason, the spiritual gifts are given, and among those are the “teachers of the WORD” the ones who water the seeds so that they may grow, mature, and in the end, harvested.
The parashah also talks about slaves and servants. An Israelite could not be considered a slave, but a servant, yet a foreigner could be considered a slave. Yet both treatment of the slave or servant had to be humane, and they had to be released during the time of Jubilee, every 50 years. Normally, a slave or servant would be released at the end of 6 years, however, if the slave or servant wished to remain with the master, the time with the master ended at the time of Jubilee.
What this portion of Torah is saying is that ALL possessions, both material, animal, human, belong to Adonai. We have each other, our material blessings for only a season. We should enjoy each other and the blessings that the LORD has given us, for a season, employers should treat their employees with respect and with honor (they would be like the slaves and servants in Biblical times) Employers have their employees, just for a season.
Someday, when we stand before our Heavenly Father, we will be accountable for all the things we have been given, both human, animal, and material things. For the season in which they were given to us, how did we treat them? In the time of Jubilee, how will we stand before Yeshua? Something to think about.
JEREMIAH 32:6-27; 16:19-17:14
The prophet, before his people went into exile in Babylon, buys a piece of property, Why? Because Adonai has promised him that he will, to buy and sell again, build houses, plant vineyards, AFTER a period of 10 periods of 7 years each. Israel did not honor the sabbatical years, and now, the land will rest for 70 years. HOWEVER, the prophet was promised that Israel would return and repossess the land.
We see in reading this parashah that Adonai is a God of judgment, but at the same time, a God of forgiveness
Many times, we break HIS commandments, and many times, suffer the consequences for our actions, but there is forgiveness, after the time of suffering and tears, YHVH will never forget HIS PEOPLE. We might go under, but we will never be annihilated. ISRAEL is 4-ever. In chapters 16 to 17, the same thing is being said, YHVH sees all, “For my eyes are on all their ways, they are not hidden from my presence”
Who can hide from a Holy God? Yet the prophet says; “O YHVH, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in a day of trouble” He continues to trust in Adonai, even though the rest of Israel goes into captivity. We might live in the midst of idolaters, lovers of the world, yet still, we must trust HIM.
We read about the miracles of Yeshua, Even the faith of a Roman Army officer whose servant was sick unto death, and the servant was healed. What is required of receiving a miracle? Faith! Not blind faith, but faith in the healing powers of Adonai, The Roman believed being far away, yet his servant was healed. He did not see Yeshua, yet he believed. Yeshua said, “Blessed are those who do not see, yet believe.
Yochanan the Baptizer was recognized by Yeshua, as one of the best “talmidim” since he endured imprisonment, and even death, for the sake of the truth. Could we do that? Do we even dare to answer? Time will tell.
B’CHUKOTAI (in my statutes) LEVITICUS 26:3-27:34; JER 16: 19-17:14; LUKE 9:10:41
This double Parashah week brings the book of Leviticus to an end. When we read these final chapters, what YHVH is saying is; IF…you follow my torat (teachings, laws) and faithfully observe my mitzvoth (commandments) I WILL…. It is ALL CONDITIONAL, there is nothing without a condition. If we want Elohim’s blessings and good favor, we will follow HIS WORD, accept HIS LIVING WORD (Yeshua) into our life. Yeshua said; “If you love me, ye will obey my commandments” not only the commandments that he spoke about during his life on earth but also, the ones which he gave to Moshe when HE was with the FATHER as part of ELOHIM.
Blessings and curses are a part of life. The world calls them “good luck and bad luck” there is no such animal! All things that happen in our lives are a result of blessings, curses, and testings. Do we want to best of our Mashiach? Then, follow HIS Word, follow HIS mitzvoth, not to bring us salvation, that we already have, but as a RESULT OF our salvation (Yeshuah) And if you haven’t accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as your LORD and Savior, and Messiah, NOW is a perfect time, remember, we are NOT promised tomorrow, we are only one HEARTBEAT away from eternity.
Let’s look at the beginning of Chapter 26: “Do not make idols for yourselves and do not put up a carved image or a pillar for yourselves, and do not place a stone image in your land to bow down to it, for I am YHVH you Elohim. Guard my Shabbats and reverence (respect) my sanctuary, I am YHVH.
This is a repetition of two of the most important commandments that were given to us on Sinai. “us” being that all believers are part of the extended community of Israel which had its beginning there at the foot of Mt. Sinai about 3000 years ago.
Do we really go out and make ourselves idols? To bow down and worship? We would probably say “no”, yet what is an “idol”? It is anything that comes before our worship, service, and dedication to our ONE and Only God, Adonai-Elohim. Many people cease going to church or synagogue because “they don’t have time” or there are other “distractions”, or “work calls”.
One can put so much importance to things like sports, jobs, making money, leisure, relatives, that the things of God are left behind, if this is the case, then we ARE making for ourselves idols, and in an indirect way, we are bowing down and worshipping them. Better cease or our heavenly father just might “remove” that obstacle from our midst! Like it or not.
Another reason for not making idols and statutes of the so-called “likeness” of God is because that would be like reducing our LORD God, who is “everywhere” to fit inside of that “thing” that is made in that “so-called” likeness. We see all over, pictures of Yeshua (Jesus) in different forms, some have him knocking at the door, others have him as the “good shepherd” holding a lamb, others just show a portrait. Others still have him hanging from the cross. Even though we might not bow down and worship these images, they are still “images” indeed, or so-called “likenesses” of what is supposed to be our “Mashiach”. No, they are not carved images, yet they are still images, is it a good idea to have them? Only you can decide.
“Guard/keep my sabbaths” when we “guard” something, we make sure that the thing we are guarding is protected from violation. The sabbath day is a day to rest and come to worship our LORD and Savior. As Messianic believers we come to worship on Saturdays, as churchgoers, we come to worship on Sundays, even though the correct day has always been the seventh day, Saturday.
Yet whether we come to worship on Saturday or Sunday, or even “both” days, (which is even better) It is important to set aside that day to rest in the LORD and avoid tasks and jobs which can be left for the weekdays.
Many families go out to eat on the weekends, so as to give the wife a day off, or two days off from cooking in the kitchen. That is a good thing. Another good thing to do is to visit others and share God’s word with them, perhaps some that can not get out to go to church/synagogue.
“Reverence my sanctuary” How is that done? When we go to worship, how do we go? In what frame of mind? Are the cell phones turned off? Are we dressed for the occasion? If the president of your country invited you to dine with him, how would you go dressed? In beach clothes or in a suit and tie? I am sure you would dress with the best you have. You are going to meet with the KING of kings and LORD of Lords, with “your creator” the one you will spend eternity with.
Are your kids in check? Or are they running up and down the hallway looking for the bathroom? Is there idle conversation while the message is being taught? Or are all eyes and ears on the pastor/teacher/rabbi? We can either “show reverence/respect/honor” to our place of worship, or we can show “lack of” the choice is ours.
YHVH is my strength, my stronghold, and my refuge, in the day of distress the gentiles will come to you from the ends of the earth…
The main reason why Paul the apostle, Peter, and others went outside of Israel to preach and teach was to undo the “wrong teaching” of false gods among the heathen nations. The original meaning of the word “goy” or “gentile” was “idol worshipers and heathens” and these were the “nations” that surrounded Israel in ancient times.
Some Jews that left Israel (many by force and captivity) were engulfed into the cultures of the nations, some left and forgot their heritage and their worship of Elohim. The apostles brought back the worship of the one “true God” and preached “Yeshua” to those who would have ears to hear and open minds to accept the gospel.
“Heal me, o YHVH, so that I am healed, save me so that I am saved, for you are my praise” is the final verse in this portion of the Haf Torah. Adonai has indeed healed us, because by “HIS” stripes, we are ALL healed, healed of the deadly infirmity called the “curse of sin” a disease that affects both the soul and the body, and we ARE saved through the sacrifice of YESHUA on Calvary’s cross, we have gained YESHUAH through YESHUA so, therefore, “Tehilati atah!” (you are my praise)
The feeding of the 5000 has always been a great story to look over. The number that is repeated is the number “5”, in symbolism, the number “5” is the number for “grace”. Yeshua had the crowd get into groups of “50” and also, there were “5” loaves of bread and “2” fishes. Our Messiah had love and grace for these people. He would feed them both physically and spiritually. He would fill their stomachs and souls.
The number “2” stands for “union” and “division” it takes “two” to make a covenant, we see the example at Sinai, Elohim made a covenant between himself and the people, two entities. The people that were fed were both “divided up” (into groups) yet still together in unison.
We can look at the bread as “Yeshua” who is the “Bread of Life” and of course the fish as the early symbol of the first-century believers. The believers were made up of both Jews and Gentiles “2” groups of people. When we add 2 + 5 we get “7” which is the perfect number of God. We are all made perfect through HIM, who gave up his life for us ALL.
Shalom… Ben Avraham