Global Prayer Team - 7/30/2020
In this week’s...
Global Prayer Team - 7/30/2020
In this week’s Torah portion, Moses pleads that HaShem will remove the consequence of his sin and allow him to enter into the Land of Israel. However, his request is rejected by G-d. Moses, in relating this to the people states,
“And HaShem became angry with me on account of you and did not hearken to me and He said to me רב לך, do not continue to speak unto Me (HaShem) anymore regarding this matter.” Deuteronomy 3:26
You will notice that I did not translate two Hebrew words, רב לך which are often translated to mean “too much or too great for you”. This is the rendering of the Stone Edition of the Chumash, an Orthodox Jewish publication of the Torah. The question is how to understand the intent of this phrase within the context of the passage? It is clear that Moses made this request after leading the people to two great victories over Sichon and Og, two mighty kings. Despite these great victories, still Moses’ punishment would remain.
It is clear that the simple rendering of the phrase רב לך does not fit the context. Would it make sense that it would be too great of a thing for Moses to enter into the promise Land? An alternate translation, which is quite literal, is “great for you”. The verse would read as follows,
“And HaShem became angry with me on account of you and did not hearken to me and He said to me, (there is something) great for you, do not continue to speak unto Me (HaShem) anymore regarding this matter.” Deuteronomy 3:26
The idea here, based upon this alternate translation, is that although HaShem is rejecting Moses’ plea to enter into the Land and to continue serving G-d, there is something else which will be great for Moses. This something relates to the future, more precisely, to the last days.
In the Book of Revelation there are two witnesses mentioned in chapter 11. It is said about these two witnesses,
“They have the power to stop the heavens so that it will not rain during the days of their prophecy and they have the power over the water to turn them to blood and to strike the earth with all kinds of plagues as they desire.”Revelation 11:6
Malachi reveals that Elijah will return at the end of the age and it would seem that, based on the first half of this verse, stopping the rain would relate to what Elijah had done during the days of King Ahab. Likewise, turning the water into blood and striking the earth with plagues sounds most similar to Moses. Hence, the phrase רב לך could be referring to the role Moses will have in the last days, as one of the two witnesses. In other words, while Moses in this passage is beseeching G-d to allow him to enter into the Land, and thereby continue to serve Him, and although HaShem refuses, He is not rejecting Moses altogether; rather G-d is saying to Him, I have something greater for you to do in the future.
Each of us needs to remember that there are times when we will be disciplined by HaShem, but this discipline is not an all-out rejection of us by our L-rd, rather it may simply be a necessary part of preparation for something greater for you (רב לך) in the future.
Global Prayer Team - 7/23/20
In this week’s Torah...
Global Prayer Team - 7/23/20
In this week’s Torah portion, HaShem commands the Children of Israel saying,
“…Enough dwelling at this mountain…See, I have given before you the Land, come and take posses-sion of the Land…” Deuteronomy 1:6-8 (Selected)
The mountain where the Children of Israel were dwelling was of course Mount Horeb (Mount Sinai). There, HaShem revealed Himself in a mighty way to the people. This place is also known as the Mountain of G-d. The people felt secure there and it is significant that HaShem commanded the people to leave this location. In other words, the Children of Israel were most content to simply re-main in the same place. This parallels many believers who are comfortable to simply rejoice in their salvation, hearing the Gospel message over and over and never moving past their salvation experience. Salvation is not the means to the end, but only the beginning of one’s call to be a servant of Messiah Yeshua.
This passage is simply a call for Israel to move forward in the purposes of the L-rd. These verses should cause each of us to ask ourselves whether we are pursuing the will of G-d or have we become spiritually stagnate? Israel was told to turn and travel in order to inherit the Land. If one reads carefully, the Land which is being referred to in this passage is not only the Land of Canaan, but also Lebanon and all the way to the great river, the Euphrates. This is a tremendous amount of land and far more than Israel ever inhabited. Some have argued that this promise of such a great amount of land only relates to the future, i.e. the Kingdom age. Although this promise will be fulfilled in the future, it was possible 3,500 years ago as well. The problem is that Israel did not act on the full ex-tent of the promises of G-d.
Believers in Yeshua are equally guilty today. Just think of the miracles that Yeshua preformed. It was these great wonders that were being referred to when He said to His followers,
“Truly I say to you, He that believes on Me, the works that I do, he shall also do; even greater than these he will do….” John 14:12
It is important to realize that Yeshua was not only speaking to His disciples on that day, but all of His followers throughout the ages. Yeshua wants to use you and me in much greater ways than we can imagine. The question is whether we are going to turn and go in the direction that the Holy Spirit leads and obey Him, or never move past the comfort of our salvation experience. Some of the rabbinical commentators speak of Mount Sinai as the pinnacle of Israel’s spirituality (See Rashi’s commentary of Exodus 20:15). If Rashi is right, then it is most sad that the beginning was the best that Israel reached. The same thing can be said about many believers, as the closest that they draw near to G-d is the day that they were saved.
When HaShem commanded the people “to turn and travel forth” it implies a necessity to make a significant change. Too many believers are failing to move forward and take possession of the ministry that Yeshua has for them. Do not let the height of your spiritual life be behind you; go forth and receive that which G-d has called you to accomplish with the life that He purchased with His blood.
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.”