Torah Portion: B’ha’alotkha (When You Set Up) Numbers (B’Midbar) 8:1-12:16

HafTorah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7

New Testament: John 19:31-37; Hebrews 3:1-6

I would like to look at a Torah section that is filled with spiritual lessons for us. It spans the setting up of the Menorah, dedication of the Levites to their service, grumbling of the people over meat and the criticism of Moses by Miriam and Aaron.

Before we get to the setting up of the Menorah, let us look for a moment at grumbling. In Numbers 11:4 we read about the mixed multitudes. Who were the mixed multitudes? They were people who came out of Egypt with the children of Israel and were living with Israel. We read about them also in Exodus 12:38. “And a mixed multitude went up also with them.” So what was the problem here? Evidently, the children of Israel paid attention to the grumbling of others. Spiritually we are told we are a peculiar people. (I Peter 2:9). What does this mean to us and what did it mean here for Israel? Nehemiah chapter 10 deals with this same issue. We can’t be swayed by people who are not believers. Our spiritual life should be lived in such a way that we are not affected by the world or even by other believes who are not living a G-dly life. We should be touch their lives. Not the other way around. We must have boundaries in our spiritual lives. We can’t become like the world but be ever alert of who we are and what G-d has told us. If not we find ourselves listening to the wrong voices and wake up in rebellion, as here, and wonder how we got to this place. Life is finite and G-d has a walk for us. We cannot afford to waste time off the path. Don’t be misled by a mixed multitude.

Now let us look at the Menorah and G-d’s command to Aaron. First tell me what spiritual insight we can glean from these verses about the golden lamp stand in the Miskan? Numbers 8:1-4. In the Miskan this lamp stand was a symbol of the light of G-d’s presence. It burned continually. Daniel 2;22 speaks of this light. For us as believers in Messiah we see in John 8:12 where Yeshua says that He is the “light of the world.” Also in Matt. 5:14-16 we read where we who believe are referred to as the light of the world. How can this be? We reflect the light of Messiah before us. We do this by having our heavenly High Priest constantly trimming our wicks and adding oil to our lamps.

The golden lamp stand also can symbolize the “Tree of Life,” found in the Garden. It was made with branches, buds, and flowers. It is talked about three times in Revelations 2:7, 22:2, 22:14. Here being described as being by the river of Life. Rev. 22:2. In Rev. 2:7 Yeshua says those that overcome will eat of the Tree of Life which is in Paradise. This lamp stand tree idea carries all the way to Revelations. It is connected with eternal life as it was in the Garden of Eden. So as we read of this lamp stand here in Numbers I hope you can grasp the continuity of scripture and how knowing what is said here in Numbers helps us understand the New Testament.

In Numbers 10:33 we read about the Ark of G-d going before the people to search out a resting place. What does this say to us? This should tell us how vitally important it is to not get ahead of G-d. He will lead us, not the other way around. When He does lead, He will lead us from resting place to resting place. When G-d leads us we should have perfect peace about where we are in life no matter the physical setting. G-d will arise before us and scatter His enemies.