Torah Portion: Emor (Speak) Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:1-24:23

HafTorah: Ezekiel 44:15-31

New Testament: Matthew 5:38-42; Gal. 3:26-29

Tonight I want us to look especially at Chapter 23 of Leviticus. In this chapter we read a listing of G-d’s calendar. The word used in Hebrew is Mo’ed. Think about your phone or computer where you put your appointments. Usually before the appointed time you get a reminder. So this is a list of those appointments with G-d. It is our reminder that the time is coming for each “Mo’ed.” Think about this, the Maker of the Universe has asked you to show up at these times – to meet together, to talk, to visit.

The first one is the Sabbath. Now for each of these times starting here the issue is always what is G-d teaching us spiritually. In that process there are earthly steps we take but the real point is always the spiritual lesson. Shabbat comes each week on Friday evening and lasts until Saturday evening. In this time we are called on to stop all productive work, to rest in Him as our Provider. We are called to spend this block of time with the Maker of the Universe, to spend it to nourish our spirits and forget about everything but Him. That is the point always. So when you read about Yeshua and the early believers what were they doing on the Sabbath? They were resting, not working, for this time leaving all that behind for the sake of this time with their Father.

Passover is the beginning of the year. It is the beginning of our spiritual walk. I won’t talk about it because we have just come through it and you should have a pretty good understanding of the spiritual lessons. When you clean your house what does it say? When you guard yourself from eating leaven what do you learn? It isn’t just a rule you have to keep but G-d is saying something to us. What?

We are in the midst of counting the Omer now. Day 28 starts this evening. What are we counting toward? We are counting toward Shavuot. Have you thought of the fact that every appearance of Yeshua after His resurrection occurred during this period? It starts with the bringing of the first omer of the barley harvest. Barley is a course grain. In Israel it is usually used for animal food. So what can it teach us? It teaches us that those animal kind of things in us, our carnal man, is sacrificed on the altar to G-d. Our wrong desires, our vices, those habits that control us sometimes – all that is given to G-d. Through this practical counting of days we are reminded of that we are a new creation moving toward being a spiritual person controlled by Him and not by our base instincts. So each day we count and each day is another reminder of what He has done for us, setting us free so we can move ahead.