Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (When You Take) Shemot (Exodus) 30:11-34:35
HafTorah: I Kings 18:1-39
New Testament: Luke 11:14-20, Acts 7:35-8:1, I Cor. 10:1-13, II Cor. 3:1-18
This portion of scripture is full of verses to guide us in our lives. We will cover a few which I pray will guide us along the way. To start lets look at Shemot 30:18 where we are told of the bronze laver. What is a laver? It is basically a water container with faucets around it for washing. It was put between the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and the altar. Here the priests, on their way to the altar, would stop to wash their feet and hands before approaching the altar. Why would they do this? Part of their daily ritual was to bathe in the mikvah to cleanse themselves. So why would they have to stop again to rewash their feet and hands? Yeshua gives us a clue in John 13:8 where He tells Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no part in Me.” In the next verse Peter responds with asking Yeshua to wash not only his feet but also his head and hands. Yeshua’s answer to this gives us our answer.
The priest was clean but maybe on the way from the mikvah to the altar he might have stepped on or touched something that could have made him unclean. So, to be certain he was completely clean before he approaches G-d he washes his hands and feet again.
From this we can see Yeshua as our spiritual source of purification. He is our laver. We have been made clean by our faith in Him symbolized by our mikvah (baptism). But we return to Him daily for the cleansing of our souls. He is the living water that maintains our cleaning through prayer and forgiveness. (Psalms 24:3-4)
The golden calf: Shemot, chapter 32: Why did the people of Israel make the golden calf? It had only been 40 days since G-d came down on the mountain and they saw His words in the air and smoke and fire. This experience was so powerful that they were terrified and asked Moses to be between them and G-d. So why here do they want a god that they can see and touch? Now I want you to take a minute and think about you own life. What do you do when things don’t work out on your timetable or how you think they should? What becomes your golden calf? What do you go to instead of G-d?
Okay, now to my question of the week concerning the 13 attributes of G-d and how we see Yeshua reflected in them? These attributes are found in Shemot 34:6-7.
- 1.L-rd: what does this name tell us about G-d? It is the name shared with Moses on the mountain. It shows His unchanging character. He does what He says He will do. (Rev. 1:8) It encompasses His merciful and gracious nature. In Hebrews 13:8 we read this quality applied to the Messiah.
- 2.L-rd, L-rd: In Hebrew when a word is repeated it usually is for emphasis. So here it could mean that G-d is merciful toward us in every situation giving us every opportunity to repent. Yeshua lived this out through His life. He became the sacrifice for sin in our life. Romans 3:25-26
- 3.G-d: this word in Hebrew implies power and justice. It is the word used in creation. He is the Divine Judge before whom we all are accountable. What will be Yeshua’s role on His return? He returns to judge. John 5:22, John 9:39, Rev. 19:11
- 4.Compassionate: Shemot 34:6. The Hebrew word for compassion is Rachum. The root word for this also means womb. So G-d has a mother like affection for us. His desire is to nurture, protect, and forgive His people. Yeshua: Eph. 4:32.
- 5.Gracious: In Hebrew is Hanun or favor. Graciousness is related to compassion. Shemot 33:19. This attribute is related to Yeshua. Read Romans 5:15, Eph. 2:7-9
- 6.Slow to Anger: Shemot 34:6 in Hebrew means slow nosed. G-d is patient with us. He does not want any to perish. I Tim. 1:16 and II Peter 3:14-15 are scriptures showing Yeshua as slow to anger.
- 7.Abounding in loving kindness: Chesed is the Hebrew word normally used for this. It can mean covenant devotion. G-d acts with this toward Israel over and over because of the covenants. We see this with Yeshua in Titus 3:5, Luke 1:72-74, I Peter 1:3.
- 8.Abound in Truth: Shemot 34:6-7 G-d never lies. He is truth in every way. John 14:6 relates this to Yeshua.
- 9.Keeping Loving kindness for thousands: How long does G-d’s devotion last? Forever. Look at Psalms 126. Yeshua is the embodiment of this attribute. Read Eph. 3:21.
10. Forgiving iniquity: Shemot 34:6-7. In Hebrew this mean forgiving intentional sin, breaking a commandment on purpose. Even this G-d forgives when we repent. This can be said of Yeshua. Read Acts 13:38-39.
11. Forgiving Transgressions: This would be rebellion. We would be saying to G-d, “You are not the boss of me.” Sins Yeshua related to transgressions were tax collectors and the prodigal son. Eph1:7.
12. Forgiving Sin: Shemot 34:6-7 This can mean those unintentional sins that we might think don’t matter. Yeshua’s sacrifice covers even these. I John 2:12.
13. Who Cleanses: This attribute concerns one found guilty. They are guilty and justice is demanded. How is this satisfied? By the Messiah. He is G-d’s agent of cleansing.
So by this, when we read these attributes of G-d we see Messiah. When we sin with our own personal golden calf Messiah shows us the way back. When we pick up the dirt of the world He is our laver that gives us the right to approach G-d clean and pure. Amen