Chukat (Regulations) Numbers/B’midbar 19:1-22:1
Haftorah Reading: Judges 11:1-33
Messianic Scripture John 3:9-21, 4:3-30, 12:27-50
This week we look at a Torah portion filled with many questions. We read of the red heifer. We read of the death of Aaron and Miriam, the two siblings of Moshe. Any one of these could be discussed for hours and even then find there is so much more that could be said. However, today I want to major on only a couple of questions.
First, to begin, I want to give a working definition of the word used as the title for this portion, Chukat. This word means regulation. However, as we dig a bit, it is a word also denoting a regulation that is hard to grasp the logic behind what it is relating to us.
Torah Portion: Tzav (Command) Leviticus 6:1-8:36
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 7:21-44:23
Messianic Scripture Mark 12:28-34, I Cor. 10:14-23
I want to wish each of you a blessed Passover this evening. With G-d’s grace we can soon meet together again in person.
Torah Portion: Va’era (I appeared) Exodus 6:2-9:35
HafTorah: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21
This week we see Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh to demand he let the people go. As the verses progress we read of the increasing severity of the plagues yet Pharaoh does not relent.
If you remember last week in Exodus 5:2 we read where Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh the first time and Pharaoh says, “Who is the L-rd? I do not know the L-rd.” In this verse Pharaoh uses the Holy name of G-d, so apparently he had never heard of this name and so there was no reason to obey the command of the G-d who he had no knowledge.
Torah Portion: Beha’alotcha (When You Lift Up) Numbers 8:1-12:16
HafTorah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7
This Torah section begins with a description of what Aaron was to do with the Holy Lamp stand in the Tabernacle (Mishkan). This lamp stand could be looked at as lighting the way to the Holy of Holies. Now the interesting part is the name of this section – Beha’alotcha. The root of this word is to lift up. So Aaron was to lift up the light that was to light the way to the Father. This caused me to think of us as priests of the L-rd. In the spiritual sense our job, our role in life is to lift up, lift up the light that people can find the way to the Father. Yeshua represents that light. As we live our life daily, every action, word or deed should be purposed to light the way for those around us in darkness. We don’t have to make some special effort. Our every effort should be to be that light we are called to be. We are to make sure the light stays lifted up.
Torah Portion: Shemini (Eighth) Vayikra Lev. 9:1-11:47
HafTorah: II Sam 6:1-7:17
Tonight we read and study the Torah portion of Shemini or eighth. This eighth day was at the conclusion of the seven day training period for Aaron and his sons. Eighth in Torah has special significance. It usually is connected with something that transcends the ordinary but is still connected to that which it transcended. Here the priests had been practicing their role in the Mishkan. Now was the time to step out of practice into reality. If you think about it Yeshua rose on the eighth day or what became know as Sunday. He, with His resurrection, entered another realm. This realm was that for which He came. He was to take His place at the Father’s side and intercede for us. So this eighth concept can help us further understand the order of G-d. Yeshua was not separated from what had gone before, His people, His land, but entered the spiritual world, which is that which should be the pattern for our physical life.
Torah Portion: Korach Numbers (B’Midbar) 16:1-18:32
HafTorah: I Samuel 11:14-12:22
New Testament: Jude; II Tim 2:8-21
This week the Torah section covers the rebellion of Korach, Datan and Aviram as well as the 250 leaders of Israel and finally the congregation of Israel. This progression shows us how rebellion spreads. First it was only three, then 250 and then 14,700 that perished. This paints a great picture for us and should be a word for us about rebellion against G-d.
Torah Portion: Sh’mini (Eighth) Vayikra (Leviticus) 9:1-11:47
HafTorah: II Samuel 6:1-7:17
New Testament: Mark 7:1-23, Acts 5:1-11; 10:1-35; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1;
Galatians 2:11-16; I Peter 1:14-16
Tonight marks the end of Passover. Passover is actually two holidays that over time have become a single unit. The first day being Passover and the remaining seven days being the Feast of Unleavened Bread. These eight days make up the holiday we now celebrate. So G-d’s spiritual calendar begins with an 8 day time and ends with Succoth in the fall which is also an eight day holiday. Tell me, what is the significance of eight in the spiritual realm? Why is this important in G-d’s calendar?
Torah Portion: Shmini (Eight) Leviticus 9:1-11:47
HafTorah: II Samuel 6:1-7:17
Tonight I would like to continue building the spiritual picture we have been working on the last few weeks, that of the physical tabernacle and the priests being a shadow of heavenly spiritual truths. This week we see Aaron and his sons assuming their role as earthly priests and how that gives us insight into Yeshua. Remember on the mountain G-d showed Moses the heavenly tabernacle and told him to build an earthly model of what he had seen in heaven. This is mentioned in Hebrews 11:8. This same idea is expressed in many rabbinic writings. In Christian thought this shadow and copy language has been seen to diminish the earthly structure. While in Hebrew it is simply a way of comparing and contrasting the two. Each was G-d ordained and each had its unique purpose.
Torah Portion: Tzav (Command) Leviticus 6:8-8:36
HafTorah: Jeremiah 7:21-8:3; 9:22-23
This week we read what could be called the priestly manual concerning the sacrifices. It starts with the word Tzav or command. Usually when G-d wanted Moses to communicate something to the people or priests He would tell Moses to “speak” or “tell.” But here He says “command.” Why? Was He worried they would forget or do something other than what He had told them? This Hebrew word carries with it the urgency of the moment but also to be consistent over time. It would be easy to do things G-d’s way when things were new and fresh, not so much as time went on. Here in lies our lesson as priests. Consistency. Our lives should show that same consistency, that same hunger as the first days. If what we have received from G-d is important we must live like it and carry on doing it until we are gathered together with Him. That thought is carried on with the first “how to” command of the burnt offering. What was unique about this? It indicated a complete sold out-ness to G-d. Everything was consumed on the altar and it was kept on the altar 24/7, even on the Sabbath. Here it is a physical picture of a spiritual reality. We are to live each day burned up for G-d, so to speak, especially as priests.