B’chukotai (By my statutes) Lev 26-27

Torah Portion:  B’chukkotai(By My Statutes) (Leviticus) Vayikra 26-27

Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14

In this Torah portion we are immediately struck by the blessings for obeying G-d’s Word, followed by the curses for not following His Word.  We are presented with verses that seem to say there is a physical reward for obedience and physical punishment for disobedience. Is that the point of what we read? Maybe on some level it is true however, we all know godly people who do not seem to enjoy the blessings mentioned and on the other hand, ungodly people who seem to flourish. So how are we to solve this riddle?

Balak B’midbar (Numbers) 22-25

Torah Portion: Balak B’midbar (Numbers) 22:2-25:9

HafTorah: Micah 5:6-6:8

Tonight we read the Torah portion Balak, which covers mainly the effort of Balak, King of Moab, to enlist the help of a gentile seer named Balaam to curse Israel. Balak fears Israel and wants to use this man, who has a reputation of some spiritual power, to curse G-d’s people. As we read this portion we see a man who is known throughout the region as one who can connect with the spiritual world to bring a curse or blessing upon a person or kingdom. Balaam had the appearance of a spiritual person. This caused me to consider how do we judge spiritualness in a person? Is it by appearance and reputation? Or is it by their actions, how they live from day to day. The Haftorah this week gives us a good guideline for living spiritually. In Micah 6:8 we read, “This is what the L-rd requires of you: to do justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with G-d. G-d hates hypocrisy, a person who pretends to be one thing but inside is an empty shell. Balaam fits this description. He portrays himself as a spiritual giant but G-d shows him that even his donkey has more insight than he does.

Ki Tavo (When You Come) Deut. 26

Torah Portion: Ki Tavo (When You Come) D’Varim, Deut. 26:1-29:8

HafTorah: Israel 60:1-22

This Torah section covers the blessings and curses that await the people depending on how they relate to the Father in the years ahead. I purpose that we can somewhat apply this to ourselves as well. What does G-d require of us in our walk with Him? In my first question this week I quoted Deut. 28:47. I asked you to tell me what this means to us and how do we acquire this joy in our lives. I got some very good answers to this and I appreciate them. Is joy or gloom a thermometer of our general situation in life? Does it measure our emotional feeling at any given time? What does scripture have to say? Read James 1:2. The real question comes in how we see G-d in the world around us. Do we see everything around us as an opportunity to express our joy for what He has done in our lives? Now in the good things this is usually no problem. But in those things that come to us that are difficult it is more difficult. Even in the good times we can get caught up in what we’ve done or we think we have to protect what we have by worrying or working harder and harder. In fact this verse says exactly that. They did not serve Him with joy when they had everything.

Balak Numbers (B’Midbar) 22:2-25:9

Torah Portion: Balak Numbers (B’Midbar) 22:2-25:9

HafTorah: Micah 5:6-6:8

New Testament: II Peter 2:1-22; Jude 11: Rev. 2:14-15

There are several things I want us to spend time on today, most of which have to do with Balaam. Balaam, according to scripture in Numbers 22:5, had a reputation and in fact was a really famous person. Balak even uses words in Numbers 22:6 that are normally reserved for G-d. (Genesis 12:3) However as we read this chapter we see Balaam even stating that he can do only what G-d allows. So, apparently he knew G-d on some level. However he did not know enough. It would seem he may have thought he could manipulate the Father.

B’chukkotai (By my regulations) Vayikra Lev. 26

Torah Portion: B’chukkotai (By My regulations) Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:3-27:34

HafTorah: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14

New Testament: John 14:15-21; 15:10-12; I John

Today I want us to look at a difficult passage where G-d outlines the blessings and curses associated with obedience and disobedience. I want us to look at these on a personal level. But before we get to that we must realize that these verses were written on a national and a personal basis.

Not Rules By the Present – B’chukotai (In My Statutes) Lev.26

Torah Portion: B’chukotai (In My Statutes) Leviticus 26:3-27:34

HafTorah: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14

Our Torah portion this week is one of two places in the Bible that we read a listing of blessings and curses that hinge on obedience to G-d.  Here there are 11 verses that talk about blessings and 36 verses that tell us the consequences of disobedience. I would like to propose that here we read the last line of the story first. I think we now are in and have been in the age of the curses. We see disobedience to G-d’s word on every side.