Torah Portion: B’Shallach (And He sent) Exodus(Sh’mot) 13:17-17:16
Haftorah Reading: Judges 4:4-5:31
Today we study the Torah portion covering the physical beginning of the Exodus along with the complaining of the people over having no water and no food. We also read of the final defeat of Pharaoh’s army followed by the beautiful “Song of the Sea” by Moshe and Miriam.
Torah Portion: Vayelech (He Went) D’varim(Deut.) 31
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 14:1-10; Micah 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27
The Torah portion we are studying tonight is always the portion read right before Yom Kippur. I want us to spend some time talking about Yom Kippur and how this appointed time might speak to us spiritually in our own lives.
This Shabbat is known as “Shabbat Shuvah.” This means the Sabbath of Repentance. The reason for this is found in the verses from Isaiah 55:6-56:8, especially the verses 55:6-7, “Seek the L-rd while He may be found.” This brings up an interesting question. Is there ever a time when He cannot be found? In Jeremiah 7:16 we read, “Therefore do not pray for this, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me, for I will not hear you.” This same idea appears three more times in Jeremiah 11:14, 14:11, and 15:1. The last being the strongest, “Even if Moshe and Samuel stood before Me.” From these we can see there are times when G-d will not hear.
Torah Portion: Vayishlach (And He sent) Genesis 32:4-36:43
HafTorah: Obadiah 1:1-21
This week we read of Jacob’s return from a 20+ year exile living with his uncle Laban. While there, G-d blessed him with family,(four wives and 12 children) and material wealth. In Genesis 32:9-12 we read Jacob’s prayer as he approaches his reunion with his brother Esau. Look especially at verse 10. In this verse we read, “I am not worthy” of all you have done for me. Interesting word used in Hebrew for, “I am not worthy.” In Hebrew it is the word “Kantoni” which means, “I am small.” It actually appears in verse 11 in the Hebrew text. This gives us a window into where Jacob is spiritually during this prayer. It could have been that looking at all he had he might have felt proud of what he had accomplished. However, this word gives us the impression that he had full awareness of who was responsible for his flocks, wives and children. It seems Jacob is saying, “I have decreased as You have increased in my life. As I have been embraced by Your love it has brought me closer to You and as You have become closer to me I have gotten smaller. I know you are the One, not me.” He had grown more humble.
Torah Portion: Va’etchanan (I Pleaded) Devarim Deut. 3:23-7:11
HafTorah: Isaiah 40:1-26
This Torah portion is filled with things that would take a life time to study. We will look at several in the minutes ahead. This Shabbat is known as the Sabbath of Comfort based on the prophet reading of Isaiah 40:1-26. It begins with, “Comfort, Comfort My people.” Tell me how we can comfort Israel, how we can comfort the Jewish people? There is no doubt this is required of us. Yeshua alluded to this in the New Testament where He tells us in Matt. 25:31-36 to comfort His people by feeding, clothing and visiting them in prison. In fact this is one of the reasons for the founding of Road to Zion Ministries. This is vitally important to us as believers. Is it enough to talk about how much we love Israel and the Jewish people or does it require us to do something, to take some action? Evangelism is not the only thing we should be doing. Yeshua says here He judges us by our actions toward His people. His people are the Jewish people. They are his brothers and sisters. For far too long we Christians have been the main source of pain and persecution rather than comfort. The time is drawing close at hand when our response to our Jewish neighbors will be called for. We are required to comfort. How will we respond?
Torah Portion: Noah B’Resheet (Gen.) 6:9-11:32
HafTorah: Isaiah 54:1-55:5
Tonight we read the Torah section of Noah. In it we look at a few points that I hope will allow us to change our lives with the help of G-d. Let us first look at the word in Hebrew for ark, tevat. Like many Hebrew words this one carries more than one meaning. It can also mean “word.” If we look at this as its meaning what could this story be telling us?
Torah Portion: Toldot Genesis 25:19-28:9
HafTorah: Malachi 1:1-2:7
Again tonight I would like for us to look mainly at the Torah portion concerning Isaac’s life. I want to especially look at the last days of his life. Let us begin by looking at Genesis 25:21 where it says Isaac pleaded with G-d for his wife because she was barren. They had been married for 20 years. What effect do problems have in our life? It depends on how we look at them. We can worry, become angry, or just give up. All these are ways we can react to issues in our lives. Here we learn a good lesson. What really brings peace to us and answers to what we are dealing with? Prayer. The Hebrew in this verse is quite strong. The verb would be to plead, entreat, urge. Isaac was pouring all he had into this prayer ad not just for a day or two but years. The Talmud gives an explanation for this barren condition. “Because the Holy One blessed be He longs to hear the prayer of the righteous.” Isaac and others in the Bible were drawn to prayer for their barren wives. What effect can prayer have on us? On G-d? For sure it develops that closeness between us and the Father such as nothing else can.