Stand in truth
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.
In our Torah portion today we read of a very important principle that applies to each of us. I pray it will strengthen us all in our walk with the L-rd. In Leviticus 8:5 we read, “And Moshe said to the assembly this is the thing that the L-rd has commanded to do.” This statement starts a narrative spanning chapters eight through ten. It begins with the ordination of Aaron and his four sons as consecrated priests before the L-rd and ends with the death of Nadav and Avihu. Their death was a result of them bringing strange fire before G-d, a fire he had not commanded. Why did this happen to these two young men? The clue may rest in Moshe’s affirmation, “This is the thing that the L-rd has commanded to do.” This phrase occurs twelve times over the next three chapters. You can find them in Leviticus 8:5, 9, 13, 17, 21, Leviticus 9:6-7 and Leviticus 10:15 and others. Obedience to G-d’s voice was essential for the ordination rite to be effective. Moshe stressed this in Leviticus 8:34 when he said, “Everything done today the L-rd has commanded that you do.” These same words are echoed in the verses mentioned above. Moshe seems to be making it clear he was following G-d in going through the commandments concerning setting apart Aaron and his sons, and the following of G-d’s order in how sacrifices were to be brought. “As the L-rd commanded,” is the phrase that should hold our attention.
He did these things, not for his own personal gain or honor, but just because he was following G-d’s voice and direction. Nadav and Avihu, for whatever reason, brought fire before the L-rd on their own and paid for that mistake with their lives.
We see this same example of Moshe in other places as well. For example, in I Samuel 17:26, 47, a young shepherd boy, David, slayed the Philistine giant Goliath by confronting him in the name of the L-rd.
Elijah is another example in his confrontation on Mt. Carmel with the prophets of Ba’al. In I Samuel 18:36 Elijah said, “I have done all these things at your word.” When we come to the Messianic scripture we read where Yeshua, in response to the religious leaders in Jerusalem, stated in John 7:16, “My teaching is not Mine, but His Who sent Me.” He then went on to say in verse 18, “Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory.”
So, our question today is, does what we say and do bring glory to G-d or to us? Do we sometimes respond out of fear of what others will think? Are our responses based on tradition or popular thought or is it based on what scripture teaches? I pray we all stand in truth as G-d has shown us and speak out of that truth.
To give you a bit of testimony I would like to add a few personal words. For the last forty years Jean and I have had a relationship with Israel and the Jewish people. This has led us down a path that has been rewarding and filled with spiritual purpose. We feel the path we have followed was not our choosing but was chosen for us by our Heavenly Father.
G-d has allowed all of us to live in such an exciting time. We see the fulfillment of the ingathering of His people, the Jewish people, from around the world. We see the words of the prophets fulfilled before our eyes. The dry bones of Ezekiel 37 are returning home.
This week I read a teaching by Joe Shulam, a Messianic leader and Bible teacher who lives in Jerusalem. I want to share with you a section from his teaching that I hope will be uplifting to you as it was to me.
Joe Shulam: However, I do believe the words of Isaiah the prophet and all the words of all the prophets that promised the restoration of Israel and the restoration of the Land and the blossoming of the desert. Let us receive these promises of G-d through the words of His prophets and seek ways to participate and to work and join in the physical and spiritual work of the rebuilding and restoring of the land and of the people of Israel.
“‘Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the L-rd. ‘Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?’ says your G-d. ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; That you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.’ For thus says the L-rd: ‘Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; On her sides shall you be carried and be dandled on her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.’” –
We would like to personally thank each of you for being a part of this restoration through your support and help. I pray we will always stand firm with Israel and the Jewish people. We heard from Helen in Jerusalem this week. Two more families in great need were helped with your contribution this past week. One family with five children, the father in a wheelchair and the mother not in the best of health was given money to overdue pay bills. Also a man living alone with health problems received help. We were hoping the last check she received could be used to help people prepare for Passover but basic needs such as electricity, rent and food are so much in demand right now with unemployment so high Helen asked to use it to help these two families. The people are so thankful for the help. We will be sending another check to her on Monday.