DEUT 26:1-29:9……………ISAIAH 60:1-22……………………. JOHN 13:1-15:27
We are coming to the end of Moshe’s earthly ministry, and he reiterates again, the importance of following and obeying the Torah of Elohim. “Am Israel” is still in the desert wilderness, but it isn’t like the desert that we find today in the middle east. Remember that the people had much cattle to tend and care for, there had to be Grass and water to drink, otherwise, the cattle would have died out.
Moshe starts off with; “when you enter the land that YHVH gives you as an inheritance…” they will be planting and harvesting crops like wheat, barley, corn, etc. In the third year of harvest, the people must give tithes and offerings of whatever they harvest. Tithes to the priests, where? “to the place where YHVH your God chooses to have his name dwell! They must also care for the widows, orphans, foreigners, etc., giving them also from the tithe and offerings of the crops. This is so that everyone is taken care of.
Back in the Bible days, there was no such thing as the welfare office and food stamps. God’s people were responsible for caring for each other. The same thing should exist today, if there are brothers and sisters in the faith that are suffering, God’s people should take care of them until they can get back on their feet. Today we cannot only give monetary tithes and offerings to our congregations since this is where YHVH has chosen to place his name, but we can also give of our time and talent. Whatever spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit has given us, we can give back and minister to others.
Also, when the people offered up their tithes and offerings of their crops, they would recite to the priest; “a wandering Aramean was my father…” and the people would affirm that he was oppressed by the Egyptians, and were in slavery, yet taken out of Egypt by a mighty hand…” this reminds us of the story of Passover. If we were to recite the same thing or almost the same thing, what would we say? We could probably say: “We were a wandering lost people, on our way to hell, and Messiah Yeshua took us out of the bondage of sin, away from the land of HaSatan…” the crops we would offer up would be the offerings of praise and service to HaShem.
Moshe continues to say to his people; “Today you have affirmed that YHVH is your God and that you will walk in his ways, keep his statutes, commandments, and ordinances, and obey him. And today, YHVH has affirmed that you are His special people as He promised you……You will be an "AM KADOSH" (Holy People) To YHVH your God as He promised.
There is something interesting in Chapter 27, it says: “Keep all the Commandment which I command you this day” Why is it written in the singular “HaMitzvah?” and not in the plural “commandments?” Could it be that all the commandments are boiled down to one singular commandment; to “Love thy God with all thy heart, soul, and strength? And if thus be the case, then, when we love the LORD our Elohim, we will obey his instructions in his Torah.
There is another interesting detail in this chapter, the Israelites had to take stones (Avanim) and cover them with plaster and write upon the stones all the Torah! Probably took more than two stones to do that. Once across the River Jordan, they would set those stones up as witnesses. Those stones would be set up on Har Ebal (Mt. Ebal) the word “Avanim” (stones) comes from the singular “Aven” which is the combination of “Av” and “Ben” (Father and Son) these stones could very well symbolize the unity “echad” of “God the Father and God the Son (Yeshua)
The Israelites would also make a stone altar made of “unhewn stones” (stones that are uncut). The Hebrew word for “unhewn” is “Sh’leimot” which has a root word “Shalom” (Peace) the word “Sh’leimot” spelled in Hebrew would be “Sheen, lamed, mem, vav, tav” (sh + l + m + v + t) if we put the “vav” before the “mem” we get “Shalom” (peace) and the “Tav” symbolizes “Covenant” so we see in the altar “Covenant of Peace” the word also has 5 letters, and “5” is the number of grace, so we have a “Covenant of Peace through grace” Also, in Gematria, the word “Sh’leimot” is “776” we see the “7” which is perfection, and “6” which is the number for man. The perfect “Aven” (Father and Son) offers peace to “man” . Yeshua offered himself up as an “offering of peace” to convert enmity between God and man into a relationship of peace and Salvation (Yeshuah) and thus making us a “Holy People” (Am Kadosh) a “set aside people” to HIM.
The other question is; “why unhewn” or “uncut?” Why is it that the stones of the altar and the stones where the Mitzvoth were to be written on had to be uncut? We might answer this question in this way; “Unhewn stones are stones of “Shalom” because no iron implement would be used on them. Swords, spear-heads, knives, and all cutting tools are made of iron. These are implements of “War” these implements “divide asunder” chop, cut, divide, destroy! Whereas the unhewn altar stones speak of “peace, and unity” where fallen man comes to make peace with G-d. Through Yeshua, who is the “Peace- offering” makes us all “Kadoshim” (Holy)
Every born-again believer today is part of His “AM KADOSH” even though we were born and raised in Israel, and perhaps our parents weren’t either. The Commonwealth of Israel has extended from that specific group of Israelites that were ready to cross the Jordan River, to ALL people who embrace the God of All creation and accept the blood atonement of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ), and so become part of HIS family, we have been all called out and separated from the rest of the world, a world that rejects God and all that is holy. We are the “odd-balls” of the world. But it is good being that kind of an odd-ball.
There is, however, belief in Christendom that the “law” has been done away with, abolished, and in its place, “grace”. All the commandments that God gave are no more. It may be that many are not for today, because there is no more Levitical priesthood, no more animal sacrifices. Yet we know that Yeshua FULFILLED all the Torah in its entirety. “Fulfilling” is not “abolishing,” Yeshua said so himself “I have not come to abolish the Torah and the Prophets, but to fulfill” in other words, to give a precise interpretation of the same. The Torah (God’s instructions to his people) has always existed, it just was not written down until the time of Moshe, and “Grace” has always existed as well. Adam was saved by grace, so was Eve, so was Noach, so was Abraham.
But let us also remember that “Salvation” is a separate issue, “salvation” is a done deal when we accept Yeshua as Messiah and LORD in our lives. Through our salvation experience, we should be led by the Holy Spirit to love and obey the teaching that is within God’s Holy Writ, and not that we can choose only what is convenient to us, like, “guess it is OK now to have a ham sandwich or order shrimp scampi at a restaurant, “wrong” Elohim already made up man’s menu, it is up to us to follow it, or reap a physical curse of high cholesterol.
Speaking about curses, there are “covenant curses” that we should all be aware of, starting in chapter 27:15 “Cursed is the person who: makes carved idol images, who dishonors parents, who moves boundary markers, Who leads a blind person astray, who denies justice to foreigners, who does illicit sexual practices, who commits murder, who accepts bribes to kill an innocent person, and all those who does not put the Torah into practice.
Let’s look at some of these, “no images” yet most religions today have them, many of them, have they not read about this curse? It is always best never to condemn religious denominations that have images because God’s Word already does it, our job is to lead a person to study God’s word and see it for themselves. “removing boundary markers!” the Word of God makes boundaries for us NOT to cross over. God’s Word is like a fence, it keeps us in and keeps evil out, cross the boundary marker, or “take away” boundary markers, then, we are “taking away” from God’s WORD, we are headed for trouble. “Leading a blind person astray” who would intentionally do that one may ask? But when one brings erroneous or bad teaching of God’s Word to people, we are “leading astray” those who do not know God’s Word, many being “blind” to the truth, and leading others away from the truth.
“Those who deny justice to foreigners” are under a curse, is the USA government under a curse? For deporting so many innocent immigrants who just want to come to America for a better life? Did “Harvey” just happen? Did Irma just happen? Or are these weather conditions part of divine judgment? Something to think about!
“Illicit sexual practices” goes without saying, yet many call these practices, “alternate life-styles” Why not just call it what it is; SIN and REBELLION to God’s WORD! and be honest? Murder and bribes to murder, this goes without saying, we all can understand that.
Yet Yeshua, took the curse of sin from us, and nailed all of our disobedience to the cross of Calvary, so even when we do sin, and fail to put the “words of the Torah” into practice, there is forgiveness when there is sincere repentance, As Yeshua told the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, “I condemn thee not, go and sin no more” If the one who could have condemned her, did not, but forgave her, we also can receive forgiveness.
Remember, first comes a personal salvation experience with Yeshua, which leads us to follow the Word of God, in that order, never the other way around. (we are saved unto good works, not to do good works to be saved) But on a better note, there are blessings for obedience! IF…. we obey, blessings and curses are always and have always been conditional. It is up to us, to follow in the master’s footsteps, following the master’s words. There are earthly blessings, and eternal blessings, the best of both worlds.
Israel can rejoice, for the OR ISRAEL has come, the LIGHT of ISRAEL will attract all the nations. Isaiah gets a glimpse of the future of Israel, perhaps the millennium Israel, when YESHUA is on the throne, what a time that will be. Jerusalem will be the capital of the world, and best of all, we will be serving the LORD during that time too. Did the prophet Isaiah see airplanes? “Who are these who fly like a cloud, like doves in their windows?” sounds like an airplane to me.
Could it be that Isaiah is taking a glimpse into the future and is seeing many immigrants “flying” to the promised land in airplanes? Perhaps mass immigration? Something to think about. Verse 10 reads; “In my wrath, I have smitten you, but in my delight, I shall have compassion on you.” Elohim has acted as a Father, and like a jealous husband in that, He has chastised within the inch of her life the “daughter of Zion” We have seen this in the book of Exodus, rebels were destroyed, the ground opened up and swallowed the rebels.
Rebellious and idolatrous Israel was taken captive to Babylon, removed from the Land of Promise. YET… we see that Israel has RETURNED to the land, and is FORGIVEN by our Heavenly Father. If our earthly fathers chastise and punish us when we behave badly, yet will never stop loving us, and will forgive us, much more our Heavenly Father does the same. We were separated from HIM by our sin, yet forgiven and healed by the “Sar-Shalom” who became our “Sin-offering” and at the same time, our “Peace offering.” He took our SIN and gave us His PEACE. He IS the “Unhewn Stone” the “AVEN of SHALOM”
In this chapter, we see Yeshua washing his disciples’ feet, this was after the last supper. Many might wonder what was this all about. We must understand the custom of that time. Today, when visitors come to our house, we might show them to some easy chairs, get them a drink of water or juice. In winter, we might take their coat and hang it in a clothing closet which might be near the front door. In my aunt and uncle’s house, it was by the front door.
In ancient times, the host would have the guest sit down and the host, or the host’s servant or slave would take the guest’s sandals off and wash the guest’s feet. There were no paved roads back then, the roads were dry and dusty, and when it rained, the roads became muddy. A guest might come with either dusty or muddy Sandals and feet.
When Yeshua washed the disciples’ feet, he was giving the example of “servanthood” the “master” becomes the “servant” to “lead” one must first learn to “serve” washing of the feet also symbolizes “fellowship among believers” An important part of ministry, is serving others, when we serve others, we are doing it unto God. Yeshua goes on to say in 14:2; “In my Father’s house there are many mansions (or living places)…I go to prepare a place for you…” Many may wonder what the New Jerusalem is like. This is one detail. There are many places, perhaps houses, many translations say “mansions” that are being prepared for all believers. What will they be like? Only those that are already there know, because they have received their places to live. One thing that we can be sure of, they will be rent-free and cockroach free. No leaky roofs. Using my own imagination, I describe what one mansion may look like in my short-story “Sarah” from my eBook “God Tales”
John 14:6 is a favorite of many; “Anochi HaDerech, vHaEmet, v’HaChayim, v’ish lo yavo el HaAv bilti al Yadi” This is in the original Hebrew (unless Yeshua spoke these words in Aramaic). In English we all know this verse to read; “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.”
This verse is interesting when we read it in Hebrew. “Anochi” is a strong way of saying I AM, (with emphasis) “HaDerech” (The Way) which is how the early followers of Yeshua were called before the word “Christian” came into being. “Those of the “Way”. “HaEmet” (The Truth). The word “Truth” is mentioned many times in scripture, and it points to who Yeshua is. Yeshua talked to Pilate about “Truth” and Pilate responded; “what is Truth?” He should of asked; “WHO is Truth?” It is not a “what” but “WHO” The word “Emet” has three letters “Aleph, Mem, Tav” We have the “Aleph and Tav” as the “Beginning and the End” and the “Mem” is in the middle. The letter “Mem” can symbolize “water” and Yeshua is the “Living Water”.
So the word “Emet” could symbolize; Yeshua, who is the Living Water who is from the beginning and will be until the end.
“HaChayim” (the Life) He is Eternal Life and it is what HE gives to us, Eternal Life. The end of this statement is interesting in Hebrew; “No man comes to the Father but by MY HAND” “Yadi” = my hand. The word “HaAv” (the Father) if we rearrange the letters, we can get “Ahav” which means “to love” So what we are looking at is that Yeshua is saying that by “His Hand” (or hands) which were opened to receive the nails, We have access to the Father, which is the pure essence of “love” and his sacrifice (peace-offering) was the ultimate “love-gift” to all mankind.