Saturday, January 6, 2018

Torah Portion - January 6, 2018

Weekly Torah Studies

Today's Torah Reading: Genesis 6:1-8

The Hebrew Alphabet: Dalet

Spiritual Meaning of the Dalet

 Dalet = 4 and is the D of Hebrew (pronounced dah-let)
·         Dalet is the Hebrew letter for DOOR and the PATH OF LIFE. It shows movement into or out of.
·         Dalet is the number of EARTH, representing the 4 “corners” (or compass points) of the Earth (N, S, E, W).

·         It is the letter associated with the DOOR to Eternal Life.

When Adam and Eve sinned, Yahweh used skins to make clothing for them to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:21). This portrayed how Yahshua would come as the Sacrificial Lamb of God, Who would cover our sins with His Life. By His Sacrifice, He became the DOOR to Eternal Life for man, woman and child.

Four is the number of Earth with its FOUR directions (north, south, east and west). Yahshua came to Earth, after 4,000 years, as the LIGHT of the World to illuminate for us the PATH to Heaven. Surely it can be NO coincidence that visible LIGHT occurs at 4,000 angstroms!

Yahshua said, “Truly, truly I say unto you, I AM the DOOR of the sheep,” John 10:7

“I AM the DOOR. By Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved…” John 10:9. 

We were given an unforgettable reminder of the message of Dalet at Passover – Here we see what it cost Heaven to provide such a DOOR for lost mankind.

The Dalet also suggests the close of probation. For just as the door to the ark wasn’t open forever, so the Way to Life through Yahshua will not always be available. Thus, there is urgency in the message of the Dalet. Enter in while you may still do so.

“…I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth… And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels… Saying, Hurt not the earth… till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads,” Revelation 7:1-3.

This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 1-20)
The Torah studies are provided in two formats for your convenience. The first option (below) is the blank worksheets for this week, which will allow you to print out the worksheets and hand-write the studies yourself. If you have less time, you may wish to read/print my completed Statute studies. The completed worksheets are in Microsoft Word format and are the second option (below):

An Overview of this Week's Torah Studies:
While we will be reading through the Torah in order (see this week's Torah Reading), we will not be studying the Commandments and Statutes in order. Since the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) is the heart of the Torah, it is appropriate to start with it. The Shema is the Torah portion which is written in the Mezzuzah and put upon the doorposts of the house. So, our Torah studies will be following another order. Also, in order to study all Ten Commandments and all 613 Statutes in a year, it is necessary to complete several studies each day, as shown below. Happy studying!

Statute 1 Summary:
(1) Submit to Yahweh as the One and only God in the Universe. Make Him First in your life, thinking and heart.
Deuteronomy 6:4  “Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our God is one Yah.”  
Statute 2 Summary:
(2) Love Yahweh with every fiber of your being.
Deuteronomy 6:5  “And thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Statute 3 Summary:
(3) In Keeping His Commands, we Worship and reverence Yahweh, as our Heavenly Father.
Deuteronomy 6:1-2,13, 25  “Now these are the Commandments, the Statutes, and the Judgments, which Yahweh your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear Yahweh thy God, to keep all His Statutes and His Commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged… Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His Name… And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before Yahweh our God, as He hath commanded us.”
Statute 4 Summary:
(4) Serve Yahweh as Your Heavenly Father.
Exodus 23:25  “And ye shall serve Yahweh your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”
Statute 5 Summary:
(5) Hold fast to Yahweh and take all your vows and oaths in His Name.
Deuteronomy 10:20  “Thou shalt fear Yahweh thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His Name.”
Statute 6 Summary:
(6) Only take oaths in Yahweh’s Name, when you reverence Him as your Father.
Deuteronomy 6:13 “Thou shalt fear Yahweh thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His Name.”
Statute 7 Summary:
(7) Keep Yahweh’s Law and walk in all His Ways. When we do Yahweh swears to make us holy.
Deuteronomy 28:9 “Yahweh shall establish thee an holy people unto Himself, as He hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the Commandments of Yahweh thy God, and walk in His ways.”
Statute 8 Summary:
(8) Hallow Yahweh and do not profane His Holy Name.
Leviticus 22:32 “Neither shall ye profane My Holy Name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I Am Yahweh which hallow you.”
Statutes 9-10 Summary:
(9) Meditate on Yahweh’s Law, (10) teaching it to your household, in your “down time,” when you travel, before bed at night and first thing in the morning.
Deuteronomy 6:7  “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” 
Statute 11 Summary:
(11) Do not trust in any power but Yahweh.. Worship Him alone.
Leviticus 19:4  “Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I Am Yahweh your God.”
Statute 12 Summary:
(12) Do not make gods out of anything.
Exodus 20:23  “Ye shall not make with Me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.”
Statutes 13-16 Summary:
(13) Do not worship representations of God, for He has not shown us His form. (14) Do not make, (15) bow down to, (16) nor worship images of any created thing.
Deuteronomy 4:15-19  “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that Yahweh spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,  the likeness of anything that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which Yahweh thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”  
Statutes 17-18 Summary:
(17) Do not give your children to any false god, nor offer them as sacrifices to them. (18) Do not profane Yahweh’s Name.
Leviticus 18:21  “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the Name of thy God: I Am Yahweh.”
Statutes 19-20 Summary:
(19) Do not turn to mediums or familiar spirits. (20) Do not seek after them.
Leviticus 19:31 “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I Am Yahweh your God.”

Daily Bible Reading - January 6, 2018

Today's Reading:

Luke 8:1-25

Genesis 12

Psalm 6

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

There are times when it is most difficult to choose one pop-out concept, because more than one thing stands out, in a personally meaningful way, from the day's Scriptures. Today is one of those days. For a while, it was a toss up because delving into the elements of God's blessing upon Abraham (Abram) and the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:5-15). But, because the Parable of the Sower has so often been a personal encouragement to me, I finally settled upon it as being the topic I would share.

All Christians, by virtue of belonging to the Heavenly King, are called into missionary service. We may not leave our homeland and go overseas to accomplish this calling, but we are called nonetheless.

"....Freely ye have received, freely give." Matthew 10:8

There are many joys in this calling to labor for the salvation of souls. There are also many hardships. For me, one of the greatest hardships to endure is the lack of lasting interest in the Truth. So little of the spiritual Seed of Truth seems to lastingly take root in lives. It can be so discouraging! But, for these times, the beautiful Parable of the Sower helps to keep things in perspective and remind me of my God-given responsibility.

The seed, in this story, represents the pure, true Word of God. It is powerful, vital and life-changing - if it is allowed to take root in the heart of the hearer. 

The sower, in a personal sense, represents you and me. We are given the Gospel Commission to go into all the world and spiritually sow the Seed of Truth. But while the Seed is good and the sower is dedicatedly doing his part, there is a problem in the story - a point of failure. This problem is that there is no guarantee that the sower will get all the Seed on receptive and good ground. In fact, in the story, only 1/4 or 25% of the time does the sower get the Seed on good ground, where it grows up and bears Kingdom Fruit. That leaves a 75% rate of failure! 75%! We'll come back to that part at the end...

Some of the Seed falls on people who are represented by the rocky ground. These folks hear the Truth and receive it - initially - but they fail to study the Bible for themselves, allowing for the development of a deep and sustaining root system in the Word of Truth. Not having the necessary root system, when the scorching sun of trials and temptations hit such a person, the small plant of growing obedience withers and dies. The person falls away from the Truth he/she has formerly embraced.

Some of the Seed falls on thorny ground. This is a representation of people who have competing affections. They love God and they love His Truth, so at first the Seed is well-received by them. But they have many earthly concerns also. These areas of competing affection are the weeds which spring up and choke out the developing plant of new life in the Truth.

The third part of the Seed falls by the wayside. And almost as quickly as it falls, the birds swoop in and snatch up the Seed. In the blink of an eye, it is gone from this ground. The wayside with its thieving birds symbolizes people who hear the Truth, but before they can study it or even start to settle into it at all, the birds of "naysayers" swoop in and snatch away the Seed. These "naysayers" say things like, "Oh, you don't want to get involved in THAT idea!" Or "if THAT were True, our religious leader would believe it. But because he doesn't, you can be sure that you shouldn't worry yourself about studying THAT teaching."

Oh the terrible and frustrating birds! How tempting it is for a sower to drop his Seed sack, pick up a stick and start running after those noxious birds! 

Whack! Whack! Whack! We counter one false argument after another. Maybe a few birds drop some of the Seed and fly off a bit to regroup. But they return...  No amount of whacking can ultimately serve to save the Seed which has fallen on a pliable, wayside heart.

But, one thing was accomplished in the time it took to chase down the birds...  It served to cause the sower to stop sowing the Seed! 

"Oh dear, Heavenly Father! Clearly, the sower isn't called to stop sowing Your Seed even to go out bird-whacking!"

Finally, some of the Seed falls on good ground! The hearts are receptive. The Truth is heard, received, embraced, and retained! What joy is in a sower's heart - and the Heavenly Sower's Heart (Who is the One that is sowing the Seed through any of us) - that the Seed has found good ground at last! 

But, for me, it has sometimes been tempting to just give up when I see people falling away from the Truth and failing to grow in it. I have cried over the rocks and weeds. I have even dropped the Seed and started futilely whacking at the birds. But, in those moments, my Heavenly Father reminds me of the powerful Message in the Parable of the Sower. 

Christians are not called to root out rocks. Christians are not called to spray on spiritual "Round-up". Christians are not called to chase down birds. Christians are just called to sow the Seed. Sow on... Sow on... And we are to leave the results with God. It is only He Who can make a heart into Good Soil. And what about the low percentage of success? Well, the sower doesn't stop to consider his success rate either. Thankfully, there is plenty of Seed, in the parable. And there is plenty of spiritual Seed in the Word of God. We will not lack for Seed by sowing! And we must not grow discouraged at the 75%. Remember, there will be good fruit, from the good Seed, which does fall on good soil.

Don't be discouraged. Sow on...

Be sure to add a COMMENT on this blog, sharing with us anything you found meaningful in your reading of today's Scripture passages. We will all love to hear from you (please keep the Comment relevant to today's reading - Thx!)