Friday, February 2, 2018

Torah Portion - February 2, 2018

Today's Torah Reading: Genesis 25:1-10

Love for Yahweh - first and Supreme

There are five Commandments that hang upon the Shema Statute (the "Greatest Commandment" as Yahshua called it,  from Deuteronomy 6:4-9) which says Love Yahweh your God with all your heart and mind and soul. They are the first five Commandments, from Exodus 20:

The Statutes which relate to the first five commandments, helping us to understand how to live in whole-hearted love for Yahweh, are shown in the table below:

Today, we will look at the first set of Statutes under the first Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me," (Exodus 20:1-3). The first set of Statutes, under the first Commandment, are about loving Yahweh. Let us take a look at the Statutes which directly specify that we love Yahweh and see what they involve.

Deuteronomy 6:5 - 

"And thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

In Deuteronomy 6:5, we find our total beings are involved in loving Yahweh. To love Yah with all of our "hearts" involves our thinking, according to the original Hebrew word which is translated as "heart" in English. Loving Yahweh in our thoughts involves a conscious choice to keep our thinking focused in a loving way upon our Heavenly Father - never allowing our thoughts to become negative or embittered towards God.  

Next, we are instructed to love Yahweh with all our "souls". "Soul" is from the Hebrew word nephesh and includes loving Yahweh with every "breath" as well as our "desires". In other words, we are to love loving Yahweh! And it is to be our greatest pleasure to love and serve Him.

Finally, Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us to love Yahweh with all our "might". "Might" is an adverbial description telling us how much to love Yah. By the definition, we find that He wants us to demonstrate our love for Him "quickly" and to love Him "vehemently" in an all-consuming-loving-Him-first, way.

Seeing the level of love that Yahweh is seeking from us is overwhelming. In fact, it is impossible for a human being to naturally love Yahweh in the way He describes in Deuteronomy 6:5. But there is good news in the next Statute regarding loving Yahweh. In Deuteronomy 30:6, we find a powerful promise:

Deuteronomy 30:6 - 

"And Yahweh thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love Yahweh thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live."

Yahweh promises to "circumcise" our "hearts" (and the hearts of our children) so that we and our seed (children) will love Him in the whole-hearted manner that is described in Deuteronomy 6:5. Circumcising our hearts involves cutting away the fleshly and carnal nature. It involves curtailing our carnal desires. 

Often this process is not comfortable. Yahweh must bring us through difficulties and trying circumstances in order to cut the diamond of our character-development and polish our love for Him. 

A few years back, I was blessed to take what we call "Enoch time". Enoch time is a period of time where we voluntarily unplug, go off by ourselves somewhere, and just be with Yahweh. It is a rich and precious spiritual time!

In my Enoch time, I have found that it takes three days to totally connect with Yahweh on the deeper level - a level which only happens in these concentrated "vacations" with God. 

I had packed a small suitcase and had left home for a small, single-occupant condo on the Oregon Coast, which I had been blessed to rent (at a low price) for this amazing time with Yahweh. I had my cell phone with me, of course. But I wasn't going to use it (nor would my family call me) unless there was an emergency. I had no computer...  no extra books... Only my Bible and my prayer journal were with me. I was very excited to be spending a whole week alone with God! Enoch time is wonderful!

After my third day of prayer and time in the Word, I was walking alone on the beach and talking to Yahweh. I told Him that I loved Him and that I was willing to listen to anything He wanted to share with me. Like Samuel, I said, "Speak, Yah, Thy servant heareth." 

He did commune with me. And He impressed upon my mind a very simple, yet profound thing. A strong and clear impression came to me, in what I have come to recognize as my Father's Voice. The Message was simple and clear. A baby was coming into my life and Yahweh would use this child to teach me how to love.

I was stunned! My children were nearly grown at the time. My son was 17. My daughter 14. I hadn't planned on another child...  But of course, I wanted whatever was my Father's Will. But the second part of the Message was disturbing to me. Why did Yahweh need to teach me how to love? Didn't I already love? I loved my children! I loved my husband! I loved my friends and family! I didn't think of myself as needing improvement in the love department...  Little did I know...

When I returned from my Enoch time, I told my husband  that I must be pregnant. I was so sure! I couldn't imagine another way for a baby to come into our lives. But a pregnancy test revealed I wasn't...  I didn't know what to think. Had I missed something? I was unsure.

Time passed. Not long afterwards my 17-year-old son soberly announced that he had left the teachings of our family (on waiting to be married) and a young lady was now pregnant with his child. I was beyond shocked! So was my husband. In the pain and shock of the reality of the out-of-wedlock-pregnancy the Message from my Enoch time never even came to my mind.

The girl, who would be the mother of my first grandchild, was the daughter of one of my dearest friends.  But the seemingly unbreakable bond of our close friendship strained and then broke entirely under the pressures of adjusting to this unforeseeable situation. The girl's family handled it well, and supported their daughter. My family and I also handled it (as best we could) by loving and supporting our son. It was a painful and trying time. 

Circumstances and viewpoints being what they were at the time, after the birth of the beautiful little girl the day came when the young mother and my former close friend (her mother) were on opposite sides of a courtroom from my son and our family. The court was being asked to determine custody, parenting time, and a number of other issues with which married parents never have to concern themselves. But here we all were...  How sad and inconceivable it was that such a severance of close friendship could happen. 

As I sat on my family's side of the courtroom, I looked across the aisle to the other family's side. It seemed we were not separated by an aisle-way, but by a great yawning chasm. Our points of view were so divergent. Bitterness was developing on either side. And the formerly close friendship between us was fully broken. In fact it seemed as if that friendship had been from another life-time, and with people who merely looked like those seated across the aisle from us.

It was then that God's Enoch time Message came back to my mind. There was going to be a baby in my life - and Yahweh would use the child to teach me how to love.

Tears misted my eyes as I looked at the people I once thought I had loved but now was even tempted to hate! 

"Oh Father," I prayed, "You are right! I do need to learn how to love! And You are using this precious baby to teach me how to do it!" 

From that moment I have had a new awareness of the value of "porcupines" - you know, the people who prick you. They may hate and slander you...  They are not easy to love! But Heaven's love is not only given to those who love God. Scripture says, "while we were yet sinners (in rebellion against Heaven) Christ died for us." 

Heavenly love is given when it isn't deserved. And God uses difficult people and circumstances to teach us how to love on that deeper, Heavenly level. That process of being taken though difficult circumstances - and dealing with difficult people - is the process God uses to circumcise our hearts. No. It's not comfortable. It's not easy! But, it is the way that He is able to grow our love capacity and bring us to the place where we can love Him in the way described in Deuteronomy 6:5. And knowing this, we can praise Him, even amidst the painful circumcision!

Finally, the last Statutes in the category of loving Yahweh deals with obedience to God. Love is an action word. We don't just invoke an emotional response. Loving Yahweh involves doing His Will, not our own:

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 - 

"See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil. In that I command thee this day to love Yahweh thy God, to walk in His Ways, and to keep His Commandments and His Statutes and His Judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and Yahweh thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call Heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. That thou mayest love Yahweh thy God, and that thou mayest obey His Voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which Yahweh sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."

This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 101-120)
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 the second option (below):

An Overview of this Week's Torah Studies:
This week we will be studying Statutes 101-120, which are summarized below. Happy studying!

Statute 101-102 Summary:
Because only holy people can keep the Sabbath holy, Yahweh wants His Children to make double sure of their Cleansing on the Sabbath. For this reason, (101) twice the Lambs were to be sacrificed on the Sabbath (representing Yahshua’s Sacrifice for our sins). (102) Following the double Lamb sacrifice, Yahweh’s people are to offer double the meat (flour) and drink offerings (representing our acceptable living sacrifice–Romans 12:1–which is our thanks for Yahshua’s Sacrifice).

Numbers 28:9-10 “And on the Sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: This is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.”
Statute 103-106 Summary:
Yahweh commands His Children to keep the New Moon by offering specific sacrifices. These sacrifices each point to specific aspects of Yahshua’s Atoning Gift. The point in commanding us to keep the New Moons with such offerings is that Yahweh wants us to specifically claim the Gift of Yahshua over our homes, family and lives in these specific roles. 

We no longer literally offer these animals, because they all pointed to Yahshua’s Death. But we can spiritually claim the Sacrifice of Yahshua in these Roles: 

(#103) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Blood as the most expensive Gift Heaven (bullock) had to offer. As we think of the high cost of our sins, sin become less attractive in our eyes. 
(#104) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Role as our Leader and Protector (Ram). As we think of the Saviour’s Role as our Leader, we study His Example and choose to follow Him more closely. 
(#105) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Blood as the Innocent and Pure One (lamb). As we think of this, we are able to claim Yahshua’s Atonement for our sins and be made pure and innocent through Him. 
(#106) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Sacrifice as our Substitute. The devil is compared to a goat, this is why a scapegoat was used to symbolize him. Yahshua had to die for the devil’s traits in us. As we think of this, we are able to repent for having “seeds” of darkness in our souls and be made clean of it. As with the daily and Sabbath offerings, we are to not only claim Yahshua’s Sacrifice, we are also to be the living oblation, returning our gratitude for the tremendous Gift of Salvation through living fully and being willing to die for Yahweh (emblemized in the meal and drink offerings). These offerings are acceptable in Yahweh’s Sight – demonstrated by fire. He sends fire (Pentecost) to consume acceptable sacrifices.

Numbers 28:11-15 “And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto Yahweh; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot; And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram; And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savoura sacrifice made by fire unto Yahweh. And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto Yahweh shall be offeredbeside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.”

Statute 107-109 Summary:
(#107) Yahweh commands us the keep the New Moons. (#108) We are to especially pay attention to (or regard) the New Moon of the month Abib, for this is the first New Moon of the New Biblical Year. We are to calculate timing on Yahweh’s Calendar by the New Moons. (#109) Passover is kept in the first month (New Moon cycle) of the Biblical Year.

Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib Yahweh thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.” 

Exodus 12:2 “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.”

Statute 110-111 Summary:
(#110) Yahweh’s people are to work for six days. (#111) But on the Seventh Day, we and all our households are to rest from our daily work and keep the Sabbath.

Exodus 23:12 “Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.”  

Statute 112 Summary:
(#112) On Friday, the preparation for the Sabbath is to be completed. Cooking for the Sabbath meals is to be done on Friday. No cooking, baking or boiling is to be done on the Seventh-day Sabbath.

Exodus 16:23 “And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto Yahweh: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.”  

Statute 113-114 Summary:
(#113) Yahweh’s people are never to marry non-Torah-keeping, false-god-worshippers. (#114) Yahweh’s people are not to allow their children to inter-marry with the heathen (those who don’t follow Torah).

Deuteronomy 7:3 “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”

Statute 115 Summary:
When someone attempts to curse Yahweh's people, it is a serious offense before Yahweh! Even though Balaam was unable to curse Israel, the fact that the Moabites hired him to do it was sufficient reason for Yahweh to bar them from Life. People from groups which try to curse Yahweh’s Children cannot fellowship with Yahweh’s people or partake of Abraham’s blessings for ten generations. However, Ruth was a Moabite, and because she repented and chose Yahweh as her El, she was not only allowed in the fellowship of the Saved, she was also in the lineage of Christ! As it says in Exodus 20:6, Yahweh is merciful to those who love and obey Him.

Deuteronomy 23:3-4 “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of Yahweh; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of Yahweh for ever: Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. 

Statute 116-117 Summary:
(#116) Spiritual Israel are not to loathe people who, like the Edomites, are not antagonistic against Yahweh’s people and have an affinity for Yahweh and the Truth. (#117) Spiritual Israel are also not to loathe people who, like the Egyptians, are not antagonistic against Yahweh’s people or Truth, yet are caught in the spiritual bondage of Egypt. We are to be understanding and gentle with such folk, because we ourselves were once caught in the spiritual bondage of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 23:7 “Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.”  

Statutes 118 Summary:

When the Children of Israel tried to conquer Canaan, they were afraid of the giant and formidable people who blocked their way. Before final Spiritual Israel can possess ultimate Canaan, we too will face “giants” in ungodly earthly powers. But, (#118) Yahweh instructs us NOT to be afraid. We are to remember that Yahweh is with us. He is greater than any foe!

Deuteronomy 7:21 “Thou shalt not be affrighted at them (the nations of the earth of whom you would be afraid – see verse 19): for Yahweh thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.”

Statutes 119-120 Summary:

(#119) Yahweh’s people are never to bring contempt upon Yahweh’s Name, nor trifle with or make light of it nor curse it in any way. (#120) Also Yahweh’s people are never to make light of, bring into contempt, bitterly curse, despise or declare to be evil the leadership of the flock.

Exodus 22:28 “Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.”

Daily Bible Reading - February 2, 2018

Today's Reading:

Luke 23:26-56

Genesis 42

Psalm 33

Listen to the Bible








Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

So often we are tempted to "earth-size" God. We don't mean to do this, we just do it without thinking. When we do this, we lose sight of Who God really is and lose faith that He can really handle whatever it is that we're up against. We forget that He's the Almighty King of the Universe.

One of the most effective reminders of God's true Greatness is found in Psalm 33... 
Psalm 33:6-9  "By the Word of the LORD (Yahweh) were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the Breath of His Mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.  Let all the earth fear the LORD (Yahweh): let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast."
Today, I'd like to take a moment to exonerate our mighty, star-breathing God. As we do, we cannot help but fear Him and be in awe of majesty, as the Psalmist said. And bearing this in mind, will help us to never fear anything else. Whatever you're facing today... God can totally handle it!

By the way, I have to apologize in advance for the way the guy who made this video ended it - he says, "No you are not the center of the universe"...  It's kind of brusque, slightly  rude..Still, I share it with you because the perspective is powerful...

I hope you will just enjoy the video for its amazing perspective. Then, remember that our wonderful star-breathing God is the One Who watches over you. Be encouraged!