Torah Portion: Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34
Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19 - 17:14
Apostolic Writings: Matthew 16:20-28
Reading #7 - Leviticus 27:29–34
Today we are learning about the “tithe of the land” verse 30. He is instructed that when they get into Israel and they begin to farm – plant and reap – that a tithe of all that – is Hashems. That equals 10%. And even if you trade it out, then what you trade for is still His. This is something that is not an option. In our modern day churches and synagogues we are getting teaching on “tithes”. Religious institutions have to have a way to financially exist. This we know. But, whether it is a tithe is debatable. I believe we should be giving back to Hashem a tenth (at the very least) of what we have. Think about doing that. Find a charitable organization that is in line with Torah and what Hashem instructs in helping others and/or the poor. Give to them today!
We are finishing up Leviticus today. Hashem has given some new commandments and reviewed some already given. In verse 34 we read, “These are the commandments which Hashem commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mt. Sinai”. Notice He does not say the commandments which Hashem “suggested” or “recommended” – He says COMMANDED. Again, as I have said many times, what about following the Torah do we not understand? It’s not hard to follow. We do our best for commandments that are possible – to obey them today. Remember – we are commanded to follow them. It is not an option. And really the Torah gives us life! The commandments ARE life to us! We should be so happy and willing to do all that we can to obey them! Today is a good day to start doing this. Make a promise to yourself that you will start reading Torah portions every day. That you will think about them and how they apply to your life. Obey Hashem. Through this you will find the most loving and kind relationship with Him! Amen.
Reading #7 - Leviticus 27:29-34
27:29 “‘No one devoted to destruction, who shall be devoted from among men, shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death.
30 “‘All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is Hashem’s. It is holy to Hashem. 31 If a man redeems anything of his tithe, he shall add a fifth part to it. 32 All the tithe of the herds or the flocks, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy to Hashem. 33 He shall not examine whether it is good or bad, neither shall he exchange it. If he exchanges it at all, then both it and that for which it is exchanged shall be holy. It shall not be redeemed.’”
34 These are the commandments which Hashem commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.
In verse 17:7 we read, “Blessed is the man who trusts in Hashem, and whose confidence is in Hashem.” Then it goes on to say you won’t worry when there is heat or drought. Yesterday I was listening to the news and they were saying we are on a brink of a food shortage - world food shortage. That can bring panic to your soul, unless you put your trust in Hashem. Yes of course, we are to be wise and store up some food for emergencies. But, in the end, our trust and confidence have to be in the Father. He is the provider and the sustainer. Think about how we read in Torah that He provided manna throughout the time in the desert. And when they got thirsty, water flowed from rocks. It takes great faith and patience to get through hard times. This passage confirms you will be taken care of.
In verse 17:10 we read, “I, Hashem, search the mind. I try the heart, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” Wow this can be frightening – right? Hashem knows our thoughts and our hearts, and everything we do. We can’t hide things from Him, like we hide things from people. If you think you are getting away with some sort of sin right now, well, you aren’t. Hashem knows all about it. So, it’s time to confess and repent. Make things right. Especially if your sin is affecting other people. Although it is so hard to tell people when we have done something wrong – Hashem demands this. By doing so we will make our minds better and cleaner. So, fix what you have to fix – today! And so will I!
Haftarah; Jeremiah 16:19 - 17:14
Hashem, my strength, and my stronghold,
and my refuge in the day of affliction,
the nations will come to you from the ends of the earth,
and will say,
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies,
vanity and things in which there is no profit.
20 Should a man make to himself gods
which yet are no gods?”
21 “Therefore behold, I will cause them to know,
this once I will cause them to know My hand and My might.
Then they will know that My name is Hashem.”
17 “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron,
and with the point of a diamond.
It is engraved on the tablet of their heart,
and on the horns of your altars.
2 Even their children remember their altars
and their Asherah poles by the green trees on the high hills.
3 My mountain in the field,
I will give your substance and all your treasures for a plunder,
and your high places, because of sin, throughout all your borders.
4 You, even of yourself, will discontinue from your heritage that I gave you.
I will cause you to serve your enemies in the land which you don’t know,
for you have kindled a fire in My anger which will burn forever.”
5 Hashem says:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man,
relies on strength of flesh,
and whose heart departs from Hashem
6 For he will be like a bush in the desert,
and will not see when good comes,
but will inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
an uninhabited salt land.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in Hashem,
and whose confidence is in Hashem.
8 For he will be as a tree planted by the waters,
who spreads out its roots by the river,
and will not fear when heat comes,
but its leaf will be green,
and will not be concerned in the year of drought.
It won’t cease from yielding fruit.
9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and it is exceedingly corrupt.
Who can know it?
10 “I, Hashem, search the mind.
I try the heart,
even to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his doings.”
11 As the partridge that sits on eggs which she has not laid,
so is he who gets riches, and not by right.
In the middle of his days, they will leave him.
At his end, he will be a fool.
12 A glorious throne, set on high from the beginning,
is the place of our sanctuary.
13 Hashem, the hope of Israel,
all who forsake you will be disappointed.
Those who depart from me will be written in the earth,
because they have forsaken Hashem,
the spring of living waters.
14 Heal me, O Hashem, and I will be healed.
Save me, and I will be saved;
for you are my praise.
Yeshua teaches in verse 24, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” Yeshua always taught that the “cost” of being obedient and following Him and Torah was big. It was a time where there was great persecution (and after Yeshua left) for Jews. He says it is more important to follow Hashem than to follow man. Don’t you agree? Yes, but how often do we seek to please others even with the cost of sinning? We must stay in Hashem’s Word, pray, obey Torah, love Him and follow Him. We must “take up our cross” daily. And stand strong.
In verse 26 we read, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?” What a profound teaching! We can go after the world, make money and follow other gods, or we can choose Hashem. If we are in the world we forfeit our life. If we are in Hashem we gain eternal life. Which do you choose? Make your decision today and stand by it!
Apostolic Writings: Matthew 16:20-28
16:20 Then He commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he was Yeshua the Mashiach..
21 From that time, Yeshua began to show His talmidim that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, L-rd! This will never be done to You.”
23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of Adonai, but on the things of men.”
24 Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with His angels, and then He will render to everyone according to his deeds. 28 Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom.”