Korach קֹרַח - Korach
Haftarah: 1 Samuel 11:14-12:22
Apostolic Writing: John 19:1-17
Reading #7 - Numbers 18:21–32
In verse 26 we read about the “tithe of the tithes”. If you think about this it’s really pretty wonderful. Even the priests are to tithe. And if all they have is what the people give them, then they are tithing off of the tithe! We are all to “give back” to Hashem. And sometimes this happens in unusual ways. You may tithe to an organization to help support Israel or the building of the Temple. You may buy groceries for a neighbor in need, or help out a relative. Whatever it is, remember it is all Hashem’s. Really everything we have is Hashem’s!
The priests are to wave the “best part” of their offerings. So, think about it. Hashem does look at things in degrees of goodness. If there is “best” then there is “worst”. Let’s look at our own lives. Do we have a “best” and a “worst” of how we act and live? I have a simple challenge for you today. Review your life. Make sure you are doing your best. We are only here on the planet for a short time, let us not misuse our talents and our time. Make it your goal to give Hashem your best in all you do -- in worship, prayer, giving and loving. It is required of us. And it will bring us closer to Hashem -- which is our ultimate goal.
Reading #7 - Numbers 18:21–32
21 “To the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve, even the service of the Tent of Meeting. 22 Henceforth the children of Israel shall not come near the Tent of Meeting, lest they bear sin, and die. 23 But the Levites shall do the service of the Tent of Meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. Among the children of Israel, they shall have no inheritance. 24 For the tithe of the children of Israel, which they offer as a wave offering to Hashem, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.’”
25 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “Moreover you shall speak to the Levites, and tell them, ‘When you take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up a wave offering of it for Hashem, a tithe of the tithe. 27 Your wave offering shall be credited to you, as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the wine press. 28 Thus you also shall offer a wave offering to Hashem of all your tithes, which you receive of the children of Israel; and of it you shall give Hashem’s wave offering to Aaron the priest. 29 Out of all your gifts, you shall offer every wave offering to Hashem, of all its best parts, even the holy part of it.’
30 “Therefore you shall tell them, ‘When you heave its best from it, then it shall be credited to the Levites as the increase of the threshing floor, and as the increase of the wine press. 31 You may eat it anywhere, you and your households, for it is your reward in return for your service in the Tent of Meeting. 32 You shall bear no sin by reason of it, when you have heaved from it its best. You shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, that you not die.’”
In verse 12:12 Samuel reminds the people that “Elohim was your king”. Yet they desire an earthly king. It is easy for us to read this and pass judgment on the Israelites -- right? How could they demand a “king” when Hashem was king over all? They already had the best and greatest king of all! How could the Elohim of the universes not be enough? It seems like we could never understand their request. But just think for a minute. Don’t we do the same thing? Don’t we not accept Hashem as final authority in our lives at times? Think of when you make a decision to do something wrong, something you know is against His commands. Aren’t you saying to Him, “You are not king over my life. I can do what I want.” Or we place other “kings” over Him -- like money, government and relationships. Take a moment to review how you view Hashem. Is He the ultimate King over your life? If not follow Him as so, today.
This story of the Chosen people wanting an earthly king just reminds me of how we always want “more”. What Hashem gives us is just not enough. Just as Hashem was the most wonderful King over HIs people, they wanted more. They wanted what their neighbors had. They had kings that told them what to do and they could see them. Our King takes faith to believe that He is telling us what to do and that we can see Him spiritually. For some that is not enough. Think of the times in your life when you called out to Elohim, “Where are you?” and you just had to have faith that He was there. Try to pray and ask Elohim for more faith today. Faith that He is King, He hears you and that you know He loves you. Even when in times you are not able to “feel” like He is. Don’t go on feelings. Go on facts. He does love you and He does listen to you. And He is there for you. And He is King of your life!
Haftarah: 1 Samuel 11:14-12:22
11:14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come! Let’s go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.” 15 All the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before Hashem in Gilgal. There they offered sacrifices of peace offerings before Hashem; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.
12:1 Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you. 2 Now, behold, the king walks before you. I am old and gray-headed. Behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth to this day. 3 Here I am. Witness against me before Hashem and before His anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Of whose hand have I taken a bribe to make me blind my eyes? I will restore it to you.”
4 They said, “You have not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither have you taken anything from anyone’s hand.”
5 He said to them, “Hashem is witness against you, and His anointed is witness today, that you have not found anything in my hand.”
They said, “He is witness.” 6 Samuel said to the people, “It is Hashem who appointed Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. 7 Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before Hashem concerning all the righteous acts of Hashem, which He did to you and to your fathers.
8 “When Jacob had come into Egypt, and your fathers cried to Hashem, then Hashem sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt, and made them to dwell in this place. 9 But they forgot Hashem their Elohim; and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them. 10 They cried to Hashem, and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken Hashem and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve You.’ 11 Hashem sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you lived in safety.
12 “When you saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when Hashem your Elohim was your king. 13 Now therefore see the king whom you have chosen and whom you have asked for. Behold, Hashem has set a king over you. 14 If you will fear Hashem, and serve Him, and listen to His voice, and not rebel against the commandment of Hashem, then both you and also the king who reigns over you are followers of Hashem your Elohim. 15 But if you will not listen to Hashem’s voice, but rebel against the commandment of Hashem, then Hashem’s hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
16 “Now therefore stand still and see this great thing, which Hashem will do before your eyes. 17 Isn’t it wheat harvest today? I will call to Hashem, that He may send thunder and rain; and you will know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in Hashem’s sight, in asking for a king.”
18 So Samuel called to Yahweh, and Yahweh sent thunder and rain that day. Then all the people greatly feared Yahweh and Samuel.
19 All the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to Yahweh your God, that we not die; for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for a king.”
20 Samuel said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. You have indeed done all this evil; yet don’t turn away from following Yahweh, but serve Yahweh with all your heart. 21 Don’t turn away to go after vain things which can’t profit or deliver, for they are vain. 22 For Yahweh will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased Yahweh to make you a people for himself.
The people are rebelling against Yeshua, just like the people rebelled against Moses. However, in this story Yeshua is murdered on a stake. The people “win”. Only as we know they really lost. They lost the King that Hashem had sent to change the world. The whole charge against Yeshua was that He was trying to be King. They knew the Romans would oppose this and it was a threat to their existence. They had forgotten that when Yeshua was King, He would take care of everything. They had lost faith and trust. And they eventually lost their King. The good news is that the Mashiach will return and rule as King forever. He will reign from HIs throne in the Temple in Jerusalem and every knee will bow. Let us not be like the Israelites in this week’s portion and challenge who Hashem has put in authority over us. Let us remember Yeshua as our King.
I have given you this challenge before. Look at your life and who Hashem has placed earthly authority over you. Do you respect him/her or do you complain and plot against them? Instead of spending your time in unhappiness over who is your authority -- pray for them. I did this once for an awful coworker of mine. She wasn’t in authority over me, but I had to work with her several times a week. After I prayed for her for a while, the most amazing thing happened. She changed. Right before my eyes! Instead of being wicked and mean, she turned kind and generous. She was healed from whatever caused her not to be who Elohim called her to be. ANd she was a pleasure to work with. Pray for those in authority over you. It just may change the world -- and certainly your life!
Apostolic Writings:John 19:1-17
19 So Pilate then took Yeshua, and flogged him. 2 The soldiers twisted thorns into a crown, and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple garment. 3 They kept saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and they kept slapping him.
4 Then Pilate went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I bring him out to you, that you may know that I find no basis for a charge against him.”
5 Yeshua therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the man!”
6 When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw him, they shouted, saying, “Crucify! Crucify!”
Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves, and crucify him, for I find no basis for a charge against Him.”
7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of Elohim.”
8 When therefore Pilate heard this saying, he was more afraid. 9 He entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Yeshua, “Where are you from?” But Yeshua gave him no answer. 10 Pilate therefore said to him, “Aren’t You speaking to me? Don’t you know that I have power to release You and have power to crucify You?”
11 Yeshua answered, “You would have no power at all against Me, unless it were given to you from above. Therefore he who delivered me to you has greater sin.”
12 At this, Pilate was seeking to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you release this man, you aren’t Caesar’s friend! Everyone who makes himself a king speaks against Caesar!”
13 When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Yeshua out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called “The Pavement”, but in Hebrew, “Gabbatha.” 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, at about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”
15 They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
16 So then he delivered him to them to be crucified. So they took Yeshua and led him away. 17 He went out, bearing His cross, to the place called “The Place of a Skull”, which is called in Hebrew, “Golgotha”.