Haftarah: Ezekiel 22:1-19
Apostolic Scripture: Matthew 15:10-20
Reading #7 - Leviticus 20:8-27
Hashem gives us commands to make our lives better, not to “burden” us. We ought to count it joy to be able to love and serve Hashem through His Word and directions. In verse 23 He tells us, “You shall not walk in the customs of the nation which I am casting out before you…”. There is an obvious reason for this command. There is an old saying, “You are who you hang with”. And this is so true. If you have drinking buddies you drink. If you hang around people who smoke you will likely be smoking. If they party, you will join them. But, if you associate with people who love and fear Elohim, who encourage you through prayer and actions -- you will become like them! It is super important we have friends and family who love Hashem, read Scripture and know the importance of following Torah. This will lead toward growth and a better relationship with the Father. Take time to reflect on this and who you are walking with. It could change your life, and others!
The first verse today (20:8) ‘You shall keep my statutes, and do them. I am Hashem who sanctifies you.’ clearly instructs us that we must keep Torah and DO Torah. Why? Because He makes us holy, He sanctifies us. Through following and doing Torah, He finds a way to make us holy. Without Torah it is like we are lost in a storm. The world is getting darker and harder. Torah is light and easy. It is a complete joy to communicate with Adonai and follow Him. Which path are you choosing today? I challenge you to choose Elohim.
Reading #7 - Leviticus 20:8-27
20:8 You shall keep my statutes, and do them. I am Hashem who sanctifies you.
9 “‘For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon himself.
10 “‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
11 “‘The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness. Both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon themselves.
12 “‘If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed a perversion. Their blood shall be upon themselves.
13 “‘If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon themselves.
14 “‘If a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you.
15 “‘If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; and you shall kill the animal.
16 “‘If a woman approaches any animal and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
17 “‘If a man takes his sister—his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter—and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a shameful thing. They shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness. He shall bear his iniquity.
18 “‘If a man lies with a woman having her monthly period, and uncovers her nakedness, he has made her fountain naked, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from among their people.
19 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, nor of your father’s sister, for he has made his close relative naked. They shall bear their iniquity. 20 If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness. They shall bear their sin. They shall die childless.
21 “‘If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is an impurity. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They shall be childless.
22 “‘You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my ordinances, and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out. 23 You shall not walk in the customs of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. 24 But I have said to you, “You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I Hashem your Elohim, who has separated you from the peoples.
25 “‘You shall therefore make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean fowl and the clean. You shall not make yourselves abominable by animal, or by bird, or by anything with which the ground teems, which I have separated from you as unclean for you. 26 You shall be holy to me, for I, Hashem, am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
27 “‘A man or a woman that is a medium or is a wizard shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones. Their blood shall be upon themselves.’”
In Ezekiel’s verses we read about the “breaking” of all the Commandments we read in Torah today! It’s like Hashem is saying, “I gave you instructions and you are not following a single one of them!” Just like a parent talking to a child. “I told you to clean your room, and you have not lifted a finger!” We know this -- that sin separates us from a relationship with Hashem. Don’t you just know it? When I sin, it’s like I can feel Hashem walking out of the room with disappointment. And the closer I get to Him, the more I feel it. We should wake up every day and ask Him for help. Help to stay clean and righteous. Help to focus on Him and worship only Him. I love Hashem, don’t you? Let’s prove it today.
In verse 12 Hashem reminds us that we “have forgotten Him”. Does this just break your heart? It must break His heart. He created us out of love, and then we turn our backs on Him? How horribly, horribly sad! My challenge today is to look at your life closely. Do you remember Hashem during the day and night -- or do you disregard His Commandments and worship false idols? Are you walking with Him or walking with others? Get back on His path! Hashem please help us to follow only You!!! Amen!
Haftarah: Ezekiel 22:1-19
22:1 Moreover Hashem’s word came to me, saying, 2 “You, son of man, will you judge? Will you judge the bloody city? Then cause her to know all her abominations. 3 You shall say, ‘Adonai Hashem says: “A city that sheds blood within herself, that her time may come, and that makes idols against herself to defile her! 4 You have become guilty in your blood that you have shed, and are defiled in your idols which you have made! You have caused your days to draw near, and have come even to your years. Therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the countries. 5 Those who are near, and those who are far from you, will mock you, you infamous one, full of tumult.
6 “‘“Behold, the princes of Israel, everyone according to his power, have been in you to shed blood. 7 In you have they treated father and mother with contempt. Among you they have oppressed the foreigner. In you they have wronged the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised My holy things, and have profaned My Sabbaths. 9 Slanderous men have been in you to shed blood. In you they have eaten on the mountains. They have committed lewdness among you. 10 In you have they uncovered their fathers’ nakedness. In you have they humbled her who was unclean in her impurity. 11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife; and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law. Another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you have they taken bribes to shed blood. You have taken interest and increase, and you have greedily gained of your neighbors by oppression, and have forgotten Me,” says Adonai Hashem.
13 “‘“Behold, therefore I have struck my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made, and at your blood which has been within you. 14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I will deal with you? I, Hashem, have spoken it, and will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the nations, and disperse you through the countries. I will consume your filthiness out of you. 16 You will be profaned in yourself, in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am Hashem.”’”
17 Hashem’s word came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me. All of them are bronze, tin, iron, and lead in the middle of the furnace. They are the dross of silver. 19 Therefore Adonai Hashem says: ‘Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the middle of Jerusalem.’
I believe Yeshua is trying to teach His disciples (and us) exactly what Hashem was teaching in the Torah reading today. His instructions are not to follow what the people in the idol nations are doing, but to follow Him. In other words, what you eat is who you are. What proceeds “out of you” is what you are ingesting. If you are “eating” the Word of Elohim, then good G-d things will be spoken out of your mouth. If you are consuming sin, then sin will proceed. If you are associating with unclean people and things, you will become unclean. Watch what you “eat” and “who” you eat with.
We have got to realize that Yeshua came at a time when there was a great falling away from the “heart” of Torah. Priests were being picked by the Romans for political gain, not for righteous teaching. The people of Israel were being led by a government that believed in idols and false gods. Yeshua came to draw them back to Adonai. To warn them that not to do so would cause the Temple to fall and the people to be dispersed once again. I believe that is why He is not concerned with the “outside” washing of the hands, but He is concerned with the “inside” washing of our hearts. He is reiterating Torah - to follow Hashem’s commands -- to keep Torah and do Torah. Let’s get back to doing that today in our time. Before it is too late.
Apostolic Scripture: Matthew 15:10-20
15:10 He summoned the multitude, and said to them, “Hear, and understand. 11 That which enters into the mouth doesn’t defile the man; but that which proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”
12 Then the disciples came, and said to Him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
13 But he answered, “Every plant which my heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted. 14 Leave them alone. They are blind guides of the blind. If the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Peter answered him, “Explain the parable to us.”
16 So Yeshua said, “Do you also still not understand? 17 Don’t you understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the belly and then out of the body? 18 But the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart, and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands doesn’t defile the man.”