Luke 13:1-9; Mark 11:12-23
Reading #7 - Numbers 35:9-36:13
We are finishing up the book of Numbers and Hashem is talking about murder and blood in the Land. In verse 35:33 we read, “‘So you shall not pollute the land where you live; for blood pollutes the land. No atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed in it, but by the blood of him who shed it.’” I equate this today to the sin of abortion. You may not agree with me but I feel strongly about this. Abortion is the taking of a life. Yes, there is forgiveness for anyone involved with this, as there is for other sins. Hashem does not like the innocent shedding of blood. He creates all life and abortion destroys life. In this verse He is saying there is no “atonement” for the land. This is frightening for our country. Over 65 million abortions (recorded) have been performed in the United States since 1973. That is more than the loss of lives in ALL WARS combined throughout history. It is time to take the Word of Hashem seriously. Do what you are able to help stop abortion in your community and state. If abortion is illegal in your state, consider helping and educating women who are fleeing to other states where it is legal . Help women in your state/community to realize all the wonderful help that is there for them to parent or choose adoption. At the least, please pray that abortion will end in our country, in the world and that Hashem would forgive us.
Pray and search how you can become involved in the battle against abortion and the preservation of innocent lives. Most every city has a pro-life pregnancy center. Do an internet search and look up the pregnancy center in your community. Call them and ask them how you can help. Or if your time is limited -- give financially. There are national pro-life organizations you can support also. Take some time to research and then take action. Help to be a part of saving baby’s lives from being aborted. There are also organizations that help women (and men) who have suffered emotionally/spiritual from the affects of abortion. Go to: Rachel's Vineyard It is time to repair our world from this devastation.
Reading #7 - Numbers 35:9-36:13
35:9 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 then you shall appoint for yourselves cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the man slayer who kills any person unwittingly may flee there. 12 The cities shall be for your refuge from the avenger, that the man slayer not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. 13 The cities which you shall give shall be for you six cities of refuge. 14 You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and you shall give three cities in the land of Canaan. They shall be cities of refuge. 15 These six cities shall be refuge for the children of Israel, for the stranger, and for the foreigner living among them, that everyone who kills any person unwittingly may flee there.
16 “‘But if he struck him with an instrument of iron, so that he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death. 17 If he struck him with a stone in the hand, by which a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death. 18 Or if he struck him with a weapon of wood in the hand, by which a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death. 19 The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to death. When he meets him, he shall put him to death. 20 If he shoved him out of hatred, or hurled something at him while lying in wait, so that he died, 21 or in hostility struck him with his hand, so that he died, he who struck him shall surely be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.
22 “‘But if he shoved him suddenly without hostility, or hurled on him anything without lying in wait, 23 or with any stone, by which a man may die, not seeing him, and cast it on him so that he died, and he was not his enemy and not seeking his harm, 24 then the congregation shall judge between the striker and the avenger of blood according to these ordinances. 25 The congregation shall deliver the man slayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge, where he had fled. He shall dwell therein until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.
26 “‘But if the man slayer shall at any time go beyond the border of his city of refuge where he flees, 27 and the avenger of blood finds him outside of the border of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the man slayer, he shall not be guilty of blood, 28 because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest, the man slayer shall return into the land of his possession.
29 “‘These things shall be for a statute and ordinance to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
30 “‘Whoever kills any person, the murderer shall be slain based on the testimony of witnesses; but one witness shall not testify alone against any person so that he dies.
31 “‘Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death. He shall surely be put to death.
32 “‘You shall take no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may come again to dwell in the land before the death of the priest.
33 “‘So you shall not pollute the land where you live; for blood pollutes the land. No atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed in it, but by the blood of him who shed it. 34 You shall not defile the land which you inhabit, where I dwell; for I, Hashem, dwell among the children of Israel.’”
36:1 The heads of the fathers’ households of the family of the children of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near, and spoke before Moses and before the princes, the heads of the fathers’ households of the children of Israel. 2 They said, “Hashem commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the children of Israel. My lord was commanded by Hashem to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. 3 If they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of our fathers, and will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they shall belong. So it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance. 4 When the jubilee of the children of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they shall belong. So their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.”
5 Moses commanded the children of Israel according to Hashem’s word, saying, “The tribe of the sons of Joseph speak what is right. 6 This is the thing which Hashem commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, ‘Let them be married to whom they think best, only they shall marry into the family of the tribe of their father. 7 So shall no inheritance of the children of Israel move from tribe to tribe; for the children of Israel shall all keep the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. 8 Every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may each possess the inheritance of his fathers. 9 So shall no inheritance move from one tribe to another tribe; for the tribes of the children of Israel shall each keep his own inheritance.’”
10 The daughters of Zelophehad did as Hashem commanded Moses: 11 for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to their father’s brothers’ sons. 12 They were married into the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph. Their inheritance remained in the tribe of the family of their father.
13 These are the commandments and the ordinances which Hashem commanded by Moses to the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.
Hashem is not happy when we turn against Him. Verse 66:4 “Also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears on them; because when I called, no one answered; when I spoke, they didn’t listen; but they did that which was evil in my eyes, and chose that in which I didn’t delight.” Imagine -- no one answered, no one listened. We can not be too condemning about this because I know there are times when we don’t listen to Hashem. Right? That has got to stop! We must listen and obey. As we do daily Torah readings we need to pay attention to what He is teaching us through His word and follow through with obedience. We do not want to be making choices in life in which He doesn’t “delight”. We want to delight Him with our prayers, worship and obedience. Amen.
In the end every knee will bow towards Hashem. In verse 23 we read, “It shall happen that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh will come to worship before Me,” says Hashem.” There won’t be any “choice” when this happens. We will ALL be worshiping the Creator. And interestingly enough, we will do it on the Rosh Chodesh and the Shabbat. Just like Torah commands. Torah is eternal. My challenge to you is to study it daily, learn and live it. It is life to you. It seeds in you His eternal life.
Haftarah: Isaiah 66:1-24
66:1 Hashem says,
“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build to Me?
Where will I rest?
2 For my hand has made all these things,
and so all these things came to be,” says Hashem:
“but I will look to this man,
even to he who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and who trembles at My word.
3 He who kills an ox is as he who kills a man;
he who sacrifices a lamb, as he who breaks a dog’s neck;
he who offers an offering, as he who offers pig’s blood;
he who burns frankincense, as he who blesses an idol.
Yes, they have chosen their own ways,
and their soul delights in their abominations:
4 I also will choose their delusions,
and will bring their fears on them;
because when I called, no one answered;
when I spoke, they didn’t listen;
but they did that which was evil in my eyes,
and chose that in which I didn’t delight.”
5 Hear Hashem’s word,
you who tremble at His word:
“Your brothers who hate you,
who cast you out for my name’s sake, have said,
‘Let Hashem be glorified,
that we may see your joy;’
but it is those who shall be disappointed.
6 A voice of tumult from the city,
a voice from the temple,
a voice of Hashem that repays his enemies what they deserve.
7 “Before she travailed, she gave birth.
Before her pain came, she delivered a son.
8 Who has heard of such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
Shall a nation be born at once?
For as soon as Zion travailed,
she gave birth to her children.
9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to be delivered?” says Hashem.
“Shall I who cause to give birth shut the womb?” says your G-d.
10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her.
Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn over her;
11 that you may nurse and be satisfied at the comforting breasts;
that you may drink deeply,
and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”
12 For Hashem says, “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you will nurse.
You will be carried on her side,
and will be dandled on her knees.
13 As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you.
You will be comforted in Jerusalem.”
14 You will see it, and your heart shall rejoice,
and your bones will flourish like the tender grass.
Hashem’s hand will be known among his servants;
and he will have indignation against his enemies.
15 For, behold, Hashem will come with fire,
and His chariots will be like the whirlwind;
to render His anger with fierceness,
and His rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For Hashem will execute judgment by fire and by his sword on all flesh;
and those slain by Hashem will be many.
17 “Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves to go to the gardens, behind one in the middle, eating pig’s meat, abominable things, and the mouse, they shall come to an end together,” says Hashem.
18 “For I know their works and their thoughts. The time comes that I will gather all nations and languages, and they will come, and will see My glory.
19 “I will set a sign among them, and I will send those who escape of them to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to far-away islands, who have not heard My fame, nor have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the nations. 20 They shall bring all your brothers out of all the nations for an offering to Hashem, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules, and on camels, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says Hashem, as the children of Israel bring their offering in a clean vessel into Hashem’s house. 21 Of them I will also select priests and Levites,” says Hashem.
22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me,” says Hashem, “so your offspring and your name shall remain. 23 It shall happen that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh will come to worship before Me,” says Hashem. 24 “They will go out, and look at the dead bodies of the men who have transgressed against Me; for their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”
Apostolic Scripture Reading
If we don’t repent we don’t live. In Luke 13:5 we read, “... unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way.” In other words, there is no one special when it comes to sin. If we sin, we repent and make things right. If we don’t, we will perish. What a blessing that our Elohim is so forgiving. He gives us second chances. He loves us and we love Him. Amen.
In Mark 11:22-23 Yeshua says the most remarkable thing, “Have faith in Elohim. For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says.” Faith requires two things. Asking (action) and believing. It’s sometimes not easy to have this, particularly if the situation is very serious. That’s when it’s good to have someone you trust with you when you ask (pray) to Hashem for help. And no matter how difficult the situation is, if you have faith He will answer you and help. Try it.
13:1 Now there were some present at the same time who told him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Yeshua answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way. 4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them; do you think that they were worse offenders than all the men who dwell in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way.”
6 He spoke this parable. “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none. 7 He said to the vine dresser, ‘Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down. Why does it waste the soil?’ 8 He answered, ‘Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit, fine; but if not, after that, you can cut it down.’”
11:12 The next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 Seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came to see if perhaps He might find anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 Yeshua told it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” and His disciples heard it.
15 They came to Jerusalem, and Yeshua entered into the temple, and began to throw out those who sold and those who bought in the Temple, and overthrew the money changers’ tables, and the seats of those who sold the doves. 16 He would not allow anyone to carry a container through the Temple. 17 He taught, saying to them, “Isn’t it written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations? But you have made it a den of robbers!”
18 The chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy Him. For they feared Him, because all the multitude was astonished at His teaching.
19 When evening came, He went out of the city. 20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots. 21 Peter, remembering, said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered away.”
22 Yeshua answered them, “Have faith in Elohim. 23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says.