Haftarah: Isaiah 66:1-24
Apostolic Reading: Matthew 26:20-30
Reading #7 - Exodus 23:26–24:18
In verse 26:24 we read “Come up to Hashem.” I am immediately thinking that is what we should do everyday. We should come to Hashem in our prayer, in our worship, in our actions. They were experiencing something that they had never had before. Witnessing the presence and power of Hashem on the mountain. And they were receiving Commandments that would give them LIFE. Hashem’s love for us is just amazing and overwhelming. He takes care of every detail in our life. And when necessary He presents Himself to us. Sometimes in small ways and sometimes big. Through miracles, through people and in everyday life, He makes Himself known to us. If you haven’t been “up to the mountain” lately, I encourage you to do it today!
In the beginning of today’s reading we see how Hashem will confuse the enemy and have them turn their backs on you (verse 23:27). Isn’t that amazing? He knows that daily we can experience spiritual warfare, but if we love Him and serve Him He makes these promises to protect us. If you are in an unusual situation in life, and feel like you are being “attacked” this is a good reading for you today. Know that He goes ahead of you, gets rid of the enemy in your path -- and will make a way for you. A good way. A G-d way. AMEN!
Reading #7 - Exodus 23:26–24:18
23:26 No one will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will fulfill the number of your days. 27 I will send my terror before you, and will confuse all the people to whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 I will send the hornet before you, which will drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before you. 29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate, and the animals of the field multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and inherit the land. 31 I will set your border from the Red Sea even to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. 32 You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me, for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”
24 He said to Moses, “Come up to Hashem, you, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship from a distance. 2 Moses alone shall come near to Hashem, but they shall not come near. The people shall not go up with him.”
3 Moses came and told the people all Hashem’s words, and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words which Hashem has spoken will we do.”
4 Moses wrote all Hashem’s words, then rose up early in the morning and built an altar at the base of the mountain, with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 He sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of cattle to Hashem. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 He took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people, and they said, “We will do all that Hashem has said, and be obedient.”
8 Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Look, this is the blood of the covenant, which Hashem has made with you concerning all these words.”
9 Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. 10 They saw the Elohim of Israel. Under his feet was like a paved work of sapphire stone, like the skies for clearness. 11 He didn’t lay his hand on the nobles of the children of Israel. They saw Hashem, and ate and drank.
12 Hashem said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and stay here, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commands that I have written, that you may teach them.”
13 Moses rose up with Joshua, his servant, and Moses went up onto Elohim’s Mountain. 14 He said to the elders, “Wait here for us, until we come again to you. Behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever is involved in a dispute can go to them.”
15 Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 Hashem’s glory settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. The seventh day He called to Moses out of the middle of the cloud. 17 The appearance of Hashem’s glory was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 Moses entered into the middle of the cloud, and went up on the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Here in Isaiah we read about the desire of Hashem to have a dwelling place here on earth. Verse 1 says, “What kind of house will you build to Me”. I believe throughout Scripture we read that Hashem loves us and wants to be with us. But, maybe He is waiting for us to welcome Him. Think of it. There has not been a holy Temple, a dwelling place, for Hashem in Jerusalem for over 2,000 years. This holy mountain has been occupied by the enemy for all those years. Have we fought to get it back? Have we prayed to get it back? Are we supporting groups in Israel to rebuild the Temple? We should be giving money and prayer to the rebuilding of the Temple. What could be more important? If you are not doing this, please consider doing so.
There is an organization called the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. They have been preparing all the instruments and necessary artifacts for the Temple and the priests. I have visited their Institute many times and it is incredible. But, they need help and prayer to fulfill their mission. Please go to: TEMPLE INSTITUTE and consider supporting them today. That is my HUGE challenge to you.
Haftarah: Isaiah 66:1-24
66 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 Elohim.
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.”
These are simply “my thoughts”. Yeshua is having a last supper with His talmidim (students). He is breaking bread and drinking wine, very common to do at meals, then and now. As He is blessing and breaking the bread He says it is like His body being broken, because He knows He will soon be executed. The wine is like His blood, that He knows will soon be flowing from the stake that He will hang from. He is saying here that His blood will be used to seal the New Covenant. I believe that is the New Covenant of Jeremiah 33:31-33. That is the time that He will return and reign and rule in Jerusalem as Mashiach. How His blood is to be used to seal this Covenant is a mystery, a heavenly mystery. But, He says it will, and I believe it.
Betrayal of friends. What does that look like today? It could be talking about a friend behind their back. It could be not helping a friend when they need you. It could be spreading false lies about him/her. Do you have that in your life? Have you done that? Even at its basic level, that is what gossip does. It is sheer betrayal. Instead of defending or uplifting your friend, you are tearing them down. If you have done this, I suggest you repair it immediately. Repent and give restitution. If we all do this, the world will heal quicker for the Mashiach to return.
Apostolic Reading: Matthew 26:20-30
0 Now when evening had come, He was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 As they were eating, he said, “Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray Me.”
22 They were exceedingly sorrowful, and each began to ask Him, “It isn’t me, is it, Lord?”
23 He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes even as it is written of him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.”
25 Judas, who betrayed him, answered, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?”
He said to him, “You said it.”
26 As they were eating, Yeshua took bread, gave thanks for[a] it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, “All of you drink it,28 for this is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.