- Torah – Exodus 18:1-20:26
- Haftarah – Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-7
- Brit Hadashah – Matthew 5:21-30; 15:1-11; 19:16-30; Mark 7:5-15; 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30; Acts 6:1-7; Romans 2:17-29; 7:7-12; 13:8-10; Ephesians 6:1-3; 1 Timothy 3:1-14; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 12:18-29; James 2:8-13; 1 Peter 2:9-10
It has only been roughly seven weeks since Israel had fled Egypt. Up to this point they have witnessed plagues of blood, frogs, lice, flies, illness, boils, hail, locust, extreme darkness, and even the death of the first born of Egypt. After being thrust out, they were guided by a cloud by day and fire by night. They witnessed waters that are normally ninety some feet deep pushed back before them forming walls on either side so they could cross on dry ground. If that wasn’t enough, Yah commanded Moses to bring forth water from a rock so the people could drink and then He covered the land with quail in the evening and manna from heaven in the morning so they could eat. To top it off He delivered the Amalekites, a warring nation into the hands of ragtag exiled slaves who were most likely not outfitted to farm, let alone go to battle. And now they get to witness the presence of the Almighty as He descends upon the top of mount Sinai and begins to give them His Torah.
Apparently that was just too much for them, because they beg Moshe to receive it from YHVH and teach it to them, because they could not bear even the sound of Yah’s voice. To say that the events leading up to his point are amazing would be a horrible understatement.
Stepping back I want us to see that by simply reading through this narrative it is easy to miss some important details. Digging in we can see that the quail and manna were actually provided the same time as the second Pesach, and the Manna was given the following morning which would have coincided with a second observance of the first day of Unleavened Bread.
It always amazes me how precise and calculated Yah is. In this portion we have yet another example of just how precise His timing is.
Exodus 19:1-2 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. (2) For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
Israel left Egypt on the fifteenth day of the first month. And here that narrative specifically mentions that it is the same day of the third month. If you follow the Zadok calendar, that just so happens to land exactly on Shavuot, the fifteenth day of the third month.
As a group we have studied and prayed over the calendar for quite some time, to the point of even casting lots. After reading through this account, I am even more convinced that the direction that we are going is in fact the correct one. Any other reckoning for the start of the Omer count would cause a wild shift in the date of Shavuot. This shift would cause Shavuot to only land on the fifteenth of the third month once every 5-7 years. I firmly believe that this date is recorded for us for a reason.
Historically, Shavuot has been celebrated as the giving of Torah. Those of us with a Messianic belief system also recognize that it was also on Shavuot that the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) was given to the disciples of Yeshua, thus establishing and empowering the Ekklesia of Yah.
It is on this date that the nation of Israel was brought into covenant with YHVH. Torah is often referred to as a marriage agreement, and with their acceptance of the commandments they became the “bride”. This sets in motion the rest of the biblical narrative of how a loving God seeks to restore His wandering bride. And it is through the renewing of this covenant in the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua that we have finally found peace and restoration with YHVH. And I thank Yah that this covenant is no longer written on tables of stone, but now it is written on our hearts.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 “See, the days are coming,” declares YHVH, “when I shall make a renewed covenant with the house of Yisra’el and with the house of Yehudah, not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I strengthened their hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares YHVH. “For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisra’el after those days, declares YHVH. I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.
Below are the links to this weeks Torah portion. Enjoy!