Monday, January 21, 2013

The Birth of a Nation

Last weeks Torah study was all about Israel leaving Egypt after the first Passover.  Our focus was on Exodus 12 with special focus on verses 43-50 as they are not in chronological order but instead have thematic significance.  The theme in these verses is about circumcision and the Passover...basically you can not eat of it unless you have been circumcised.  This section of scripture is what is called a parsha, in this case verses 43-50 are a parsha stumah, which is a minor. The parsha before this one is verses 37-42 (parsha p'tuchah) and the one directly after is verse 51 (parsha p'tuchah).  These two sections speak of Israel leaving Egypt 'to the day'.

(Page 3 of the study will tell you the difference between the two parsha types, you can find the study Bo here:  Restoration of Torah - Torah Study)

430 years 'to the day' of what?  We know that the covenant was made with Abraham and part of that had to do with circumcision.  So we can go back to Genesis 15 and find that: Abram is promised a son, Abram is imputed righteousness because of his faith, Yahweh makes the covenant with Abram, and tells Abram his descendants will be enslaved in a foreign land for 400 years.  In Genensis 15:17 it uses the same words...'on the same day'...

If we look at a genealogical timetable we can see that the period of exile begins on the same day Issac was born and would end on that same day.

Going back to the main theme of the Exodus 43-50 parsha and reading forward to Genesis 17 about Yahweh and Abram's covenant, circumcision instituted as a sign of the covenant, the promise of Isaac and Abram fulfilling circumcision of everyone who was with him.  The two passages both deal with those who are not blood born Hebrews.  

Yahweh was now going to fulfill his promise to Abraham by delivering them from Egyptian bondage, their side of the covenant was for Israel and all who joined them to be circumcised and then follow the directions of the Passover sacrifice to save life.

Life in Hebrew is chayim, the first letter is chet and looks like this: 

Looks somewhat like a door:

This letter is often used as an abbreviation for the word life.  Pretty cool huh?

It get's better actually.  This is the birth of the nation of Israel!  Israel went into Egypt as a family and is coming out of Egypt as a nation.  You see, they went into their homes as slaves to remain inside while all over Egypt there was screaming and crying as all the firstborn died, then they all came out of those blood-stained doorways similar to a child born from the womb, as a free nation!  (See Ezekiel 16:1-6)

The Torah clearly teaches about  the 'new birth' or 'born again' experience, think about Yeshua's conversation with Nicodemus...interesting....

Why is this all important to know?

The Torah is a picture of what is to come, in this case the first Passover is a picture of a future Passover.  Examination of lamb from the 10-14th making sure it is 'without blemish', 1 Peter 1:18-19 and John the Baptist being a Levite, the priest declares a lamb fit for sacrifice...'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  The blood of the lamb and the blood of Messiah give life from death.   No bones were to be broken in the lamb is a prophecy that no bones would be broken in Messiah.  The Passover sacrifice redeemed Israel just as Yeshua the Messiah's sacrifice redeems us!  The Passover sacrifice was the price of redemption which paid for their salvation (firstborn life) and deliverance from Egyptian bondage.  Yeshua the Messiah's sacrifice also is the price of redemption which pays for our salvation (life) and deliverance from the bondage of sin if we put our faith in the blood of the Lamb.  The Passover is pre-Torah...simply put, you cannot be saved by keeping Torah.  Keeping Torah comes after we are saved because we want to show love to the one who saved us!

There is SO much in this study...

One more thing I will share just to make the connection back to the passage about circumcision.  True circumcision is of the heart Romans 2:29, Abraham was circumcised outwardly but also of the heart, Romans 4:11 tells us that this was a sign of his righteousness he obtained by faith.  Do we also have this seal of righteousness?  Ephesians 1:13 tells us that the Ruach Ha'Kodesh (Holy Spirit) is our seal of righteousness through being born again!

This is just some of the study, there is so much more and my ramblings could even be a bit hard to follow.  If you would like to know more I encourage you to go to the above link, under Shemot (Exodus) click on the download of Bo.  I love learning how to tie all of scripture together, it is making a solid foundation out of rubble.  It is showing how important ALL of scripture is.  Without the front of the Book we can NOT understand what the back of the Book really means as it is not the scripture 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is talking about, it wasn't considered scripture yet.  So, "Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth".  2 Timothy 2:15


Monday, January 14, 2013

The Names of Our God and Why it Matters

It is amazing how much is buried in translation.  For instance, the true names of God...translated as God, Lord, Lord God, God Almighty or Lord our God for instance.  The real names are SO important to understanding everything!  In Exodus 6:2-4 it says this:

 And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them.  I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. (NKJV)

In the Complete Jewish Bible it translates Lord as Adonai, which isn't correct either as it is still disguising the name of YHWH, which is important.

God is Elohim
Lord is YHWH, (Yahweh)

So what this verse is saying is essentially, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew me as Elohim but did not know me as YHWH as I will make myself known to you.

However, we see when we go back into Genesis that God does make himself known by both names.

In Genesis 1-2:3 the name used is Elohim, it is associated with him being the Creator and the relationship to all he created to be fruitful and multiply and walking with Adam in the garden in the covenant with each other.

In Genesis 2:4-3:24 his name changes to YHWH (you can even see this in the translations, it goes from God to Lord God thus becoming a different name, which is lost to us if we just read it).  This name is associated with the garden (land) and what happens there, the curse and the blessing after they must leave the garden including the fact that He would judge those who sin.

In Genesis 15:1-20 we see the name YHWH being used again in this passage as regards to the covenant made which has to do with the land (vs. 8-19) and there is a connection with their eventual enslavement and deliverance from Egypt. 

In Genesis 17:1-14 the name is again Elohim in regards to the multiplying of Abraham's offspring and the relationship that exists between Abraham and Elohim and how there is again another covenant made as at the beginning.

So, we are at the place where God makes himself known as YHWH miraculously bringing them out of the land of Egypt and its bondage.  This is what he is referring to in Exodus 6:2-4,   how he will make himself known to them now as their Redeemer.

We find out that Pharaoh is very, very stubborn and does not let them leave and so, Egypt goes through a time of judgement, the 10 plagues.  Through this YHWH shows the Egyptians that He is the only true God (Elohim), he judges them by their gods, including Pharaoh.  Here is what Exodus 6:6-8 says will happen and how it lays out the remainder of the Torah in a sort of outline.

Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.  I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.  And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.’”  (NKJV)

Remember Lord here is the name of YHWH. 

1. I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (Exodus 7:14-13:16)
2. I will rescue you from their bondage.  (Exodus 13:17-14:14)
3. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. (Exodus 14:15-18:27)
4. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. (Exodus 19:1-Leviticus)
5. I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage.  (Numbers-Deuteronomy)  

Four of these "I will's" correspond to the Passover Seder as the four cups as follows:

1. Cup of Sanctification ( I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. Exodus 7:14-13:16)
2. Cup of Plagues/Wrath ( I will rescue you from their bondage. Exodus 13:17-14:14)
3. Cup of Redemption (I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Exodus 14:15-18:27)
4. Cup of Praise (I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Exodus 19:1-Leviticus)

All four cups speak of the work of the Messiah.  The letters that make up the name YHWH have this meaning:

1. The letter yod (Y) comes originally from the picture of a hand.
2. The letter hey (H) comes from the picture of a window.
3. The letter vav (W) comes from the picture of a nail or hook.

Thus it would be through the hand of YHWH (God), pierced by a nail that salvation and deliverance would come to His people!  The name YHWH teaches us about the work of the Messiah.  Without this, we miss way too much.  

If you want to know more, please visit these sites:

Restoration of Torah - This is the study we are using right now, there is also a children's version for each lesson.  (The study above comes from Va'eira under the Exodus tab)

Test Everything - 119 Ministries - Really appreciate this site, very good teachings.  

May YHWH bless you and keep you!  

~Have Courage

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Moses' Life from Death

As a family and with friends we have been studying the God's Word, the Torah (first 5 books in our Bibles)  thematically.  The study we are using helps us see how important everything that was written is and why it was written the way it was.  It really isn't just a hodge-podge of information, but a well thought out, very directed writing of events and instructions for us to follow.  If you are interested in studying God's word this way, here is the link:  Restoration of Torah - Thematic Studies

We just started on Exodus this last week, focusing on chapter 2 we learned many things about Moses and how this part of his story is thematically related to Noah, Joseph, Jeremiah, Hadad the Edomite, Jacob and to Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. 

Moses was suppose to be thrown into the river, his parents hid him for three months then placed him in a basket (an ark) that was pitched within and without.  Like Noah, he was saved from the judgement of death, through water in an ark that was pitched.  The reasons for the details are so we can see a connection.  Here is why:

With Noah, we see a judgement on mankind. 
With Moses we see a judgement on Egypt.

With Noah we see how the righteous was saved through that judgement.
With Moses we see how the righteous are saved through the judgement on Egypt.

God establishes a covenant with Moses.
God establishes a covenant with Israel.

Moses is to inhabit the new earth with the hope that people will then follow God's instructions.
Israel is to inhabit the new land in hopes that people will then follow God's instructions through their example.

Moses grows up, becomes, more than likely, a co-regent in Egypt, and tries to stand up for what is right by standing up for the oppressed which backfires.  His timing is off.  He knows he has a purpose, tries to make it happen and has to flee for his life.  He stands for the oppressed three times:

1. He ends up killing an Egyptian taskmaster
2. He breaks up a fight between two Hebrews, his brothers so to speak.
3. He defends Jethro/Rehuel's 7 daughters from the other shepherds and waters their flock.

This all teaches us about Moses' character and how he hated injustice, and wasn't afraid to stand up for the weaker person(s). 

The next connection is how he meets his wife, at a well.  Abraham's servant meets Issac's wife at a well, Jacob meets Rachael at a well and now Moses meets Zipporrah at a well.  There is also a tie to kindness, Rebeckah waters all the camels, Jacob removed the cover off the well and then waters all the flock and Moses waters the flock after defending the 7 daughters.  Interestingly there are three instances in the Torah and the forth is Yeshua meeting the woman at the well...what is the connection?

As a leader we learn that Moses has to go through a period of persecution/tribulation similar in some regards to Joseph.  Thus showing us that Moses will be used to secure life for Israel in a way similar to that of Joseph.

1. He has a conflict with one of his 'brothers'.
2. Is then rejected in a similar fashion..."who made you judge and ruler over us?"
3. Moses flees or is exiled from his brethren.
4. Moses marries the daughter of a priest from a foreign land.
5. Moses goes to see how his brothers are doing.
6. Moses is reunited with his brethren who now accept his leadership.

How is this important to know?  Here are just a few reasons:

1. Moses leads Israel out of Egyptian bondage of slavery/ Yeshua leads us out of the bondage of sin.
2. Moses was tested/trained in the wilderness for 40 years/ Israel was tested and purified in the wilderness for 40 years/ Yeshua was tested in the wilderness for 40 days.
3. Moses was given signs/miracles so Irael would believe that (YHWH) sent him/ Yeshua said they should believe because of the signs/miracles He did.
4. Moses was given power over leprosy/ Yeshua had power over leprosy, which was known to be the sign of the Messiah.

In 1 Kings 11:14-22 we find Hadad's story and the connections we can make to Moses, Joseph and Yeshua:

1. Hadad, Moses and Yeshua all male children are killed.
2. Hadad, Joseph and Yeshua, all destined to be leaders had to flee to Egypt, Moses had to flee from Egypt.
3. Hadad and Moses were raised in Pharoah's court.
4. Hadad and Joseph were given wives from royalty in Pharoah's court.
5. Hadad and Joseph found favor with Pharoah.
6. Hadad, Moses and Yeshua all returned to their people/homeland after the death of their enemies.

In 1 Kings 11:39-40 we find the same type of story with someone destined to be a leader/ruler fleeing to Egypt to spare their life.  It appears the lesson we are to learn here is to be a true leader, you must experience persecution/tribulation. Even David goes through this type of persecution/tribulation/exile from his people.  We are all called to be leaders (kings and priests), in God's kingdom, why should we expect anything less than this? 

The Haftarah is the name given to the special readings from the Writings and the Prophets read alongside the Torah portions.  For example, the Haftarah reading for last week was Jeremiah 1:1-2:3.  The connections to the Torah portion is as follows:

1. The calling of both Moses and Jeremiah to be a prophet to the people.
2. Moses and Jeremiah are both reluctant, feeling inadequate.
3. YHWH God puts His words in Jeremiah and Moses' mouth.
4. An allusion is made back to the Exodus calling Israel the first born, judgement will come against those who harm Israel.

So, why is all this important to know?  Because Yeshua states that Moses wrote of Him!  When Yeshua is talking to the two on the road to Emmaus he tells them of Him from the beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, so it is important to understand what Moses wrote and why or we miss it all and come up with our own doctrines based on what we 'think' Yeshua said and not on what He REALLY did say.  This is why there is so many denominations/divisions among us, we do not know or understand the WORD made flesh who dwelt among us teaching us ALL things that were written.  You see, at the time of Yeshua, there were many divisions, based on the oral traditions.  Any oral tradition that went against the WORD of YHWH God Yeshua denounced.  He did not come to do away with the Torah (instructions of God) he came to fulfill...not one jot or tittle will pass away until He returns.  Has He returned?  Then we should be following His instructions....right?  What are His instructions?  Most would say, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and strength and your neighbor as yourself" leaving out the rest of the context which says, all the commandments (instructions, Torah) HANG on these two...that does not mean that is it, but ALL the rest can be hung from, these two summations. 

So, what do we learn of the future Messiah in Exodus 1-6:1?

In Genesis we learn that anytime we see:

1. Pictures of resurrection,
2. Pictures of renewed life as a result of deliverance from impending death
3. Pictures of victory and life as a result of death

the Torah is trying to teach us about the Messiah.

Examples are:

1. The first living things were created on day THREE.
2.Torah's picture of resurrection of the Messiah is found in the Holy Days of YHWH God.  Specifically, Day THREE of the Omer (First Fruits), Omer Wave Offering.
3. Jonah, should have died, but was delivered from the belly of the great fish on day THREE. 
4. The binding of Issac (akeida), where Issac was being offered as an Olah (whole burnt offering) on day THREE, hints that Issac died and was resurrected from death figuratively.  See Hebrews 11:17-19

So, in Exodus chapter 2 we find that Moses was suppose to die based on the Pharoah's decree that all male babies were to be thrown in the river, thus being killed.  In Matthew chapter 2 we find that King Herod put out a similar decree to kill all the male children 2 years and under to prevent Yeshua from living.  His life was spared as well, of course!

Moses' parents hid him for THREE months. Then, she 'obeyed' the decree by putting him in the river.
He was drawn out of the water by Pharoah's daughter, thus cancelling Pharoah's decree and giving him LIFE.  This is a picture of life from death!  Resurrection!

Joseph and Moses are thematically linked and therefore we can begin to see how knowing this changes how we study scripture.   Joseph has a strong Messianic connection and therefore as a connection with Moses is visible we shall see how Moses and the Messiah are linked, I encourage you to go back and study the last 2 studies in Genesis on Joseph from the above link, it is a powerful story.

Moses is a shadow of the Messiah:  Moses was set apart from the Hebrew slavery, he was raised as royalty and then had to become common, like his brethren, to lead them out of slavery and bondage to sin.  Yeshua is royalty being YHWH God's only begotten son, became a common man, to lead us out of the bondage of sin and death.    As Moses did not participate in the slavery of Egypt, so Yeshua did not participate in our sin nature, being perfect (keeping God's instructions).  Moses stepped down from his position in Egypt to identify with his brethren, as Yeshua.  See Philipians 2.

Moses' very life is a picture of the Messiah!  There will be more connections as the story unfolds in the next few weeks, I can't wait, this is exciting!!!

~Have a blessed week!