Behar – Bechukotai
Torah – Leviticus 25:1-27:34 Haftarah – Jeremiah 32:6-27; Jeremiah 16”19-17:14 Brit Chadashah – Luke 4:16-21; Matthew 21:33-446
Once again, our studies have us looking at a double portion. Behar (in the Mountain) referring, of course, to Mt. Sinai, and Bechukotai (in My Statutes.).
It may seem at first glance a strange departure from the instructions concerning the Priesthood to now jump back to the Revelation of G-d’s Torah at that Holy site. You might ask yourself why the repetition of the Mitzvah (instructions) concerning the Sabbatical cycle of days, weeks years and the jubilee?
Keep in mind the Divine inspiration of our Biblical text. Every thought, concept, instruction, order and even every letter and spacing is also Divinely inspired. Everything is rich with meaning on many levels
The timing is especially important for us to look at this week as we are in the midst of counting the Omer. At the time of writing this, we are on day 40 and this will most likely be published on day 41 with just over a week left until Shavuot ( Pentecost.) There is a lot going on and I only want to take a moment to point you in the right direction so you can pursue even deeper meaning as you study on your own the above listed Scriptures.
For a point of reference, let’s take a look at what this week’s parashot (portions) are referring.
Leviticus 23:15-16, “You shall count from the next day after the Shabbat, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Shabbatot shall be completed: 16 even to the next day after the seventh Shabbat you shall number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering to the L-RD.” (HNV)
Pesach ( Passover) and Shavuot (Pentecost.)
Leviticus 25:8-11, “You shall number seven Shabbatot of years to you, seven times seven years; and there shall be to you the days of seven Shabbatot of years, even forty-nine years. 9 Then shall you send abroad the loud shofar on the tenth day of the seventh month; in Yom Kippur shall you send abroad the shofar throughout all your land. 10 You shall make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants of it: it shall be a jubilee to you; and you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall return every man to his family. 11 A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you: you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather [the grapes] in it of the undressed vines.”
Here at the outset of of this week’s parasha Behar, we are being reminded to keep the cycle of years. Seven year cycles. The pattern of seven repeats over and over. From the beginning, we are taught of the pattern of seven days. Six days we work and rest on the seventh. We have a cycle of days in this case. We are in the midst of counting a cycle of weeks. We count seven weeks which lead to a most Holy Shabbat. This pattern continues throughout creation. Six thousand year cycle of human history leading to the thousand year, or Millennial reign of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus.)
Finally, this week let’s take a brief look at a concept that may seem quite strange to you if you are not part of a Messianic Congregation, or if you have not been part of one very long. The modern Christian “church” is in love with the concepts associated with the prosperity gospel. Much of it is a self-centered gospel based upon discovering keys that unlock our best life now. They want to learn secrets that amount to nothing more than relegating G-d to little more than a genie in a bottle that is there for OUR pleasure, to bless us according to our will with nearly no regard for what His true will is.
Much of what they preach is tied to the idea that we are His children and all is tied to the free gift that comes with the salvation package prize! While it is indeed true that our salvation is a free gift, not of works lest any man should boast, that does not carry over into anything beyond our salvation itself.
The question post salvation is what now? The Word of G-d is full to the brim of “what now” from Genesis to Revelation we are told over and over in many ways what He expects of His children. Prior to salvation, we are NOT His. So the works that follow salvation are the what next. They come after and not tied to salvation as again, it is indeed a free gift. So if you’ve ever struggled with the question “what now” then keep reading!
In my humble opinion, the next step is all about pleasing G-d and building His Kingdom here on the earth, which of course simultaneously expands, magnifies and glorifies His eternal Kingdom.
What of those blessings that the church is so keen on? Many blessings are intended for Heaven. But, there are also plenty of blessings that are available for us in this life. We can expect to be blessed…”IF” you qualify! What kind of statement is this? This is the piece of the puzzle those flashy TV preachers are not telling you. While G-d’s love is unconditional, His blessings are absolutely CONDITIONAL!
Leviticus 25:3-13, “Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in the fruits of it; 4 but in the seventh year shall be a Shabbat of solemn rest for the land, a Shabbat to the L-RD: you shall neither sow your field, nor prune your vineyard. 5 That which grows of itself of your harvest you shall not reap, and the grapes of your undressed vine you shall not gather: it shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. 6 The Shabbat of the land shall be for food for you; for you, and for your servant and for your maid, and for your hired servant and for your stranger, who lives as a foreigner with you. 7 For your cattle, and for the animals that are in your land, shall all the increase of it be for food. 8 You shall number seven Shabbatot of years to you, seven times seven years; and there shall be to you the days of seven Shabbatot of years, even forty-nine years. 9 Then shall you send abroad the loud shofar on the tenth day of the seventh month; in Yom Kippur shall you send abroad the shofar throughout all your land. 10 You shall make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants of it: it shall be a jubilee to you; and you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall return every man to his family. 11 A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you: you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather [the grapes] in it of the undressed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you: you shall eat the increase of it out of the field. 13 In this year of jubilee you shall return every man to his possession.”
This is by no means the only place where If/then statements or conditional promises are mentioned. They are all throughout the Word. Always they are tied to (the key if you will) keeping His ‘Mitzvah or commands!!! The blessings…or the part AFTER the word THEN come ONLY after we have honored and kept his instructions, they are inseparable.
So you want to be blessed? I will save you thousands of dollars and give you the secret right here, right now for FREE. Honor G-d by honoring His Word, His Holy Torah all of His Commands. Learn them, apply them, do your utmost best to keep them as best you can. Seek first to Bless the Father by loving and honoring His Holy instructions to us. When we do these things because we love Him, not out of some sort of obligation then you will see those promises begin to manifest in your life. Not just the far off eternal ones, but yes, even some of those blessings we all would love to see in this life as well. Set your priorities according to His priorities. Do it for the right reasons. Salvation is Free. Blessing has a price. The price is obedience to His Word. Shalom!