The Torah Among Us
For Parashat Chukat
By Messianic Torah 7-2-2011
Chukat (Num 19:1-22:1 Haftarah Jdg 11:1-33) is the 6th parashat of the book of Bamidbar also called Numbers, and is called Chukat which means ‘Statute’. In this week’s parashat:
– The law of the red heifer sacrifice is given
– The laws of purification for touching a dead body are given
– A clean person shall sprinkle the one defiled with the water of separation on the 3rd and 7th day
– Miryam dies in Kadesh
– The people complain about not having water
– YHWH commands Moshe to take the rod and speak to the rock and it shall bring forth water
– Moshe told the people they were rebels and smote the rock twice and water came forth
– YHWH told Moshe and Aharon because they didn’t believe Him they would not bring the people into the land
– Moshe asks Edom if Yisra’el can pass through their land but Edom refused
– YHWH told Aharon he shall die on Mt. Hor for rebelling and El’azar his son shall replace him
– King Arad the Kena’ani fought against Yisra’el
– Yisra’el vowed to destroy them and YHWH delivered them into their hand
– The people murmmered against the food, water, and the manna
– YHWH sent fiery serpents among them and many died
– YHWH commanded Moshe to make the nahushtan
– The journeys of the children of Yisra’el
– Yisra’el went to Be’er and sang a song by the well
– Yisra’el asked to pass through the land of the Amori but they refused
– Sichon fought with Yisra’el and was destroyed
– Og King of Bashan came against Yisra’el and was destroyed
– Haftarah – Yiftach fights the King of Ammon who wants to take back the land of the Ammoni
In this week’s parashat we talk about how the Torah is among Yisra’el and what place the Torah has in Judaism, Messianic, and Christian Faiths. What is the importance of individual study and direct connections to the Torah. We also look at the traps and pitfalls of those who seek to be grounded in Torah.
We start off this week with the concept of the red heifer. What the red heifer does in mechanics is it sits between the living and the dead. It stand between being clean and unclean. It is a model of the Torah which sits between us being clean and unclean. The Torah is the mediator between us and Elohim (God) for touching death by way of sin. The red heifer is a model of Mashiach. What is unique about the red heifer and touching a dead body is that unlike most of the other ways you can be made unclean, when you touch a dead body you don’t become clean after a set period of time. This uncleaness stays with you. The scriptures say that if you don’t get sprinkled with the waters of purification you will not be clean. This fits the pattern of the Torah in my opinion. So many people think they are going to get a high five from Mashiach (Messiah/Christ) or God when He returns or judgement comes. They think they can find a way to redemption without righteousness and without obeying the Torah. I simply disagree and would ask for an example. I can give multiple examples of salvation and reward for obediance. It is the Torah that stands between life and death. Some may say Mashiach does, but they forget the scriptures say he is the word. He also called himself the light and Proverbs 6:23 says the law is light. They are one in the same. Mashiach was the living law or living Torah. He is the door to go from death to life.
Many people have the delusion they are already clean, they are good with God. They think religion is about something you join or are a part of. Being a part of Yisra’el and even having YHWH among you was not a pass for lawlessness. Disobediance in the face of YHWH would bring sudden judgement and death. Most people think they are doing great and they need to spread “the good word” with others who aren’t doing as good as them (which is pretty much everyone in their mind). This reminds me of the verse in Jer 2:22:
Jer 2:22 For though you wash you with nitre, and take you much soap, yet your lawlessness is marked before me, saith YHWH Elohim (the Lord GOD).
When we look at this whole section it paints a perfect picture of most religious people now. This whole section talks about those who are in Yisra’el and think they are clean and good before YHWH even though they aren’t. This is the problem we have today. Let’s go verse by verse:
Jer 2:19 Your own wickedness shall correct you, and your backslidings shall reprove you: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that you have forsaken YHWH your Elohim, and that my fear is not in you, saith YHWH Tsebaoth (GOD of hosts).
People have forsaken YHWH by forsaking His Torah. Whether it is a Jew who honors rabbinic writings more that Torah or rabbinic traditions that justify actual Torah violation, or it may be Christians who reject Torah (The Bible of Jesus and all his followers) outright. Finally, you have the Messianics who say they have Torah and Mashiach and yet somehow still, when really asked, don’t think you can or have to keep all of the Torah. The Torah is light as Proverbs 6:23 says. You either have light or not, darkness is the absence of light. For this reason it says if you break the least of these commandments you are guilty of all.
Jer 2:20 For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.
Yes, people say they are children of Elohim, yet they sin and justify their actions before His face by talking about His love.
Jer 2:21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?
What He gave them (the Torah) was good seed. How did it grow into this strange vine. This really exemplifies what happens to people who become religious. One way or another they join to follow God and get a Bible but then what happens to them? How can all these trange vines grow from the same book. They claim they are all followers of God yet they are strange because they are observing each their own interpretation of God instead of studying to find the truth. Along the way we altar our judgement for little reasons and personal gains. We want to believe or have been trained to believe a certain way and that impacts how we interpret what we are reading. It takes effort to strip away this bias going in with no expectations. Even if you do this, you will find that you could always be wrong and/or biased. This humility is the sign of someone who can receive truth. Knowing you are flawed and so is everyone who studies helps you put your own conclusions and everyone else’s in context. We are not likely dealing with absolute truth, we are dealing with our very flawed understanding our whole lives. The sooner you understand this, the better off you will be and the more you will be sensitive to truth and the lies that surround it on all sides.
Jer 2:22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.
The problem is lawlessness, it isn’t an issue of heritige or being chosen, or even that you have the Torah or Elohim among you, it is an issue of obediance.
Jer 2:23 How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;
Jer 2:24 A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her.
Here we see that like a donkey in heat people spread their doctrines and collect the doctrines of others.
Jer 2:25 Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.
Jer 2:26 As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets,
Jer 2:27 Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.
What is interesting here is the leaders shall be ashamed. They have created an idol in the way they chose to worship Elohim and in the way they have formed their beleifs. The form of worship they created becomes the truth and the true God but it is an idol formed from the imagination of their hearts. It is interesting the last part which alludes to Mashiach when it says arise, and save us. This paints the picture of the resurrected Messiah that they have formed for themselves.
Jer 2:28 But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.
I think this applies to the get out of Hell free theology that is running around. It teaches salvation is greater than obedience, but in the time of judgment I don’t hink it is going to save anyone.
Jer 2:29 Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD.
Jer 2:30 In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.
Here we can see the Torah which is for correction was not received. The word of Elohim is a sword but people have chosen their own sword and slayed the prophets with it. This is profound in painting the picture of people slaying the prophets with their own interpretation of what the word of Elohim is.
Jer 2:31 O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee?
Jer 2:32 Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.