Articles Tagged ‘‘Parsha’ of the Week - Emet Ministries’

‘Parsha Terumah’ – Willingly from your heart

Exodus 25:1-8: “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats' hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.””

The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week, ‘Parsha Terumah’ (Gift or Offering), is found in Exodus 25:1 – 27:19 and is the nineteenth weekly ‘Torah’ portion in the annual Jewish cycle of ‘Torah’ reading; the corresponding ‘haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in 1 Kings 5:1 - 6:13.

‘Parsha Terumah’ tells us that at Mount Sinai, the people of Israel experienced an all-consuming revelation of G-d.
They were then instructed to build a ‘Mishkan’ (dwelling) - also called a ‘Mikdash’ (sanctuary), and commonly referred to as “the Tabernacle” - in which G-d would dwell among them as a perpetual presence in the Israelite camp.
G-d instructed Moses to tell all Israelites, whose hearts were willing, to bring gifts as a ‘terumah’ (offering) of gold, silver, copper, coloured yarns, fine linen, goat’s hair, tanned Ram skins, ‘Shittim’ (Acacia) wood, oil, spices, Lapis Lazuli, and other fine stones for the ‘Mishkan’ and its furnishings.

Moses was given detailed instructions by G-d on how to construct this dwelling so that it could be readily dismantled, transported and reassembled as the people journeyed in the desert.
In the Sanctuary’s inner chamber, behind an artistically woven curtain was the Ark containing the Tablets of Testimony engraved with the Ten Commandments. On the Ark’s cover stood two winged cherubim hammered out of pure gold. In the outer chamber stood the seven-branched ‘menorah’ (lamp stand), and the table upon which the showbread was arranged.

The Sanctuary’s three walls were fitted together from forty eight upright wooden boards, each of which was overlaid with gold and were held up by a pair of silver foundation sockets. The roof was formed of three layers of coverings: Tapestries of multi-coloured wool and linen; a covering made of goat hair and a covering of ram skins. Across the front of the Sanctuary was an embroidered screen held up by five posts.
Surrounding the Sanctuary and the copper-plated altar which fronted it was an enclosure of linen hangings supported by sixty wooden posts with silver hooks and trimmings and was reinforced by copper stakes.

‘Haftorah Terumah’ describes the construction of the Holy Temple under the direction of King Solomon, echoing this week's ‘Torah’ portion which discusses the construction of the Tabernacle.
The ‘haftorah’ discusses the manpower - both Jewish and non-Jewish - that Solomon recruited for the building of the Holy Temple. Also discussed are the hewing and transportation of the stone, the laying of the foundation, as well as the dimensions of the Holy Temple, its components and materials.

The ‘haftorah’ ends with G-d’s word to King Solomon: “Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.” (1 Kings 6:12-13)

In this week’s ‘parsha’, we read in Exodus 25:1-2: “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.””

I was struck by this sentence as I was reading the account of the L-rd telling Moses to speak to the children of Israel and to ask them for an offering to build the ‘Mishkan’. We see that the L-rd told Moses to take an offering “from everyone who gives it willingly with his heart”.
The L-rd did not force the people to give an offering; neither did He want an offering from anyone who would not give it ‘willingly with his heart’.
And this has not changed today. The L-rd still gives us the choice to give Him an offering ‘willingly with our heart’.

Even more important than our financial offerings, the offering that G-d wants is us!
G-d wants us to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him, and He wants us to offer our lives as a sacrifice to Him. In other words, our lives must be sold out to Almighty G-d; He wants nothing less.
However, He will never force us; it’s our choice.

Many times I hear people singing a beautiful song whose chorus says: “Your majesty, I can but bow; I lay my all before you now”. When people sing this song in a service that I conduct, I stop the song and tell the congregation not to sing this chorus if they don’t mean it.
You see, singing or saying “I lay my all before you now” means that you have to ‘willingly with your heart’ lay everything down before Almighty G-d.

One way of laying all before the L-rd is by obeying His instruction to call upon His name for salvation – Joel 2:32: “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved”… and the name of the L-rd is Yeshua!

In Matthew 19:17-29, we read the account of the rich young man who asked Yeshua what he should do to have eternal life. Yeshua answered by telling him to keep the commandments: “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honour your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’.”
The young man replied that he had kept these commandments since a young boy. Yeshua then told him: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” However, we read that when the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Yeshua then told his disciples: “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
When Yeshua’s disciples heard this, they asked: “Who then can be saved?” Yeshua answered them, saying: “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.”
You see, that is ‘giving willingly with your heart’.

It's not literally leaving your wife, your children, your house, etc. It's putting the Jewish ‘Mashiach’ (Messiah), Yeshua, before anyone or anything.

There is one more crucial thing that G-d desires from you: To ‘willingly with all your heart’ give your life to His Son, Yeshua – the Jewish Messiah – by making Him your L-rd and Saviour.
It’s in giving your life ‘willingly and with all your heart’ to Yeshua that you will receive the forgiveness of sin and inherit eternal life – and this is for both Jews and Gentiles.

Will you ‘willingly and with all your heart’ give your life to Yeshua, who lovingly and faithfully endured the cross for you and for me, accepting Him as your L-rd and Saviour? This is the only way to salvation, as only through Yeshua can one’s sins be forgiven and one’s soul be atoned for – or saved.
 
To accept G-d’s gift of the forgiveness of sin, salvation and everlasting life in heaven, all you need to do is confess your sins, repent of them and ask Yeshua to come into your life as your Messiah.
And you can do this by praying the Prayer of Salvation found at the end of this article.

As I conclude, are you ‘willingly with all your heart’ prepared to lay everything down for the L-rd; or do your possessions, career and self-gratification come before Him?
Allow me to encourage you; be prepared to, ‘willingly with all your heart’, lay everything down for the L-rd and, by doing that, build up for yourself treasures in heaven.

We love you.

Shalom.

Scriptures of the week: Romans 12:1-2: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."


SALVATION PRAYER

Thank you Yeshua for Your love for me.
Thank you for giving up Your life on the cross for me and for taking my sins upon Yourself.
I confess that I have sinned.
I repent of my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong.
I invite You to come into my life as my Messiah, my Saviour.
By Your grace I will serve You all the remaining years of my life.

Parsha Miketz

G-d’s way is the only way

Genesis 41:15-16: “And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.” So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.””

The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week, ‘Parsha Mikeitz’ (at the end), is found in Genesis 41:1 – 44:17 and is the tenth weekly ‘Torah’ portion in the annual Jewish cycle of ‘Torah’ reading; the corresponding ‘haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in 1 Kings 3:15 – 4:1.

Thirteen years after Joseph's dreams got him sold into slavery, and two years after his interpretation of the chief butler and chief baker's dreams failed to get him out of prison, the saga of Joseph is moved along by another pair of dreams - those dreamt by Pharaoh the king of Egypt.

‘Parsha Mikeitz’ tells us that Pharaoh was troubled by his dreams and he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt and told them his dreams; but none could interpret it. Then the chief butler remembered the young Hebrew slave who so accurately interpreted his and the chief baker's dreams, so Joseph was summoned from the dungeon to the palace.

Pharaoh told Joseph that he had had two dreams that none could interpret and he had heard that Joseph could interpret dreams. Joseph answered Pharaoh that he would not be able to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, but that his G-d would give Pharaoh the interpretation.
Pharaoh then told Joseph his dreams, and Joseph told him that the two dreams were one - a prediction of what G-d was about to do. The seven fat cattle and the seven good ears of corn symbolized seven years of plenty; and the seven lean cattle and the seven empty ears of corn symbolized seven years of famine that would consume the seven years of plenty. The dream was repeated because G-d had determined this and He would shortly bring it to pass.

Joseph then recommended that Pharaoh appoint over Egypt a wise and understanding man to oversee the collection and storage of the surplus food that would be produced in the seven years of plenty for use during the years of famine.
Pharaoh told Joseph that, because G-d had shown him this and that there was none as understanding and wise as Joseph, Joseph would rule over all Egypt and only Pharaoh would be greater than Joseph.

Pharaoh renamed Joseph ‘Zaphenath-paneah’ (Decipherer of Secrets) and gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, the priest of On, to be his wife. She bore him two sons, Menasseh and Ephraim.
Joseph was thirty years old when he oversaw the implementation of his plan, so that when the years of famine commenced and there was hunger in all the lands in the region, in all of Egypt there was bread. All countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain because the famine was so severe in all the earth.

The Land of Canaan was also afflicted by the famine. Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt and he sent his ten sons to Egypt to purchase grain. However, Jacob kept Benjamin behind so that no harm might befall him. Joseph's brothers came to buy grain from Joseph and bowed down to him with their faces to the earth. Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.
Joseph, remembering his dreams, spoke roughly with them and accused them of being spies. But they said that they were not spies, but upright men come to buy food; ten sons of a man who had twelve sons, lost one, and kept one behind. Joseph told them that to prove their story, they would have to send one of them to fetch their brother, and he imprisoned them for three days.

On the third day, Joseph told his brothers that because he feared G-d, he would allow them to prove themselves by letting one of them be bound in prison while the others carried grain to their houses and brought their youngest brother to Egypt.
They said to one another that surely they were guilty concerning their brother, and so now this distress had come upon them. Reuben reminded his brothers that he had told them not to sin against Joseph but they had not listened. They did not realize that Joseph understood them, for he had used an interpreter. Joseph then turned aside and wept.
When Joseph returned, he bound Simeon and commanded that their vessels be filled with grain and that their money be put back into their sacks.

They departed, and on the way back to Canaan, one of the brothers opened his sack and found his money and this greatly alarmed the brothers; especially that when they reached their home, they all found their money in their sacks.
They then told Jacob all that had happened, and Jacob accused them of bereaving him of his children - first Joseph and now Simeon. Jacob told them that he would not allow them to take Benjamin away.
Reuben answered that Jacob could kill his two sons if he failed to bring Benjamin back; but Jacob insisted that Benjamin would not go down with them, for Joseph was dead and only he was left. Jacob told them that if harm befell Benjamin, it would be the death of him.

The famine continued, and Jacob told the brothers to buy more grain. But Judah reminded Jacob that the man had warned them that they would not be able to see him unless Benjamin came with them. Judah then asked Jacob to send Benjamin with him, so that they could go and the family could live. Judah said that he would serve as surety for Benjamin. 
Relenting, Jacob directed them to take a present for the man; double money in case the return of their payment was an oversight. Jacob and his sons then prayed that G-d might show them mercy before the man and that he might release Simeon and Benjamin to them.
The brothers then journeyed to Egypt with Benjamin.

The brothers went to Joseph, and when he saw Benjamin with them, in contrast to their prior experience, a most genial reception awaits them in Egypt. Joseph had left instructions that they be honoured with an invitation to his home for the noonday meal; Simeon was restored to them and they were told by the manager of Joseph's household not to worry about the money they found in their sacks as he reassured them that he had their money and that their G-d had placed the money in their sacks.

When Joseph arrived at the house, they brought their present and bowed down to him. Joseph then asked after their welfare and that of their father.
Joseph saw Benjamin and asked them whether this was their youngest brother of whom they had spoken; he then prayed that G-d would be gracious to Benjamin. Joseph left hastily for his chamber and wept, washed his face, returned, and called for the servants to serve the meal.
Joseph sat by himself and the brothers sat by themselves according to their age – and they marveled at this. Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of his brothers’.

Joseph directed the steward to fill the men's sacks with as much food as they could carry, put every man's money in his sack and put Joseph’s silver goblet in Benjamin’s sack.
At dawn, the brothers were sent away; but when they had not yet gone far from the city, Joseph directed his steward to overtake them and ask them why they had rewarded evil for good and taken Joseph’s silver goblet. They then said that the one with whom the goblet was found would die, and the brothers would become slaves.
The steward agreed, but said that the one with whom it was found would be a slave and the others would go free.
Hastily, every man opened his sack - starting with the eldest, and they found the goblet in Benjamin's sack. The brothers tore their clothes, loaded their donkeys, and returned to the city.
Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house and fell before him on the ground and Joseph confronted them with their deed. Judah said that they would all be  Joseph’s slaves, but Joseph insisted that only the man in whose sack the goblet was found would be his slave, and the others could go in peace to their father.

‘Parsha Mekeitz’ concludes with this test of the brothers' loyalty.

’Haftorah Mikeitz’, found in 1 Kings 3:15 – 4:1, opens with the words “And Solomon awoke, and behold it was a dream” echoing this week's Torah portion which opens with Pharaoh's dreams.
Though not included in the ‘haftorah’, in this dream G-d granted King Solomon his legendary wisdom.

The ‘haftorah’ relates a famous episode that made all of Israel aware of their new monarch's keen intellect.
Two harlots approached King Solomon to adjudicate their dispute. They lived together in the same house, and each had given birth to an infant. One night, one of the infants was accidentally crushed to death by her mother, and one woman accused the other of switching infants in order to have a live baby. Each woman claimed that the live child was theirs and the deceased child was the others.
King Solomon asked that a sword be brought and ordered that the child be cut in half with each woman receiving one half. At this point, the mother of the living child exhorted the king to give the child to the other woman so that he may live, while the other woman said, “Let it be neither mine nor yours, divide!”
The king then ruled that the living child be given to the first mother as she was his mother.

There are a number of lessons that one can learn from this week’s ‘parsha’; however, I want to focus on one lesson: G-d exalts His chosen…if they are humble.

In last week’s ‘parsha’, ‘Vayeishev’, we are introduced to Joseph who is a precocious, spoiled lad. 
He knew that he was the favourite son and he lauded this over his brothers. On top of that, he related two dreams to his brothers, as well as to Jacob, in which they ‘bowed down’ to him.

Through this act of pride and foolishness, Joseph was sold into slavery by his angry brothers, and eventually landed in jail – even though he was innocent of his accusation.
After thirteen years of slavery and imprisonment, Joseph still had not learnt his lesson, quickly interpreting the chief butler and chief baker’s dreams. When the interpretation proved to be correct, he asked the Chief Butler to “remember him to Pharaoh”; However, Joseph was not ready for his calling…he still needed to learn humility.
It was only two years later that he had learnt humility; we see this when Joseph is asked to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Here we see that, for the first time, Joseph acknowledges that he cannot interpret apart from G-d: ““It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.””.

It’s at this point of humility that Joseph is exalted and made Viceroy of Egypt – thus fulfilling his G-d given destiny.
We see the principle of humility in James 4:10: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”  1 Peter 5:6 takes this even further: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time”
And this is exactly what happened in Joseph’s case; he finally humbled himself before Almighty G-d and, at the appropriate time, G-d exalted him.

How about you?
Do you trust in your own ability? Do you ‘make a plan’? Do you conduct your life according to the Frank Sinatra song “I’ll do it my way” or do you trust in G-d and His ability? You see, that’s the only way to truly succeed.
Just like Joseph, each of you has a G-d given destiny; and if you humble yourself and allow G-d to direct your path, in his perfect time, he will lift you up into your destiny.
Or you can fumble and stumble your way through life…

I know that there are many extremely wealthy and successful people out there who ‘did it their way’; however, how happy are they? When one looks at the amount of divorces, drug addictions, family breakups, tragedies and drug-related deaths that befall the rich and the famous, their lives, in fact, are complete failures.
Some say that humility is a sign of weakness; not according to G-d. In Matthew 23:12, Yeshua declares: “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

In fact, Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, is the perfect example of humility. He humbled Himself, allowed Himself to be cruelly tortured and then allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross where he hung naked in the sight of all because of His love for humanity. He allowed this to happen to Himself so that your sins and the sins of mankind could be forgiven and eternal life be granted to those who put their faith in Him and believe in His death and resurrection…this is G-d’s free gift for both Jews and Gentiles.

How happy are you right now? If you died today, do you know where you will go for eternity?
If religion has not helped you to total fulfilment or perhaps you just don’t believe in G-d; if your life is unfulfilled or even a mess, why not humble yourself and commit your life to the One who gives total fulfilment and the guarantee of the forgiveness of sin and eternal life in heaven. I am talking about the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua.
Will you accept G-d’s gift of the forgiveness of sin and everlasting life in heaven? All you need to do is confess your sins and repent of them and ask Yeshua to come into your life as your L-rd and Saviour.
And you can do this by praying the Prayer of Salvation found at the end of this article.

So, are you going to “do it my way” or will you do it G-d’s way.
Some say that Christianity is a crutch. You will find that most of the time, the lives of those who say this are in a mess. Not only this, but they are usually unhappy and bitter people.
As for me, Yeshua is my crutch…and, oh, what a blessed life my wife and I lead - completely fulfilled; in our calling; working for the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; knowing that our sins are forgiven and totally assured of our eternal future.

In conclusion, allow me to name some people who “did it their way” – James Dean, Marilyn Munroe, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse…Sadly, their way did not succeed; G-d’s way ALWAYS succeeds.

We love you.

Shalom.

Scripture of the week: Philippians 2:5-8: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

SALVATION PRAYER

Thank you Yeshua for Your love for me.
Thank you for giving up Your life on the cross for me and for taking my sins upon Yourself.
I confess that I have sinned.
I repent of my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong.
I invite You to come into my life as my Messiah, my Saviour.
By Your grace I will serve You all the remaining years of my life.