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

‘Parsha Devarim’ - Believe and trust almighty G-d

“Moses began to explain this law, saying, “The LORD our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: ‘You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the mountains of the Amorites, to all the neighbouring places in the plain, in the mountains and in the lowland, in the South and on the seacoast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates. See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers--to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--to give to them and their descendants after them.’ ” ” (Deuteronomy 1:5-8)

The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week is ‘Parsha Devarim’ (Words) – found in Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22; the corresponding ‘haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in Isaiah 1:1-27.
‘Parsha Devarim’ is the 44th weekly ‘Torah’ portion in the annual Jewish cycle of ‘Torah’ reading, and the first in the book of Deuteronomy.

The book of Deuteronomy is not just a repeat of Exodus and Leviticus, rather it is the summary of a G-dly heritage; a record of G-d’s faithfulness to Israel during forty difficult years.
Deuteronomy is also the final pronouncement of a great leader, Moses.

On the first of the Hebrew month of Shevat, 37 days before his death, Moses began his repetition of the ‘Torah’ to the assembled children of Israel, reviewing the events that occurred and the laws that were given in the course of their forty year journey from Egypt to Sinai to the Promised Land.
Moses rebuked the people for their failings and iniquities, and commanded them to keep the ‘Torah’ and observe its commandments in the land that G-d was giving them as an eternal heritage; the land into which they would cross after his death.

Moses recalled his appointment of judges and magistrates to ease his burden of meeting out justice to the people and teaching them the word of G-d. He also recalled the journey from Sinai through the wilderness and the sending of the twelve spies to spy out the Promised Land.
He then recalled how ten of the spies persuaded the children of Israel that they would not be able to conquer the “giants who dwelt in the land”; this caused the people to spurn the promise of G-d - that he had given the Promised Land into their hands.
Moses reminded them that, because they did not believe G-d - even though G-d’s presence went before them in a pillar of fire by night and in a cloud by day, G-d decreed that the entire generation of the Exodus would die out in the desert, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb.
Moses then told the people that G-d was also angry against him “for their sakes” and because of His anger, G-d decreed that Moses would not enter the Promised Land.

Moses told the congregation that G-d had spoken to him, saying that the children of Israel had gone around this mountain long enough, and that the time had come for them to enter the Promised Land.

Moses also recounted some of the more recent events: The refusal of the nations of Moab and Ammon to allow the Israelites to pass through their countries; the wars against the Amorite kings Sichon and Og; and the settlement of their lands by the tribes of Reuben and Gad and part of the tribe of Manasseh.
Finally, Moses recounted his message to his successor, Joshua, who would take the people into the Promised Land and lead them in the battles for its conquest.
Moses ends this ‘Parsha’ by saying to them that he commanded Joshua saying: “‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings; so will the LORD do to all the kingdoms through which you pass. You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.’ ” (Deuteronomy 3:21-22)

‘Haftorah Devarim’, found in Isaiah 1:1-27, is the third of a series of three ‘haftarot of affliction’. These three ‘haftarot’ are read during the three weeks of mourning for Jerusalem, between the fasts of 17 Tammuz and 9 Av.

Isaiah relays to the Jewish people a G-dly vision he experienced chastising the residents of Judah and Jerusalem for having rebelled against G d and criticizing them for repeating their errors and not abandoning their sinful ways - even after having been reprimanded and punished by G-d.
Isaiah uses harsh words, comparing the Jewish leaders to the rulers of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In this ‘haftorah’, G-d states his distaste for their sacrifices and offerings which were ‘flavoured with pagan customs’.

Isaiah then speaks gentler words, encouraging the people to repent sincerely and to perform acts of justice and kindness towards the needy, orphans and widows, promising them the best of the land in return for their obedience.
The ‘haftorah’ concludes with a promise that G d will eventually re-establish Israel's judges and leaders, when “Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her penitents with righteousness.” (Isaiah 1:27).

There are a number of lessons that we can learn through ‘Parsha Devarim’.

The first lesson is: Don’t keep going around the mountain.
Because of Israel’s unbelief in G-d’s ability to bring them into the Promised Land - despite the size of the inhabitants in the land - they went ‘around the mountain’ for forty years.
This same principle applies today. Many times we don’t see an answer to prayer or a breakthrough in a particular situation because of unbelief or disobedience.
We pray the same prayer over and over again and see no change and, like the children of Israel, we keep going around the mountain.
One may ask: “How many times must I go around the mountain?” The answer is: “As many times as it will take to learn to trust and obey G-d.”
So, if you learn to trust and obey G-d, it will not be necessary for you to ‘keep going around the mountain’. 

The second lesson is: G-d Himself fights for you.
G-d has always promised to fight Israel’s battles for her; we see this in the following scriptures:
Exodus 14:13-14: “And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.””
Deuteronomy 3:22: “You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.”
Joshua 23:9-10: “For the LORD has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.”

To this day G-d is fighting for Israel, and the same G-d who fights Israel’s battles will fight your battles – if you allow Him to. You need to trust and obey G-d as He fights your battles; you need to allow Him to direct and guide you; you need to allow His will to be done in your life and surrender your own will to Him.

The third lesson is: G-d is faithful.
There is a song that is sung: “What a faithful G-d have I, what a faithful G-d; what a faithful G-d have I, faithful in every way.”
Another song declares: “Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness; morning by morning new mercies I see…”
How true these two songs are; G-d is so faithful.

G-d has been faithful to His covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and He has faithfully given the land of Israel to “their descendants after them” – the Jewish people.
He has been faithful to the Jewish people and Israel – never letting them down, even in the face of their disobedience. In fact, to this day, G-d’s faithful hand is on Israel, and He is faithfully returning the Jewish people to the Promised Land - just as He promises in His Word. He is also faithfully gathering in His Jewish remnant to salvation.

And G-d is faithful to you, He will never let you down. Deuteronomy 7:9 declares: “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments”
In all situations, trust G-d and be obedient to His will for you.

There is one battle that you cannot fight on your own; that is the battle for your soul. And it is here, where we see G-d at His most faithful – John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

G-d has, through His Son Yeshua, been faithful to forgive your sins through the work of the cross. He is also faithful to grant you eternal life in heaven, through the death and resurrection of Yeshua.
All you need do is believe in the death and resurrection of Yeshua; confess your sins and repent of them; receive His forgiveness and invited Yeshua to be your L-rd and Saviour.
To do this, all you need do is pray the prayer of salvation found at the end of this article.

To my Jewish brothers and sisters, this applies to you as well. None of your good deeds or charity will grant you the forgiveness of sin or eternal life in heaven. Only through faith in Yeshua can your sins be forgiven you and eternal life in heaven be granted to you.
In fact, allow me to ask you a question: How do you make atonement for your soul?

Leviticus 17:11 tells us that the only way to the forgiveness of sin and eternal life in heaven is through the sacrificial system and the shedding of blood - “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”
However, there is no temple; therefore there is no sacrificial system. Because there is no sacrificial system, there is no shedding of blood; how, then, can you make atonement for your soul?
Scripture records that Yeshua was the perfect sacrifice. He died on the cross, shedding every last drop of His blood, thus taking our sins upon Himself, guaranteeing all who believe in His death and resurrection and who invite Him to become L-rd of their lives, eternal life in heaven.

I am not asking you to stop being Jewish and follow another religion. I do, however, want to encourage you to have a personal, intimate relationship with the Jewish ‘Mashiach’ - Yeshua.

In conclusion, don’t go around the mountain over and over again; don’t be like the ten spies who did not believe in and trust G-d’s faithfulness. Be like Joshua and Caleb; be like the great Jewish leader, Moses, and believe G-d for your situation; then trust Him to bring it to pass.
We love you.
Shalom.
Scripture of the week: Deuteronomy 3:18-21: ““Then I commanded you at that time, saying: ‘The LORD your God has given you this land to possess. All you men of valour shall cross over armed before your brethren, the children of Israel. But your wives, your little ones, and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall stay in your cities which I have given you, until the LORD has given rest to your brethren as to you, and they also possess the land which the LORD your God is giving them beyond the Jordan. Then each of you may return to his possession which I have given you.’ And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings; so will the LORD do to all the kingdoms through which you pass.” ’ ”


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.