Thought for the week

'PARSHA BEREISHIT'

AN UNGUARDED HEART LEADS TO SEPERATION

Genesis 1:31: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good”

The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week is ‘Parsha Bereishit’ (in the beginning), found in Genesis 1:1 – 6:8; the corresponding ‘haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in Isaiah 42:5–21.
‘Parsha Bereishit’ begins the first weekly ‘Torah’ portion in the annual Jewish cycle of ‘Torah’ reading, and the first in the book of Genesis.
‘Bereishit’ is read on the first ‘Shabbat’ after ‘Simchat Torah’ (rejoicing in the ‘Torah’) and begins with the words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

‘Parsha Bereishit’ begins with the creation of the earth and of mankind and tells us in Genesis 1:3-28 that G-d spoke the world into existence in six days.
On the first day, G-d separated light from darkness.
On the second day, G-d separated the waters, creating the sky.
On the third day, G-d gathered the water below the sky, creating land and sea. G-d also caused vegetation to sprout from the land.
On the fourth day, G-d set lights in the sky to separate days and years, creating the sun, the moon, and the stars.
On the fifth day, G-d created fish, birds and reptiles.
On the sixth day, G-d created man in His own image from the dust of the earth and blew into his nostrils a “living soul” – Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness””.

On the seventh day, G-d ceased to work and rested. He then sanctified the seventh day as a day of rest, a ‘Shabbat’.

G-d planted a garden eastward in Eden and He made every tree that was pleasant to the sight and good for food grow in the garden; He also put the “Tree of Life” and the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” in the midst of the garden.
G-d then put the man (Adam) in the garden to work it and to keep it. G-d told him that he could eat of every tree in the garden, but commanded him not to eat of the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” telling him that, on the day he ate of it, he would surely die.

The ‘parsha’ goes on to tell us that G-d decided that it was not good for Adam to be alone and made him a helper comparable with him. G-d caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, took one of his ribs, closed up the flesh and formed the rib into a woman; G-d then married them to each other.
‘Parsha Bereishit’ goes on to tell us that G-d blessed Adam and Eve and told them to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth; He also told them to subdue the earth and He gave them dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moved on the earth.
The ‘parsha’ tell us that Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed.

‘Bereishit’ then tells us that the serpent was craftier than all the beasts of the field which G-d had made. He asked Eve: “Has God said, you shall not eat of any tree of the garden?” She replied that she and Adam were allowed to eat the fruit of all the trees in the garden except the fruit of the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” which was in the middle of the garden.
The serpent told Eve that they would not surely die, for G-d knew that on the day they ate of it, their eyes would be opened and they would be as gods knowing good and evil.
Eve gave in to the temptation and she ate of its fruit; she then gave the fruit to Adam and he also ate of the fruit.
We then read that their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked; they then sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

Genesis 3:8 tells us: “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”
They hid themselves because they knew that they had disobeyed G-d and they were afraid and ashamed. In Genesis 3:9 we read: “Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him: “Where are you””.
After G-d asked Adam why he and Eve were hiding; Adam eventually confessed his sin, blaming Eve who then blamed the serpent.

G-d then cursed the serpent saying ““because you have done this, cursed be you above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.””
Our ‘parsha’ then tells us that G-d cursed the earth because of their sin.
Genesis 3:21 tells us that G-d made garments of skin to clothe Adam and Eve and then He drove them out of the Garden of Eden.

‘Parsha Bereishit’ goes on to relate the account of Cain and Abel, documenting the first murder when Cain killed Abel.
The ‘parsha’ then chronicles the first ten generations beginning with Adam and ending with Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth.
‘Parsha Bereishit’ also relates the account of Enoch who walked with G-d and who was one of two men in the bible who never died, but was taken up by G-d to heaven.

Finally, ‘Parsha Bereishit’ relates a world gone awry when G-d saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and the thoughts of his heart was only evil. The ‘parsha’ relates in Genesis 6:6-7: “And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.””
The ‘parsha’ ends with the words in Genesis 6:8: “But Noah found favour in the eyes of GOD.”

‘Haftorah Bereishit’, found in Isaiah 42:5-21, opens with the following: “Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it” echoing the ‘Torah’ portion's recounting of the creation of the world in six days.

Among the many lessons that can be learnt from ‘Parsha Bereishit’, three stand out:
•    G-d’s intention is, and has always been, to have a personal, intimate relationship with mankind.
•    An unguarded heart easily gives in to temptation.
•    Sin separates us from G-d.

Let’s look at the first lesson: ‘G-d’s intention is, and has always been, to have a personal, intimate relationship with mankind’.

We see this in the Garden of Eden where G-d walked and talked with Adam and Eve: “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day -- then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him: “Where are you”” - Genesis 3:8-9
G-d’s intention has always been to have an intimate relationship with mankind – and this is exactly how it was until man fell into sin; which is why G-d sent His Son, Yeshua, into the world to reconcile man to Himself.

After the fall of man, G-d only walked and talked with specific men and women of His choosing like Abraham, Moses and the prophets.
It is only through the Jewish ‘Mashiach’ (Messiah), Yeshua, that mankind can, once again, enjoy a personal, intimate relationship with Almighty G-d – 1 Timothy 2:5-6: “For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.”
Only by accepting Yeshua as your L-rd and Saviour are you able to have a personal, intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father.

Let’s look at the second lesson: ‘An unguarded heart easily gives in to temptation’.

It didn’t take much convincing to get Eve to fall into sin, followed by Adam. It was a subtle suggestion by Satan (the serpent): “Has God said, you shall not eat of any tree of the garden?” followed by a lie “you shall surely not die”.
Satan never made Adam and Eve sin; he just planted a seed. Instead of guarding their heart against Satan’s lie, they acted on that seed instead of rejecting it as the lie that it was; they decided to sin, knowing that it was disobedience to G-d.
And that is exactly the same strategy that Satan uses today. He will plant a seed…“look at pornography, no one will know”; “don’t disclose the cash sale then you won’t have to pay tax, no one will know”; “sin in secret, no one will know” – and on and on it goes…

Here’s the thing; G-d knows. And scripture tells us that whatever is in secret will be brought into the light and all will know about – Luke 8:17: “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” (NLT)

The L-rd will always give us a way out of temptation - 1 Corinthians 10:13 declares: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (NLT)
Don’t listen to the lies of Satan; listen to the voice of G-d.
I want to encourage you to daily proclaim the following scripture found in Psalm 19:12-14: “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.”

Let’s look at the final lesson: ‘Sin separates us from G-d’.

Romans 6:23 declares: “For the wages of sin is death.” The serpent lied to Eve when he told her that “she would not surely die”; she and Adam did die - they died spiritually causing separation from G-d.
Not only did they die spiritually, but through their sin, they doomed mankind to a sinful nature and eternal death in Hades.

However, here is the good news!
Through Yeshua, one can be reconciled to G-d the Father, our sins are forgiven, and we are guaranteed eternal life in heaven - Romans 6:23 declares: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

G-d allowed His only begotten Son to be sacrificed for your redemption and mine; Yeshua willingly allowed Himself to be cruelly tortured and sacrificed on the cross to reverse what was done through the sin of Adam and Eve – separation from the Father and eternal death.

The fall of man affected both Jews and Gentiles.
The reconciling of man to the Father can only come about through confessing your sin, repenting of your sin, believing in the death and resurrection of Yeshua and inviting Him into your life as your Messiah, your Saviour…and this is for both Jews and Gentiles.
To do this, simply pray the prayer of salvation found at the end of this article.

Leviticus 17:11 tells us that the only way to make atonement for the soul 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 do Jewish (and all) people make atonement for their soul?
Scripture records that Yeshua became the perfect sacrifice when 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.

Isn’t it amazing that the first blood sacrifice takes place in ‘Parsha Bereishit’. Genesis 3:21 tells us that G-d made garments of skin to clothe Adam and Eve before driving them out of the Garden of Eden.
The garments of skin came from a slaughtered animal and that means that blood was involved. You see, the first sin was covered by blood - pointing to the Blood of Yeshua that covers our sin today.

I end with this scripture found in Romans 6:12: “do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts”.

We love you.

Shalom.

Scripture of the week: Romans 6:12-15: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!”


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.






















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PRAYER OF SALVATION

Perhaps you have never drawn close to Yeshua. Maybe you have never committed your life to Him?
Why not take this opportunity to pray the following prayer of salvation?


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 heart and live in me.
By Your grace I will serve You
all the remaining years of my life.

Amen

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