Beha’alotcha (In Your Going Up)

Torah: Numbers 8:1-12:16 Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7 Brit Chadasha: I Corinthians 15:51-58

The Substitute

This week’s portion is a good one.  I want us to begin by looking at the Levites.  Many times in our modern day society we feel or have had someone make us feel like second class citizens.  You know if you don’t do it this way or that way then you automatically get categorized and thrown into a labeled box.  Our society is literally infected to the core with rejection.  In my opinion this is why we are so materialistic and want the approval of all our peers.  We are trying to find some way or somehow to fill that rejection with something.  I don’t want to get off into dealing with rejection but would like to present something to you guys as I was reading the portion the other day.

As I was reading about the Levites getting ‘ordained’, if you will, for service in the tabernacle; the Scriptures pointed out that it was the first born who Yahweh wanted to be His priests.

[i] I immediately had this thought.  I wonder if the first born felt rejected by Yahweh and I wonder if the Levites felt like they were substitutes and not the first choice.  Call me strange but I have thoughts like this often when reading Scripture.  Many times I think that we elevate the men/women in the Scriptures to super saints and forget that they were just as human as you and I.  Honestly did the Levites have mixed emotions about their new role?  On one side of the coin they might have felt honored to take the place of the first born in serving the Creator of the Universe and on the other hand some might have felt like they were having to take hand me downs because it was the first born that was Yahweh’s first pick if you will.

One thing that I know is for sure.  Things don’t catch Yahweh by surprise and the Levites becoming His priests didn’t either.  Although you and I may view the Levites as substitutes or scrubs so to speak, they weren’t viewed by Yahweh that way either.  Let’s bring this closer to home.  I will go back to my sports days.  I remember when I was in my early years of high school and was not a starter but was a substitute.  Every time I went into the game I knew that even though I wasn’t a starter (starters are usually your best men that you have and start the game with them); I was going to step out on the field or court and do my best and fulfill my role to not only my team but my coach as well.  Sure in the back of my mind I knew I wasn’t the coaches ‘first pick’ but I didn’t allow that to affect my role and responsibility on the court or field.  So it should be with you and me; many times we feel as if we are scrubs or substitutes and that Yahweh can’t use us and we aren’t important to His plan.  Our attitude is I am just little old so and so out here in the middle of nowhere so why am I important to Yahweh.  That is not true.  Yahweh allowed you and me to be born at this time and has placed us where we are at in order to affect or infect, if you will, those around us with His Word and love.[ii] We must stop feeling as if we deserve to be on the bench and not in the game.  You and I may not be on God’s Learning Channel or in the top ten best preachers of all times.  Who cares about that anyway?  What is important is that we are fulfilling the role and responsibility that Yahweh has given us and we are doing it right where we are at.  Maybe Yahweh didn’t create you to be a great expositor but He could have created you to be a mother/father/teacher of His Word to your children.  Maybe the playing fields you find yourself in are not only to your immediate family but to your remote family as well or even your community in which you are planted.  We all have a role to play in this and whether we are a starter or a substitute we should be contributing and giving our all to the team (House of Yahweh) and the coach (Yahweh).

Jealous or Zealous

I remember when I was first preparing for ministry.  My ‘mentor’ always told me never become jealous of others ministry and never compete with other ministers.  Those are words that I hold dear to me even to this day.  I hate to say it but there is just as much jealousy in the Messy antic movement as it is in the Constatinian religion.  The Nicolatian spirit is alive and well in both movements.  Ok maybe touch on the Nicolatians later but back to jealousy.  When you are young and immature this is one thing that you may find yourself struggling with.  In our text we find a little snippet about jealousy.[iii] There is a situation where Moshe has been the man all up until this time and Yahweh has ‘used’ him to speak to the children of Yisrael.  Well now we see the Father doing it a little different and letting some other folks get in on the action so to speak and it just so happens that a couple of guys weren’t with the other elders but had remained in the camp and they too began to prophesy.  When Joshua got wind of it he didn’t like the idea at all.  He went to Moshe and said go tell those guys to stop.  Moshe say what spirit was motivating him and nipped it in the bud by saying are you jealous of me?  I wish that all were prophets and spoke the Word of Yahweh.  I guess the moral of this story is that when others begin to get a little recognition or begin to become the ‘new kid on the block’ don’t allow jealousy to control you or cause you to do things in contrast to Yahweh.  Allow others to step out and get a piece of the action as well.  Trust me there is plenty of ‘ministry’ to go around and then go back around again so definitely no need to get jealous over someone doing a little more or ‘stealing the glory so to speak’.  When it all comes down to it Yahweh’s kingdom will be the only thing left standing and all the kingdoms that men built will be rubble.  We are all in this together and no one person is more important than the other.  We all must do our part and not get jealous when other folks parts might seem a little more prestigious than ours.

Thought of the Week

For I am jealous for you with a jealousy according to Elohim. For I gave you in marriage to one husband, to present you as an innocent maiden to Messiah.  2 Corinthians 11:2


[i] Numbers 8:16-18
[ii] Acts 17:26
[iii] Numbers 11:27-29