Ki Tisa (When you Elevate)

Torah: Exodus 30:11-34:35 Haftarah: Ezekiel 36:16-38 Brit Chadasha: James 2:14-26

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes him glad. The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wrong leads them astray. Proverbs 12:25-26

It just jumped right out

This week is the famous golden calf story which almost everyone has heard of especially if you went to Sunday school or have sit on a pew.  I don’t want to put all my eggs in a basket and focus on that one incident.  I would like to touch on something a bit deeper and possibly something that will hit home with each one of you.  I know this portion rang strong in my spirit.

Maker and builder

As we begin, I don’t want to rehash something that I have written already but isn’t it very interesting that we find Yah filling someone with His Ruach (spirit)?

and I have filled him with the Spirit of Elohim in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all work, Exodus 31:3

Again, I will not revisit a previous commentary but know that there are multiple examples in the TaNaK (Torah = 1st five books of the Bible, Nevim = Prophets, Ketuvim = other writings in the Older Testament) of people of Yah being filled with His Ruach.

One quick question though for you to chew on.  In order for someone to ‘get saved’ wouldn’t they have to have the indwelling of the Ruach?  If this is the case then what about Avraham, Moshe, David, Yosef and so forth and so on; we would all agree that these men were ‘saved’, right?  Well if that is the case then by default these men had to have had the indwelling of the Ruach, just something to ponder.

I also find it very interesting what can be seen in the names of Bezaleel and Aholiab.  This is the beauty in Hebrew verses English.  We would just read over these names in English not paying any attention to them.  Bezaleel in Hebrew means shadow of Yah and Aholiab means tent.  Now what does this have to do with anything?  Well I am glad you asked.  What I find interesting about these men is that Yah chose them to help with the building of the tabernacle and its articles.  So the Creator chose to take someone whose names mean tent and shadow of the Eternal to give us a picture that helps us see that the tent (i.e. tabernacle) will be a shadow and in my opinion that shadow not only teaches us about the role of Messiah but also points us to the Father.

The wedding ring analogy

I have heard many people in trying to explain away why they are disobedient when it comes to the Sabbath. The most common one that I have run across is that now in Messiah each day is a Sabbath.  Um umm umm, what?  Does Scripture really say this?  According to this weeks reading it says something totally different.

“And you, speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, יהוה, am setting you apart. ‘And you shall guard the Sabbath, for it is set-apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall certainly be put to death, for anyone who does work on it, that being shall be cut off from among his people. ‘Six days work is done, and on the seventh is a Sabbath of rest, set-apart to יהוה. Everyone doing work on the Sabbath day shall certainly be put to death. ‘And the children of Yisra’ĕl shall guard the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. ‘Between Me and the children of Yisra’ĕl it is a sign forever. For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ” Exodus 31:13-17

So here in Scripture we clearly see that Sabbath is a specific day and no work should be done.  The main problem with ‘everyday being is Sabbath’ is that no work can be done so if you put forth that argument that every day is a Sabbath then you can’t do any work.  I think it’s pretty simple and plain in Scripture.

The Sabbath is a sign between YHVH and His people throughout the generations i.e. without end.  I know many Torah observant people who get mad as all get out when folks choose to disobey keeping the Sabbath.  My question is why?  We can’t make anyone do anything.  It has to be the Ruach and if people want to disobey and not be a set apart people then that is between them and Yah.  We are not the Father and it isn’t our role to move in a spirit of witchcraft meaning that we try to force or manipulate someone into doing what we would like them to do.

I like to look at the Shabbat ordeal with the wedding ring analogy.  When a man or woman puts on a wedding ring it is a ‘sign’ that lets others know that he/she is taken and is the other halfo of someone.  Well, the Sabbath is like that wedding ring.  When we keep the Sabbath we are letting others know that we are taken and belong to someone and that someone, the Creator of the Universe.  It is our eternal sign.  For those of you listening to this today or in the recording and you are wondering about this Hebrew Roots stuff, my suggestion to you is begin with the Sabbath and don’t try to do this all at once.  I know when my family and I began this walk; we started with the Sabbath and starting eating according to the Scriptures and not what our culture says is food, and then went into the Feasts of the Creator.

The Sabbath is the glue that holds it all together in my opinion.  When my wife and I began to keep the Sabbath it changed our marriage and our children’s attitudes and we really didn’t do anything.  There was a new spirit in our home that hadn’t been there before.

For those who still believe that the Sabbath has been ‘nailed to the cross’ you need to go back and examine what Scripture says.

‘And the children of Yisra’ĕl shall guard the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. ‘Between Me and the children of Yisra’ĕl it is a sign forever. Exodus 31:16

I don’t know about you but in all the dictionaries that I have looked in the word everlasting means everlasting or forever.  So if you are Yisrael i.e. the people of YHVH then the Sabbath is 100% for you and your household.  I just encourage those of you who aren’t Torah observant to start by reading about the Sabbath and observe it.  When you begin to observe/guard Sabbath it will be as if the veil is removed from your eyes and the Scriptures will begin to come alive and will make sense for the first time.  If you don’t consider yourself grafted into the natural tree then continue to disobey and suffer the consequences of disobedience.  I’m not trying to sound high and mighty or point a finger but in reality we are told choosing the instructions of a loving Father brings life and not choosing to walk in them brings death.  It’s up to us to choose this day who we will serve.        

I also see this week’s portion being about the children of Yisrael having to make a choice.  The golden calf incident is a great example of choosing life or death.  We’ve all heard about the golden calf at some point in our lifetime but honestly when I was in ‘church’ I never had it taught to me in its proper context.  It was always taught from a historical perspective.

And when He had ended speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Mosheh two tablets of the Witness, tablets of stone, written with the finger of Elohim. Exodus 31:18

Here we see the finger of Elohim writing the commandments and throughout the apostolic writings you can see several references to the finger of Elohim equaling the Ruach of Yah.  In other words it can be said that there is no opposite of ‘Law’ i.e. Torah and ‘Spirit’ i.e. Ruach.  The Creator didn’t break these up into the different dispensational eras; xtianity has done that.

And it came to be, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. And Mosheh’s displeasure burned, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. And he took the calf which they had made, and burned it in the fire, and ground it into powder, and scattered it on the face of the water and made the children of Yisra’ĕl drink it. Exodus 32:19-20

So what can we see here based on the last few verses that we have looked at?  Well Yisrael is receiving the instructions of a loving Father and they sin with ‘flesh fest’ whatever year it was back then.  I guess it could also be said that they go from being delivered the ‘Law’ to being lawless.

And the sons of Lĕwi did according to the word of Mosheh. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day. Exodus 32:28

What we can put together here is not only did Moshe throw down the tablets (destroying them) that the instructions were written on being written by the finger of Elohim but it can be looked at as if  not only 3,000 were destroyed but the Torah of Yah was destroyed.  So once again I return to my point earlier there is more to a believer’s walk than just saying I believe but continuing in disobedience.  Folks this is about life and death and it is our choice which one we choose just as Yisrael had a choice to make back then.  Nothing has changed for you and me today.  It still applies to us.  Every day when our feet hit the floor we begin to make choices for our lives and many of those choices bring life or bring death.

Now when Moshe ‘destroyed’ the tablets this gives us a great picture of what Brad Scott teaches from the passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

We view the word wicked in our culture as being Jeffery Daumer, Charles Manson, abortion doctors, murderers, and etc…  There is a lot of truth in that line of thinking but the problem comes in where we use those examples as yardsticks to judge whether someone is wicked or not.  We say well I’m not like Charles Manson and I am pro-life and I don’t steal or murder so therefore I’m not a wicked person.  Not so fast brother or sister.  This is where we err because we are using our culture to define this word instead of allowing the Scriptures to define what this word means.

In Hebrew the word, wicked, is rah and it means to spoil by breaking into pieces or cause to be good for nothing.  This word is all over the Older Test.  So scripturally speaking what does wicked mean.  The picture we are given from the Hebrew is this.  Say you have a bowl and this bowl is used to make salads and you take this bowl and you throw it on the ground and it breaks into a hundred tiny little pieces; that is considered rah or wicked because you have spoiled ’the function’ or destroyed the purpose or function of what that bowl was created to be and do.  In my opinion this week’s portion of Moshe throwing down the tablets and them breaking into pieces is a great example of wicked.  The disobedient children of Yisrael choose to take something Yah had given and destroy the function of why it was given for and many of them made a choice possibly not even thinking about the consequences that it would bring forth in their lives but because they were only focused on the here and now it manifested death in their lives.

How about you and I guys what are we choosing in our lives on a daily basis.  A temporary fix and making all our decisions based on the here and now or are we making decisions with an eternal viewpoint or mindset knowing that it’s going to take some hide off of us and there is a big price tag that comes along with these eternal decisions but there is always life attached to these decisions not only for us but for the generations behind us.

May we be a people not controlled and prodded to go this way or that way steered by our flesh!  May we be Yisrael who emits the light of Yah thus bringing glory and honor to His Set Apart name and infecting everyone around us with what we have on the inside of us thus being a catalyst helping folks to make eternal decisions and choose life and choose this day who they will serve.