Massei (Journeys)

Torah: Numbers 33:1-36:13 Haftarah: Jeremiah 2:4-28, 3:4, 4:1-2 Brit Chadasha: Matthew 24:1-25:46

These are the departures of the children of Yisra’ĕl, who went out of the land of Mitsrayim by their divisions under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon.  And Mosheh wrote down the starting points of their departures at the command of יהוה, and these are their departures according to their starting points: Numbers 33:1, 2

How many of us like moving?  It is something that I wish never had been invented, as well as painting.  Those two things run a close race in my book of things I never want to do.  Let me ask another question? How many of us would consider ourselves “patriots” and loyal to the “nation” in which we find ourselves living?

On that note, in this week’s portion it begins by telling us these are the journeys or departures of Israel.  In Hebrew naw sah is the root word of departures and it means to pull up the tent stake thus starting on a journey.  I think many times we have forgotten or possibly not forgotten and it never has really, as we red necks say, sunk in that those who are set apart are on a journey and don’t have a place to call home yet.  When we have to pull up our tent stakes and begin on another journey we should take delight because we are one step closer in the resTORAtion process.  We must also remember that the Father commanded Moshe here to “journal” if you will about the happenings of that day or the “journeying’s”.  Why would the Father be so interested in writing a journal if He is the Creator and is all knowing?  The answer is found in

1 Corinthians 10:1-12 

For I do not wish you to be ignorant, brothers, that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were immersed into Mosheh in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed, and the Rock was Messiah. However, with most of them Elohim was not well pleased, for they were laid low in the wilderness. And these became examples for us, so that we should not lust after evil, as those indeed lusted. And do not become idolaters as some of them, as it has been written, “The people sat down to eat and to drink, and stood up to play.” Neither should we commit whoring, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell, neither let us try Messiah, as some of them also tried, and were destroyed by serpents, neither grumble, as some of them also grumbled, and were destroyed by the destroyer. And all these came upon them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us, on whom the ends of the ages have come, so that he who thinks he stands, let him take heed lest he fall. 

It was written for the generations to come to give us examples of things to do and things not to do.  One more question.  When the Father pulls out the journal that has the name Jim, Susan, Joel, Mike, April, etc…  What will our journals look like?  What will be the story of our lives when these journeying’s come to an end?  The word journey sounds nice and cool like a camping trip or something but think about this.  Most of you have probably experienced Sukkot in a tent and how many of you have slept in those Sukkot tents when that last day rolled around were just out there chompin at the bits to take your tent down or I should say pull up the tent stakes.  For me that places a different light on it.  I think we get comfortable where we are at because the system has been designed for that purpose.  Have everything at your fingertips.  The motto that really isn’t stated but I see clearly implied is ‘the least amount of effort for the most pleasure and gain’.  I think this is what our generations have been fed many years and we are finally seeing that fruit coming to harvest.  Although many of us don’t look forward to pulling up those tent stakes; it’s those pulled up tent stakes that allows us to begin another journey while being able to look back at our mistakes and weaknesses and grow from them and move on to the next staging ground wherever it may be for us.  Our focus should always remain steadfast and focused that the “nations” is not our home no matter if we may bleed red, white, and blue or whatever your flag colors are.  The Father has prepared a place for His people and that is our home.  These journeying’s if you will help create time and space in our lives where we can look back and find meaning in our experiences.  I believe the Father allows these stages of our journey’s to teach us and its where we see the good, bad, and ugly and then we come to the crossroad of choice as to how we will respond.  Even though I mentioned that I detest moving there are always lessons along this path of life that we can learn from and use those lessons to mold and shape us into the image of the Father.  In my opinion we have a leg up on the children of Israel that came out of Egypt.  It’s that we have the journal of their journeys teaching and training us what to do and not to do.  What I’m left pondering is

Luke 12:47-48

“And that servant who knew his master’s desire, and did not prepare, nor did according to his desire, shall be beaten with many stripes. “But he who did not know, yet did what deserved flogging, shall be beaten with few. And everyone to whom much is given, from him much shall be demanded. And to whom much has been entrusted, from him much more shall be asked.  

So again what kind of shape are our journals in.  Not the ones that we would write about ourselves and how perfect and great we are but the journal or book of remembrance that the Father has on each of us.  What does that journal say about our lives?