Monday, February 7, 2011
Shaleeakh - Tetzaveh "You shall command"
The goal of worship is to enter HaShem's holy presence. However, achieving this goal is often difficult. Entering HaShem's presence can only occur when we offer worship that is acceptable to Him. Offering worship that is acceptable requires us to follow HaShem's guidelines for worship. John 4:23-24 states "the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." Yeshua describes acceptable worship as worship that is offered in spirit and in truth. Most believers are familiar with the concept of worshiping in the spirit. Unfortunately, believers are not as familiar with the concept of worshiping in truth. To understand why worshiping in truth is as important as worshiping in spirit we must understand what the scripture defines as the truth. Tehillim 119:142 in the Complete Jewish Bible states, "Your righteousness is an eternal righteousness, and your Torah is the truth." The scripture defines the truth as the Torah. Therefore, worshiping HaShem in the spirit and the Torah is the same as worshiping HaShem in sprit and in truth.
Worshiping HaShem in truth is founded in the Torah. Only through the Torah can we learn what HaShem considers acceptable worship. Without the foundation of the Torah, a person will establish a structure of worship based on his or her own personal understanding. Vayikra 10:1-2 states "Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD." Nadab and Abihu tried to offer the pleasing aroma of incense on a fire that HaShem had not commanded. Nadab and Abihu's sin was attempting to worship HaShem using fire they created, and not the fire HaShem commanded. 1Chronicles 13:9-10 sates "when they came unto the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. The anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God." Moved by the spirit King David desired to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Yerushalayim. However, king David did not follow the Torah's explicit instructions concerning how to move the Ark. As a result, Uzza lost his life. If Nadab, Abihu, and King David had used the Torah to guide their spiritual desires, they would not have offended the Holy Spirit. The Torah teaches HaShem's people what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. The priesthood of Aaron and his sons is a good example of how the Torah can train us to worship HaShem. HaShem gave specific instructions to Aaron and his sons. Deviation from those instructions was not acceptable.
In Tetzaveh, we can also see how that the instructions given to Aaron and his sons were intended to train Aaron and his sons to worship HaShem in spirit. Shemot 29:15-18 states"you shall take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram. And thou shall slay the ram, and thou shall take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar. And thou shall cut the ram in pieces, and wash the inwards of him, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head. And thou shall burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the LORD." By placing, their hands on the head of the ram that was offered to HaShem Aaron and his sons were accepting HaShem's part of the consecration sacrifice. The ram was then washed, cut up and offered totally to HaShem. The total consumption by fire, of this ram showed this ram wholly set apart for HaShem.
The consecration sacrifices also required Aaron and his sons to sacrifice a second ram. The second ram was of an equal quality. This ram was not to be totally consumed in the fire of HaShem. This ram was set apart for the benefit of Aaron and his sons. Shemot 29:19 states "you shall take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram." Aaron and his sons placed their hands on the head of the second ram to accept the ram as their portion. Shemot 29:20 states "take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot" Placing the blood of the second ram on the ear, thumb and big toe signified that Aaron and his sons were willing obey HaShem by hearing, doing and walking as priests. Shemot 29:21 states "you shall take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him." The anointing oil mingled with the blood affirmed that Aaron and his sons would become holy and serve HaShem with their spirits and their lives. Shemot 29:28 states "it shall be Aaron's and his sons' by a statute for ever from the children of Israel: for it is an heave offering: and it shall be an heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings, even their heave offering unto the LORD." Waving the heave offering before HaShem affirmed that Aaron and his sons were called to establish peace between HaShem and His people. Shemot 29:31-32 states "you shall take the ram of the consecration, and seethe his flesh in the holy place. And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation." Eating the ram affirmed that Aaron and his sons had total faith in HaShem for the provision of their sustenance and sacrifice.
Aaron and his sons relied on two identical rams to consecrate them for the priesthood. The first ram was completely dedicated to HaShem. The second ram was for a benefit and witness of Aaron and his sons. In a similar way, the spirit and truth are both required for us to be consecrated as priests! For example, the spirit is the acceptable sacrifice that allows us to offer or whole being in worship. The Torah is the acceptable sacrifice that trains us in the proper way to worship HaShem. As priests by the order of Melchisedec, we should learn from this example and strive to worship in spirit and in truth. Worshiping in spirit and in truth transforms us into a new and consecrated creation, created in the image of Yeshua to serve HaShem in righteousness and holiness.
By Rabbi Yaakov benYosef ABOUT Torah
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