Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Shaleeakh Shelach "Send thou"
Living in the generation when prophecy is being predicted, takes a completely different type of faith than living in the generation when prophecy is being fulfilled. Avraham had the faith required to believe that what HaShem told him would happen. Therefore, Avraham believed that his descendants would inherit the Promised Land. As a sign of this prophecy, HaShem established the covenant of circumcision with Avraham and his descendants. B'reisheet 17:7-8 says "I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. God said unto Abraham, Thou shall keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised." Avraham believed in what the Lord said. Therefore, circumcision was to be passed on from one generation to the next.
Discerning a prophecy in the process of being fulfilled also requires a strong faith. For example, in Yeshua's generation very few individuals recognized Him as the Mashiach. Those that believed Yeshua was the fulfillment of prophecy did so, because they had the faith to see what HaShem was doing. Luke 2:25-26 states "behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Mashiach." Simeon's faith overcame his doubt. He saw beyond the physical realm and realized HaShem was fulfilling the promise of a Messiah. In Shelach we can see the struggles that occur when people do not discern that prophecy is being fulfilled. The struggles that Yisrael faced are a direct result of their lack of faith. As a result, of their lack of faith the generation that HaShem delivered from Egypt was not the generation that entered the Promised Land. Unfortunately, they bore the consequences of their doubt, by being physically and spiritually cut off from the Promised Land.
Doubting that HaShem was capable of overcoming the physical obstacles they saw prevented the Yisraelites from entering the Promised Land. Bamidbar 14:22-23 states"Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:" The spies' failure to bring a positive report after returning from the Promised Land spread doubt throughout the camp. Doubt in the entire camp caused the Children of Yisrael to murmur and complain about Moshe and HaShem. As a result, HaShem judged the camp. Beginning with the spies, the Yisraelites would be cut off from the Promised Land. Bamidbar 14:37 states "those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD." The spies died immediately after doubting HaShem's ability to deliver them into the Promised Land. However, judging the spies was not enough to atone for the whole camp. Bamidbar 14:29 states "Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me" HaShem required the Children of Yisrael to wander forty years in the wilderness until the men of war that had come out of Egypt died. The Children of Yisrael needed to remove doubt from the camp before they could inherit the land. Yehoshua and Calev were the only two men of war that could see the prophecy being fulfilled. Except for Yehoshua and Calev the rest of the generation that came out of Egypt was cut off from the land. They did not have the faith of Yehoshua and Calev. Therefore, they did not recognize the fulfilling of the prophecy. As a result, the cost of their doubt was, that they would wander in the wilderness for forty years. Doubt like this affect's people spiritually and diminishes our relationship with HaShem. Yehoshua 5:4-6 states: "this is the cause why Yehoshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised. For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD swore that he would not show them the land, which the LORD swore unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that flowed with milk and honey." When the Children of Yisrael's faith faltered and they did not enter The Promised Land, they also lost, the sign of the covenant. Yisrael's lack of faith meant that the children born in the wilderness would not be circumcised.
This punishment is directed only at the tribes that would inherit the land. The men of the tribe of Levi were not affected because they were not promised an inheritance in the land as Bamidbar 18:20 states "And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel." Despite the negative effects The Children of Yisrael's lack of faith had, HaShem still dwelt with His people through the tribe of Levi. As a result, the Levities remained unaffected and were able to continue officiating in the tabernacle. As a result, many Levities entered the Promised Land with Yehoshua and Calev. Yehoshua 24:33 states "Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim." Aaron's son Eleazar died in the Promised Land and was buried in the Promised Land. HaShem preserved the sons of Levi despite the fact the rest of Yisrael was no longer practicing circumcision. Therefore, HaShem remained steadfast in His commitment to the Children of Yisrael, even though the generation that came out of Egypt did not have enough faith to enter the Promised Land.
Fulfilling prophecy requires a completely different type of faith than believing a prophecy. Many individuals believe that a Mashiach is coming. However, very few individuals believe Yeshua is the Mashiach. This is because; when prophecy does not unfold the way we want we do not have the faith to believe. Yeshua did not fulfill the prophecies the way every individual wanted when he came. Therefore, many individuals do not believe he is the Messiah. Despite those that do not believe, HaShem still has a remnant that remains faithful. When the final prophecies do occur, the generation that is alive at that time will have the opportunity to recognize the spiritual and physical signs that show prophecies are being fulfilled. To recognize the fulfillment of prophecy believers need to have a strong enough faith, to discard their own opinions and understandings. With this kind of faith, believers are open to the Ruach HaKodesh even when the prophecies are not being fulfilled exactly like they have been taught.
By Rabbi Yaakov benYosef ABOUT Torah