Thursday, August 8, 2013
שֹׁפְטִים Shofatim (Judges)
I have always joked to the old saying, “ nobody is perfect” and I have come to the realization that I am wrong. Yes I am wrong, when it comes to perfection, we are called to be perfect, it is mitzvah, and we are called to be perfect. Where did the conformity of not being perfect come from? That is a good question, unfortunately there is no real answer other than the enemy comes to steal and destroy. If the enemy, Ha Satan cannot beat you on a front on attack he will come around with a half-truth, which is a lie to destroy your world. As a scientist I know that even trace amounts of many compounds can have an adverse effect on ones life. Take for example cyanide, even is trace level amounts can induce a cardiac arrest and life is taken from a person that has ingested this substance. A jug of pure water is contaminated with one drop of urine, so is a half-truth, it has the same effect.
In This parasha we are called to appoint judges in our midst, and I take the position of we are called because anything that the Torah recounts as in the times of Moshe, it applies to us as well. I have said many times that history is cyclic and what has happened and applied to our fore fathers applies to us. At this stage you may be thinking, I am not Jewish, the children of Israel are not my ancestors so how can this applies to me? Have you not heard that when we come into covenant with Yeshua HaMeshiach we are grafted into the house of Israel? There fore we are Israel, we have been adopted into the chosen people and as a member of the family it then applies to us. So when he commands us to be perfect Deuteronomy 18:13 that’s what we should be perfect with the YHVH. Quite a concept being perfect in YHVH, so if we are perfect in Him how can we go wrong, the Torah teaches that we can walk with Him in perfection that this Torah is not to difficult for us to do Deuteronomy 30:11-14: For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?” But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it. Why is it that we are always condemned for trying to live the Torah and are called legalistic when is a command for us to do so? Deception dims the spiritual eyes like cataract of the eyes. Living Torah is not for salvation but rather because of salvation.
This brings me to another common saying that this parasha highlights. Monkey sees monkey does. No wonder the proponents of Darwinism say and attest that we are descendants of monkeys or primates, this reminds me of the 5-monkey syndrome. Even this saying applies to many of us, when we are surrounded by a number of our peers we are pressured to act a certain way. Hence the term peer pressure, we tend to do what majority does, also the idea of democracy, mob rule. Monkey sees monkey does, but we are warned that we should not do such thing, we are called to do the exact opposite, in fact this is another mitzvot, not to do as the other nations that surround us, when we come into the promised land, when we take possession. Deuteronomy 18:9 When you have come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
We are called to be a priestly nation, a holy nation, and as I have said many times, understanding the meaning of words is the key to understanding the character of YHVH. Holy is nothing mystical; it does not mean that we walk around with a halo over our heads or we suffering from strange finger postures. Holy, Kadosh, simply means, being set apart, for a special service or purpose in YHVH kingdom. We no longer belong the kingdom of this world, but we belong to the Kingdom of the most high, blessed be his name. His kingdom is not on distant place that we cannot get to, but rather is right here right now with us as we live his Torah, not to be saved but because we are saved. There is big difference between the two statements, one is rightly so called legalism, to do Torah and laws to achieve salvation, and the other is grace, to do Torah because of our salvation. This brings me to the Sh’ma, and you shall love your Elohim with all your heart, with all your strength, with all your possessions. Love is action, love is more than a sensation, so living Torah is loving our redeemer YHVH who gave us Messiah so that we may be part of his Kingdom if we choose to do so and he choose us to be His.