Thursday, June 11, 2015

Parashat Shelach (שְׁלַח Send ); Numbers 13:1-15:41 by Jon Eaton



Parashat Shelach (שְׁלַח  Send );  Numbers 13:1-15:41  by Jon Eaton
               
I will focus on the 2nd Aliya and more specifically Numbers 14:4, “They said to each other, "Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt!"”

The Israelites had heard from 8 of the 10 spies that there were giants in the Land of Promise and had spent the night wailing and crying.  They were concerned about their wives and children and fearful of dying but to add to their sins they decided to find a new “leader” that would take them to a safe place – albeit Egypt.

In Judaic tradition, the Sin of the Spies has far and long reaching consequences.  Their lack of faith and the aptitude to generate fear through the people of Israel, caused an entire generation to miss out on the Promise Land that they had sought so eagerly for.  But was their punishment simply from a lack of faith?

A simple “google” search for ‘Sin of the Spies’ will have your browser blocked up for decades but I think that most material has neglected a very serious event – the search for a new Mashiach.   The disgruntled Hebrews wanted a ‘replacement Mashiach’. 

The wailing and the crying continued all night but it was only when the Israelites decided to find a replacement leader that Moses freaked out and the Lord suggested that a new nation be birthed through Moses.   Moses has always been a prefigure of Israel’s true Mashiach, Yeshua, and thus the rejection of Moses as leader was enough to bring huge judgement and consequences upon the Hebrews.  Think about it.   The Israelites complained MANY times, lacked faith MANY times, but only when they rejected their Moses messiah did they forfeit the right to enter the Land.  Considering that Egypt was the ‘anti-Promised Land’/ ‘replacement Promise Land’, it could be assumed that the Hebrews were now looking for an anti-messiah.

Despite seeing the 10 plagues in Egypt, the Reed Sea opening, water from a rock etc etc etc, the Hebrews not only lacked faith in the Lord Almighty, but they also lacked faith in their leader.    The Moses messiah had not lived up to their expectations of what they thought he would do for them.    1300 years or more later, the true Mashiach would arrive and not live up to their expectations again.

Both generations of Hebrews, separated by more than a 1000 years, rejected their leader messiah because he did not live up to what the people had expected. 
 
The Moses generation Hebrews were expecting an easy path into the Promise Land (without the need for faith) and the Yeshua generation Hebrews were expecting an overthrow of the Romans (again no need for faith).

Israel today is looking for a “messiah” to take them to the peaceful places.   Modern Israeli newspapers are filled with articles about peace and “who” is able to give them peace.  They are not looking for a Messiah who will take them into battle against Giants.  They want to return to Egypt in a sense because some have forgotten that the Land of Israel IS theirs – anti-Zionist Jews / anti-Zionist Christians??   The whole 'land for peace' swap with the so called 'Palestinians' is a great example of Israel giving up on the Promise Land for an easy existence. 

Even Christians who believe Replacement Theology have ceased to see the need for Israel to find their true Mashiach and take the Promise Land.  The deception in the Garden is as alive today as it was 6000 years ago.  "has God really said...?" (Gen. 3:1).    Did God really say that Israel would be saved?  Did He really say that he would return His people to the Land?

We should all be very keen for Israel to find their true Messiah as Rav Shaul stated, “Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!”  Romans 11:12.

And then let us not forget to continue in obedience and faith also, "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it" (Heb. 3:7-4:2).

The discipline of the Lord is loving and gracious.

Jon Eaton

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