Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, June 21, 2021
My intention is to fulfill my promise to answer the 13 questions of the Red Heifer. Today, we are on question 4. “Why is the Red Heifer never yoked?” I want to start our discussion with a proposition; nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God.
God is an efficiency expert (among so much more). His aquarium (the rivers, lakes and streams) work. For example, how did God know how much salt to put in the sea? (Hint: How does God know everything? He is the omniscient God.). How did God know how many rivers of fresh water to flow into the sea to keep the right balance of salinity? There must be an important relationship or balance between the surface of the ocean (and its depth) and the surface of the land areas (called continents), and their heights. And it all works! Amazing!
Since nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God and since the Bible is in the Kingdom of God, nothing is wasted in the Bible. So it is impossible that God ordained the Red Heifer never have a yoke without there being a significant purpose for Him to say that.
A yoke was used in biblical times to prevent slaves from running away. It was a sign of subjugation. It is important to the identity of the Red Heifer, as a symbol of the Bride of Messiah, that she is not a slave to sin. Remember, her purpose is to bring purity from sin. Numbers 19:9b They (the ashes of the Red Heifer) are to be for the community of Bnei-Yisrael to use as water of purification from sin.
Oxen are yoked to carry the burden of work. The Bride of Messiah doesn’t work, but is part of God’s royal family. Rabbi’s note: as we do the work of the Kingdom of God, we might be tempted to think we are working. The right mind-set is that God is doing the work, while we are only His agents (or ambassadors).
Isaiah 58:6 “Is not this the fast I choose: to release the bonds of wickedness, to untie the cords of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to tear off every yoke?
Every yoke of bondage to sin is broken by Yeshua. Yet He has something else that is also called a yoke, but it is not for enslaving a beast of burden… Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and ‘you will find rest for your souls.’ 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
That, my friends is the “shalom” we all seek. Philippians 4:7 And the shalom of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua.
Anchor in Him and be free. John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 21 Jun-2021 11th of Tamuz, 5781
Nu 22:13-20 Jer 52 Neh 1 (Lk 9:27-62) 2 Co 13
The name of the Torah portion this week is Balak (accent on the last syllable). It is primarily known for Balaam and his talking donkey. In this story of push and pull in today’s Aliyah, we read of God telling Balaam to go to Balak and then getting angry with him when he does. Let’s explain that.
Numbers 22:20 God came to Balaam by night and said to him, “Since the men came to you to summon you, arise and go with them. However, only the word I tell you are you to do!”
Then we read… Numbers 22:22a But the anger of God burned because he was going. This seems like a contradiction. Let me offer you my thoughts. God is (according to Hebrews 4:12b) able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Balaam’s heart wasn’t right.
Balaam is an evil (covetous and false) prophet. Judah(Jude) ranks him right up there with Cain and Korach (whose rebellion we just read about 2 weeks ago). Judah(Jude) 1:11 Woe to them! For they went the way of Cain; they were consumed for pay in Balaam’s error; and in Korah’s rebellion they have been destroyed. Balaam heard God say “go” but in his heart he was ready to forsake the conditions God gave him for going. That is what made God angry.
We also must be careful to obey God in all things, in the fulness of His commandments. Just like Balaam, we too could find ourselves on a path in which God stops us to get our attention.
Memory Verse: Daniel 9:19 Lord, hear! Lord, forgive! Lord, listen and act! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay! For Your city and Your people are called by Your name.’
* 126 6/24 Monday: Daniel 5-6
127 6/25 Tuesday: Daniel 9-10; 12
128 6/26 Wednesday: Ezra 1-2
129 6/27 Thursday: Ezra 3-4
130 6/28 Friday: Ezra 5-6
Question of the day: Did you read the story of Daniel in the lions den in Chapter 6?
Answer: Well, go ahead, read it as if for the first time. Let the Lord speak to you through it, as He did to me. There are a great number of miraculous lessons in it. It’s so much more than a children’s Bible story, isn’t it?