Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Why is the Red Heifer slaughtered in Eleazer’s presence (but not by Eleazar himself)? There is nothing wasted in the Word of God. If something is written, there must be a purpose. Here is what the Scriptures say… Numbers 19:2 “This is the statute of the Torah which Adonai commanded saying: Speak to Bnei-Yisrael that they bring to you a flawless red heifer on which there is no blemish and on which has never been a yoke. 3 Give her to Eleazar the kohen. He will take her outside the camp and she shall be slaughtered in his presence.
I had to change the wording of the TLV to make the meaning of the Hebrew clearer. The command to “slaughter her in his (Eleazar’s) presence” is the last part of this section. “In his presence” implies someone else is doing the slaughtering. This must be worthy of our attention, or God wouldn’t have included it. Eleazar is not making the sacrifice, he is witnessing the sacrifice.
The identity of the Red Heifer alternates between Yeshua, Himself, and Yeshua’s body (the body of believers, followers of “The Way”). The death of the Red Heifer is symbolic of the body of Messiah dying to self. How do we go through the fire and not get burned? Die to self before we get there.
The Red Heifer is slain. It wasn’t the priest, Eleazar, who did that, but an ordinary (and unnamed) person, a man from the crowd. It had to be someone outside the “kingdom of priests” who crucified Yeshua. (Notwithstanding the priesthood of Yeshua’s day had a heavy hand in His crucifixion.) How do we answer the question, “Who killed the Messiah?” The most honest answer we have is, “All of us.” We are all “the man in the crowd” who slaughtered the Red Heifer.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed 23 Jun-2021 13th of Tamuz, 5781
Nu 22:39-23:12 Ez 2-3 Neh 3 (Lk 11:1-28) Gal 2
Balaam is so upset. He was on the way to curse the children of Israel for Balak, when his donkey could go no further. This led Balaam into a heated discussion and violence (PETA protest) with/toward his donkey. At no time does he question himself over this extraordinary circumstance.
Numbers 22:31 Then Adonai opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of Adonai standing in the road with his drawn sword in his hand. So he fell on his face. 32 The angel of Adonai said to him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Behold, I came as an adversary because your way before Me is a reckless one!
What was “reckless” about what Balaam was doing? God knew his intentions were not honorable and gave him a warning. It was important that Balaam was fully aware that he must disobey the king who had employed him. The lesson for us is plain. We too must be true to God and His purposes, even when we are tempted to follow a path of disobedience by our government (which is acting in the role of the ancient king, Balak). God is saying to us today, “Your way before Me is a reckless one!” We better get off our “donkey” and bow down only to God.
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: What got into King Cyrus?
Answer: God opened Cyrus’ heart to deep understanding. Hear the words of Cyrus… Ezra 1:2 “Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: Adonai, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build a House for Him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever is among you from all His people—may his God be with him—may go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the House of Adonai, the God of Israel—He is the God who is in Jerusalem.
This is revelation of a deep truth that the leaders of our world today don’t seem capable of grasping. About 2,500 years ago, King Cyrus got it. God’s people, Israel, belong in the promised land. I like the last part, “…the God of Israel—He is the God who is in Jerusalem.”
May the God Who revealed His will to Cyrus also reveal His will to our leaders in the world today. And give them courage, Lord, to stand for You and resist the enemy who wants to destroy what You want to establish. In Yeshua’s name, Amen.