Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Today, we discuss the last question in the series on the Red Heifer. The question is based on the last instruction. Numbers 19:9 “A clean man is to gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a clean place outside the camp. They are to be for the community of Bnei-Yisrael to use as water of purification from sin. 10 “The one who gathers the heifer’s ashes is also to wash his clothes as well as be unclean until evening. It will be a permanent statute for Bnei-Yisrael and for the outsider living among them.
Why are the ashes of the Red Heifer to be used as water of purification from sin? God loves a good bar-b-que. These offerings were done because they smell good. God can smell things that we can’t smell. For instance, God can smell a willing heart. Ephesians 5:2 and walk in love, just as Messiah also loved us and gave Himself up for us as an offering and sacrifice to God for a fragrant aroma.
Many offerings were to be eaten, but not so with the Red Heifer. As we have seen, the Red Heifer represents the Bride of Messiah. She is sacrificed for/to Him and then all of her is burned up into ashes. We die to self, so we can live for/in Him. Galatians 2:20 and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me. And the life I now live in the body, I live by trusting in Ben-Elohim—who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
What happens next is amazing. Water represents the Holy Spirit. When we have joined with Yeshua in His death, we are ashes. Then the Holy Spirit (water) comes upon us and we become the “stuff” (a paste is made from mixing ashes and water) that is used to purify the entire community from sin. Revelation 22:2b and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. This is another metaphor for the paste. The burnt offering of our flesh is mixed with the water of the Holy Spirit to bring life from the dead to the world. We become the leaves of the tree of life. And this is coupled with Isaiah 55:12 “Yes, you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace. The mountains and the hills will break forth before you singing, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands!
The next verse of Isaiah 55 speaks of a cyprus tree and a myrtle tree (Myrtle in Hebrew is “Hadas” which is Esther’s Hebrew name. The leaves of the myrtle are shaped like lips. Hadas, therefore; represents kisses and love.) As we discussed earlier, the cyprus tree signifies everlasting strength (that will not rot) and myrtle represents love. Together they signify love that endures. Isaiah 55:13 Instead of the thorn bush, a cypress will come up, and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up, and it will be a memorial to Adonai, as an everlasting sign that will never be cut off.”
The Red Heifer is referred to by theologians as “the mysterious offering.” It is, but since we took the time to examine the parts in detail, don’t you find it is less mysterious? Yeshua said it this way… Matthew 13:11 And He replied to them, “To you has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. I enjoyed writing it, I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed 7 July 2021 27th of Tamuz, 5781
Nu 32:20-33:49 Ez 21 1 Ch 2 (Lk 20:1-26) Php 2
All the men of Shomair Yisrael are invited to recite the memory verse this coming Shabbat. And why? Because for too long men have acted wrongly in their role as “lord (notice the lower case “L”) of the house.” In Hebrew we express “lord of the house” as “Ba’al HaBayit,” but that is idiomatic for “landlord.” Besides, “Ba’al” is a false god in Scripture.
Men, instead of being lord of the house, why not start living in the role of priest of the house. Yeshua is both, and we are called to be His ambassadors. Priests intercede for others. Priests pray for the blessing of others.
You might be wondering what brought this on? It is this, from the start of today’s Torah reading… Numbers 32:23b Be assured! Your sin will find you out! Of course I’m taking it out of context, but the principle still applies. (Women, you’re guilty too, but I’m especially directing my comments to men today.)
For too long we have been living like what is done in secret will stay a secret. But God says differently… Luke 12:2 There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and nothing hidden that will not be made known. 3 Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in private rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops.
Well, as Dan Juster has told me, there is always room for repentance.
Memory Verse: Psalm 101:3 No base thing will I set before my eyes. Twisted behavior I hate— it will not cling to me. 4 A perverse heart will depart from me. I will know nothing evil.
136 7/5 Monday: Esther 5-7
137 7/6 Tuesday: Esther 8-10
*138 7/7 Wednesday: Nehemiah 1-2
139 7/8 Thursday: Nehemiah 3-4
140 7/9 Friday: Nehemiah 5-6
The question of the day: Who are your “Sanballat and Tobiah?”
Answer: I’m asking, “Who are your enemies?” Jeremiah 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite officials heard all this, they were very displeased that a man had come to seek the welfare of Bnei-Yisrael. Jeremiah had been given a plan by God (he prayed before answering the king) to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.
Who is “very displeased” that you have come to “seek the welfare of Bnei-Yisrael?” Ask the Lord to reveal this to you. Then pray for them, and be aware that, like Sanballat and Tobiah, your enemies may try to join you. May the Holy Spirit keep us aware of those who pretend to build with us while having intentions that are at odds with God’s intended purposes. Keep us wise, Lord.