Updated: Oct 11
[16-22 June 2024]
Theme of the Book of Numbers:
Desert life whilst here on earth. Between Egypt & Promised Land. Faith is the key.
Meaning of "beha'alotcha" = "when you raise / set up"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Numbers 8:1-14
Monday: Numbers 8:15-26
Tuesday: Numbers 9:1-14
Wednesday: Numbers 9:15-10:10
Thursday: Numbers 10:11-34
Friday: Numbers 10:35-11:29
Shabbat: Numbers 11:30-12:16 & Zechariah 2:14-4:7
1 Corinthians 10:6-13
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
1 Corinthians 8-13
We are at our third portion of Numbers. In this portion we read how everything was set up in and around the tabernacle. Aaron received the instruction to light the menorah (candlestick) in the tabernacle. But the word which was used in the original Hebrew was not simply "to light" the lamp but "to raise the light" the lamp. Part of the lighting of the menorah was that the high priest, Aaron raised the light on behalf of the whole nation of Israel. We know that Yeshua is our High Priest and He "raises" a light in each one of our lives.
This portion ends off on quite a "negative" note, where Miraim (Moses's sister) speaks in a negative way (gossips) about Moses's wife. The Old Testament is very clear that gossip / slander / speaking ill of others are sin and that many were punished with leprosy as a result. The moment Miriam spoke negatively about Moses's wife behind his back - she got a skin infection, like leprosy. Moses prayed for her healing. According to their customs, they were unable to move whenever someone was sick. Thus, the whole of Israel had to wait for Miraim to heal. She was isolated and not allowed to speak outside of camp for seven days until she was healed.
What's interesting to take note of is that Moses was the one who prayed for Miriam's healing. Like Aaron raised the menorah on behalf of Israel, Moses "raised" Miriam - the one who spoke badly of Him. Sheesh... As I was listening to the teachings of this portion and I grasped the part that Moses was the one who prayed for Miriam - I realised where this was going and that it will be one of those teachings that the flesh doesn't like to hear. But we need to give ear to it so badly!
Moses was the one who lifted Miriam's light, he prayed for her restoration despite what she did to him. When we are gossiping or speaking negatively about others - we are putting out the light of Yeshua in our lives. We have to pray for those who say bad things about us and gossip behind our backs. We have to pray that Abba will "raise the light" in them again. From a fleshly perspective, this is definitely not an easy task.
This portion is approximately a year after the Israelites left Egypt, when the Tabernacle was ready to be erected. It was with the feast of Pesach (passover). One of the passover customs was that one was not allowed to celebrate passover when they have become defiled, for example when they have touched a dead person's body or was in contact with a leper, etc. The Israelites came to Moses and asked Him what they were supposed to do in this case - as it would mean that they would be unable to celebrate Pesach. So Moses instructed them to keep passover 30 days later (allowing them time to become sanctified and deemed clean again). What's important to learn from this, is that it creates this concept that no one should ever miss out on celebrating Pesach. It's a way of raising their lights.
This is the first time that the Israelites were moving again since they arrived at Mount Sinai. In this portion we also see the Israelites discontentment with the manna which they have received up until this point. They asked Moses for something different than manna for a change. This is another important thing we have to take note of from this portion. How often are our flesh dissatisfied with what we have! We often miss that every single thing we have is a gift from God - whether we have a lot or a little - it all belongs to God. We are no different to the Israelites in the desert. We also complain, we also want more than what we have. The Israelites said that they would rather go back to Egypt than to continue living in the harsh circumstances. How often do we do the same? We pray that Abba will set us free (from spiritual Egypt) but once the journey becomes hard (spiritual wilderness), we'd rather go back to Egypt and deal with the troubles we are used to.
In this portion we read how Abba blew a wind from the sea and it blew quails to them where they camped. The Israelites gathered all they could and ate of it. We then read that a plague came over the nation and many of them died. Moses interceded on behalf of the nation and God stopped the plague. This was also when the Israelites raised the brazen serpent.
Whenever the Israelites moved camped, they did it with two silver trumpets. They signaled with the trumpets whatever was happening - for example when they had to stop or move or when they were about to enter into battle or when they had to bring sacrifices, etc. The whole of Israel had to submit to the sound of the trumpets. In this portion we once again see the concept of the Divine Order in which we have to operate when we walk in faith. It's a shadow of how Abba guided / "signaled" them on when and how to move on their journey through the desert.
Furthermore in this portion we read that 70 elders were selected. You'll remember that in parashat Yitro, Yitro (Moses's father-in-law) saw that Moses had a lot on his plate. And he suggested that Moses should get some people to help him to make his load lighter. From that parashat we have learned that Abba had a better plan all along - which Moses would have only later found out. And this is where we are now in parashat Beha'alotcha! Abba set in a new order that flowed from His natural authority.
A father naturally has authority over his children and also over his grandchildren - as head of the family. Thus, when Abba instructed Moses to gather the 70 elders - He was actually giving instruction to gather the family heads of the Israelites. They already had a natural authority to lead. And Abba came and affrimed this natural authority and anointed them in their positions to lead their families.
Abba's Kingdom is not about making some people more important than others. It's about anointing people who have already raised others up, to be the leaders. This counts in the physical as well as in the spiritual. It's not about having authority to rule over others... but it's about responsibility to use the anointing to care for others and "raise" them up to also be a light unto the world!
Our faith is based on what we see... Now you might say that Hebrews 11:1 says the exact opposite to my statement: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
But when we walk in faith, we carry a light - and that is visible for all to see!
The menorah in the tabernacle (which Aaron had to light in the start of this week's portion) gave light to the entire tabernacle. There was no other light in the tabernacle and it continiously burnt. The menorah gave light for all to see. We are called to be lights in this dark world. When we shine our light and live according to Abba's instructions, the light which we shine will be visible for others to see in the darkness.
Moses walked by faith and thus when Miriam spoke negatively about him, he was still able to see light - and therefore he was able to pray for her to get healed! What is it that you see?
When we see the manna / what we have in our circumstances... do we see that as Abba's provision or do we see other desires and ask for more? This parashat should be a reminder for all of us to be satisfied with that which Abba has blessed us with. What we see - being content or not will determine our faith walk and wheter we are able to see His plan for our lives or not.
The Israelites complained about Abba's provision in the wilderness (take note that He DID provide for them) - forgetting that they were on their way to their promised land. As long as we rebel against what we have, we will never be able to walk in His Divine Order and receive all that He has in store for us.
What is it that you see? What you see is what you will walk in. It will become your faith-walk and will be a light for others to see as well!
If you are new here, you can follow the Torah portions with us every week!
(Simply click on the one you want to read).
Portion 32: Beha'alotcha (The blog you are reading now)