Updated: Oct 11
[12-18 May 2024]
Theme of the Book of Leviticus:
Life as a priest.
Meaning of "emor" = "speak"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Leviticus 21:1-15
Monday: Leviticus 21:16-22:16
Tuesday: Leviticus 22:17-33
Wednesday: Leviticus 23:1-22
Thursday: Leviticus 23:23-32
Friday: Leviticus 23:33-44
Shabbat: Leviticus 24:1-23 & Ezekiel 44:15-31
1 Peter 2:4-10
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
1 John 3-5
2 John 1
3 John 1
We are at the second last portion of Leviticus. And up until this point our portions in this book dealt with the instructions one had to adhere to to be a priest.
Being set apart. People who are not afraid to stand up for truth and Abba's instructions. People who are consecrated unto Him. People who are helping others to also live life as priests.
This is the general theme of Leviticus - life as a priest. And we are ALL called for this role. It's not only a select few like in the time of the Israelites in the desert - where only the Levites were called as priests. Thus the paragraph above applies to all of us and should be true about each one of our lives.
Emor (this week's portion) means to speak / talk / teach. This portion starts out with the instruction that you should not become ritually impure through contact with a dead body. We should not have contact with death. What we can learn from this, since we are called to pursue life (theme of Genisis) - it goes beyond the physical level of not touching dead things. But it goes deeper to a spiritual level. We have a choice between life and death. And our instruction is to choose life. Thus we cannot allow anything that's related to death spiritually to form part of our lives. We should be so filled with life and faith that there would be no place for death and fear in our lives.
It's also in this portion that we read that priests are not allowed to marry divorced women or women with a promiscuous past. They were also not allowed to serve in the temple when they had any physical deformity. Today (after Yeshua died on the cross for us), we know that this has nothing to do with physical deformity. But with being out if line with Abba's instructions.
We then read about this (what seems odd) section about a calf which had to stay with his mother for at least seven days after birth. We then also read that you are not allowed to slaughter an animal and it's offspring on the same day. And then it continues on with instructions applicable to the priests.
It seems like such a random piece of information given. But with God nothing is ever without reason! And what this was all about is to highlight the importance of preserving life! If you slaughter an animal and it's offspring on the same day - you are destroying the harvest. You are destroying the possibility of continious life, destroying a generation. This whenever they brought sacrifices they were never allowed to destroy generations. This was appliable in the physical.
But I think that this is an even bigger responsibility for us in the spiritual these days. You are standing in for an entire generation. And the choices you make will either bring forth life or it will bring forth death. There is no in between and this is a pretty serious responsibility.
As the portion then reverts back to the responsibilities of the priests - we read about the annual Biblical festivals. It was the responsibility of the priests to teach the people about shabbat as well as about all of the festivals.
Now here comes a massive reality check to each one of us. If we are all called as priests - which we all agree that we are. Then we have to ask the question whether we (each one of us) are teaching others about shabbat and the Biblical festivals. Sheesh. I don't know about you, but I know for sure that I'm not fully obeying that instruction the way I am supposed to as a born-again believer. That means that I have some serious work to do. And I want to ask you to be honest with yourself about this too. It's a responsibility that's placed on each one of us!
Abba's festivals are all about harvest and about us living in that cycle of harvest. And teaching others about it as well so that they can also live in and experience that rhythm of harvest.
Lateron in this portion we then read about the items which were in the Holy Place (Inner Court) of the tabernacle: the menorah, the table of showbread an the altar of incense.
This portion then finishes off with a man who was executed for blasphemy & penalty of murder. In other words he did not pursue life.
The late Gerrit Nel from Kol Kallah said it so well, by saying that the priests' work was "to teach people how to live and to choose life." The priest carried the responsibility to show people how to live in the light of the menorah. We are called to be a light in the world - so that others could see Yeshua through our lives. It was the priests work to teach the people about Abba's festivals - to teach them about His cycle of harvest.
On the fourth day of Creation, God set the "mohadim" (moe-ha-diem) in place. It's the Hebrew word for appointed times, seasons, feasts. Thus we can see that these festivals belongs to God and that they are not Jewish festivals like many people claim them to be. The festivals were created and set into place even before God created mankind. It wasn't an after thought. God knew (and still knows) what He was doing.
Since we are all called to live life as priests - this is a responsibility which we all carry. Being a priest is not just about bringing sacrifices and working in the tabernacle. But it's about talking (emor) and teaching the people about Abba's mohadim and His cycle of harvest which brings forth life!
When we understand Abba's harvest cycle, we learn something about His unfailing provision and presence in our lives. And it's ought to be celebrated. Thus as (spiritual) priests, we should live life through celebration. Celebrating what Yeshua has done for us and what He will still do for us one day when He returns on the clouds to come and fetch us!
If that's not a reason to celebrate life, I don't know what is! As priests, we can celebrate this life from the place of His presence! We are not only responsible for ourselves. But we are also responsible for how we impact others' lives. It's not our responsibilty what others do with the information which we share with them, but it is our responsibility to share.
When we celebrate the Biblical festivals today, it's not the same as the way the Israelites did. They did it religiously and with traditions. We don't do it out of obligation but out of choice and we CELEBRATE it!
We need to walk in righteousness before God. And our righteousness are determined by how we live. Either according to Abba's instructions - which will make us righteous through the Blood of Yeshua. Or unrighteous when we don't follow His instructions and walk according to our own flesh.
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Portion 28: Emor (This blog you are reading now)