Updated: Oct 11
[9-15 June 2024]
Theme of the Book of Numbers:
Desert life whilst here on earth. Between Egypt & Promised Land. Faith is the key.
Meaning of "nasso" = "lift up"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Numbers 4:21-37
Monday: Numbers 4:38-49
Tuesday: Numbers 5:1-10
Wednesday: Numbers 5:11-6:27
Thursday: Numbers 7:1-41
Friday: Numbers 7:42-71
Shabbat: Numbers 7:72-89 & Judges 13:2-25
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
1 Corinthians 1-7
We are back to our weekly Torah readings, after last week's Shavuot celebrations. This week we are reading the second portion of the book of Numbers.
In parashat Bamidbar - the last portion we had before Shavuot - we spoke about the important choice we all have to make for ourselves. We all have to make the choice to follow Abba for ourselves, no one else can make that choice for us. A life that supercedes the natural is available to us if we choose to follow Yeshua and walk in his footsteps.
We finished last week's portion off with the words: "The Price has already been paid. We are worthy, because we have been made worthy by the Blood of the Lamb! We can lift up our heads (census) and stand up boldly to pursue a life in His presence - because we know our worth through what Yeshua did for us on the cross!"
In last weeks portion we read about the concept od the "census" again which is about the "lifting of heads." And now this week the portion is called "nasso" which means "lift up"...
In this portion, the census that Moses was instructed to do, was completed. The tribe of Levi was responsible to transport the tabrnacle and it's items whenever the Israelites moved through the desert. In this portion we also read about three laws that are introduced.
The three laws that are introduced links to the three sections of the tabernacle - the Outer Court, Inner Court and the Most Holy Place. The three laws were as follow:
Law of Sultan = meaning the "wayward wife / the wife that is expected to be unfaithful to her husband."
Law of Nassier = the person who chooses to not drink wine, who will not cut their hair and who will not come in contact with a dead body as it will "contaminate" them.
Instructions on how to bless the people of Israel = Aaron and his descendants received this instruction.
Parashat Nasso ends off with the leaders of the tribes of Israel all bringing their offerings for the altar. All twelve tribes brought the exact same sacrifice on different days and we read about it 12 times in this portion. On surface level we might get bored and say "really, do I really have to read this 12 times?"
But by now we know that nothing is ever a coincidence in the Bible. The word "nasso" is related to the Hebrew word "nassi" which means "prince" or in today's day and age - they refer to the president also as the "nassi" of Israel. Thus it refers to the leadership of Israel.
This week's portion is the longest portion of all of the Torah readings. Remember that the portions are split up according to themes.
In this portion, we see that Abba comes and "lift up" (nasso) the Levites and He gave them some sort of authority (nassi / leadership). The leaders of each tribe who brings the sacrifices on behalf of their tribes also confirms this concept of the "nassi."
Abba respects authority. In this portion it's very clear! He will come to affirm and confirm this authority.
Remember that the overall theme of the book of Numbers is about life in the desert, which is symbolic of our faith walk. And thus when we walk in faith, Abba requires from us to respect leadership. For our faith walk it's imperative that we understand and respect the importance of authority.
In James 4:7 we read "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." As Christians we all love to quote the latter part - resist the devil and he will flee from you. But we miss the point on how to resist the devil. We resist him THROUGH the authority we have in God!
We have to submit our lives to Abba's instructions and ways, according to His order. Abba raises up leaders and people in authority for a specific reason. We all have a specific calling and simple because someone stands in a position of authority in a certain matter does not make them superior. It simply means that Abba has called them into that position for His Kingdom. It's not a competition, we all have to focus on the calling which Abba has placed on our lives and respect His ordained authority - because there's a God-given purpose behind it. (Please keep in mind that we are not speaking about manmade authority, but God-given authority.)
In the book of Leviticus we have learned that we are all called to a life of priests. In other words, we are all "Levites." But even beter... the Levitical priesthood was the priesthood of the Old Testament where physical sacrifices had to be brought. But through Yeshua's complete work on the cross - He was the Ultimate and Perfect Sacrifice... And through Him we are part of the Melchizidek priesthood.
Thus from this portion we can learn the responsibility which we all carry to live righteous lives as priests. But also to respect those whose authority we allow in our lives.
We now come back to the three laws that were instructed in this portion. The law of Sultan is about the woman who has to respect the natural authority of her husband - she shouldn't wander off and be unfaithful to her husband. This is symbolic of us as Yeshua's Bride and how we should be faithful to Him (our Bridegroom / Husband).
This concept of a husband and wife is not the same as a mere leadership relationship. When it comes to leadership authority, we submit to the authority because we have to. But when it comes to being husband and wife - it's about intimacy. And we submit to the authority out of choice and out of love. You are not forced to. Although Abba is Almight and has authority over every single thing - He still leave the choice to us. I believe that there is no greater display of His love towards us than that! He gave His Son to die on the cross for us, and yet He still gives us the choice.
I'm going to share the draft layout of the Tabernacle again just to help you create a better understanding.
The law of Sultan is connected to the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle. The intimate place where we dwell with Abba. It's the place where we live in the rhythm of Abba's heartbeat. It's about living from a place of His covenant and THAT's why we can operate in His authority. Abba is inviting us to come and sit with Him and He'll make a footstool out of our enemies.
Psalms 110:1 - "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."
We can only operate from this level of authority when we stay true to our Bridegroom, when we submit to His principles and instructions. It means that Abba's instructions carries the highest priority in our lives.
Secondly we have the Law of the Nassier (Nasserites) which connects with the Holy Place / Inner Court (revert back to the image above if needed). The Inner Court has to do with us taking up our responsibility as priests in His Kingdom. It's about commiting ourselves and our lives to His Kingdom. Hair is often symbolised as a person's "glory". And thus with regards to this instruction - where some chose to not shave their hair it's symbolic of protecting their glory. It's about making the commitment to not let go of the presence of Abba in our lives. This law of the Nassier is about forsaking anything that will take over / intoxicate our lives; or take away Abba's glory in our lives and anything that would take away our LIFE with Abba from us. Once again we see this idea of total commitment and submission to Abba's authority.
Thirdly is the blessing of the priests - which connects with the Outer Court; the blessing that Aaron (the high priest) spoke over the nation (Numbers 6:22-27). It's a blessing that says that we will get to see and experience Abba's presence first hand. We must have the conviction in our hearts to carry Abba's Image in this world. We are made in His Image and therefore we have to keep our eyes fixed on Him. When we live according to His Image, we get to live in His authority as well. We can only do that when we submit to His authority and order our lives according to His instructions.
Abba truly values authority. It's confirmed in each one of these three laws that was instructed in this portion. When we submit ourselves to Abba's authority, we will have grace and we will have peace!
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Portion 31: Nasso (The blog you are reading now)