Updated: Oct 11
[18-24 Feb 2024]
Theme of the Book of Exodus:
About pursuing the instructions in order that we can build a dwelling place for Yeshua.
Meaning of "tetzaveh" = "you shall instruct"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Exodus 27:20-28:12
Monday: Exodus 28:13-30
Tuesday: Exodus 28:31-43
Wednesday: Exodus 29:1-18
Thursday: Exodus 29:19-37
Friday: Exodus 29:38-46
Shabbat: Exodus 30:1-10 & Ezekiel 53:10-43:27
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
2 Kings 21-25
Parashat Tetzaveh is the third last portion of the Book of Exodus in this year's reading cycle.
This portion continues to speak about the items and things concerning the tabernacle. The biggest part of this portion is about the clothing which the priests had to wear for their service at the tabernacle. But before the instructions regarding the priests' clothing were given - Abba instructed Moses that only the purest olive oil which they had, had to be used for the menorah in the tabernacle. Oil in the Bible always represents anointing. In the book of Exodus, we've been looking at the theme of light, life and living in this continuous rhythm of God's provision. From last week's portion we were reminded that we have to give ourselves as a contribution (terumah) for this life which Abba has in store for us, so that we can live in His rhythm.
The priests, dressed in the garments as Abba instructed Moses for them to wear, went into the tabernacle to light the menorah with the purest olive oil available. The menorah was the only light source in the entire tabernacle. Can you even imagine how impressive that lamp stand must have been to give light to something the size of the tabernacle?
We know that today we are the tabernacle / temple. And our lives should be a light unto the rest of the world. This light inside of us has to do with our anointing. This anointing is the anointing of being a royal priesthood. Through the Blood of Yeshua (Jesus), we have been made this royal priesthood. We are called to God's service. Just like the priests served in the tabernacle. Today we are the tabernacle and our lives should be a living sacrifice and testimony of Who God is!
Abba's desire for each one of us is to focus on the anointing which He has placed on each one of our lives. Our anointing should be light a light that shines in the darkness of this world - just like the menorah lit up the entire tabernacle. We are called to be a light unto the nations. But to be a light unto the nations, it will require something from us. Remember last week's portion? Terumah meaning contribution / offering and reminding us that our faith walk will require something from us. In order for us to be a light unto the nations, we have to be priests - in other words walking in our callings.
The priests wore 4 different garments. The first one which they had to were was a "kutonet." A "kutonet" is the Hebrew word for "cover" and this garment was like a linen tunic. Linen in the Bible represents our righteousness - that we are clothed in righteousness. Thus for us to be able to be priests, we have to be clothed in righteousness. The next garment which they had to wear was the "michnasayim" - which is the Hebrew word for "trouser." The pants would cover the part of their body which was connected to being fruitful in the flesh. From this we can learn that even in being fruitful in life, it's still connected to being righteous and in right standing with Abba. We have to continuously walk with Abba and pursue righteousness. The third garment which the priests had to wear was a "mitznefet" - which is the Hebrew word for a "turban" or head covering. Wearing the turban spiritually has the connection to what goes on in our heads / minds. What's going on in my mind is connected to my senses: sight, feel, smell, taste & hear. What do I expose myself to? What are the things which I allow form the outside to come into my body? And are those things encouraging righteousness within me? Abba desires for our thought lives to also be righteous. It's not only about the normal "acts of faith" that's important when it comes to our faith walk. Abba wants all of our lives to be righteous. Not only what I do, but also what I think and listen to and taste, etc. We have to fill our minds with the Word of God. And as we grow more and more into His image, we should also grow the mindset of Him. The fourth and final garment which the priests had to wear was the "avnet" - which is the Hebrew word for a "girdle / belt / waistband / sash." The waist of our bodies determine the direction we move in. Think about it for a moment - one does not turn with your feet, you turn with your hips - and then the rest of your body follows. Thus what we learn from the "avnet" is that the direction we go in with our lives should be filled with righteousness. My entire being should be saturated in righteousness.
The Bible teaches us that righteousness is obtained through faith. And it has to do with conviction. Not condemnation. Conviction comes from God, condemnation comes from the enemy. Our fleshly convictions should be changed and transformed by the anointing which we have on our lives. My mind must be changed and focused on this anointing which Abba has called over me. We are all called to this royal priesthood, but simply because Yeshua died on the cross for our sins - does not mean that we have entered into this priesthood automatically. No! Aaron and his sons were not just priests because they wanted to be. Abba called them and gave them the anointing of being priests. But they still had to do their part (last week's portion) and prepare themselves & their garments to walk in righteousness - in order for them to serve God in the tabernacle.
Every single thing in my life should be a testimony of a life of righteousness. Of life as a royal priesthood - to which Abba has called each one of us.
Aaron was the high priest, he was a shadow of Yeshua. Yeshua is our High Priest. Aside from the 4 garments which the priests had to wear, Aaron had 4 more garments which he had to wear. One of those items were the "ephod" - which was a woven apron. The apron was purple, blue, red and linen. The colours represents Who Yeshua is. The blue represents Him as the Messiah. The red represents Him as the Sacrifice. The linen represents Him as the Righteous Man Who has compassion for us. And the purple represents Him as the royal Son of God. One might ask why it had to be an apron? An apron symbolises servanthood. Yeshua came to serve. He rules and reigns through servanthood. And we should also be servants when we follow Him and walk in our anointing. Secondly the high priest also wore a breastplate which had the stones of the twelve tribes on it. The twelve tribes were those whom God had a covenant with. Aaron wore them on his heart. Which was a shadow of how Yeshua wears us as His covenant Bride on His heart. He is constantly carrying us on His heart. The High Priest went into the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle, where the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat of God resided to make atonement for the sins of Israel. In the same way Yeshua intercedes for us with God and He made atonement for us through His complete work on the cross. Thirdly the high priest also word a coat / mantle made from blue wool, gold bells and pomegranates. The pomegranate in the Bible represents the Bride of Yeshua. It's the only fruit with a crown. And the vast majority of pips gathered together forms the fruit. In the same way, we as believers all together form the Bride of Yeshua. When a pomegranate blossoms it looks like a bell before it grows into the actual pomegranate fruit. Round about the time of the feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) the pomegranates in Israel blossoms. And by Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), the fruit are ripened. With Sukkot we celebrate the anticipation of the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, with us being His Bride. Definitely not coincidental that it's the time when the pomegranates are ripened. As Aaron, the high priest, would move around these bells and pomegranates would make a sound - almost creating a song. Wherever Yeshua moved and still moves, He is creating a song. A song that worships the Father. And we are called to walk in His likeness. Therefore our lives should also bring a sweet sound of worship unto Abba.
The fourth garment which Aaron wore was a crown / a golden plate on his forehead. On these plate was written "Holy unto God."
The word "holy" means "consecrated unto God." When we say that we want to follow Yeshua, we are actually saying that we want to be consecrated unto God. And that requires a life of holy making. The term holiness / holy making often makes religious people feel uncomfortable. And it's because we were not told the true essence of it in modern day churches. Holy making is not about being superior over others or placing yourself on a pedestal. It's about making the choice to pursue righteousness and being consecrated unto the Lord. It's saying that we give all of ourselves and our lives unto Him and to His service, to shine His light unto the nations.
This week's portion ends off with how Aaron and the other priest had to be consecrated for seven days. And then Abba gives Moses instruction to create the Altar of Incense. The Altar of Incense stood with the Menorah in the Holy Place. Incense is a type of worship. A sweet scent going up to God. Like our lives should be - our lives should present a sweet aroma unto God.
Just like God gave the instructions for the priests' clothes, in the same way He dresses us in righteousness through our faith. And as a result of our faith it would lead to righteous works / acts. We cannot be saved through our works or acts of the flesh. However, once we realise the extend of what Yeshua has done for us at the cross and we, by free will, accept our salvation - we have to start living a life of righteousness because of our faith. And as a result of that, it would lead to righteous works. With us being the light unto the nations, so that others would be able to see Yeshua through and in us! Through a life of righteousness, we bring worship unto the King of Kings!
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Portion 20: Tetzaveh (This blog you are reading now)