Thursday, April 9, 2015

Pesach, Week 2

This is the 2nd parsha of Pesach.  Last week my family and I dug into the 4 cups of salvation on our Seder.  The Exodus story, wherein is the first Passover, explains the concept of these 4 cups:  
  1. “I will bring you out” – sanctification 
  2. “I will save you” – deliverance 
  3. “I will redeem you” – redemption 
  4. “I will take you as My people” – restoration
Sanctification, deliverance, redemption, restoration.  From a Messiah-fulfilling/Messianic perspective, I am sure each one of you can relate to this same process that Israel endured, even in that exact order.  Before this great exodus deliverance, we know God first set them apart, sanctified them, as He chose their fathers.  Then they see the literal, even to/including the physical, benefit of that sanctification:  He delivered them from their bondage, redeeming them with an outstretched arm in wonders and wilderness provisions; and finally, restored them as His people with the Covenant at Sinai and with bringing them back into the land He gave their fathers.

This side of Messiah, we can dearly relate to these things as well.  I don't come from a background and ancestry of good behaviors.  Just 2 weeks ago to the day, I got a text message from my brother who relapsed into opiates, asking for prayer and needing help in leaving his Egypt.  I look upon some of my relatives, most of them, and I can clearly see His call for sanctification in my life.  At these moments I reflect that He delivered me first and foremost from my own sin and sinful nature, but also from what I could have been, behaviors that were generationally habitual, and the Egyptian-style bondages of my birth heritage.  He redeemed me with His own blood as the price; and since then, He has worked to restore me into "the days of our first Love" as He grows me closer to Him, taking me as His, bringing me into high places.

My prayer this week has been that my loved ones, most inclusive of my own siblings, one of which said "I need help" in leaving Egypt, would know these 4 cups.  What a time to pray that people come to know the Lord, than the very anniversary of the exodus.

This 2nd week we go into the Red Sea crossing.  The story didn't stop with leaving Egypt.  First of all, 'the going out' calls for a 'placement into.'  Many things happen between the 2 points, one of which is this Red Sea crossing.  Any walking and even non-walking (especially the non-walking) 'believer' knows that being called out of bondage is not the end.  In fact, most of the non-walkers came to stop walking because of false belief of this.  I reflect on my brother, who was delivered from Egypt once, as I said that and as I read this:
And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled:  and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?  And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him ... And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel:  and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.  But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and the chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-zephon.  -- Exodus 14:5-6, 8-9 KJV
The old lord, that hard task-master, surely chases after you, doesn't it?  My brother knew a demanding master in Egypt, and obviously his relapse has shown me that just because he was delivered didn't mean that was the end of it:  that pharaoh chased him and eventually overtook him.
And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid:  and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.  And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, as thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?  Wherefore hast thou dealt with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?  -- Exodus 14:10-11 KJV
Doesn't that sound ridiculous?  God brings people out of Egypt to kill them?  However, that is the same mentality many have coming out of Egypt, even before the wilderness wanderings test their faith.  Our old Rabbi said (and I am paraphrasing) any one of us is just one bad doctrine away from leaving the faith or even being atheists.  He said this as we were discussing how bad doctrine is believing that a single sinner's prayer changes things to the point of completion:  no more battles, no more trials, etc.  When people think that they leave Egypt and they will never be chased, never see a wilderness, never have to walk in the middle of a sea (the nations/chaos), they are unprepared (instead thinking it is prosperity from hereon) and very often easily allow these things to overtake them -- either take them back to Egypt, renounce the Lord, or refuse to walk forward as their carcasses die in the wilderness.  Too often when we approach the faith with a prayer, we think we literally go from Egypt directly to Canaan.  Yes, 38 years of wilderness wanderings were unnecessary, but 2 years were necessary, as was a Red Sea crossing, wherein Israel walked in the midst of the sea (chaos, or the nations) untouched by it.

Above, Israel thought God, by Moses, brought them out to kill them.  Have you ever seen someone leave an Egypt like my brother's?  They think they will die before it is over.  The enslaver pursues strongly.  Or, even in the wilderness how Egypt kept reminiscing on the cucumbers and leeks in Egypt.  Not being prepared for what is ahead after leaving Egypt (falsely thinking Canaan is right outside of Egypt) often leads to people returning -- hence, atheists, non-walkers, faith-renouncers.  I saw my brother with his many stressors, picking up the broken pieces and trying to remend the things he broke.  I do not believe he was prepared for that part -- the part dry like a desert wilderness.  He wasn't prepared to be chased neither.  Restoration is the final cup, but you have to drink the first 3 to get there.  It is a process.  It is important we leave our Egypt realistically, one cup at a time, one step at a time.

That's the thing -- we must take it one step at a time, while remembering to actually take steps forward.  When they cried out about the enslaving lord chasing them, God responded, "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward," (Exodus 14:15b).  Again, not being prepared for what will come after leaving Egypt, and until you get to land flowing with milk and honey, results in not moving.  People will not move if they expect the promised land to be directly outside Egypt.  Why move any more, if you think you are already there?  I reflect on what led my brother to be overtaken and brought back to bondage.  Likewise, I reflect on the times I have returned to bondages of which God freed me.  How did I get here?

Reflecting more on myself this week, and not just pointing to others... I used to think Washington was a bondage for me; and if so, how did I get back here?  We came from the seclusion of Costa Rica back into this chaos that is always here.  Then I realized this is not bondage, this is the sea in its chaos.  Israel had to walk in the midst of it, but they were not touched by it.  No matter what chaos we walk through in our steps toward restoration, we need to know we don't have to be touched by chaos.  Then why walk through it?  Some call it a mikvah of sorts.  Of this I know for sure, Egypt was overcome in that sea.  I cannot tell you how many bonds God has broken, how many things He has overcome in my life, just by bringing me back here.  As I read the story of Israel crossing the Red Sea and how it was used to destroy the Egyptians, God took me through the Red Sea and used it to destroy many enslavers of old.  Praise be to God on this celebration of His Passover and facets of salvation.

 Natasha


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Friday, March 27, 2015

Tzav/Command, through the New Testament

And he cometh to Bethsaida:  and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.  And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.  And he looked up and said, I see men as trees, walking.  After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up:  and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.  And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.  -- Mark 8:22-26 KJV
What is it about seeing and the New Testament portion this week?  Did you catch that in the reading (the one I followed shows Mark 7:31 - 9:1), there is constant talk of seeing?  The Pharisees want to "see" a sign.  Yeshua speaks metaphorically about leaven, the disciples do not understand, and the He asks, "Having eyes, see ye not?"  Then He heals a blind man, causing him to see (passage above). The reading ends with Yeshua saying that some standing there should not taste death until what?  Until they "see" the kingdom of God come with power.

I chose to highlight the portion of the blind man's healing because of two reasons.  First, it is on my mind, since before I read this (not even knowing this was a part of our reading) I had a dream two nights ago that had me waking up thinking of that exact passage.  I will share it later.  Second, because it shows the truth about seeing, that it is most often done in stages.

I remember when I was pregnant with my youngest child, looking up the baby development information week after week.  I looked forward to many milestones weekly, but you also have those ones you consider to be huge.  One of those for me was when her eyes opened.  If I remember correctly, this comes between week 26 - 28.  I couldn't wait to be upon the moments when her eyes would open and just to think she would look upon her hands and think to herself, "Oh!  What are these?  How lovely they look.  How pretty."  Just the thought of her amazement at looking upon her body parts for the first time was just so tickling to my soul.  I can't explain it.  Yet, even in that milestone, it still would be 12 - 14 weeks before her eyes could behold light.  She could see, but alas she was still only seeing in a dark womb.

It got me to thinking about seeing spiritually.  The goal of our eyes, just like hers in the womb, is to behold life in all its brightness...and by "life in all its brightness," I am strictly referring to Him who is Life.  One day we will see Him face to face, but until then the eyes must go through a time of maturing.  A baby's eyes are not developed the day before they arrive, but 12 - 14 weeks prior to mature them enough to behold light, exercising them for this day with what they currently are able to see.  Just the same, we don't just see one day and immediately have developed enough vision to see it all.  A baby starts seeing from weeks 26 - 28, though still just in a dark womb.  Even now, any time on this earth, we really only see through a dark lens.  Howbeit, the more we open our eyes and see in the dark, the more the images come into focus.  By the time we turn on the lights we are fully prepared for what we will behold, having already seen it in the dark.

Two nights ago I had a dream that I was enjoying a moment of peace and restoration with a salve upon my eyes.  It was not the type of salve that would cloud one's vision, but it was my understanding that this salve protected my eyes.  My brother came up to me, attempting to remove my salve by force.  Can you imagine such a thing?  How desperate someone must be to come and remove the salve you have on your eyes.  He had sores in abundance and wanted the salve to heal them.  The problem is he was trying to not just have some of the salve, but all of it that was already upon my eyes.  I stopped him and told him that yes the salve could heal his sores and he could use it, but he cannot have it all nor did he need it all.  There was enough for him to have some without taking all from me and leaving me without my own salve.  I helped him with a second go round, to have some eye salve for his sores, enduring through the desperation to be temperate as to not take everything for himself.

The dream speaks other things to me, pertinent to what is going on but one thing it did show me is this overconsumption to reap a faster result.  Just like a dream I had of him before trying to burn up all the wood to get warmer faster, but that would be to the cost of not having enough wood in the long run.  Seeing takes patience, as does healing, as does warming -- which these actually hinge off of seeing.  There is a reason why Jesus says (a quote from Isaiah) that 'having eyes, they don't see; having ears, they don't hear; though with hearts, they don't understand, lest they turn (repent) and I heal them.'

Seeing is a process, and it starts with seeing your need -- that is, seeing who you really are, a desperate sinner.  When we pray for seeing, how often do we pray to see some spiritual revelaion, not at all thinking that seeing our own vile hearts is a part of that process?  We think of seeing angelic beings, but God seems to be more into having us see ourselves.  That is for a reason.  People who do not see their sores will never see they needed a salve.  It is painful to see others go through this.  It is even more painful to go through it yourself, but we all do.  Slowly, God allows us to see areas we never knew existed.  He heals them in this process of life, all as stages to be able to see that final result:  Him, face to face ... like the man in the passage whose final result was seeing clearly; like a newborn's birth into the light of a bright birth room, whose eyes are just then mature enough, though long "opened," to lock with yours.

I ask you to join me in praying that the Lord would have His way in healing and restoring sight to ourselves and those who are hurting and know they need Him.  Give us endurance to not treat You as a quick-fix, but a lasting and permanent one.
N...

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.    

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tzav/Command, Parts 2 & 3

We finished the Torah today and went into Malachi (Haftorah).  Learned quite a bit this time around.  Always the student.


For higher definition options, you may watch it directly at https://youtu.be/50psorMicEo

Shalom, 

N...

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.    

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tzav/Command, Part 1

Contining the video blog for this week.  Onward with Leviticus.  


For higher definition options, you may watch it directly at https://youtu.be/Na_BJEawRxI

Shalom,

N...

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.    

Thursday, March 19, 2015

VaYikra, Parts 3 & 4 (Haftorah & New Testament)

Brant finished off our week with Ezekiel and Mark's readings.  Note:  teaching children and they require reprimanding, and much training.  For higher definition options, you may watch directly at http://youtu.be/ddWD9QJ9z0c  


Shalom,

 Natasha

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.    

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

VaYikra, Part 2

Hello friends, today we finished out the Torah portion with Leviticus 4 - 6:7.


For higher definition options, you may watch it directly at https://youtu.be/oZeqMcj2gy0  

Shalom,

 Natasha

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.    

Monday, March 16, 2015

VaYikra, Part 1

This week we start the book of Leviticus, or Vayikra, which means "And He called."  It is so fitting because to be called of the Lord is to go through a life of holiness/set-apartness, such set-apartness that the Levites came to know.  Truly, it is worth it.  We count not what we lose, but what we gain.  What have we lost if we have gained the Lord?  To counter, what is a gain outside of the Lord?  The Lord is my portion, my inheritance, my exceedingly great reward.  We count all things but dung so that we may win Messiah.


For higher definition options, you may watch directly at https://youtu.be/cZdZoE_EPuw

Shalom, 

Natasha

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.