Parashat Behaalotcha (When you light) Numbers 8:1-12:16
Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7
This week’s prophet reading from Zechariah has a great deal of good news. First of all HaShem announces that He will return and dwell with you. It is very important that the reader understands the “you” as the house of Israel. As a result of Israel’s entering into a new relationship with HaShem there is a wonderful outcome. The text says that many nations will attach themselves to the L-rd on that day and that the gentiles will also become a people unto the living G-d. This is indeed great news.
Once again the Holy Scriptures affirm that in order for these wonderful things to happen there must be a return of Jewish individuals back to the land of Israel,
“The L-rd will inherit Judah His portion upon the holy land and He will again choose Jerusalem.” Zechariah 2:16
An important question to ask is “How can a holy G-d dwell with sinful people”? The answer to this question is found in Zechariah chapter 3. In this chapter the high priest, whose name is Y’hoshua is standing before HaShem in soiled garments. The high priest represents the people and one learns later on in the text that the soiled garments are iniquity. One reads in verse four,
“And he answered and said to those who were standing before him saying, ‘Remove the soiled garments from him’ and then he said to him; ‘See I have removed from you your iniquity and I clothed you with festival garments.”
This vision which takes place in chapter 3 pictures the work of Messiah, Who although was without sin, became sin for us so that His righteousness could be imputed to us. Notice this transformation which impacted the world took place in one day,
“…I have removed the sin of this land in one day.” Zechariah 3:9b
The message for the reader is this: only by means of the redemptive work of Messiah Yeshua will anyone, Jew or Gentile be saved. However the Kingdom will not come until the Gospel makes its way back to Israel. When that happens, and it will indeed happen, then Israel will finally fulfill her divine purpose and have a saving influence on the world. This was exactly how this week’s prophetic reading was introduced; with the message that after HaShem enters into a redemptive relationship with Israel that many nations / gentiles will attach themselves to the L-rd and become a people unto Him (See Zechariah 2:15).
This is why believers today who want to see the world be reached with the Gospel, need to place as a priority, evangelism in Israel.
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