Parashat Ki Tisa


Parashat Ki Tisa

The Bible teaches that G-d is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The fact that He does not change is an important truth. In this week’s Torah portion HaShem states the importance of the Shabbat. Man is not under the Torah today, because the Torah is not in force. Without a Temple much of the Torah commandments cannot be done. Because the Torah is a unit, a partial Torah is no Torah at all. Man returns to the status of Abraham and is called to walk by faith. There is an inherit relationship between the Word of G-d (Scripture) and faith. Faith is applying Scripture to one’s life. Hosea the prophet reveals that Israel will be in a dispensation where there will not be a king or a functioning priesthood. Man will have to personally struggle with applying Scripture to his life; not because he is under an obligation to do so, but because he should have a desire to live in a manner pleasing to G-d. In other words, man utilizing the Holy Spirit is free and in a state of spiritual maturity to choose to obey the commandments, not out of compulsion, but because he desires to live in a manner pleasing to G-d.

In regard to Shabbat, the seventh day of the week, the believer in Messiah Yeshua is not obligated to keep it more than he is obligated today to offer sacrifices. However the believer, understanding that there are benefits, even blessings attached to the Shabbat is free to embrace it and experience the positive elements contained in the Shabbat. This week’s parasha reveals what these positive elements are.

First the Shabbat is a sign between the children Israel and G-d (see Ex. 31:13). In other words the Shabbat is one of the things that demonstrates that a person has a relationship with G-d; the G-d Who has a sanctifying influence in a person life. For the text says, “…you shall keep My Shabbats, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I am the L-rd, Who makes you holy.” When Torah law was enforced one who violated the Shabbat was put to death (see Ex. 31:14-15). This truth was stated twice to show just how serious G-d is about the Shabbat.

We are also told that Shabbat is considered Holy to HaShem. G-d likes holy things and you and I should like the things that G-d likes. Finally we are told that through the Shabbat comes a refreshing. Notice that the text says, “…for in six days the L-rd made the heaven and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed” (Ex. 31:17). If G-d Himself kept that Shabbat and was refreshed by it, how much more would man be spiritually renewed by ceasing from our earthly responsibilities one day each week and dedicating it to G-d in faith. Be careful and don’t make the error that many have made, believing that this Scripture teaches that man should set aside one day each week. This is not what the text says.  G-d has sanctified the seventh day and only the seventh day to be a means of spiritual refreshment and blessing in your life. Although you are not under an obligation to embrace the Shabbat today any more than Abraham was, it might be wise to prayerfully consider doing so. Shabbat Shalom!

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