Parashat Mishpatim (Judgments) Exodus 21:1-24:18 ; Maftir: Exodus 30:11-16 ; Haftarah: II Kings 11:17- 12:17 Moseef I Samuel 20:18, 42


Parashat Mishpatim (Judgments) Exodus 21:1-24:18

Maftir: Exodus 30:11-16

Haftarah: II Kings 11:17- 12:17 Moseef I Samuel 20:18, 42

This upcoming week begins the final month in the Jewish year which is called Adar. The month of Adar begins the preparation for the Jewish New Year. One needs to remember that there are different New Years in Judaism which I have discussed in a previous blog. Part of the preparation for the New Year that begins with the month of Nissan or Aviv is collecting the half shekel that was used to support some of the work that took place in the Tabernacle and then in the Temple. In order to help one remember his responsibility to give this half shekel, this Shabbat is called Shabbat Shekalim.

This Shabbat is also the day before the New Month is ushered in and therefore we add to the special reading from the prophets for Shabbat Shekalim the first and last verse of the reading for Erev Rosh Chodesh (eve of the new month). There is also in addition to the normal reading from the Torah a special reading from Exodus chapter 30 which speaks about the commandment to give the half shekel.

The main theme of the prophetic reading is setting the Temple in order. As believers in Messiah Yeshua, we have many advantages over those who are not. Even though there is no Temple in Jerusalem, the believer is told in I Corinthians 6:19 that his body is a Temple for the Holy Spirit. In the same way that each year the Priest and the Levites reviewed the condition of the Temple to see what repairs and actions needed to be taken, so too should the believer take an inventory of his life to see what aspects of his behavior hinders the work of the Holy Spirit in and through him. One reads in II Kings 12:16 that the workmen acted with integrity.

The word that is used here is normally translated by the word “faith”.  Hence those who labored in the name of HaShem and for the people did so by faith. The author of the letter to the Hebrews taught that faith is inherently tied to the promises of G-d (see Hebrews chapter 11). In other words what should motivate the believer to conduct his or her life with integrity is looking towards what the word of G-d promises the children of G-d. What motivates your actions? Are your life motivations based upon the temporal things of this world or the eternal things that are only obtainable through faith in what Scripture reveals.

Why not join me in examining to see what repairs need to be made at the Temple of the Holy Spirit Who resides in you?

Shabbat Shalom

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