Parashat Mishpatim


Parashat Mishpatim

In this week’s Torah portion, we learn about hearing from G-d in a personal manner. When one studies the Bible, there is what theologians call “general revelation” that is, instruction that G-d has given to all people. In order to fulfill G-d’s call in your life you also need “specific revelation.” This is when G-d directs your life in a personal way, revealing to you specific instructions that you need to follow in order to live in the center of His will. So, if general revelation is found in the Scripture, then where does one find specific revelation? The answer is found in Parashat Mishpatim.

In Exodus chapter 24, Moses ascended Mount Sinai and wrote all the words that HaShem spoke to him. Then Moses took the Book of the Covenant and read it before the people. The people responded saying, “Everything that the L-rd has said, we will do and we will hear.” (Ex. 24:7) The last part of this verse is odd; it would make more sense to say, “we have heard and we will do.” The order in the text seems to be reverse from what would make sense, first one must hear then he can obey.

Knowing that there are not any mistakes in the Scriptures and that word order is important and serves as a means of greater revelation, one must ask the question, what is this verse communicating to the reader? The answer is a simple principle that most people overlook.  Many people live spiritually frustrated lives, wanting and praying for G-d to direct their lives and G-d seems to be silent and they hear nothing from Him. They hear sermons that teach that G-d has a plan for their lives but do not have any idea what this plan is. Their lives come to a stop, waiting for G-d to communicate with them and when He is silent they give up and begin living like those who do not have any relationship with the living G-d. What is it that this simple phrase (just two words in Hebrew) “we will do and we will hear” teach us?

If one wants to hear from G-d, then begin doing. Begin doing the things which are written in the Scripture and when HaShem sees your obedience to His word, then He will begin to speak to you in a personal manner revealing specific details for His plan for your life. In other words, obedience to general revelation is the key to receiving specific and personal revelation for your life. Why would one think that G-d would speak to you and begin directing your life when you are unwilling to put into action the commandments written in the Bible?

Begin studying and applying Scriptural truth to your life and you will be amazed how quickly you will find G-d guiding you and confirming His presence and power in your life. You will soon have a clearer sense of what you are to do with your life and as opportunities and choices present themselves before you, you will have His direction in knowing what to do. In short, stop waiting of G-d to act, because in reality He is waiting on your obedience. Realize that your obedience to His written word is a request to Him to speak to you and become actively involved in your life. This type of a request, He will hear and most certainly respond to quickly. Obey and get ready to hear from the Living G-d.

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