Parashat Nasso (Lift up- a Hebrew idiom for taking a census)
Haftarah: Judges 13:2-25
It this week’s Torah portion one reads about the Tabernacle in the wilderness being erected and worship beginning there. It is for this reason that HaShem commanded the Children of Israel the following,
“And HaShem spoke to Moses saying, ‘Command the Children of Israel that they should send from the camp every person with leprosy and everyone who has a discharge from one’s body and everyone who is rendered unclean due to (touching) a corpse. Male and female you will send out from the camp you will send them forth and lest they will render unclean their camps which I am dwelling in their midst. And the Children of Israel did so and they sent them outside the camp just as HaShem spoke to Moses, thus the Children of Israel did.” Numbers 5:1-4
Because Tabernacle worship was beginning and HaShem would be dwelling in the Tabernacle there were new commandments given which demonstrated a strictness that was not enforced previously. We read in the New Covenant that by means of faith in Yeshua that we become a Temple for the Holy Spirit (See I Corinthians 6:19). People frequently think about the great benefits believers have because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but do we think about the fact that every place we go, He goes with us?
Most of us do not think about spiritual impurity, rather we emphasize the freedom we have in Messiah Yeshua. One needs to be careful not to misunderstand that the freedom is rooted in the power to separate ourselves from sin. Three things were mentioned in the passage from Numbers: leprosy, bodily discharges, and death. These three things relate to pride and unkind speech (leprosy), sexual immorality (bodily discharge), and the result of sin (death). Each leper in the Old Testament received the disease from pride and / or speaking evil to another. The bodily discharges referred to here are related to either STDs or improper thoughts related sexual issues. Finally, the end result of sin is death. Please notice that the context for I Corinthians chapter 6 also has to do with a variety of sinful acts.
The point is that as G-d moves closer to the believer or in other words, as one matures in his faith, there are stricter expectations placed upon the believer. Why is this? In the example from Numbers, there would be a greater manifestation of G-d in Tabernacle worship than before. Likewise, as we mature spiritually, there is a greater potential for G-d to be revealed through us. Are you growing in the faith? Are there things in your life today which you are setting aside because you see them as a hindrance to your walk with Yeshua that a year ago you were not even conscious of them being problematic? I hope you are, for these are signs of spiritual growth. When we give up things in this world because of our desire to glorify Him through a godly witness, we are not really giving up anything worth holding on to.
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