Parashat Shemini (Eighth) Leviticus 9:1-11:47
Haftarah: II Samuel 6:1-7:17
As we already know the book of Leviticus deals primarily with the offerings and sacrifices that were made first at the Tabernacle and later on at the Temple. It is important to note that many of these sacrifices were not due to sin, but should be viewed as an offering to HaShem, as in the sense of a gift. In other words some of the offerings were not for the purpose of forgiveness or atonement, but for the sake of pleasing HaShem. Regardless of the type of sacrifice which was being made, all offerings had one thing in common; the one who made it wanted to draw closer to the Living G-d.
In this week’s prophetic reading the Ark of G-d is out of place and David wanted to bring it to Jerusalem. Although the Ark relates to many things, the main aspect of the Ark is that it represents the very presence of HaShem. David was wise in his desire to want to return the Ark to its proper location. However, his zeal to accomplish this caused him to fail. David did not at first consider the proper way to meet his objective. Because he attempted to serve HaShem according to his own understanding, rather that consult the word of G-d, the end result was death, disappointment, and despair. David remarked,
“How can the Ark of HaShem come to me?” II Sam. 6:9
David’s failure reveals the question that we should be asking, “How can I bring HaShem’s presence into my life?” David turned to the Scripture and found the Ark had to be carried a special way by special people (the Priests). Not only did he implement the Biblical admonitions, but he included three things that every act of service to G-d should include: humility, worship, and recognition of His provision. I cannot emphasize too much how important these three things are in drawing close to the Living G-d.
David demonstrated humility by removing his royal apparel and girding himself like a simple servant in a linen tunic. The account informs the reader that David danced with all his might before G-d with joyous sounds, i.e. he worshipped HaShem that day. It is also said that there were not only joyous sounds, but the Shofar was heard. The Shofar (ram’s horn) symbolizes HaShem’s provision. It is vital that each person learns that G-d provides him with everything that one need’s to serve Him. The next time that you struggle with giving, remember that which you are giving for the Kingdom work was provided to you by HaShem. You are only returning to Him a portion of what He gave to you.
Humility, worship and acknowledgment of HaShem’s provision; these three things can bring tremendous change to your life.
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