Parashat Sh’lach L’cha
This week’s Torah portion teaches that if one does not walk in faith on a daily basis then at the key moments of one’s life when faith is needed in a big way, this person will fail. Scholars will tell you that the most significant event of Jewish history was the exodus from Egypt. However I would like to say that the exodus was only the preparation for the main event, which is taking possession of the Land of Israel. In the same way, the death of Messiah is of course of great significance, but it was His resurrection that established our salvation.
HaShem tells Moses that because the people continue to provoke Him and not demonstrate faith, despite all the signs He has performed in their midst, He will destroy them (see Num. 14:11-12). What purpose then would the exodus have accomplished if Israel came out of Egypt only to die on the way? Yes it is the entrance into the Land and taking possession of it that was Israel’s calling. To this end Israel, because of a lack of faith, was totally unprepared to fulfill G-d’s will. In a similar manner G-d has some key things that He wants you to accomplish; however, without faith it is impossible to do them.
Moses sent twelve spies to scout the Land and confirm that it was a good land as G-d had promised. All twelve spies agreed that the Land was good, a land flowing with milk and honey; but ten of them said that they could not take possession of it. Why did the ten feel this way? They looked to the obstacles before them and sized them up in light of their own abilities. Only Joshua and Caleb understood that successfully doing the will of G-d depends upon the L-rd and not upon man alone. Joshua said that failing to accomplish G-d’s purposes amounts to rebellion against Him (see Num. 14:9). He also pointed out that since G-d was with them there was no need to fear. The people lacked faith in G-d and therefore refused to enter the Land.
It is most interesting that in this Torah reading that immediately after this section dealing with the spies and the national failure that G-d spoke to Moses about the biblical commandment of Challah. This commandment instructs the people of G-d to remove a portion of the dough when making bread and set it aside for the priests (see Num. 15:17-21). What is the connection between this commandment and the incident with the spies? The commandment of the Challah reminds Israel each day (bread was made each day of the week except for Shabbat) to live in faith. In a very real way the priests in each community reminded the people of G-d’s presence with them and their responsibilities to Him. Therefore the commandment to give them a portion of the bread caused the people to remember their obligations to G-d each and every day.
It is when you and I walk with G-d on a daily basis in the small things that we will be preparing ourselves to act in faithfulness when the big things present themselves before us. This is why Messiah Yeshua said, “If one is not faithful in the small things, how will he be faithful in greater things?”
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