Parashiot Mattot (Numbers 30:2-32:42) & Masei (Numbers 33:1-36:13)

Parashiot Mattot (Numbers 30:2-32:42) & Masei (Numbers 33:1-36:13)
Haftarah: Jeremiah 2:4-28, 3:4, and 4:1-2

This week we read two Parashiot and conclude the book of Numbers. In the section that I selected for this week’s study Moses, learns that he will die soon.

“Hashem spoke to Moses saying, ‘Take revenge for the Children of Israel against the Midianites; afterward you shall be gathered to your people.” Numbers 31:1-2

It is most significant that Moses received the command to go and fight against Midian in the same verse that he was told that he would die. Think for a moment how you would respond if you found out that very soon you would die. I have had the opportunity many times to talk with people who just learned from their doctor that their death was imminent. More often than not their focus switches to themselves. This was not the case with Moses. HaShem gave him a commandment with the news that he would soon die to teach one that his life is not about himself; rather the service that G-d has called the person to do.

It does not matter who you are; G-d has a purpose for your life. Most believers understand this. When death is just around the corner it is not the time to focus on one’s self.  Rather there should even be more of an emphasis on completing, with whatever time one has left, the will of G-d. Moses learned that his life was not more important than that of the reputation of HaShem. Even though the text says in verse two that Moses needs to “Take vengeance for the Children of Israel…” Moses understood that it was really the name of G-d that he was avenging, for in verse three one reads,

“Moses spoke to the people saying, warriors from among you— men of war shall be to Midian to take vengeance of the L-rd against Midian.” Numbers 31:3

Moses understood that his life was not about himself, but how could he use his life to lift up the name of
G-d among the nations?  This is a very foreign concept among most people today. Today a person is told over and over that it is all about you or you deserve it. One needs to always remember that when he focuses on self he is departing from the intimacy of G-d and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Moses did not reflect about the nearness of his death, but the necessity of carrying out G-d’s call on his life until the very end. By the way, the end is really just a new beginning.

Shabbat Shalom

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