As a Messianic Rabbi that follows the Torah as well as the New Testament I want to share this weeks Torah portion which is part of the traditional Jewish Temple service. Each week there is an assigned Torah portion, from the first 5 books of Moses. An additional Haftorah reading is assigned; this is a reading from the prophets. As a Messianic believer we also study a portion of the B’rit Hadashah, or New Covenant (New Testament). I will be reviewing these portions, pointing out the highlights and summarizing the totality of these readings. I hope you read these portions for yourself as we all may read the same portion of scripture but we may all walk away with a unique and different learning perspective, as the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) reveals.
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This weeks Torah portion for March 1,2014 or Adar 29, 5774 of the Hebrew calendar are as follows: Exodus 38:21-40:38; 1 Kings 7:51-8:21; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 and Hebrews 13:10.
The reading from Exodus is called Pekuei or accounts. The accounts are the finishing of the tabernacle as ordered by ADONAI for the people to build according to all that was ordered. ADONAI had previously placed His “spirit” upon B’tzal’el so that everything would be made exactly as God ordered. Special materials were donated by the people, such as yarn made of scarlet, blue and purple colors. 1,930 pounds of Gold, 6,650 pounds of silver and 4,680 pounds of bronze were used.
A special breastplate was made in which 12 stones were placed, one for each tribe of Israel. A robe was made that had a hem, on which was lined with pomegranates and bells. The turban was made of pure gold and was in scripted with the words “set apart for ADONAI”. When all the work was completed Moses came and blessed all the contents of the tabernacle.
On the first day of the first month, God ordered Moses to set up the tabernacle, anoint it with oil and also the High Priest, Aaron was anointed for service. At the same time in the second year ADONAI ordered Moses to erect the tabernacle and place the Ark of the Covenant in its special location behind the specially designed curtains.
After completing all of these tasks a cloud filled the entire tent of meeting and the glory of ADONAI filled the tabernacle. When the cloud lifted the Israelites were to travel. At night a fire filled the cloud so the people could travel. When the cloud rested in the tabernacle the people would stay put.
As we move the Haftorah portion we read about Shlomo (Solomon) completing the building of the Holy Temple or House of ADONAI. All the people of Israel were called together as the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the House of ADONAI. After the priests left the building the entire House of ADONAI was filled with a cloud and the glory of ADONAI filled the House. Shlomo then blessed the people of Israel and recounted of his building the House of God, as was his father David’s dream to build a house for the Ark of the Covenant in the name of ADONAI, the God of Israel.
In the New Covenant reading, 1 Corinthians 13:16-17 we read the following:“Don’t you know that you people are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you? So if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you yourselves are that temple”.
Hebrews 13:10 reads:“We have an altar from which those who serve in the Tent are not permitted to eat”.
What a beautiful picture we get from the time the Israelites traveled through the desert, to the time the Holy Temple was built by King Solomon, ADONAI has always desired to dwell among His people. His glory was always with them although no house could hold Gods Holy glory. God chose to dwell with His people. Rabbi Shaul (Paul) reminds us in 1 Corinthians that our bodies have become the dwelling place for ADONAI, through the Ruach HaKodesh. As believers we no longer need a temple, we have become God’s Holy temple and this should never be destroyed for it is His dwelling place. So we must care for our bodies and know that they too are holy. The altar spoken of in Hebrews is the altar for Yeshua our Messiah who was not crucified within the Temple grounds but outside the Temple. All of this is a great way to realize how significant the Hebrew Scriptures are as a foundation for the New Covenant. The tabernacle and Temple were all forerunners for our true temple, our bodies given unto the LORD each day as we are Set apart for Yeshua! Amen.