To our 9:00 am Shabbat Ark of Prayer and the Mishpacha within,
This week’s parsha is Parsha Shelach: Numbers 13:1-15:41, Joshua 2:1-24
We see in Numbers that Israel is about to enter the Promised Land. Scouts are sent out and return with a poor report except for Joshua and Caleb. Israel rebels and G-d disciplines them. G-d reviews with them His commandments about offerings, the Sabbath and clothing.
When I am the most fearful it is typically because I have taken ownership for the outcome of my problem when I should have left the results to G-d as the Israelites were unwilling to do. I’m the happiest and most helpful to G-d and those around me when I am able to do the things I know G-d wants me to do and to leave the results to Him.
Notice that the faith of Joshua and Caleb allowed them to see problems as opportunities for G-d to demonstrate His power and not as obstacles. My observation is that those with a solid, mature, active faith tend to emphasize the positive rather than the negative during life’s challenges.
This does not mean that they get up in the morning and say, “Goodie, another day of pain.” But they do look for the silver lining and for the “golden path” that G-d has threaded through the problem that leads us to a stronger more confident faith in Him and a more mature, skillful and sanctified life.
The fear and opposition expressed by the rebelling Israelites showed that they failed to see themselves like G-d saw them. They were and are His chosen people and He promised not to let them fail if they followed His leading. But they wanted to count on their own strength and wisdom instead.
Even though Joshua and Caleb had shown a solid commitment and faith in G-d, they had to accept wandering in the wilderness just like the rest of Israel. My wife sometimes has to deal with pain when G-d is sending trials into my life to get me to change direction. And of course it works the other way also.
When G-d restated many of the Levitical laws, I believe, it was to double down on training the next generation of Israelites. In order to enter the Promised Land and be blessed, they needed to realize that they were accountable to Him, and that privilege brings responsibility.
I’m in Israel today and hope you’ll pray for me to be G-d’s light in the Land and to seek the “golden path” with optimism in your life and the life of the Temple.
Blessings to you and yours.
Your brother in Yeshua in the TEVA TEFILAH,
Posted on Tue, June 10, 2014