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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 16: B’SHALACH (When he sent)

THE THEME OF THIS DEVOTION IS

GOD WEAVES THE STRANDS OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS SO THAT THE WHOLE FAMILY OF GOD GOES UP TOGETHER TO OUR JOINT INHERITANCE.

EXODUS 13:19:

“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, ‘God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you.’”

“Solemn oath” and “Surely visit”: both these expressions in Hebrew are in the form of an infinitive absolute with a parsed verb—indicating absolute, unequivocal and intense meaning.

“Solemn oath” in Hebrew is in the causative Hifil construction “HASH’BEY’AH HISH’BI’AH” which literally means “Causing them to swear, he (Joseph) had caused them (the children of Israel) to swear”;

and

“Surely visit” in Hebrew is in the regular Qal Imperfect form “PAKOHD YIF’KOHD” which literally means, “Visiting (you), he (GOD) will visit (you, continually).”

THESE ARE ABSOLUTE STATEMENTS.

There is no equivocation in the word of God. It is “Yes” and “Amen.”

It is no accident that our LORD YESHUA was born to a Davidic virgin whose spouse was of the tribe of Judah and of the lineage of David through Solomon (the covenantal line for the Messiah—2 Samuel 7) and whose name was Joseph (linking our LORD mystically with the Torah of Joseph through Yeshua’s adoptive earthly father). The Prince of Judah, Jesus, is the fulfillment of the type of Joseph in Egypt. Yet here Joseph (fulfilled in Jesus) commands the children of Israel, whom he saved from the famine, to carry with them his bones from Egypt “UP” to the Holy Land of the Inheritance of his fathers—at the time of visitation from GOD.

IT IS ABSOLUTE.

God did visit his people, and Moses obeyed this oath by taking with the people the bones of Joseph—the brother who had been separated from his brothers through their jealousy and enmity so that he might be their Savior in the finality of things.

It is no different in our time. The pattern has been set. Yeshua ha’Notzri, cast out by his own family into the nations, is the Savior not only of the peoples of the world, but in the end of his own people as well. And in that finality, his own family will embrace him and take him into their heart by means of the Torah that was given to Moses. (Zechariah 12:10) Thus, the WHOLE FAMILY of God will go up to their joint inheritance—together.

WHAT A MYSTERY! (Romans 9-11)

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 15 BO (Go) GOD’S SIGNS

THE THEME OF THIS DEVOTION IS:

GOD WORKS SIGNS AND WONDERS IN ORDER TO MAKE HIMSELF KNOWN AND TO TEACH HUMANITY BY SUPERNATURAL MEANS THAT CANNOT BE MISTAKEN FOR MERELY NATURAL KNOWLEDGE.

VA’YOMER YHVH EL-MOSHE

BO EL-PAROH CI-ANI HICH’BAD’TI ET-LIBO VE’ET-LEYV AVA’DAIV

LE’MA’AN SHITI O’TO’TAI EY’LEH B’KIR’BO

“And the LORD said to Moses,

Go to Pharoah, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants so that I may put these signs of mine in their midst.” (Exodus 10:1)

“If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin. But now, they have no cloak for their sin. He that hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: buy now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this comes to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, “They hated me without a cause.” (Psalm 35:19) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me: And you also shall bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. ” (Our LORD Yeshua, John 15:22-27)

The juxtaposition of these remarkable statements that concern Gods own testimony among humanity by means of supernatural signs, this juxtaposition creates an incisive point of discernment that is inescapable: The natural mind, Gentile or Jewish, does not love nor appreciate the witness of God in the world. As Paul the Apostle said in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” As long as humans limit God to their own standards of behavior and thought (natural processes according to “natural law” and things derived from rigid intellectualism) they can never discover the deep reality of the transcendent Creator who brought forth the universe and life within it by means of miracles: for the bringing of a natural world into existence from nothing cannot be the product of a natural process that did not even exist when the creation moment was enacted.

This is stunning: even the Jewish Sadducean sect that engineered the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah—that sect which was addicted to governmental power, that was secular in its primary means of attaining power and of maintaining its standing with the Roman hierarchy which gave it power—was guilty of the same blindness as that of Pharoah almost fifteen centuries before! That sect’s members and constituents neither absorbed into their spiritual selves the words of the Messiah nor processed accurately the implications of the unequalled signs which he performed. They intensely rejected the disclosure to them of the Fatherhood of God—the Fatherhood of God in God’s Only-Begotten Son (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 2:7; Proverbs 30:4; John 3:16) and the Fatherhood of God toward the spiritual and natural descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (God is far more than the King of the Universe; he is the Father of his People—as is made clear in many verses in the Tanakh, for example, Exodus 4:22, “Israel is my son, even my firstborn”).

What an amazing turn of events in history: the one turn leading to the Exodus (because God will not be boxed in to man’s boundaries of permitted Divine behavior) and the other turn leading to the Resurrection (because God will not be constrained by the trickery of his moral creation—the angelic host led by that apostate Lucifer-Satan, the Deceiver in Gan Eden who ensnared The One made in God’s own image and likeness—the trickery that led to Death—separation from God because of Sin).

Ponder this for your own sake. Let the truth of the Signs of God sink deep into your inner man. Open your eyes, and believe on Him whom God has sent to you—Yeshua—Jesus—so that you may receive the Comforter and walk with God in the supernatural realm of the Spirit while the natural world stumbles on in its lack of understanding. (John 13-17; Acts 2 and 17; Romans 7-8)

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 14 VA’YEIRA (I APPEARED): THE LORD, OUR DELIVERER FROM SUFFERING

THE THEME OF THIS DEVOTION IS:

GOD WHO FEELS OUR SUFFERING DELIVERS US BY HIS MIGHTY HAND AND HIS OUTSTRETCHED ARM.

Exodus 6:2-7, “And God spoke to Moses and said to him: I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty [EL SHADDAI], but by my name LORD [YHVH] I was not known to them. I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. Therefore, say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.’”

Isaiah 53:1, “…and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed….?”

Luke 22:19, “…This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.”

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

It is almost a universal law:

The greater the suffering,

The greater the triumph.

The descendants of the patriarchs first saved the Egyptians from death by famine through God’s providential ministry to them by Joseph. Afterward, in subsequent generations, the Egyptians feared and then persecuted the prospering descendants of Israel as they multiplied in Egypt. After a long time under persecution, the suffering of the descendants became unbearable, and they groaned and cried out to God.

Then God heard the groaning of their sufferings and called to His Divine Mind His Holy Covenant with the patriarchs. Immediately, God acted to bring their children out, to rescue them, to redeem them, to take them to Himself as His People, and to lead them into the inheritance promised to their fathers. The LORD did this by his outstretched arm.

The same God who suffered with his people as he dwelt in the thorn bush in Exodus 3, like a mother in the travail of childbirth, rose up as the God who does battle with the woeful world of wickedness. He does this continually for us who are the heirs of Promise by the arm of His Suffering Messiah—Jesus (Isaiah 53).

Triumph is first in the realm of the spirit. It is through Yeshua our LORD that we overcome evil in the world*. But what God initiates in the spirit he then consummates in the natural realm of our tangible experience. God will bring down your enemies before you and through him you will triumph over them all.

(Luke 1:71 with context; Hebrews 10:13; Acts 16:36-40)

[*Egypt is the great symbol of the world system in the Bible.]

             Where are you suffering? God is there with you, touched with the feeling of your infirmities.* First he is there to nurture you with comfort by the blessed Holy Spirit.^ But he is also about to arise for your deliverance by the hand and outstretched arm of His Word Made Flesh in your life!*^

*(Hebrews 4:15); ^(John 16:7); *^(Ephesians 6:10-20; Revelation 19:15)

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 The 1st Parashah of Exodus—SHEMOT (Names): THE MYSTERY OF THE THORN BUSH

THE THEME OF THIS DEVOTION IS:

GOD MINISTERS HIS WORD AND HIS GRACE TO US FROM WITHIN A CLOTHING OF THORNS.

Exodus 3:2: “And the angel of YHVH appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.”

Exodus 3:7: “And YHVH said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.”

Isaiah 53:3-4: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.”

Luke 19:1-5: “Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.  And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, and said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!”

Moses beheld what the nation in the days of Rome beheld, Our GOD afflicted with our sorrows and acquainted with our grief.

Our Beloved is not a passive Savior: in the sufferings of Israel in Egypt, GOD suffered with them. In our sufferings throughout all time, our LORD has always been there with us, flaming in his passionate presence and feeling with us the thorns of our curse.

“Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the Torah, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

The old rugged cross: splintered as with thorns.

The Hebrew word for “bush” in Exodus 3:2 is “saneh”—samech-nun-hey. It is unique to this passage and to one reference to it in Deuteronomy in the blessing of Moses upon Joseph. In the passage of the bush GOD reveals his holy Name to Moses as “I AM THAT I AM.” The BDB tells us that “saneh” indicates a thorn bush, probably a blackberry bush—abundant in nutritious berries, but forbidding with its multitude of thorns that bar entry to the delicate fruit within.

GOD chose to reveal himself to Moses clothed in a thorn bush. The letter “shin” in Hebrew is a picture of a thorn bush, similar in figure to a three-pronged pitch fork. This letter is stamped on the hills of Jerusalem by way of its three valleys with a dagesh on the right prong. This can be seen clearly by way of an aerial photograph. God—El Shaddai (the SHIN in Shaddai)—is present in his holy city—wearing, as it were, a crown of thorns.

This is the mystery of the Gospel: our LORD, pierced and crucified, wearing a crown of thorns. From this place of suffering, He ministers to us in the Eternal Now of “I AM.” From this place He supplies us with not only His Word but also his Grace through a fellowship of piercings that we endure with him in this life. As the Apostle Paul tells us concerning the “thorn in the flesh” that he was given so that he might not become exalted with pride over the abundance of the revelations that the Messiah gave to him for our good, “For this thing I besought the LORD thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

Let us not despise the message of the thorn bush, for it is in this word that our fulness in Yeshua is made real.

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 12 P. VA’YECHI (HE LIVED) A TIME TO DIE

THIS PARASHAH DEVOTION SHOWS THAT THERE IS A TIME TO DIE. FOR THE CHRISTIAN, AS IT WAS WITH JACOB, THIS IS A HOMEGOING.

Genesis 47:28-31:

“And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.

“And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said to him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt.

“But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying place. And he said, I will do as thou hast said.

“And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed’s head.”

As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die….”

As Paul told his spiritual son in 2 Timothy 4,

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

I love his appearing. Every night as I lie down to sleep, I pray, “And Lord, if you should come before morning, may I be accounted worthy to go with you, dear Jesus. Amen. I thank you for it. Amen.”

Our Lord himself said to the disciples in John 17:11, 13-24,

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are….

“And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

“As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

“And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

“I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

We too are gathered to the Father at the end of our sojourn in this world.

I have contemplated the nearness of departure from this world. The current plague has made the realization immediate. But I know that my time is in the hands of the LORD. Therefore, I will not fear. I know where I am going when my moment comes.

May the grace of our LORD Jesus calm your mind. Let not your heart be troubled. Let his peace and the knowledge of his purpose keep your mind secure in the bundle of his love and power. You will live and not die until you run your race, finish your course, and hear Him call you home.

 

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 11 P. VA’YIGASH (HE APPROACHED) THE APPROACH TO GOD

THE APPROACH OF JUDAH TO JOSEPH WAS A PICTURE OF OUR APPROACH TO GOD THROUGH THE ONE WHOM HE HAS MADE LORD OVER ALL—YESHUA.
Jesus said, “No man comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) Earlier in John 6:27 he said, “Labor not for the food that perishes, but for that food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him has God the Father sealed.” The word “sealed” is sphrangidzo in Greek. Dr. Strong says that it means “to stamp with a signet or private mark…to keep secret, to attest.”
The saving food of Egypt was administered through Joseph who had been given the ring of Pharoah and was appointed lord over all the land. Only Pharoah was above him. This became the biblical type in the Torah of the reality that God has signified Yeshua his Son and made him Lord over all. To approach God, we must come through the one whom God has sealed. Even Judah came for the provision of Egypt through his brother whom he knew not because his brother had become veiled from his eyes.
Notice the reverence and awe in Judah’s approach in Genesis 44:18:
VA’YIGASH ELAIV YEHUDAH VA’YOMER
BI ADONI YE’DABER-NA AV’DE’CHA DAVAR BE’AS’NEI ADONI
And Judah approached him and said,
“Oh my lord, I pray you, let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears
VE’AL-YI’CHAR AF’CHA BE’AV’DE’CHA
CI CA’MO’CHA CE’FAR’OH
and let not your anger burn against your servant
for you are even as Pharoah.”
There is an offense that some take against the requirement that we approach God through Jesus. This ought not to be. God has set him forth to be the mediator over the creation and to be the means by which we draw near to the light which no mortal can look upon and live*, even the blazing light of God the Father who dwells in absolute power and resplendent radiance. (Revelation 21:23)
[*Exodus 33:20; Mark 9:3; Acts 26:13; 1 Timothy 6:16; Hebrews 1:3]
Yeshua bears the stamp of God. (Hebrews 1:3) Therefore we should approach him with respect while we also come boldly before him because of the grace wherewith he has made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6) When we do, we come to the one who has the power to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19), for he has said,
“All authority in heaven and in earth has been given unto me.” (Matthew 28:18)
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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

MIKEITZ (AFTER, AT THE END OF) TIME IS UNDER GOD’S COMMAND

THE POINT OF THIS DEVOTION IS THAT TIME IS UNDER GOD’S COMMAND AND CONTROL. THEREFORE WE CAN REST, KNOWING THAT THE OUTCOMES OF THE TIMES IN WHICH WE LIVE WILL BE ACCORDING TO HIS WILL AND PURPOSE.

The title of this parashah is MI’KEITZ—“AFTER: AT THE END OF”). The STONE Tanakh translates the opening expression VA’YE’HI MI’KEITZ SHe’NA’TA’IM YA’MIM as “It happened at the end of two years to the day” (the YA’MIM of the phrase “MI’KEITZ She’NA’TA’IM YA’MIM”—which literally means, “at the end of two (full) years OF DAYS”).

On that very day, at the end of two full years of days, God spoke to Pharoah, king of Egypt, in a divinely-given dream. The dream was going to be so disturbing to him that he would require an interpreter in order for his peace to be restored. That interpreter would be the man whom God had separated from his family by means of his dreaming and interpreting. In other words: GOD ORCHESTRATED THE ENTIRE SEQUENCE OF LIFE IN THE MIDDLE EAST TO MAKE IT SO THAT JOSEPH WOULD BECOME THE SAVIOR OF IS OWN PEOPLE IN THE PROCESS OF SAVING THE WORLD OF HIS TIME. In the process, Joseph would foreshadow the Messiah—Yeshua ha’Notzri—who would eventually accomplish the grand salvation of the world and the restoration of all things unto God from the fall of humanity in the beginning of mankind’s history in the Garden of Perfection.

The same is true now: GOD IS ORCHESTRATING SALVATION IN THE MIDST OF THE INSANITY OF THE CURRENT TIMES OF THE WORLD.

Chaos is not meaningless; chaos is often generated by hidden forces in order to bring about a disintegration of the current state of the world so that the world may be re-organized according to a new paradigm. What human planners do not understand is that their viewpoint is temporal—time bound and finite; but God is the One who is ordering the world from an eternal perspective and with a redemptive purpose. Within the ordinary experience of everyday people is the operation of a double agenda: the temporary agenda of human controllers and the divine agenda that is bringing about salvation according to the eternal purpose of God our Father.

It is no wonder that among the last messages of our Lord Yeshua was his word of comfort to us in John 14:1,

“Let not your heart be troubled;

You believe in God, believe also in me.”

And again, in the same conversation, in John 14:27,

“Peace I leave with you;

My peace I give unto you;

Not as the world gives give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled,

Neither let it be afraid.”

The world is unstable;

But we the people of Messiah are secure,

Founded on The Rock. (Matthew 7:24-25)

Let the times make you stronger. (Ephesians 6:10-17) Take refuge in the name of the LORD. (Psalm 91) When the tribulation of the world exhausts itself, we will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

P.VAYEISHEV (DWELT) REUBEN’S VIRTUE

THE FOCUS OF THIS DEVOTION IS ON THE QUALITY OF VIRTUE. (Philippians 4:8; 2 Peter 1:5)

Though Reuben had defiled his father’s bed and lost his place as the heir to the family headship (Genesis 49:4), in this event there still shone forth from him nobility and virtue of character: he labored to save Joseph from death at the hands of the brothers. He did this by means of a ruse: for he said,

“Let us not kill him. Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him.” He did this so that he might secretly come back and steal him away from the brothers and return him to Jacob their father. (Genesis 37: 21-22)

To live among such brothers must have been a grievous thing. To have to resort to trickery to keep them from fratricide was a sign of their twisted natures.

It is so with many families. Internecine intrigue is the bane of human society. The lack of loving transparency breeds relational destruction. The unwillingness to keep kindness and understanding at the center of family life corrupts the upbringing of children. Sometimes, as in the case of Joseph, conflict is induced by one child who is favored and gifted above the rest—or that seems to be so. Little does each child realize that he or she is just as valuable and just as needed as any other. We all have our place in God’s ordained structure of community.

When Reuben returned to rescue Joseph from the pit, the text in verses 29-30 tells us:

VA’YASHAV REU’VEIN EL-HA’VOR

VE’HINEI EIN-YOSEIF BA’BOR

And when Reuben returned to the pit

Behold! Joseph was not in the pit.

VA’YIKRA ET-Be’GA’DAIV

And he tore his garments.

[NOTE: Va’yikra is normally translated, “And he cried out!” But here Reuben’s cry is coupled by the tearing of his garments as an outer expression of the ripping of his soul in agonizing grief.]

Reuben then finds the brothers and distressingly exclaims,

HA’YELED EI’NEH’NU

The lad is not!

VE’ANI ANAH ANI—BA

And I—Where shall I go?

As if to say, “The boy was my responsibility! And now, how am I to return to my father?”

It is a noble thing—a virtuous thing—to have a deep sense of responsibility for the care of family. It was especially so for Reuben who sought to make right the failures of his past. And now—his hope of doing the duty of a good elder brother was taken from him by the wickedness of his siblings.

It is important to realize that the desire and the attempt to do a good thing, even when it is thwarted, is a memorial of goodness for all time. Even to this day, we honor Reuben for his noble attempt to save Joseph.

The New Testament places virtue and nobility of character at the highest place of excellence. Paul wrote to the Philippians (Philippians 4:8),

“Finally, brothers, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if the be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

To command one’s thoughts by nurturing mental virtue is to command one’s character in action.

Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1, “Add to your faith virtue.”

Let us therefore be like Reuben in this regard. Let us strive to live nobly and virtuously.

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

VA’YISH’LACH (He sent) SEXUAL SOUL TIES (The story of the rape of Dinah)

THE THEME OF THIS DEVOTION IS:

Sexual union, regardless of its instigation, produces soul ties. Therefore, one must guard sexual integrity to the greatest extent possible. When one is violated or acts in ignorance of consequences, there is healing from the LORD, but in order to be thoroughgoing, healing must be obtained through spiritual operations in accordance with biblical principles.

In Genesis 34:1-4 is the story of the rape of Dinah, the daughter that Leah bore to Jacob; she was violated by Shechem ben Hamor, the son of the Hivite lord of the land. Shechem was immediately ensnared in a soul tie with Dinah—VA’TIR’BAK* NAF’SHU B’DINAH—”His soul clung to Dinah.”

[*VA’TIR’BAK is from the root DAVAK—to cling, cleave, keep close. BDB 179]

Shechem asked his father, therefore, to obtain Dinah as his wife.

The very opposite happened when Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar, the full sister of Absalom: Amnon loathed her after he defiled her. (2 Samuel 13) Tamar however was so deeply grieved that she went into mourning. She had told Amnon that she would accept him if he married her properly; then after raping her she told him “…this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that you did unto me.” (v. 16)

We live in a time of extreme sexual confusion. Unless the people of the LORD labor to be spiritually, emotionally and physically clean there will be no end to societal disintegration. But even in such a time as this one, God’s people can follow the LORD’S word toward healthy and happy marital union.

In 1 Corinthians 6:16 and following all the way through chapter 7 of the book, the apostle Paul teaches concerning sexual issues. In 6:16 he refers to what we today call “soul ties.” In that verse he says,

“What? Do you not know that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, says he, shall be one flesh.” (quoting Genesis 2:24)

If there is a soul tie created between a man and a prostitute, then how much more is there a soul tie created from random fornication or treacherous adultery? No wonder there is so much divorce in America when there is so much sexual permissiveness in the culture.

A godly friend of mine once told me, “Bron, I wish I never had another woman than my dear wife. The memories of the other women I had during my heathen days before I came to the LORD have given me much grief.”

Just as a sperm and ovum when joined create a brand-new DNA in a new one-celled human being, so the sexual union of a man and a woman joins two souls in an immediate bond. In becoming one flesh they become a human unity. This is the primary reason that nobody should engage in sexual union outside of marriage—you become joined to the person with whom you physically consummate. We should even avoid this in our imaginations, for actions always begin there—in the mind. And Jesus taught us that whoever looks on a woman TO LUST AFTER HER has committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28) The same is true for the woman, as in the case of Potiphar’s wife toward Joseph.

There are many considerations that can be explored from these texts. But since this is a brief devotion, let me simply say that God wants all of us to be clean inwardly and not the victims of the torment that comes from defiling ourselves or another person by unholy sexual union. Therefore, keep your mind clean; keep your body clean. If you wander or fail, repent and make a godly return to the LORD and set right the relation you have created with another. Sexual sin is not unpardonable. But it must be acknowledged before God and the parties who have been involved. It must be cleansed by the blood of Jesus and corrected in practical circumstance. But then, once it is confessed and made right, go forward in the newness that comes from our LORD’S healing and build a whole and healthy future together. If the other party does not wish to go forward, then Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7 that we are free from bondage to the unbelieving party.

Forgiveness from Messiah does produce true freedom. (John 8:11)

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 6. P.TOLDOT (GENERATIONS) THE KEY ROLE OF ISAAC

THE PURPOSE OF THIS DEVOTION IS

TO HIGHLIGHT ASPECTS OF THE LIFE OF THE PATRIARCH ISAAC THAT DEMONSTRATE HIS KEY ROLE IN THE UNFOLDING OF THE ETERNAL COVENANT IN MESSIAH.

KEY VERSES IN THIS STUDY ARE:

Genesis 25:21; Galatians 4:28, seq.; Hebrews 11:8-18.

In the STONE Tanakh, the opening footnote to parashah Toldot emphasizes the key role of Isaac among the three patriarchs: he is the bridge between Abraham and Jacob who separates good from evil (Jacob from Esau) and thus makes possible the development of the nation in righteousness.

In the devotion from year two of this series we emphasized the roles of the three generations of matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel. All three were barren, unable to naturally conceive. The commentator pointed out that “their experiences prove that the emergence of Israel is a miracle, for each new generation was a gift of God to a mother who could not have given birth naturally.” This of course lays the foundation for the greatest matriarchal miracle of all, the virgin birth of the Word of God Incarnate (The Eternal Son). (Genesis 3:15; Proverbs 8:22 seq. with 30:4; Isaiah 7:14 LXX; Luke 1:35)

A major key to the life of Isaac is that he was a man of prayer (see last week’s parashah devotion, FI Y4 Wk 5). We see this role of intercession once more in the supernatural manifestation of birthing in Rebecca. She was barren. But in Genesis 25:21 we read,

VA’YEH’EHT’TAR YITZ’CHAK LA’YHVH LE’NO’CHACH ISH’TO CI A’KAR’AH HI

VA’YEI’A’TEYR LO YHVH VAT’TA’HAR RIVKA ISH’TO

An Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife Rebecca, for she was barren

And the LORD permitted himself to be entreated by him, and Rebecca conceived.

Thus, the Promise to us all was by way of intercession which brought forth by divine intervention the miracle of conception according to Promise.

You will not experience God by study alone, but rather by wrestling in the spirit of prayer until the manifestation of the Promise comes forth in your life by an action of the Spirit of God, even as the Promise of the Messiah was brought into realization by a direct working in the life of Mary by the blessed Holy Spirit.

Promise and Realization.

Paul tells us in Galatians 4:28,

VA’ANACHNU EH’CHAI HIN’NU Ce’YITZ’CHAK B’NEI HA’HAV’TA’CHAH

But we, brothers, as Isaac (was) are children of Promise.

 

In other words, we are not from a natural process, nor are we from a theological concept merely, but we are from a divine working of the Spirit of God through the Gospel of the Son of Promise–Yeshua. Ours is a life of faith.

 

Hebrews 11:8-18 tells us very intricately that Abraham dwelt with Isaac and Jacob (who lived in tents with his grandfather and father during the early years of his life) and that Sarah received strength to conceive seed because she judged God to be faithful to his promise. And from Abraham “who was as good as dead” came forth (from the three patriarchs) the multitude of the nation and eventually the spiritual seed of Messiah whom He has redeemed from among all nations of the world and engrafted by the Spirit of Adoption into the covenants of promise which are in Him. Amen.

 

Thus, the role of Isaac among the patriarchs is the key to all: Isaac is the Son of Promise through whom the Redemption became realized in the virgin-born Son-Messiah.

 

Let us all engage with the blessed Holy Spirit in the miracles of God in our lives. For it is by the Promise contained in the Messiah that we are saved and brought to the goal of fulness in him.