Shabbat Bible Study for September 29, 2018
©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 3 Sabbath 29
Deuteronomy 8:1-20 – Jeremiah 9:22-24 – Psalm 126 – Luke 4:1-12
Devarim 8.1-9 – The word that KJV translates as ‘commandments’ is a singular in Hebrew – כל המצוה – chol hamitzvah, the whole commandment. Schottenstein’s Chumash has a very good comment on this on pg. 58. The rabbis say that Israelites are to keep the WHOLE of the Toroth, not pick and choose which are for them. They are ALL for us all to guard to do, either in a positive or negative manner. If the positive commandments apply to us, then we are to guard them by doing them. If the commands do NOT apply to us we are to guard them by NOT doing them. Every command of Torah applies to us all in either a positive or negative sense. We strengthen our own lives, our ETERNAL lives [or deaths], by the proper [or improper] application of the commandments. You do yourself well to observe to DO those commands that apply to you and do yourself dirt by observing to DO what does NOT apply to you. For example, if you are a Levi, you do yourself well to observe to do those commands that apply to the Levi’im; If you are NOT a Levi, you do yourself dirt by arrogating to yourself to observe to do what applies only to Levi’im. Rav Sha’ul tells us pretty much the same thing in
1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort by Y’hovah Yeshua, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please Eloha, ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by Y’hovah Yeshua. [1Thess.4.1-2]
I think what I said about Levi’im above also goes for those who call themselves “Messianic Rabbi” when they have not spent the time and done the studies that are required for a rabbi to gain that title in traditional Yehudism. I consider it arrogant, and so do Yehudi rabbis, which is a terrible witness to them. Rabbi [root = Strongs H7227 – rav] means ‘my chief’ or ‘my great one’. A rabbi is the leader of a congregation and got the title by studying Torah and Talmud for a decade or more under the tutelage of senior rabbis. IOW, PLEASE do not call me rabbi, especially in public, unless you really want a public dressing down.
V.2 sets up the rest of the chapter, as Y’hovah tells Israel through Moshe to זכרת zacharta, thou shalt remember, how Y’hovah led me through the last 40 years to humble and test me so that he could see what was in my heart, to see if I would do what he commanded or not. This command is individual, not corporate. There is not one plural word used in this chapter until v.19. If I remember I’ll comment on that then. Right here he even calls himself Y’hovah Elohecha, thy Eloha. If Israel is listening intently, they are hearing these as personal commandments.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Mashiyach, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without Eloha in the world: [Eph.2.11-12] remember
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. [Lk.18.14] humble
3 Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. [Yacov 1.3] prove
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Yeshua Mashiyach: [1Pe.1.7] try
9 The heart, deceitful above all and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I, Y’hovah, search the heart, try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. [YirmeYahu 17.9-10] know
The rest of the chapter shows Israel just how Y’hovah humbles and tries them, both individually and corporately with the emphasis on the individual.
V.3 begins to show how Y’hovah humbled and tried us, beginning with the provision of the manna when we murmured against him, showing us that our individual lives, physical and spiritual, are sustained by HIS provision, whether we had anything to do with bringing it forth from the ground or not. He also makes the point that they, as well as Moshe and Yehoshua, COULD have been sustained more by attending to the Word of Y’hovah than by attending to the manna. He proved THAT by providing for the Shabbats for forty years on the 6th day so they would not have to go out to gather the manna on Shabbat. He further showed his provision for them [v.4] by not letting their clothing go to tattered rags or their shoes to wear down to nothing for the whole 40 years. Here’s what Treasury of Scripture Knowledge says about this verse;
Many have attempted to give the following meaning to this text – “God so amply provided for them all the necessaries of life, that they never were obliged to wear tattered garments, nor were their feet injured for lack of shoes or sandals.” Now, though the Israelites doubtless brought out of Egypt more raiment than what they had upon them; and they might manufacture the fleeces of their flocks in the wilderness; and also might be favoured by Providence with other supplies from the neighbouring nations or travelling hordes of Arabs; yet, when we consider their immense numbers, their situation and long continuance in the wilderness, and the very strong expressions made use of in the text, why should we question the extraordinary and miraculous interposition of God in this respect, as well as in others, not less stupendous in their nature, or constant in their supply?
5 And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. [Deut.29.5]
In vv.5-6, he tells us not just to remember, but to consider, to know [yada] or to think about how he treated each of them individually as his own beloved children, not as red-haired step-children.
28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. [Yechezkel 18.28]
He corrected them when they needed correction and rewarded them with blessing when they obeyed, and the ultimate blessing is right over the river they are getting ready to cross over [vv.7-9]. Israel’s crossing of Yarden is a shadow picture of our crossing from death [exile] into life [inheritance].
13 But now in Mashiyach Yeshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Mashiyach. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition, 15a Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, 15c for to make in himself of twain one new man, 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. [Eph.2.13-17]
Vv.10-20 – V.10 is where we get the idea that we thank Y’hovah for his provision that has satisfied us AFTER we have eaten, while we bless Y’hovah for his provding that of which we are about to partake.
19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to the talmidim, and the talmidim to the multitude. [Matt.14.19]
31For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? [1Cor.10.31]
We are to remember to bless him both before and after our meal, when we look out at the land that he has given us as an inheritance in fulfillment of his promise to Avinu Avraham and when we harvest the crops and milk our cattle and go up for his feasts to give him back the tithe and in everything that he has provided to us and for us.
7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me not before I die: 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny and say, Who is Y’hovah? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God. [Pro.30.7-9]
How would we bring reproach on Y’hovah’s Name? V.17 tells us, by ascribing the good of our land, crops and cattle to ourselves and not to his provision. Chumash has a good comment on vv.14-17 on pg.61. In the middle of v.19 Y’hovah changes from speaking to the nation as individuals [thee. thou, thy] to speaking to them as a whole [you, ye, your]. I think that when they started thinking as individuals and ascribing their success to themselves and NOT to Y’hovah that he started to bring about the national slide into hedonism and idolatry which eventually led to their being carried off into Assyria and Babylon and after a short return to the land, the Greco-Roman diaspora.
16 But they mocked the messengers of Eloha, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of Y’hovah arose against His people, till no remedy. 17 Therefore He brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: He gave all into his hand. [2Chron.36.16-17]
Exile prophetically signifies death. We are still in exile, we are still manifesting our rebellion and resultant death. Q&C
YirmeYahu 9.22-24 – What YirmeYahu is commanded to speak to Israel is that, after Y’hovah was faithful to deliver them through all the sh-sh-tuff that he brought them through during the Wilderness Adventure for 40 years, as we rehearsed in the Torah portion, they decided that it really WAS their own merit that brought them through it and that they could thumb their noses at him and do whatever they pleased. HE was inconsequential to their well- being. So Y’hovah was going to have to bring the judgments he’d promised to judge them with in Lev.26 and would remind them of later in the day of our Torah portion’s delivery.
This was not his first choice, but it was all they were leaving open to him and he was going to do it. It really doesn’t matter what you have done or not done in service to him; if it becomes a source of pride in your life; if you, like Israel, decide that it is your just DUE to have his blessing on your life and that he could not have done those things without you, he will remove that blessing and allow you to deal with the natural consequences of your pride.
But, HALLELUYAH! This does not HAVE to be! If you will humble yourself, repent, turn from your wicked way and pray to him for his pardon, he SHALL repent of the evil he never wanted to bring against you in the 1st place. After the Temple was completed,
And Y’hovah appeared to Schlomo by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer in this place. [2Chron.7.12-15]
Y’hovah is always – ALWAYS – ready to forgive us when we humble ourselves before him. The only reason he brings judgments and cursing against us is that we forget him and his gracious and loving provision. We are really arrogant, I more than anyone, to think that he OWES me anything. He owes me nothing, and I owe him everything.
Steve Green sang a song about 20 years ago or so, whose chorus went like this:
I Repent; making no excuses
I repent, no one else to blame
And I return, to fall in love with Yeshua
I bow down on my knees
And I repent.
Tehellim 126 – And when we remember what Y’hovah has done for us, as he describes to us in our Torah portion today: and when we have succumbed to the all too human tendency to arrogantly ascribe all our good fortune and the wonderful things of life that we enjoy to ourselves instead of to him who is the true source of all our blessings; and when we are brought through our suffering to the TRUE knowledge of where all our blessings derive, as we learned in our haftarah portion today: THEN we rejoice in his lovingkindness; his patience, and his care for us, as did NehemYahu, or Ezra, or their contemporary who wrote this song of ascent, and we gratefully bring our tithe into the Storehouse to which the 42 ascending steps lead. Q&C
Luke 4.1-14 – Taken from my study in The Life of Yeshua haMashiyach – a Messianic’s Perspective.
48). The temptation of Yeshua – Mat.4.1-11, Mark 1.12-13, Lk.4.1-13 – In Mark, Yeshua is driven by the Spirit into the wilderness, while in Matthew and Luke, he is led by the Spirit. The whole tone of Mark is different from the other gospels. He shows Yeshua as a tireless servant, at times having no time to eat, working miracle after miracle to prove the divinity claimed by the author in 1.1. Relative to the other gospels, it seems as if the author is just getting the preliminaries out of the way so he can get to his main point. The audience is probably Roman or gentile believers, who would not know the OT prophecies and for whom they would be superfluous. Mark does not refer to anything close to the number of prophecies that Luke, Matthew, or Yochanan do. He is trying to show the suffering Son of Elohim. As usual, any minor differences in the fine points of the narratives are matters of perspective of the author or of the intended audience.
Luke and Matthew both mention the 40-day fast, Mark only that Yeshua was in the wilderness 40 days. All the writers say that he was tempted of Satan for the entire time, Matthew even says the temptation was the reason for his going there. The details are very similar in Matt and Luke. The third last temptation has to do with Yeshua’s hunger for food, his need to feed his body. First Satan questions Yeshua’s divinity, ‘If thou be the Son of Eloha’, as if he could get him with the same ploy with which he’d gotten Chavah. Then he worked on physical weakness, or rather, was depending on it and the lust of the flesh to defeat the Eloha who’d created him. But, as anyone who’s fasted any length of time can tell you, the body may be weak, but the spirit and mind are sharp as a knife at that time. Yeshua answered him with the Word of Eloha, Deut. 8:3,
“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by all that proceedeth out of the mouth of Y’hovah doth man live.”
The lesson for us is obvious. When confronted with sin we should rely on the scriptures to pull us out. Rom.6 says we are dead to sin and alive to Mashiyach. If we reckon ourselves dead to sin we will have an easy time defeating it in our lives. This battle is constant, because our sin nature is and will be still with us until the resurrection. But reckoning ourselves dead to sin must be done every time we are tempted to sin, and, I confess that I often forget this simple way to avoid sin. But Eloha has made provision for us in this as well. 1 Yochanan 2:1,
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yeshua haMashiyach the righteous (hatzadik):”
The next 2 temptations are given in opposite order in the accounts of Matthew and Luke. The details of the temptations are nearly identical, but the order is switched. Why? Look to the purpose for writing and the intended audiences. Luke first goes to the mountain top to show the kingdoms of the world, and he adds a detail that Matt leaves out. The gospel was written to a gentile government official. ‘Most excellent Theophilus’ was actually the guy who Rome appointed High Priest after Ananias’ term expired, and the appeal to power and glory would be more personal to him. Also Luke points out the fact that haSatan is the prince of this world system in which Theo is a leader. Of course, being the Word of Eloha, Yeshua answers with the word of Eloha – Deut. 10:20, “Thou shalt fear Y’hovah Elohecha; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.”
In order for us to be able to answer the temptations in our lives with the Word of Eloha, we must have it readily available. We can’t safely open a bible and search for a passage while driving on the road, or in any number of circumstances in which we may find ourselves. For this reason we must memorize scripture. It is not that difficult to do. We could try the 3X5 card with a passage written on it, kept in a pocket or on the visor of the car and work on that one until it is solid in memory. Then start another. In this way, it will not be difficult to memorize 1-2 passages a week. It is by the renewing of our minds that we are transformed into the image of Mashiyach. Yeshua said that we speak what we think about. What kind of words escape your mouth on a regular basis? Philip.4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things honest, whatsoever things just, whatsoever things pure, whatsoever things lovely, whatsoever things of good report; if any virtue, and if any praise, think on these things.” The only source for true, honest, just, pure, lovely things of good report that are virtuous and praiseworthy is the scripture. When you memorize, meditate – think about what you’re memorizing. Ask Eloha to illuminate your mind so that you can see what he wants you to see in that passage.
Matthew, on the other hand, goes directly to the pinnacle of the temple. He is writing to Yehudim to try to convince them that Yeshua is Mashiyach. HaSatan here quotes a well known Messianic prophecy from
Psalm 91:11-12, “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12They shall bear thee up in hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
HaSatan says, “Well, I know the scripture every bit as well as you, better in fact! If you’re the Mashiyach, jump! Eloha has promised to protect you! Don’t you trust Him?” That was a Mark paraphrase, in case you didn’t know. Yeshua did not ‘fall’ for this one either (do you suppose that’s the source of that idiom?). He wanted Yeshua to misapply scripture, just like he wants, and often gets, us to do. But Yeshua knew the CONTEXT of the verse (Ps.91), and that haSatan wrested it, as usual. The Psalm refers to how Eloha will protect us as we walk in him, but the main subject of the Psalm is Mashiyach. Noone else fulfills the description of the one who completely trusts in Eloha. Yeshua wasn’t fooled for a minute, because he knew the scripture. In fact, he IS the scripture.
At times each of us realizes this kind of protection and guidance from Eloha. Though we are always under his wings, we do not always experience, feel the wonder of, his providential protection. He has been protecting us all our lives, to bring us to this day and hour for his service. The better we understand this, the more humble we become. Eloha is my personal protection. No president, no king, no Mafia don has ever had security like we have in Mashiyach. The Secret Service doesn’t know security like Eloha does. He keeps us because we walk with him. And vice-verse.
Did you notice what haSatan left out of the quote? “To keep thee in all thy ways” is prominent by its absence. What more proof do you need that haSatan may know the scriptures, but does not believe them? If he believed them he never would have tried using this passage against Yeshua. For it says, “in all thy ways.” Since Yeshua is the fulfillment of this verse there’s no way he’ll apply it improperly, for ALL his ways are kept, that is guarded, by Elohim.
HaSatan’s next temptation in Matthew is designed to give the world over to the Mashiyach out of due time. He offers the kingdoms of the world that have been promised to Yeshua, he just offers them a bit early. It’s as if haSatan is saying, “They’re going to be yours soon, anyway. Why not take them now?” Remember Avram and Sarai? Eloha promised that they would have a son, from whom would come a great nation, but they were both old and ‘well stricken in years’. So Abe and Sarai decide to help Eloha out by way of Hagar. Now you don’t suppose haSatan had anything to do with that, do you? Eloha is teaching the lesson of waiting on Y’hovah, and deferring gratification until His time. Yeshua is still waiting for the fulfillment of a bunch of prophecies – more in fact than were fulfilled during his life on earth. But he is waiting on the Almighty’s timing and not on his own, or in the case of this temptation, haSatan’s. You make the application to your own life. Q&C End of Midrashic Bible Study