This week we again have 2 Parashiot: Bahar and Bechukotai. The Scripture reading is Leviticus 25:1-27:34. Here is a brief commentary from Baruch on Bechukotai:
In this week’s Torah portion HaShem is calling His people to obedience and promising that there will be great blessing if we walk in that obedience. The greatest blessing is that we can have intimacy with Him,
“I will set My Tabernacle in your midst and My Soul will not reject you.” Leviticus 26:11
The word that most Bibles translate as “reject” is the Hebrew word תגעל. The first time I heard this word being used in Modern Hebrew was from my children when they would say something was “gross”. Today, the word מגעיל is frequently used by children to describe something that they do not want any part of. I checked in a dictionary at home and found another meaning for the word was “disgusting”. It occurred to me that although Yeshua loves us, He still can be disgusted by us when we do not live by His word. I remember hearing a rabbi talking about how one can disappoint HaShem and I thought to myself, “Yes, I am sure there are times that G-d is disappointed by me”. But to think that His Soul would be disgusted by me, well that is something very different, but is actually much closer to the truth.
Is it possible that my actions could really disgust my Savior? Yes indeed, when we reject the lifestyle revealed in the word of G-d. Understand in this brief article the subject is not salvation. It is very puzzling to me why believers continue to want to connect everything to salvation and fail to emphasize the sanctification that salvation is called to bring. If the subject is salvation, then it is the Gospel that is the issue. But, here we are not talking about whether one is saved or not. Let us for the sake of argument assume that the one we are talking about is indeed saved, that is he has accepted the Gospel message of grace by faith, trusting in Messiah’s work on the tree and not the deeds of man. Does such a one automatically obey G-d? Does not a believer need to be trained in the faith and grow in it and mature? Obviously this is the experience that every believer needs to go through.
Therefore, where are we in this process? Without the proper training in the truth of Scriptures, a believer will not mature and will grieve and quench the work of the Holy Spirit and thereby behave in a way which is contrary to the lifestyle to which each believer is called. In other words, left to oneself, without the proper training in the word of G-d, a believer will find himself or herself in a lifestyle that is in conflict with the framework of HaShem for His people and the end result is that we will be disgusting to Him.
I was thinking of these things not only because of what we read in this week’s parashah, but also because of a conversation I had with a friend recently. He is a believer but not living the proper lifestyle. It is not because he does not know it, he feels in bondage to certain behaviors. What is he to do?
Please notice that the next thing that the text in Leviticus deals with is the Exodus from Egypt.
“I am HaShem your G-d, Who brought you out from the land of Egypt from being their slaves and I broke the staves of your yoke and led you uprightly.” Leviticus 26:13
Through the Exodus from Egypt (a physical redemption) the people were set free from a life of bondage to sin, but they needed to accept their new reality / condition. Likewise, through the eternal redemption of Messiah Yeshua we have also had the staves of the yoke of sin broken so that we can live in a very different way. Instead of remaining in the lifestyle that disgusts our Savior Yeshua, let us utilize the truth of Scripture and the Anointing of the Spirit so that we will become a praise unto Him.