Shabbat Shalom! Parashat Pinchas

In this week’s Torah reading, one learns that each day there are certain sacrifices which are required to be offered at the Temple. This includes on the Shabbat and Holidays as well. Obviously today, without the Temple, there is no place to offer such sacrifices. Setting aside the discussion of whether one needs to make these offerings or not, due to Messiah Yeshua’s work on the Cross, the fact remains that today no one makes these offerings. In other words, no one is keeping or able to keep the Shabbat or any of the Festivals of Israel.

This does not mean that one cannot acknowledge these days and study the significance of them and allow their message to impact one’s worship and behavior. I am stating these things because it is incorrect for one to say that he or she is keeping the Shabbat or the Biblical holidays. I am grieved that more and more there seems to be a division occurring between the Messianic community and traditional followers of Yeshua. The basis for this division is whether one “keeps” Shabbat and the Festival days. This should not be the case!

Paul clearly writes in Colossians chapter two that such things are not to be used as instruments of judgment (See Colossians 2:16-17). Having said this, we should encourage each other to understand that what Paul is addressing in this passage (Shabbat, Kashrut, and Biblical Holidays) do not only have a past fulfillment, but also point to the future. This means that because these things are Scriptural, it is incumbent upon us to learn about them and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in applying their truth to our lives.

It is this last point, asking the Holy Spirit to guide the believer in applying the word of G-d to his or her life that is the key to maturing in the faith. Often times in the believing community there is only an emphasis on learning what HaShem wants to do in a person’s life, and not how He wants the believer to live. I hear one Bible teacher after another sharing “life principles” which are usually very good principles to follow; however, although these principles are derived from the Bible, seldom is one challenged to wrestle with why on the Shabbat two male lambs were sacrificed with an offering of 2/10 of fine flour mixed with oil, and its libation? Or why the Shabbat offering was different than the regular day offering? These things were written to instruct the follower of the Living G-d of Biblical truth which does indeed impact one’s life. Yet a person will never learn this Scriptural truth until one brings such verses before the Holy Spirit and prays for the insight to understand their instruction for us today.

Shabbat Shalom!

2 thoughts on “Shabbat Shalom! Parashat Pinchas”

  1. Leslie Ann Gunn Forgie

    Hello Rivka!
    This blog is very helpful and affirming! It certainly has been a journey for me over the past 4 years, in reading my bible and re-reading my bible, and coming to believe that as a believer in Yeshua, I should be keeping/guarding the Sabbath as much as it is possible living in this world. I had an experience through prayer and a very concrete answer. One sabbath keeping church that I attended for a very short time, insisted that I had to approach my employer and let them know it was my human right not to work on Saturdays. I was not convinced of this, because I am a nurse. I remembered how Jesus healed on the Sabbath. I told them that I had peace about working as a nurse on the Sabbath, when I had to. I actually ended up in a Messianic congregation and so learned about the biblical feasts/holy days, which I have been commemorating with them. I also felt convicted about not celebrating Christmas and Easter, which was difficult at first, being such a huge part of our culture and family traditions. I strongly believe that believers in Yeshua should not be mixing traditionally pagan holidays with worship of Him, but I have learned that to be militant about this is a pushing away instead of drawing toward people. I love it when God gives me opportunity to point to His ways during these worldy celebrations, such as “Easter”, I now call Resurrection Day, or First fruits and Hannukah seems to often fall close to Christmas, a festival of light , which points to the Light of the World!
    I guess the point being, in relation to these things, love does cover a multitude of sins, and I need to let my gentleness be evident to all, the Lord is near!

  2. Your explanation (Parashat Pinchas) concerning the recognition one should give to the sacrifices and offerings for worship was very enlightening. Thank you.

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