KI TISA: When You Elevate; Exodus 30:11 – 34:35
There are a handful of interesting lessons that stand out in this week's torah portion. In chapter 30 we come across YHVH’s instructions to Moses on taking a census. Each person of age is to pay a ransom for themselves of a half shekel. The scriptures specifically state that everyone is to give the same amount. This to me shows that we are all of equal value in YHVH’s eyes.
Reading on we come across hand washing and incense instructions. Also there is mention of the Sabbath and some feast days. These things are important to YHVH and are not to be taken lightly. We are to be clean and set apart. YHVH’s instructions and commands were not heeded by most of the children of Israel, as if they had a veil over their face. Instead they did their own thing.
Also in this passage Moses receives the stone tablets which were written on both sides by the finger of YHVH. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see the things Moses saw?
In chapter 32 Moses is up on the mountain talking to YHVH and the people get impatient. They want Aaron to build gods to go before them. I would imagine they saw many graven images in Egypt. How could they do this so shortly after the commands against this very thing spoken to them by YHVH, which left them all trembling in their sandals? Perhaps the veil analogy fits.
A Jewish legend:
Hur and Aaron were the ones who held up Moses' arms when the Israelites fought with Amalek. It is said that when the children of Israel were disobedient and decided to make idols, Hur stood up and said, "No, let us not do this." The Israelites slew him without mercy. Aaron saw this so that is why he decided to make the golden calf.
I find this next point quite fascinating. The Creator of the universe changed a decision He made based on the plea of a humble man. Moses reasoned with YHVH to not destroy the Israelites. YHVH listened and did not destroy all of the people for their disobedience. Let us always be diligent to bring our concerns to YHVH in prayer because it can make a difference.
There is a lot we can learn about Moses’ character here but I want to concentrate on YHVH’s character. Moses comes before YHVH and asks for Israel’s forgiveness and to blot his name out of YHVH’s book if need be. YHVH replied that He would blot out those who sinned. They will be punished for their sin when the time comes. (No "once saved always saved" scenario here.)
In chapter 34 Moses' face becomes radiant from talking with YHVH. Moses wore a veil to hide his glowing face from the children of Israel. This seems symbolic, for they did not listen, as if a veil was covering their eyes.
We need to turn our heart toward YHVH and ask Him to remove the veil from our own eyes. The key to this is found in the passage below…
2 Corinthians 3:13-16 (New Living Translation)
We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory fading away. But the people’s minds were hardened, and even to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, a veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ (Messiah). Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord (YHVH), then the veil is taken away.
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