Nasso - lift up
Nasso – Lift up
Aharon named two of his sons Gershon and M’rari. These two sons when we look at them today are not just the sons of Aharon, they are also sons who carried parts of the Tabernacle and they are the sons who, if we look a little deeper carried a prophetic picture for the body for all generations.
The name Gerson means exile - The Hebrew verb root of the noun Gershon is garash, meaning driving away, exiling, casting out, divorcing, putting away, or plucking up. It seems like quite an odd name to give to one of your sons, especially when you look at its’ first mention, the verb garash is used in Genesis 3:24 and this describes how Adam and Chava were rejected from the garden after his sin. It was true of the mismatched band of Israelites that found themselves in the desert at that time and it is still true of many today – the driven out or exiled ones and it seems that the cycle is repeating itself in each generation where anti-semetic responses become the order of the day.
There is however, an incredible prophetic picture in the name Gershon and M’rari.
The Gershon’im were the assigned to care for, maintain, store and transport all the parts of the temple that were soft. The Hebrew text describes it as yeri’ot ha-Mish’kan – which when translated means the parts of the Mish’kan that tremble.
These items were: the fur layers of different fabrics with which the Mish’kan was covered; “the way”, also known as the “door of the sheep” which formed the gate of the Tabernacle, through which all could enter; the veil which separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies and the ropes and pages which kept the Tabernacle structure from falling or sagging. All these items were soft, so with every gust of wind of movement these items would literally tremble.
It reminds me of the verse in Nahum 1:5 “The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.”
The Tabernacle represented the garments – the covering of HaShem’s people. The things that would tremble at His presence. The Gershom’im were the ones who would make sure that these parts of the Tabernacles would not fall but they would be held up and would tremble in the breeze and remain upright to honour their Elohim. These outer garments were not the focus though – it was what lay beyond the outer coverings that held the Glory and this was where all of Israel were to put their focus. In these days, where is our focus? On the outer garments alone or on the glory that shines from within that causes our eyes to be lifted up and our hearts to tremble at His presence?
M’rari comes from the Hebrew verb root marar, which means to distil. This too is a prophetic image of each Israelite whether born or grafted in, needed to go through. A process of distilling and this would involve heat as most refining processes do.
The things that the tribe of M’rari were in charge were the items that would not be seen when the Tabernacle was put together. These things formed the structure of the Tabernacle – like the bones of the place of worship or the skeleton and the things Gershon carried were like the skins, what gave the structure life. It immediately takes us to the prophetic image of Ezekiel 37 doesn’t it?
This structure – the Tabernacle was put together each time the Israelites stopped and each time they were stopped the Israelites were able to lift their heads and see the presence of HaShem in the midst of them. What a privilege it must have been to carry these items and to be part of the glory carriers. How incredible is it that we carry this Tabernacle around with us each day? Our very bodies representing the things that tremble and the things that give us structure to house the glory and the presence of our HaShem. How are we carrying these things? How are we caring for these tabernacles each day? Is the glory of HaShem’s presence evident as we stand in the midst of the camp we find ourselves in right now?
The counting of the Omer leading up to Shavuot has been a time of distilling but we are by no means where we need to be – I know this will be our process until the day our Meshiach returns – so as we carry our tabernacles around let us be more aware of how we do this and what we show our Father in Heaven – a tabernacle that He can fill and a tabernacle that he would breath His life into for the glory of His Kingdom.
This parsha is filled with countless teachings and dimensions. As we study this week, I pray that we may find revelation in the text written for us. That our tabernacles may be filled with reverence and revelation of the majesty of our King and His deep love for each us. I pray that we may discover the truth of His ways and that He may unlock His endless treasures written in these passages that we may grow in Him and be tabernacles of His glory.