Parsha Shelach - Send for yourself
Did you know that the promise made to Avraham, Yitschak and Ya’akov by our Adonai Elohim was made 300 times in the Torah? How incredible is this! We know that when a promise is emphasised in the Torah it is often repeated but when it is stated 300 times in the Torah, the message is not just being emphasised it is being engraved in hearts, mind and soul. This is a promise from the most High and it will be realised! A promise not just for the people of Israel, the descendant of Avraham and the once enslaved people of Egypt – this was and is a promise of resurrection and redemption for all generations; those who physically encamped around Mount Sinai and the future generations both physical and spiritual seed!
It was just so sad that most of Israel did not understand their inheritance at that time and the question remains for us – do we understand our inheritance? Despite the fact that after they placed the blood on the doorposts and were rescued from death; that Elohim led them through the Red Sea and they ate from the manna that fell each day it seems that they did not entirely believe that they were the chosen people.
Is this true of believers today? Do we actually believe that this inheritance promised to Avraham all those generations ago belongs to us too? Do we believe that we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood and that Father has a plan for our futures? Jeremiah 29:11 Many of us have half heartedly taken hold of the promises of our Father and this is how we have walked out our relationship with HaShem, with half-hearted commitment and faith. Is this because of our wounded souls, our jaded thinking and the world’s influence over our behaviour?
In this parasha the Israelites found themselves in the Desert of Paran, the home of Yish’mael. If you understand Yish’mael you will understand that his spirit is a very dangerous spirit indeed, which is still very much alive and well in the world today. The attitude and behaviour of this spirit is what led to Yish’mael being forced to leave covering of the camp of Avraham. This is a scoffing spirit, that speaks evil of that which is set apart to Adonai. This is the very spirit we need to be so cautious of so that we don’t step into agreement with it and take on its ways.
Unfortunately for the camp of Israel, they were not cautious enough and while in this desert space of Yis’mael’s home, they begin to behave more like the banished son that the sons of promise. Isn’t this where we are finding ourselves in the world right now? Surrounded by many in the believing community who say they believe but are refusing to see the Torah as the foundation stone and are amalgamating the ways of HaShem into the comforting ways of the World; scoffing at the strange ways of those who choose to serve HaShem in fulness and for rejecting to compromise their faith as many have already done.
The Hebrew verb for spy in Torah is yaturu, from the verb root tuwr. Tuwr literally means to meander about, especially for purposes of trade or scouting. This verb is the source word for our English words tour, and tourist. In human terms touring or scouting the land is a good thing but there are a few problems with the Israelites version of spying out the land. They were trying to see spiritual things with their physical eyes. They were also trying to understand this new land with the only frame of reference they had which was bondage, slavery and fear of their captors. It is not surprise that they could only see the problems with moving into the land despite abundance they saw and the promise given to them that they would possess the land.
This tour was not intended to be about the opinion of the spies but to determine what was there and to bring back some souvenirs. This had to be one of the saddest days in the Torah – the day the Israelites chose to believe the words of men and ignore the faithful promise of their Elohim. Is this not where many believers find themselves today? Surrounded by strong opinions, noise and rhetoric about right and wrong, what we should believe and what we shouldn’t, ignoring the Word of Elohim and instead looking to man to create pathways to earthly success.
Right now, more than ever before, we need to rise up in the strength of the Messiah, to encourage the body by walking in the ways of HaShem and to shine as a distinct and set apart nation. We need to step into the role as the sons and daughters of the promise of Elohim.
The promise given to Avraham, Yitschak and Ya’akov all those generations ago still holds true for all of Judah and those who have been grafted in. This is the time for us to shine as glory carriers of the most High – His ambassadors of truth and righteousness. Let us take hold of the promise and instead of sending spies to inspect the promise before we consider it to be true, let us step out in faith as Avraham did, as Joshua and Caleb did, Ruth, Esther, Rahab and so many more – let us be the light givers to the nations and take hold of the promises and most importantly the Word of our HaShem. Let us keep His ways and carry His truth with faith, hope and love, sh’ma-ing every step of the way!