Torah Portion - Beha’alotcha (When You Set Up)
Today my main focus was on chapter 11 of Numbers. Before this chapter begins, the Israelites had just broken camp after 11 months around Mount Sinai and the glory of Adonai Elohim must have been incredible. The cloud had remained over the tabernacle and in my mind, this was a time of honing their spiritual vision and hearing. They saw the cloud around the Tabernacle and they did not make a move until the cloud lifted and they were instructed to create the silver trumpets to which they would respond intrinsically after Father’s commands. This was 11 months of the most glorious camping time – it seems like it was a time of deep preparation, learning and drawing near to their Adonai Elohim or was their declaration of complete obedience and walking in HaShem’s ways overreaching it just a bit?
It was just a mere 3 days after they left Mount Sinai that they began to grumble again. Just 3 days and it seemed that the sand in their shoes had already overshadowed the heavenly glory of Mount Sinai!
Verse 1 of chapter 11 starts with the grumbling of the wearied travelers. They were complaining severely of their lack of comfort but it must have been quite something as it was received as evil in the ears of HaShem!
The question we have to ask ourselves is what was in their hearts that their words resulted in angering Adonai Elohim. We know in Exodus 34:6 - 7 HaShem describes Himself as a “…gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness and truth, Keeping mercy and loving-kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty..”
What had made Him so angry? The people were complaining about the evil (ra’ Strongs 7451).
What evil could this be? The only evil that seemed to be present was the evil of their own speech and them taking their eyes off of the goodness of HaShem and thinking only of themselves. Matthew 15:18 says, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” Whatever was in their thoughts was coming out of their mouths and it was so displeasing to HaShem that He sent fire out to devour those on the outskirts of the camp. This was a judgement. It takes me to the book of Revelation where we see the judgement of fire coming to those who choose not to walk in the ways of Elohim. The other significant evidence is that these people who were devoured by fire and who were grumbling against HaShem were on the outskirts of the camp. It seems like there were struggling with the boundaries placed there by HaShem to protect them too.
The camp formed the covering around the Israelites. Similar to the Rivers of Eden and the menorah if you completed the full circles of its branches, the camp created the covering for each person who was part of the tribes of Israel. They were part of the covenant made at Mount Sinai and this covenant was to serve HaShem in fullness according to His ways mitzvot, chukot and mishpatim. Part of this was to ensure they would honour their Father in heaven and sh’ma His ways.
(See the teachings at www.thecreationgospel.com)
Is it possible that those on the outskirts of the camp had moved away from the Tabernacle and away from the ways of Adonai – skirting with the edge of the camp and moving outside of His covering? Is it possible that they had begun to listen to the whisperings of the enemy and instead of taking their thoughts captive, they began to verbalise these thoughts and bring evil speech into the camp – not just against their fellow Israelites but against their Redeemer, against Adonai Elohim!
It was not long after this event that they again gave into their flesh and this time they craved meat and they reminisced about the glory of Egypt! How quickly they had forgotten their pain and suffering, their bondage and hopelessness. What is so eye opening is that all of this grumbling and complaining was like a virus itself it quickly settled over Moshe. In verse 11 of the same chapter we see how Moshe’s strength moved into a sense of despair and the usually strong leader seemed to have been derailed by the toxic speech of the tribes.
In HaShem’s wisdom, Moshe’s space of despair and wanting to rather die than lead, is miraculously shifted into a plan for the good and He created structure and support for Moshe and His people. This was the structure that superseded the advice given to Moshe by his earthy father-in-law and this was the structure that brought order and shalom to Moshe's life and the tribes, a plan that allowed the tribes to function as a unified people.
How true is this passage of our journey?
- How excited have we been when we were first released from bondage and into the truth of Father’s ways only to lose our fervor a few days or weeks later when things have become more challenging and our faith has been tested in the wilderness?
- How often have we not controlled our thinking and allowed the negativity, doubt and unbelief to pour out of our mouths?
- How often has this speech impacted others?
- How often have we wanted to give up, like Moshe when things are tough?
I want to encourage you today, to take hold of your thinking and your words. I want to encourage you to consider what you are saying and what is possibly in your heart. I want to encourage you to make a choice to change the thoughts that brew in your thinking and to verbalise words of hope and when you don’t have hope to speak words of praise and thanksgiving. I want to encourage you to ask HaShem for His plan and His strategy for your life before you give up. Just like He had a plan for Moshe to lead the Israelites, so does He have a plan for yours.
I pray that you can surrender to your King, that you can take hold of your thinking and that your words will become His words and that you will be a 'life speake'r and a giver of light.
May you be blessed as you enter into this week and may Yeshua shine from you in every step and in every word!