Messianic Torah Portion Bechukotai
Bechukotai“In My Statutes”
From the foundation of the world HaShem planned to dwell with his people. This is seen in HaShem's desire to dwell with man from the beginning. B'resheet 3:8 states “they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” When HaShem walks among His people we are blessed with abiding in His presence. Our level of obedience influences our ability to abide in HaShem's presence. When deceptions distract us and we walk contrary to HaShem's will our relationship with HaShem is adversely affected. B'resheet 3:1-6 states “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Adam and Hava were deceived into eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. HaShem had specifically instructed them not to eat from this tree. Through a deception Adam and Hava became disobedient. As a result, all future generations were now faced with the curse of death. Therefore, Adam and Hava could no longer abide in the presence the same way, they did before they became disobedient. Obedience is required because obedience makes us willing subjects of HaShem's authority. Abiding in HaShem is not about subjecting ourselves to the authority of manmade doctrines. The only guarantee that we are walking in obedience is by following the commandments of the Torah. Following the commandments even comes with a promise guaranteeing that we will abide in the love of Yeshua. John 15:10 states “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.”. Obedience to HaShem is the following of His commandments. This concept is clearly seen in Bechukotai.
Vayikra 26:3-6 states “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.” When we are obedient to HaShem by walking in His commandments we are rewarded. Adam and Hava were overcome with their canal desires. As a result, Adam and Hava were expelled from the garden. However, followers of Yeshua are given a hope that Adam and Hava did not have. The follower of Yeshua is given the power to overcome deception. Unlike Adam and Hava's external relationship with HaShem a believer's relationship with HaShem comes from within his or her being. As a result, followers of Yeshua are better prepared to overcome the evil inclination that exists inside everyone. In Ephesians Rav Shaul explains it this way. Ephesians 2-13-17 states “now, in Christ Jesus, ye being once afar off became nigh in the blood of the Christ, for he is our peace, who did make both one, and the middle wall of the enclosure did break down, the enmity in his flesh, the law of the commands in ordinances having done away, that the two he might create in himself into one new man, making peace, and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in it, and having come, he did proclaim good news-peace to you-the far-off and the nigh” We become a new creation from within. We become a new creation from within because we have been given a new heart. As a result, the burden of keeping the commandments through works, is transformed into keeping the commandments as an act of love. 1John 5:2-3 states “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
Changing our attitude about how we keep the commandments of HaShem is the fulfillment of prophecy. Ezekiel 36:26-28 states “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.” The new heart that is prophesied in Ezekiel is fulfilled in Yeshua. With a new heart, we can humble ourselves before HaShem and walk in His commandments as an act of love. When we do this HaShem's covenant gives us the blessings of life instead of the curse of death. Vayikra 26:40-42 states “If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.”
Transformation into a new creature is a gift that is given to us through the obedience of Yeshua. The Ruach HaKodesh than uses the obedience of Yeshua to transform us into the image of Yeshua. As a result, we become a new creation. However the transformation to new creation is not complete until we humble ourselves and accept our responsibility to be obedient servants. When we do this we maintain HaShem's presence in our lives and grantee the blessings of HaShem's covenant. Thereby returning us to the close personal relationship HaShem wanted from the beginning. Revelations 21:3-5 states “I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.”
Torah Portion Study Questions For Each Weeks Torah Portion
These questions and answers are to use in individual study or as a foundation for individuals creating Shabbat School lessons. Feel free to use the Torah Portion comments as templates to enhance your Torah study.
Bechukotai Study Guide Questions
- Why is obedience required?
- What promise did Yeshua guarantee if we keep his commandments?
- How is the follower of Yeshua’s relationship with HaShem different than Adam and Hava’s relationship with HaShem?
- What phrase does Rav Shaul use to communicate the change that the Ruach HaKodesh causes in individual?
- What prophecy from the book of Ezekiel refers to this transformation?
- The new heart allows us to humble ourselves and keep HaShem’s commandments as an act of what?
- Observing the commandments of HaShem as an act of love prevents us from what?
Bechukotai Study Guide Answers
- Obedience makes us willing subjects of HaShem’s authority
- That we would abide in his love
- Through the Ruach HaKodesh the follower of Yeshua has a relationship that is internalized.
- He refers to the change as the new man or the new creation
- Ezekiel 36:26-28
- Developing a works based righteousness
By Rabbi Yaakov benYosef ABOUT-Torah.org© 2010 About Torah