Torah Portion NASSO – Bamidbar (Numbers) 4:21-7:89 Haftarah: Judg. 13:2-25
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first”. Revelation 2:4
Shabbat shalom, dearly beloved!
There is no subject that is more important and more complex than the subject of LOVE. After all, how do we know if we “love enough” or not? Is there ever “enough” in love? Besides, how do we know that we have acted in love? Is love a feeling, a thought, an action, or all of them? Is love soft or is it hard? Is it easy or is it tough? Is it quiet or is it loud? Does it whisper or does it scream? Does it cause comfort, or does it cause pain?
Some people tend to be very dogmatic about “Love” and they have put it inside of a nice, manageable box. But love defies all dogmas and all human schemes. God is Love, and who can figure God out? I certainly cannot. When I think that I already know Him and how He acts, He surprises me yet again!
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares YHVH. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8, 9
So, having established the fact that I cannot possibly “figure Love out”, let us see some of the things that the Word has to tell us about love:
- It gives its best to others – John 3:16
- It delivers us from all fear – 1 John 4:18
- It is the unconquerable power within us – Ephesians 3:17-19
- It forgives the unforgivable – Luke 23:34
- It brings us quietness – Psalms 131
- It rebukes us and disciplines us – Hebrews 12:4-17
- It wounds us – Hosea 6:1
- It heals us – Hosea 6:1
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
So, when we are walking in love, we will give our best to God first and then to others. Are we doing that? For example, are we giving Elohim-God all our substance if He requires it? Can He tell us at any given time to give anything of ours away such as our house or car or a precious jewel or all of our savings? What about our inheritance? What about our family? He gave His Son, His only family member – so did Abraham! If we answer YES to the intricate question above, do we give with a good and happy heart? Do we gladly give the best of our substance to those who teach us the Word to honor them?
Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. Galatians 6:6
And when we preach and teach, do we do it with all of our hearts for the sake of others – or do we have a false motivation such as control, power or even money? Do we love our earthly possessions more than we love Yah (God) or people?
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. 1 John 4:18
How do we live our lives? Do we refrain from doing what is right for fear of making mistakes, being persecuted, or misunderstood? Do we refrain from truly loving for fear of rejection? Do we never attempt anything extraordinary for fear of failure? Do we give just a “little bit” for fear of poverty? Do we disobey God’s instructions for fear of our own inabilities or fear of the unknown… What is really ruling our lives? Love or fear?
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Messiah, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
Do we have Power, or are we powerless in a world of darkness? Do we have the power to change the world – to bring light and hope where there is darkness, deception, desperation? Can we heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead? Can we comfort the mourning? If we can, then we are rooted in Love and, if we don’t, then maybe we are loveless. Or do we love ourselves and our “comfort zone” more?
Yeshua said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
As the Messiah was being nailed to the cross by ruthless Romans, in excruciating pain and agony of soul, rejected by His own People, He found it within Himself to think about them! They deserved all the wrath of His Father, but love is greater than Judgment.
Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Yaakov (James) 2:13
So, when people are ugly to us – when they offend us, reject us, misunderstand us and abuse us – what is our reaction? Is it “Father, forgive them,” or “Father, judge them, kill them, show them…”
When Yeshua went down to hell after His execution, hell and the grave could not hold Him down, for Love and Mercy always triumph! HaleluYah!
Quiet and Trusting Love
My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:1,2
Even amid the most unjust and grieving situations we can have peace and quiet within if we are in Love. What causes the unrest within is pride. When we are in Love, we manage to humble ourselves when our flesh would like to exalt itself and retaliate. True Love trusts Elohim as much as a baby trusts that the milk coming out of the breasts of its mother is good. He surely knows what He is doing and what is right for us at all times. Love and Trust walk hand in hand, bringing quietness even in the midst of chaos.
My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. Hebrews 12:5, 6
The rebuke and discipline of the Lord may be terribly grieving but its purpose is to teach us to Love, to teach us to walk like Him. If we refuse to be trained in Love, then we remain orphans – and actually bastards. Love training can be tough, like an Army Boot Camp, but soldiers of Love are the only soldiers that our Abba is looking for.
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:9-11
When we are going through His Discipline, He may wound us for our own good and in order to “kill the flesh”. This is the most misunderstood side of Love, and many forsake the Kingdom at this point. But it is this wounding time that yields the sweetest Fruit of Love. And the good news is that, at the end of the process, He also heals us. Stay humble through the wounding and you will experience marvelous healing!
Come, let us return to YHVH. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. Hosea 6:1
Once we have gone through the fullness of the Love treatment, we can experience an intimacy with Him that no one can steal. His Presence is stronger than ever, and we are sober as we know that Love and Humility go hand in hand – and that when we are weak, then we are strong!
“After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge YHVH; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:2–3
The end result of His Love Treatment is that we are back to our First Love, when neither fear, nor selfishness, nor bitterness stopped us from loving Him above our own lives and because of that we are loving others.
No one has ever seen Elohim-God; but if we love one another, Elohim-God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12
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