I am still not ready to do a video due to my cough left over from a bad cold. Hopefully next time I will be able to get through without hacking.
As we begin this parashah, which also begins the 4th book of the Torah, God commands that a census be taken. All the tribes, except the tribe of Levi, are counted (only the men) and based on this, to some degree, the arrangement of the camp was given which outlined where each tribe will pitch their tents and the marching order. The tabernacle is placed in the middle of the camp, surrounded by the Levites .
A separate census is taken of the Levites and God (again) states that the Levites are the tribe chosen to be his representatives performing the duties of the Tabernacle. God assigns the different Levitical families their tasks with regards to moving of the Tabernacle and worship. God also chooses the Levites to be substitution for the first-born of all the other Israelites, as God had previously told Moses that all the first-born of Israel belong to him as a ransom for the first-born of Egypt that God had put to death (Exodus 13:15.)
The relationship of the Levites to the other tribes is so important for us to understand, as it represents the relationship between Man and God, Yeshua and Man and Yeshua and God.
God is always the ultimate and only spirit we worship. He is, he was and he always shall be God, the Father, the Judge, the Executioner, the Savior and the Creator. He is also the Destroyer. He is everything to everyone at every moment; he is the Holiest of all Holies.
The Levites were God’s representatives on earth to the Israelites. They were to help the individuals find atonement through the sacrificial system that God provided so that the people could be saved from their iniquity and sins. The Levites were to be a living example of Torah and were to teach the Torah to the Israelites.
The Jewish people were God’s representatives to the Gentiles: a nation of priests (Exodus 19:6) living in accordance with the Torah in order to show the rest of the world how to worship God, how to treat each other and how to atone for their iniquity and sins to become holy.
Yeshua is God’s ultimate and final representative to all humanity, acting for our benefit by providing through his work on earth the opportunity for every single human being to be saved from their own iniquity and sins.
Can you see how this progression of salvation works? It is like a pyramid, which is the most stable of all shapes: the Jewish people are the base of this pyramid, the Gentiles are built upon the Jewish people and Yeshua is the capstone.
The Torah is the foundation upon which this pyramid of salvation is supported. Because Christianity has separated itself from the Torah (for the most part) they are trying to be a separate level that has no foundation. As such, it cannot support any type of roof- Christianity has made itself into a tree with no roots and no canopy.
Didn’t Shaul (Paul) tell the Gentiles converting to Judaism (because that is what was happening in the First Century when a Pagan chose to worship Yeshua) in Romans 11:11 that they are being grafted onto a tree? How can a branch survive if it is grafted onto a tree but refuses to accept the nourishment from the roots of that tree? When you graft a wild olive branch onto a cultured tree, does the whole tree become wild? Of course not- the wild branch becomes cultured.
God has established his plan of salvation and told us all about it in the Tanakh. He has set the rules and the parameters for atonement on an eternal basis. The New Covenant (B’rit Chadashah) is built upon the Tanakh and gives us the final “steps” of God’s plan. The Torah tells us how to live, the rest of the Tanakh shows us when we fail to keep God’s commands we are punished, and when we repent we are forgiven. It provides for us the hope in a Messiah, which we read about and finally see coming in the B’rit Chadashah.
God to the Jews; Jews to the Gentiles; Yeshua to the Jews and the Gentiles; and ultimately Jews and Gentiles through Yeshua back to God.
That is the Circle of Life- eternal life- that God has provided for us and we see it beginning right here in this parashah.