Shabbat shalom! Donna and I are back from our trip to England, where we celebrated our 20th anniversary together with friends. I didn’t post anything during that week, and now am getting back into the swing of things. I posted a little montage of our trip on the Picture Album page and hope you have the time to check it out.
If you would prefer to hear this message in a video presentation, please click on this link: Watch video message
We are in the part of Exodus where the rest of this book is a description of the making of the Sanctuary. It is somewhat tedious to go through, as the details are very specific, but this is something that as we read through we need to look past what is written. In other words, read the P’shat but ask the Ruach ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to show you the Remes, the underlying meaning (if there is one- not everything has to have a deeper meaning) of what spiritual message there might be for us.
Parashah Terumah starts with God instructing Moses on the making of the Sanctuary and the items for the Sanctuary. This includes the ark of the covenant, the menorah, altar, tables, items necessary for the sacrifice, and the tent itself, including the support bars and their sockets. If we look at the instructions for items that are going to be in the section called the Holy of Holies, then work our way outwards to the outer court, we see the materials to be used are different based on where they are located. Those closest to the Holy of Holies are to be overlaid and made of pure gold, and the materials for the tent are to be the finest woven linen. As we move outward, the sockets and rings for the tent supports are made of silver, and the tent itself from goat hairs and rams skins. As we reach the outermost court, the sockets are brass and the tent is from tanned skins.
So what does this mean to us? For me, it means that to come closer to God we need to be made more pure. We all start out at the farthest edge from God, being born into original sin with the Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination) the Talmud describes. When we are of the age to decide, we decide how much closer we want to come to God. When we choose to be closer to God, we begin a lifelong trek that goes from the outer court to the inner court to the Holy of Holies. This is a spiritual trip, which as we travel we change from brass to silver to gold.
This sounds nice, but there is a catch: purification is a process that involves heat and stress. You don’t go from brass to gold without suffering through a lot of T’souris first.
The choice to get closer to God is not an easy one to make, right from the start, because most everyone you know will think you are in a cult or just crazy, and they will try to dissuade you from it. I used to wonder why someone would do that. Then, as I grew more spiritually aware it became very clear to me why: someone who is God-fearing reminds those who aren’t how wrong they are.
Shaul (Paul) tells us this in 2 Corinthians, 15-16: For we are to God the sweet aroma of Messiah among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one, we are an odor of death and demise; to the other, a fragrance that brings life.
I believe that we all are born into original sin, but because we are made in the image of God we also have an innate knowledge of the existence of God. It is deep in our DNA, and we sense it when we ignore God. Oh, yes, we excuse it away, we rationalize disobedience, and we tell ourselves it is just religious rhetoric. We do that because we hate to think we aren’t in charge of ourselves.
In truth, in the most important way there is, we are in charge of ourselves: we have Free Will. And we are allowed to use that Free Will to choose whether we will be a slave to God or a slave to the world (sin.) The truth that no one wants to hear is that we are slaves, and the only real choice we have is to accept the lie of freedom that the enemy offers (which is slavery to sin and eternal damnation), or the truth that we must submit to God, who is a benevolent master and who wants us to have eternal peace and joy.
God wants everyone to be closer to Him. Both those that love and worship Him, and those that hate and reject Him. God wants all His children to have eternal life. But- He is still God, and holy, and to get closer to Him we need to become holier.
Yeshua made getting closer to God much easier: He blazed a pathway for us that wasn’t possible before. When you accept Yeshua as your Messiah, by His sacrifice receive God’s Grace and decide to obey Torah as God commanded you, you start a lifelong passage from brass to silver to gold.
And as you get closer to God, you will be more blessed and joyful and secure than you could ever have imagined.
As we say today, you’ll be “golden!”