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This parashah holds two of the most amazing and influential passages of the bible: the sin of the Golden Calf, and the 13 Attributes of God.
Chapter 32 retells the sin of the Golden Calf, and after Moses goes back up the mountain to ask God to forgive the people, he also asks God to “show me, I pray Thee, Thy glory”, which God agrees to do. When God passes by Moses He proclaims Himself, and these are what we call the 13 Attributes of God.
Today I want to talk about a very small sentence that represents a very magnificent reality: God treats everyone the same way.
In Chapter 30, at the beginning of this parashah God tells Moses to take a census of the people and that everyone has to pay a ransom for their soul. Each person counted is to give the same amount, a half-shekel. And at verse 15 God says:
The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when they give the offering of the Lord, to make atonement for your souls.
To me this means that God is asking from each person the same amount because each person is, to God, the same in His eyes. Whether rich or poor, intelligent or unlearned, good-looking or weak of countenance, to God we are all the same. He doesn’t look at our outward appearance and cares not for our financial strength because God looks at our heart.
This is confirmed later, in Chapter 33, verse 19 when He agrees to show Moses His glory, and states:
I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Because God is always the same, Kefa (Peter) confirms this nearly 1,500 years later, in Acts 10:34:
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”
God will not be moved or change His mind about something simply because a person is destitute, or rich, or important in the worldview. God will and does treat every single living person on Earth as one of His children. Whether or not they accept and acknowledge Him as God, or accept and acknowledge Yeshua as Messiah, God still treats them the same way.
You may be thinking, “Wait a minute! God treats all people the same way? Are you crazy, Steve? Are you saying that God will bless sinners who reject and curse His name the same way He treats a godly person who obey’s Torah and loves Him?”
Yes, that is exactly what I am saying, and No, it is not as you may think.
When I say God treats everyone the same way I mean that God will see each person not for what the world thinks is important, but for what God thinks is important. God will not have special concern for a person’s physical well-being, or their finances, or their position the business world, or even their rank within a church or synagogue. To God, we are all the same, and we all will be treated the same way, which is according to what we deserve.
That is how God treats everyone the same way: we all get what we deserve.
There is one exception to this: those that have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah, who work their salvation in truth, having done T’shuvah (repentance) and who fear God will not receive all they deserve because Yeshua has paid that price for us. Thank God for that! Literally.
From this lesson we need to move forward knowing that God sees everyone for who and what they are, and since we can’t we need to trust God to judge and avenge Himself as He sees fit. We should not take the position of judge away from God because, frankly, we aren’t fit for that role. We cannot judge fairly as God does because we are human, we are in the world, we are saturated by its standards and whether we like it or not, we cannot be partial in the way God can be partial.
Admitting this is not something that should make us feel bad, it should instead give us a sense of relief. To judge is very difficult, and to judge fairly is almost impossible. I, for one, am very happy to let God do that. I have written many, many evaluations during my lifetime and they are hard to do- if any of you has done this, you know what I mean. The weight of having someone’s future, their family’s support and the person’s self-worth in my hands is a very heavy burden. Now if we took that up to the level of judging the world, well….better to let God handle it.
Take joy in the truth that God judges everyone equally, as we deserve, and take even greater joy in knowing that because of Yeshua, we will not actually receive that which we really deserve.