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21
Aug

Shoftim

Written by Mordecai Silver. Posted in Journey Through Torah.

Shoftim-Judges

Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

Revelation 19:11-16

Introduction

The Torah’s intent, to establish a fair and operative judicial system, now serves as the basis of all western law that seeks to protect its citizens, but in this new judicial structure, there is no mention of the need for a scribe (sofer), whose role in enforcing public order appears in Chronicles; nor any opening for lawyers.

Deuteronomy 16:18-20

18 "You are to appoint judges and officers for all your gates [in the cities] ADONAI your God is giving you, tribe by tribe; and they are to judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You are not to distort justice or show favoritism, and you are not to accept a bribe, for a gift blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of even the upright. 20 Justice, only justice, you must pursue; so that you will live and inherit the land ADONAI your God is giving you. (CJB)

As we see from this portion from this week’s Torah portion, Shoftim, Moses was given the authority to appoint judges and officers in Israel by the Lord. What we also see are the requirements the Lord wanted in these appointments, and that was to judge with righteous judgment, they were not to distort justice, not show favoritism, nor a bribe, or a gift. In other words, judges and officers were to be beyond reproach. This is something unique to a theocracy, a land living under the Torah given by its God to guide His people. This is unlike any other nations that has ever existed on the face of the earth and runs contrary to a democracy where the people vote for their leaders, and in a government, like the United States, in its current state runs into gridlock consistently where hardly anything is accomplished while partisan politics is the law of the land.

I am not trying to be negative here nor coming against democracy, but the truth is only God can lead the world to the place it needs to be, especially in the times where we are currently living. We are at a crossroads, people, nation is lining up against nation, and allies are currently at each other’s throats with everyone out for what is best for them and not what is best for the country’s citizens, or better yet, what is best in the eyes of the Almighty as shown to us in the Torah. Pay particular attention to the fact I said the Torah and not the rest of the Bible as interpreted by men in the light of various places being Christian only. Are we called to be Christian or to be citizens of Israel, an Israel based on the covenant of Torah, not another democracy based on the laws of men? We need men and women who are pure Shoftim (Judges) according to Torah standards not mans.

Ezra 7:6 this Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the Torah of Moses that the LORD, the God of Israel, had given, and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him. (ESV)

This means that judges should not be elected but chosen by God to lead His people, but in the reality of the world we are living in, this will not be happening any time soon. As long as men have the reins to control the world and set the nations and their laws, we will continue to spiral downward until, as the various nations we are, hit rock bottom looking for a way out of the hole we have been digging for ourselves for a very long time. Many of us, as believers in Messiah Yeshua, have on a personal level reached our rock bottom a long time ago, which is why we came to faith in Messiah who we came to understand was the only way to turn our lives around for the best. It has not been an easy walk for us as we came into Torah observance out of a personal conviction; it was the best way to move forward in our walk as believers. However, we are the minority and not the majority. We have to contend with many obstacles that are being thrown up in our path along the way, the least of which is the church’s stand against the “law of God”, opting instead for the “love of God”, which is not really love but an abdication of all the instructions and teachings our Father has given to us to help us find our ways, not only in our own lives but in the life of the nation’s where we live.

If it sounds like I am down on what I see happening all over the world, I am not! I am rejoicing at the fact that God’s hand is moving as He brings His plan into play as shown us in the Torah, in the Prophets, and as Messiah Yeshua shared in His teachings. God knows the beginning and the end, and it will be His plan that will bring it all to a conclusion, not Satan’s. What the world does not understand is there is a God, and there is an Adversary at work in the world today. As western civilization changes, love for God is growing cold, and we are moving further and further away from the Lord’s teachings and more and more towards Satan’s. This we label as true love when in truth it is a perversion of God’s Torah based love.

Psalm 136:2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. (ESV)

<02617a> chesed (338c)
Meaning: goodness, kindness
Origin: from 2616a

Usage: deeds of devotion(2), devotion(1), devout(1), faithfulness(1), favor(2), good(1), kindly(7), kindness(32), kindnesses(1), loveliness(1), lovingkindness(176), lovingkindnesses(7), loyal deeds(1), loyalty(6), mercies(1), merciful(2), mercy(1), righteousness(1), unchanging love(2).

<05769> olam or olam (761d)
Meaning: long duration, antiquity, futurity

The idea that the Lord’s love has somehow changed over the centuries is skewed at best because if His love has changed, then what is the purpose of saying His love or mercy is forever? The Hebrew word for forever is olam, and it means from antiquity to futurity without end. So, it is not God’s love that has changed but man’s because God does not change since He is not affected by time as He dwells outside of it. Time was created by God through Messiah for us not for Him, unless it was for Him to allow us the opportunity to work things out for us, and for Him to work in us and in the world to accomplish what He wants, not what we want. If He had left things up to us completely, can you imagine what could happen? Think about the reality of Scripture according to prophecy which comes from God, and then look at what is going on around you. The world and its leaders are about money more than anything else. Caring about their fellow man no longer is seen as good business sense, and love, in an intimate manner, is no longer guided by God’s definition but now by courts and nations where anything goes. My, how the mighty have fallen, and if we do anything at all to try to get things back on track, it should be to fall on our faces before the Almighty and intercede on behalf of our leaders and nations to turn back before they fall off the precipice.

Isaiah 59:12 For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: 13 transgressing, and denying the LORD, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words. 14 Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. 15 Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. 17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. 18 According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment. 19 So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the LORD drives. 20 "And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression," declares the LORD. 21 "And as for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring," says the LORD, "from this time forth and forevermore." (ESV)

"And as for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD…the covenant of faith and Torah.

Revelation 19:11-16

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (ESV)

We are told in verse 12, Messiah has a name written that no one knows but Himself, but in verse 13, we are told this name is The Word of God. The Word of God is Torah, and it was spoken forth the first time in the book of Genesis/Bereisheet as the Father began creating.

Genesis 1:3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. (ESV)

0559 'amar {aw-mar'}
Meaning: to say, speak, utter, to answer, to say in one's heart, to think, to command, to promise, to intend, to be told, to be said, to be called, to boast, to act proudly, to avow, to avouch Origin: a primitive root; TWOT - 118; v
Usage: AV - said 4874, speak 179, answer 99, command 30, tell 29, call 7, promised 6, misc. 84;

In Genesis 1:3, this is the first time that the Almighty speaks in the Bible. What He speaks is creation, and in this, it has to be Yeshua who is the spoken Word of the Father because we are told without reservation it was through Messiah that everything there is was created, and everything that was created was for Him.

Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things were created through him and for him. (ESV)

When we finally come to the understanding and acceptance that everything there is was brought into existence by God through and for Messiah, we will come to the realization that everything lies in His control, and that nothing that has happened or will happen is happenstance.

Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.' (ESV)

As human beings, we need to learn to accept we are the creation not the Creator, as such things would be so much better if we learned our place in the scheme of things, and that we are not as great as we think we are.

Blessings in Messiah Yeshua,

Mordecai Silver

Torah Man says: “You will never have a friend if you seek one without faults.”

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