April 1, 2023: Parashat Torah Portion Tzav
This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Tzav is taken from Leviticus 6:1-8:36. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he teaches about the meaning behind and the elements involving the sacrificial worship that ADONAI required and referred to so often in the Torah, and how it reveals His heart for us today!
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Parashah Torah Portion:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Tzav - Leviticus 6:1-8:36
There is no getting around it; the Torah talks a lot about animal sacrifices, libations and all that sometimes we read over because we think it is not important to us. The first altar builder in Torah was Noah in Genesis 8:20-21. It wasn’t an offering for sin before the flood nor an offering to ask for the flood not to come or a calling for mercy. It was to express his gratitude and reverence for Elohim. What do we learn? We learn the altar is not only a place for seeking mercy and forgiveness but above all a place for worship. There will be sacrifices upon the altar to provide forgiveness of sin but first we see an offering of worship presented to Adonai as a soothing aroma. So, here in Leviticus in all of the details about offerings and priesthood, it is possible to lose the larger picture. The sacrificial system is about worship, and all worship, all coming-near-to Elohim, involves an offering! What is amazing is that not only is this a ritual of the past but of the present and future. Again, the sacrifices do not all deal with sin and forgiveness.
In Leviticus 6:1-2, the instructions for the first type of sacrifice, the olah (elevation offering) do not mention sin at all. We learn that worship always involves an offering, something we present to Adonai that ultimately represents us. We must bring ourselves to Adonai as an offering—the ultimate sacrifice, the olah, that which ascends. The word “olah” means to ascend, to go up, olah is translated as “burnt offering’.
Fire has a central role in the sacrifices of Leviticus, translator Robert Alter notes, “Fire and blood are two substances that are the key to the sacrificial rites, but the present passage give preeminence to…fire-the element associated with Elohim’s fiery presence at Mount Sinai and with His first appearance to Moses in the burning bush. Thereby, an altar with a fire “shall not go out”. So, the fire on the altar is no ordinary fire. This fire came from Elohim and caused the people to “see”. It causes us to see things as they really are. The FIRE that “shall not go out” represents Adonai, the ever-present and unchangeable Elohim.
These instructions about sacrifice are not intended for or understood by only a small group, especially one with specialized knowledge or interests but a way of Elohim revealing Himself to Israel, to us! So, the fire is a reminder of their encounter with Elohim at Mount Sinai. As it burns continually it reminds Israel that Elohim abides in the camp throughout all their journeys. As worshippers we learn that it is the priests, the representative humans, who must keep the fire burning continually. We are to worship steadily and continually! We are to keep the fire of worship burning in our lives at all times and not let it go out.
The sages say creation did not happen once; it is an ongoing process. The terminology the Torah uses to describe the creation of each system is “and Elohim said”. Speech happens only as long as it is being communicated. Existence is not an “is” but a conversation, a dialogue Elohim is having with creation. As long as that dialogue (the flow of divine life force from the very essence of Elohim’s being) happens, an object exists! If that flow of energy were to cease, the created would no longer exist. This means to us that if we our stop relationship with Elohim…we begin to die!
We know that all that exist in heaven and earth came into being only from the Truth of His Being. Listen to me…Spiritual energy that flows from Elohim becomes condensed and “frozen” until it becomes physical matter. Nuclear fusion takes matter and revealed that it is all simply congealed energy—huge amounts of energy packed into every particle of matter. This is all the truer of the relationship between creation and the energy from which it is formed. Elohim is the only reality; we just don’t see it! We do not see or feel the energy from which we are being woven at every moment. We can understand it; we can be inspired by it; we can maybe feel it in our souls but we do not experience it as the reality of the physical world. Why? Because we are in exile! This means there is a veil obscuring the Godly Truth from our view.
The heavenly fire on the altar performed creation in reverse…the fire took the physical and “melted it” reverting the offering to the spiritual energy of which it was composed. Hebrews 12:26-29 says, “Even then, His voice shook the earth, but now, He has made this promise: “one more time I will shake not only the earth, but heaven too! And this phrase, “one more time”, makes clear that the things shaken are removed, since they are created things, so that the things not shaken may remain. Therefore, since we have received an unshakable Kingdom, let us have grace, through which we may offer service that will please Elohim, with reverence and fear, for indeed, “Our Elohim is a consuming fire!”
True worship requires an offering. True offering represents the offer of oneself to Elohim. This worship is continued, a fire that is not quenched. Romans 12:1 says, “I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of Elohim’s mercies, to offer yourself as a sacrifice, living and set apart for Elohim. This will please Him; it is the logical “Temple Worship” for you.” Let’s look at Luke 3:6, “So John answered them all, “I am immersing you in water, but He who is coming is more powerful than I- I’m not worthy to untie His sandals! He will immerse you in the Ruach HaKodesh and in fire.” It is time to let the Elohim baptize you in the Ruach HaKodesh and in fire!
Let’s hear what Elohim is saying to us in Isaiah 56:1-7, “Here is what Adonai says: “Observe justice, do what is right, for my salvation is close to coming, my righteousness to being revealed.” Happy is the person who does this, anyone who grasps it firmly, who keeps Shabbat and does not profane it, and keeps himself from doing any evil. A foreigner joining Adonai shall not say, “Adonai will separate me from His people”; likewise, the eunuch should not say, “I am only a dried-up tree.” For here is what Adonai says, “As for the eunuchs who keep My Shabbats, who choose what pleases Me and holds fast to My covenant: in My house, within My walls, I will give them power and a name greater than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai to serve Him, to love the name of Adonai, and to be His workers, all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it, and hold fast to My covenant, I will bring them to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
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Come and let us magnify Adonai! Let us be the living sacrifice He desires. Come to His table as a bride ready for the bridegroom. Yeshua is coming are you ready! You are invited to His House of Prayer. Come and dine at His table this Sabbath. See you at the altar.