This week’s HafTorah portion is taken from Jeremiah 34:1-22. Listen in as Dr. Jeffery Myers discusses the cycle of life which we highly prize within the Torah community and how it affects our society 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 Parashat:
Lion of Judah Ministries
Dr. Jeffery L Myers
HafTorah: Jeremiah 34:1-22
The cycle of life which we highly prize within the Torah community causes us to reflect on the past and look into the future. We dedicate ourselves to the important task of preparing our children for following YHVH’s instructions, that by Yah’s grace, they would carry the life-message of YHVH’s greatness into their generation. We understand that one generation gives way to the next, handing over the responsibility of their generation to be leaders in the community, and to hand the message, both in word and action, to their generation and the next. We see the supreme importance of community and relationships that are the building blocks of community. The only way for relationships to flourish is if we apply the biblical standards of righteousness as Yah intends, and then in turn raise up disciples in the next generation to carry on the important task of sanctifying His name in our world.
What is sad is that YHVH’s standards for relationships are viewed as archaic and unworkable in our society today. When YHVH’s instructions conflict with our feelings, we find ways to “reinterpret” what YHVH has said so that we can follow our feelings and believe we’re obeying HaShem. Our feelings have replaced objective, biblical standards and have overshadowed the foundation of obedience. “What should I do” has now been replaced by “what does my heart tell me to do”. Now, our eyes are dim, and our hearing has grown deaf to the Torah. Our hearts no longer feel the need to listen to that unchangeable standard that regulates our lives throughout all generations. We are now taught “believe your own thoughts and feelings, come to your own understanding”, instead of knowing what is right in YHVH’s eyes!
In Jeremiah 34, they were told to let the Hebrew slaves go free during this Sh’mittah year. All the leaders listened who had entered the covenant. They listened (is repeated) and they let them go. But the saddest verse is found in Jeremiah 34:11 that says, “But afterwards, they changed their minds…they made them return”. They decided that the price of obedience was more than they wanted to pay. The Mishpat, translated “ordinance”, literally means “judgment”. In other words, these are YHVH’s assessments, His judgments in terms of how relationships within the Torah community are to be lived out.
So here is our decision, Choose today Whom you will serve. Will we accept YHVH’s assessments in regards to proper relationships or will we set them aside for our own? Will we trust His way or lean upon our own understanding? By changing their minds, they profaned His name. Their disobedience caused them to violate His covenant and now there will be consequences. The consequences for the king of Y’huda and his officials according to Jeremiah 34:21,22 is that they will be handed over to their enemies, the army that has withdrawn, Elohim will give the order and cause them to return. They will attack them, burn the cities to the ground and they will be left desolate and uninhabited.
What a strong word… the freeing of the Hebrew slaves was commanded, it was the Torah way but they changed their minds. Paul reminds us that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of Yah. However, the power of the Ruach can result in our lives being transformed. We just need to make the choice of walking in “The Way”, walking in biblical Torah, walking out the commands of YHVH, no matter what the cost. We can walk out the purpose and destiny of YHVH! Let Yeshua give us a new heart, let Him draw us closer to Himself, to become like Him in all our ways. Eph. 2:8-10 says,”For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of YHVH; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for “good works”, which Abba prepared beforehand so that we would “walk in them”. Follow “The Way”, Restore the ancient paths, Refuse to “change your mind”. Continue in your obedience and let Yeshua give you the strength to succeed in this walk by the power of the Ruach haKodesh!