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May 4, 2024: Parashah Torah Portion Acharei Mot Kedoshim

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Acharei Mot Kedoshim is taken from Leviticus 16:1-18:30. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he emphasizes the importance of never losing sight of the clear structure this parashah presents; a common goal to live by in our lives: To be sanctified unto to ELOHIM, and live in obedience to His revealed will in the Torah!

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 Torah Portion:

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Acharei Mot Kedoshim is taken from Leviticus 16:1-18:30

Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Acharei Mot Kedoshim - Leviticus 16:1-18:30:

As we look at this Torah Portion, we see the theme of living by Elohim’s principles. Leviticus 18:1-5 says, “Adonai said to Moshe, speak to the people of Israel; tell them, “I am Adonai your Yah.  You are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Egypt, where you used to live; and you are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Kena’an, where I am bringing you; nor are you to live by their laws.  You are to obey My rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai your Yah.  You are to observe My laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai.”  This is quite straightforward.  So straightforward that our western minds can seem a bit offensive.


In past years in America, we have relegated these prohibitions to some ancient time when people lived more like animals than humans.  Today as in those days every manner of deviant behavior is not only thought to be acceptable, but those who raise an objection are considered deviant themselves.  Righteousness and unrighteousness have exchanged places.


We must never lose sight of the clear structure of this parashah.  It begins with 5 verses of introduction and ends with 5 verses that repeat the theme of the introduction.  In this way, the laws given in our parashah are given a common purpose.  What is this purpose?  We, Elohim’s people, should be sanctified unto Him, and that in so doing they might set His name apart in all the earth.  The fact that obeying Elohim’s laws also produces stable families and communities (Lev. 18:5).


We must order our lives according to Elohim’s revealed will in the Torah because we receive the happy obligation of declaring His holy character as our top priority.  The reward for such obedience is His hand of blessing upon us as families, and therefore as a community.  The two hands singled out at the beginning of a text are Egypt and Canaan.  Egypt, the place where Israel had been enslaved fot hundreds of years.  Canaan, the place to which they were going as the Torah was revealed.


Both lands incorporated the basest practices sinking them into the deep darkness of their pagan religion and worship.  We must learn never be complacent and sin is a progression.  If this very principle that Yeshua Himself had when He taught in the Sermon of the Mount that inner desire of lust should be repented of as sin, for this is where sin takes root and begins to bear its ugly fruit (Ya’akov 1:13-15).


What also is clear is that the pagan nations that surround Elohim’s people will have their own “statutes” (Lev. 18:4).  For them it was considered normal and common.  Because of that it would be easy to rationalize that they were also “okay” for Elohim’s people.  However, Abba makes it clear…they are not!


He has given us His statutes and we are to be marked by them… not the pagan culture which is part of the “spirit of the times.”  We must guard ourselves so they don’t work their way into our lives.  Let’s look carefully how the Torah is characterized in Lev. 18:4-5; “You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am Adonai your Elohim.  So, you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am Adonai.”


Life as Elohim intends comes from living according to His statutes and judgments, i.e.  Making life’s decisions with His teachings (Torah) well in mind, as having them written upon the heart.  Therefore, living according to Elohim’s statutes is 2-fold:  1.  We must guard ourselves against the ever encroaching “norms” of our nation.  2.  We must commit ourselves with increasing fervor to know and apply Elohim’s statutes. 

This idea of “living by doing” is not foreign to the message of Yeshua and to that of His Apostles.  Neither is it contrary to the message of forgiveness by grace taught everywhere in the Scriptures.  Elohim’s grace is the fountain from which flows His mercy and forgiveness.  It is His grace and His grace alone that was the motivator for sending His Son, Yeshua.  No one deserves grace and all who receive it do so as objects of His sovereign love.


The Biblical record is clear…those who receive grace are changed; they do not stay the same!  Their hearts are turned from stone to flesh and the Torah is written upon them.  Their perspective is turned from the selfish-indulgence of the lustful flesh to the happy privilege of honoring the Creator.  This doesn’t mean the battle with the flesh is over…far from it but the victory is secured because the heart has been changed!


Walking in newness of life is the inevitable result of one who has died with Messiah and risen with Him.  This is not some Brit Chadashah teaching; but finds its foundation right here in Leviticus 18.  Israel was to be different!  They were to stand in contrast to the paganism they were leaving and would enter as they possessed the Land.  They were not to look like the pagans with all the demonic scarring, piercings and markings!


They were to give evidence even by their outward appearance of their deep-seated belief that Elohim created their bodies to manifest His image…that was their great duty as the redeemed of Elohim!  They were to build families in which the covenant was reflected (Jeremiah 31:31-34).  Look at ancient history as it is portrayed in the Tanakh and notice Elohim’s wrath falls upon nations when 3 things come together; idolatry, sexual deviancy and child sacrifice which when combined take mankind below the animal realm into the demonic.


The very image of Elohim is so obscured that mankind has lost its very purpose for existence.  Look at us as a nation - USA.  We wink at overt idolatry; sexual deviancy has become the acceptable norm; children are being abused, neglected, and murdered because parents have sold themselves as slaves to debilitating substances and enslaved to affluence.


We have become so politically correct we are no longer able to delineate that which Yah loves and that which He hates.  Never give up the necessary function of dividing between that which is holy and that which is profane.


Statutes in Hebrew is derived from the verb “to expanse” into metal or stone which tells us or emphasizes the permanence of Elohim’s decrees; valid for all times whether or not one is able to rationalize their purpose!  The decrees of Elohim are eternally applicable!  In fact, these particular decrees in this Torah portion relate to the very foundation of the community, that is, the family unit.  How then will we stem the tide of our decaying society and how will we both obey and guard the statutes of Elohim?


First:  Model the statutes of Elohim by living them out before our children.  Second: Maintain a strong stand against all forms of immorality.  Don’t yield to the constant call to lower our standards in a society that already has none!  Third:  Be careful not to send mixed messages.  Don’t take a strong stand for holiness but then engage in the opposite…don’t diminish your message and bring confusion.  Fourth: Live out a life of gratitude for the grace and forgiveness we have received at the hand of Yeshua.  Never think you have “arrived” at the point where we are the judges of all the others.


Our desire to sanctify Elohim’s name comes from His sovereign work in our hearts.  We must long for Him to do that in the lives of others, and be willing to be His humble servants both to live out as well as to proclaim the message of Elohim’s grace in Yeshua before a watching world!  Someone say AMEN!


Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,

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Have a great Sabbath as we continue to count the Omer until the Feast of Shavuot.  Come and worship Adonai with us and celebrate the goodness of our Yah!  See you at the altar!


Shalom Aleichem

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