Based on the Torah Portion Mishpatim
There is a distinct disconnect in the church today that we have any real part to play in our relationship with YHVH. We show up, we sing a few hymns and perhaps place some money in the offertory; but apart from those few things really, we let the minister tell us what we need to know. Or we listen to contemporary worship music that tells us were good children of God because the lyrics says so. But that’s not what Jesus said… “"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds” (Matthew 16:27)
Bricks say a lot about a house. Sometimes they suggest a culture, a lifestyle, a symbol of finance, or worldly power. The word for brick in Hebrew is the word lebênâh. In the Hebrew alpha-bet it’s spelled with a Lamed, a Beit, a Nun and a Heh. The three-letter root word drops the Heh. Leben, Lamed, Beit, Nun; Inside this 3-letter root is a two letter root word—Ben; beit and a nun. It means white, tile, pavement, bricks and building material, which makes sense because bricks since Bible days have been used as building material. In the beginning of Exodus/Shemot we read how Pharaoh enforced slave labor upon the nation of Israel and their lot in life was to make bricks for Pharaoh--lebênâh. To further explain this word in Hebrew we have to look at it pictographically. The two-letter root word beit nun reveals a great deal of insight into the order of God’s beautiful mind. The beit is a picture of a tent, or a house, while the nun is a picture of a seed which represents offspring or the continuing generations of the family. The family is raised in the house. Now—when we examine the Lamed on the front of the word (lebênâh) it can be defined as lead, teach, yoke, forward, tongue, or control. So, whoever controls the building material controls the house—or more precisely the family inside the house. A house is a miniature of a Kingdom. When we reflect upon Pharaoh and his cruel slave labor imposed on our Israelite ancestry we see at that time Pharaoh controlled Israel because they were building bricks designed to build up his kingdom. But, it would soon fall. A pattern begins to emerge here.
In chapter 24 verse 10 we read of when Moshe’, Aharaon, his sons Nadav and Avihu and the 70 elders saw God on the mountain and were not consumed. We read “and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.” Very majestic, very reverent, very humbling; but what does it all mean? May I suggest to you that what we read here is a witnessing of YHVH’s requirement for His people to pure. Look again at verse 10. “Under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.” The word clear used in this verse is the word tôhar that originates in the word taw-hare', Strongs Hebrew #2891 and it means to be clean, pure, bright. The word for sky is shaw-mah'-yim and is the word we associate with Heaven which is where YHVH’s kingdom is. The word used in this verse for pavement is lebênâh. The word for Sapphire is rooted in the word saw-far' and it means to count, to number, to recount, to talk, a scroll—like a Torah Scroll! God doesn’t have feet, He is a spirit, but to allow our finite mind to grasp some measure of God we read that beneath His feet was this stuff. His presence rested upon this pure, bright shining building material the ingredients of which were His Word like those later written by Moshe in a Scroll, a Torah Scroll—His Kingdom! YHVH’s Kingdom came down upon the mountain and Moshe and his company were not consumed! Why not? Because they had obeyed YHVH’s word three days prior to going up the mountain and washed their garments purifying themselves in preparation for His arrival. This is not to be taken lightly beloved rather it is a critical moment we come to realize that to meet with God we must pursue purity, because God is holy, He is pure.
Now, to bring this back full circle. If we consult our Brit Chadashah/New Testament reading located back in Matthew chapter 17 we pick up where we left off from the end of chapter 16 after Yeshua/Jesus had just emphasized to the disciples that there is a very real cost to following God; “And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light” (Matthew 17:2). Does this sound at all familiar? Yeshua took His disciples up on a mountain top and became bright, as white as light; very similar to when Moshe’ and Aharon went up the mountain in Exodus/Shemot chapter 24 and saw God in the cloud. Here we have a mountain, a cloud, and a shining bright light as well. And if we look at the word used in verse 2 for white we find the greek word leukós. It means light, bright, brilliant, exalted to the splendor of the heavenly state. And when we trace this Greek word back to it’s Hebrew cognate we find it matches back to lâbân the same word we found back when Israel was making bricks for Pharaoh for ignoble purposes, and the same word we discover when Moshe’ and Aharan gaze upon God’s presence when it came to rest upon the pure white brilliant pavement stones of the kingdom of Heaven on top of the mountain.
All of this exploring leads us somewhere, and we’ve already said it in this teaching, but to summarize it teaches us the seriousness of the holiness and purity of YHVH. Does God meet us where we are? Absolutely. Will He reach down in the most disgusting places,pick us up and save us? Absolutely! But after He parts our Red sea, after He leads us out of bondage, He’s going to ask us to commit ourselves to obeying His word. This will require us to follow what He says. YHVH says be pure beloved, so that we can know Him, come to understand Him, and experience His presence like never before! I want that! Don’t you? Ahmein. Blessings my friends, Shalom.