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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad


BeChukotay 33-3

In my statutes

Leviticus 26:10-46

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.

Lev. 26:13 NKJV

Who may walk upright?

The Eternal brought the sons and daughters of Israel out of Egypt's bondage to give them a new status. Instead of walking with a low head under the yoke of slavery, He freed them to be able to walk with their heads upright. They went from self despisal to self esteem.

Slavery is not the worst thing about a slave but his mentality - what he thinks of himself. A person with a low self esteem will always be a slave to others no matter how free he actually is. The Eternal's treatment towards the people of Israel helped them to become free of that mentality of slavery to be able to think of themselves in a different way. What we think of ourselves defines our behaviour and our relationship with our neighbour. The one who walks upright is self confident. Lack of identity or a false identity is one of the largest causes of irregular and illegal behaviour. What one thinks of oneself, that he is, as Proverbs 23:7a says: For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." (NKJV)

What strengthened the people's self esteem and identity was in the first place the impressive revelation of their God's power. When they saw His mighty hand perform those miracles in Egypt - the Reed Sea and desert crossing, they felt highly motivated. They could say: See what a God we have! There is no one like our God!

Another factor that strengthened the people as people of the Almighty was the giving of the Torah and the covenant of Sinai. They were chosen to be head of the other peoples. The people of the covenant are a priestly nation with first hand access to divine revelation and the responsibility of transmitting it to all nations. What a task and responsibility! All this created an important identity within the people. Their self esteem was strongly strengthened in the desert so that they could walk upright.

Now, if the people of the covenant become exclusive and raise a wall of despisal and rejection against the other nations, they will not fulfill their role as mediators between the Eternal and the nations. On the contrary, they will cause hatred, envy and rejection from the non-Jewish nations. But if the chosen people understand their role as a channel of blessing so all the families on earth are blessed, then all the nations will be what the Eternal created them to be.

Since Ishmael and Esav didn't understand or didn't accept the purpose of their brothers' (Yitzchak and Yaakov) election, they filled their heads with all kinds of concepts of themselves and their brothers which produced very negative results, which is also the largest cause of  nowadays' world's conflicts. Ishmael's envy is fertile ground for the power of Islam and Esav's envy is fertile ground for Christianity. Both religions have been created based on rejection against the chosen people and both claim to be the chosen people instead of the Jews. Their lack of knowledge of the chosen people's role and their lack of identity and self esteem within their own calling is the main cause of their hatred against Judaism and Jews.

There are two songs in the hearts of the Christian and the Muslim: "We have it, they don't" "We are the chosen people, the others are not" There is also another song in the hearts of some Christian and non-Jewish Messianic groups: "They are the people, but we are too". These are attempts to falsify what the Eternal has done with the Jewish people.

Now, what is the solution for these groups? That they find the love of the God of Israel which is also the God of the whole world and that they understand that they have also been chosen to receive blessings from heaven, but not apart and in rebellion against their Jewish brothers, but submitted to them and in close relationship with them, without taking from the Jewish people what is not for them.

 The lack of identity among those who left Christianity and embraced Jewish faith without becoming Jewish is a grave problem nowadays. They feel they are too Jewish to be accepted by Christians and too Christian to be accepted by Jews. In many cases they go through deep loneliness and suffer from anguish because they don't know who they are and how to identify themselves.

In a situation like this it's easy to feel inferior or rejected when receiving teachings about the Jew having more commandments than the non-Jewish in the Messiah, about the Jew being able to do things that a non-Jew can't do, and that the non-Jew can do things that the Jew can't.

This is an issue to present in prayer before the Eternal. The Eternal not only can but also wants to deliver this group from the feeling of rejection and lack of identity so they can also walk upright without being a threat to the Jew or taking a false identity of replacement and despisal.

I am convinced that one of the keys for this to happen is that they have a revelation of what they are in heaven in the Messiah. Being a priest in heaven, being a co-citizen in heavenly Yerushalayim and being a member of God's family is more than belonging to a chosen people on earth. The one who succeeds in understanding his identity in heaven - thanks to Messiah Yeshua - will be totally free of any kind of rejection. The one who understands that being a son of God is more than anything in this world can walk with his head upright, without envy or rejection, with full respect to the role of the Jew and the non-Jew in this world. They are both part of the Eternal's plan for the redemption of the world.

Kol tuv,

Ketriel


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