“Living Faith As God Would Define It?” by Ariel Ehrmantrout
Parashot B’Har Leviticus 25:1-26:2 and
Behukatai: In My Statutes 26:3-27:34
Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19-17: 14
Priesthood Thessolonians and 1 Timothy 1-3
“Living Faith As God Would Define It?”
1YHWH said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2″Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to YHWH. 3For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to YHWH. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 6Whatever the land yields during the Sabbath year will be food for you– for yourself, your manservant and maidservant, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, 7as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.’”
The Sabbatical Year: the Schmittah test of the land
Rest, Sabbath rest: (Strong’s #4520) sabbatismos meaning: 1) a keeping Sabbath 2) the blessed rest of YHWH. Derivative from (Strong’s #4521) sabbaton meaning: the Sabbath, i.e. the seventh day (of the week).
The Schmittah cycle is a commandment about faith. It is a command to allow your own sustenance, your own works, to be laid aside, totally trusting YHWH’s provision for a whole year.
Keeping the Schmittah year, the Sabbatical year is a demonstration of your covenant faith in YHWH as your source, just like your keeping the weekly Sabbath is a demonstration of covenant faith in YHWH’s provision.
Faith and “the faith”
Faith is NOT a belief system, nor is it recognition that YHWH is real and present.
Faith is putting all of your trust in the YHWH who created you and trusting that IF you obey what he said THEN HE will DO WHAT HE PROMISED. This is the faith that Abraham had and what most of the body today is missing.
Genesis 12:1-4 says “1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.
Faith is substantive. Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE of things NOT YET seen. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
D. Faith is the concept EMUNAH–or STEADFAST ENDURING OBEDIENCE to YHWH’s Teaching and Instruction. The COMMANDS are nothing more than YHWH’S CONDITIONS OF PROSPERITY–whether you are talking about the SABBATH or WHAT FOOD TO EAT. Think about the TORAH’S COMMANDS like ROCKS that allow you to APPEAR TO DEFY NATURE and walk across the very surface of the water…..As long as you step in line placing YOUR FEET ON EACH OF THE ROCKS –YOU WILL NOT SINK. However If you DISREGARD THE COMMANDS or START and THEN DEPART the pathway–you become as though the CONDITIONAL PROVISION has not HELD YOU UP–and YOU WILL NEVER DISPLAY THE STEADFAST SURETY THAT OTHERS DISPLAY. However, to those who have no relationship with the ONE WITH THE MAP–WHICH SHOWS THE ROCK PATH, the WATER looks like nothing but PURE BONDAGE. TORAH’S COMMANDS ARE THE MAP WAY TO SUCCESS LIKE ABRAHAM.
Romans 4:1-12 says ” 1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7″Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” 9Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.”
So what is the difference between the Sabbath and the Schmittah?
The Sabbath is a day, a day’s worth of faithful obedience on display for all to witness each week, whereas the Schmittah is a full year, a season of trusting reliance on YHWH to meet all your needs in obedience to the Father.
The Schmittah also points to the coming season of the Messiah that is fast upon us as YHWH’s 7000 year plan of Tikkun, restoration of all things back to the Garden of Eden is at hand!
The 7,000-year redemptive plan of the G-d of Israel can be seen in the following chart.
1 2,000 4,000 6,000 7,000
Olam Haba !———————!———————!———————-!————————! Olam Haba
Yovel Tohu Torah Days of Messiah Jubilee
Jubilee Days of Desolation Days of Redemption Restoration
Return of the prodigal son and YHWH’s Schmittah year. Luke 15:11-31
The prodigal in this story is the nation of Israel who became gentiles and lived as though their father was dead, wasting their inheritance among the pagans. Leviticus 26:34-35 says “34 Then the land will enjoy its Sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. 35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the Sabbaths you lived in it.
There was a famine in the land where the prodigal had gone because the pagans did not follow the Schmittah as YHWH had ordered resulting in his selling of himself as a slave as prophesied in Leviticus 26. A curse of disobedience was upon the whole land even as it has today in churches all over the world that follow after the catholic system and not the Torah rather than obey and WALK IN BLESSING. Leviticus 26:14-39 says “14 ” ‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you. 18 “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. 19 I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit. 21 ” ‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve. 22 I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted. 23 ” ‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, 24 I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over. 25 And I will bring the sword upon you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands. 26 When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will be able to bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out the bread by weight. You will eat, but you will not be satisfied. 27 ” ‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, 28 then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters. 30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you. 31 I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries, and I will take no delight in the pleasing aroma of your offerings. 32 I will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled. 33 I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. 34 Then the land will enjoy its Sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. 35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the Sabbaths you lived in it. 36 ” ‘As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them. 37 They will stumble over one another as though fleeing from the sword, even though no one is pursuing them. So you will not be able to stand before your enemies. 38 You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you. 39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away.
The son makes up his mind to leave the pig trough of the pagan world and return to his father’s house in an act of submission. Won’t you come out from among the unclean and follow G-d’s teaching and his instruction?
1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
There the father accepts him with open arms! And runs to him, putting his best robe on him, (a Tallit, representing the Holy Ghost) shoes for his feet (walking in the blessing of his father’s house, Leviticus 26:3-13 says “3 ‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land. 6 “‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you. 9 ” ‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.),
A ring on his finger, (The AUTHORITY OF HIS FATHER, John 14:13-14 says “13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
And slaughtering the fatted calf (fellowship offering). Leviticus 20:8 says “Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy.”
Restoration of all things: Tikkun
Ezekiel 37 says Israel is being reunified; Ephraim (those spread among the Nations) and Judah (the Jewish people) both following after YHWH by keeping his feast days and observing his Sabbaths and Schmittah years as a testimony to who are the true followers of YHWH in these last days of our EXILE –by FAITH. John 15:14 says “You are my friends if you do what I command.”
By failing to treat YHWH’s days as holy, following the sabbatical year we are not only cursing our lives we are aiding and abetting the anti-messiah in his ascent to power.
2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 says, 8“And then the lawless one (ANTI-CHRIST) will be revealed, whom the Lord Yahushua will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9The coming of the lawless one (ANTI-CHRIST) will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit (LOOK LIKE REAL) miracles, (LOOKS LIKE REAL) signs and (LOOKS LIKE REAL) wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth (EMET–TORAH – Psalm 119:142) and so be saved.
The cycle of rest which sets us apart mirrors YHWH’s 7000 year plan for restoration of the world, and is a sign that we have been sealed unto the days of eternal restoration, Tikkun, through following Yeshua by faithful obedience to his commands. Ephesians 4:30 which says “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption”
Only when we CHOOSE to leave the uncleanness of the pagan world and return to the Father’s house, his righteousness, his mo’edim, and his Schmittah cycle will we again receive our RESTORED INHERITANCE:
The robe of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (Holy Spirit), which HE places on us! Revelation 3:5 says, “He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.”
HIS SHOES that allow us to walk over life’s troubles and not be harmed! 1 John 2:6 says “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Yahushua did.”
HIS RING (AUTHORITY to bind and loose peoples SINS in his name). John 17:2 says “For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.”
FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM. Hebrew 2:11 says, “Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Yahushua is not ashamed to call them brothers.”
© 2010 Ariel Ehrmantrout–All Rights Reserved Worldwide
This Weeks Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19 – 17:14
Today’s Haftarah Message: “Losing Generational Baggage”
Today’s Reading Jeremiah 17:5 – 8
“5 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” ”
In this week’s Haftarah, Jeremiah is comparing the results of those Israelites who are NOT trusting in GOD v. those Israelites that DO trust in GOD. But trust in what? Is there something specific we should be trusting GOD to provide or do? Let’s see.
Do you ever hear yourself say “I’ll NEVER BE LIKE MY PARENTS”? We all have until we come to the realization that we do go through or repeat some of the same things our parents have done. These acts maybe small things like forgetfulness, clumsiness, or bigger things like diseases “running in the family” such as diabetes or sexual abuse. One of the reasons these things come upon us because of the Torah Violations from our parents, grandparents, and their parents.
Exodus 20: 5 & 6 says “5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
We can’t blame our parents. More likely than not, they were unaware of this – making them innocent. So what can we do about it? I think this week’s portions have answers.
First – We must realize that we have not only sinned, but we also have to acknowledge those inherited sins genetically passed down from our fathers.
Second – We must confess those sins and make Teshuvah – turning around and going another the other way.
Leviticus 26: 39-42 says “39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away.
40 ” ‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers—their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.”
Jeremiah 16:19 says “19 O LORD, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say,” Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good.”
Third – Trust in GOD. This does not mean, for example, if we are sick, we do not go to the Doctor. Going to the Doctor is part of our healing covenant. It means that GOD HIMSELF will see to it that these sins are dealt with once and for all – which HE has already done on Calvary, and HE will teach us HIS TORAH so we can walk in a blessed life.
Jeremiah 16:21 says “21“Therefore I will teach them—this time I will teach them my power and might. Then they will know that my name is the LORD.”
Jeremiah 17:14 says “14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”
“IN MY DECREES” – are where the answers are found for a blessed life. We must trust GOD that HE will take care of the generational baggage we all have. All we can do is repent and do as HE says. The question is – Are you trusting GOD or in man?
Rabbi Shaun Sailor
[5th Year Torah Student and Student Rabbi Shaun S. Sailor appears the courtesy of Temple Ahavah Torah Training Center. If you enjoy Reb Sailor’s Haftarah commentary each week, take a moment and jot him and encouraging note at firstname.lastname@example.org ]