“Signs Of An Ungrateful Heart” by Ariel Ehrmantrout
This Week’s Torah Portion is
B ha’alocha: “To Cause To Go Up”
Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7
Priesthood Instructions: Titus
Today’s Message is: “Signs Of An Ungrateful Heart”
Numbers 11:4-20 “4Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. The people went about and gathered it and ground it in handmills or beat it in mortars and boiled it in pots and made cakes of it. And the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil. When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell with it. Moses heard the people weeping throughout their clans, everyone at the door of his tent. And the anger of the LORD blazed hotly, and Moses was displeased. Moses said to the LORD, “Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me and say, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone. And say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the LORD, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?”
1. In this portion we find the Children of Israel preparing to move out. The Camp has rest for the period of 1 year following the Lord’s Betrothal of the people at Mount Sinai. Now that the people are the Bride of God–it is time for them to move up and take possession of the promises that God has made with Abraham. God provides a Cloud to lead them by day and a Pillar of Fire to lead them by night. This covering symbolizes God’s Holy Tallit–or Covering which is placed over the Bride by the new Husband. God’s desire is to provide just what His Bride needs to make her trip to their dwelling place a pleasant journey. However, the Rabble that was with Israel began to crave other food–and a plague broke out among the people. This plague is worse than any avian flu today–it is the signs of an ungrateful heart!
Matthew 12:34-37 says “34You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good,[Torah] and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.[Lawlessness] I tell you, on the day of judgment [Yom Kippur] people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Proverbs 18:20-21 says “20From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
A. Unwise associations will always manifest in your life as a voice OTHER THAN the voice of the Lord ( the Living Torah) and what He has been speaking to you. You can always tell who is an UNWISE ASSOCIATION by their complaints. If you LISTEN to an unwise association, you WILL take on THEIR affliction–and begin to manifest signs of an ungrateful heart–and the end of this is that God will not give you what is BEST for you, but He will ALLOW YOU TO HAVE WHAT YOU SAY–and it will result in SEPARATION FROM THE TORAH of TRUTH!
Jeremiah 5:22-29 says “22Do you not fear me? declares the LORD; Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it. But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away. They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’ Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you. For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?”
Jude 1:17-18 says “17But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Yeshua Messiah foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
B. This rabble with Israel, began complaining about the abundant provision of the Lord–and their UNGRATEFUL HEART was evident to Moses. God was providing Manna from Heaven, free of charge, and as soon as the Israelites TOOK ON THE OFFENSE OF THE RABBLE ROUSERS, the COMPLAINTS spread like wildfire through the camp. Each family in the entire house of Israel was COMPLAINING AGAINST THE LORD’S ABUNDANT PROVISION. This happens when people begin to take for granted the abundant PROVISION of the “MAN” from HEAVEN. God was being a faithful husband and providing supernaturally for His Bride–BUT–the Bride began to listen to UNWISE ASSOCIATIONS as they manifested their UNGRATEFUL HEART–this resulted in a settling for the natural–and a loss of the SUPERNATURAL! [The Torah]
2 Timothy 3:1-5 speaks of people with an ungrateful heart when it says “1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.[Torah] Avoid such people.”
Isaiah 5:20-21 says “20Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!
C. Their LUST for MEAT was so great that they caused a plague to break out on the outskirts of the Camp. The plague is the realm of death that began to go through the Rabble Rousers–those UNWISE ASSOCIATIONS–that are always complaining and never attempting to provide resolution for the problems that the COMMUNITY FACES. Their walk with God is all about them–the ME GOSPEL….what God will GIVE ME and TAKE AWAY FROM ME and HEAL ME and PROVIDE ME. When God called you to change this generation of souls by shining the Menorah of the Torah and its life giving teachings to a lost and dying world. The Pillar of Cloud and Fire had been provided for their PROTECTION and COMFORT–to keep OUT the REALM OF DEATH-and to LEAD THEM UP to the LAND OF THE ABRAHAMIC PROMISE-but their idolatrous lust for what they DID NOT HAVE in the CARNAL REALM-brought about the CURSE and not a BLESSING! Listening to the POISONED WORDS of the UNGRATEFUL and UNHOLY will ALWAYS result in the curse manifesting in your life.
Psalm 78:17-2 King David writes about this when He says “17Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness? He struck the rock so that water gushed out and streams overflowed. Can he also give bread or provide meat for his people?” Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob; his anger rose against Israel, because they did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power. Yet he commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven, and he rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven. Man ate of the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance. He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by his power he led out the south wind; he rained meat on them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas; he let them fall in the midst of their camp, all around their dwellings. And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved. But before they had satisfied their craving, while the food was still in their mouths, the anger of God rose against them, and he killed THE STRONGEST of them and laid low the young men of Israel.”
James 4:1-4 says “ 1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on YOUR PASSIONS. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
D. They thought that if they complained that they could manipulate God like spoiled children throwing a fit until they get their own way. We often go to God in PRAYER and spend hours COMPLAINING ABOUT OUR CIRCUMSTANCES while other people spend time grieving the death of their loved ones–we cry about our circumstances–never stopping to think that others may have it much worse than we do. We listen to the unwise associations in our lives and we covet what other people have–then we approach God in prayer and whine and complain about His lack of provision in our lives–treating God like a giant Slot Machine–where if we put in the right amount of coins that it will eventually pay off. Brothers and Sisters, it is an UNGRATEFUL and SELFISH HEART– Like our ancestors in the House of Israel demonstrated –that will result in severe plague breaking out in our life–and ALL OF IT IS SELF INFLICTED. God gave them what they said–and He will give you what you say as well–but what WE SAY WE WANT is not always what is BEST FOR US TO HAVE. God has provided HIS TORAH–which IS the CLOUD OF HIS GLORY and the FIRE OF HIS KINGDOM–and it IS THE “MANNA” SENT FROM HEAVEN–THE BREAD OF LIFE. But when we listen to the “Rabble” that are in our midst–we too can fall for the LUST that drives us out of HIS PRESENCE AND POWER and fall prey to the signs of an ungrateful heart that changes God’s best into the belly ache of LUST!
The implication here is clear–we are to be thankful for where we are and what we have at each step of our journey back to being united with our brothers and sisters in the House of Judah. We may not have been born Jews, but we can live as Jews when we begin to give thanks to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–YHWH–Yeshua Moshiach through the life choices that we make along the way. God did not promise to change your life–only you can change your life–God promised to change your status and give you a new name, a new identity within Israel and a new and exciting life if you are willing to be a caretaker of the responsibility to ensure that your daily moment to moment choices are going to leave your world in a better condition than when you found it.
There will always be a “Rabble” of people trying to get you to not believe in your in grafting into the natural olive tree that is the people of Israel. There will also be those who whine and complain in the face of adversity….you cannot control that…..however you can control your response to it. When tempted to complain–give thanks; when tempted to gripe–sing songs of thanksgiving; when tempted to complain about what is missing in your life–give thanks for what you have. This is the heart of one who seeks after the God of Abraham. You cannot control where you come from…..only where you are going and where you end up. Give thanks with a grateful heart to the Holy One, blessed be He who caused us all to live and move and have our being.
1 Samuel 3:19 says “The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. [Go unfulfilled]
James 3:4-8 says “4Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.”
Take the time to think about it! Shabbat Shalom
(C)2010 Ariel Ehrmantrout–All Rights Reserved Worldwide
This Weeks Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14 – 4:7
Today’s Haftarah Message: “Defendants in Dirty Clothes”
Today’s reading Zechariah 3: 1 – 6 “1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”
5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.
6 The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: 7 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.”
In this week’s Haftarah, Zechariah is describing a court room trial going on between the Defendant – Joshua, the High Priest of Israel, the Accuser – HaSatan – who is prosecuting the case and GOD himself as the judge. Here, HaSatan was making accusations against Joshua to THE JUDGE. THE JUDGE ruled against the accuser and ruled in favor of Joshua finding that HaSatan was in contempt of court. In HIS legal decision, GOD was ruling on the Status of Joshua or more correctly his change of Status, all based on what GOD DID for him.
First, GOD instructs for the removal of Joshua’s filthy cloths – which means to turn away from what he was wearing – uncleanness – and turn towards the TORAH – the way to walk clean before GOD.
Zechariah 3: 4 says “4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes…”
Second, GOD takes away any past sin – or LAWLESSNESS of the TORAH.
Zechariah 3: 4 says “…Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin…”
Finally, GOD replaces those filthy garments with rich garments. Rich garments to GOD does not mean that they are from Giorgio Armani, but it means that the garments are Y’Shua – THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD HIMSELF– clothing us and protecting us from what the accuser has to say.
Zechariah 3: 4 says “… and I will put rich garments on you.”
Jeremiah 23:6 says “6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.”
Today, the accuser is still accusing us before GOD. The only difference is that we are clothed in the cloths GOD GAVE US – those same cloths HE wore when HE was walking here on the earth – Rabbi Y’Shua. The accuser had no evidence to accuse HIM, but only false accusations – which resulted in HIS execution (for our own good). The accuser spreads false accusations today through internet blogs, gossips, others directly accusing us, and even ourselves accusing us.
Like Joshua, we are protected from the RESULTS of the accuser by putting on HIS cloths. HaSatan will bring about his accusations, but they have no legal effect – just like Joshua. Today, we can either choose to buy into the accusations of the enemy – either from others or ourselves – believing them as the judicial rulings from GOD OR live life as though GOD’s judicial ruling – that HE has put HIS cloths on us – is ever present and is protecting us from the accusations of the accuser – no matter how the accusations are coming at us.
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 email@example.com ]
Thank You!! Rabbi Ariel Ehrmantrout