When I read this week’s parsha this year, I remembered that I had the privilege to do the drash for Behar last year!  It made me a little excited because this meant that I was more familiar with the portion – a lovely side effect of doing drashes ?.  My usual routine for preparing a drash is to read the portion Sunday night, work on the Torah Study Monday and Tuesday, then sometime during this process Adonai brings something to my attention to drash about.  I followed my usual routine this week but nothing came to my attention. 

 

This week has been one of those weeks where everything is just heavy.  Not a bad week, not without joy, it has actually been a good productive week but there has been a heaviness.  The heaviness partly stems from walking through a difficult situation and it not being resolved well, and partly from walking along side someone who is going through a very difficult situation. 

 

So, what does this have to do with this week’s parsha?  Good question!  Well I went back and read what I wrote last year looking for inspiration.  The part that jumped out at me was how the Lord promised to order His blessing upon Israel the year prior to the Sabbatical year in Leviticus 25:21.

 

21 then I will order my blessing on you during the sixth year, so that the land brings forth enough produce for all three years.

 

I was reminded of how trustworthy and faithful our Father in Heaven is.  He places us all in positions of influence, service, authority, and leadership.  Wherever He places us, whatever He asks of us, He will always provide what we need to walk through it.  Our job is to follow Him, obey Him, and trust Him even when it doesn’t look/feel/turn out the way we want or hope.

This week also reminded me of how much we all need the Kinsman-Redeemer Yeshua to rescue us from ourselves and from the clutches of the enemy.  If you think about it, everyone you encounter, from the most pious to the most unlovely, equally need Him to rescue them.  It is my prayer that I will be able to see past the outward, to see what our Master Yeshua sees as He looks at us… someone worth saving.

 

To close I am posting my drash from last year – it’s not as heavy ?.  I pray you all have a beautiful week full of peace, joy, and love.

 

Shabbat Shalom,

Sam Dotson

 

2019 Drash – Behar “On the Mountain”

 

HaShem covers so much in this little parsha… Shabbat for the land, Jubilee years, conducting affairs justly, Kinsman-Redeemer (excellent subject to learn about as we approach Shavuot – the reading of Ruth), sustaining the poor, giving of loans, proper treatment of one who has sold himself as a slave to pay his debts.  There are so many things to glean from this one chapter.  So much Messiah and the Kingdom, in this chapter. 

 

As was read, this parsha starts with instructions for a Shabbat of complete rest for the land.  I can only imagine what the Israelites must have been thinking upon hearing this via Moshe.  Some farmers may have been reveling at a whole year off, others reeling at the idea of loss of income/wealth. I’m guessing HaShem answered the question most of us would have been asking… What will we eat?!

 

Leviticus 25:20

20 “‘If you ask, “If we aren’t allowed to sow seed or harvest what our land produces, what are we going to eat the seventh year?” 21 then I will order my blessing on you during the sixth year, so that the land brings forth enough produce for all three years. 22 The eighth year you will sow seed but eat the the old, stored produce until the ninth year; that is, until the produce of the eighth year comes in, you will eat the old, stored food.

 

Right before this passage HaShem is telling us to keep His regulations…

Leviticus 25:18-19

18 “‘Rather, you are to keep my regulations and rulings and act accordingly. If you do, you will live securely in the land. (RY: ii, LY: iii)19 The land will yield its produce, you will eat until you have enough, and you will live there securely.

 

 

What a reminder to us that the Lord is our provider and if He is asking us to do something, He will always provide for it. Our job is to follow and obey Him.  How amazing it must have been on the 6th year, how busy they must have been reaping 3x the usual harvest. (3 is always an interesting Biblical number)

 

After 7 cycles of these Sabbatical Years, there is a year a Jubilee, in which debts are forgiven, loans are cancelled, slaves set free, and land returns to the original tribal owner.  As believers in Yeshua, this must sound familiar to us.. Our debts (sins) are forgiven, we are released from being slaves (to sin), we are returned to our rightful owner.

 

In addition, all affairs concerning these things are subject to the nearness of the Jubilee year, keeping it ever as a focus – not to be forgotten.  HaShem is just and instructs us to conduct our affairs justly…

 

Lev 25:15-17

 15 Rather, you are to take into account the number of years after the yovel when you buy land from your neighbor, and he is to sell to you according to the number of years crops will be raised. 16 If the number of years remaining is large, you will raise the price; if few years remain, you will lower it; because what he is really selling you is the number of crops to be produced. 17 Thus you are not to take advantage of each other, but you are to fear your God; for I am Adonai your God.

 

HaShem is giving us a reminder/example of how we can and must love our neighbor as ourself.

 

Also, the land may never be sold permanently… Why? Because it belongs to HaShem…

Lev 25:23-24

23 “‘The land is not to be sold in perpetuity, because the land belongs to me — you are only foreigners and temporary residents with me. 24 Therefore, when you sell your property, you must include the right of redemption.

 

 

And … if we become poor and have to sell our property..

Lev 25:25

25 That is, if one of you becomes poor and sells some of his property, his next-of-kin can come and buy back what his relative sold.

 

This is referred to in Biblical times at a kinsman-redeemer.  He would pay the price to redeem the land – the man whose land was redeemed would still owe the kinsman-redeemer but this would save him from a worse fate, property in the hands of strangers or even slavery.

Yeshua is our Kinsman-Redeemer, He bought us back, paid the price to rescue us.

 

As it often happens when reading the Torah, I mourn a little what the world would be like if we had kept His rulings, but HaShem in His infinite wisdom and mercy knew and always had a plan.  As someone who was a slave to sin but now is a slave to Messiah, I eagerly await the day of His return, when all the captives will be set free – that will be a year of Jubilee!

 

Romans 11:26-27

26 and that it is in this way that all Isra’el will be saved. As the Tanakh says,

“Out of Tziyon will come the Redeemer;
he will turn away ungodliness from Ya‘akov
27 and this will be my covenant with them, . . .
when I take away their sins.”[h]