Parasha With Passion – Torah Reading Cycle – Week #18
In Parashat Mishpatim, the majority of this Torah portion details the laws that were given to the nation of Israel. These laws establish guidelines for man to maintain healthy relationships with his fellow man.
In Parashat Mishpatim, God gives Moses two types of mitzvoth. There are mitzvoth between God and man and there are mitzvoth between man and his fellow man. I find it beautiful that God would take the time to establish ordinances that remind us to be good to one another – because we often need reminding.
So, here we are at Mount Sinai, God gives Moses a fairly long list of mitzvoth, so that the citizens of this newly formed nation would live in harmony with one another.
After Moses gives the mitzvoth to the people, Moses builds an altar and God enters into covenant with Israel. Then something spectacular happens.
“Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. They saw the God of Israel, and under His feet was something like a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the very heavens. Yet He did not raise His hand against the nobles of Bnei-Yisrael. So they beheld God, and ate and drank.”
After entering into covenant with the nation of Israel. God invited Moses and the elders to ascend Mount Sinai in order to consecrate them for the service to which they had been appointed. God sealed the covenant which He established between Himself and Israel “with a meal.” The elders of Israel, sat in God’s presence and beheld His splendor. How awesome is that! Sharing a meal together is one of the best ways to show a person that you are in covenant relationship with them. Many Bible scholars assert that Moses and the elders actually experienced the physical manifestation of God in the body of Yeshua the Messiah, since no man can see God and live (Ex 33:20).
Last week, in Parashat Yitro, we concluded with an encouragement to be open to the “God encounters” that He will bring in our lives. Throughout the Bible, we read of individuals who experienced extraordinary encounters with God. These are not just stories. God desires to walk intimately with us.
We should desire God’s presence. We should expect God’s presence. God’s presence should always feel near to us. God desires for us to make room for Him in our lives – in everything we do. May you experience God in an extraordinary way this week – Amen.