“The Lesson of our Dispossessing”
Parashah MASA’EI (Numbers 33:1-36:13) Week 43
“ADONAI spoke to Moshe in the plains of Mo’av by the Yarden, across from Yericho. He said to tell the people of Isra’el, “When you cross the Yarden into the land of Kena’an, you are to expel all the people living in the land from in front of you. Destroy all their stone figures, destroy all their metal statues and demolish all their high places. Drive out the inhabitants of the land, and live in it, for I have given the land to you to possess. You will inherit the land by lot according to your families. You are to give more land to the larger families and less to the smaller ones. Wherever the lot falls to any particular person, that will be his property. You will inherit according to the tribes of your ancestors. But if you don’t drive out the inhabitants of the land from in front of you, then those you allow to remain will become like thorns in your eyes and stings in your sides – they will harass you in the land where you are living. And in this event, I will do to you what I intended to do to them.” (Numbers 33:50-56 CJB)
Moses was commanded by Adonai to record each stage of the journey for the Nation of Israel. He recorded their travels from the expulsion out of Egypt; through the parting of the Red Sea; from encampment to encampment by Adonai’s design, over the forty-year wilderness trek for the Nation of Israel. Moses, in his humble obedience to the Lord, expounds this recording in Parashah Masa’ei, meaning Stages. Every detail was important! Every encampment and sojourn commanded by Adonai to set up camp and dwell in the next new territory was a journey stamped on a divinely ordained blueprint from heaven. The advancement of the Nation was designed to build up a force for righteousness, as the people moved deeper into what separated them from the world, drawing them into alignment with the Lord.
The organizational prescription for the new Nation was of Adonai. We see throughout the Books of Moses, an unveiling of the nature of God. Adonai, our Lord, is a God of order. We know He brings light into the dark void, order into chaos, and life into dry bones. Thus, the journey of His chosen people was a training ground of sorts, for those who knew Him not. The Hebrew people were of a slave mentality. This is no surprise, after more than four-hundred years of bondage and servitude in Egypt. (Egypt meaning Bondage)
Adonai orchestrated a wilderness journey which would bring the new Nation to their knees in worship, and by doing so, an inward circumcision of the heart would take place. Layer by layer, the captives would be set free! Now, as the new generation of Israel approached the West Bank of the River Jordan, there would be giants to slay, idols to crush, high places to overtake, and the banner of the God of Israel to plant in each new barbaric territory claimed by the twelve tribes of Israel.
As I ran and prayed over the lessons of Parashah Masa’ei, I was struck again by the unapproachable integrity of the Lord. He who created the universe and everything in it; He who breathed life into the dry ground and formed mankind; He who descended from His throne in heaven to build a bridge with His own long arms down into the desert sands, cares about every detail of every life. He knows every name, the family line of each unique individual and where we are bound by His divine design. He tangibly tracks our steps, one step at a time, lest we forget this, and cease to care. The Books of Moses remind us of Adonai’s powerful love for those who are His.
His instructions are precious pearls of wisdom directly from His lips. Experiencing God like this deepens our love for Him. I have asked many times of the Lord, “Where will my immersion in Torah, and my invitation for others to enter Your garden lead?” There is no answer more relevant than the growing adoration for our Father in heaven, as we get to know Him more, Parashah by Parashah.
This is the Lesson of our Dispossessing. What are we commanded to dispossess, as we cross over from darkness into light, advancing in our journey as Children of the Light? If we are to enter into our inheritance, subduing it for the Kingdom of God and future generations, what must we dispossess in order to leave a legacy of the Kingdom of Light for our families and our children and their children?
This is the Lesson of our Dispossessing. We see in the stories of Torah how easily the Nation fell back into slavery and sin. The familiar, even though slave territory, felt more like home than unfamiliar territory. We too are called to advance into our inheritance, taking the banner of Adonai with us, to plant it where He plants us. By living a life set apart for Him, we overtake territory for the Children of the Light.
This is the Lesson of our Dispossessing. There are many chains that bind us; technology, materialism, false doctrine, idol worship; turning away from His light to gaze into the darkness of a broken world, and many times, generational sin. May we learn from the Nation of Israel and from her struggles! May we run from the familiar culture of the day, throwing ourselves fully into the arms of Adonai.
His ways will bring us light, life and unity!
May we shine with His light, like a City on a Hill!
With His Spirit alive in us, we will possess our inheritance in Him, to leave the future generations, as our Legacy!