Saturday 13th June 2020 21st Sivan 5780
PARASHAT BEHA'ALOTCHA FFOZ
Numbers 8:1-12:16; Zechariah 2:14-4:7; John 12:1-26 (Matthew 14:14-21)
In Numbers 11:4-9, nostalgia for the food of Egypt sweeps over the camp of Israel. “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.” (Numbers 11:5-6)
The same often happens to us after we take on a life of discipleship. For a while, it is fresh, new and exciting. It is invigorating, and each day is filled with new discovery. But after a period of time, the novelty wears off. We begin to miss the old vices and entertainments. We begin to feel nostalgic for ways of life that we have turned our backs on. When this happens (and it is normal that it does) we must press on all the harder in pursuit of our righteous Savior. It is normal for the heart to yearn for straying, but it is not normal to stray after the heart. We know better. If we will only press on, we will discover further joys, greater depths and new thrills in the pursuit of God.
Believers who begin to keep the commandments of God come from a variety of denominational and religious backgrounds. Typically, when they do, they commit to a life of Torah which they pursue with a proselyte’s zeal.
Everything changes. Your calendar, your holidays, your day of worship, your friends, your rhythm of life, the places you go, your style of worship, the entertainment you watch—everything is different—even the food you eat.
It is normal to, at a certain point, long for some of the old things you have left behind. Believers in the Torah movement often feel bewildered by the strangeness of the new world they have entered. They reflect back on the simpler days when a Sunday morning worship service was nearly the full extent of their expression of faith. They long for the simplicity they once knew.
“We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic…” (Numbers 11:5). How quickly they forgot the terrible oppressions as slaves in Egypt. How quickly they forgot that they cried out to God for deliverance.
But the manna on which we now feed is the one who has descended from heaven. He is the bread of life, and He beckons us to eat of Him alone, and to follow Him alone. This is the way to life and life in abundance!