Gleanings from Beha’alotcha

Toward the end of Sha’ul’s letter to the Yeshua followers in Rome, he wrote these words,

For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through patience and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)*

These words are particularly relevant as we look at this week’s parashah, Beha’alotcha – Numbers 8:1 through 12:16. This parashah shows HaShem providing Moses with much-needed assistance in leading Bnei-Israel.

ADONAI said to Moses, “Bring me 70 of the elders of Israel whom you know to be elders of the people and their leaders. Take them to the Tent of Meeting, so they may stand with you there. Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the Ruach that is on you and will place it on them. They will carry with you the burden of the people, so you will not be carrying it alone.” (Numbers 11:16-17)

Then in verse 24, he fulfilled his word. However, I believe it is important to back up and recognize Moses’ inner turmoil which led to this action by HaShem. Remember, the people had once again been murmuring and complaining about their lot in life, specifically that they were tired of eating manna – they wanted a more varied menu. Then it is written that, “Moses heard the people wailing by their families, each man at the door to his tent. ADONAI’s anger became very hot, and Moses was troubled” (Numbers 11:10).

It was in this troubled state of mind, Moses cried out to HaShem,

“Why have You brought trouble on Your servant? Haven’t I found favor in Your eyes—that You laid the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people, or did I give birth to them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom just as the nurse carries an infant’—to the land You promised to their fathers? Where can I get meat for all these people? For they wail to me saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I am not able to carry all these people by myself! The load is too heavy for me! If this is how You are treating me, kill me now! If I have found favor in Your eyes, kill me please—don’t let me see my own misery!” (Numbers 11:11-15)

How often have we felt similar frustration with our family, our work, or even our ministry? “God I can’t do it anymore, just kill me and bring me home to you.” Fortunately for Moses, as well as for each of us, HaShem seldom responds to our cries of frustration and despair in the manner we express them. Instead of HaShem complying with Moses’ death wish, he gave Moses a way to deal with his situation. No longer would Moses shoulder the burden of leadership alone, but others would now assist him through the enabling power of the Ruach HaKodesh. A similar act of empowerment would, in the future, enable a group of disheartened disciples of Yeshua to begin to fulfill the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:19-20) only after they too had received the Ruach HaKodesh.

And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you, but you are to stay in the city (Jerusalem) until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

Without a doubt, HaShem was moved by Moses’ need for more help in leading the people. I also believe that another thing that moved HaShem to assist Moses was Moses’ honesty in his approach. He openly brought his complaint to HaShem, “Why have You brought trouble on Your servant? Haven’t I found favor in Your eyes—that You laid the burden of all these people on me?” Moses did not try and hide his feelings from HaShem, but rather laid his soul unashamedly before him, “I am not able to carry all these people by myself! The load is too heavy for me!” Just as HaShem answered Moses, from the depths of his despair, we can rest in the hope, in the assurance that he will answer us as well. Hear Yeshua’s words to his disciples (as well as all of us) as he prepared for his departure, “And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). 

Many times, we try and hide our true feelings and emotions from HaShem, much the way Adam and Chava tried to hide from HaShem in the Garden. But the psalmist plainly affirmed,

Whenever I sit down or stand up, You know it. You discern my thinking from afar. You observe my journeying and my resting, and You are familiar with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, ADONAI, You know all about it. (Psalm 139:2-4)

Since we cannot hide anything from HaShem, let’s be honest with him, regardless of our situation or circumstance, secure in the knowledge that he has a plan for each of us, and that he will accomplish his work in our lives if only we allow him to do so.

Now may the God of patience and encouragement grant you to be like-minded with one another in the manner of Messiah Yeshua, so that together with one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. (Romans 15:5-6)

Shabbat shalom u’mevorach!

* All Scriptures are from the Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

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