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Holy Land Moments Devotional 2nd May 2020

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bible translation: COMPLETE JEWISH BIBLE

Holy Land Moments Devotional 2nd May 2020

Post by Kefa »

The Gift of God’s World

Credit:Noam Armonn/

“‘There they are to present their offerings to the LORD: a year-old male lamb without defect for a burnt offering, a year-old ewe lamb without defect for a sin offering, a ram without defect for a fellowship offering… ‘” — Numbers 6:14

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Naso, which means “count,” from Numbers 4:21–7:89.

I want to share a story with you that I tell my children whenever we are out hiking and enjoying nature. It is about a renowned rabbi who lived in Germany during the 19th century. When the rabbi was old and frail, he decided it was time he visited Switzerland.

His followers were confused and asked, “Why are you going to Switzerland at your advanced age?” He answered, “Soon I will pass away and appear before our Heavenly Father. I will have to answer for many things. What will I answer when He says, ‘What did you think of my Alps? You were so close to them, surely you made it a point to see them!’ I’ll need to have an answer ready, so that is why I am going.”

The rabbi’s message for his followers — and for us — is that God wants us to enjoy His world. Sightseeing and appreciating nature are not merely recreational activities. They, too, can be a way to worship and serve God when we experience them with awe and gratitude.

In this week’s Torah portion, we learn about the laws of the Nazirite. The Nazirite was an individual who chose to take on extra restrictions, including abstaining from wine and not cutting one’s hair, for the purpose of growing closer to God. At the end of the period observing these restrictions, the Nazirite was required to offer sacrifices to the Lord. Interestingly, among these sacrifices was a sin offering. Even though the Nazirite’s actions were acceptable and even admirable, he was still required to atone for the “sin” of not fully enjoying God’s world.

If you gave someone a gift, and the recipient never even opened the box, it wouldn’t feel good. You might feel that your efforts in selecting a gift were unappreciated. Rather, what brings us joy is seeing a person truly enjoying our gift. It’s the same with God. He has created a world filled with beauty and delights specifically for us to enjoy. It gives Him great pleasure when we partake of His blessings with sincere gratitude and joy.

It’s not just a privilege to enjoy God’s gifts to humankind, but also a sacred responsibility and obligation in serving Him.

Your turn: How will you enjoy God’s gift of Creation today?

Yael Eckstein

© 2020 International Fellowship of Christians and Jews 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 4300, Chicago, IL 60602
Thigibh a nis le buidheachas
n a gheataibh-san a steach,
Is thigibh fòs le maladh mòr
an cùirtibh naomh a theach :
Is thugaibh dha mòr-bhuidheachas,
ainm beannaichibh gu binn.

Psalm 100: 4

"Beware of the false prophets! They come to you wearing sheep's clothing, but underneath they are hungry wolves! You will recognize them by their fruit. Can people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?
Matthew 7: 15-16 Complete Jewish Bible

Dear friends, don't trust every spirit. On the contrary, test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.1 John 4:1 Complete Jewish Bible