Judges 4:4-5:31 and Matt 26:1-75

RabbiJames

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JUDGES 4:4-5:31

In this reading, we read about Devorah and Jael, two women of God who played an important role in Israel's history. We read about many “men of God” but very few “women of God” but they are out there, and today, we have many women who are used mightily by God in ministry. Through Deborah and Jael, Sisera and his army were vanquished, just as Moshe was an example of a leader, Deborah was also a leader, and Jael, whose name in Hebrew “Yah-El” means “El (God) is YHVH (Yah) “his Holy Arm revealed” "Deborah" comes from "Dabar" (Word) and she was the Prophetess at that time, who gave "God's Word" to the people who came to seek counsel at that time. So, we had back then both men and women prophets, those who God spoke to in order to judge and give counsel to the people.

We also need to recognize Miriam, the sister of Moses, who led the praises and worship after Israel crossed the Sea of Reeds. Hadassah (Queen Esther) who intervened for the Jewish people in the time of King Ahasuerus and the evil Haman. We need to recognize also the women who followed Yeshua and served him throughout his ministry. There were also many women who followed Judah Ben Matityahu (Judah the Maccabee) when he and his army went out to fight against King Antiochus of Syria. They kept the "campfires burning".

If you are a woman and reading this Parashah, never say “Because I am a woman, God cannot use me” Yes, he can, there are ministries for women, mostly, women ministering to other women, reaching out to those who have been abused in marriages, victims of rape, assault, homeless women, etc. YOU, my sister, have a place in ministry. Venture out and discover what it is, just be available.

MATTHEW 26:1-75

This chapter deals with Yeshua's final days with his disciples on earth, His anointing by the generous woman who poured the “nard” perfume on him, the betrayal by “Y'hudah Ish Kariot” (Judas, the man from the region of Kariot) in every group of disciples, there are always a few who are “fakers” We have the final “Pesach” dinner with his disciples, and Kefa's denial.

It was at this final supper together, that Yeshua expressed himself through the bread and the wine. His body and blood. The original Passover back in Exodus only had roasted lambs or goats, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. At the time of the last supper, cups of wine were added, as well as charoset (sweet mixture). All these have meaning. The unleavened bread = Yeshua, who is the Bread of Life. The cups of wine, the blood of our Savior which was shed for our sins. The bitter herbs, the bitterness of sin. The charoset (sweet mixture) the sweetness of our salvation and our new life with our LORD and Savior. The charoset is made in different ways depending on the culture. Most have ground nuts mixed with raisins and dates with wine.

Since Judas was the betrayer, he did not have a genuine relationship with Yeshua, and therefore, left the room and did not participate in the whole supper ceremony. Even so, Yeshua still loved him. He loves all people and wishes that all would come to repentance and accept him as LORD and Savior, but a true relationship can not be forced, only offered. In those 3 years with Yeshua, Judas learned nothing. Imagine those who have been exposed to the gospel for a lifetime, and still reject it, what a waste of life.

But there is a lot we can learn from this, Peter denied knowing Yeshua, out of fear, but Judas openly rejected him by identifying him with a kiss on the cheek. Both sins are forgivable, the only difference is that Peter confessed and received forgiveness, while Judas felt remorse, but did not cry out for forgiveness, but went out and committed suicide.

There is sin that leads to remorse and a “feeling sorry for oneself” and sin that leads to remorse, and from remorse to confession, and from confession to forgiveness, and from forgiveness to restored fellowship. How many readers out there have chosen the latter? We are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God, but confession of sins, and receiving forgiveness is something only you can do, I cannot do it for you. Yeshua receives ALL who come to him, no matter how evil you have been, nor what you have done, no sin is beyond forgiveness. Just ask, and turn from your sin, and forgiveness and restoration are yours.