This week, I am struggling to write the weekly Portion. The world makes me sad. Our sins make a noise, and the noise can drown out the beauty of the songbirds. In Genesis 18:21, we learn that the Father says He will see if the sound He is hearing is a bad as it cries. “I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me.”
Today I listened to music. I wanted to pray and pray for the issues in the world. When I tried or attempted to speak, I had no words. My belly was full of grief and sorrow that I found no words for. I prayed in silence. I prayed with no words in my mind or thoughts and none from my lips. I groaned in silence. I writhed in stillness. I was struck with belly grief that is still with me and possibly you as well.
In this Torah Portion, Pekudei—(Accounts) Moses is given the instructions to set up the Tabernacle, and it starts from the inside out. They furnished the inside starting at the heart of the matter, the Ark, and then worked their way outward. Ron Warren from Torah Life has a wonderful teaching on this.
This is the remedy— inside out. Inside, we must have light, oil, a sweet-smelling fragrance, humble prayers going forth, and the bread of His face. What is inside of us will come out. From the abundance of the mouth, the heart erupts with what is inside our souls. Sometimes it is pomp and puffiness, suspicions, unrighteous thoughts, unforgiveness, bitterness, envy, murder, cursing, and lies.
King David said, “I hate those who cling to worthless idols, but in the LORD I trust.” Psalm 31:6.
While David looked at the men who trusted in everyone but the God of Jacob, he was disgusted. I hate the thickness and stiffness of our necks. I hate the lack of humility and empathy in our hearts. I hate the time wasted on worthless idols.
This week in my studies, the Father kept bringing me back to one thing, the voice of the prophet Amos and the fearful message in chapter 5. The Father has a full lists of things He hates, and how the people hate correction.
- The people hate those who reprove at the gate
- They despise those who speak with integrity
- They trample on the poor
- They oppress the righteous by taking bribes
- They deprive the poor of justice at the gate
“Therefore, the prudent keep silent at such a time
—for it is a distressful time. Seek good and not evil,
so you may live, and so Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot may be with you—just as you said! Hate evil, love good, maintain justice at the gate. Maybe Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot will extend grace to Joseph’s remnant. (Amos 5:13-15).
As we continue reading , we learn that the people were still keeping His Feasts but only OUTWARDLY. Inwardly they had no sweet aroma, no light, or ability to see their true condition. So the Holy One sent His prophet—oh, the mess of it all. A heart condition. “The heart is crooked above all, and desperately sick – who shall know it?” (Jer. 17:9).
This heart-wrenching situation spoken of in Amos makes one wonder about the mirrors in our houses that we never look in. We pompously exclaim we dont have a spirit of fear and fear to dare cry, “Search me, oh, YAH!” Look inside. Shine your flashlight. Inspect my bathroom. Inspect my pantry. Not the one in my kitchen, but my heart. Out of the abundance of the heart, eruptions come and pomp and puffiness and everything imaginable.
Before continuing with Amos, I want you to know that I always try and end my letters with hope. However, before we get to the hope mentioned and the Tabernacle of David, I wondered as I read the rest of Amos 5 if any of this rings true in your heart for our nation, for Joseph, Judah, for Ephraim and Manasseh and the horses that are running.
Therefore thus said Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot, my Lord:
“There will be wailing in all plazas and in all streets.
They will say: ‘Alas! Alas!’
The farmer will be called to mourning along with those who know the lamentation song. In all vineyards will be wailing, for I will pass through your midst”
—Adonai has spoken.
Dreadful Day of Adonai
Oy to you—longing for the Day of Adonai!
What would it be for you?
The Day of Adonai will be darkness and not light.
It will be as when a man is fleeing from a lion—
and meets a bear!
Or he comes home, leans his hand on the wall, and a snake bites him!
Will not the Day of Adonai be darkness, not light?
Gloom, not brightness?
Justice Better Than Sacrifices
“I hate, I despise your festivals!
I take no delight in your sacred assemblies. Even if you offer me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I look at peace offerings of your fattened animals. Take away from Me the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
But let justice roll like water and righteousness like an ever-flowing torrent. Did you bring sacrifices and offerings to Me in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? But you lifted up your images
—Siccuth your ‘king,’ and Chiun, your star gods—
which you made for yourselves, So I will send you into exile, beyond Damascus.”
Adonai has spoken,
Elohei-Tzva’ot is His Name.” (Amos 5:16-27, TLV).
The prophet tells them the Holy One hates their songs and their harps. He says their assemblies are a stench to Him and their gods they mix in–the mixing.
Imagine keeping Passover/ Unleavened Bread and cleaning out the toaster and refrigerator and scrubbing the whole house, preparing a Seder, and making music on the harp. CLAIMING that the Holy One is with us, and in our spiritual drunken stupor, we miss that each month, He hates it all. He is not in it. Oh, friends, how did they become so blind? We must remember, there is nothing new under the sun.
In this Torah portion, the Tabernacle, the Mish’kan is set up and full of Glory and Beauty. And, yet Moses could not enter. I was reminded of how Moses could not enter the promised land. Moses went up the mount numerous times and dwelt in the Glory of Yahweh. This is Moses, who did not have to unravel riddles, but YHVH spoke to Moses face to face. This is Moses who stayed on the mount in the Holy One’s presence until his face shined with brightness. . . Now he cannot enter the mish’kan (Tabernacle). The Mish’kan is dazzling– full of the Ruach HaKodesh. It is so full of Adonai– so full of light, power, and truth that Moses could not enter that space in that moment.
“Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Adonai filled the Tabernacle. Moses was unable to enter into the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud resided there, and the glory of Adonai filled the Tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34-35).
The Tabernacle is full, complete, overflowing, accomplished, and fit for His fullness to occupy it. Moses cannot enter, but in the next Torah portion, the first verse says, “The LORD called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting,” (Leviticus 1:1).
Going back to Amos, he continues to explain the situation.
“Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory
and stretch themselves out on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock
and calves from the midst of the stall,
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp
and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
who drink wine in bowls
and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!”
I am grieved over the ruins. I wonder how much more our Father?
Where is the good news?
The Father is merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in love. He promises to restore the Tabernacle of David. And along with Amos’s warning, he now gives us HOPE.
“In that day, I will raise up David’s fallen sukkah. I will restore its breaches, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in days of old —so they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations called by My Name.” It is a declaration of Adonai, the One who will do this. “Behold, days are soon coming”
—it is a declaration of Adonai—
“when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the one treading grapes, the one sowing seed. The mountains will drip sweet wine and all the hills will melt over. Yes, I will restore the captivity of My people Israel. They will rebuild desolated cities and dwell in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine. They will also make gardens and eat their fruit. Yes, I will plant them on their land, and they will never again be plucked up out of their land that I have given to them.” Adonai, your God, has said it. (Amos 9:11-15).
The prophets speak of things that have been, and things that will come to pass, and they are very needed to meditate on in this day and time. Pray for the world this Shabbat. Pray for the helpless and the nations who are opening their borders to be like the Good Samaritan.
May we do good. Seek righteousness. Hold on to our faith and to the One who is faithful and true, whose eyes are as flaming fire. The One with many royal crowns on His head. The One who has a name written that no one knows except Himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is “the Word of YHVH.”
May we not cling to chariots and horsemen or idols but trust Our King even as Stephen did. As they stoned him, he saw the heavens open. He was able to look inside the heavenly Tabernacle. May we be found worthy!