The Parashah for this week 3-9 June 2018 is called Sh’lach L’kha—“Send for Yourself.”
This week’s reading focuses on the 12 scouts sent out by Moses at the command of the LORD to spy out the land of Canaan soon after Israel left Mt Sinai. It relates the differing reports which were brought back and the spirits behind those reports. It then recounts the judgment released over the entire adult generation of those who followed the spirit of fear and unbelief released by ten of the spies. In the Haftarah, it is almost 40 years later and spies are once again being dispatched, this time from the next generation and from a different border.
*Numbers 13:16: “These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua.”
Hoshea means “Salvation”. Joshua (in Hebrew pronounced Yeho’SHU’ah), is a contraction meaning “YEHOVAH SAVES.” By the time of the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon some 900 years later, his name had been shortened to Yeshua (Hebrew: Nehemiah 8:17). Other men with this name (spelled “Jeshua” in most English translations) appear some 25 times in 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah). Still 600 years later, an angel would appear to Joseph in Galilee and to Miriam—“Mary”, his fiancée (Matthew 1:21, and in Luke 1:31) with the promise of a son, “…and you shall call His name Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins.”
*Numbers 13:30; 14:6-9: “Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.’”
“Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh…spoke to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.’”
It is remarkable that the Hebrew root for the word “war” and that for “bread” are identical (In Psalm 149:6, the two-edged sword in the hands of God’s warriors is literally a “many mouthed” sword which devours His enemies—while the mouths of the warriors themselves are filled with His praise! The word “protection” in this translation, is literally tzel—“shadow.” This implies that the very protection of fear upon which the enemies in the land depended was itself in reality an illusion which would melt away as the armies of God came boldly into the Land.
*Numbers 13.33. “There we saw the nephilim—the sons of Anak came from the nephilim—and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
Nephilim (perhaps best-translated “fallen ones”) are mentioned by name only one other place in the Bible, Genesis 6:4. It is by no means certain that the spies saw nephilim—nor in fact that these fearful beings have ever existed on earth since the Flood. II Peter 2:4 appears to be referring to them as being those angels which were cast into a place “below the earth” where they were delivered “into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.” The “parentheses” placed around the statement “the sons of Anak [giants] came from the nephilim” in many English translations are not present in the Hebrew. It certainly appears possible that this statement was itself a spur-of-the-moment amplification made by the terrified spies, allowing stories from antiquity about the monstrous pre-Flood beings to color their perception of the large people they had actually seen. The author of the Biblical narrative itself only mentions the “children of Anak” (13:22) as had the spies themselves earlier (13:28).
*Numbers 14:24: “But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.”
PLEASE PRAY against Israelis responding to the giants we face in a spirit of fear…that we realize that if we trust in God, he will not allow the land to devour us. Pray against cynical conversation amongst older believers in the Land about the land devouring those within it. This only serves to discourage and dishearten the generation God wishes to raise up for strength, victory and governance here. Please pray that men and women of “a different spirit”, who “know their God” and have heavenly insight (Daniel 11:32) would rise up in Israel, not focusing on the giants but trusting in the God who made the heavens, and Who has promised to give us a land flowing with milk and honey in which righteousness dwells.
*Numbers 15:37-40: “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners…” [See beginning of this week’s Prayer Update]
*Joshua 2:12; 2:18: RAHAB: “Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a truetoken.” SPIES: “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home.”
There is a wonderful picture here. Rahab requests that the spies show her and her family “loving kindness” (Hebrew: hesed) and give her a token of “truth” (Hebrew: emet). The token of loving kindness and truth (hesed and emet) is a scarlet thread which, when seen, will protect them from a destruction of judgment soon to come upon all of her wicked nation. When God the Father sent His Light into the world, we are told that although the Torah had been given through Moses, “Loving kindness and Truth (Hebrew translation: hesed and emet) came through Yeshua the Messiah” (John 1:17)—“in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of God’s Loving kindness (Hebrew: hesed) (Ephesians 1:7). Please pray for revelation in Israel regarding the urgent necessity of being saved from the wrath to come—and of the loving kindness and Truth which are offered to those who will put their trust in the finished work of the Messiah! Psalm 33:18-19 says that “the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him and whose yearning hope is in His hesed—to deliver them from death and to keep them alive in famine!”