Be-har and Be-Hukkotai
For the week of May 19, 2001 / 26 Iyar 5761
Torah: Vayikra / Leviticus 25:1 - 27:34
Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14

God Among Us

I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people (Vayikra / Leviticus 26:12).

One of the things that God said he would do for the people of Israel if they would be true to his ways is that he would walk among them. What a concept! The Almighty actually walking among them. This is reminiscent of Godís nearness to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (see Bereshit / Genesis 3:8). From this we may say that in the Torah God was offering the people the opportunity to live a life free of the consequences of sin.

What would it be like if the barriers between God and people were removed? What would it be like if God actually walked among his people? What would it be like if God walked around in your city, your neighborhood, your family?

We donít have to wonder what it would be like. This is exactly what God did when he came in the person of the Messiah two thousand years ago. For the first time since the Garden of Eden people had a taste of what it would be like if God lived and walked among them.

By looking at the life of Yeshua we can learn what it would be like if God walked among us. Yeshua demonstrates the extent of Godís compassion for human suffering. He has no tolerance for sickness or spiritual oppression.

When God is in our midst, we are instructed in his ways. Yeshua spent so much of his time teaching Godís truth to people.

When God walks among us, he confronts religious hypocrisy. The people that Yeshua had the least patience for were those who perverted the teaching of Torah through human tradition and pride.

What also happens when God walks among us is that we discover that we cannot tolerate him. His presence reveals the state of our hearts. The intensity of his goodness is more than we can handle. Our religious veneers are stripped away, and either we must run from him or push him away from us.

And so rather than welcoming Yeshua, we rejected him, preferring our version of God to the real thing.

God walked among us, but we preferred life without him. But Godís desire to be with us has not changed. In fact it was through our rejection of him that he has made the way for us to really know him.

As promised in the Torah and because of all that Yeshua has done, God is walking among his people today. All those who have put their trust in Yeshua can know the reality of Godís presence.

Therefore we shouldnít be surprised if we find God continuing to do the things that he did while Yeshua walked the earth: destroying sickness and oppression, bringing his truth to those hungry to hear it, and confronting religious leaders who pervert that truth.

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