Week #18 - Mishpatim - Renewing the Mind

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V’eleh Ha-Mishpatim

We have just witnessed a display of “awesomeness” which we have not seen before.

Since Moshe came back from Midian there has been many eye-opening events.

  • The Ten plagues

  • Deliverance from Egypt

  • Manna from Heaven

  • The pillar of a cloud by and a pillar of fire at night

  • The parting of the Sea of Suf

  • The Egyptian army destroyed

  • Bitter water turned sweet

  • Quail

  • Water from a rock!!!

And Now………

  • A burning mountain  !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Exodus 20:18  All the people witnessed the thundering and the lightning, and the sound of the shofar, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled and stood far off.

1 Corinthians 2:9  But as it has been written, “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, nor have entered into the heart of man what Elohim has prepared for those who love Him.” Isaiah 4:4

As Moshe had his “burning bush” experience, all of Israel now had a “burning mountain” experience.

They also have heard the voice of YHWH for the first time for themselves.

Exodus 20:22  And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Say this to the children of Yisra’ěl: ‘You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from the heavens.

YHWH brought Israel to this mountain to “betroth” them to Himself. He spoke to them the “Aseret Ha Dibrot/The Ten Words.” The Covenant

The people trembled in fear and asked Moshe to be the “mediator” between them and YHWH

And now, welcome to this week’s Torah portion Mishpatim.

The word mishpatim has been translated as judgments, rulings, ordinances or even laws.

Of these poor alternatives of translation the King James’ term “judgments” is clearly closest to the essence of the word because it at least implies a personal decision-making process, overseen by a compassionate, trustworthy arbiter or mediator who has no stake in the outcome and can thus be objective.

Let’s see if we can get a Hebraic understanding of the essence of this word.

The word mishpat (singular form of mishpatim) is first used in Genesis 18:19

…I have chosen him, so that he will teach his children and his household after him, and they will keep the way of YHWH, to do justice and mish'pat; that the Holy One may bring upon Avraham that which He has spoken concerning him.

The verb root for mishpatim is sh’fat, in a Hebraic sense, it means speech that applies YHWH’S righteousness and essential morality for life issues affecting His covenant people.

Adding the Hebrew prefix mem to the verb root sh’fat means that the sh’fat-type speech is flowing, as part of a living, breathing relationship with on-going communication.

The mishpatim are an expansion of the ten words.

Over the next few chapters are going to be scenarios in which we can learn creative solutions to the challenges we will encounter in our life.

These situations are going to be close and personal. They will test us.

Are we going to continue to allow the poison of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and continue to blame, want revenge, be bound by unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, and hang on to offenses?

Or are we going to internalize these words and allow them to renew our minds, becoming conformed to the image of Messiah Yeshua?

Romans 12:1-2  I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.

YHWH knew the Israelites were going to have challenges with each other, animals and even the land. In this Torah portion YHWH is wanting to teach us the way He looks at things pertaining to ordinary aspects of human life.

We are to treat everyone the same, no matter their social status, rich or poor, young or old, male or female, we are all His!!!!!!!!

Romans 10:4  For Messiah is the goal of the Torah as a means to righteousness for everyone who keeps trusting.

Exodus 23:4-5  “If you find your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you must surely bring it back to him again. If you see the donkey of the one that hates you lying down under its burden, do not leave it. Rather, you are to release it with him.“

Romans 13:8,10  Owe no one anything except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the Torah….Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fullness of the Torah.

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