The Torah Portion for Sunday 13th February 2022 is called “Tetzaveh” meaning “You shall command” from Exodus 27:20–30:10 is a continuation of last week’s Torah Portion “The Building of the Tabernacle” The prophetic word is from Ezekiel 43 4-7 dovetailed together with Matthew 5:14
In a Nutshell God tells Moses to receive from the children of Israel pure olive oil to feed the “everlasting flame” of the menorah, which Aaron is to kindle each day, “from evening till morning.” It is all about the Everlasting LIGHT! And we are going to explore that light and what it means to us today. “This land will be filled with knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
It goes on to describe the priestly raiment worn by the kohanim (priests) and High Priest while serving in the Sanctuary. It also includes God’s detailed instructions for the seven-day initiation of Aaron as High Priest and the commissioning of his four sons into the priesthood. It gives details for making the golden altar on which the incense was burned. (i)
You will notice that this week’s Torah portion starts with kindling the Menorah and begins with the words:
“Command the Israelites to bring you clear olive oil, crushed for the light, so that the lamp may always burn.” (Ex. 27:20).
The first builder of a dwelling place for God on earth was Moses. The Tabernacle of Moses was a replica of the heavenly dwelling place for God and is, therefore, the most prophetic structure ever built, and God is now using us to build a new dwelling place for Him.
It’s a new wine skin out of the old. You see, although you can’t put new wine into an old wine skin, you absolutely can put old wine into the new and the true wineskin.
The true Tabernacle – the true Church - is His dwelling place. We must have a vision for pursuing something greater than just having the Lord’s blessings from Deuteronomy 28. The Church must become a beacon of light - that city built on a hill that cannot be hidden. (Matt 5:14) The place God is building, where He Himself dwells and shines.
We want to be where He dwells in His manifest presence - in the Shekinah Glory of God. His manifest presence is, in fact, the greatest sign of the end of the age, as we will soon see.
God is always with us, but there’s a big difference between His abiding presence and His manifest presence. In His manifest presence are the greatest events in Scripture and history. The greatest of all these will come at the end of this age, as the biblical prophecies make clear.
4 The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east.
5 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
6 While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple. 7 He said: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever.
Rick Joiner said this week in an article written in Morning Star called “Increasing the Light,” which tells me he is studying the Torah portion I quote,
“The manifest presence of the Lord is far more than the goose bumps we feel in a service or event. The manifest presence I have experienced compelled everyone to fall flat on their faces. He said, I have never felt any gripping fear of the Lord, glory, or magnificence like it. Even to rise in His manifest presence felt unexplainably disrespectful. But all these were just visitations. He did not remain. He is building a church that He will not only visit, but also dwell in, and His glory will abide there. He is doing this now, and we can be a part of it. (ii)
I have experienced the Glorious presence many many times and have been “caught up” in the spirit and I have put my hand out to make sure my body was still sitting at my desk. It was.
Certainly those on “The Call” in my church we saw the blue light filling our pastor's office on his zoom call last week. It was the presence of Holy Spirit. We all saw it! But we seek the abiding Presence. I have never experienced the Glory of His Presence so magnificent that it has compelled me to fall flat on my face in awe.
There is a comparison between the olive tree and the olive fruit which is the Land of Israel and the Jewish people.
Why is Israel compared to an olive?
Just as an olive is first bitter, then sweet, so Israel has suffered for millennia to the present day, but great good is stored up for them in the time to come – “for all Israel will be saved” and they will be a “covenant for the people, a Light to the Gentiles.” Isaiah 42: 6
And just as the olive only yields its oil by being crushed – as it is written, ‘clear olive oil, crushed for the light’’ – so Israel fulfils her full potential in the Torah only when she is pressed by suffering.”
The oil was, of course, for the menorah, whose perpetual light – first in the Sanctuary, then in the Temple, symbolized the Divine Light that floods the universe for those who see it through the eyes of faith. To produce this light, something has to be crushed.
And here lies the life-changing lesson – like the olive which, when crushed, produces the pure oil that fuels the light of holiness, it takes a crushing to achieve strength when faced with adversity and respond with compassion, kindness and love.
When bad things happen to good people, our faith is challenged. This is a natural response. Abraham asked, “Shall the Judge of all the earth not do justice?” Moses asked, “Why have You done harm to this people?”
Yet in the end, the wrong question to ask is, “Why has this happened to me?”
We will never know. We are not God.
The right question is, “Given that this has happened, what then shall I do?” To this, the answer is not a thought but a deed. It is to heal what can be healed, medically in the case of the body, psychologically in the case of the mind, spiritually in the case of the soul, mind and body! Our task is to bring light to the dark places of ours and other peoples’ lives. (iii)
Matthew 5:14 reads: 14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
There was a season in my life when I nearly lost it. My wonderful husband died, then the father of my children, my sister, who had suffered from cancer whom I nursed to the gates of heaven itself, died and then my mother died from shock of losing her beautiful daughter - all within the space of 5 years.
I lost my job, my finances and eventually the family home. I could have fallen into deep despair. However, by the grace of God my spirit prevailed over my body. Although crushed, I was determined to sing, with tears running down my face, “You give and take away, you give and take away but my heart will choose to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Let no one imagine this was easy. It takes a supreme act of faith. It is precisely here that we feel faith’s power to change lives.
To help me overcome grief and loss, I opened my home as a “safe house” to a young mother with two little ones who were running from an abusive husband and father. Both of us were grieving but we were able to help each other. Her toddler, unable to speak as a result of fear, suddenly came running into my arms one morning and spoke for the first time “Granny." God had allowed me to bind up the broken hearted and set the captives free and to proclaim freedom to this young mother and her babies.
Then an opportunity arose in my church to work in an orphanage in the Ukraine teaching arts and crafts. They called me Babushka, also meaning “Granny.” On my return I joined an organization called “Seedlings for Christ” and I ministered into the lives of widows in the Gambia in West Africa. I released the year of the Lord’s favour financially over them. In one instance I helped a lady buy a table in the market square to sell her wares - $20 a year – that’s all it took to transform her life from beggar to business woman.
Later, I journeyed to India with The Dalit Freedom Network, based here in Vancouver, to train and equip vulnerable and sex trafficked women: Along with a friend, we taught them to sew and to help them find sustainable employment working with “Operation Mobilization in Hyderabad.”
We were told these were “special” women alerting us to their physical and emotional state but not exposing the brutality they had suffered at the hands of men and their feelings of shame. They were indeed “special” and needed a “touch” a loving touch, tender and compassionate touch. They called me Didi, which means “Sister” and they too called me “Granny.”
We would begin work with morning prayer – then one of these ladies started singing, “Because he lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone, because I know I know He holds the future, and life is now worth living because He lives.” That is “Beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for a spirit of despair."
Just like my painting “Someone touched Me,” this beautiful, crushed soul touched Jesus’ heart that day. You see, one can turn a picture of pain into a picture of beauty. In the same way, great faith can turn pain into love and holy light.
Gradually, “the Lord restored to me the years the locust had devoured” through the light of His word.
What is this Holy Light. The Shekinah glory of God? His name is Jesus. Jesus is the manifold Glory of God – He is the Shekinah Glory of God. “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, and to bring us peace He was punished and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
God said to Moses, “Command the Israelites to bring you clear olive oil, crushed for the light, so that the lamp may always burn.”
He is the pure, clear olive oil of anointing – The Holy and Anointed one called Messiah, crushed by the cross that we may behold His Glory, Glory as of the only Son of the Father. “In Him was life and His life was the Light of men and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not understood it” John 1:4
God is anointing us in a new way. Now many opportunities will begin to arise as people will be attracted to the light within us. Along with that will come pressure to “meet the needs,” or pressure of how to correctly lead, so people keep coming or don’t lose interest. It will be easy to bow to manipulation or pressure. Be sure to spend time in the presence and the Glory of our Heavenly Father.
I declare over this House, “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (Heb. 1:9).
Shine Jesus shine, fill this land with the Father’s glory, blaze spirit blaze set our hearts on fire: flow river flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy, send forth your Word Lord and let there be LIGHT!
I declare, “Light Be.” Shabbat Shalom: Miriam
References: Notes taken from:
(i) Chabad: “Tetzaveh in a nutshell”:
(ii) Rick Joiner: Morning Star called “Increasing the Light”
(iii) Rabbi Sacks: Tetzaveh – “Crushed for the Light