Shalom. This morning, I would like to focus a bit on verses 39 through 45 from the 14th chapter of the book of Numbers.
“Mosha told these words to all the B’nai Yisrael: and the people mourned greatly. They rose up early in the morning, and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, ‘Behold, we are here, and will go up to the place which Mar-Yah has promised: for we have sinned.’
“Mosha said, ‘Why now do you disobey the commandment of Mar-Yah, seeing it shall not prosper? Do not go up, for Mar-Yah is not among you; that you not be struck down before your enemies. For there the Amalekite and the Canaanite are before you, and you shall fall by the sword: because you are turned back from following Mar-Yah, therefore Mar-Yah will not be with you.’
“But they presumed to go up to the top of the mountain: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of Mar-Yah, and Mosha, did not depart out of the camp. Then the Amalekite came down, and the Canaanite who lived in that mountain, and struck them and beat them down, even to Hormah.”
What can we take away from these verses out of our Torah reading? At first we see blatant disobedience. Mosha asked the Israelites, “Why now do you disobey the commandment of Mar-Yah?” He told them that whatever they were about to do would not prosper. Their efforts to fight against the enemy at that time, although it might have been good intentioned, would be fruitless.
Even though their purpose or goal may have been due to the fact that they had transgressed against the word of Mar-Yah; verse 40 indicates that the Israelites were aware of their wrongdoing and admitted to such. Nevertheless, their leader Mosha instructed them not to proceed further.
Mosha tells the Israelites that because Mar-Yah would not be with them in their battle, they would suffer the consequences. And as we see in the Biblical record, they fell by the sword, just as Mosha had stated.
Even though the Israelites expressed their wrongdoing, they were still being defiant by not abiding by the instruction of Mar-Yah and His appointed servant-prophet Mosha. This was blatant disobedience.
If you noticed in verse 44, a very significant point has been recorded for us. It says, “the ark of the covenant of Mar-Yah, and Mosha, did not depart out of the camp.” The Israelites did not take the ark with them, nor was, as Mosha said, Mar-Yah with their army. Now, what significance does this hold for those who claim to worship El Shaddai and to follow His mitzvot today? The answer should be obvious by the examples we see in our Torah reading. That defiance to the word and mitzvot of Mar-Yah and to those that have been appointed to teach His Torah and mitzvot, can only bring ruin or disastrous results. Without the Presence of Mar-Yah, by way of Ruach ha’Kodesh, nothing that a servant of Elohim attempts to do will be productive, or prosper in any way according to righteousness.
Ruach ha’Kodesh was promised by Yeshua ha’Mashiach, but throughout history we have witnessed the fact that only those who are obedient to her urgings are blessed with the efforts they put forth. As Mar Ya’aqub ha’Tzadik has taught in his epistle, faith without works is dead. [Ya’aqub 2:17] A person can have a great deal of faith, and they can perform a great deal of works, but I also say to you, that without obedience to Torah, and to all the mitzvot of Eloheinu, along with perfect faith and good works, ones efforts are most assuredly fruitless.
Mar Ya’aqub stated, “He that shall observe the whole Torah, and yet fail in one mitzvah, is obnoxious to the whole Torah. For he who said, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ said also, ‘You shall not murder.’ If then you commit no adultery, but you murder, you have become a transgressor of Torah.” [Ya’aqub 2:10,11]
Without the Presence of Mar-Yah, and without His ark, no matter what people’s efforts and intentions may be, they can not overtake the enemy who lies in wait to set a snare for their feet.
By remaining obedient to Torah, by cultivating perfect faith and by performing good works towards others, worshipping Elohim in spirit and in truth, being a good disciple of Mashiach, and following the urgings of Ruach ha’Kodesh, and living a virtuous life, the individual is blessed because Mar-Yah is with that one, and by the power of Elohim, one is able to overtake their enemy.