Before I begin writing what I want to write, I need to explain a few things. Several years ago, I discovered the website, Hebrew4christians.com. This site has free Hebrew lessons, and my son and I have been using its resources to teach ourselves Hebrew. It has more than Hebrew language lessons, however. It also provides information about common Hebrew blessings, Jewish prayers, the Scriptures, the Jewish holidays, and weekly Torah portions from a Messianic point of view. I have learned an incredible amount of truth from this site, the awesome beauty of Scripture has deepened, and my faith has grown.
Several years ago, my husband, son, and I began following the Jewish Torah (Scripture) reading schedule, called parashah. Every week, portions from the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms are read. Messianic Jews add a portion from the B’rit Chadashah, which we call the New Testament. It is said that Ezra set up this reading schedule, dividing up the Torah into 54 portions so that every year the whole Hebrew Bible is read. The Jews usually finish reading the last chapter of the Torah and begin reading the first chapter of the Torah on Simchat Torah during the Fall Feasts. Jesus, Himself, followed this reading schedule while He was on earth. He refers to it in Luke 24:44:
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Reading the Torah portions has been a deep blessing to my family. Although the Jewish sabbath actually is from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday, we usually study it on Sunday. It just works better for us, particularly with my husband’s work schedule. Yesterday my husband and I drop off my son for Boy Scout Camp and then we went on a date, so we didn’t read the Parashah until this morning. This portion was called Parashah Mattot. It is based on Numbers 30:2 through Numbers 32:42.
The parashah included teaching about the power of our words. John Parsons, the Messianic Jewish administrator of the website, wrote:
The words we use to communicate matter to God, and have implications that far transcend what we normally consider. There is no “chatter” in the Kingdom of Heaven; there is no idle talk or insignificant utterance. Not one. All our words will prove to be entirely prophetic. As Yeshua [Jesus] later teaches:
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt 12:36-37).
There is also a word in Hebrew calledlashon hara, which means “speaking evil even if true.” The Jewish sages taught that the skin disease that we call “leprosy” was a spiritual disease, not a physical one, because one inflicted with the disease had to be seen by a priest, not a medical doctor. It was thought that the skin disease was caused by lashon hara.
As my husband and I read the parashah today, we were chilled by the great power of words. When you think about it, people remember positive or negative words from childhood. Words can build up a person or destroy him. Words can cause people to tremble in fear or inspire them to do courage deeds. EJ and I were greatly convicted by our words, and we prayed together, asking for forgiveness for the negative ways we have used our words, and asking for help to be more careful and positive. Wow.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Ps. 19:14