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In this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Shelach Lecha, we are told of Israel’s refusal to enter into the Promised Land. The people demonstrated a lack of faith in the Lord, even after having seen all of the miracles He was performing on their behalf to bring them to this point, to enter into His blessing and rest. It is interesting how in Hebrews 3:9 the author of Hebrews writes the following, “Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me And saw My works for forty years. (NASB) the author of Hebrews is speaking of this time in the Torah, and the attitude of the people who refused to enter into the Promised Land. The author of Hebrews continues saying, 4:1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, ‘As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,’ although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. (NASB) What is interesting is how the author speaks of coming short of God’s promise to enter into His rest and the parallel to Parashat Shelach Lecha saying that “the people in the wilderness had the good news preached to them just as the good news was preached to us.” (see Hebrews 4:2) This is very significant, because it appears as if the book of Hebrews is speaking of something considered to be the good news message that was preached to these people in the wilderness who then rejected it. The message of the Torah speaks to having faith in the Lord God of Israel and to having faith in the one who is leading God’s people (His Messiah, see Devarim / Deuteronomy 18). The message of faithfulness in the God of Israel and in what He has done for all of us, is so important, Moshe records this in the text saying, Bamidbar / Numbers 14: 33 And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. (NASB) The concept here is what we say and what we do are to be mixed with faith…

 

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