The Shield and the Mashiach
Bechukotai "In My statutes"
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Ever wonder why there is a difference in Scripture between commandments, statutes, and ordinances? The Hebrew words are different, too:
mitzvot, chukkim, and mishpatim. In ways, the definitions overlap, but true to the pattern, the slight differences in their meanings open layers of understanding and points of connection to other contexts.
How is a mitzvah (commandment) slightly different from a
? Take a look at the root of mitzvah:
constitute, enjoin:-appoint, (for-) bid, (give a) charge, (give a, give in, send with) command(-
), send a messenger,
put, (set) in order.
And now a chok:
"An established or definite boundary of time, portion, or task."
"Something 'cut in, inscribed, or engraved."
put your life in
boundaries of your walk
. It's like the difference between Genesis One and Genesis Two. Genesis One gives the order and chronology of Creation; Genesis Two gives the circular boundaries of Eden. The Torah portion (Le. 26:3) describes the slight differences in how an Israelites incorporates c
ommandments and statutes:
Walk (in the statutes,
The Chiddekel (Tigris) River of Eden "walks" around the center of the garden.
lohim walked in the cool of the evening, making a sound. The tree of life grew in the center. If "walking" applies specifically to chukkim, then they are at the heart of the Garden. We may even say in the inner courts of Eden. The result of walking in the chukkim and observing and performing the commandments is this:
Moreover, I will make My
among you, and My soul will not
. (Le 26:11)
Adonai will descend when the Israelites elevate the Land with the commandments and
This verse introduces a
-al," which we normally think of in the positive sense, redemption. The negative sense of the word explains why human beings need the positive sense of the word.
In order to activate redemption (geulah), a taint of sin, impurity, and death must be "rejected," or purged out. This is the definition of ga'al:
Elohim had to expel the taint of death from the Garden, ga'al. Humankind's rejection from the holy spaces created a need for a goel, or redeemer. A goel removes the taint of impurity and restores the original pure and healthy state of the redeemed one.
to abhor, loathe, be vilely cast away, fall
) to be defiled
) to reject as loathsome, show
to detest; by implication, to reject: abhor, fail,
, vilely cast away
: impure, foul
The context of this purging can be found in 2 Samuel 1:21:
O mountains of
not dew or rain be on you, nor fields of
there the shield of the mighty was
shield of Saul, not
The ancient warriors' leather shields would be smeared/anointed with cooked fat so that swords or arrow points would slide off without penetrating. Because their shields were not anointed, the sharp points of death defiled (
) the shields of
and Jonathan. Paul refers to this ancient practice:
...in addition to all, taking up
he shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one
. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph 6:16-17).
In order to avoid the taint and impurity of the enemy, the shield had to be anointed, or "
." Messiah in Hebrew is Mashiach, or "Anointed One." The
Yeshua, whose name means "Salvation," and
clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called
God." (Re 19:13)
It is through faith in Yeshua, the Word of God, that the leather shield of the righteous is pliable enough that the arrows do not penetrate with impurity. An additional hint is found in 2 Samuel 1:21. Because of this tragedy, it says that no "rain or dew" should fall on the fields of Gilboa. In his later years, Shaul rejected the Word of God and sought after a necromancer to contact the dead. For rejecting the Word of the Prophet Samuel concerning Amalek and refusing to walk, observe, and do the chukkim and mitzvot, Shaul's "shield" was no longer anointed.
The realm of death that Shaul sought finally penetrated the dry skin of his shield. Dew and rain are metaphors of resurrection life. The resurrection of the dead is the gift of dew to the thirsty fields of human life, and the anointing of Mashiach is the special shield of protection to those who walk in the Word.
is to reject something as impure, foul. It is purged, such as "my soul will abhor you":
destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your
remains on the
remains of your idols, for My
soul shall abhor
you. (Le 26:30)
It's terrifying to think that our Father could abhor us. That's a strong feeling of rejection. The reason that Adonai rejects His people and purges them from Eden and Israel is because they first rejected Him and His dew and rain of Heaven:
they rejected My ordinances and their soul
. (Le 26:43)
The taint of
requires the work of
, or redemption. This is usually assigned to the closest relative.
Although tainted with impurity, the one who is redeemed has his original holiness recovered and the impurity is removed.
is a redeemer, someone with the means to remove impurity and recover the life and holiness of the created things.
By faith we understand that
the worlds were prepared by the word of God
, so that what is seen was not made out
things which are visible. (He 11:3)
This is an anointed shield, faith in the Word of God. It is resurrection faith. The the world was created by the Word of God, so it is that very Word who created mankind Who still has the redeeming power to recover the righteous and remove the taint of sin, death, and impurity. The Word of Elohim has the power to restore the righteous to the inner courts of the Garden to once again walk and talk together. This is the promise of the New Covenant:
I will put My Spirit within you and
cause you to walk in My statutes (
), and you will be careful to observe My ordinances
. (Ezekiel 36:27)
*The general understanding is that
, or "guard, observe" refers to studying the commandments, for one cannot perform until he understands.
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