Shalom and welcome to Nazarene Israel. My name is Norman Willis. Ulices had some scheduling issues this week, so I am filling in for “Parasha Bo”.
And usually what people talk about in Parasha Bo is the first Pesach, or the first Passover. But we want to focus on something that is usually completely overlooked here in Parasha Bo, which is the Priesthood of the Firstborn. We also like to call it the Priesthood of the Firstfruits because that is what it is.
Usually, people will just read right past the Priesthood of the Firstborn because (I do not know why), but maybe because the Priesthood of the Firstborn failed in its duties and it does not have anything of value to say to us today. And that is actually 100 percent backwards! Because Parasha Bo contains some of the most important lessons in all of Scripture.
Because Yahweh had taken the firstborn of all Egypt, now each Israelite family was also to give their firstborn male (the one opening the matrix) to serve in the Priesthood of the Firstborn; to serve in the Firstfruit Priesthood. Because that is what they were, the first fruits.
Now, it is very important to notice, Orthodox Judaism comes up with the concept of what they call 613 Commandments. There is also a concept called taryag mitzvo. It means “all of the Commandments”.
We agree with taryag, but how do we get there? Christians of course, of the red horse variety, say the Torah is completely done away with. And that is completely wrong! We disagree completely! But we differentiate between the Torah to the Priesthood of the Firstborn versus the Torah of Levi, which is greatly expanded and contains what many Christians think of as the sacrificial laws (part of the Torah given to Levi).
The Torah (or the instructions) that were given to Levi, let us note that they were only given to Levi after the Priesthood of the Firstborn had already failed. Let us notice, because the Priesthood of the Firstborn was given first, then the lessons from the Firstborn Priesthood are older and therefore they are more foundational. They are more fundamental.
So what are these lessons that we should learn from the Torah of the firstborn before we then progress to the Torah of Levi?
It has often been remarked that when Yahweh tells His people what to do, they turn around and run the other way. Yahweh tells us of the importance of hearing and obeying His voice many times throughout Scripture, many times in the prophecies, and here in the Torah with the Firstborn Priesthood. The only commandment, all that was necessary, was to listen for Elohim’s voice and then do what He said. Not what men said. What He said!
Well, why does He want this? I mean go figure, so Dad wants His children to love Him enough to trust Him, to understand He is trying to help them become the best people they can be; The best servants they can be for Him. Is it a surprise that Dad wants His children to obey His voice? But, if it is not a surprise and everything depends on this, then how come so few of us practice hearing and obeying His voice? When the Commandments to hear and obey His voice run all the way all throughout Scripture!
In B’reisheet or Genesis chapter 22 and verse 18, we are told that “In Avraham’s seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed”. Meaning they would receive of Avraham’s physical genetics and they would also be able to receive of the promises given to Avraham.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 22:18
18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
Because why? Because Avraham obeyed His voice! Avraham is the father of all of us who are in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
B’reisheet or Genesis chapter 26 and verse 3 tells Yitzak or Isaac to dwell in the land of Israel and that Elohim would be with him, and bless him, and give his descendants all the land of Israel, and perform the oath which He swore to Avraham his father.
Breisheet (Genesis) 26:3-4
3 “Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.
4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”
Elohim would do these amazing things for Avraham and Yitzak. Elohim would make their descendants multiply as the stars of the heaven. He would give to Yitzhak’s descendants all these lands. In Yitzak’s seed (singular) referring to Yeshua, all the nations of the earth will be blessed. Why? Because Avraham heard, and obeyed Yahweh’s voice and Avraham kept Yahweh’s charge. He obeyed His Commandments. He observed His statutes and His laws; everything Yahweh commanded by His voice.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 26:5
5 “Because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
Avraham received all these blessings because he was listening for Yahweh’s voice spiritually. He had his spiritual ears on so to speak.
And why does Elohim like it so much when we listen for Him? Why is “listening and obeying” [to “shema”] one of the main things of all of Scripture? Why is “listening” what Yeshua came to bring the lost tribes? Why was it so important that we learn to hear and obey His voice?
The answer is because when we listen to Yahweh, and we humble ourselves, and we submit to the voice of Elohim, we submit to what He says, and we submit to what we hear… it re-establishes the correct relationship between Elohim and man that was broken and lost in the Garden of Eden. This right relationship is what He really wants. That is why He sent His son. It was to bring us back into this right relationship where we realize that we are created beings and we humble ourselves and realize He is our creator. He is our Father. He is our King. Should we not do what He says and not let any man confuse us from it?
Our good heavenly Father wants His children to listen for His voice and to submit just like any father wants his children to obey him so he can raise them up the right way. And once we are listening to His Spirit, then we can fulfill the Levitical Commandments in a way that is pleasing to Him.
But to try to fulfill the Levitical Commandments first without first submitting to His voice, as in the Firstborn Priesthood, it is like trying to paint by numbers. It is like trying to teach people to dance by painting little feet on the floor. It is like trying to drive all blindfolded. It is not what He wants. It is not pleasing to Him.
And if we have trouble hearing Elohim’s voice, then why not ask Yeshua for help? Why not try asking Yeshua? That is why Yeshua came. Yeshua tells us that “His sheep hear His voice, and He knows us, and we follow Him.”
Yochanan (John) 10:27-28
27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
We obey Him. We do all the things He says to do. Yeshua gives to those of us who submit to Him. He gives us the ability to hear and follow His voice. If we will do that, then it leads to the gift of eternal life, and we shall never perish!
So, if we are sons of Avraham, then we are heir to the promises given to Avraham. So let us ask for Elohim’s help to help us do as Avraham did. Let us ask Him to help us to listen for His voice so we can obey it.