Weekly Drash - Shoftim
Compliments of First Fruits of Zion
King of the Jews
Shoftim - שפטים : “Judges”
Thought for the Week:
The commandment for the king to write a copy of the Torah demonstrates the work of Messiah. He Himself is the Word made flesh. He is the copy of the Torah in human form. Furthermore, He writes a copy of the Torah as He writes the Torah upon our hearts. The Torah of King Messiah is “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3).
You shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman. (Deuteronomy 17:15)
The title Messiah (Christ) is an ancient Hebrew title for the King of Israel. The Torah commands Israel to set a king over them from among their countrymen—in other words, a fellow Jew. To be a true king of Israel, the king must be Jewish. In the days of the Apostles, men like Herod the Great, Herod Antipas and Herod Agrippa all took the title “king of the Jews” for themselves, but their pedigree was not Jewish. They were not legitimate kings of Israel.
Yeshua was a Jew with a long, impressive genealogy reaching all the way back to King David. However, in traditional Christian teaching, His Jewishness has often been suppressed. Some people even say, “Jesus was a Jew until His resurrection.” Others refuse to admit that He is Jewish now and still will be Jewish when He returns. When we diminish the Jewishness of Yeshua, we diminish His claim to the throne of Israel.
In addition to being Jewish, the true Messiah must be Torah observant.
Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. (Deuteronomy 17:18)
The Torah gives laws that pertain specifically to the king of Israel. The king of Israel is not to multiply horses or wives. He is to write a copy of the Torah for Himself and keep it with Him, studying it all the days of His life. He is to be careful to observe “all the words of this Torah and these statutes … that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left.” (Deuteronomy 17:19–20)
The laws of the king in Deuteronomy 17 apply especially to Messiah. Remember that Messiah, in essence, means king. Every king of Israel was called an anointed one, that is “messiah.” Yeshua is the King, the Anointed One, the Son of David. Therefore, the laws of Deuteronomy 17 apply to Messiah as much as they applied to King Solomon. If Messiah did not keep or uphold the laws of the king in Deuteronomy 17, then he would not be a worthy king of Israel.
As the ultimate king of Israel, Messiah must be completely Torah observant. Indeed, only Yeshua perfectly fulfills the requirements of the king of Israel. By virtue of being sinless, only Yeshua can claim to have not turned aside from the Torah. He alone is the worthy king of Israel.
Shavuah Tov! Have a Good Week!
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