Mishpatim

Torah – Exodus 20:1-24:15  Haftarah – Jeremiah 34:8-22   Brit Chadashah – Matthew 5:38-42

Mishpatim, which is Hebrew for ordinances or judgements, is where we find ourselves studying this week.  This is the first parasha (study) following the giving of Torah at Har Sini (Mount Sinai).

There is a natural and uninterrupted flow from last week’s study, which  concluded with the Ten Commandments (Mitzvah) and the beginning of Mishpatim, which takes us to what we might think of as our civil law, or in other words, our Torah instructions on how to behave in society and how to treat our fellow man.

The timing of this study really could not be more striking.  Before I point to the current news and what is happening in our modern society, here in the United States, we will first look at a few verses.

Exodus 20:22-25, “Then the L-RD said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 ‘You shall not make [anything to be] with Me–gods of silver or gods of gold you shall not make for yourselves. 24 ‘An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you. 25 ‘And if you make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone; for if you use your tool on it, you have profaned it.”

I’m not sure I need to say anything at all.  If you are somewhat awake and even mildly pay attention to the news, you know that over the past week or so we have had some tragic new laws enacted with regards to abortion.

The Governor of New York signed into law a bill that made it legal for any woman to essentially have an abortion at any time for any reason!  If my understanding of the law in New York is correct, this is up to  the moment of birth.  What made this law even more disgusting and offensive was that the news showed lawmakers standing and applauding its passage as though it were some great and noble thing.

I heard in the news today that Virginia is trying to go a step further.  How could this be?  Well, they are leaving the door open for abortion to occur even after the child has been fully born!  In certain situations, they will allow the doctors to confer with the mother while the child is kept comfortable while the final decision is made.  This is no question murder as the child is fully born and the cord has been cut.

Looking at the verses above it is clear that something like a fight that accidentally leads to a premature birth of a child, with no ill effect otherwise is still a serious penalty.  And, of course, if you continue reading you will see that if the unborn child, fetus, baby, whatever word you want to insert there is killed, then it is life for life!

Therefore, I can reach no other conclusion than to say that abortion is a violation of G-d’s Law.  It is a shameful thing what our lawmakers are doing today to disregard this fact.  Please pray that these laws are overturned quickly.  Pray for the innocent lives that are lost.  Pray that eyes be opened and the darkness pushed back.  Pray for mercy for the sins of our nation.

Shalom!

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