A Meaningful Glance – VaYelech (He Went)

Torah Commentary
VaYelech (He Went)
Deuteronomy 31:1-30
Hosea 14:2-10
Joel 2:11-27
Micah 7:18-20
Hebrews 13:5-8

A Meaningful Glance

Think back through the Book of Deuteronomy with me.  How often does Moses instruct the people to keep a written copy of Torah in front of them?  From the kings to come, to the Mount of Curses, to a copy of Torah before the priests in the Tabernacle, the Torah is everywhere they would look.  Why was this so important?

It is the mirror of Torah which gives us a way for our Creator to have us examine our lives in His light.  When we even glance at the words of Torah, we should see and examine our lives, not by what others think or even by what we think, but by what He thinks.

Just imagine with me a Hebrew going about his life in the Promised Land.  This man owns a small farm on the western shore of the Jordan River, just a few yards from where the Children of Israel came across many years earlier.  Every day as he is working his field, he looks up and sees the stones which were set up years earlier to mark the place where his ancestors came across the river.  He thinks back to the stories he has heard of how Moses passed the baton to Joshua and told him to be strong and of good courage.  He makes a turn in the field with his plow and there in front of him are Mount Eval and Mount Gerazim.  He thinks to himself about the Torah written on stones on one of those mountains and stops to consider which of the mountains he is living on, blessings or curses.

At the end of the harvest he takes a portion of his crops to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  As he walks along the road it seems the shadows of these two mountains to his right are calling him to once again ponder his life.  As he approaches Jerusalem, he sees the Temple in all its glory and stops to consider its meaning. He is climbing up to Jerusalem, a walk Moses was never allowed.  Suddenly a sense of unworthiness seems to wash over his entire being.  He looks to the crops he has come to offer in worship and is overcome with the wonders of blessing in his life that he has not earned.  He thinks back over his past year to choices he has made in life.  He considers his successes and his failures.  He marvels over the grace of a forgiving Creator.

Our friend reaches the Temple Mount just in time to see the Priest come forth from the Temple.  The priest seems a bit shaken today, not as comfortable and relaxed as priests of previous years.  As the priest begins to speak, our friend runs to get a spot close enough to hear his words.  The priest has in his hands a scroll.  It is the scroll Moses had told the priests to read to the people each year, a task forgotten about in the past years of abundance and prosperity.

This year was a bit different in Israel.  Prosperity had turned to hardships over the last months.  Times were shaky at best.  Everywhere there was a buzz about collapse in economy, politics and society in general.  The priest explains in the hearing of all the people how he had walked into the Holy of Holies to offer the yearly sacrifices.  As he had entered through the curtain his mind was not focused on his duties, but on the situations arising in his country.  There were wars and rumors of wars, talk of a coming famine and it seemed the weather was just not what it used to be.  He went on to explain how his eyes had glanced to the Torah laying beside the blood of the sacrifice as he offered it on the altar.  His eyes and in fact his whole being seemed to be locked on the scroll.  He had finished his work, then reached over for the scroll which was in his hand as he stood before the people.  He now opened it and read, “In the beginning Elohim created . . .”

A reverence seemed to come over the crowd that day.  The thoughts of coming elections and problems facing the world no longer seemed to matter in light of the words being read to the people, words they had forgotten about in previous years.  The reading continued through the day.

Our friend found himself listening to these wonderful words he had chosen to live his life by, and as he did, he saw a picture in his mind.  It was a picture of a people standing on the Mount of Curses not only reading the Torah, but allowing the Torah to read them and as they did, one by one they turned to walk down from the Mount of Curses and up to the Mount of Blessings.

I imagine each of you sees the correlation between our story of fiction above and the days of reality we are living in.  I do not have the faith to believe the world is going to change, but it is my prayer that His people are going to change.  In the midst of a world which chooses to live in sin, we each have the choice to decide which mountain we desire to live on.

In a couple of weeks we will come to the end of our Torah cycle.  Please do not just set it to the side and say, “I have read that now,” then forget to keep it ever in front of your eyes.  Let the Torah be written on your heart, so that it is a part of your life to the point that no matter where you look with a glance, its words seem to resound in your spirit and in your life, reading us as we read It. (Click to Article)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s