Ki Tavo (When You Come)
As I have shared, there are many themes in the book of Deuteronomy. We see the importance of taking responsibility for our actions, treating others with respect, walking in blessings and walking in curses through our disobedience. All of these instructions give us rich teachings to abide in during our life of exile. But there is an underlying theme that brings focus to our walk that is inherent to grasp. It brings greater joy and purpose to this life in exile. The theme I am referring to is Israel!
My heart for Israel overflows in my teachings which is why you will often hear me express concern for the apparent disconnect I see in the Hebraic and church communities. I have attended conferences where Israel isn’t mentioned! When I do talk about Israel, I am often met with glassy, clueless stares. It appears many people are more concerned about building their lives here in Egypt than allowing Father to turn their hearts to our true Home. For those people, I pray that as they read Scripture, Father will open their eyes and change their hearts. There are those who say that we really have nothing to do with Israel today until Messiah sets up His Kingdom. For them I will share modified words of Dietrich Bonheoffer, “I have no right to participate in the reconstruction of life in Israel in His Kingdom unless I participate in the trials of this time with my people.” We need to identify with Israel our people, Israel our home in this day, not tomorrow!
What about the rest of us? In the first chapter of this Torah portion it speaks of a time in which we will bring an offering in a basket and place it before His appointed priests. Read the words from Deuteronomy 26:3-11. Don’t those words give you a longing for that day? For me the word “Today” in verse 3 jumps off the page and grabs my heart. My soul cries out for “Today” to be today. For now we are left longing for “Today” but have to live in today. What can we do with our today’s as we long for “Today?”
In just a couple of weeks we will be into the Fall Feasts. Many will celebrate Yom Teruah with apples and honey. Now I understand it is a tradition, but it is a “sweet” one! I like apples and honey and really appreciate the meaning of entering into the Fall Feasts with a sense of sweetness. What if that delicious jar of honey was not from bees in your neighbor’s backyard, but from bees in our Father’s backyard, Israel? It is easier than you may think. Go online and type in Israel Honey. It can be shipped right to your door. We also look forward to Sukkot. Eight days of finding out things about people you are not sure you wanted to know! In Leviticus 23 we are told to bring the four species and worship before Him. My tradition is to order my lulav and etrog (can be spelled etrog or esrog) from Israel. It is fun to see the expressions on people’s faces when I tell them my bumpy, bright yellow fruit is from Israel. Ordering is easy. Go to myesrog.com and order your own citrus fruit from the Land! If you do so by Sept 20 you can use the code myesrog2017 for a discount. Imagine standing in the midst of the community waving a lulav and etrog that has just days before been in the place your heart is longing to be.
There is another issue to prayerfully consider. Today there are needs all over the world. In America we do not have to look farther than southern Texas. I urge people to do whatever they can to help whoever they can in that area. Even in the midst of this, please remember Israel? Are the verses in Deuteronomy not telling us that our first offering should be there? Take a look at Romans 15:25-27. It is absolutely a good thing to help those in Houston, but it is also our Scriptural duty to help those in need in Israel.
In mid October I will be leading our annual tour to Israel. As has been the case now for over 15 years, I will be taking funds to help those in need. If you would like to be a part of this, a Sukkot offering to our home, you can go to our web site and put “Israel” in the note section of your donation. Or if it is easier, you can send a check or call with a credit card. Every dollar will go to Israel to help those in need.
For today, Messiah has not returned, the Temple of His home has not been built, Torah is not flowing into the nations from Jerusalem, but that does not mean we cannot be involved in what may be hastening our today’s to become “Today.” May your longing for Home bring forth joy in your life, purpose and preparation! (Click to Site)