Va’etchanan (I Pleaded)
Matthew 4:1-11: 22:33-40
A Place Prepared For the Obedient
Moshe continued his last sermon in Deuteronomy 3:24 by sharing the revelation of Yah had just begun for the Hebrews. Just begun? The wonders of the plagues in Egypt, parting of the sea, manna from the heavens, water from a rock, hearing and seeing His voice on top of a mountain. That wasn’t the beginning? Really?
What the verse says to me is no matter how great the revelation of Yah was in exile, it had a limit. There is a revelation of Him that can only be received in His Land and further in His Kingdom. With that said, even in exile, the revelation of who He is needs to be ongoing and growing with each step we take toward His Land and Kingdom. Here are some questions for you. How has the revelation of “who He is” grown in your life since we began this current Torah cycle? Can you say you know Him better or at a greater level today than when you turned to read Genesis 1?
For many people the greater revelation has come through the reciting of the Shema on a daily basis. Let’s first review the translation of the Shema by Barry Phillips:
“So hear, grasp and comprehend, Yisrael, You covenant people chosen by YH WH, full of colors, nations, and tribes, YH WH, He Who is Mercy and Lovingkindness is our very own Elohim, our personal Creator and Judge Who will repay, this YH WH, the second mentioning, the revealing of the first mentioned, Y’shuah, is a mystical and wondrous unity of One; The first and the last together.”
So I ask you, “Has the reciting of the Shema become just a tradition and duty? Is there a continued revelation of the declaration you are reciting which brings His Heavenly realm into this earthly realm with your words even while driving down the road, walking a grocery store aisle or buying a can of paint at the local home improvement store?” If it is true the audible vibrations of our words linger and never cease, have you thought of what you may be leaving spiritually for the next person in the line? Selah (Stop and consider that statement in light of eternity)
We now move on to Deuteronomy 6:10-12. Think of these words in light of Yeshua’s statement of going to prepare a place for us. Talk about ongoing revelation! I used to try and have visions of the mansion just over the hillside. It never worked well, because the song never made much sense to me. These verses bring His words into truth for me. Since time began Yah has been orchestrating events upon this earth to make a place for us to dwell with Him. Consider the day the enemies of the covenant are killed or driven from Israel, from the houses they have built only to leave them vacant for you and me to reside in. Of course a good cleaning and a Mezuzah on the door will be of first priority!
The Hebrews stood on the east bank of the Jordan River listening to the last words of Moshe. In Deuteronomy 7:24 Moshe focused on a point we need to take to heart today. He stated their obedience to the commandments of Torah is what He used to keep them alive. Do I understand this? Maybe at a level, but when the fullness of this statement is revealed I am sure we will all be amazed. He then stated in verse 25 that the obedience to these commandments was to be accorded to them and to us as righteousness. Now wait just a cotton picking minute. I was taught that faith declares us righteous. Is Moshe saying it is works now?
In the above confusion lies the heart of a problem still being dealt with in so many people, the separation of faith and works. Read the first chapters of Yaakov, (James) for starters and you will find a thread which runs through Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. It is a thread which reveals that faith and works are not separate words, but the same word in two revelations. Works are not just the result of faith, but rather the obvious and natural expression of faith. One does not exist without the other. The problem lies in that religion wants your faith to follow its work list and not His.
How does Torah obedience reveal Him? To go to a verse which I use often, Psalm 40:7. “Behold I am coming. In the scroll of The Book it is written of Me.” Obedience and pursuit of Torah is to bring an ongoing revelation of who He is. Torah reveals to us the Aleph Tav spoken of in Genesis 1:1. Torah teaches us His mind, His thoughts, His desires. Torah teaches us about our journey, our destination and about a place He is orchestrating earthly events to prepare for those who have learned that faith without obedience and love without keeping Torah may just be empty words that are lost in desert sand.
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