Expounding the Torah

Did Moses speak in tongues? Tradition says that Moses spoke the words of the book of Deuteronomy in the seventy languages of humanity.

Portion Summary

Devarim (דברים) is both the title for the last book from the scroll of the Torah and the title of the first Torah portion therein. Devarim means “words.” The English-speaking world calls this book Deuteronomy. The Hebrew title for the book comes from the opening phrase of the book: “These are the words (devarim) which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness” (Deuteronomy 1:1).

One ancient name for the book of Deuteronomy is Mishnah HaTorah (משנה תורה), which means “repetition of the Torah.” This is similar to the Greek Septuagint name Deuteronomos, which means “second law.” The English name Deuteronomy is derived from Deuteronomos.

The book of Deuteronomy is dominated by Moses’ farewell address to the children of Israel as he urges them to remain faithful to the covenant and prepares them for entering Canaan. During the course of the book, Moses reviews the story of the giving of the Torah at Sinai and the trip to the Promised Land, reiterates several laws of Torah and introduces new laws. The book seems to follow the general pattern of an ancient Near Eastern covenant treaty document.

As we study the first week’s reading from the book of Exodus, the children of Israel are assembled on the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho.

Special Shabbat Reading

Special readings are applicable this Shabbat.

  • Shabbat Chazon (שבת חזון | Vision)
  • Haftarah: Isaiah 1:1-27

Shabbat Chazon (“Sabbath [of] vision” שבת חזון) takes its name from the Haftarah that is read on the Shabbat immediately prior to the mournful fast of Tisha B’Av, from the words of rebuke and doom coming from Isaiah in the Book of Isaiah 1:1-27. It is also referred to as the Black Sabbath due to its status as the saddest Shabbat of the year (as opposed to the White Sabbath, Shabbat Shuvah, immediately precededing Yom Kippur).

Regular Shabbat Readings

  • Devarim (דברים | Words)
  • Torah: Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
  • Haftarah: Isaiah 1:1-27
  • Gospel: Matthew 24:1-22

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Outline

  • TORAH
    • Deuteronomy 1:1 | Events at Horeb Recalled
    • Deuteronomy 1:9 | Appointment of Tribal Leaders
    • Deuteronomy 1:19 | Israel’s Refusal to Enter the Land
    • Deuteronomy 1:34 | The Penalty for Israel’s Rebellion
    • Deuteronomy 1:46 | The Desert Years
    • Deuteronomy 2:26 | Defeat of King Sihon
    • Deuteronomy 3:1 | Defeat of King Og
  • PROPHETS
    • Isaiah 1:1 | Introduction
    • Isaiah 1:2 | The Wickedness of Judah
    • Isaiah 1:21 | The Degenerate City

Portion Summary

Devarim (דברים) is both the title for the last book from the scroll of the Torah and the title of the first Torah portion therein. Devarim means “words.” The English-speaking world calls this book Deuteronomy. The Hebrew title for the book comes from the opening phrase of the book: “These are the words (devarim) which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness” (Deuteronomy 1:1).

One ancient name for the book of Deuteronomy is Mishnah HaTorah (משנה תורה), which means “repetition of the Torah.” This is similar to the Greek Septuagint name Deuteronomos, which means “second law.” The English name Deuteronomy is derived from Deuteronomos.

The book of Deuteronomy is dominated by Moses’ farewell address to the children of Israel as he urges them to remain faithful to the covenant and prepares them for entering Canaan. During the course of the book, Moses reviews the story of the giving of the Torah at Sinai and the trip to the Promised Land, reiterates several laws of Torah and introduces new laws. The book seems to follow the general pattern of an ancient Near Eastern covenant treaty document.

As we study the first week’s reading from the book of Exodus, the children of Israel are assembled on the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho.


The book of Deuteronomy opens, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah” (Deuteronomy 1:1). Those words preface more than thirty chapters of Moses continuously talking. The sages puzzled over this. How did the man who was slow of speech become so eloquent? Just a few verses later, it says, “Moses undertook to expound this Torah.” According to Jewish tradition, Moses expounded the Torah in the seventy languages. The Midrash Tanchuma takes up the discussion.

Come and see! When the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, “Go and I will send you to Pharaoh,” Moses said, “Woe! You are giving over the mission to me? I am not a man of words.” He said, “There are seventy languages known in Pharaoh’s court, so that if anyone comes from a foreign country, they can speak to him in his language. I am going as your apostle, and they will question me, and I will tell them that I am an apostle of the Almighty, and it will be obvious to them that I do not know how to converse with them. Will they not mock me and say, ‘Look, the apostle of the Creator of the universe who created all the tongues! He is unable to comprehend or answer.’” This is what Moses meant when he said, “Woe, I am not a man of words.” … forty years after the exodus from Egypt, however, he expounded the Torah in seventy languages, as it says, “He explained this Torah.” (Midrash Tanchuma, Devarim 2)

According to this story, Moses felt unqualified to serve as an apostle of Hashem because he could not speak in all seventy languages. After the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai (i.e., Shavuot) Moses no longer suffered with that impediment. He demonstrated to the people of Israel that he could now teach Torah in all seventy languages.

We should be able to see the connection to our apostles who spoke the good news in all languages on the day of Shavuot. On that day that they became apostles of the Almighty and His risen Son, they received the gift of languages.

The seventy tongues represent the seventy mother-languages spoken by all humanity. The presentation of the Torah in every language alludes to the universal quality of the revelation of God through the Torah of Moses. Just as Moses is said to have expounded the Torah to Israel in every language, likewise, the disciples proclaimed the good news of Yeshua on Shavuot in every language.

Expounding the Torah is a job for every disciple. In the same way that it is incumbent upon us to spread the gospel in every place and at every time, it is also incumbent upon us to teach the Torah. After all the Torah is very much a part of the gospel, and the message of the gospel is quite meaningless without the Torah. Therefore, we are all called to emulate Yeshua, our teacher, who dedicated His life to proclaiming the gospel and teaching the ways of Torah.

When properly presented, the Torah should be an avenue to Messiah. It should be a central part of the good news of the kingdom and the call for repentance in the name of our Master. One who undertakes to teach the Torah to others is like one imbued with the Holy Spirit on the day of Shavuot. (Click to Source)

 

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Torah Scope – V’yeilekh – And he went – The Strong and Courageous Never Forsaken – September 15, 2018

V’yeilekh

And he went

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Deuteronomy 31:1-30
Hosea 14:2-10; Micah 7:18-20; Joel 2:15-27

“The Strong and Courageous Never Forsaken”


by Mark Huey

As Moses, the prophet to Israel (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18; Acts 3:22; 7:37), comes to the completion of his exemplary life—he gave the people some sobering, prophetic realities to consider, along with some encouraging words to contend with their ultimate destiny, in this week’s Torah portion. After all, Moses knew that his pleadings to accompany the Israelites into the Promised Land had been denied by the Holy One, because of his presumptuous actions taken at the waters of Meribah (Numbers 20:6-13):

“I also pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying, ‘O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours? Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ But the LORD was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me; and the LORD said to me, ‘Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter’” (Deuteronomy 3:23-26).

But as a prime example of a good shepherd understanding his sheep, and the future challenges Israel would face and endure, Moses wanted to encourage them to be strong and courageous as they conquered Canaan. Moses noted that because the Lord had sworn to give this territory to their ancestors, He would never categorically fail or forsake His chosen nation:

“So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them, ‘I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to come and go, and the LORD has said to me, “You shall not cross this Jordan.” It is the LORD your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the LORD has spoken. The LORD will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. The LORD will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.’ Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed’” (Deuteronomy 31:1-8).

In this opening statement, Moses concluded with the admonition to not be fearful or dismayed, as the Israelites would contend with what must have appeared, to them, to be overwhelming odds given the whole host of people groups that had to be conquered and displaced. Instead of fearing these mortal enemies and what they could possibly do to them, there is the constant reminder that the Lord desired a consistent fear or reverence of Him and His ability and desire to accomplish His will for the ages. But even with a genuine fear of the Holy One (Leviticus 25:17-18, et. al.), perhaps leading to “self-righteous” behavior, it was ultimately not Israel’s status which was to result in the expulsion of the wicked inhabitants of Canaan. Rather, as stated earlier in Deuteronomy 9, God simply confirmed the oath He swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—noting how these descendants of theirs are inherently a stubborn people:

“Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities fortified to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’ Know therefore today that it is the LORD your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the LORD has spoken to you. Do not say in your heart when the LORD your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people”(Deuteronomy 9:1-6).

Spiritual pride, that can originate from the thought that a man or woman is a part of God’s own, is something which is spoken against by Him in V’yeilekh—and with which all those who claim to follow Him since, is something that needs to be reckoned with.

In the narrative, Moses returns to some of the basic instructions given to Israel, in order to prevent “self-righteous” pride welling up in the hearts of Israel. Emphasis on the fact that Moses specifically wrote down this part of the Torah, entrusted its application to the Levites with the portage of the Ark of the Covenant, and the admonition that the Sabbath rest for the Promised Land and remission of debts be remembered during the Feast of Booths at the place He will choose—has great meaning today, as Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles is about to commence for us in a little over a week:

“So Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. Then Moses commanded them, saying, ‘At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the LORD your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law. Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess” (Deuteronomy 31:9-13).

Notable, in these final instructions, is the direction that not only are the Israelite men required to hear the Torah read—but also the women, children, and the sojourner in the community. The fear of the Lord and observance of the words of His Law are intended for all of His people. That the same standard of instruction would generally apply, to all of God’s people, was likely as controversial an assertion in ancient times—as it is in noticeable sectors of today’s Messianic movement. There is a definite impetus for all in the broad community of Ancient Israel to be instructed from the Torah, that they might understand the will and purposes of the Heavenly Father.

At this point, Moses reluctantly acknowledged the reality of his impending death, and prepared to commission Joshua as his successor. However, there is the lamentable prophecy that Israel would play the harlot with strange gods, forsaking the Lord and breaking their covenant with Him. This would ultimately result in a period of time when the Lord would hide His face from Israel and allow them to be consumed with many evils and difficulties (cf. Deuteronomy chs. 28-29):

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, the time for you to die is near; call Joshua, and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.’ So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting. The LORD appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood at the doorway of the tent. The LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, “Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?” But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods” (Deuteronomy 31:14-18).

For those seeking the face of the Maker today, these words should have significant meaning, because He is consistently watching over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). Modern-day followers of Yeshua the Messiah, who have been purchased by His blood sacrifice, must be reminded that He will never forsake His beloved ones. Yet, there are a number of additional possible entrapments that each one of us needs to be mindful of, as detailed by the author of Hebrews:

“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU’ [Deuteronomy 31:6], so that we confidently say, ‘THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME? [Psalm 118:6]’ Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited” (Hebrews 13:5-9).

In this contextually parallel passage, all should prayerfully consider not only the temptation to serve the perceived security of accumulated wealth, since no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24)—but the additional warning not to be carried away by varied and strange teachings. Today, with the proliferation of access to a plethora of teachings readily available on the Internet—and the fact that the Apostolic Writings are replete with cautions about false prophets, false teachers, and deceiving spirits (i.e., Matthew 7:15; Galatians 2:4; 2 Corinthians 11:13; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 2:16, 3:13; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Jude 1:4)—all Believers, both ancient and modern, have been admonished to test the spirits (1 John 4:11). We are to surely examine the spiritual fruit of teachers and their teachings (Matthew 12:30-33).

Moses left the people of Israel with a tried and true prescription for overcoming evils and temptations. Moses composed a song, which was to be taught, memorized, and recited by God’s people for all future generations. By recalling this—and by extension immersing one’s mind in the infallible Word of God—Messiah followers today are to have these precious words of life buried in their hearts, so that they may ring forth from their lips and be faithful and true witnesses to the efficacy of His Word. It is primarily due to the power of God’s Word, that when evils and troubles arrive—and they will for every generation—it is the recollection of His Word which restores confidence in God and His promises:

“‘Now therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant. Then it shall come about, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify before them as a witness (for it shall not be forgotten from the lips of their descendants); for I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.’ So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the sons of Israel” (Deuteronomy 31:19-22).

The commissioning of Joshua shortly took place before the assembling of all of the Israelites and the high priest Eleazar, so that they would all know beyond a shadow of doubt, that the Holy One through Moses was ordaining his successor (cf. Numbers 27:15-23):

“Then Moses spoke to the LORD, saying, ‘May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the LORD will not be like sheep which have no shepherd.’ So the LORD said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and commission him in their sight. You shall put some of your authority on him, in order that all the congregation of the sons of Israel may obey him. Moreover, he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD. At his command they shall go out and at his command they shall come in, both he and the sons of Israel with him, even all the congregation.’ Moses did just as the LORD commanded him; and he took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, just as the LORD had spoken through Moses” (Numbers 27:15-23).

Note that in this description of Moses extending his leadership authority to Joshua, the presence of an advisory judgment capacity via the priesthood. There is an arrangement of governmental/military/authority leadership, along with the related counsel of those dedicated to serving God in a full-time capacity. As recorded down through the history of Israel—and perhaps evident even today, when a country or people group disregards the Biblically balanced counsel delivered from various spiritual leaders to governmental authorities—problems ensue.

During the commissioning of Joshua, Moses exhorted Joshua to be strong and courageous in his new responsibilities to lead Israel. The Torah was to be placed beside the Ark of Covenant, as a written witness against the people, for their offenses committed. Due to Moses’ experience of leading the Israelites through forty years of sojourning in the desert, he detailed how they were a rebellious, stubborn, stiff-necked people expected to rebel even more after his death. Our Torah portion ends with a sure reminder that there is a song to come, which would be helpful in eventually overcoming the judgment of the last days, due to the evil actions that would provoke the anger of the Lord:

“Then He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you.’ It came about, when Moses finished writing the words of this law in a book until they were complete, that Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, ‘Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may remain there as a witness against you. For I know your rebellion and your stubbornness; behold, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against the LORD; how much more, then, after my death? Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call the heavens and the earth to witness against them. For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.’ Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were complete:” (Deuteronomy 31:23-30).

Because one has to wait until next week’s reading to hear the words of Moses’ song, we will simply have to anticipate God’s revelation until then. But, it is perhaps providential this week (2012), that V’yeilekh falls between Yom Teruah/Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur—as people are preparing to afflict their souls, in order to reassess where they stand individually and corporately before the Lord. There is an ancient Jewish tradition, that after taking the thirty days of the month of Elul to examine one’s relationship with the Almighty, that during the ten days from the first to the tenth of Tishri, people seriously take the time to ask forgiveness and seek any reconciliation and/or restitution that is required with those who might have been offended in the previous year by inappropriate actions or words. It is highly recommended that every one truly seeking to please the Lord consider this approach, especially because it very much mirrors an admonition of Yeshua’s, as He directed His followers to seek restoration with others at all times:

“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ [Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17] and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent” (Matthew 5:21-26).

As many have experienced when dealing with different offenses which can erupt in various ways during human interactions, one must be humble and contrite, coupled with strength and courage—to muster what it takes to obey Yeshua’s critical command to seek reconciliation with those offended. After all, the fleshly thoughts of people have a propensity to justify offensive behavior, by being convinced that whatever was done (right or wrong) can be rationalized by an indignation to protect one’s presumed self-interest. This attitude contradicts the thought of the Apostle Paul, who indicated how it is the Messiah who lived in him:

“I have been crucified with Messiah; and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Faithful followers of the Messiah should be dead to sin and instead slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:11-23)—and with this the willingness to seek restitution with others should prevail. Hence, we may find that the often-repeated expression, “two wrongs do not make a right,” is a clever reminder that people empowered by the Holy Spirit should, without hesitation, follow the commands of Yeshua to love one another. And we are also certainly told, “If possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people” (Romans 12:18, CJB). After all, like the words of Moses given to Israel as important direction and instruction—so the words of Yeshua and His Apostles have also been preserved, so that every born again Believer seeking His good pleasure can receive His approval as good and faithful servants.

Just like the promises of the Almighty One to Moses to never forsake Israel—Yeshua will never leave or forsake the redeemed in Him. But, He will be disappointed and limit Himself from us, if we persist to ignore His basic instructions, because we convince ourselves that we know better. Guess what? Our struggling flesh does not know better, despite its justifications. The sooner we confess this reality and obey His basic instructions, the sooner those called by His Name will achieve all that He has destined them to accomplish!

In this week of reflection leading to restitution, humble yourself while being strengthened and encouraged by the Living Word. Strive to be more useful in advancing His Kingdom, until the restoration of all things…

 

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Weekly Torah Readings: Vayalekh – One New Man Bible – Sep 14, 2018

Deuteronomy 31:1 – 31:30

Vayelekh

Moses’ Farewell

31.1. And Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2. And he said to them, “I am a hundred twenty years old this day. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the LORD* has said to me, ‘You will not go over this Jordan.’ 3. The LORD* your God, He is crossing over before you, He will destroy these nations from before you and you will possess them. Joshua is crossing over before you, as the LORD* has said. 4. And the LORD* will do to them as He did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites whom He destroyed, and to their land. 5.And the LORD* will give them up before your face, so you can do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6. Be strong! Be of good courage! Do not be in awe! Do not be terrified of them! The LORD* your God, it is He Who is going with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5)

31:7. And Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong! Be of good courage! For you must go with this people to the land which the LORD* has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you will cause them to inherit it.8. And the LORD*, it is He Who does go before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not be in awe! Do not be dismayed!”

31:9. And Moses wrote this teaching and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi who bore the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD* and to all the elders of Israel. 10. And Moses commanded them saying, “At the end of seven years, in the appointed time of the year of release, in the Feast of Sukkot 11. when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD* your God in the place which He will choose, you will read this Torah before all Israel in their hearing. 12. Gather the people together; men, women, children, and your stranger that is within your gates, so they can hear and so they will learn and revere the LORD* your God, and observe to do all the words of this teaching, 13. and so their children, who have not known anything, may hear and learn to revere the LORD* your God, as long as you live in the land where you are crossing over the Jordan to possess it.”

31:14. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Behold, your days are approaching when you must die. Call Joshua and present yourselves in the Tent of Meeting, so I can give him a charge.” And Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the Tent of Meeting. 15. And the LORD* appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood over the door of the Tent.

Faithlessness Coming

31:16. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Behold, you will sleep with your fathers, and this people will rise up and go astray after the gods of the strangers of the land, where they are going to be among them and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17. Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day and I shall forsake them and I shall hide My face from them, and they will be devoured and many evils and troubles will befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ 18. And I AM will surely hide My face in that day for all the evils which they will have wrought, in that they have turned to other gods. 19. Now therefore write this song for yourselves and teach it to the children of Israel. Put it in their mouths, so this song will be a witness for Me against the children of Israel. 20. For when I have brought them into the land, which I swore to their fathers, that flows with milk and honey and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then will they turn to other gods and serve them and provoke Me and break My covenant. 21. And it will be, when many evils and troubles befall them, that this song will testify against them as a witness, for it will not be forgotten out of the mouths of their descendants. I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.”

Moses Writes the Song of the Lord

31:22. And Moses wrote down this song the same day and taught it to the children of Israel. 23. And he commanded Joshua the son of Nun and said, “Be strong! Be of good courage! For you will bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore to them and the I AM will be with you.”

31:24. And it was when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this Torah in a scroll, until they were finished, 25.that Moses commanded the Levites who carried the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD* saying, 26. “Take this scroll of the Torah and put it beside the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD* your God, so it will be there as a witness against you. 27. For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against the LORD*, and how much more after my death? 28. Gather to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, so I can speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29. For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the Way which I have commanded you and evil will befall you in the latter days because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD*, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.”

31:30. And Moses spoke the words of this song in the ears of the whole congregation of Israel, until they were finished. (Click to Source)

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Answer to Prayer

Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?

A man is praying on a mountain top. (© Bigstock)
VA’ETCHANAN

We don’t always get what we ask for. Moses wanted to enter the promised land. More than anything, he wanted to finish the journey, cross the Jordan and stand on the soil of the holy land. God said, “No.”

Moses pleaded with the LORD, “Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan” (Deuteronomy 3:25). Ordinarily Moses got what he asked for. Whether he asked for miraculous provision, amazing signs and wonders, direct answers from heaven, or divine assistance and rescue, God heard the prayers of Moses and answered them immediately. But not even Moses got everything he wanted. Despite his earnest entreaties, God refused to allow Moses to enter Canaan. The LORD replied to his prayers, saying, “Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter” (Deuteronomy 3:26).

The LORD is gracious and compassionate. He delights to answer the prayers of His children. He opens His hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing. If an earthly father gives good gifts to his children when they ask him, how much more so does our heavenly Father delight to answer our prayers? Yeshua teaches us, “Whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:16). Nevertheless, the answer to prayer is sometimes “No.”

If God gave me everything I asked for in prayer, it would be the same as giving me the power of being God. I might arbitrarily change the color of the sky, reorganize the chemical composition of water, turn time backward or wish the universe out of existence. Obviously God has to reserve the right to say no to our prayers. James the brother of the Master says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3).

Even when we ask with the right motives, God still might have to say no. When we pray, we need to trust in God’s wisdom and kindness, knowing that He has our best interests in mind. Though we don’t always get an affirmative answer, we can be confident that our prayers are heard.

Just as Moses longed to enter the land, so too Yeshua awaits His return to Israel. He awaits the day of redemption when He can return at last to His land, His people and His disciples and thereby bring His great redemptive work to its conclusion. (Click to Source)

 

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TorahScope: Devarim – Words – The Fighting Father’s Promised Plan Reiterated – 15 July, 2018

Devarim

Words

Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
Isaiah 1:1-27

dcec7145b8ae0ac7c94c0b633d622d17-scripture-pictures-scripture-quotes

“The Fighting Father’s Promised Plan Reiterated”


by Mark Huey

This week as the final book of the Torah commences, our parashahDevarim, essentially begins a lengthy reiteration of the forty year desert sojourn of the Israelites, with reminders of the Lord’s promises sprinkled in among the testimony of a people challenged with trust in the Almighty. The aged prophet/leader, Moses, was fully aware of the stark reality that he would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land, so in an attempt to set the record straight once again for the Israelites, he recalled much of the itinerary with positive and negative testimonies of how various events transpired. However, what must have been a painful exercise in remembering the failures, Moses ultimately wanted the people to know that the Holy One would absolutely fulfill His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is also something that modern-day followers of Yeshua the Messiah should know without a shadow of doubt:

“In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the LORD had commanded him to give to them, after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei. Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this law, saying, ‘The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and set your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negev and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. See, I have placed the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their descendants after them”’” (Deuteronomy 1:3-8).

During the course of this week’s reading, we find some sound principles regarding how Israel’s chosen leader handled the challenges of guiding the recalcitrant brood of Israelites, from bondage in Egypt to the precipice of entering the Promised Land. But, understand that because of the sovereign call on the life of Moses and the level of unique intimacy he had with the Lord, speaking to him face to face (Exodus 33:11), Moses had a genuine fear of Him and knew that His words were without equivocation. This created a problem, because those whom Moses was leading did not have as much familiarity with the Lord, which inevitably manifested in not only challenges to his leadership—but also in how to spread the workload. Hence, one of the first things Moses did, as he communicated to the people of Israel, is that he reminded them that leadership responsibilities needed to be shared by wise, discerning, and experienced leaders and judges:

“I spoke to you at that time, saying, ‘I am not able to bear the burden of you alone. The LORD your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are this day like the stars of heaven in number. May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has promised you! How can I alone bear the load and burden of you and your strife? Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ You answered me and said, ‘The thing which you have said to do is good.’ So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and appointed them heads over you, leaders of thousands and of hundreds, of fifties and of tens, and officers for your tribes. Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him. You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’ I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do” (Deuteronomy 1:9-18).

Note in this description of the way judges were to handle the disputes, which they were to judge righteously and equitably, including issues between fellow native Israelites as well as the sojourners within the community. The emphasis witnessed, was not on fearing human people—but understanding the fear of the Lord, and that He is the ultimate judge of every person. This is a great reminder to anyone who is a part of today’s Body of Messiah, who either seeks, or is already recognized as one with the responsibilities of leadership in the community of faith. We may also wish to consider some of the requirements articulated by the Apostle Paul to his young disciple Timothy, who had the responsibility to sort out the leadership positions in the vicinity of Ephesus:

“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the [assembly] of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the [assembly], so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:1-7).

As members of the Body, it is imperative that people do not submit to leadership that does not qualify according to the tenor of the various principles laid out in the Holy Scriptures (i.e., 1 Timothy 3:8-13; Titus 1:5-16). We should each be most concerned about the thrust of what Moses communicates in Exodus 18:19-22 and Deuteronomy 16:18-20:

“Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burdenwith you” (Exodus 18:19-22).

“You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 16:18-20).

Note the emphasis in these two statements from Moses about the temptation of “dishonest gain,” and the perversion of monetary or compensatory “bribes” to judges. Clearly, this is a reminder of the Biblical axiom that the “love of money is the root of all sorts of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10a), and if greed or selfish ambition is detected in leadership, it should be an absolute warning that motivations are impure (Philippians 1:17; Romans 2:8). Be warned brothers and sisters! These temptations are rampant today, and such a cancerous infection in the Body of Messiah does much damage to the hearts and souls of sincere Believers! (Just read the Epistle of Jude for a sobering assessment.)

After recalling some aspects of leadership, our Torah reading turns to perhaps one of the most disappointing points in Israel’s desert sojourn, when the twelve spies returned from Canaan with contradictory reports. Lamentably, the lack of faith, exhibited by the ten spy majority, redirected the Israelites to nearly forty more years of wandering in the desert. The great emphasis placed by Moses, on this testimony, is that the people simply did not trust the Lord and the promises He had made to not only Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—but directly to Moses himself:

“I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do. ‘Then we set out from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, just as the LORD our God had commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. I said to you, “You have come to the hill country of the Amorites which the LORD our God is about to give us. ‘See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Then all of you approached me and said, ‘Let us send men before us, that they may search out the land for us, and bring back to us word of the way by which we should go up and the cities which we shall enter.’ The thing pleased me and I took twelve of your men, one man for each tribe. They turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the valley of Eshcol and spied it out. Then they took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they brought us back a report and said, “It is a good land which the LORD our God is about to give us.” Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God; and you grumbled in your tents and said, “Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, ‘The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large and fortified to heaven. And besides, we saw the sons of the Anakim there.’” Then I said to you, “Do not be shocked, nor fear them. The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.” But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go’”(Deuteronomy 1:18-33).

Despite the literal presence of the Almighty depicted in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day, the rebellious Israelites not only struggled with trust, but actually provoked the Lord to anger, resulting in the judgment of the Exodus generation. But then to further incite Him, the smitten Israelites foolishly decided to take on the Amorites without the guidance and protection of the Lord:

“Then the LORD heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, ‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the LORD fully.’ The LORD was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there. Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it. Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it. But as for you, turn around and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.’ Then you said to me, ‘We have sinned against the LORD; we will indeed go up and fight, just as the LORD our God commanded us.’ And every man of you girded on his weapons of war, and regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country. And the LORD said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you; otherwise you will be defeated before your enemies.”’ So I spoke to you, but you would not listen. Instead you rebelled against the command of the LORD, and acted presumptuously and went up into the hill country. The Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do, and crushed you from Seir to Hormah. Then you returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD did not listen to your voice nor give ear to you. So you remained in Kadesh many days, the days that you spent there’” (Deuteronomy 1:34-46).

Here, the great lesson to learn is that when one disobeys the Lord by lacking in faith in His Word—then do not attempt to rashly rectify the disregard for His commands by doing something in the flesh to make up for the transgression. It is better to simply confess the sin, seek forgiveness, and repent of the action—following this with praying and patiently waiting upon Him, so that whatever period of disfavor would dissipate and restoration would be achieved. For as stated to Moses years earlier, the Almighty is a long suffering Creator who forgives the iniquities of His children:

“Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations’” (Exodus 34:6-7).

In Deuteronomy ch. 2, Moses recalled the more recent episodes with the descendants of Esau (Edom), the descendants of Moab, and the descendants of Ammon. The various challenges with these people groups, in the final days of Israel’s sojourn, should remind the reader that the Holy One had made some promises to Esau regarding His descendants’ occupation of the Mount Seir region (Joshua 24:4), and even the incestuously-initiated offspring of Lot (Genesis 19:36-38). Apparently, according to further insight from the Apostle Peter, the Lord considered Lot righteous, despite his wine-induced indiscretions. Note that once again the warning for modern-day Believers about the association of intemperate alcohol consumption and the lustful indulgence of the flesh:

“[A]nd if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt hisrighteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord” (2 Peter 2:7-11).

Finally, as Devarim winds down to a conclusion, there is a strong statement for all to remember that ultimately followers of the Holy One of Israel are not to fear mere mortals, but to fear the Almighty. After all, it is He who fights for His people, not only in the physical realm, but equally important, in the spiritual battles that take place between human vessels:

“Then I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘The LORD your God has given you this land to possess it; all you valiant men shall cross over armed before your brothers, the sons of Israel. But your wives and your little ones and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall remain in your cities which I have given you, until the LORD gives rest to your fellow countrymen as to you, and they also possess the land which the LORD your God will give them beyond the Jordan. Then you may return every man to his possession which I have given you.’ I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings; so the LORD shall do to all the kingdoms into which you are about to cross. Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the one fighting for you’” (Deuteronomy 3:18-22).

Ultimately, as the reiteration of God’s promises to the children of Israel continue for the balance of the final book of the Torah, everyone should be reminded, not only of His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, etc. (and even a host of less-than-righteous people such as Ishmael, Esau, and others)—but that the Lord is the One fighting for His faithful followers. But it must be absolutely understood that the war with the saints is not only on the terrestrial plane, but also taking place in the Heavenly realm. The Apostle Paul summarizes what is recommended for all who engage in the warfare that is inevitable, until the Messiah returns:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly placesTherefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH [Isaiah 11:5], and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS [Isaiah 59:17], and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE [Isaiah 52:7]; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION [Isaiah 59:17], and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:10-19).

Whether one was a part of the Joshua generation preparing to possess the Promised Land millennia ago, or is among the modern-day followers of Messiah Yeshua—it is imperative that a fuller understanding of the Holy One and His ways, in order to fight the good fight of faith, is required. This is why it is highly recommended that people faithfully study through the Torah on a systematic basis (1 Corinthians 10:11), in order to learn the ways of the Lord—and most importantly—obey them. Without so doing, it would be comparable to unwisely entering into battle unarmed, unshielded, and with little if any hope of survival. The Apostle Paul reminded the Roman Believers about their true status as conquerors in Yeshua the Messiah, and how the redeemed will never be separated from the love of the Holy One:

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).

May one and all embrace a fuller understanding of our individual roles in advancing His Kingdom on Earth, through a more profound knowledge of His Word. May we obey it, while depending upon Him to fight our adversaries. Let us, proclaim His truths to the wicked in need of Yeshua’s salvation, that they might be transformed by His love and receive eternal redemption! (Click to Source)

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Weekly Torah Readings – One New Man Bible – D’varim – Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22 – Jul 20, 2018

from One New Man Bible translated by William Morford

D’varim

moses_speaks

The Last Two Months in the Wilderness

1.1. These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on the east side of the Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Reed Sea between Paran, Tophel, Laban, Hatserot, and Di Zahav. 2. It is an eleven days journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea. 3.And it was in the fortieth year in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, he spoke to the children of Israel according to all that the LORD* had given him in commandment to them, 4. after he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan who lived at Ashtarot in Edrei 5. on this side of the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses began to declare this teaching saying,

1:6. “The LORD* our God spoke to us in Horeb saying, ‘You have stayed long enough on this mountain, 7. turn and take your journey and go to the mountain of the Amorites, and to everywhere near it in the plain, in the hills, in the valley, in the south, and by the seaside to the land of the Canaanites, to Lebanon, to the great river, the river Euphrates. 8. Look, I have set the land before you: Go in! Possess the land which the LORD* swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them and to their seed after them!’

1:9. “And I spoke to you at that time saying, ‘I am not able to bear you myself alone. 10. The LORD* your God has multiplied you and, behold, you are this day like the stars of heaven for multitude. (Heb. 11:12) 11. May the LORD* God of your fathers make you a thousand times as many more as you are and bless you, as He has promised you! 12. How can I myself alone bear your great number, your burden, and your strife! 13. Take for yourselves wise, understanding men known among your tribes and I shall make them leaders over you.’

1:14. “And you answered me and said, ‘The thing which you have spoken is good for us to do.’

1:15. “So I took the chiefs of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, captains over hundreds, captains over fifties, captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. 16. And I charged your judges at that time saying, Hear the causes between your brothers and judge righteously between a man and his brother and the stranger that is with him. 17. You will not show favoritism in judgment, but you will hear the small as well as the great. You will not be afraid of the face of any man, for the judgment is God’s, and bring to me the cause that is too hard for you and I shall hear it. 18. And I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.

1:19. “And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and dreadful wilderness, which you saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD* our God commanded us and we came to Kadesh Barnea. 20. And I said to you, You have come to the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD* our God gives to us. 21. Behold, the LORD* your God has set the land before you. Go up! Possess it! As the LORD* God of your fathers has said to you, ‘Do not be in awe! Do not be dismayed!’

1:22. “And you came near to me, every one of you, and said, ‘We will send men before us and they will search out the land and bring us word again by what way we must go up and into what cities we will come.’ 23. And the saying pleased me and I took twelve of your men, one from a tribe. 24. And they turned and went up into the mountain and came to the valley of Eshkol and spied it out. 25. And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us and brought us word again and said, ‘It is good land which the LORD* our God gives to us.’ 26. Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD* your God 27. and you murmured in your tents and said, “Because the LORD* hated us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. 28. Where will we go? Our brothers have discouraged our heart saying, ‘The people is greater and taller than we, the cities are great and walled up to heaven, and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.’ 29. Then I said to you, ‘Do not dread or be afraid of them. 30. The LORD* your God Who goes before you, He will fight for you (Exod. 14:14, Deut. 3:22), according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31. and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD* your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came into this place.’ 32. Yet in this thing you did not believe the LORD* your God, 33. Who went on the way before you, to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, in fire by night to show you by what way you should go, and in a cloud by day.

1:34. “And the LORD* heard the sound of your words and was angry and swore saying, 35. ‘Surely there will not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I swore to give your fathers, 36. except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, he will see it and I shall give the land that he has walked on to him and to his children because he has wholly followed the LORD*.’ 37. Also the LORD* was angry with me for your sake saying, “You also will not go in there. 38. Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he will go there. Encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it. 39. Moreover your little ones that you said would be a prey and your children, who in that day had no knowledge between good and bad, they will go in there and I shall give it to them, and they will possess it. 40. But as for you, turn and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Reed Sea.’

1:41. “Then you answered and said to me, ‘We have sinned against the LORD*, we will go up and fight according to all that the LORD* our God commanded us.’ And when each man had girded on his weapons of war, you endeavored to go up the hill.

1:42. “And the LORD* said to me, ‘Say to them, Do not go up or fight, for I am not among you, lest you be struck before your enemies.’ 43. So I spoke to you and you would not listen, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD* and went presumptuously up the hill. 44. And the Amorites who lived on that mountain came out against you and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even to Harmah. 45. And you returned and wept before the LORD*, but the LORD* would not hearken to your voice, or give ear to you. 46. So you stayed in Kadesh many days, according to the days that you lived there.”

2.1. “Then we turned and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Reed Sea as the LORD* had spoken to me, and we stayed around Mount Seir many days.

2:2. “And the LORD* spoke to me saying, 3. ‘You have stayed around this mountain long enough! Turn northward! 4. And command the people saying, You are to cross the border of your brothers the children of Esau who live in Seir, and they will be afraid of you. Therefore be careful for yourselves. 5. Do not challenge or provoke them! I shall not give you any of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth because I have given Mount Seir to Esau for a possession. 6. You will buy meat from them for money, so you can eat, and you will also buy water from them for money, so you can drink. 7. For the LORD* your God has blessed you in all the works of your hand, He knows your walking through this great wilderness, you have lacked nothing these forty years. The LORD* your God has been with you.’ 8. And we passed by from our brothers the children of Esau, who lived in Seir, through the way of the plain from Elat and from Ezion Gever.

“And we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.  9. And the LORD* said to me, ‘Do not disturb the Moabites! Do not stir up a war with them! For I shall not give you any of their land for a possession because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession.’ 10. The Emim lived there in times past, a people great and many and tall like the Anakim. 11. They also were called Rephaim like the Anakim, but the Moabites called them Emim. 12. The Horites also lived in Seir earlier, but the children of Esau succeeded them when they destroyed them from before them, and lived in their place, as Israel did to the land of his possession, which the LORD* gave to them. 13. Now rise up I said, and cross the brook Zered.’

“And we went over the brook Zered. 14. And the days in which we came from Kadesh Barnea, until we had come over the brook Zered, were thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war had been consumed from among the army, as the LORD* swore to them. 15. For indeed the hand of the LORD* was against them, to destroy them from among the army, until they had been consumed.

2:16. “So it happened, when all the men of war had been consumed from among the people and were dead, 17. that the LORD* spoke to me saying, 18. ‘You are this day to cross the border of Moab with Ar. 19. And when you come near against the children of Ammon, do not distress them! Do not stir war with them! For I shall not give you any of the land of the children of Ammon for a possession because I have given it to the children of Lot for a possession.’ 20. (That also was called a land of Rephaim. Rephaim lived there earlier and the Ammonites called them Zamzummim, 21. a people great and numerous, and tall, like the Anakim, but the LORD* destroyed them before them. They succeeded them and lived in their stead, 22. as He did for the children of Esau, who lived in Seir, when He destroyed the Horim from before them and they succeeded them and stayed in their stead even to this day. 23. And the Avim who lived in Hazerim, to Gaza the Kaftorim, who came out of Kaftor, destroyed them and stayed in their stead.)”

Heshbon Conquered

2:24. “Get up! Take your journey and cross the river Arnon. Behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon and his land. Begin to possess and contend with him in battle. 25. This day I shall begin to put the dread of you and the awe of you upon the peoples that are under the whole heaven, who will hear reports about you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you.”

2:26. “And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemot to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace saying, 27.‘Let me pass through your land. I shall go along by the highway; I shall turn neither to the right hand nor to the left. 28.You will sell me meat for money, so I can eat and give me water for money, so I can drink, only I shall pass through on my feet. 29. As the children of Esau that dwell in Seir and the Moabites that live in Ar did with me until I shall cross over the Jordan into the land which the LORD* our God gives us.’ 30. But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, for the LORD* your God strengthened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, so He could deliver him into your hand as on this day.

2:31. “And the LORD* said to me, ‘Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before you. Begin to possess, so you can inherit his land.’

2:32. “Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. 33. And the LORD* our God delivered him before us and we struck him and his sons and all his people. (Num. 21:21-31) 34. And we took all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed the men, the women, and the little ones of every city, we left no one to remain. 35. We took only the cattle for a prey to ourselves and the spoil of the cities which we took. 36. From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon and from the city that is by the river, even to Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us. The LORD* our God delivered all to us. 37. It was only to the land of the children of Ammon that you did not come, or to any place of the river Jabbok or to the cities in the mountains or to whatever the LORD* our God forbade us.”

Bashan Conquered

3.1. “Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people to battle at Edrei. 2. And the LORD* said to me, ‘Do not be in awe of him! I shall deliver him and all his people and his land into your hand, and you will do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.’ (Num. 21:33-35) 3. So the LORD* our God also delivered Og into our hands, the king of Bashan and all his people, and we struck him until no one was left remaining. 4. And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we did not take from them, sixty cities, the whole region of Argov, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5. All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars besides a great many unwalled towns. 6. And we utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children of every city. 7. But we took all the cattle and the spoil of the cities for a prey for ourselves. 8. And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this, east, side of the Jordan, from the river of Arnon to Mount Hermon, 9. which Hermon the Sidonites call Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir, 10. all the cities of the plain and all Gilead and all Bashan, to Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11. For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the Rephaim, behold, his bedstead is a bedstead of iron, it is in Rabbat of the children of Ammon. Its length is nine cubits and its width is four cubits, after the cubit of a man.

3:12. “And this land, which we possessed at that time from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half of Mount Gilead and its cities, I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites. 13. And the rest of Gilead and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half tribe of Manasseh all the region of Argov, with all Bashan, which was called the land of Rephaim. 14.Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob to the border of Geshuri and Maachathi, and called them the Bashan after his own name, Havot Jair, to this day. 15. And I gave Gilead to Machir. 16. And to the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead even to the river Arnon, half the valley, and the border even to the river Jabbok, the border of the children of Ammon, 17. the plain also and the Jordan and its border from Kinneret even to the sea of the plain, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah eastward.

3:18. “And I commanded you at that time saying, The LORD* your God has given you this land to possess it. You will cross armed before your brothers the children of Israel, all that are enlisted for the war. 19. But your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, (I know that you have many cattle) will stay in your cities which I have given you 20. until the LORD* has given rest to your brothers, as well as to you and they also possess the land which the LORD* your God has given them beyond the Jordan, and then you will return, each man to his possession which I have given you. 21. And I commanded Joshua at that time saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD* your God has done to these two kings: so will the LORD* do to all the kingdoms where you possess. 22. You will not be in awe of them, for the LORD* your God, He will fight for you.’ (Exod. 14:14, Deut. 1:30) (Click to Source)

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Torah Commentary – Vezot ha’Bracha – “And this is the blessing” – SCRIPTURES FOR October 14, 2017

Vezot ha’Bracha
“And this is the blessing”
Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12

Joshua 1:1-18

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The Baton Passes On
This Shabbat’s readings mark the end of the Torah cycle. The scriptures we will read are maybe the most bittersweet of all the Torah. Moses finishes his message of Deuteronomy by speaking a blessing over the people he has led for the past forty years. I would imagine that as the words are coming to a close, each one becomes harder to speak than the last. He knows that in a very short time his life will end. Moses has run his race, but has been stopped just short of what he thought his finish line would be. He stands looking into a land he will never enter.
On the surface nothing seems fair. Moses deserves to go in. He made one mistake and it cost him dearly. The Hebrews made many mistakes, but they would soon be enjoying a land they did not deserve. Nothing seems to make sense here. Is there possibly something else to the message of Moses that makes it clearer? Let’s consider it.
When we think of Moses, we think of Torah. In fact, it is called the Torah of Moses. Moses would pass the baton of Torah to a man whose name is Joshua. At least that is his English name. In Hebrew, his name would be very close to the name of Messiah, Yeshua. After the death of Moses, Joshua would receive orders to never allow the Torah of Moses to depart from him. He was to meditate on it day and night. He would also meet a man who was referred to as the Captain of The Army of Yah.   I believe the scripture is very clear through the actions of Joshua that this man was indeed the Messiah, Yeshua. It would be after Joshua’s acceptance of the challenge and revelation of this man that he indeed would enter into the Promised Land with the Hebrews. It would be as he continued in the orders and revelation that he would lead the Hebrews to possess what had been promised to them many years earlier.
So what is the message to us today? Could it be that Yah is telling us that Torah alone will not lead us into the fullness of Yah’s promises? Could it be that simply going through Torah year after year will only bring us to the shore of our own Jordan, but never allow us to cross over? Could it be that we are being told through this account to, with a firm grasp of Torah in our heart, move on? We are to look for a person whose name is similar to the successor of Moses, who will lead us on? A man who not only is the Captain of the army of Yah, but in fact is the embodiment of the Torah?
The message that I see as I look at the complete account is this; Torah alone will not lead us into the fullness of His promises, nor will we ever be allowed to enter in without Torah. It will be as we firmly grasp the Living and the Written Torah, never allowing ourselves to lose focus of the two as one, that we will enter in.
As a final thought leading into our new Torah Cycle I would like to share a quote from Barry Phillips. Please read Psalm 40:7 first for the full meaning. “Torah reveals the Redeemer while in itself offering no redemption.” You may need some time to let that one soak in. (Click to Site)

 

Shabbat Shalom! – Weekly Torah Readings: Vayalekh – Deuteronomy – Sep 22, 2017

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Vayelekh

Moses’ Farewell

31.1. And Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2. And he said to them, “I am a hundred twenty years old this day. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the LORD* has said to me, ‘You will not go over this Jordan.’ 3. The LORD* your God, He is crossing over before you, He will destroy these nations from before you and you will possess them. Joshua is crossing over before you, as the LORD* has said. 4. And the LORD* will do to them as He did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites whom He destroyed, and to their land. 5. And the LORD* will give them up before your face, so you can do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6. Be strong! Be of good courage! Do not be in awe! Do not be terrified of them! The LORD* your God, it is He Who is going with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5)

31:7. And Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong! Be of good courage! For you must go with this people to the land which the LORD* has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you will cause them to inherit it.8. And the LORD*, it is He Who does go before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not be in awe! Do not be dismayed!”

31:9. And Moses wrote this teaching and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi who bore the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD* and to all the elders of Israel. 10. And Moses commanded them saying, “At the end of seven years, in the appointed time of the year of release, in the Feast of Sukkot 11. when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD* your God in the place which He will choose, you will read this Torah before all Israel in their hearing. 12. Gather the people together; men, women, children, and your stranger that is within your gates, so they can hear and so they will learn and revere the LORD* your God, and observe to do all the words of this teaching, 13. and so their children, who have not known anything, may hear and learn to revere the LORD* your God, as long as you live in the land where you are crossing over the Jordan to possess it.”

31:14. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Behold, your days are approaching when you must die. Call Joshua and present yourselves in the Tent of Meeting, so I can give him a charge.” And Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the Tent of Meeting. 15. And the LORD* appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood over the door of the Tent.

Faithlessness Coming

31:16. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Behold, you will sleep with your fathers, and this people will rise up and go astray after the gods of the strangers of the land, where they are going to be among them and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17. Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day and I shall forsake them and I shall hide My face from them, and they will be devoured and many evils and troubles will befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ 18. And I AM will surely hide My face in that day for all the evils which they will have wrought, in that they have turned to other gods. 19. Now therefore write this song for yourselves and teach it to the children of Israel. Put it in their mouths, so this song will be a witness for Me against the children of Israel. 20. For when I have brought them into the land, which I swore to their fathers, that flows with milk and honey and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then will they turn to other gods and serve them and provoke Me and break My covenant. 21. And it will be, when many evils and troubles befall them, that this song will testify against them as a witness, for it will not be forgotten out of the mouths of their descendants. I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.”

Moses Writes the Song of the Lord

31:22. And Moses wrote down this song the same day and taught it to the children of Israel. 23. And he commanded Joshua the son of Nun and said, “Be strong! Be of good courage! For you will bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore to them and the I AM will be with you.”

31:24. And it was when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this Torah in a scroll, until they were finished, 25.that Moses commanded the Levites who carried the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD* saying, 26. “Take this scroll of the Torah and put it beside the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD* your God, so it will be there as a witness against you. 27. For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against the LORD*, and how much more after my death? 28. Gather to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, so I can speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29. For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the Way which I have commanded you and evil will befall you in the latter days because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD*, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.”

31:30. And Moses spoke the words of this song in the ears of the whole congregation of Israel, until they were finished. (Click to Site)

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