Torah Commentary – Shof’tim (Judges) – Giving Yah Our Best – SCRIPTURES FOR August 26, 2017

Torah Commentary
Shof’tim (Judges)
Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9
Isaiah 51:12-52:13
Matthew 5:38-42; 18:15-20
Acts 3:13-26; 7:35-53

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Giving Yah Our Best
The deeper I read into the book of Deuteronomy I find such richness in its Truths.  Each week I am challenged to single out only one or two points to reflect on. It is important to me to help set the stage for your own focus in seeking Father within these words. Seeking Him first and honoring Him with our best is the focus of this weekly commentary.
This week we are told to seek righteousness, by making sure Torah is being written upon our hearts not simply a quick read. With passion we are to be like Moses in upholding Torah. We read about preparing ourselves to live in cities and houses we did not build. There is a message revealed within this Torah portion that is inherent to understanding so as to comprehend the rest of its meaning.
In Deuteronomy 17:1 we are told not to bring a sacrifice with a defect or anything wrong with it. This is to not only be a starting point for this Torah portion, but a necessary instruction to understand more of our relationship with our Father.
You might be saying to yourself, “We don’t have sacrifices to bring today.” Rethink this thought and consider these actions as sacrifices for today. Our time spent in prayer, especially in the busyness of today’s society. Adding a 9:00am and 3:00pm alarm on your phone as a reminder to recite the Shema requires a commitment. What about the dedication to honor and observe Shabbat? Include the time set aside for Bible study. Even consider preparation and observance of Father’s Appointed Times. Along with preparation, what about setting aside ten percent of our income, as well as the additional funds for the Feasts, the widow, orphan and restoration of the Land and people of Israel? All of these actions require a sacrificial commitment of time, thought and energy to carry out for the glory of our King! Are we setting aside the best of our “flock” that is without spot or blemish or just whatever feels good to us?
There are many events and people that stand out in my childhood. Probably the most influential was my grandmother. She taught me many things about God through her actions. I recall one specific act that stood out to me regarding her giving unto the Father. Granny was not a rich woman and yet she never went without. Her life of faith impacted many people. This memory is especially important to me and reflected my thoughts in this commentary regarding giving your best.
At probably the age of eight or nine I would go with granny to the bank so she could deposit her social security check. I especially enjoyed the trip because the teller had a sucker for me! Granny would hand the check to the teller to be deposited and receive some cash back. The cash back was her preset tithe. Sure, this is normal procedure for many people. The point that stuck out to me was that Granny always asked for the withdrawal to be in new bills. The following Sunday when the offering plate was passed through the pews granny would sometimes give me the envelope with those crisp new bills to put in the plate. She did not have to explain to me her reasoning. I understood the lesson lived before my eyes. Granny wanted new bills; she saw it as a way of giving her best. That story may sound a bit silly to some, but even as I am writing, the memory brings tears to my eyes. The lesson I learned from that small action as a young child was to bring your best to the King in respect and reverence. (Click to Site)

 

Torah Commentary – Devarim “Words” – A More Excellent Work – SCRIPTURES FOR July 29, 2017

Torah Commentary
Devarim “Words”
Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
Isaiah 1:1-27
1Kings 16-18
John 15:1-11
Hebrews 3:7-4:11

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A More Excellent Work
This week we begin the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the final message of Moses to the people he has grown to love. Although they have given Moses many days of heartache through the forty year wilderness journey, in the end his love for them cannot be measured. I am not sure the Hebrews could grasp the depth of his love. Moses’ calling is near completion as he stands, possibly with tears running down his cheeks, to give one last message to Israel. Moses completed the task he was called to. He delivered the people out of the bondage of Egypt and took them as far as he could go. Now he must turn the reins over to another chosen by HaShem. Joshua will take Israel the final steps home.
As we continue through this last book of Torah we will learn that even Moses knows they will not remain in the Land. Sadly, forty years in the desert and the death of all those that were twenty and older, has not completely cleansed the community of the Egyptian mindset. The heart of Egypt was passed down to their children. Yes, their children will enter the Promise Land, but in the end they will not be allowed to remain. The physical deliverance from Egypt would not be enough to sustain them in the Land. A power far greater than Moses was needed to complete the inward work of true deliverance from the Egyptian culture for the Hebrews to be able to maintain the set apart lifestyle needed to abide in Israel.
I see this scenario of the Hebrews being lived out once again today. The “Hebrew Roots Movement” has repeated history in leading a type of physical deliverance as Moses did centuries ago. Hebraic Roots is empowering people with important knowledge to bring about a mighty exodus from paganism. It has been a deliverance involving mostly external choices. We no longer dress up as horror characters for candy, decorate trees or hide eggs. Our menu selection at the grocery store and restaurants has dramatically changed. Worship celebrations have Scriptural foundations tied to Biblical dates of observance. Many of us even look to the New Moon because we understand further the first verse of Genesis which tells us to see the moon as a sign. What I want to evaluate is whether our journey has just been physical. Have we truly made more progress in the crossing over than the Hebrews? Are we still standing on the wrong side of the river?  Have we opened our hearts to a deeper relationship with the Most High so that His Spirit can passionately flow through us to overflow onto others? Are we maintaining a solid relationship with our King that we forget life across the river? Will the bond be so tight to guard us from being expelled from the Land before we ever arrive? (Click to Site)