Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ki Tavo "When you go in"



Davarim (Deuteronomy)26:1 - 29:8


This weeks Sidra is titled כִי תָבוֹא (Ki Tavo) which means "When you go in." The first parasha begins "When you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it-." Moses continues to reiterate the obligations and responsibilities that will befall the children of Israel as they enter the promised land. The majority of the topic of this weeks Sidra revolves around the "Blessing" if you obey HaShem your God, and the "Curses" if you choose to disobey HaShem’s commandments.


As Moses begins his dialogue on the blessings and curses he reminds them to follow the commands of HaShem. Davarim 26:16-19, "The Lord your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey Him. And the Lord has declared this day that you are His people, His treasured possession as He promised, and that you are to keep all His commands. He has declared that He will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations He has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as He promised." From Moses’s introduction here of the blessing and the curses, we can see the importance that he gives to following HaShem’s commands, decrees and laws.


The Bible version used for this scripture comes from the NIV. And as I was also investigating this Sidra from the Chumash, I noticed a slight difference in the translations. The very last word used in the NIV translation of verse 13 is the word "promised". The Hebrew word for "promised" is
שָבַּע (sha-ba) meaning "to swear an oath, to make a sworn promise. But the word used in the Hebrew that was changed to שָבַּע for the word promised is דִבֵּר (dibber) speaker or word, it comes from the root word דָבַּר (dabar) to speak or to declare. This translation is not totally incorrect, for the word דִבֵּר has been used many times to allude to HaShem’s promises which He has promised for our obedience. But the deeper significance of the word דִבֵּר or "the word that HaShem spoke" gives us a significant understanding of His message to us. I will remez back to Davarim 18:17-20, "The Lord said to me: "What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death." I have italicized and underlined any word in the Hebrew that stems from the root word דָבַּר. There are seven references to the word דָּבַּר in this passage. HaShem makes it very clear that it is His word that is to be obeyed and that there is punishment for those who declare a word that is not from him. Of course the context of this scripture initially was speaking of Joshua and was prophetic to Yeshua. The immediate context is to the obedience and the importance of HaShem’s word.


We are further reminded of HaShem’s דָבַּר, word, in Isaiah 55:10-11, "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." HaShem’s word, described here as a verb, something in action with a purpose to accomplish a goal. Of course we know this scripture to be fulfilled in Yeshua from John 1:14, "The word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." The spoken word of HaShem made physical to tabernacle with His people.


Our reading from the Torah tells us in V.17 that "You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in His ways, that you will keep His decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey Him." Yeshua tells us in John 14:15, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." By our obedience we do declare that it is HaShem Who is our God and that it is Him who we love. Our reading from the Torah tells us in VV.18,19 that "And the Lord has declared this day that you are His people, His treasured possession as He "spoke" (promised), and that you are to keep all His commands. He has declared that He will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations He has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as HaShem spoke (as He promised.)" Yeshua tells us in John 14 "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." HaShem and Yeshua in our presence and in our homes, the evidence of that being set in praise, fame and honor. To obey Yeshua’s teaching, to obey the word of HaShem that became flesh, to obey the word of HaShem before the word became flesh, to obey the דָבַּר.   HaShem spoke this evidence through the mouth of Yeshua as making their home with us.


Yeshua says about the words that He speaks is that "These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." This word that HaShem sent will not return to Him empty, but will accomplish all that HaShem desires. It is not enough to say that it is HaShem’s promise to use that we will be blessed if we obey His commands, laws and decrees, but it is what He spoke. His words are not just words, rather, since He as already spoken them they are a part of nature, they are real and they are for those who dare test HaShem, to fully take part in His covenant. These blessings are ours, and so are the curses if that is what we so choose. HaShem has called us to be for Him His treasured possession and to observe all, not some, but all His commands. By this we will be supreme over all the nations that He made, to Him for praise, for renown, and for splendor and so that we will be a holy, set apart people to HaShem, just as He spoke.

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