Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Parasha Ekev (If you Follow)

Parasha עֵקֶב Ekev  - “if [you follow]”

Truly history is cyclic, no matter how you want to philosophy on the matter, the reality is that history is cyclic.  Why do I make such statement, because it is the truth!  As much as a duck is a duck, even if someone with the gift of the gab, just paints it as an exotic bird, it is still a duck. In this parasha we see the instructions from Moshe about what needs to happen before they enter the promised land.  This are the last words that he spoke before he was to depart from amongst his people and join his ancestors until the day of redemption and the resurrection of the dead. 

But before we delve on the chapter that I believe is the core of why we endure hardship and trials, I would like to go back at the beginning of the last book of the parasha reading cycle, Devarim. Deuteronomy 1:1: These are the words (אלה הדברים Ele HaDevarim) which Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah over against Suf, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.  Interesting enough these are the same words that Meshiach spoke to his talmidim just before he ascended to the right hand of the Father HaShem. Luke 24:44: And He said to them, These are the words (ויאמר אליהם אלה הדברים Veyomer aleihem ele hadevarim) which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms about Me.  I must say I cannot take credit for finding the correlation of these two passages; Pastor Art Palecek from El Shaddai Ministries pointed this out.  But here we see that Moses, the messiah of the children of Israel, whom was at the forefront of the exodus, was saying like a father to his children.  Listen behave yourselves remember your past, learn and do not misbehave.

Yeshua does the same thing, however this time around he did not just leave some instructions and a written Torah, he additionally leaves a promise that comes to pass in Shavuot, the giving of the Ruach HaKodesh.  Instruction on what to do and how to live life in order to achieve not only personal salvation but also the redemption of the children of Israel, and its promised land, a combination of Torah and Ruach.

So why I am just looking at one chapter, namely chapter eight, of this parasha what is so special about this chapter?  Well if you look closely there a few repetitions in the passage, and when repetitions occur anywhere in the Torah, one must pay attention, as they are not grammatical errors, but rather emphasis for us to pay attention.  Now lets look at these repetitions, the key words follow:  commandment x5, humble x3, remember x2, perish x3, keep x3, and YHVH (LORD) x13.

So the passage summates the whole Torah and Brit HaDasha. Why would I say this? In the garden of Eden YHVH commanded Adam that he must be fruitful and multiply, here in 8:1 the same commandment is given be fruitful and multiply.  That does not mean become a fruitarian and a mathematician, no it means, make the best of your life, it’s a mitzvot, be prosperous, but not the cheap prosperity that has been going on around.  Yeshua himself quotes the same passages when he was tempted by HaSatan see Devarim 8:3 “but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of YHVH”.  The whole of the gospel that Yeshua preached whilst on earth can be found deep within these passages, all you have to do is some digging.

Yeshua’s ministry was to return the peoples heart to HaShem to repent as the kingdom is at hand that was the core of his message, YHVH is referenced 13 times in this passage, additionally, remember is mentioned twice and all else points to HaShem, the giver of all things.  Keep the Torah and His commandments that you may live and not perish that was why Yeshua came and gave so much for and to us. 

That is the reason why he came and became the perfect korban so that we may repent, stop doing what we used to do in contravention with HaShem’s commandments and turn back to Him.  He is the way to the Father; through Yeshua we are now able to approach His Holy courts, as it was in the time of the tabernacle and sacrificial system, however this time around it was not the blood of animals but the perfect korban of Messiah.

Another very important message of this parasha is that the humbling process is ongoing, so that we do not think that we achieved all things in life through our own strength.  We humans area proud lot, and is for this reason that trials and tribulations are allowed so us to humble us and recognize that nothing comes out of our own strength, that all comes from HaShem and without Him we cannot exist.  That was the Message found in the Torah, and the same message that Yeshua taught his Talmidim (disciples) and it continues to be to this day, an unchanging message of love and redemption, but in order to get there we need to humble ourselves before we can enter His courts.  Nothing unholy shall be in his presence, pride and holiness is like oil and water. Pride rejects the notion of God and His existence His Being, however a humble attitude, relies on HaShem’s presence.  It is up to each individual which way to take.  Life has two outcomes death and life, how we live determines our destination, life at the resurrection of the dead for those that kept His commandments or death for those that choose to turn and do their own thing, the ones that chose to be proud and resisted the call of HaShem.  My choice and my choice alone, no one is forcing me either way, the question is your pride on the way of your final destination? 

One final thought, the final destination should not be our only goal in life, living the kingdom of God here on earth is another major part of it.  When Yeshua taught us how to pray, he said “Thy Kingdom come. 
Thy will be done in earth, 
As it is in heaven.”  His kingdom has partially come, we know who the real Messiah is, and that He is coming to establish his Kingdom on earth, and His will be done on earth as it is on heaven through us his emissaries, if you follow….Food for though.

1 comment:

  1. I can't get pass how happy I am that I don't have to be a mathematician or a fruitarian. But seriously, we have been discussing the cyclic nature of life and when we compare how Israel's humbling wilderness experience lasted 40 years and then Yeshua was in the desert for 40 days. Both experiences had one resonating lesson - the hardships teach us that "man does not live by bread alone, but by everything that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD." (Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4)