In last week’s Torah portion (Kitavo) we saw Moshe draw up a contrast of instructions to the Jewish people of how following Adonai’s Torah will result in blessings, compared to not following His Torah will lead them to curses. A very harsh description was painted to indicate that not following Adonai’s Torah will result in things going bad, a lot of people dying and Israel having to suffer a great ordeal, to the point of even being exile to the outer most part of the world. This appeal is the bases of rewards vs. punishment and it’s clearly marked out for them. In this week’s portion Moshe will continue his exhortations to B’nai Yisrael to do what is right and even give them a sort of mini road map of what to do.
I want to first point out that Moshe’s admonitions isn’t anything new, meaning that instructions of following Hashem and being blessed (life) compared to disobeying Hashem leading to curses (death), have been there even in the beginning of time and will continue to be seen, even at the end of days. A sort of book markers is clearly seen, when we look at what was said in the first chapters of the book of Genesis to what we read in the latter chapters of Deuteronomy, compared with what we see in Genesis (Torah, the first book marker) to Revelation (Brit Hadasha, the last book marker), another sort of road map given to us in a much greater scale.
Gen 2:16-17 “God gave the man a commandment, saying, “you may definitely eat from every tree of the garden. But from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, do not eat, for on the day you eat from it, you will definitely die,”
And at the End of Days we read in
Revelation 22:12-14 “Pay attention!” [says Yeshua,] “I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city!” CJB
Jewish people (Chabad.org) point out that this Torah portion is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah and that it contains some of the most fundamental principles of the Jewish faith, these principles are:
1. The Unity of Israel, Deu 29:9
2. The Future Redemption, Deu 30:1-10
3. The Practicality of Torah, Deu 30:11-14
What I would like to do is to bring these points out into the light of Moshiach Yeshua, on how significant these fundamentals are to what has been written in the Brit Hadasha. In the beginning of this portion we have the Covenant Renewed, since the original covenant at Mt. Sinai was violated with the worshipping of the Golden Calf. The worshipping of the “Eggel Hazahav” has completely changed the terms of the covenant with Hashem, even though it’s the same covenant; it has major differences and additions. The curses that we read about staring in Deu 27:14-26 is one of the major additions to the covenant, besides of course the establishment of a Mishkan and the sacrificial services found in Exodus and Leviticus. Keep this in mind when we’ll see prophecies of another renewal of this covenant, found in Jeremiah 31:31-33 and what the true meaning of these additions are later fulfilled in Yeshua, which is the Brit Hadasha.
The unity of Israel that we see here in Deu 29:9-11 is a major principle inside of Judaism called “Arvut”, which means that all Israel are responsible for one another. This is the reason that the whole of Israel is nitzavim "standing" here. Verse 9 is talking to the unity of Israel at that time, but in verse 13 it says that not only with them, but with both the ones that are there and the ones that aren’t there yet. This unity is what Yeshua’s speaks of him being sent to gather the lost sheep of Israel; Mat 12:24 & Mat 10:5-6 when ordering His disciples to go preach the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven, the priority is clearly set to have Israel hear this good new first. The prayer of Yeshua in John 17 with an emphasis in verses 21-23 is a great example of how he was willing and prayerfully wanting this unity of Arvut. Rabbi Shaul repeats the concept of Arvut in Rom 13:1-7, which is specifically speaking of being responsible to Jewish authority found in those time in the synagogues.
The words “It shall come to pass” are understood as a Future Redemption (Deu 30:1-10) as most Jewish sages have commented to be the Restoration of the kingdom of David and it'll be Moshiach who will be accomplishing this. Acts 3:19-21 But this is how God fulfilled what he had announced in advance, when he spoke through all the prophets, namely, that his Messiah was to die. “Therefore, repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be erased; so that times of refreshing may come from the Lord’s presence; and he may send the Messiah appointed in advance for you, that is, Yeshua. He has to remain in heaven until the time comes for restoring everything, as God said long ago, when he spoke through the holy prophets.
The Practicality of Torah, Deu 30:11-14 that we read here is quoted to mean Yeshua , as He's the fulfillment of the Torah Rom 10:4. And in Rom 10:5-10 For Moshe writes about the righteousness grounded in the Torah that the person who does these things will attain life through them. Moreover, the righteousness grounded in trusting says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend to heaven?’’ that is, to bring the Messiah down or, “‘Who will descend into Sh’ol?’” that is, to bring the Messiah up from the dead. What, then, does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.” that is, the word about trust which we proclaim, namely, that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be delivered. For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgement and thus continues toward deliverance.”
Yeshua can easily be seen as the guarantor for the Jewish people, their Arvut, because he was the only person who walked blameless in Torah. His willingness to be the sacrifice that the Torah mentions was to remove the external curses that lead into judgment for the Jewish people for breaking the covenant. The goal of the New Covenant is to remove the sins of Israel, meaning the circumcision of the heart mention here in Deu 30:6. Relating the work of Yeshua is the fulfilling of these principles found in Judaism and the outcome is established in Messianic Judaism that we see in the Brit Hadasha. All this great news is not only for the Jewish people who are part of the covenant, but also for us non-Jews who are seen standing together with the Jewish people, just how we see it in the past, it’ll be in the future when one day we all be standing "nitzavim" in the presence of Hashem.