As we continue through D’Varim (Words, also called Deuteronomy) we hear Moshe going from ordering Israel what to do when they enter the land, to reminding and re-enforcing their covenant with God, to prophesying about the future. In fact, he talks as if he already knew what is going to happen to them in the future. I believe that this may have been shown to him by Adonai when Moshe was on the mountaintop looking over the Land.
In this parashah Moshe, again, tells the people to worship Adonai and not idols and what will happen when they turn from God. He tells them the covenant that day is not like the one their fathers made because it is not just for them there, at that time, but for them and everyone coming after them. This is the generation that was not born into slavery, and they are the ones that receive the promise made to their fathers about entering the land because their fathers broke faith with Adonai. So, it seems right that the covenant that their fathers broke should be reconfirmed with them.
Moshe, like all the prophets, told of the horrible things that will happen when the people reject God, but ends up with the wonderful promise of re-gathering the people after they do T’Shuvah and return to God. Here’s the part I love to hear- in chapter 30, verse 6 Moshe tells that God promises to circumcise the hearts of the people when they return to Him. The Haftarah portion that is usually read is Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 61:10-63:9, but I would like to respectfully recommend another Haftarah- Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 31:31.
Why? Well, the Yesha’yahu reading is the prophecy about returning to the land, and that is a wonderful and beautiful expectation of the end times, when we are back in the Land of our Fathers. But it misses the Messianic vision that Moshe gives, which is that God will circumcise the hearts of the people, which is what He promises through the vision of Yirmeyahu, also known as The New Covenant. That’s the promise of Messiah, isn’t it? That we will turn to God, we will have our hearts circumcised, the Ruach HaKodesh will be within us, and we won’t even need to ask people if they know the Lord, because we all will know Him. He will be in us, and we will be in Him.
There is an old Jewish expression that the Torah should be a mirror, so that when I look into it I see myself. That isn’t happening yet; at least, not to me. It is similar, in my mind, to when Shaul talks about Torah and salvation and says it is like looking into a clouded or shadowy mirror, where we can’t see clearly the reflection but we will when we are completed in Messiah (pardon me for paraphrasing a bit there.)
The Tanakh has many Messianic prophecies, and the B’rit Chadashah is where we see these prophecies fulfilled by Yeshua, yet there are Messianic passages in the Tanakh that are ignored by the Rabbinical world. For instance, one of the best known (if that is a good way to define it) examples is the fact that of all the writings of Yesha’yahu that are used for Haftarah reading, the one never used is Yesha’yahu 53, which is one of the most important and obvious references to the Messiah and points directly to Yeshua. Yet, it is ignored. I wonder if the reason they recommend Yesha’yahu 61 for this parashah instead of Yirmeyahu 31 is also somewhat bigoted, trying to ignore the obvious reference to Messianic prophecy.
I don’t disagree that the recommended Haftarah is appropriate, because Moshe does, indeed, talk about the gathering of Israel from all the parts of the world where she was scattered. Perhaps because I am Messianic, and understand; no, not just understand, but am gratified by and look for, the Messianic prophecies that point to Yeshua in the Tanakh I think Yirmeyahu is more appropriate here.
You need to decide which Haftarah is best for you. As I say often in this ministry-blog of mine, you need to take responsibility for your own salvation. Don’t trust me or anyone else to make the decision of what to believe and what not to believe for you: you make that for yourself. Because, no matter what you end up doing, no matter who decided that you should do that or believe this, when you meet up with the Lord He will hold you accountable for your beliefs and actions and words. You. Not the Rabbi, not the Minister, not the Priest, not the Reverend, not even Yo Mama!. It’s all on you! So, read the Parashah, read the recommended Haftarah and read Yirmeyahu, then ask God to show you what you should get out of this. After all, it’s His word and He knows best what you need to know from it.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll see something no one else has been given the sight to see in His word. In Chapter 29, verse 28(29) Moshe tells us the things that are hidden belong to God and things that have been revealed belong to us, and our children forever. Maybe God has something hidden that He wants to reveal to you.
You won’t ever get that revelation if you don’t read His word.