Parashah Shof’tim (Judges)

When I read this parasha I think to myself that when God let Moshe go to the top of the mountain to show him The Land, maybe He also showed him the future. If not, Moshe was truly a prophet because , as he says in this parashah, they will know a prophet is truly speaking God’s word when what the prophet says will happen comes to be. Moshe is telling the people their future: they will have judges but will want a king. The king will marry too many wives (it’s implied they will be foreigners), become entangled in their religious practices and fall away from God. The kings will have too many horses, representing power and military strength, and will stop depending on God for military victory but count on their own strength. Moshe also told them if they don’t completely destroy the people that God says they are to destroy that will become another thorn in their side, an entanglement which will also pull the people away from worshipping God as they should. Finally, Moshe said (one of the Messianic prophecies) that God would raise up a prophet like him to lead the people, and he warned them that if they don’t listen to the prophet they will suffer. This is a dual-prophecy, occurring both in the immediate future (i.e.,  the prophets that came up to the time of the Maccabees) and in the distant future, which is when Yeshua, the ultimate and final prophet, appeared to the people.

Every single one of these warnings came true. During the time of the Judges, as we read in the book of the same name, we are often told that people had no king and they did as they wanted to do. Saul screwed up, David did as good as anyone ever did and would until the coming of Yeshua, yet he committed adultery, murder, and held a census that caused the death of thousands. Solomon, with all his wisdom, married “out of the family” with hundreds of wives and fell into their practices. The kings of Shomron (Israel, the Northern Kingdom) well, geez- they never even came close! And after Yoshiyahu, the Judean kings got worse and worse. All this time the peoples that were not destroyed continually polluted the worship of the people. And, eventually, the people were ejected from their inheritance, as Moshe said would happen.

Praise God that today we are seeing the collection of His people from all over the world returning to the Land. It’s better to be at this end of the prophecy than the other end.

The lesson here is pretty simple: do as God says and you will be fine; reject Him, and you are in deep doo-doo.

We are told that everything we do we need to do with God in mind. Everything we say we need to remember will be held against us at Judgement (Yeshua tells us this in Matthew.) Everything we need (note: not everything we want)  God will provide if we ask for it and trust in Him. Everything…everyday…always…forever…throughout all your generations…getting the picture? God talks to us in terms of eternity. That’s what He sees- He sees us now and in the future, and throughout all eternity, so He talks to us with an eternal focus. We can’t see past our own noses. Another really good reason to listen to God. Yeshua tells us when the blind lead the blind they both fall into a hole. Moses is seeing the future. He is able to see the holes that we, stiff-necked and prideful, are blind to. Throughout this parasha Moses is leading us, but we refused to accept his guidance, which came directly from God, and look at how often we fell into holes for the next, what? 1,500 years? Truth be told, we have been falling into holes from that time until this very day.

Let God be your guide, let Adonai be your Docent on the tour of life, let the Lord take you by the hand and lead you to the Promised Land. And accept Yeshua as your travel agent, setting you up with the Almighty for the trip of a lifetime; no, not the trip of a lifetime. The trip of an Eternity.

Comments welcomed (just be nice)