This is the first parashah message I have given in nearly three weeks, due to vacations and such, so it is nice to be back.
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Moses has just finished giving the people his discourse on what will happen when they obey the Lord, which will be blessings upon blessings in the land. And he also told them what will happen when they reject God and disobey: they will suffer curses upon curses, leading to death, destruction, and ultimately ejection from their land.
Now he holds them, as well as their offspring there with them that day and those that haven’t even been born yet, to cleave onto God and his Torah; otherwise, the destruction he told them God will send upon them will happen. Then, prophetically, Moses tells them that after they reject God, and after all these terrors and curses come on them, and after they have been dispersed among all the nations, they will finally turn their hearts back to God who will then bring them back into their land.
Let’s talk about one of the things Moses tells the people, which is that those who know the Torah and what God wants, but secretly say to themselves (as if we could keep any secrets from God!) that they will still do whatever their sinful heart’s desire is to do, well, they will be found out and separated from the people.
He says that if anyone thinks that because he or she is among the righteous that God will not destroy them because the righteous provide a sort of protection, like fish swimming in a school, well…that ain’t gonna work! God will seek out and find the ones who purposefully defy him and they will suffer.
I wondered why anyone thought God would ignore their sins just because they are among righteous people. Perhaps they got this idea from the story of Abraham negotiating with God for Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16-33)? After all, Abraham sort of called God out, asking why the judge of the earth would destroy the righteous with the unrighteous, and God went along with him, promising not to destroy the entire city if he found as few as 10 righteous men in it.
We all know what happened with that
But this is not the case, anymore. These people aren’t the pagans living in Sodom, no- these are God’s chosen, the ones he brought out of Egypt, and they are seen by God as one people, a single unit. If one should sin, they are all guilty, especially if they do not do something about it.
What about us, today? Do we see sin and do nothing about it? The answer is a resounding, “You bet!”, but to some degree, there isn’t a whole lot we can do. We can’t stone sinners we know, we cannot remove people from public office without going through the proper channels, which could take years. We cannot just move to another town or country as they could back then because our society is so much more complex and interwoven.
No, we see sin and we want to do something about it, but in many ways we are helpless, and that is really sad because God will punish the sinful country, and the good and the bad alike will suffer.
What we can do is maintain our faith and be an example to the sinners of how they should live. Throughout the Tanakh, God has stated that even though the good people will have to drink from the same cup of his fury that the evil will drink from, those who remain faithful and obedient will survive. Even if our lives are the only thing we retain, that will be more than what the sinful will have.
By the way, for the record, you really can’t be faithful without obedience.
So as things continue to spiral downward in the world, as is happening in America this very day, steel yourself for more because the worst is yet to come. Maintain faith, read the Torah so you can know for yourself what God says you should do. Too many people have been brought up believing what humans have told them to do, instead of knowing and doing what God says to do.
And I think you already know this: God will not give up his authority to a Pope, a Rabbi, a Minister, or a Priest. I don’t care what traditional Christian drek you have been told about the Torah, which is usually that Yeshua (Jesus) made obedience to the Torah obsolete for Christians because that is NOT what he taught. The fact is most modern Christian doctrine was created by Constantine and the Council of Nicene, nearly three hundred years after Yeshua!
So many times I hear Christians decry man-made traditions while living their entire spiritual and physical life obeying nothing BUT man-made traditions! Yeshua obeyed God, and if you have been told you should “Do as Jesus does”, well, that is a good thing. The problem is too few Christians have any idea what Jesus did, and go by what they have been told by men they should do, based on misunderstanding and misconstruing the letters that a man, Shaul (Paul) wrote to his different congregations, all of which were having inter-personal and faith-related problems.
It’s real easy: read the Bible, the whole Bible, and just look for what God says you should do, then do your best to do it. You will know what God says because it will come directly from him or through his prophets, and you will find it only in the Tanakh because God didn’t give any new or different instructions in the New Covenant.
And Yeshua never said to disobey or ignore his Father.
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That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!