This parashah, as with the entire book of D’Varim (Deuteronomy) is a retelling of all the things that have happened over the past 40 years, with a reordering of the commandments, rules and regulations under which the people of Israel must live. These rules cover how to properly worship the Lord and how to properly treat each other.
We can go over these rules again and again, and as often as we review them, we break them. It’s almost as if we think we need to learn them so that we can be certain we know which of God’s laws we are breaking.
I am not going to review the rules this parashah contains, mainly because of what I just said- we all know what we are supposed to do. Even sinners who sin because they like to- they know what they are supposed to do, too! As strange as it may sound, I respect their honest rejection of God more than the hypocrisy of many “Christians” who claim to love the Lord but are really judgmental, self-important and bigoted.
It’s real simple- God loves us, and because He loves us He wants us to be with Him for all eternity. But there’s a problem with that- He is holy, pure and perfect, and from a spiritual viewpoint we’re a little lower than whale poop. You can’t store snow in a hot oven, can’t drive a car looking in the rear view mirror (at least, not very far), and you can’t have sinfulness associated with God.
He’s perfect and we’re …well…we’re “us”- you can see how that throws a monkey wench in the plan of salvation, can’t you?
The Torah was given to the children of Israel because God loved them and wanted them to be with Him. The Torah, if followed perfectly, would allow us to be in total communion with God. He also loves everyone else, and Israel was never meant to be the only people to be with God; they were chosen to be a nation of priests who are responsible to teach the other nations, by example, how they should act. When God gave the Torah to the Jewish people it was both a blessing and an obligation.
Unfortunately, the Jewish people did not live in accordance with Torah, and even though their example was more what NOT to do than what to do, the other nations chose to follow the wrong example. The truth is that the commandments and regulations that God gave the Jewish people, which were to be taught to all the nations, were screwed up by the Jews and then screwed up even more by the nations. The “religions” that came from Judaism have devolved into so many factions and have so many different rules of their own, many of which are directly in opposition to what God says to do (read my book), that it’s hard to believe any of them really know who God is or what He wants, at all.
That’s why it took Messiah Yeshua’s sacrifice to enable us to have our sins washed clean so we all can be with God. Where human nature made Torah (alone) unable to bring anyone into communion with God, Messiah made it possible for everyone.
That doesn’t mean Torah is useless or done away with! The laws in there are still valid because grace from sin is not license to sin. You can believe Yeshua is the Messiah- big deal! Every demon in hell knows that for a fact- they’ve seen Him in person! And you can ask for forgiveness but that doesn’t do it- you need to ask and mean it, and show that you mean by living it! You need to walk the walk- talking the talk is not enough. And when you are ready to walk the walk, the Torah is your only road map.
Salvation is free to have with the asking, but keeping it will be costly. You need to give up hedonism, you need to pay your way with good works that represent your heartfelt desire to live as God wants you to. You need to give up your desires for worldly things and want only the spiritual things.
And you also need to keep your feet on the ground with your head on your shoulders- too many people get so “spiritual” they can’t relate to anyone, especially new Believers. They scare the pants off of them and are like the crows that come and eat the good seed that is on the ground before it can take root.
Yeshua told His disciples to be as gentle as doves and wise as snakes- we all need to be that way. We need to have spiritual eyes and realistic heads.
It really is just this easy: love God and love each other. Treat God as He says you should and treat each other as you want to be treated. You won’t ever be able to do it perfectly, but the more you do these things, the better you will become at it and the easier it will become to do them.
Salvation is yours for the asking. It is very easy to get, and very hard to keep. No one can take your salvation away from you, but you can throw it away.
Here’s a word of advise- don’t!