This week in the synagogues, Rabbis will be reading the Torah portion from the book of Deuteronomy. Most gentiles don't realize this, but deep within the pages of this ancient text, is a spiritual lesson that still applies to everyone who claims to love and serve the Almighty! So let's take a closer look & listen to what the Lord would say to His people:
And the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, your days are approaching [for you] to die. Call Joshua and stand in the Tent of Meeting, and I will inspire him. So Moses and Joshua went, and stood in the Tent of Meeting. And the Lord appeared in the Tent, in a pillar of cloud. The pillar of cloud stood at the entrance to the Tent And the Lord said to Moses: Behold, you are [about to] lie with your forefathers, and this nation will rise up and stray after the deities of the nations of the land, into which they are coming. And they will forsake Me and violate My covenant which I made with them. And My fury will rage against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will befall them, and they will say on that day, 'Is it not because our God is no longer among us, that these evils have befallen us?' And I will hide My face on that day, because of all the evil they have committed, when they turned to other deities. And now, write for yourselves this song, and teach it to the Children of Israel. Place it into their mouths, in order that this song will be for Me as a witness for the children of Israel (Deut. 31:14-19)."
Israel's Genetic Flaw (And Ours Too!)
Thousands of years ago, the Almighty revealed to Moses (a type of Messiah) Israel's fatal flaw: She had a genetic predisposition for Heart Disease. And this disease became glaringly obvious as Israel sought out other lovers (gods) to satisfy her needs. However, she was warned about her tendencies and even told the future ramifications, yet, like most children she continued to follow the longings of her deceitful heart. Sadly, Israel soon found out that there is always a grave consequence for trusting a sick heart:
And My fury will rage against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will befall them... Deuteronomy 31:17
When Israel gave in to her longings, she lost fellowship with the Creator & ultimately confusion and dismay took hold. G-d's people even found themselves questioning the very One who once took them by the hand and led them out of slavery:
And they will say on that day, 'Is it not because our God is no longer among us, that these evils have befallen us?... Deut. 31:17
Sick Hearts Always Reject Truth!
Like most people, Israel was blind to her greatest weakness. And years after Moses warned his people about their true nature, the prophet Isaiah foretold that Israel would even reject the very One they claimed to long for:
Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53:3)
Israel's sick heart was never more obvious than the day the nation shunned the Suffering Servant who was destined to become their Passover Lamb:
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed (Isaiah 53:5)
Israel's Heart Will be Healed & Her People Will Be Saved!
As the Jewish people enter into the Days of Awe and repentance, let's pray that their eyes are opened to the true Messiah. The Apostle Paul had this to say about his people:
For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.” (The Words of the Jewish Apostle Paul in the New Testament book of Romans 11:25-26)
Long before Messiah stepped out of eternity and into history, the prophet Zechariah foretold that his people would kill Messiah (by piercing Him), but at the end of the age He would come again, & this time Israel would truly REPENT:
They will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn (Zech. 12:10).
The days leading up to Yom Kippur should be days of true repentance, but that can't happen without accepting the true Messiah! And if the people of G-d are to really learn from history & this week's Torah portion, they need to heed the following:
- Idolatry & Spiritual Adultery stem from a diseased heart
- Rejecting the One True G-d & His Passover Lamb has Consequences
- Seeking other 'lovers' will bring dismay, confusion, & lost fellowship with the Creator, and,
- Most importantly sick hearts must be healed or they will just grow weaker
The good news? God has not abandoned His people & He even promised to give them a new heart:
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more (Jeremiah 31:31-34)."
So how can Israel's heart sickness be healed and her sins be forgiven? The answer is found in the very thing that gives us life: The Blood!
And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22).
As Israel goes through the religious motions of preparing for the Day of Atonement, let's pray that she recognizes her Messiah and accepts Yeshua as the Passover Lamb! Then & only then will Israel's heart be forever changed!
B'shem Yeshua HaMashiach!