Torah Portion: Eikev (Following) Deut. 7:12-11:25
HafTorah: Isaiah 49:14-51:3
Hebrews 11:8-13; Romans 8:31-39
This Torah section could be called one of remembrance, not forgetting. In this section we see over and over Moses calling on the people to remember what G-d had done for them. In fact in Chapter 8 of Deut. Moses goes on about everything G-d did for them and included in the list were also trials that He led them through and why G-d allowed them to be tested. Living life involves challenges. By these we grow and our faith is built up. That is what He tells Israel to remember. For soon they will enter a land where they will be challenged in new ways.
As I was reading this this week I thought back over things that G-d brought me through and how each changed me. My prayer is always that I see G-d’s hand in my life no matter what comes. For these things strengthen us and by them we grow. Israel had passed 40 years in the Sinai so that they would be ready to enter the Land that G-d promised them.
As Moses goes through the things that He and the people have passed through he comes to Deut. 10:12-13 and lists what G-d asks of Israel as their part of the covenant. I want us to look at each of these and see how they might apply to our lives spiritually.
- Fear Him: What does it mean to fear Him? It is to revere, to acknowledge His awesomeness, to respect. It is important to remember that these verses follow the section where Moses warned Israel against resting on their own accomplishments or their own righteousness. The fear of G-d is that knowledge which causes us to realize that we have no hope outside of Him.
Our righteousness when compared to G-d is as “filthy rags.” In Proverbs 1:7 it says “The fear of G-d is the beginning of knowledge.” So first we need to have the right relationship to G-d. He is we aren’t. Our lives are in His hands.
2. Next is to walk in all His commandments. Living our lives according to His word. I Cor. 11:1 Paul says he is an imitator of Messiah. Our lives must reflect Yeshua everyday. Yeshua in John 8:28-29 says basically that He is a reflection of the Father. His life was ordered by G-d so in John 14:9 He could say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Our lives should also be lived as an imitation of Messiah Who is a reflection of G-d.
3. We then come to “love Him”. Our obedience to G-d and His word is not to be based on some legalistic obedience to His word. Rather we follow His word because we love Him. By this the New Testament can say in I John 4:19 that because of G-d’s love for us we are then able to love others and Him. He has given His Son Yeshua to confirm His unending love for us. He is asking us to respond to Him because of that love.
4. Lastly Moses tells the people and us to serve the L-rd. Only when we love Him can we serve Him properly. G-d had taken them as slaves to Pharaoh and now asks them to serve Him. We as slaves to sin are now asked to serve G-d. We are to walk out each day of our lives in service to the One who saved us from death. And we are to be imitators of Him everyday He grants us on this planet – because we love Him and revere Him.
Now I would like us to look at Isaiah 49:14-51:3. Look especially at 49:14-23 and 51:1-3. In these verse we get a beautiful picture of G-d’s relationship with Israel, how He cares for her and does not forget her. In 49:16 He says “He” has inscribed them on the palms of His hands and they are continually before Him. His tells of His love for them and His faithfulness. He also goes on to say the nations will bring back Zion’s children, “kings will carry them on their shoulders, queens will be their nursing mothers. Our role in the world today is to work to bring Zion’s children back to her, to serve them, to be used by the Father to lift their heads for G-d will comfort her (51:3) and restore her. My prayer for you and me is that we are involved in this process.