Weekly Torah Section: Ekev (Because, As a result of) Deut. 7:12-11:25
HafTorah Isaiah 49:14-51:3
Tonight the Torah section is called “Ekev” which means, because, as a result of or following. What is the connection with Jacob’s name? He was born grasping his brother’s foot.
I want to look first at Isaiah and then get to the question that I sent to you. Let’s look at Isaiah 49:13 first. Here G-d proclaims that He has comforted His people and will have mercy on His afflicted. However, in the next verse we see Zion’s response. She was still feeling rejected and forgotten. Her people remain scattered across the world. Jerusalem lies in ruins and the presence of G-d has been withdrawn. She responds like an abandoned wife. I guess as I read this this week I thought of my own life and how many times I felt alone and left by G-d. But in the midst of it all G-d reassured me and here He reassures Zion that she is not forgotten. Can a mother forget her child? (verse 15) Maybe this is possible but I will never forget you. What a wonderful promise. G-d does not abandon us but He will always be with us.
In fact in the next verse He tells Zion that she is inscribed on the palm of His hands. As believers I think we can look to the hands of the Messiah and not doubt like Thomas but know that He has taken us even with the wounds He bore on His hands.
G-d goes on to say in this verse that her walls are continually before Him. G-d is saying that He is concerned for her well being and for her future. The Holy City and the Temple in particular represent heaven on earth. It is said that heaven and earth intersect in Jerusalem. Messiah Yeshua is coming back to take His place in Jerusalem.
In verse 17 we read your sons/ builders hurry. There won’t be enough builders to do all the rebuilding that must take place. What does Jerusalem look like even today? There are buildings everywhere and the great ingathering is still to come.
Jerusalem will wear her returning children as a bride wears her finest jewelry. This great ingathering is talked about in Matthew 24:31 – from the four corners of the earth they will come. Everyone even the 10 lost tribes will return. In Revelations 21:2 we see this same picture of Jerusalem being adorned as a bride before her husband. So many will come that they well say, “Make room for me that I may live here (verse 20). Then this desolate and bereaved mother will look and recognize then as her children but will ask, “Where did they come from? I was captive wandering to and fro but these where were they?”
G-d provides the answer. He will swear an oath to the nations and lift up His standard for the people at the end of the age what is this standard that will be set up? The same word is used in Matthew 24:30 and Isaiah 4:22. Matthew sees Yeshua as the standard that will be lifted up and the nations will carry G-d’s people back. I think in many ways this is already happening. In fact, it was and is one of the foundations of Road to Zion. We are to be part of the process of restoration of Israel. We are to carry them on our backsi n whatever way we can. They are coming home and we are or should or must be a part of that experience. So now, the question, “What are you doing and how are you getting it done?” I have been reading a book this week that covers what the writer thinks will be the seven questions we will be asked in heaven. The second question is, “What is your legacy? What have you done with your life on earth?” This is a huge question for each of us and I believe that one of our main responsibilities as a believer is this – carrying the sons and daughters of Zion on our backs to restore then. How – By binding the strong man. In verse 24 Zion asks the question and G-d follows with His answers. In Luke 11:21-22 Yeshua uses the same language to tell us how He has rescued us from the power of Satan. Through the power of G-d Yeshua defeats and plunders Satan.
I want us to go to the Torah now but I truly want you to give careful thought to what your legacy is – what are you accomplishing that will last for eternity?
I asked you what we must remember as believers. In Deut. 8:11 it says to remember His word. Moses says take care lest you forget who our source is. It does not depend on how good we think we are. In Deut 8:2 we see the opposite. When there is distress we must remember that G-d is our sustainer. G-d tested them with thirst and hunger to show them that He is faithful to provide all they need.
Remember His word. Deut 11:18-21 a repetition of the Shema. We remember His word by talking about His word and listening to His word. This should encompass all our lives – every particle of it.
We must always remember what G-d has done, not what we have done. He loves us as we should love Him. What do we do because we love Him? We do His will and follow His word.