Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Give Ear) D’Varim, Deut. 32:1-52
HafTorah: II Sam. 22:1-51
Tonight we look at “Song of Moses.” This is the next to last address he makes to the children of Israel before his ascent to Mount Nebo to die. He ends this song by reminding the people that these words, the Torah, is their life and it is to be taught to their children continually in the future.
Tonight I want us to major on a few verses beginning with Deut. 32:1-2. My question this week dealt with verse 1 in particular. It states, “Give ear O heavens, and I will speak; and hear O earth, the words of my mouth.” Let’s look at this verse closely to see what it can say to us. The first word, “Ha’azinu” in Hebrew, or Give ear in English, can be looked at like, being so close to someone you can almost whisper in their ear. So it suggests a familiar close relationship. There is no need to shout or even talk in a normal tone. You can whisper and they can still hear you. The word translated as, hear, suggests a greater distance as if calling to someone who is far away.
Ha’azinu might be the thought behind Romans 16:8, G-d’s word is very near to us. We can hear it easily. If our ears are open, if we are open to it, G-d can whisper to us. He does not have to shout.
So here in Deut. 32:1 we get the sense that Moses is very near heaven, so near he can whisper, while earth is somewhat removed. Heaven was very close while earth and all of its material concerns were farther away. I think Moses is saying here that each of us as human’s has this tension in our life between the spiritual and the material. Our challenge is to stay close enough to the spiritual that we can hear when G-d whispers to us. We are not consumed by the world and the noise of the world but we are able to hear that still small voice. Our lives are to be lived, in fact, to bring this awareness of the holy into our world and the world around us, to arouse in others the desire to hear also, not the noise but the whisper of G-d. We live in the world but we are not to be overcome by the world. Later in verse 15 Moses warns exactly about this. The people will grow fat and forsake G-d their maker and run after the things of the world. The effect of which will be going after other gods and losing their way and their influence in the world. Their ability to hear and be heard will be overcome by the noise of the world.
What is the result of remaining next to G-d where we can hear His whisper? Verse 2 says, “Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew.” What is the result of rain? Moses goes on to explain it falls on the tender herb and showers on the grass. Rain brings life from the earth. So should our words. Why? Because our words should come from the Father. As we hear so can we speak. As we hear so can we be a part of revealing G-d to the world around us and that should bring life to a dry ground. Rain comes from heaven. It is spoken of in several places in scripture, in Genesis 27:28 and Hosea 14:5. This rain of heaven should be the picture of our words, soft, gentle, not a flood or a crashing storm but the gentle face of G-d.
Psalms 63:1 is a good picture of the results of a lack of rain. The world around us is that dry and thirsty land and we have the rain of heaven to bring life. Where does dew come from? Dew originates from the earth. It is like us here in this world. We are people of clay but with the breath of G-d in our lives. We should be like dew bringing water to the land. Bringing
G-d’s life to those we know. It does not take a storm of words, loud with lighting flashing but the gentle rain of truth and the dew of our lives should be enough to hear the whisper of G-d. So I pray for each of us that we are close enough to the Father to hear words of life for us and for those around us.