Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Hear) D’Varim/Deut. 32
HafTorah: II Samuel 22:1-51
This week as we near the end of our yearly reading cycle we come to this portion. These verses are written in the style of a song or poem. It contains words that in Hebrew make it easy to remember. In fact many school children in Israel memorize this parasha and learn to sing it when they are in primary school.
As we look at these verses think of the setting where this takes place. Israel was standing on the threshold of entering the Land promised to them. Moshe, knowing his time on this earth was almost finished, gave them this song so that later, when times were difficult, they could look back and remember these words and be encouraged to return to the L-rd their Maker.
The first word of our portion is Ha’azinu. This word carries at its root the word ear. So this gives us the picture of Moshe whispering in G-d’s ear. He also called the earth to hear. The word used here for hear gives us a different picture, a more distant feeling. Moshe was at that time closer to heaven than he was to the things of this world. He called on both heaven and earth as his witnesses to what he was about to say. As he continued he compared the words that he was about to speak as rain and the dew that brings life to the tender herbs and grass. He spoke these words in one of the driest places in the world, the Jordan Valley.
The power of his words would not be lost on the people, nor should they be lost on us. G-d’s word brings life. I think we all have, at one time or another, felt the gentle rain of His words. It also speaks to us of G-d’s faithfulness. Moshe went on to reassure the people that “G-d is their Rock, His ways are perfect and just. D’Varim/Deut. 32: 4. He is a G-d of truth without iniquity, just and right. Remember, Moshe said this as he was personally facing G-d’s refusal to allow him to cross over the river into that good Land. G-d disciplines His children. However, it is because He loves us that he disciplines us. We must always look inward when we have the feeling that G-d has left us because He is always a just, righteous, loving G-d. Moshe did not blame G-d or lose his faith. He called the Father his Rock and said His ways are perfect.
These words should speak to us too. G-d loves us. He is a G-d of truth. When we get off the path, as Israel did when they went over the river, it was because they left G-d behind, not the other way around.
These people needed His Word to fall like rain and the dew on a dry land. We too need that spiritual rain of His Word everyday. We need to remember who we are and who He is. We need to remember how we got to the place we find ourselves. D’Varim/Deut. 32:7 tells us to remember the days of old. G-d does not change. Our world changes daily. However, the Word of the Father is the same. What was sin yesterday is still sin today. G-d’s eternal Word is to be our guide.
Our responsibility is to know what the Father has said, to study daily, to pray daily and to seek His guidance daily. As we read on through this chapter we come to verses 46-47. These verses tell us that G-d’s word is our life. It gives meaning to our days. It is a light for us. We are to teach it to our children.
Each of us has the responsibility as G-d’s people to live our life daily for Him. We are to do the right thing each day. We know how because we are expected to study His word, to train our children, to help the poor, the widow and the orphan. So Moshe leaves us with these words.
In Matthew 25:31-46 we read where at the end, when Yeshua returns, His judgment between the sheep and the goats is based on what? It is based on how we treat others. How have we lived our life? In these verses He tells us we will be judged on how we have related to the sick and poor. Here he is basically talking about his people, the children of Israel, but it also applies to the world, our neighbors, strangers we see who have basic needs. Only then can we have any influence to speak to them about life, about who G-d is and who His Son is.
Bless you all as you go out and touch the people G-d brings into your life.