Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Hear) Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32

HafTorah: II Sam. 22:1-51

Tonight we read what is generally called, “The Song of Moses,” which G-d gave him for the people. Remember he delivers this his almost final words to these people whom he has led for forty years through the wilderness. He, according to verse 32:48, gives this song to Israel on the very same day that he dies. He is not to enter the Land. That dream which has been his goal for all these years, G-d said would not happen. Do we hear any anger or harsh words towards G-d who told him he can’t cross over the Jordan? No, instead look at verses 3 and 4 of chapter 32. He calls G-d just, righteous, great and a G-d of truth in which is no injustice. What can we learn from his words? There are times in our lives when we feel G-d has left us or has been unjust in His dealings with us. How can we be able to see G-d as Moses saw Him? Moses had reached a place where he could see that G-d only had his best in mind. The challenges and trials of life that G-d had allowed, Moses understood were to mature him in his faith. They were for good. This is the place that must be our goal. Only by passing through troubled waters can we grow. G-d does not hate us. He has not forsaken us. In our lives His desire is for us to grow, no longer only able to drink milk but to eat meat at His table. This takes effort on our part. It takes perseverance to come to this place where Moses stood.

When we mature in our walk then we can give words that fall like rain and come as the dew such as Moses words in Deut. 32:2. What is the purpose of rain and dew in the world? They bring growth. Water brings life to a barren land. If you go to the desert in Israel after just a small rain what do you see? You will see green grass sprouting and flowers blooming. Such is the work of rain and dew. This caused Yeshua to say in John 7:37-39 that, “out of our hearts will flow rivers of living waters.” For us as believers our words should come as the dew. Our words should bring life not death. Even in this Torah portion when Moses could have been bitter he compares his words to rain and dew as he spoke to the people. He was literally standing before death yet he used his words to bring life not death. We should choose life each day and each moment. Whatever G-d has for us in our life we must use it to bring life and not to be an instrument of death when dealing with other people. We must be a river of living water. We must be so close to G-d that He can whisper in our ear.

This Shabbat is called the Shabbat of Returning and the Shabbat of Listening. Returning because of the coming day of Yom Kippur and listening because it reminds us to remember, we stand between life and death. We must be ever close to our Father that we can hear His whisper. Only then can we walk in His path. Only then can we see clearly who we are and to what we have been called. A whisper is not so easy to hear sometimes, especially over the noise around us -the noise of life. But we are to stay so close to Him that our attention to Him is unbroken and we can continually choose life.

In Deut. 32:46-47 we see Moses reminding the people of the importance of knowing G-d’s Word. In fact he says it is our life. In John 1 we are told that this Word came to earth and dwelt among us so that we could know Him and by knowing Him we would know the Father. So for each of us my prayer is that each moment we are aware of who we are and always choose life, to always be a river of living water to bring life to a dry land.