Torah Portion: Ha’azinu Deut. 32:1-52
HafTorah: II Samuel 22:1-51
In Deut. 32:1 Moses uses two different verbs when addressing Heaven and Earth. I want us to start by looking at these verses and what it might mean to us spiritually. First, Ha’azinu means to give ear or listen closely, like when you might share something with a close friend. The other verb is a general term for listen. What can we learn from this? The rabbis say the first word signifies the closeness Moses felt to Heaven. I was thinking about this and about what it means for us. First Judaism sees life both spiritual and physical made up of a dichotomy, light and dark, days of the week, Sabbath, Heaven and earth. Given this, we live somewhat in the tension between these divisions. We, like Moses, should have a close connection to the divine. We should be so close we only have to whisper and the world should not have the power over us that the spiritual has. We should be able to impact the physical world because of our closeness to the spiritual. We need only to whisper and G-d hears us.
Moses carries this idea on further with the idea of rain and dew. In a way rain falls from heaven while dew forms on the earth. Whatever its form it is still water – life giving water. John chapter 1 tells us that “the Word was with G-d, yet that word descended to earth. That descent did not change what it was. Yeshua remained the living word of G-d, connecting Heaven and earth. He gives us this same task, to bring Heaven to Earth, to touch this world with the divine while remaining untouched by the world.
Moses then gets into his song which he is to teach to the children of Israel. He starts with stating in whose name he speaks, the One Unchanging G-d, giving greatness to Him. Yeshua, according to Hebrews 1:3, did this for us. He is the glory of G-d.
In Deut. 32:6 we see the first time in scripture where G-d is referred to as Father – “Your Father” By the same token Yeshua in His prayer taught us to pray, “Our Father.” So as we bring Heaven to bear on earth it is done through and by the spirit of our Father as shown to us by His Son Yeshua. Moses then goes on in Deut. 32:7 and following to remind Israel what G-d has done for them. I want us to read Deut. 32:7-14 and think of yourself and what G-d has done for you. Think from where He has brought you, like an eagle gathering her young and bearing them up on her wings.
But then Moses warns them what will happen. They(we) grow fat. They (we)forsake G-d and follow our own desires. And in verse 18 we read where they (we) forget G-d who fathered us. I think the good thing is it does not have to be this way. Moses was telling them and us what could be. We and they have a choice. Sadly we often choose unwisely and then suffer the consequences of those choices. When that happens we enter a dark time when it seems all is lost. When it seems G-d’s face is hidden from us. (Deut. 32:20)
Paul sees this hardening on Israel’s part as our opportunity to come into the faith. (Romans 11:25-26)
In Deut. 32:36 through the end we see how G-d does not forget His people but redeems them and through that redemption, the nations rejoice with G-d’s people. We can rejoice also because G-d does not forget us even though “His Face” may seem hidden for a while. He still loves us as He still loves Israel and again as Paul says in Romans 11, “All Israel will be saved.”