Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (give an ear) Deut. 32:1-52
HafTorah: II Samuel 22:1-51
The Torah section, Ha’azinu, is from the same root as the word for ear. The Torah portion covers the song of Moses in Deut. 32 and the HafTorah in II Samuel 22 is called the song of David. I want to begin by looking at the verses in II Samuel. The scripture starts in Chapter 22:1. I want us to look first at this verse and see what we can learn of David. We read where David, reflecting back on his life, declares that G-d has delivered him from all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. Why does he single out Saul? He does not lump him with his enemies even though Saul tried to kill him. David knew Saul was G-d’s anointed. He says in I Samuel 24:10 that he will not stretch out his hand to G-d’s anointed. He had to rely completely on G-d for deliverance from Saul. This is a principle that is still important for the present day. How many churches are born out of a contentious fight between two leaders. G-d is able to deal with problems in leadership without us raising our hand and voice against the person He has put in that role.
Starting in verse 2 we read ten different names for G-d. They are:
- Rock (sela) It can be a small rock or one that is as big as a mountain. Here David uses it to imply a defense provided by a steep rock cliff. I Samuel 23 David escapes Saul in just such a place.
- Fortress (Metzudah) Like Massada, G-d surrounds him like the walls of a Fortress.
- Deliverer (Mephelet) This is a person or place that provides a way of escape or a place where one can escape to. The L-rd was both for David.
- My G-d (Elohai) David refers to the L-rd as My G-d.
- Rock (Tzur) This word was used by Moses in Deut 32:4 to describe G-d as steadfast, perfect, just, unchanging. Also in Deut 32:31 he also says “their rock is not like our Rock”. In Psalms 62:6 we read “the Rock that is higher than I.”
- Shield (Magen) In Genesis 15:1 G-d tells Abraham “Do not fear, I am a shield to you.” G-d had been David’s shield also.
- Horn (Keren) This word means strength or might. Yeshua is called the Horn of Salvation.
- Stronghold (Misgav) Misgav is a defensible height. The L-rd is David’s defensible height.
- Refuge (Manos) The Hebrew root word for Manos is “to flee.” A manos is a place to which a person can flee. When we face adversity we know we can flee to the refuge of the L-rd.
- Savior (Moshia) The word Moshia means Savior. Over and over G-d has proved Himself able to save David.
So, I would like you to keep this list of the names of G-d and meditate on them this week, how each of them can help us as we face the trials of life.
Now, I want us to look at verse 7 at some things David says about G-d and about himself. I think these things would change our lives if we could grasp the depth of what David is saying. David cries out to G-d in his distress. He says his words entered the temple of G-d and even into G-d’s ear. So, David knew that G-d heard his cry and when He heard it what was His response? He says the Heavens shook, G-d breathes out fire, He bends heaven down to earth to get to David faster. He rides a cherub. What a beautiful picture of G-d’s concern and love for us! How many of us feel, without a doubt, that G-d cares enough for us to rush to our aide and rush with a vengeance? The scripture says, He split the sea for David until the channels of the sea appeared. Why did He do this?
Finally, in verse 21, we get to the reason. “G-d rewarded him according to his righteousness, according to the cleanness of his hands. David goes on to say, “I have kept the ways of the L-rd, and have not wickedly departed from my G-d.” Wait, this is the same David that committed adultery and murder. So how can he say what he said in verses 21-22? The answer may be that David was quick to repent. Nothing stayed between him and G-d. He was completely and absolutely sure of his place with G-d. The result of this relationship we see in the rest of the chapter. David can do anything through G-d. He has no doubt, no lack of faith, because he is sure of where he is with the Father. This can change our lives when we are able to grasp what David is saying here. David was not perfect but he was striving for perfection. May G-d grant each of us a revelation on these verses that we may see G-d as David saw Him. May we have this same relationship with our L-rd. Our cries enter His ears, our pleas come before Him, and we are sure He hears us because we are clean and righteous before Him. Amen!
The verses in Deut. 32 are different. Here Moses describes how they had traded their Rock for things that were worthless. Is there something you have traded your “Rock” for? Do the verses in II Samuel describe your relationship with G-d or do you see your life story in the verses of Deut.? My prayer is that we will move toward the time when we have the relationship David describes in II Samuel.