Torah Portion: Ki Tavo (When You Come) D’varim (Deut) 26-29
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 60:1-22
“When You Come In” is our Torah portion this week. It speaks of when Israel came into their inheritance and how they were to live their lives. It also covers the blessings and curses that would come as a result of how they lived each day. I would like to look at this Torah section in how it relates to us as G-d’s children who have come into our inheritance and what impact that should have on our lives daily.
I would like to begin with my question that I hope you all had an opportunity to give some thought to this week. Each year we study the Torah portion for each week of the year. Some of us have been through the Torah several times so why spend the time to go back over it each year?
Let us start with Galatians 3:13. The Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the Law. First, to be clear, the word translated as Law here is Torah. I expect most of you have heard the phrase, “Don’t put me under the Law.” Usually the person saying this means to say as believers in the Messiah the Law has no point anymore in our life. Yeshua set us free from the Law. What does, “Under the Law” or “Curse of the Law” mean? What was the writer saying here in this verse? How do we understand it in light of other Messianic Writings such as I John 3:4 and Romans 3:20, as well as many other Messianic scriptures? How can both be right? I believe the curse of the law is the result of breaking the commandments of Torah. How can we remedy the punishment that comes from breaking the commandments of Torah? Torah says there is no sacrifice for intentional sin. So what are we to do? Our verse in Galatians provides the answer. Yeshua took our sins upon himself and became a curse for us. I John 3:4 tells us that sin is a violation of Torah. How are we to know what sin is unless we study? Galatians 4:4-5 tells us the solution for our sin. However, we still must live our life governed by G-d’s commandments. To not do so is knowingly sinning against our Father. Colossians 2:14 tells us plainly that our debt was nailed to the cross. Torah was not nailed to the cross, for Torah is our guide, our foundation for life. Everything we read in the Messianic Writings is based on the five books of Moses. So this is why we study each week. I pray this study will help us all to live our life according to G-d’s commandments as did Yeshua and all the early believers. I John 5:2-4 basically says that to us as believers in Messiah.
We do this not because we must or because they are burdensome but with joy for they are an outworking of who we are as the people of G-d. A good example of this is found in our Torah portion where we read of the bringing of the offerings of first fruits. This was brought at the holiday of Shavuot. In this ceremony we read of what the person bringing his offerings is supposed to speak out. In Deut. 26:11 we read, “So you shall rejoice.” This tells us that our motivation in serving G-d should be rooted in all He has done for us. Because of that we come into His presence with joy.
We also see the main purpose for this yearly offering was to what? Not only was it to remind them of how G-d blessed during the year but it was to be used to take care of the poor, the stranger, orphans and widows in their midst. This principle set G-d’s people apart from those surrounding them. G-d’s people helped out those who needed help. In verse 26:13 we read where the person bringing his tithe says these words, “I have not forgotten your word.” In one other place we read similar words. In Deut. 25:17-19 we read where G-d tells Israel to not forget what Amalek did to them on the way when they came out of Egypt. They killed the weak, the infirmed and they had no fear of G-d. Putting the two things together we can understand why the person bringing his offering said what he said. His offering was to help exactly the people that Amalek killed. Amalek is looked upon as pure evil. In fact G-d told Israel to blot then out. G-d instructed Israel and us as His people to never fall into Amalek behavior. Rather than taking advantage of the poor, sick, widowed and orphaned we are to help. By this we will blot out Amalek’s name under heaven and the world will know us by our actions.
In the Messianic Writings we see Yeshua stress this very thing over and over by His actions and by His words. Thank G-d for all He has done for each of us and may we do whatever we can to be a part of fixing this world.