Torah Portion: Re’eh (See or Behold) D’Varim (Deut.) 11:26-16:17
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 54:11-55:5
Messianic Scripture I Cor. 5:9-13; I John 4:1-6
Today we look at our Torah portion and find it covering many different topics. It covers the food laws and the three holidays when Israel is to congregate in Jerusalem. We also find the setting up of a central place of worship once the people cross over the Jordan and conquer the land. All these topics point to one central fact, G-d’s people were to be different from those around them. The people were being called to see with spiritual eyes the benefits of being and living as the people of G-d. They were being challenged to see with spiritual eyes the world around them. We have that same challenge today.
When we read the opening verse of our portion this week we see that challenge immediately in the first word, Re’eh. This Hebrew word means so much more than just the physical act of seeing. It goes far deeper than that. Here in our opening verse it gives the meaning of seeing with spiritual eyes everything in our life, the blessings and the curses.
So, here Moshe is telling the people this act of making the correct choices is a daily, on-going process. Let’s look at the verses in Deut. 11:26-28, “See I set before you today the blessing and the curse, the blessing if you obey the commands of the L-rd your G-d that I am giving you today, the curse if you disobey the commands of the L-rd your G-d and turn away from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.”
Later near the end of Deut. We read where Moshe stated this again but in a significantly different way by substituting the word life instead of blessing and the word death instead of curse. This is found in Deut. 30:15, 19.
Moshe made his point here and again later by defining reality for the Israelites. He emphasized for them and for us that all aspects of our lives, all decisions are to be made according to the will of G-d for us. His people were to be different than the people they were to dispossess when they crossed over the Jordan.
This principle should also apply to us in our lives today. We, who are believers, symbolically crossed over the Jordan when we came to faith in the Messiah. Now we have chosen a new purpose and a different way to live our lives. We have the opportunity, every day, to choose the blessing not the curse, or to choose life instead of death. The world and its values no longer control us. We live with a new purpose. This enables us to see even seemingly mundane events in our lives as encounters with the Divine. This may not be a simple task. But He has set us free from slavery to the world standards and the sin around us. We are His now, living by His grace. He has done this not because of our merit or righteousness but because we have submitted our life to Him and His will.
What is clear is Moshe is telling them they cannot survive as a people if they adopt the ways of the people around them. For us it does mean we have accepted G-d and His word as our guide book and standard by which to live our life. He is now to be our G-d and His word the pattern by which we live and interact with the world around us. This is a daily choice, to choose life not death, blessings not curses.
Our days will be filled with choices, sometimes trials or tests. Do we follow G-d or do we follow the values of the world around us? We should always consider who we are and where we are going.
We can find this similar messages to us in the Messianic scripture.
I Peter 2:9 –