Torah Portion: Va’etchanan (I Pleaded) Devarim Deut. 3:23-7:11
HafTorah: Isaiah 40:1-26
This Torah portion is filled with things that would take a life time to study. We will look at several in the minutes ahead. This Shabbat is known as the Sabbath of Comfort based on the prophet reading of Isaiah 40:1-26. It begins with, “Comfort, Comfort My people.” Tell me how we can comfort Israel, how we can comfort the Jewish people? There is no doubt this is required of us. Yeshua alluded to this in the New Testament where He tells us in Matt. 25:31-36 to comfort His people by feeding, clothing and visiting them in prison. In fact this is one of the reasons for the founding of Road to Zion Ministries. This is vitally important to us as believers. Is it enough to talk about how much we love Israel and the Jewish people or does it require us to do something, to take some action? Evangelism is not the only thing we should be doing. Yeshua says here He judges us by our actions toward His people. His people are the Jewish people. They are his brothers and sisters. For far too long we Christians have been the main source of pain and persecution rather than comfort. The time is drawing close at hand when our response to our Jewish neighbors will be called for. We are required to comfort. How will we respond?
Our ability to be ready and anxious to do what we can depends somewhat on my last question that went out. How do we cleave to G-d? Read verse 4:4 of Deut. This word translated as cleave is the same word used in Genesis 2:24. In modern Hebrew this is the word used for glue or to bind one thing to another. So now the question comes, “How do we cleave to G-d and what is the result of cleaving. When we glue two pieces of wood together they become pretty much like one piece. When we cleave to G-d we begin to know Him deeper and deeper. We know His heart, we know His will, we know His word. We know He calls the Jewish people the apple of His eye. We know He has made an everlasting covenant with them. All these things we become aware of and in tune with in our lives. When we come to that point we take action because that is what He requires of us.
So back to how do we cleave? One huge help is that we have His Spirit in us directing us and motivating us. It causes us to desire to get closer to Him. We can quench that Spirit to some extent but it still is there pushing us back to Him.
We can cleave to Him by becoming fluent in His word. He has put Himself in His word as we study and read it we come closer to knowing Him on a much deeper level. We have to study and read the entire word, not just the New Testament. We must be as familiar with the Torah as we are with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. For they stand on the Tanach.
We cleave to Him by praying . Not praying robs us of those special intimate times with Him. Think of your husband, wife or best friend, do you go days without talking? Do you go days without thinking of them? You know who they are, what they like, what their favorite color is. You know what is in their heart. So how can we know the Maker of the Universe, the Lover of our Souls without the same effort? It may require us to reorder our time, our days, our nights, but it is vitally necessary. Without it we can’t cleave to Him.
Then also, we must do His will. By that I mean generally to live our life as His people, following His word in our personal life and in our public life. We are to be doers as James says in 1:22.
Our faith must be part of every aspect of our lives. If not, then we are idol worshipers. We have kept Him out of some part of our lives that we deem more important than Him.
I pray we do not take this lightly. It is our life – literally and we are required, as slaves of Him who made us to live it for His glory not ours. In D’Varim 7:6-7 we read about the Jewish people being the least of all people but G-d chose them as His, not because they were mighty. But He loves them. He loves us as well and it matters not if we are powerful as the word counts power but what matters is that we are cleaving to Him and with that we can change the world.