I am always amazed at the nearness of God to His Children. His Words to us, first through Moses, then Yeshua, then Paul – especially this week – can almost suck the air out of the room like a hoover vacuum cleaner! Watch this! As Moses is wrapping up the final chapters of the Torah this week and next, consider reading Deuteronomy 30:11 – 20! Moses writes, “For this mitzvah that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off… the word is very near you – in your mouth and in your heart, to do it… loving ADONAI, listening to His voice and clinging to Him.” God requires that – this week – the Children of Israel stand before Him and recognize “For He is your life…”
Moses is giving his final warning to the people he has led through the desert for 40 years, knowing they will be even quicker to rebel after his passing! Yet, the promise of God to regather His people EVERY time they return to Him reassures them of His unfailing love. That is the same lesson every parent ultimately has to teach their own child. After I’m gone, will you know how to turn back to our Creator? Do you think obedient parents have obedient children? Is that guaranteed in this life? Is success a better teacher than failure? Not in my personal experience, I must admit.
Following God is not impossible, or strenuous or guilt laden – disobedience is. If you could sum up all the goal of the Torah as obedience to God, where does disobedience come from? Here is a fantastic clue in this week’s reading, in Deuteronomy 29:28,
“The secret things belong to ADONAI, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever – in order to do all the words of this Torah.”
Torah study has to be done ‘in order’ to work in your life. Being obedient isn’t just knowing the ‘laws’ but doing them ‘in order.’ Obedience does not manifest ‘out of order.’ So, how do we learn order. Simply put, ‘order’ is a function of time.
Let me see if I can help you ‘get this.’ I read my Torah passage for the week FIRST, on Sunday morning for the coming week. Then, I meditate on what God is highlighting to me in the verses as He takes me the next steps after last week’s reading. I ponder the verses in light of Messiah being the living Torah and think about how He walked among the people manifesting these words through His teaching and look for clues about how I can teach this to my own children through my actions this week. In thinking about how NEAR Yeshua was to them, and they didn’t really know who He truly was, I remember the words of Proverbs 30 that mirror Deuteronomy 30:12, which I find mind-blowing!
Here, Moses is telling them how near God is nearly 1400 years before Messiah arrives! And, Yeshua’s arrival as God’s only begotten Son includes coming down from heaven and going back up? WOW!
Now, with those verses in mind, stepping stones to becoming a follower of God, read the words of Paul in his letter to the Romans – chapter 10, verses 5-10!
For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on Torah, “The man who does these things shall live by them.” But the righteousness based on faith speaks in this way: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Messiah down), or, ‘Who will go down into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” —that is, the word of faith that we are proclaiming: For if you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart it is believed for righteousness, and with the mouth it is confessed for salvation.
Here, Paul’s words cry out for us to return to both the LAW and the ORDER of the Holy Scriptures. Remember Paul, formerly known as Saul, was training to become one of the highest Torah scholars of his day – until he met Messiah post resurrection and was blinded by God for a time only to be born anew with Spiritual eyes. Paul learned Torah FIRST, persecuted Yeshua NEXT, then rose from a tomb of spiritual blindness when he put the pieces together. Yeshua was the Torah promised by Moses – near enough to touch and too near enough to believe – at the same time. That is exactly how revelation happens, it grows over time, from seed-time to harvest.
I learned I was a sinner after I discovered what sin was. I was guilty as charged, having disobeyed God through my actions. My actions were the result of what I wanted, not knowing what God wanted for me. So, when I came to believe that the Creator knew me, even before I knew myself, I had to make a choice. Would I choose to believe I was created for His pleasure, or my own. Well, when I was a child, I reasoned like a child… But, when Mark and I created a child, I somehow knew my life was not my own any longer. That little helpless child was not going to make it without me. We are born needy, like it or not. I would challenge you today that God did not create you to destroy yourself or others. God loves you and he genuinely wants you to be happy and healthy and satisfied with His ‘goodness.’ Feeling ‘good,’ is the natural fruit of obedience to God, because God is good and what He creates is always good. Just remember that He created us ‘like Him,’ so we are creative too.
God is our life. He is the one that makes us alive. What you do with your life is your choice. This harvest season, look around to see what you grew in His garden. What is your harvest this year? No matter what it looks like above ground, remember that it’s what you plant that creates after it’s own kind… If you sow faith, you reap faithfulness. If you sow thanksgiving, you reap peace. If you sow mercy, you reap lovingkindness.
We are just about to finish the Torah scroll and rewind it back to the beginning of Genesis. So, let’s remember that law and order work together for our good! From Moses to Yeshua to Paul, the Words of Life are consistent and TRUE. There is no better time of year than right now to assess what your harvest grew over the past year. What you harvest this year is seed for next year, folks.
Please, beloved Children of God, if you have disappointment and discord and hopelessness around you, REPENT out loud to God about it and ask Him to forgive you. Then, take special care to forgive others, too.
Please, let’s all take care to only sow ‘words’ of life – because seed-time will surely be upon us again soon!