Sunday, September 3, 2023

Nitzavim-Vayelech - Reading #1


Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30

Reading #1: Deuteronomy 29:9-28

My Thoughts:

Verse 9 reads, “...keep the words of this Covenant and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.” What does it mean to keep? Can we “keep” the Temple and priestly laws? No. But we can “keep” the rest, to the best of our ability. We can avoid unclean foods. We can honor and remember the Feasts. We can protect the Sabbath. And we can follow the rest (including the big ten)! When we do this, and Hashem does know our hearts -- we have the blessing of prosperity. That does not necessarily mean money. It could be wonderful children, a wonderful job and a wonderful house/car. It could also mean the best friendships and relationships. Most of all it could mean that we could be prosperous in our relationship with Hashem. That we could really get to know Him and His Torah. We could serve Him and love Him. True prosperity is in the heart. And it is a blessing only from Him. Amen!


In verse 10 we read, “All of you stand today in the presence of Hashem your Elohim…”. Were they really visibly seeing Hashem at this time? I don’t think so. But, because Moses who was speaking for Hashem and the community of the people standing together -- I believe Hashem was in their presence -- by His Spirit. So my challenge today is this. If they could be in His presence, maybe we could be in His presence also. Take a minute to think about what this would look like. Maybe through your worship, your prayer, your obedience or just taking a moment to be silent and talk to Him. You will get to know and become familiar when He is there. And when that happens, you will want to be with Him more. We are just getting reading on this planet for a time when we will be with Him always in the Olam Haba. Practice this now. Get to know Him now. Ask Him to come and visit you, walk with you and show you His ways. Amen.

Reading #1: Deuteronomy 29:9-28

Therefore keep the words of this covenant and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. 10 All of you stand today in the presence of Hashem your Elohim: your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the foreigners who are in the middle of your camps, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water, 12 that you may enter into the covenant of Hashem your Elohim, and into his oath, which Hashem your Elohim makes with you today, 13 that He may establish you today as His people, and that He may be your Elohim, as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 14 Neither do I make this covenant and this oath with you only, 15 but with those who stand here with us today before Hashem our Elohim, and also with those who are not here with us today 16 (for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the middle of the nations through which you passed; 17 and you have seen their abominations and their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which were among them); 18 lest there should be among you man, woman, family, or tribe whose heart turns away today from Hashem your Elohim, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that produces bitter poison; 19 and it happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, “I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart,” to destroy the moist with the dry. 20 Hashem will not pardon him, but then Hashem’s anger and His jealousy will smoke against that man, and all the curse that is written in this book will fall on him, and Hashem will blot out his name from under the sky. 21 Hashem will set him apart for evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this book of the law.

22 The generation to come—your children who will rise up after you, and the foreigner who will come from a far land—will say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses with which Hashem has made it sick, 23 that all of its land is sulfur, salt, and burning, that it is not sown, doesn’t produce, nor does any grass grow in it, like the overthrow of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which Hashem overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath. 24 Even all the nations will say, “Why has Hashem done this to this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean?”

25 Then men will say, “Because they abandoned the covenant of Hashem, the Elohim of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt, 26 and went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods that they didn’t know and that He had not given to them. 27 Therefore Hashem’s anger burned against this land, to bring on it all the curses that are written in this book. 28 Hashem rooted them out of their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and thrust them into another land, as it is today.”