Reading #7 - Deuteronomy 3:15–22
Hashem is working things out for the tribes who want to stay east of the Jordan, verse 20 “Then you shall each return to his own possession, which I have given you.” It is so wonderful to know that Hashem is the One who gives us anything in our life. Where we live, where we work, our relationships and our lives. We just need to be in a relationship with Him so that we realize this. He creates and owns everything, and we must take good care of the things that He places in our lives. We have been in the process of selling our house and moving. I have stayed in close contact with Hashem every step of the way. And I must admit I have seen several “moves” of His hands on all of this. But, bottom line -- He owns our house, He owns my family and He owns my life. And I am glad. I am His. And that is a privilege. And a comfort for sure.
Hashem fights our battles. We read in verse 22, “You shall not fear them; for Hashem your Elohim Himself fights for you.” Hashem has been putting something on my heart - a ministry - to create. I think about all the miracles He would do through this ministry and then I start thinking about how the “enemy” would not like this and may attack. Then I realize that this will be Hashem’s ministry and He will protect it! He will defeat the enemy -- if the enemy plans any attempts to cause trouble! That is so reassuring! My challenge to you is today to trust in Hashem. If you are going through a “battle”, seek His face and ask for help. Ask Him to defeat the enemy and protect you. We assured through the Torah that He will do this. Amen.
Reading #7 - Deuteronomy 3:15–22
3:15 I gave Gilead to Machir. 16 To the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead even to the valley of the Arnon, the middle of the valley, and its border, even to the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon; 17 the Arabah also, and the Jordan and its border, from Chinnereth even to the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah eastward.
18 I commanded you at that time, saying, “Hashem your Elohim has given you this land to possess it. All of you men of valor shall pass over armed before your brothers, the children of Israel. 19 But your wives, and your little ones, and your livestock, (I know that you have much livestock), shall live in your cities which I have given you, 20 until Hashem gives rest to your brothers, as to you, and they also possess the land which Hashem your Elohim gives them beyond the Jordan. Then you shall each return to his own possession, which I have given you.”
21 I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, “Your eyes have seen all that Hashem your Elohim has done to these two kings. So shall Hashem do to all the kingdoms where you go over. 22 You shall not fear them; for Hashem your Elohim Himself fights for you.”
The commands and promises are simple. We read in verses 18-20, “Come now, and let’s reason together,” says Hashem: “Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured with the sword; for the Hashem’s mouth has spoken it.” If you obey you will be blessed, if you are not you will be “devoured”. Plain and simple. What is it about this that we don’t get? Why do we continue to sin and turn our faces away from Hashem? There is no excuse. Yes we are exiled, but we need to get over that. We must follow and obey Torah and Hashem. That’s all there is to it. Amen.
Here is the answer to disobedience in verses 16-17, “Wash yourselves. Make yourself clean. Put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes. Cease to do evil. Learn to do well. Seek justice. Relieve the oppressed.
Defend the fatherless. Plead for the widow.” Easy. Stop sinning and do good (help others). That’s your challenge today. You know exactly what I am talking about. Amen.
Haftarah Reading: Isaiah 1:1-27
1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, heavens,
and listen, earth; for Hashem has spoken:
“I have nourished and brought up children
and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knows his owner,
and the donkey his master’s crib;
but Israel doesn’t know.
My people don’t consider.”
4 Ah sinful nation,
a people loaded with iniquity,
Offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken Hashem.
They have despised the Holy One of Israel.
They are estranged and backward.
5 Why should you be beaten more,
that you revolt more and more?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it:
wounds, welts, and open sores.
They haven’t been closed, bandaged, or soothed with oil.
7 Your country is desolate.
Your cities are burned with fire.
Strangers devour your land in your presence
and it is desolate,
as overthrown by strangers.
8 The daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut in a field of melons,
like a besieged city.
9 Unless Hashem of Armies had left to us a very small remnant,
we would have been as Sodom.
We would have been like Gomorrah.
10 Hear Hashem’s word, you rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the law of our Elohim, you people of Gomorrah!
11 “What are the multitude of your sacrifices to me?”, says Hashem.
“I have had enough of the burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fed animals.
I don’t delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs,
or of male goats.
12 When you come to appear before me,
who has required this at your hand, to trample my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offerings.
Incense is an abomination to me.
New moons, Sabbaths, and convocations:
I can’t stand evil assemblies.
14 My soul hates your New Moons and your appointed feasts.
They are a burden to me.
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you.
Yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves. Make yourself clean.
Put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes.
Cease to do evil.
17 Learn to do well.
Relieve the oppressed.
Defend the fatherless.
Plead for the widow.”
18 “Come now, and let’s reason together,” says Hashem:
“Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured with the sword;
for the Hashem’s mouth has spoken it.”
21 How the faithful city has become a prostitute!
She was full of justice.
Righteousness lodged in her,
but now there are murderers.
22 Your silver has become dross,
your wine mixed with water.
23 Your princes are rebellious and companions of thieves.
Everyone loves bribes and follows after rewards.
They don’t defend the fatherless,
neither does the cause of the widow come to them.
24 Therefore the L-rd, Hashem of Armies,
the Mighty One of Israel, says:
“Ah, I will get relief from my adversaries,
and avenge myself on my enemies.
25 I will turn my hand on you,
thoroughly purge away your dross,
and will take away all your tin.
26 I will restore your judges as at the first,
and your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called ‘The city of righteousness,
a faithful town.’
27 Zion shall be redeemed with justice,
and her converts with righteousness.
Here Yeshua is speaking about end times, before He returns as Mashiach. Here is the promise in verse 13, “”But he who endures to the end will be saved.” He is explaining that things are not going to get better, they are going to be really tough. He describes circumstances that will occur. A huge experience will be the Temple being destroyed. He knew this was going to happen and is now telling the disciples. I have often wondered if this is why Yeshua really came in person -- to warn us that if we did not start earnestly following Hashem -- the Temple would be removed (for a very long time!). This is a discussion for another time. The point is, the Mashiach was explaining to His people to get prepared and there were tough times ahead. But, those who will endure through it all -- will win. They will be granted eternal life with Hashem. So, be strong and obedient, starting today.
In verse 4 Yeshua specifically tells His people to be careful and to watch out for people that will lead you astray. That false prophets will come and say they are the Mashiach. You may think that it would not be possible that you would obviously know when the real Mashiach shows up. But, think of this -- many did not recognize Yeshua when He came to the earth. Maybe you don’t believe He was the Mashiach, but did you ever study it? Have you ever studied what it will be like when the Mashiach comes in the Olam Haba? My concern is that we are not really familiar with Scripture on this subject. We actually may believe that someone is the Mashiach when they are NOT. So my challenge to you today is to STUDY. Let us not get confused or be led astray. It’s too important. Following the wrong person would be a huge mistake. An eternal mistake. There are many Scriptures on the subject of the Mashiach. Study them and become familiar. Amen.
Apostolic Scripture: Matthew 24:1-22
24:1 Yeshua went out from the Temple, and was going on His way. His disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the Temple. 2 But He answered them, “You see all of these things, don’t you? Most certainly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down.”
3 As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 Yeshua answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Mashiach,’ and will lead many astray. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you aren’t troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. 8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to oppression and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for
My name’s sake. 10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will lead many astray. 12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end will be saved. 14 This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
15 “When, therefore, you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take out the things that are in his house. 18 Let him who is in the field not return back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are with child and to nursing mothers in those days! 20 Pray that your flight will not be in the winter nor on a Sabbath, 21 for then there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be. 22 Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened.