Ekev עֵקֶב - As a Result
Reading #7 - Deuteronomy 11:22–25
In verse 22 we read once again about keeping all His Commandments and here is added to “cling to Him”. What do you think that means? When you cling to something you hold on pretty tight. And you are probably doing it because you are in some need of something. Here Hashem is telling us it’s okay to cling to Him, in fact He sounds like He is encouraging it. He says to walk with Him and cling to Him. And amazingly enough if we do all this He will drive out the enemy ahead of us. That’s really awesome. Start “clinging” to Hashem today -- whatever that looks like. Either through studying His Word, praying, worshiping, serving others, and just loving Him. Cling.
Okay now let’s look at the command to “walk in His ways”. What does that look like? Probably very simply to follow Torah. That's his way. So my challenge to you today is to continue on -- faithful servant. Try your best to follow His Commandments. You may not be doing a perfect job, but I believe Hashem knows when we are trying. If we truly want to walk in His ways -- this is required to follow His Commandments. Also remember this, we are to love Hashem and love our neighbor. Loving others is a heavy duty commandment that is sometimes very hard to follow. Especially if they have hurt us. Today forgive others and move on. Repent and turn. And let’s walk together with Hashem.
Reading #7 - Deuteronomy 11:22–25
11:22 For if you shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you—to do them, to love Hashem your Elohim, to walk in all His ways, and to cling to Him— 23 then Hashem will drive out all these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. 24 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even to the western sea shall be your border. 25 No man will be able to stand before you. Hashem your Elohim will lay the fear of you and the dread of you on all the land that you tread on, as He has spoken to you.
I think Hashem is talking to His people in exile. He speaks something very profound in verse 23, “...those who wait for Me shall not be disappointed.” We can only imagine how the Isaelites felt as they were exiled to other countries. Would they ever be able to return? Hashem speaks to Isaiah and encourages him and the people. He says “wait” and you won’t be disappointed. It’s hard to wait isn’t it? Even for small things. Being in exile is huge. Look at the almost 2,000 years that the Jewish people had to wait to regain their country -- Israel. Did they ever give up, or did they continue and believe, “Next year Jerusalem”. And finally it happened. Right after World War 2 and the horrific Holocause -- Israel becomes a nation. They waited and were not disappointed. The same goes for us. Wait and be patient. He will deliver.
Isn’t it comforting in verse 16, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.” Our names are on His hands. He hasn’t forgotten us. He literally holds us in His hands. Isn’t that a calming thought? My challenge today is to take some time to think about this. Think about how you are held by Him and you need not worry about what is concerning you. Try to put your 100% trust in Him. Not only about your present concern, but about everything. Remember He loves us so much. And we love Him.
Haftarah: Isaiah 49:14-51:3
14 But Zion said, “Hashem has forsaken me,
and the L-rd has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Yes, these may forget,
yet I will not forget you!
16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
Your walls are continually before me.
17 Your children hurry.
Your destroyers and those who devastated you will leave you.
18 Lift up your eyes all around, and see:
all these gather themselves together, and come to you.
As I live,” says Hashem, “you shall surely clothe yourself with them all as with an ornament,
and dress yourself with them, like a bride.
19 “For, as for your waste and your desolate places,
and your land that has been destroyed,
surely now that land will be too small for the inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children of your bereavement will say in your ears,
‘This place is too small for me.
Give me a place to live in.’
21 Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has conceived these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children
and am alone, an exile, and wandering back and forth?
Who has brought these up?
Behold, I was left alone. Where were these?’”
22 Hashem Adonai says, “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,
and lift up my banner to the peoples.
They shall bring your sons in their bosom,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23 Kings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth,
and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am Hashem;
and those who wait for me shall not be disappointed.”
24 Shall the plunder be taken from the mighty,
or the lawful captives be delivered?
25 But Hashem says, “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,
and the plunder retrieved from the fierce,
for I will contend with him who contends with you
and I will save your children.
26 I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh;
and they will be drunk on their own blood, as with sweet wine.
Then all flesh shall know that I, Hashem, am your Savior
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
50 Hashem says, “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorce, with which I have put her away?
Or to which of my creditors have I sold you?
Behold, you were sold for your iniquities,
and your mother was put away for your transgressions.
2 Why, when I came, was there no one?
When I called, why was there no one to answer?
Is my hand shortened at all, that it can’t redeem?
Or have I no power to deliver?
Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea.
I make the rivers a wilderness.
Their fish stink because there is no water, and die of thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with blackness.
I make sackcloth their covering.”
4 The Hashem Adonai has given me the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with words him who is weary.
He awakens morning by morning,
he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.
5 Hashem Adonai has opened my ear.
I was not rebellious.
I have not turned back.
6 I gave my back to those who beat me,
and my cheeks to those who plucked off the hair.
I didn’t hide my face from shame and spitting.
7 For Hashem Adonai will help me.
Therefore I have not been confounded.
Therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I won’t be disappointed.
8 He who justifies me is near.
Who will bring charges against me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.
9 Behold, Hashem Adonai will help me!
Who is he who will condemn me?
Behold, they will all grow old like a garment.
The moths will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears Hashem
and obeys the voice of his servant?
He who walks in darkness
and has no light,
let him trust in Hashem’s name,
and rely on his G-d.
11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
who adorn yourselves with torches around yourselves,
walk in the flame of your fire,
and among the torches that you have kindled.
You will have this from my hand:
you will lie down in sorrow.
51 “Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness,
you who seek Hashem.
Look to the rock you were cut from,
and to the quarry you were dug from.
2 Look to Abraham your father,
and to Sarah who bore you;
for when he was but one I called him,
I blessed him,
and made him many.
3 For Hashem has comforted Zion.
He has comforted all her waste places,
and has made her wilderness like Eden,
and her desert like the garden of Yahweh.
Joy and gladness will be found in them,
thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
Hashem is revealing to the disciples who Yeshua is. He is the son of Elohim and the Mashiach. This is sometimes difficult for us to grasp. The Mashiach was supposed to deliver Israel from their oppressors and bring in the Messianic Age. Yeshua was unable to fulfill this as He was killed on the stakes (as were thousands of other Jews at this time). That does not mean He was not the Mashiach. He died and He was resurrected from the dead. He ascended to the right hand of Hashem. And will return to rule and reign from Jerusalem as the resurrected Mashiach. Study and learn more about this.
This reading is about discovering who Mashiach is. Different religions have different views on this. I believe Yeshua is the Mashiach and that He is returning. Both Jews and Christians believe the Mashiach is to come and rule and reign from the Temple in Jerusalem. So whether this Mashiach is believed to be Yeshua or not, we know that One is coming. My challenge is for you to pray and ask Hashem to reveal to you about the Mashiach and the plans for His reign. Study Ezekiel, chapters 38 to the end. You will learn a lot. I pray your eyes are opened wide to the truth.
Apostolic Reading: Matthew 16:13-20
13 Now when Yeshua came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 They said, “Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Mashiach, the Son of the living Elohim.”
17 Yeshua answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.” 20 Then He commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that He was Yeshua the Mashiach.