Ki Tavo (When you enter in)
Torah: Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 Haftarah: Isaiah 60:1-22 Brit Chadasha: James 2:12-13
I would like to start this week’s portion off by going one more verse into next week’s portion although I believe this verse should have been with this week’s portion but that’s just my opinion. We are told that we are to guard the words of the covenant and do them so that we prosper in all that we do.[i] We are seeing Moshe over the past few portions keeping the Torah fresh in the memory of all of those who are getting ready to go into the land. I find it very interesting the Father today is restoring His Torah to His children and it is being proclaimed throughout the nations. I see a great similarity here. The generation who were getting ready to go into the land was getting their refresher course in Torah and here you and I are today and it seems as though the time for us to go into the land is drawing near, and we too are receiving our refresher’s course about Torah. Could it be a little history repeated? It sure sounds like it to me!
I’m in the money
In our day and age especially in the realm of religion the word prosper is many times associated with money or material things. This is a great error that has crept into our culture and needs to be put back into its proper context. I even recently heard a very famous well known prosperity preacher state that the only way that you can get hooked up to prosperity is through the tithe. It is very troubling to me that there are many followers out there of this false doctrine who don’t take time to read the Scriptures and search the matter out to see what prosperity is really all about in a Scriptural context and not what our society/culture says it’s all about. The problem is that our society and most of the religious movements are infected or I could say injected with mammon driven filthy lucre spirits so honestly we/I shouldn’t expect them to rightly divide the Word when the rudder of the ship is always being steered by mammon and filthy lucre. Ok enough of my soapbox. The word prosper is an interesting word in the Deut. 29:9 passage it means to have knowledge, have understanding, be prudent, and have insight. So we see that financial blessings could be a part of that word but not like our society pushes the meaning of that word on us today.
Let me move on to something else. Over the last few portions we see Moshe laying it out for the children trying to instruct them from the words of the Father. I find something very interesting in Deuteronomy verse four of chapter twenty nine. The previous verses shed some light on something that I think you and I have to be very careful with. Moshe is talking to the children about what they saw in Egypt and what Yah did with Pharaoh and the signs and wonders and so forth and so on, and then he tells them something that we need to make note of.[ii] He says that the Father hasn’t given you eyes to see and ears to hear until this day. Now why in the world are they just getting eyes to see and ears to hear now? Was there something that could have possibly caused them to not have eyes to see and ears to hear? I believe so and I think the main factor/hindrance was saturated in selfishness. We could take it a step further and say it was idolatry. Idolatry because the children didn’t want to listen to the instructions of the Father; I think they could have used what Shaul wrote to Timothy.
In the sight of Elohim and the Master יהושע Messiah, who shall judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His reign, I earnestly charge you: Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching. For there shall be a time when they shall not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they shall heap up for themselves teachers tickling the ear, and they shall indeed turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths. But you be sober in all matters, suffer hardships, do the work of an evangelist, accomplish your service completely. For I am already being poured out, and the time of my departure has arrived. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have guarded the belief. For the rest, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Master, the righteous Judge, shall give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all those loving His appearing. Do your best to come to me soon, for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and went to Thessalonike, Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Take Mark and bring him with you, for he is of good use to me for service. 2 Tim 4:1-11
Can we see some correlations here in this passage with the children of Yisrael? I believe so. Demas is a great example. Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me. Folks that speaks volumes to me; Demas deserted Shaul at the end of his life because of selfishness. Idolatry. Something else I find interesting is that who we see with Shaul at the end of his journey, Luke. Luke’s name has the meaning of light giving. So when Shaul was at the end of his life, it could be said that he had ‘light’ with him. I want to read a little bit from the Haftarah portion this week to bring this all together.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the esteem of יהוה has risen upon you. “For look, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. But יהוה arises over you, and His esteem is seen upon you. “And the gentiles shall come to your light, and sovereigns to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around and see: all of them have gathered, they have come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are supported on the side. Isa 60:1-4
Folks when the end comes are we going to be ‘light givers’ or will we still be doing our own thing as to what we feel is right in our own eyes and stiff necked? In the end will we be a people who haven’t deserted the Father and our brothers/sisters? Remember the tribulation is going to be a movement that involves a lot of movers and shakers, if you will, and if we aren’t those who are walking and obeying the commandments out of a heart of love to the Father as our foundation, then it’s going to be rough and the possibility for you and I to become a Demas increases. I don’t want this to happen. I want to be like Luke’s name = light giving. I want to be one of those whose light draws folks and not blinds. I don’t want to make it down to the end and be exposed because of selfishness. Meaning that the reason I kept the commandments was so that I looked good or could have others look at me and my self righteousness or that I kept the commandments just so I could be blessed and have all the blessings for me me me. Folks we must be careful because our hearts can turn things into idols. Idols are in a nutshell things that we put before Yah and I believe today that self is the biggest idol that we have in our midst. Folks why do we do what we do? What are our motives? I’m sure Luke would have rather been at home with friends and family hanging out eating falafels and what not but he was with Shaul ministering to him emitting his light. When we choose to not be kind to one another and beat each other up and call each other out with the letter of the law we’re putting self all in it. When we choose not to keep His commandments… You got it, self all over the place and it reeks of idolatry.
These are the words of the covenant which יהוה commanded Mosheh to make with the children of Yisra’ĕl in the land of Mo’ab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Ḥorĕb. And Mosheh called all Yisra’ĕl and said to them, “You yourselves saw all that יהוה did before your eyes in the land of Mitsrayim, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land. “Your eyes saw the great trials, the signs, and those great wonders. “But יהוה has not given you a heart to know and eyes to see and ears to hear, till this day. “And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your garments have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet. “You ate no bread and drank no wine nor strong drink, so that you might know that I am יהוה your Elohim. “And when you came to this place, Siḥon sovereign of Ḥeshbon and Og sovereign of Bashan came out against us to battle, and we smote them, and took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Re’ubĕnites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Menashsheh. “Therefore you shall guard the words of this covenant, and do them, so that you prosper (have knowledge, be prudent, have insight) in all that you do. Deu 29:1-9
Will we do what His Word says not pulling our little check list out, ok did this commandment check and so forth and so on while all the while we are disrespectful and hateful to others and our brothers and sisters. Will we arise and allow the light that is within us to come forth or will we choose to take that light and hurl it at folks thus blinding them just to show them how bright our little light is? Of course all in the name of the song this little light of mine I’m gonna let it shine, right? We need to become children who have eyes to see and ears to hear. When we reach this place where self is no longer an idol that we have placed before Yahweh then just maybe then the scales will completely fall off of our eyes and the cotton that has stopped our ears can come out.
[i] Deuteronomy 29:9
[ii] Deuteronomy 29:1-4