Parashah 46: Ekev “because”
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7:12-11:25 Psalm 75
Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) 49:14-51:3 Hebrews 11:8-13
by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley
12 Because you are listening to these rulings, keeping and obeying them, Adonai your God will keep with you the covenant and mercy that He swore to your ancestors.
Enjoying the manifold blessings of the LORD are conditional on us listening, keeping and obeying God's rules.
Most people think they like the idea of “going to heaven” but not keeping the “laws of the land.”
Every country has rules and laws. Those who don't follow the rules may be jailed and / or kicked out of the country: especially non-citizens. (I won't discuss the policies [or non-policies] of the current emperor of my earthly home country.)
What makes heaven heaven is that it is where HaShem is. Heaven is, in a sense, the LORD's home.
Obversely, what makes hell hell is the absence of the presence of the Almighty.
How happy or content could anyone be living with someone in their home, when they don't know them and have no relationship with them?
13 He will love you, bless you and increase your numbers; He will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground – your grain, wine, olive oil and the young of your cattle and sheep – in the land He swore to your ancestors that He would give you. 14 You will be blessed more than all other peoples; there will not be a sterile male or female among you, and the same with your livestock.
• By G-d's sovereign choice He wills to love us, and because of that love wills to bless us in every conceivable way that will be for our good and His glory.
◦ All true love emanates from, flows back to, and reflects the Father.
▪ The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is א (aleph) which is symbolically represents strength, power, leader, first, what is most important. The second letter is בּ (bet [with the dot (dagesh)] or vet [without the dagesh]) representing house, tent, building, family, household, in, into, inside.
• Together, these two letters form the word אב [“ahv”] meaning father, showing us that the father is designed, ordained, and commissioned to be the strength and leader of his family which includes providing, caring for and protecting them.
▪ The fifth letter is the ה [hey] which symbolically represents something revealed, as in behold, here is and what comes from.
• When the ה appears in the middle of a Hebrew word, it may indicate what comes from the heart of something.
◦ Placing an ה in the middle of אב [father] gives us the Hebrew word אהב : love.
▪ Again, all true love emanates from, flows back to, and reflects the Father.
• That can be a test of our human relationships. If it does not truly reflect the love of God, our perfect heavenly Father, and encourage us in a right relationship with Him, it is not true love.
15 Adonai will remove all illness from you – He will not afflict you with any of Egypt's dreadful diseases, which you have known; instead, He will lay them on those who hate you.
“remove” here comes from the Hebrew word סוּר [sūr] meaning
Strong's: to turn off (literal or figurative)
BDB: to turn aside, to depart
(here in the Hiphil, perfect) to cause to turn aside, to cause to depart, to remove, to take away, to put away, to depose; to put aside, to leave undone, to retract, to reject, to abolish
With the Fall, the door was opened that allowed a number of things to enter our world (e.g. sin, rot, decay, corruption, disease, death) – all opposite of God's design and purposes.
It is as if a hacker broke through the firewall and reprogramed mankind's hard drive.
Since that time our “natural” inclinations are toward those things that lead to death.
Our only hope is to allow the Master Programer to clean our hard drive, reinstall His original programing, and reboot our lives so that we can live according to His plan and will. Allowing Him to סוּר all these death producing viruses, worms, trojans and malware.
16 You are to devour all the peoples that Adonai your God hands over to you – show them no pity, and do not serve their gods, because that will become a trap for you.
“devour” here comes from the Hebrew word אָכָל [ah-kahl] meaning
Strong's: to eat (literally or figuratively)
BDB: (here in the Qal) to eat (human subject); to eat, devour (used of animals and birds); to devour, consume (used of fire); to devour, to kill (used of sword); to devour, consume, destroy (inanimate subjects: that is, pestilence, drought); to devour (used of oppression)
“the peoples” here is הָעַמִּים [hah-ah-miym]
הָ is the definite article prefix (“the”)
עַמִּים is the plural of עַמ meaning:
Strong's: a people (as a congregated unit); specifically, a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively, a flock
BDB: a nation, a people (a people, a nation; persons, members of one's people, compatriots, country-men); a kinsman, kindred
“show them no pity” because they are people “that Adonai your God hands over to you” for you to “devour”
not the Israel was so good or righteous, but that these other people were so bad the LORD was using Israel to execute His righteous judgement
Don't think to yourself, after your God has pushed them out ahead of you, 'It is to reward my righteousness that Adonai has brought me in to take possession of this land.' No, it is because these nations have been so wicked that Adonai is driving them out ahead of you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness, or because your heart is so upright, that you go in to take possession of their land; but to punish the wickedness of these nations that Adonai your God is driving them out ahead of you, and also to confirm the word which Adonai swore to your ancestors, Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov. (Deut 9:4-5)
These people had degraded to living out every form of depravity and perversity. After hundreds of years, allowing ample time to repent and change their ways, time had come for judgement.
In this case Israel was God's chosen instrument / tool to execute judgement on these nations.
Later He used the Assyrians to judge Israel,
then the Babylonians to judge both Judah and the Assyrians,
then the Medes and Persians to judge the Babylonians,
the Greeks to judge the Persians,
and the Romans to judge the Greeks ….
17 If you think to yourselves, 'These nations outnumber us; how can we dispossess them?' 18a nevertheless, you are not to be afraid of them;
you are not to be afraid of them
numerous times in Scripture God's people are told not to be afraid, e.g.
Gen 15:1 … Don't be afraid, Avram.
Gen 21:17 … What's wrong with you, Hagar? Don't be afraid …
Gen 26:23-24 … Yitz'chak … Don't be afraid …
Ex 20:17(20) … people … Don't be afraid …
Num 14:9 … people … don't be afraid …
18b you are to remember well what Adonai your God did to Pharaoh and all of Egypt – 19 the great ordeals which you yourself saw, and the signs, wonders, strong hand and outstretched arm by which Adonai your God brought you out. Adonai will do the same to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.
remember well what Adonai your God did
Whether is involves standing up a stone, writing it in a book, driving a stake into the ground, writing it on a wall, etc., remember well what Adonai your God did.
Scripture also tells us how fear is overcome
Gen 15:1 Some time later the word of Adonai came to Avram in a vision: “Don't be afraid, Avram. I am your protector; your reward will be very great.”
Gen 21:17 God heard the boy's voice, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What's wrong with you, Hagar? Don't be afraid, because God has heard the voice of the boy in his present situation.
Gen 26:23 From there Yitz'chak went up to Be'er-Sheva. 24 Adonai appeared to him that same night and said, “I am the God of Avraham you father. Don't be afraid, because I am with you; I will bless you and increase your descendants for the sake of my servant Avraham.
Ex 20:17(20) Moshe answered the people, “Don't be afraid, because God has come only to test you and make you fear Him, so that you won't commit sins.”
Num 14:9 Just don't rebel against Adonai. And don't be afraid of the people living in the land – we'll eat them up! Their defense has been taken away from them, and Adonai is with us! Don't be afraid of them!
It is the presence of the LORD in relationship with His people that dispels fear.
How much more so for with the Spirit of the LORD living within them?
1 Cor 3:16 Don't you know that you people are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 17 So if anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you yourselves are that temple.
1 Cor 6:19 Or don't you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh Who lives inside you, Whom you received from God. The fact is, you don't belong to yourselves; 20 for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God.
2 Cor 6:16 What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God – as God said, “I will house Myself in them, … and I will walk among you. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”
John Laird Mair Lawrence is buried at Westminster Abbey. Part of his epitaph says, “He feared Man so little, because he feared God so much.” (http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/people/john-laird-mair-lawrence, accessed 04 Aug 15)
G.K. Chesterton wrote, “We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another. When man's terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God.” (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/111133-we-fear-men-so-much-because-we-fear-god-so, accessed 04 Aug 15)
Here is how love has been brought to maturity with us: as the Messiah is, so are we in this world. This gives us confidence for the Day of Judgment. 18 There is no fear in love. On the contrary, love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear, because fear has to do with punishment; the person who keeps fearing has not been brought to maturity in regard to love. 19 We ourselves love now because He loved us first. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 Yes, this is the command we have from him: whoever loves God must love his brother too. 5:1 Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah has God as his Father, and everyone who loves a father loves his offspring too. 2 Here is how we know that we love God's children: when we love God, we also do what He commands. 3 For loving God means obeying His commands. Moreover, His commands are not burdensome, 4 because everything which has God as its Father overcomes the world. And this is what victoriously overcomes the world: our trust. 5 Who does overcome the world if not the person who believes that Yeshua is the Son of God? (1 John 4:17-5:5, emphasis original)
20 Moreover, Adonai your God will send the hornet among them until those who are left and those who hide themselves perish ahead of you.
All of Creation is subject to the will and authority of the LORD. He may use any “tool” He chooses to accomplish His purposes.
21 You are not to be frightened of them, because Adonai your God is there with you, a God great and fearsome.
“Not” here is the Hebrew לֹא [lō], a negation similar to אַל [ahl], but לֹא carries the idea of an absolute prohibition, which is why it is used in the 10 Commandments.
This verse might be paraphrased: “God is great and fearsome, and, as your God, is right there with you, therefore, you are in no way even allowed permission to be afraid of them.”
22 Adonai your God will expel those nations ahead of you little by little; you can't put an end to them all at once, or the wild animals will become too numerous for you.
God is the One expelling the wicked ahead of Israel
while they still tend the land, so
the wild animals do not become too numerous
23 Nevertheless, Adonai your God will give them over to you, sending one disaster after another upon them until they have been destroyed. 24 He will hand their kings over to you, and you will wipe out their name from under haven; none of them will be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them.
Adonai your God will give them over to you
the LORD does the work, and therefore gets the glory and honor due His name,
and yet allows us to come work alongside Him,
share in His victories
delight in the blessings
enjoy the benefits
Disasters are subject to the will and wisdom of the eternal LORD, Who alone sees all of eternity (or we might say, Who alone “sees the big picture”).
The LORD alone is Sovereign
the devil, disasters, danger, etc., etc., are all subject to Him
just as are heavenly angels, blessings, peace, etc., etc., are all subject to Him
How they all work together to accomplish His perfect divine will, we may have ideas or even revelations, but details are for Him alone to know.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways,” says Adonai. 9 “As high as the sky is above the earth are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:8-9)
The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just. A trustworthy God Who does no wrong, He is righteous and straight. (Deut 32:4)
So now I, N'vukhadnetzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven: “For all His works are truth, and His ways are just; and He can humble those who walk in pride.” (Dan 4:34)
25 You are to burn up completely the carved statues of their gods. Don't be greedy for the silver or gold on them; don't take it with you, or you will be trapped by it; for it is abhorrent to Adonai your God.
The carved images of their gods, along with the gold or silver on them, were dedicated to the demons they represented.
They and the practices associated with them were (and still are) abhorrent to the LORD.
We should have nothing to do with them.
“trapped” here comes from the Hebrew יָקֹשׁ [yah-kōsh] meaning:
Strong's: to ensnare (literally or figuratively)
BDB: to lure, to entice, to snare, to lay a snare or lure, to set a trap
here in the Niphal (verb form): to be ensnared, to be caught by bait
Silver and gold are elements created by the LORD and used throughout the millennia for their beauty and value.
As such, they are inherently neither good nor evil.
It is their association, dedication, and use that make them abhorrent or acceptable to the LORD.
So the silver and gold must be destroyed when associated with and dedicated to demons,
and yet, other silver and gold may be used in the Temple service and adornment when dedicated to the LORD
26 Don't bring something abhorrent into your house, or you will share in the curse that is on it; instead, you are to detest it completely, loathe it utterly; for it is set apart for destruction.
When we accept the LORD's gift of salvation through Yeshua, His Ruach HaKodesh lives within us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19); the house of God. “Don't bring something abhorrent into your house, or you will share in the curse that is on it....”
As we come into the presence of our pure, holy, righteous, just God, we need to allow Him to deal with any sin in our lives. He will purify and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:8-9). Sin will be destroyed: if we refuse and choose to hold on to the sin, we are choosing to be destroyed along with it.
1 All the mitzvot I am giving you today you are to take care to obey, so that you will live, increase your numbers, enter and take possession of the land Adonai swore about to your ancestors.
Not only does the LORD give us His commandments, but He tells us why we should obey them: so that you
increase your numbers
enter the land
take possession of the land
fulfill His good word
this is why we are to “take care to obey” His commandments
they are for our own good
God's commandments and instructions are to protect, lead, and guide us
“take care” here comes from the Hebrew word שָׁמַר [shah-mahr] meaning:
Strong's: properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.
BDB: to keep, to guard, to observe, to give heed
here in the Qal:
to keep, to have charge of
to keep, to guard, to keep watch and ward, to protect, to save life; watch, a watchmen (participle)
to watch for, to wait for
to watch, to observe
to keep, to retain, to treasure up (in memory)
to keep (within bounds), to restrain
to observe, to celebrate, to keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), to perform (a vow)
to keep, to preserve, to protect
to keep, to reserve
2 You are to remember everything of the way in which Adonai led you these forty years in the desert, humbling and testing you in order to know what was in your heart – whether you would obey His mitzvot or not.
remember (from זָכַר [zah-khahr])
keep it in mind, refresh the memory, don't allow yourself to forget
God has done A LOT to watch over you, care for you, protect you, provide for you, lead you, to get you to this good place where you are right now – remember all that!
self is not God, self is not in charge, self is not in control – that can be humbling
pride puffs us up, but only really in our own eyes
sometimes we have to be knocked down to make us look upward
“It is hard to humble a humble person.”
testing you in order to know what was in your heart
not so He can know, He is the All-Knowing God, He already knows
the testing is so we can know what is really in our heart
and then allow the LORD to deal with anything that is not of Him or does not accurately reflect Who He is
if He really is our Heavenly Father, there should be a good “family resemblance”
Gold is placed into a crucible which is then put into the fire. At the same time there is both a separation and a coming together that occurs. The gold comes together and sinks to the bottom of the crucible, and the impurities (dross) comes together and rises to where they can be removed by the goldsmith. Once the dross is removed, the crucible is placed in more intense heat and the process is repeated until the goldsmith can see a clear reflection of himself in the gold.
3 He humbled you, allowing you to become hungry, and then fed you with man, which neither you nor you ancestors had ever known, to make you understand that a person does not live on food alone but on everything that comes form the mouth of Adonai.
God allows us to go through things that cause us to depend on Him, and then meets our needs in special ways.
In the early 1990s part of my work entailed “flying” in the high altitude chamber for the Navy, for which I received hazardous duty pay. Having four children at home the extra money helped to pay for the food that was constantly disappearing. To help we would sometimes shop at a local food warehouse store, buying (among other things) large bags of fish-sticks “containing about 75 sticks” each. Anne would use about 25 of these breaded fish-sticks at a time as the main course for a meal. At this same time we felt very strongly that the LORD was telling us to get out of debt.
Praying, tightening the budget and working hard we were just starting to get ahead financially when I got my final case of decompression sickness, was permanently grounded, and lost that extra pay. A double test as we were trying to follow the LORD's leading to get out of debt and provide for the family, now that extra money was suddenly gone. But, as Anne was quick to remind me, this doesn't surprise God, and if we hadn't been working on the budget, we would have been that much further behind now.
So what does this have to do with fish-sticks? Around the fifth or sixth time Anne got 25 out of the same bag she came to me with the news that God was doing something miraculous in our freezer! Still providing for us as we leaned on Him, God was multiplying “bread and fish” for His followers.
When Yeshua was fasting in the desert, tempted by the devil to turn stones into bread, this was the Scripture He quoted (Matt 4:4, Luke 4:4)
In refuting the devil during this time in the wilderness, Yeshua quoted three times from this week's parashah, leading many to conclude that these verses were fresh in His mind because this was the time when these events took place.
Five weeks later, after His 40 days of fasting and Jesus had returned to Galilee (Luke 4:13-14), He was in Nazareth and read from the current parashah's haftarah, Isaiah 61.
The normal haftarah reading begins with Isa 61:10 because tradition says that the first verses of this chapter are for the Messiah. When Yeshua read from Isaiah 61:1-2a He was using their expectations to declare that He was the Messiah.
4 During these forty years the clothing you were wearing didn't grow old, and your feet didn't swell up.
part of the LORD's provision
things wearing out (decay) is part of the Fall that has given rise to the second law of thermodynamics, and yet
Malachi 3:10-11 tells us that if we honor God by returning to Him the first tenth of what He allows us to work with, then part of His blessing us will be to rebuke, or forbid the devourer
Many say they can not afford to tithe. My response is that they can not afford not to tithe.
We can do much more with about 90% that God blesses, than we could ever hope to do with 100% that He refuses to bless.
I can not tell how many times we have had x-amount in pay, and XX-amount in bills. Figure it out with a calculator and there is no way it will work. Begin by returning to the LORD the tithe, according to His Word, and all the bills get paid with some left over.
God's accounting can not be figured on human calculators!
5 Think deeply about it: Adonai was disciplining you, just as a man disciplines his child.
“Think deeply about it” more literally would be “know in your heart,” “know” coming from the Hebrew יָדַע [yah-dah] (here in the Qal verb form) meaning:
Strong's: to know (properly, to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively, instruction, designation punishment, etc.)
BDB: to know: to know, to learn to know; to perceive; to perceive and to see, to find out and to discern; to discriminate, to distinguish; to know by experience; to recognize, to admit, to acknowledge, to confess; to consider
The LORD was disciplining you as His child
My son, don't despise Adonai's discipline or resent His reproof; 12 for Adonai corrects those He loves like a father who delights in his son. (Pro 3:11-12)
Also you have forgotten the counsel which speaks with you as sons: “My son, don't despise the discipline of Adonai or become despondent when He corrects you. 6 For Adonai disciplines those He loves and whips everyone He accepts as a son.” 7 Regard your endurance as discipline; God is dealing with you as sons. For what son goes undisciplined by his father? 8 All legitimate sons undergo discipline; so if you don't, you're a mamzer and not a son! (Heb 12:5-8)
6 So obey the mitzvot of Adonai your God, living as He directs and fearing Him.
So … For this reason … With this in mind … Considering this …
… obey the commandments of the LORD your God
(which lead us to) living as He directs, and
(to) fearing Him.
7 For Adonai your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams, springs and water welling up from the depths in valleys and on hillsides.
vs 1 take care to obey all God's commandments
vs 2 remember all the LORD has done
vs 5 think deeply about it
vs 6 obey the commandments of the LORD
vs 7 for (because, since) the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land
10 So you will eat and be satisfied, and you will bless Adonai your God for the good land He has given you.
Part of the purpose of all the good things the LORD does for us is so that we will bless Him.
11 Be careful not to forget Adonai your God by not obeying his mitzvot, rulings and regulations that I am giving you today.
“forget” here comes from the Hebrew [shah-khahk] meaning:
Strong's: to mislay, i.e. to be oblivious of, from want of memory or attention
BDB: to forget, to ignore, to wither
here in the Qal verb form: to forget; to cease to care
Beware, lest you forget or cease to care about the LORD your God. Some of the symptoms of this “disease” are enumerated in the following verses.
How are “obeying God's mitzvot” and “remembering Him” related?
Our obedience is an expression of our love for Him, but more than that
God's mitzvot are an expression of His character.
Moshe recognized this and prayed, “If You are pleased with me, teach me Your ways so I may know You …” (Ex. 33:13)
In Psalm 19:7-9 we read:
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The ordinances of the Lord are sure, and altogether righteous.
Note David words in describing HaShem’s Law: perfect, sure, right, radiant, pure, eternal, sure, and righteous. The Law possesses these qualities because they originate from, and are inherent to, the Lawgiver.
His Word (expressed to us through His Law, statutes, precepts, commands, and ordinances) points to universal moral principles that help explain the “why” of the precepts, which, in turn, spring from the Person of Adonai Himself—His very nature and character.
For instance, the Precept: Do not murder, points us to the overarching
Principle of: Reverence for life. This principle, in turn, points us to the
Person of HaShem Himself, because: He is the Creator and giver of life, because God is Life itself
Precept: You shall not give false testimony
Person: God is Truth
Precept: flee sexual immorality
Principle: God's standard for sex is based upon love, purity, and faithfulness within marriage
Person: God is love, is pure, and is faithful
18 No, you are to remember Adonai your God, because it is He who is giving you the power to get wealth, in order to confirm His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as is happening even today.
It is the LORD who gives us the power, strength, and ability to work, which in turn, brings wealth of varying degrees
God holds our atoms together
the LORD gives us air to breathe
He is the One who formed our bodies
He is the One who created our minds
HaShem is the One who provides the materials with which we work
He is the One who tells us how things function
God gives our muscles ability and strength
the LORD gives our bodies stability and balance … … + + +
if any part of our body ever works, even a little, we owe it to the LORD
12 So now, Isra'el, all that Adonai your God asks from you is to
fear Adonai your God,
follow all his ways,
love him and
serve Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being;
13 to obey, for your own good, the mitzvot and regulations of Adonai which I am giving you today.
doing all these things are for our own good
Being finite creatures, our perspective is naturally limited by time and space. By faith, however, by trusting in HaShem, living in relationship with Yeshua, we are given glimpses and a hope, that transcend both time and space.
One of the ways all these elements are brought together, (the faith, trust, relationship, hope, and a vision for the future) is given to us in John 14:15, where Yeshua says, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.”
• What were His commandments?
◦ Those He both lived by and taught.
Yeshua told us to “love one another, even as I have loved you.” (Jn. 13:34)
He also lived by the Tanakh, teaching others by word and example.
And He “raised the bar”
from where man had put the Tanakh at just trying to follow the “letter of the Law” [and being “religious”]
back to God's intention of living by the “spirit of the Law” [and living in relationship with Him]
In the “Sermon on the Mount,” for instance, Yeshua exposed
adultery in the lustful look, (Mt. 5:27-28)
murder in the attitude of hatred, (Mt. 5:21-22) and
sin in the desire for revenge or retaliation (Mt. 5:28f)
How can we ever hope to live this way?
Rabbi Sh'aul gives us the answer in Galatians 5:16-18:
What I am saying is this: run your lives by the Spirit. Then you will not do what your old nature wants. 17 For the old nature wants what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is contrary to the old nature. These oppose each other, so that you find yourselves unable to carry out your good intentions. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, then you are not in subjection to the system that results from perverting the Torah into legalism. (CJB, emphasis original)
As we read in Hebrews 11 that Avraham and so many others did:
by faith, by trusting in HaShem
being led by the Ruach HaKodesh
living according to His Word: written and personified in Yeshua