The Parashah for this week 16-22 September 2018 is called, Ha’azinu – “Give Ear!”
The Torah Portion this weekend is comprised of what is often called the Song of Moses (The song recorded in Exodus 15 after crossing the Red Sea is more often known as the Song of the Sea). It is a song of testimony which God gave to Moses to teach to the Children of Israel, who in turn were to teach it to their children after they had crossed into Canaan. Perhaps it is portions of this song which are prophesied in Revelation 15:2-4 as someday being sung with the Song of the Lamb. This song contains some of the grimmest promises in Scripture of the consequences awaiting the descendants of those standing before Moses if they choose to go away from El Hai – the “Life-God.”
Yet, this must be seen in a context of a merciful God calling out to Israel two chapters earlier (30:19-20):
“Choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love YHVH your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which YHVH swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
*Deuteronomy 32:3-4. “For the name of YHWH I proclaim, give greatness to our God! The Rock, whole-and-perfect are his deeds, for all his ways are just. A God steadfast, (with) no corruption, equitable and upright is he” (Everett Fox Translation).
This word “Rock” (Hebrew: Tzur – a rock, a cliff, a fortress) is used over six times in this song: It is one of the attributes of God’s greatness (vs. 4); it is a source of oil/anointing (vs. 13b); it is the source of Jerusalem’s salvation (vs. 15b); it is the One from whom Israel was actually birthed (vs. 18); the source of her strength for victory in warfare (vs. 30). In verse 13a the rock (a different Hebrew word) is a source of honey or sweetness.
*Deuteronomy 32:7a, 9a, 10-14. “Remember the days of old. For the LORD’s portion is His people. He foundhim; Encircled him; Instructed him; Guarded him; Led him; Made him ride on heights; Made him suckle honey from the rock.”
PLEASE PRAY: That Jacob “remember the days of old.”
*Deuteronomy 32:21b. “But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.”
In Romans 10:19 and 11:11-15, Paul quotes this verse as actually being related to salvation coming to the Gentiles and eventually, through Israel’s jealousy precipitating her own restoration, which will in turn release “life from the dead” throughout the world.
PLEASE PRAY: For the light and truth of Messiah among Gentiles to be seen and to awaken in Jewish consciousness a jealousy, a holy longing, which will draw them back to the Truth.
*Deuteronomy 32:36, 43b. “For the LORD will judge His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that their power is gone, and there is no one remaining, bond or free. He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”
God’s salvation has always come by Grace through Faith; it is according to His mercy that He saves us. It is interesting here that in the Hebrew the last line of this poem reads literally, “and will atone His land His people.” There is no “and” between the Land and the People, they are together-indivisible-ONE. The eternal Covenant, which God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their seed, is forever connected with a certain geographical portion of the earth (adama) which He has created. This people are “His.” This particular portion of the earth He created is His. He has sovereignly determined that these two be and remain together. However, this people sinned. This land was polluted and expelled them. Only God could provide the necessary atonement to cleanse the Land, and the People—and to bring them together again. The people are not yet all clean, they have not all been reunited with the Land. But the atonement has been made. The word for “atonement” in verse 43 is that from which Yom Kippur takes its name—a holy covering.
PLEASE PRAY: For light from above to illumine these words as they are read in the synagogues next weekend. Pray that Jews, as they experience Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement this year, will gain understanding that the LORD has “judged His people”—has “had compassion on His servants”, and that He has “made atonement for His Land-His People” —and not for them only, but for all of His world!
*II Samuel 22: 1-51. This wonderful Psalm (also preserved as No. 18 in the Book of Psalms) is also read during Passover Week in the Spring. As in the Song of Moses above, it emphasizes the security Israel will find by trusting in the LORD as her Rock:
*The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer! (vs. 2)
*For who is God, except YHVH? And who is a rock, except our God? (vs. 32)
*YHVH lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, the Rock of my salvation! (vs. 47)
[Next week is Succot/Feast of Tabernacles. On the Sabbath which falls within this time, a special Shabbat Chol haMo’ed will replace the usual readings in the cycle: TORAH: Exodus 33:12—34:26; Numbers 29:17-22; HAFTARAH: Ezekiel 38:18—39:16]