The Parashah for this week is called, Nitsavim—“You are Stationed”
*Deuteronomy 29:10. “All of you stand today before the LORD your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, your little ones and your wives—also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water…”
The Hebrew word used here for “stand” is a military term meaning to “be stationed”, “be positioned”. Elohei Ma’archot Yisrael—“The Arraying God of Israel” (I Samuel 17:45b) has a ‘positioning’ for each of us in the war, whatever our age, our sex, our race, or supposed social status.
*Deuteronomy 29:14. “I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, but with who stands here with us today before the LORD our God, as well as with who is not here with us today…”
God’s life-word over Israel (see 30:19!) was not only for those present, but for the generations down the ages whose seed was present in the bodies of those standing before him and hearing this word. This release of an eternally efficacious word from the Lord was affirmed beautifully some 2000 years later by Yeshua in His “High Priestly” prayer, John 17:20-21, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
*Deuteronomy 29:18. “…that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood.”
This condition came from “following the dictates of the heart” (vs 19b) and could finally result in being “uprooted” (vs. 28). Hebrews 12:14-15 in the New Covenant seems to have had this verse in mind, “Pursue peace with all, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled…”
*Deuteronomy 30:8. “And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”
Another translation of this last phrase is, “for your life’s sake.” God is a “Life-God” (Elohim Chaim—El Chai). We cannot follow the “dictates of the heart” (see 29:19 above) in its natural state. God desires to cut away what is necessary, not only in our hearts, but in those who will come forth from us—“our descendants” (29:14). Then we will be able to “Love the LORD our God with all our hearts and souls that we may live!”
*Deuteronomy 30:9. “For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, if you obey…”
*Deuteronomy 30:11. “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off…but the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”
“Too mysterious” is the same in the Hebrew as “Is there anything too wonderful for Me?” in Jeremiah 32:27. The righteous live by Faith and that which is impossible becomes possible, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10).
*Deuteronomy 30:19. “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live that you may love the LORD 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 the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
God gives the revelation, the grace and power to “choose life”, even before we are capable of loving and obeying and clinging to Him. “Length of your days” is the same in Hebrew as “forever”, the last word of the 23rd Psalm. The desire to dwell in the house of the LORD forever begins with having made the free choice “to live” which He is offering us!
*Isaiah 62:1. “For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a flaming torch.”
*Isaiah 62:6. “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and til He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
*Isaiah 63:9. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Face saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old.”
–Friends in Jerusalem
[The Parashah for next week is called VaYelekh—“And He Went”: TORAH: Deuteronomy 31:1-30; HAFTARAH (Shabbat Shuvah): Hosea 14:1-9; Joel 2:15-27; Micah 7:18-20