Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #47: Re’eh (See) D’varim (Deuteronomy) 11:26-16:17
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 54:11-55:5
B’rit Chadashah: 1 Yochanan (John) 4:1-6
Our free will is reiterated in the first sentence of the parashah. G-d says “ See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse- the blessing, if you listen to the mitzvot of Adonai your G-d that I am giving you today; and the curse, if you don’t listen to the mitzvot of Adonai your G-d but turn aside from the way I am ordering you today and follow other gods that you have not known “ (Deut. 11:26-28).
There are so many people asking “What is going on with the world today?” This reference is just one of many in G-d’s Torah that the believer may share. Obedience to G-d’s commands is not taught in mainstream Christianity. As the end times progress and we begin to see G-d’s punishments coming to fruition in our generation, many people including many Christians are unable to reconcile the Christian teaching that G-d’s laws are “just for the Jews” and were “nailed to the cross.” We are witnessing that G-d’s commands and laws are still valid and that we as a global community have disregarded them and have indeed turned to other gods of the pagans. Activities and lifestyles that are described in the Torah as abominations to G-d are now not only accepted but encouraged. Those who do not accept this tolerance/inclusion are seen as the evil ones; intolerant and a menace to the global agenda of HaSatan to eliminate any semblance of Torah (G-d’s Torah) observant people.
Before we move on, there are often questions about the two mountains, G’rizim on which the blessing was placed, and Mount ‘Eival on which the curse was placed. What is the significance of these two mountains? First, the name G’rizim translates as “cutters or hatchets. Mount G’rizim is located in the central Samaritan highlands and it sits directly opposite Mount Ebal with the city of Shechem resting in the pass between the two mountains. Mount G’rizim is to the south side of the valley and Mount Ebal is to the north. The ceremony described between these two mountains symbolized the renewal of Israel’s commitment to the L-rd.
After the law of Moshe was written on two stones, the people were divided between the two mountains and the priests with the Ark of the Covenant stood in the valley in between. As the Levites read the blessings for obeying the law, the six tribes on Mount G’rizim were to shout “Amen!” When the Levites read the curses for disobeying the law, the other six tribes shouted “Amen!”
Joshua who was Moshe’s successor carried out G-ds instructions (Joshua 8:30-35). During this ceremony, Israel was reminded of the importance of obedience to G-d and the foolishness of disobedience. Mount G’rizim came to be known as the “mount of blessing.”
It is interesting and no coincidence that Mount G’rizim played a major role in the B’rit Chadashah story about Yahshua and the Samaritan women who described the mountain as “ the mountain where our fathers worshipped.” Yaakov constructed an altar there. This mountain was a place the Samaritans used to worship G-d for centuries. The Samaritans had built a temple that was rival to the one in Jerusalem but Yahshua told the woman that the physical location of our worship is not important. It is the worship of the Messiah, Yahshua that should be our focus. Some of the Israelites not accepting this truth was their downfall in Jerusalem when they remained at the Temple site as it was being destroyed, thinking they were safe trusting in a physical location long after G-d had left.
The parashah continues describing a few of the most enticing examples of idolatry that must be avoided, including false prophets and family members who try to pull believing family members away from following the one true G-d. These family members are to be put to death! Today we are to remain steadfast in our allegiance to Yahshua and separate ourselves from the pagan practices of unbelieving family members, sometimes to the point of never seeing them again. G-d will judge those who try to pull believers away from the King’s Highway and those who remain steadfast.
As the Israelites enter the Land they are told that previous behaviors will no linger be tolerated. In chapter 12;8-9 we read “ You will not do things the way we do them here today, where everyone does whatever in his own opinion seems right; because you haven’t yet arrived at the rest and inheritance which Adonai your G-d is giving you.” This statement describes what is happening in our world today. Secular Humanism is a cult taught to our children and in all educational institutions today. G-d has been taken out of the entire paradigm for “right living” and replaced with self-love that now dictates beliefs and behaviors. Without G-d and His Torah to guide such individuals and societies, chaos results as individual agendas clash. Believers are sidelined and increasingly ostracized as being intolerant and elitist.
Chapter 13 starts with a sentence expounded upon in Revelation 22:18-19.
The first example reads “ Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do. Do not add to it or subtract from it.” Revelation 22:18-19 reads “ I warn everyone hearing the words of the prophecy in this book that if anyone adds to them, G-d will add to him the plagues written in this book. And if anyone takes anything away from the words in the book of this prophecy, G-d will take away his share in the tree of Life and the holy city, as described in this book.” Christians, Jews, and other religions who have added to and subtracted from the words of G-d’s Torah will be judged accordingly.
Chapter 14 covers the dietary laws that are in force today just as they were at the time of their giving by G-d. Inserted in verse 21 we are commanded not to boil a young animal in its mother’s milk. Not only was this a pagan practice from which the early Israelites and we are prohibited from doing, but it is an example of compassion that is described in many other passages in G-d’s Torah. Indeed, compassion may be compared to the spirit of the law emphasized by Yahshua who is full of grace and mercy along with His Justice and Truth (Rev. 15:3).
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah)54:11-55:5
These verses are very comforting and should provide the believer a sense of encouragement and peace in the midst of what we must endure before we reach the Land. Even more, we must acknowledge that G-d created HaSatan “ to work havoc” (Isa. 54:16). This was necessary in order to provide us choice; free will. For we cannot choose between right and wrong if there is no wrong. We cannot overcome temptation if there is nothing to tempt us. We cannot overcome evil with kindness if there is no evil in the world. This verse is also a reminder that G-d is in control. If we ever accept any form of “auto-pilot” this is the time. Allow G-d to “drive” and we will arrive safely at our destination (the Land). Isaiah chapters 54-6 describe this “safe landing” that awaits those who love and follow G-d’s Torah.
B’rit Chadashah:1 Yochanan 4:1-6
This passage is crucial as we progress through these increasingly G-dless times. “ Dear friends, don’t trust every spirit. On the contrary, test the spirits [meaning compare to G-d’s Torah through diligent prayer] to see whether they are from G-d; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Here is how you recognize the Spirit of G-d: every spirit which acknowledges that Yahshua the Messiah came as a human being is from G-d, and every spirit which does not acknowledge Yahshua is not from G-d- in fact, this is the spirit of the Anti-Messiah. You have heard that he is coming. Well, he’s here now, in the world already!
You, children, are from G-d and have overcome the false prophets, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s viewpoint; and the world listens to them. We are from G-d. Whoever knows G-d listens to us; whoever is not from G-d doesn’t listen to us. This is how we distinguish the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error.”
The only way we can separate truth from fiction is to know what truth is. G-d’s Torah is true and we must remain diligent in our study, prayer, and lifestyle testimony in order to ingrain G-d’s Torah in our hearts and minds. The purest oil shines the brightest and through His refinement of our lives and encouragement, we can obtain the purest for His glory.