Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #50 Ki Tavo (When you come) D’varim (Deuteronomy) 26:1-29:8
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 60:1-22
B’rit Chadashah: Acts 28:17-31
This parashah repeats the cause and effect relationship between man and G-d. Throughout G-d’s Torah, He emphasizes that if Israel (all true believers) want to remain a special treasure to G-d, become and remain a holy people, there are conditions which must be met. This stands in sharp contrast to Christianity which holds that Yahshua’s crucifixion included abrogation of His own laws! The parashah begins the required tithe when the people entered the land G-d designated as an inheritance. The individual making the offering was required to recall the journey from Abraham to Egypt; prosperity to slavery, G-d’ deliverance from bondage; to arriving in the land flowing with milk and honey. This is the history of Israel past, present, and future in one sentence. By recalling an event on a regular basis, we are reminded of our “raising;” from where we have come and how we have lived lest we forget our sins and life mistakes. This is a reliable method to keep us humble.
The covenant is renewed in the beginning section of Chapter 26:16-19. That is, G-d ordered the people to obey all of his laws and rulings with all their heart and being, just as He orders us today. If we are obedient out of love (heart and being), G-d agrees that Israel is His own unique treasure as he previously promised; that they then and we now observe all his mitzvot (commands), and that Israel will be raised high above all the nations he has made, in praise, reputation, and glory, and that they and we will be a holy people for Adonai. It is obvious Israel (all true believers), have not reached the finish line. There are many from Judah, Benjamin, and Levi collectively called Judah, who have not had their spiritual blinders removed to this day. There are also Goyim who have not come to a saving knowledge of Yahshua as G-d who demands obedience and allegiance to Him only if they want to be blessed and be considered part of the holy nation and special treasure unto G-d. Secular and religious history bare this truth out as do the testimony of G-d’s prophets.
The people are to gather large uncut stones and place plaster on them. Then they are to write every word of the Torah on them and make an altar to G-d for their burnt offerings, peace offerings, eating together, and praising G-d with joy. This serves as a constant reminder of who they are, to Whom they belong, and how they are to relate to G-d and man.
Next, the L’vi’im proclaim the curses that will befall anyone who disobeys the commands of G-d. one of the most comprehensive and humbling is the one spoken in verse 26 of Chapter 27: “A curse on anyone who does not confirm the words of this Torah by putting them into practice. All the people are to say ‘Amein.’” Since the Old and “New” Testaments were given as Torah, we can confidently say that no one is exempt from keeping G-d’s commands and laws. In 2 Timothy we read “All Scripture is G-d-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to G-d may be fully equipped for every good work.”
The curses detail the erosion of independence expanding from individuals to the nation. They start with the loss of material items. Next is the loss of personal property, personal identity, heritage holdings, and finally the entire nation. This downward spiral ends with service to foreign leaders and other powers. If we look at the history of the United States, we can easily see the parallel. Those who love and follow G-d and internalize His Torah, know the worst is yet to come. There will be a time of complete spiritual darkness during the Tribulation before the “dawn” Yahshua returns. The truth is a hard one and very difficult to share with todays’ society of secular humanists which is taught in our educational institutions at all levels. Curses culminating in sieges, cannibalism, exile, and foreign domination would have seemed impossible in the heyday of America. Today, these ideas seem much more plausible. When we look closely at Deut. 15-68, we can place the list beside current events and see that G-d keep His Word. Tolerance and inclusion wrongly interpreted by today’s society as paradigms that not only support behaviors described by G-d as abominations but encourage them and “bully” those who hold to G-d’s Word. These instructions, blessings and curses apply to everyone who calls themselves believers; not just “the Jews.” Some clergy attempt to attain a clear conscious by teaching that G-d’s laws were “nailed to the cross” and are no longer valid. Yet, Yahshua (Jesus) kept them in letter and spirit. A profession of faith doesn’t cut it with G-d. He has “house rules” just as a loving parent. When people ask ” What is going on in this world? Why are these things happening?” You have a solid truth to share.
The call to see and hear- Moshe summons the people to remind them of the miracles, signs and wonders G-d manifested through the sound of the great shofar and thunder (Ex. 20:18). But the people did not fathom G-d’s greatness; power, and mercy. “To this day, G-d has not given you a heart to understand, eye to see, or ears to hear! (Deut. 29:4) The younger generation counted these miracles as mundane events; their clothes never wore out; they had daily manna from heaven. The people lacked the heart and appreciation for the awesomeness of G-d’s gifts and love for them. One can almost feel the exasperation and disappointment in Moshe’s words. He finally ends the narrative with “Therefore, observe the words of this covenant and obey them; so that you can make everything you do prosper.”
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 60:1-22
There will be a day when the created sun and moon are no longer needed to light G-d’s city, Jerusalem! YHVH/Yahshua will be the Source of Light. Yahshua returns as Savior and Redeemer. Wealth coming from every nation flows to Jerusalem; gold and silver replace copper and iron. Jerusalem will no longer be barren but will bring forth her children without travail (Is. 60:4,9;66:7-9). The citizens of Jerusalem are righteous ones who inherit the Land forever. Her walls will be called Y’shu’ah (G-d saves) and her gates will be called T’hillah (praise). Imagine; praise Yahshua! The future will bring in everlasting glory. G-d promises “ani Adonai b’itahh achishenah (I am the L-rd, in its time I will quicken it) (Is. 60:22). May it be in our lifetime.
B’rit Chadashah: Acts 28:17-31
This narrative echoes our parashah and the spiritual deafness and blindness that exists today with our Orthodox and other non-Messianic Jewish brethren, and the Goyim. In this narrative, it is the Jewish leaders who are persecuting Sha’ul. The Romans had found no grounds to keep Sha’ul as a prisoner, but the Jewish leaders. Sha’ul was very responsive to the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and understood he needed to discuss Yahshua and His resurrection (Messianic Judaism) thoroughly witnessing the Kingdom of G-d through us of the Torah of Moshe and the Prophets to persuade them about Yahshua. Some were convinced, but others were not. The Jewish leaders left in disagreement among themselves after Sha’ul made a final statement. This added “salt to the wound” and certainly did not endear him to the rabbinic Jews. Sha’ul said “ The Ruach HaKodesh spoke well in saying to your fathers through Yesha’yahu the prophet, ‘Go to this people and say, “You will keep on hearing but never understand, and you will keep on seeing but never perceive, because the heart of this people has grown think- with their ears they barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, for fear that they should see wit their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and do t’shuvah, so that I could heal them.’” Therefore, let it be known to you that this salvation of G-d has been sent to the Goyim and they will listen!”
Sha’ul rented a place there for two years and openly proclaimed the Kingdom of G-d to anyone who would listen. He taught them about Yahshua as Messiah. May we develop that sense of confidence and trust in our Messiah as well.
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart