Good Morning Siblings!
Today’s Readings are Deuteronomy 11-13
I can’t think of a better way to begin my day than reading the Word of our precious Father with you!
I’m sipping on my first cup of coffee so grab yours and let us dive in!☕️
Deuteronomy 11:1 answers the question – What do we do when we love YHWH?
“You shall therefore love YHWH your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always.
Remember what YHWH’s love language is: obedience. As parents, surely we can understand that.
The Father goes on to recount some of the many things He has done for Israel up until this point. It is so important that we remember and retell His miracles often. If we keep the Biblical Feasts, we will end up doing just that.
It is tragic that we need reasons to obey the Father, but in His grace He still offers them up throughout the Word. We will see multiple reasons today. One of them is in Deut 11:8 where it tells us that if we keep all of the commandments, we will be strong. Be sure you read it all in context.
I wanted to talk about the Hebrew word that is translated as “strong”. The transliterated word is chazak. This word means to grow strong or be strengthened. Rak Chazak Amats is the battle cry of ancient Hebrews. It translates to Strength and Courage for the glory of YHWH. There is a wonderful video someone put together explaining this that really emboldens the hearer. I’ll put it at the end of this post because once you watch that, you won’t be able to focus on the rest of my notes!
Deut 11:19 repeats again about how we are to continually be discussing the commandments, teaching them diligently, and having them be part of every moment of our lives. But can we even name them? Remember, the first four instruct us on how to love YHWH and the last six instruct us on how to love our neighbors. It’s been so exciting, over the years of doing this Bible study, to see how many people decide to write them on their doorposts after we talk about it!
Blessings and the Curses
26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known. Deut 11:26-28
Blessings and the curses, both set before us, ours to choose. So how do we choose the blessings?
By following the teachings and wisdom of our Father, plain and simple. If we revere Him, love Him, and truly consider Him to be our God then we will put our faith in Him and choose His ways over our own. It’s not enough to simply hear, it’s about hearing and doing. Shema.
Sometimes this is scary.
Oftentimes it is new to us.
All of the time it will look different from the world. We will even experience some rejection by that world.
You know why?
Because we can’t serve two masters. We can’t be favored by the world and favored by YHWH at the same time.
Lukewarm doesn’t cut it, there is no in between.
…Friendship with the world is hostility toward God… ~James 4:4
It is interesting to note that when we live in open rebellion against YHWH, many of these curses end up being self inflicted. Turn that over in your mind a bit. In my own sphere of people I’ve seen generations follow generations of adultery, alcoholism, and curse after curse beyond that. They live it, they inadvertently teach it to their children, and it is all they know because they are gods in their own world and do not submit to any other. It is a tragedy of generational proportions.
Deuteronomy 13 test:
In Deuteronomy 13 we are given a way to test prophets and teachings to discern if they can be trusted. There are three factors to this:
- Do they contradict the word of YHWH? (A person dreams dreams or make predictions that may come true but then they use this to try to get folks to go after other “gods”)
- Does the person teaching or prophesying lead His (or her) family astray? (Trying to entice a family member to go after other gods)
- Do they lead others to worship false gods? (Not necessarily an obvious “god” but the result is the same)
Essentially, if a prophet, teacher, or teaching rises up that leads people away from YHWH (or His Word), he/she/it is to be avoided and not found among us.
This is why it is so important to know the Word of the Father if we are to represent Him. Due to lack of foundational Scripture knowledge, the current popular misrepresentation of Messiah does not pass the Deuteronomy 13 test for those who know Scripture (this includes our Jewish brethren). I want to be clear: Yeshua, known as Jesus to most, is the Messiah. There is no question about that. But when we do not know Scripture and we say that Messiah did away with the Father’s teachings when He, Himself, stated that not one jot or tittle would pass away, we have contradicted the word of YHWH and attributed this contradiction to the Messiah. The same is true when we say He replaced the Ten Commandments with “just love your neighbor”. If we want to believe that, that is our prerogative, but we must be eternally cautious when attributing things like this to the Messiah because doing so will have eternal ramifications. Does Messiah pass the Deuteronomy 13 test? Without a doubt, absolutely. Does a popular misrepresentation of Messiah in the world today pass it? No. And the problem is that those who do not know Messiah are not reading the words He spoke in the Bible, they are reading the actions and words of those who claim to represent Him.
This has become an important test to hold up to new beliefs, leaders, etc. This test has been used for centuries to discern between what is of YHWH and what is not – and the results have sometimes been surprising. Basically, if it leads you away from YHWH or tries to convince you not to follow YHWH’s teachings and commandments, it is not of YHWH.
We are saved by Grace alone through Faith in Messiah, but once that happens, there is learning and turning to do!
Fruits of the spirit are bursting forth!
Here is the video I told you about. Sit down and really focus when you watch it if at all possible. Watch to the end. We will reference this again in our readings.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!