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Commentary - Year 3 Sabbath 46

Deuteronomy 29:10 - 30:10   -   Isaiah 55:6 - 58:8   -   Psalm 143   -   Romans 10:1-21

(Hebrew Bibles 29:9)                                                                                                                                  

 

Shevat 22, 5764 / February 14, 2004

Shevat 22, 5767 / February 10, 2007

Shevat 22, 5770 / February   6, 2010

Shevat 22, 5773 / February   2, 2013

 

Netzavim / Standing   SCRIPTURES should be read first

 

“You are standing”. This was the last day of Moses’ life. All of the people, all ages and classes, were standing before him.

 

The people had just heard ninety-eight frightening curses pronounced, and had said “Amen” to each of them. They knew that they had no basis in themselves to stand before an holy God. But Moses said, “You are standing”. Despite their sins, they were still standing!

 

Do we see ourselves here?

 

Moses divided the people into categories: fathers, mothers, and children; teachers, laborers, and proselytes – according to each ones’ level of effect on others’ actions.

 

God gave them a perspective here: they were responsible for one another. Each one was responsible for helping others observe Torah and to restrain them from violating it. This is partly why we teach and discuss Torah. This is why “forgive” does not mean simply forget whatever others do wrong: we are responsible to help individuals overcome – and that sometimes requires legal action (taking a matter before the judges); we are responsible to help keep society free of sin – and that is a reason to vote (the people selected leaders in the Biblical setting). We are not to be vindictive – vengeance belongs to God – but we are to be responsible in dealing with sins of others; we are commanded to “preserve justice” (Isaiah 56:1). We are not to seek personal retribution, but we are to seek sanctification for God’s people.

 

(V.18) “Yahweh made this covenant with you so that no man, woman, family, or tribe among you would turn away from Yahweh our God to worship these gods of other nations, and so that no root among you would bear bitter and poisonous fruit.” A root of curiosity can grow to a desire that will bear heresy: we have seen this in the many different directions that people follow charismatic leaders. We are forbidden to learn the ways of the nations (Jeremiah 10:2).

 

Our country is following other nations – and in some cases leading them – to devalue human life as “a matter of choice”, and to make homosexuality acceptable as “a matter of preference”. We should warn against these idolatries and seek to lead individuals and country away from them. Other examples could be the use of “recreational” drugs, and dishonest business schemes. We should not even be curious about these things in a way that could lead to desire.

 

God warned the people through Moses: when they were rebellious, they would experience the curses on every aspect of their lives; but when they were obedient, they would be greatly blessed. Remember, these were the people who had been redeemed by the Passover Lamb: we are not speaking of redemption by one’s own works. Interestingly, God did not say “if”, but “when”: the remainder of His warning speaks of “when” God would return them from captivity, and change their hearts.

 

So Isaiah instructs us (v.55:6-7): “Seek Yahweh while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Yahweh, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” If you are hearing His Word today, call upon Him while He is near. Seek His way – he who seeks shall find (Matthew 7:7)! Have your thoughts changed through learning His Word. He will abundantly pardon! This is not just for “the lost”: God’s people need to continually repent and seek His way.

 

The Psalmist says (143:1-2), “Hear my prayer, O Yahweh, give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Your faithfulness, in Your righteousness! And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no man living is righteous.

 

Isaiah 56:6-7 "Also the foreigners who join themselves to Yahweh, to minister to Him, and to love the name of Yahweh, to be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant; even those I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples."

 

Paul spoke to the Romans about desiring that others be saved. Salvation is “from sin”! We call Messiah’s name Yeshua, because He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Salvation is not just taking away our guilt and leaving us free to do whatever we please; salvation is being turned around (repentance) to walk in God’s way, growing through faith. It is not working to obtain salvation, but walking with God because we have been saved for that purpose.

 

Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

 

Acts 21:24And all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you (Paul), but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.”

 

Colossians 1:10Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”.

 

1 Thessalonians 2:12 “So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”

 

KJV Romans 10:4 reads, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” NLT Romans 10:4 reads, “For Christ has accomplished the whole purpose of the law. All who believe in him are made right with God.

The text actually means that Messiah is the goal of the Torah. KJV isn’t in error, but one must understand that the word translated “end” means “goal”, not annihilation. NLT completely misses the point: the law wasn’t replaced; the purpose of the Torah is to display Messiah!

 

“Torah” is compared to five things: water (Isaiah 55:1), wine (Proverbs 9:5), honey & milk (Song of Solomon 4:11), and oil (SS 1:3). To the faithful, it is satisfying, it brings joy, it is sweet, it is nourishing, and it is healing.

 

David said (Psalm 143:8), “Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul.

 

In Deuteronomy 29:4 (last week’s portion), Moses said: “Yet to this day Yahweh has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.” Now we see a contrasting prophecy (Deuteronomy 30:6), “Moreover Yahweh your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live

 

During the past several Sabbath afternoons we have been studying God’s sovereignty. While we are commanded to repent and follow God, after we do so, we see that it was God working in us, and not something originating within ourselves.

Philippians 2:13 – “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Then we have that famous passage:

Philippians 1:6 – “He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Messiah Yeshua.

 

Today’s Prophet has an interesting statement:

Isaiah 57:1-2 – “The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; and devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil, he enters into peace; they rest in their beds, each one who walked in his upright way.”

Readings:

 

~k,_yhel{a/ hwåhy ynEßp.li ~k,êL.Ku ‘~AYh; ~ybiÛC'nI ~T,’a; 9

Atem nitzavim hayom cholchem lifnei Yahweh Elohechem

 

Reader 1* Amen 10 "You are standing today, all of you, before Yahweh your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 12 that you may enter into the covenant with Yahweh your God, and into His oath which Yahweh your God is making with you today, 13 in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

 

Reader 2* Amen 14 "Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 15 but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of Yahweh our God and with those who are not with us here today 16 (for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed. 17 "Moreover, you have seen their abominations and their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which they had with them); 18 lest there shall be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from Yahweh our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; lest there shall be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood.

 

Reader 3* Amen 19 "And it shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, 'I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.' 20 "Yahweh shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of Yahweh and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and Yahweh will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 "Then Yahweh will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law.

 

Reader 4* Amen 22 "Now the generation to come, your sons who rise up after you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which Yahweh has afflicted it, will say, 23 'All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which Yahweh overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.' 24 "And all the nations shall say, 'Why has Yahweh done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?' 25 "Then men shall say, 'Because they forsook the covenant of Yahweh, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26 'And they went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them.

 

Reader 5* Amen 27 'Therefore, the anger of Yahweh burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; 28 and Yahweh uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.' 29 "The secret things belong to Yahweh our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

 

 

Reader 6* Amen 30:1 "So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where Yahweh your God has banished you, 2 and you return to Yahweh your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then Yahweh your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where Yahweh your God has scattered you. 4 "If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there Yahweh your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. 5 "And Yahweh your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.

 

Reader 7* Amen 6 "Moreover Yahweh your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. 7 "And Yahweh your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8 "And you shall again obey Yahweh, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. 9 "Then Yahweh your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for Yahweh will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 10 if you obey Yahweh your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to Yahweh your God with all your heart and soul.

 

Psalm 143    (To be sung.)

My prayer, O Yahweh, hear,  And to my suppliant cry

In faithfulness give ear;  In righteousness reply.

In judgment call not me,  Your servant to be tried;

No living man can be  In Your sight justified.

 

The foe my soul has sought,  My life to earth does tread;

To darkness I am brought,  As those who are long dead.

My spirit, therefore, vexed,  Is overwhelmed within;

My heart in me perplexed  And desolate has been.

 

Yes, I recall to mind  What ancient days record,

Your works of every kind,  Which thought to me afford.

And I spread forth my hands  To You beseechingly;

My soul, as weary lands,  Is thirsting after Thee.

 

Lord, let my prayer prevail;  To answer it make speed.

My spirit quite does fail;  Hide not Your face in need,

Lest I be like to those  That do in darkness sit,

Or him that downward goes  To share the dreadful pit.

 

Because I trust in Thee,  O cause me now to hear

Your lovingkindness free,  When morning does appear.

Make me to know Your way  Wherein my path should be,

Because my soul each day  Do I lift up to Thee.

 

Yahweh, deliver me  From all who me oppose.

To You alone I flee  To hide me from my foes.

No God have I but Thee;  Teach my to do Your will;

Your Spirit’s good; lead me  On even pathway still.

 

Yahweh, for Your Name’s sake  Be pleased to quicken me;

In righteousness, O take  My soul from misery.

In mercy cut off those  That en’mies are to me;

Slay of my soul the foes;  I servant am to Thee.

 

Isaiah 55:6 – 58:8

6 Seek Yahweh while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Yahweh, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares Yahweh. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 so shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 12 "For you will go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 "Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up; and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up; and it will be a memorial to Yahweh, for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off."

56:1 Thus says Yahweh, "Preserve justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed. 2 "How blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who takes hold of it; who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil." 3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to Yahweh say, "Yahweh will surely separate me from His people." Neither let the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree." 4 For thus says Yahweh, "To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, 5 to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off. 6 "Also the foreigners who join themselves to Yahweh, to minister to Him, and to love the name of Yahweh, to be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant; 7 even those I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples." 8 Yahweh God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, "Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered." 9 All you beasts of the field, all you beasts in the forest, come to eat. 10 His watchmen are blind, all of them know nothing. All of them are dumb dogs unable to bark, dreamers lying down, who love to slumber; 11 and the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his unjust gain, to the last one. 12 "Come," they say, "let us get wine, and let us drink heavily of strong drink; and tomorrow will be like today, only more so."

57:1 The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; and devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil, 2 he enters into peace; they rest in their beds, each one who walked in his upright way. 3 "But come here, you sons of a sorceress, offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute. 4 "Against whom do you jest? Against whom do you open wide your mouth and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of rebellion, offspring of deceit, 5 who inflame yourselves among the oaks, under every luxuriant tree, who slaughter the children in the ravines, under the clefts of the crags? 6 "Among the smooth stones of the ravine is your portion, they are your lot; even to them you have poured out a libation, you have made a grain offering. Shall I relent concerning these things? 7 "Upon a high and lofty mountain you have made your bed. You also went up there to offer sacrifice. 8 "And behind the door and the doorpost you have set up your sign; indeed, far removed from Me, you have uncovered yourself; and have gone up and made your bed wide. And you have made an agreement for yourself with them, you have loved their bed, you have looked on their manhood. 9 "And you have journeyed to the king with oil and increased your perfumes; you have sent your envoys a great distance, and made them go down to Sheol. 10 "You were tired out by the length of your road, yet you did not say, 'It is hopeless.' You found renewed strength, therefore you did not faint. 11 "Of whom were you worried and fearful, when you lied, and did not remember Me, nor give Me a thought? Was I not silent even for a long time so you do not fear Me? 12 "I will declare your righteousness and your deeds, but they will not profit you. 13 "When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry all of them up, and a breath will take them away. But he who takes refuge in Me shall inherit the land, and shall possess My holy mountain." 14 And it shall be said, "Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstacle out of the way of My people." 15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16 "For I will not contend forever, neither will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before Me, and the breath of those whom I have made. 17 "Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him; I hid My face and was angry, and he went on turning away, in the way of his heart. 18 "I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners, 19 creating the praise of the lips. Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near," Says Yahweh, "and I will heal him." 20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, for it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud. 21 "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

58:1 "Cry loudly, do not hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet, and declare to My people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 "Yet they seek Me day by day, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that has done righteousness, and has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, they delight in the nearness of God. 3 'Why have we fasted and Thou dost not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and Thou dost not notice?' Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, and drive hard all your workers. 4 "Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. 5 "Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one's head like a reed, and for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to Yahweh? 6 "Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? 7 "Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 "Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of Yahweh will be your rear guard.

 

Psalm 143    A Psalm of David.

1 Hear my prayer, O Yahweh, give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Your faithfulness, in Your righteousness! 2 And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no man living is righteous. 3 For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead. 4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart is appalled within me. 5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands. 6 I stretch out my hands to You; my soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah. 7 Answer me quickly, O Yahweh, my spirit fails; do not hide Your face from me, lest I become like those who go down to the pit. 8 Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul. 9 Deliver me, O Yahweh, from my enemies; I take refuge in You. 10 Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. 11 For the sake of Your Name, O Yahweh, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble. 12 And in Your lovingkindness cut off my enemies, and destroy all those who afflict my soul; for I am Your servant.

 

Romans 10:1-21

1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Messiah is the goal of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks thus, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Messiah down), 7 or 'Who will descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead)." 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart "-- that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Yeshua as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; 13 for "Whoever will call upon the name of Yahweh will be saved." 14 How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!" 16 However, they did not all heed the glad tidings; for Isaiah says, "Yahweh, who has believed our report?" 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah. 18 But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world." 19 But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? At the first Moses says, "I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, by a nation without understanding will I anger you." 20 And Isaiah is very bold and says, "I was found by those who sought Me not, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me." 21 But as for Israel He says, "All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."


© 2004  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)