Devarim (Deuteronomy) 1:1–3:22
This week, we start a new book, Deuteronomy! The book of Deuteronomy is an important book for us believers since God reminds us of so many things that He told us before. I believe there are two main reasons for these reminders: The first one is that we are forgetful people and therefore need to be reminded. The second one is that God puts a strong emphasis on some things that are important for Him, so we would be wise to pay attention to them.
As I was reading this week’s portion, one account caught my attention:
Then you answered and said to me, “We have sinned against the LORD; we will indeed go up and fight, just as the LORD our God commanded us.” And every man of you girded on his weapons of war, and regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country. And the LORD said to me, “Say to them, ‘Do not go up, nor fight, for I am not among you; lest you be defeated before your enemies.’” So I spoke to you, but you would not listen. Instead you rebelled against the command of the LORD, and acted presumptuously and went up into the hill country. And the Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you, and chased you as bees do, and crushed you from Seir to Hormah. Then you returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD did not listen to your voice, nor give ear to you. So you remained in Kadesh many days, the days that you spent there.
This record reminds us of the events that took place in Numbers 13 and 14, where God instructed Moses to send 12 men to inspect the Land that He promised to them. Of the 12 men, 10 of them brought fear, lack of trust, and rebellion into the congregation of Israel, which resulted in God’s judgment over them. You can read more of my blogs on this subject in my blog on Parashat Shelach from this year and the last (click here for this year’s; click here for last year’s).
In our story this week, we see that the children of Israel still did not get the message that God was trying to deliver to them, which is to trust, obey, and listen to Him as well as to do things His way.
Even after they supposedly repented of their wrongdoing against Him, they still tried to take matters into their own hands instead of seeking Him and what He desired for them. They went to war against His will, which resulted in heavy judgment on all of Israel.
As I reflect upon this, I can’t help but think about Israel today, and about the fact that things have not changed much over the millennia! There is still only one way to do things, and that is in accordance to God’s Will. We can’t prove ourselves to God, we can’t become righteous in our own right; we have to do things His way or else it simply is not going to work.
Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
For followers of Messiah today, there is a very important message here: Seek Him always, and act in accordance to His instruction!
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