D’varim (Deuteronomy) 32:1–52
We tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. I’m not advocating being self-deprecating, or having “low self-esteem.” What I’m talking about is having a right understanding of our position towards the Lord. In this week’s reading, we read something very interesting where God chastises Israel for her arrogance towards Him:
Do you thus repay the Lᴏʀᴅ, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you.
There are a few important and interesting treasurers in the above verse, which I believe are basic yet crucial truths for us to grasp, but so often forget:
It is not about us. God is the One who bought us; He made us who we are and established us to do that which He desires. So often we make it all about us! We even have the audacity to think that we are more special or better than others, which is nothing more than arrogance. Yet, we have to understand that it’s all about God and not at all about us.
We don’t do God any favors. Sometimes we bargain with God, thinking that we can make vows that we can’t stand in anyway. We think that if we do this, God will look at us more kindly, almost like we’re being “good children” and that we’re doing God a favor. God does not operate in a system of favors, my brethren! Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking He can be bribed or persuaded by our “good” behavior…or anything else for that matter.
God loves us regardless to what we do. We can’t repay Him in anyway nor do I believe He desires us to do so. God is after our heart and as I said in my past few blog entries, He is not seeking robots for His kingdom! He seeks men and women whose hearts belong to Him, and who desire to obey because they love Him.
He paid a heavy price for you. The key to understanding the second point is to understand the price that He paid on our behalf. In Deuteronomy 32:6, it’s written, “Is not He your Father who has bought you?” It reminds me of Rav Shaul’s (Paul) words from 1 Corinthians when he states twice, “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20), and “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men” (1 Corinthians 7:23).
Scripture reflects the consistency of the Creator! He not only bought Israel, but also bought us! And it was terribly costly…it cost the very blood of His beloved Son. It is only when we truly understand what God has done for us that we will naturally (and not forcibly) have a desire to honor Him with our lives.
In the days to come, let us reflect upon the price that was paid for us and lovingly honor God in all of our ways.
Shabbat Shalom and Shanna Tova,
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