Parashat Ki Tavo (When You Come)
D’varim (Deuteronomy) 26:1–19:8
Haftarah: Isaiah 60:1–22
These are dark times. There is so much happening in our world today that can cause us great distress. But the Word of God reminds us that despite the great darkness, we can find hope in the light of the world, Messiah Yeshua.
In our Parasha this week, we read of the great judgment that Moses prophesied would come to the children of Israel:
Furthermore, the LORD will scatter you among all the peoples, from one end of the earth to the other; and there you will serve other gods, made of wood and stone, which you and your fathers have not known. Among those nations you will find no peace, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. So your lives will be hanging in doubt before you; and you will be terrified night and day, and have no assurance of your life. In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ And at evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’ because of the terror of your heart which you fear, and the sight of your eyes which you will see.
In the Haftarah, we read a passage with a much more hopeful prophecy concerning Israel:
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth
and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Raise your eyes all around and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar,
and your daughters will be carried on the hip.
The contrast between the reading in Deuteronomy 28:64–67 and Isaiah 60:1–4 is a very interesting one, in my opinion. The first speaks about the scattering of the people while the other speaks about the re-gathering of the people and the role that Israel will play in the end times. While the first prophecy about Israel being scattered among the nations has been fulfilled, the second has yet to be fully realized. Yes, the Jewish people have returned, in part, to the Land of Promise, but there is still more that must happen for the verses from Isaiah to be fulfilled completely.
As we know, Israel disobeyed God and as a result, Israel was indeed scattered. Not only this, but they served other gods and idols which the fathers (of Israel) did not know since they were dead gods. The Word also tells us that Israel will find no peace and there will be no resting place for them in any other place, which, again is something that we have seen happen throughout history; even today, the only place we can call home, feel at home, and have an “unexplained” sense that this is ours, is the Land of Israel.
Isaiah tells Zion to “Arise” because her light is coming, and His glory will shine upon her. The darkness will indeed cover the earth and its people but the LORD will rise above it, which is something that we see throughout Scripture. We see this concept echoed in Isaiah 9:2 (9:1 in the Hebrew Bible):
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
And in John 1:5:
And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it.
Yeshua, is that light and, as we know, the nations will come (and are coming) to His light!
Another, interesting connection between the Parasha and the Haftarah is found where Deuteronomy 28:66-67 says:
So your lives will be hanging in doubt before you; and you will be terrified night and day, and have no assurance of your life. In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ And at evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’ because of the terror of your heart which you fear, and the sight of your eyes which you will see.
The result of being scattered among the nations, and also, I personally believe, in the end times (when the nations surround Jerusalem) will be that the people of Israel will be terrified. Many will be without any assurance of their lives and in the morning they will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ And in evening they will say, ‘If only it were morning!’ because of the terror in their hearts at what their eyes will see.
Yet, once again, we find the contrast in Isaiah 60:18-22 where we read of a great promise in the days to come, after Jerusalem's trouble:
Violence will not be heard again in your land, nor devastation or destruction within your borders; but you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise. No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor will the moon give you light for brightness; but you will have the LORD as an everlasting light, and your God as your glory.Your sun will no longer set, nor will your moon wane; for you will have the LORD as an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be over. Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. The smallest one will become a thousand,and the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will bring it about quickly in its time.
One passage speaks of being scattered, of terror, fear and darkness, while the other speaks of being re-gathered, of security, peace and light. In one, we find that the morning and evening are metaphors for fear and in the other, as everlasting security, light and peace.
My dear brothers and sisters, be encouraged that everything coming to pass has been written! Yes, things may look hopeless and dark at the moment, but let us not give up hope or give way to panic, fear, or be discouraged. Let us draw close to Him, and spend time in prayer and in reading His Word. And let's encourage one another to look up as these trials happen, because our redemption is drawing near! (Luke 21:28)
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