Parashat Ki Teitzei (When You Go Out)
D’varim (Deuteronomy) 21:10-25:19
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-10
As I was reading this week’s portion, the word “grace” kept coming to me. As I write this commentary, I sense that we need to be reminded that God’s grace redeems us, and that it is because of His grace that we can be called His children.
God called us to extend His grace to those who are around us. We see this simple principle communicated in this week’s Parashah:
You shall not see your countryman’s ox or his sheep straying away and avoid them; you shall certainly bring them back to your countryman. And if your countryman is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it to your house, and it shall remain with you until your countryman looks for it; then you shall restore it to him. You shall also do this with his donkey, and you shall do the same with his garment, and you shall do likewise with any lost property of your countryman, which has been lost by him and you have found. You are not allowed to avoid them. You shall not see your countryman’s donkey or his ox fallen down on the road, and avoid them; you shall certainly help him raise them up.
We live in a day and age where many are becoming lovers of themselves and all they see is themselves. The selfishness of people grows stronger all around us and sadly, even among followers of the one and only true God. However, God’s economy works in the opposite way. We see the important principal of caring for your neighbor and his possessions in the verses from Deuteronomy 22:1-4.
In other words, we are to care for others and extend God’s grace to them. I believe it is important to note in the verses above that it does not give a condition for caring for others; it does not extend to only those who are kind to you or who do you good – it is for all your neighbors!
God’s relationship with Israel is one of the greatest ways that He demonstrates His grace. In our Haftarah, we read some of the most profound words regarding God’s relationship with Israel:
“Shout for joy, infertile one, you who have not given birth to any child; break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor; for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,” says the LORD. Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare them; lengthen your ropes and strengthen your pegs. For you will spread out to the right and to the left. And your descendants will inherit nations and will resettle the desolate cities. Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; and do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; but you will forget the shame of your youth, and no longer remember the disgrace of your widowhood. For your husband is your Maker,whose name is the LORD of armies; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth. For the LORD has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” Says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment,but with everlasting grace I will have compassion on you,” Says the LORD your Redeemer. “For this is like the days of Noah to Me, when I swore that the waters of Noah would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you nor rebuke you. For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My favor will not be removed from you, nor will My covenant of peace be shaken,”Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
Being an infertile woman was embarrassing and shameful in those days. Often, people thought a barren woman was cursed. Yet here we see scripture telling the barren woman (Israel) to rejoice because she will bear much fruit in the future.
We also find here the wonderful words:
“For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of armies; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth.”
God is referred to as Israel’s husband, the One who made her and the One who will redeem her!
As we know, throughout history, Israel betrayed God by playing the harlot with false gods, and worshippingidols. God had the right to present Israel with a divorce certificate. However, God is not like us humans, and His grace is unending. I love what Isaiah writes in these verses:
“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting grace I will have compassion on you,” Says the LORD your Redeemer.
God extends His grace in an amazing way to His bride who did not deserve it. I believe the ultimate display of grace is extending it to those who do not deserve it. That is God’s grace for us…unmerited favor.
Let’s take the time this weekend to search our hearts and think of how we can extend God’s grace to someone who has wronged us. Afterall, we have received the ultimate example of grace in Messiah Yeshua!
Share this Post