Parashat Re'eh (See or look…)
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 11:26 – 16:17
Before I begin, I would like to encourage you to read my blog entries last year and the year before on this week’s Scripture portion, as I believe that both blogs are important reminders for us as His followers for the reasons why we do what we do.
What distinguishes us as His followers from all other people or religions on this earth is the fact that our actions are not motivated by what we will get, but because of what we already received! As a result of our salvation, we have the freedom to love and obey God. Yeshua Himself told us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15).
It is important to note that the issue of obedience is not that which will lead us to salvation, but rather, obedience is the byproduct of our salvation. With that in mind we find a very clear warning that we should not add nor take away from that which God has commanded us in His Word:
Everything I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.
Deuteronomy 12:32 (13:1 in the Hebrew Bible)
I personally believe that this verse is as valid for us today as it was when the LORD spoke it. We are not motivated out of obligation to the Lord, but because we love Him and are free to obey Him. We don't have to obey - we get to obey!
Yeshua spoke of this as well when He gave a clear warning to not abolish anything in the Scriptures:
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law (Torah) or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
It grieves me how often I see teachers of the Word who choose to avoid the warning that is found in Deuteronomy 12:32 and manipulate the Scriptures to serve their own purposes; they add and take away from God’s Word, and by doing so, they are deceiving many well-meaning believers in God.
My dear brothers and sisters, we cannot pick and choose what we want from God’s Word! I personally believe that in the same way that my Jewish people will need to repent for rejecting Yeshua as the Messiah and choosing to ignore God’s new covenant, so will many believers in Messiah Yeshua need to repent for rejecting many of the foundational precepts of His Word, especially what they refer to as the “Old Testament”.
Again, the Bible gives us another very clear warning…
If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.”
Deuteronomy 13:1–13:4 (13:2–5 in the Hebrew Bible)
My dear brothers and sisters, the God that you and I choose to Worship is the same God who was, who is and who will always be. We need to follow Him, fear and respect Him, keep His commandments out of our love for Him, listen to His voice due to our relationship with Him, serve Him and cling to Him.
It is only when we do those things and by His amazing grace that we will be able to discern when false prophets, teachers, and other deceivers will come to cause us to follow a different way rather than His way! Stay close to Him and seek Him first.