Parashat Haazinu (Hear!)Deuteronomy 32:1-52
Shabbat Shuva- Haftarah: Hosea 14:2-10, Joel 2:11-27, Micah 7:18-20
Shabbat Shuva (the Sabbath of Repentance)
The Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called the Sabbath of repentance or Shabbat Shuva. It is a reminder to be ready for the Day of Atonement which begins this year shortly before sundown on Sunday. Today, like with so many others of the Biblical commandments, it is impossible for Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) to be observed according to what the Bible says must be done. There is no Temple and no high priest. One however can set this day apart and study what the Bible says about it and utilize it for a blessing. There is no doubt that when one understands the significance of Yom Kippur , he will also understand to a greater degree how Yeshua is our High Priest and what He did in making not just an atonement, but a full and eternal redemption for those who would receive Him.
In this week’s Torah portion one reads,
“…I will return vengeance upon my enemies, and to those who hate Me, I will repay.” Deut. 32:41
Even though G-d is merciful and forgiving, one needs to understand that these things are conditional. One must enter into a relationship with HaShem through a covenant, and like all covenants there are terms and conditions. The part of the quoted verse that I would like to emphasize in this blog is that HaShem’s vengeance is upon those who are His enemies, i.e. those who hate Him. Many people might take a false consolation in thinking that they are not an enemy of G-d because they don’t hate Him. Their error is that they define hate in their terms rather than in Biblical terms. If one does not embrace the character and values of G-d then He is rejecting these things. The Hebrew word שנא is derived from a Semitic root which means literally “to push away”. In English the word is full of emotion, but the actual origin of the word does not describe a feeling, but rather a cognitive decision to ignore, reject, or fail to esteem the proper value of something or someone.
When one understands the true meaning then a much larger number of people would fall into the category of hating G-d. In fact, there are those who want the blessings of G-d, but who fail to embrace or esteem the things that HaShem says are important and that He values. Moran wrote an excellent article about self inspection last week. If I might encourage you to read that and then begin in your Bible studies keeping track of what G-d says He loves and then ask yourself are these things important to you? In other words does your behavior reflect that you value them?
Israel has been in the news a great deal this week. People who say and think they are a follower of G-d have made statements that are in conflict with the views of G-d that the Bible reveals. As an American citizen it amazes me how many of our Presidents in the last thirty years have identified themselves as a “Christian”, but yet have pushed policies in regard to Israel that are totally in conflict with scripture. For example, Scripture declares in many places that before the Kingdom is established that G-d will bring the Jewish people back to the land and they will settle in the former places that Jewish individuals lived prior the Roman exile. It is sad when the view of almost every nation (I say almost, but I cannot think of one country that this does not include) that Jewish people should not be allowed to settle in Judah and Samaria. This may offend some, but I don’t think a follower of Yeshua could have such a view if he or she had read the Bible. Sadly many believers do not make time to study the word of G-d. Could this be an example of not esteeming the things G-d values?
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