Parashat Haazinu


Parashat Haazinu

This week’s Torah portion is a song, the song of Moses. It reveals many things about the faithfulness of HaShem. It speaks among its many subjects about Israel’s time in the wilderness. In chapter 32 and verse 12 one reads,

“HaShem alone guided them and there was not with Him any foreign god.”

Most scholars see this verse expressing that only HaShem was helping the children of Israel. The same can be said for us 3,500 years later, only G-d is our help. Sure He places it upon some people to assist others and it is important to thank those whom G-d uses to bless us. But ultimately it is G-d Whom we need to recognize for every good thing we receive.

It is interesting to note that the word “guide” in this verse is taken from the same root as the word “rest”. It speaks of an inner peace of knowing that you are where the L-rd wants you to be. I have heard numerous messages where the teacher says that G-d wants to help us get to where we want to be. This is not the case. HaShem is not interested in assisting us arrive at our destination, rather He wants to help us arrive at where He wants us to be. Careful study shows that many times during the 40 years in the wilderness the people complained to Moses and asked to return to Egypt. The Children of Israel were not that interested in getting into the promise land. In fact when given the opportunity to enter, only Joshua and Caleb wanted to do so.

G-d’s guidance requires faith to receive it and follow it. But when a person does, G-d draws him closer to Him spiritually. You and I need to ask ourselves if we are receiving His guidance in our daily walk. Do you sense His voice when you are in a time of decision making? The people had a choice in the wilderness, either follow G-d or travel alone without His provision. Going alone is an unsettling thing to do, but that is exactly what most people are doing.

In the reading from the prophets that accompanies this week’s parasha David speaks about G-d as a rock. He calls the L-rd his Fortress and Rescuer (see II Sam. 22:1-51). Both Moses and David are singing about the stability that they are experiencing because they have made HaShem the foundation of their life. Moses and David had numerous problems, but the L-rd delivered them from each of them,

“Many evil things are to the righteous, but from all of them the L-rd delivers him.”
(Ps. 34:20 English: verse 19).

Yesterday was the Day of Atonement and in our neighborhood a large tent was put up for the numerous people who wanted to pray: the city’s religious council knew that there would not be enough room in the synagogues. The tent held several hundred people and still there was not enough room. Extra chairs were brought and placed outside the tent, but those too were not enough, people were standing during the 6 hour morning service and the 2 hour afternoon service and 1 1/2 final service which ends with the blowing of the Shofar. Why do so many more people attend synagogue on Yom HaKippurim that during Shabbat?  Because of what the rabbis say that this day will do for a person. People want the benefits of G-d without the daily commitment.

Many people receive the message of salvation concerning Yeshua in the same way, failing to note that true faith involves a daily relationship with G-d. Think about how you relate to Yeshua each day. Is He really the foundation of your life? Can you give examples of how you rely on Him? Read carefully these two passages that will be read in the synagogue and see how Moses and David express the presence of G-d in their lives. Live in such a way that their song becomes yours.

Shabbat Shalom

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