Parashat Re’eh (See) Deuteronomy 11:26-16:19
In this week’s Torah portion what Moses instructs Israel is very similar to the words one reads in Shimon Kefa’s first letter,
“Beloved I beseech you as strangers and sojourners reject fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” I Peter 2:11
Moses commands Israel not to follow in the ways of those nations who inhabited the land which HaShem gave to the sons of Jacob to possess (See Deuteronomy 12:29-31). Assimilation is a constant battle for most believers. By means of the blood of Messiah Yeshua, the believer receives victory over sin. The problem is that this victory gives the believer the power to turn away from sin, yet so frequently we turn back to embrace the former things. Shimon makes it very clear that such desires are rooted in the carnal nature and war against the believer’s soul.
Spiritual maturity demands that one consider himself a stranger to this world and that he understand that his presence here is only temporary. It is only when one realizes how short this earthly life is, and that what follows is eternal, that he will begin to reprioritize his life and focus on those things which are above where Messiah is seated (See Colossians 3:1-10).
Moses makes it most clear that when one allows the things of this world to guide him, then he is offending G-d. Moses puts it this way: “Do not do thus to HaShem your G-d…”(Verse 31). The language of this verse is very personal. It teaches that one’s actions cannot only be wrong, i.e. sinful, but also hurtful to HaShem. This does not mean that man can injure G-d, but rather that one’s decisions, actions, and thoughts can bring Him displeasure. In no way does this effect the perfection of G-d, for He is always complete and lacks nothing. Rather it simply reveals the intimate relationship that a believer has with the Living G-d and how important this relationship is to HaShem.
I was sharing this point at a study a few weeks ago and one responded with frustration that he continues to hear over and over about a relationship with G-d, while he believes in Yeshua; he says he does not feel like he has a relationship with G-d. I would accept that many believers could identify with this individual. In responding to him, I asked him what he is doing to develop a vibrant relationship with Messiah now that by means of faith, a relationship with Him has been established. His answer was probably similar to most believers. He stated that he went to a religious service a few times a month and read the Bible a few times a week and prayed each night for a few minutes. We totaled up the time and it amounted to couple hours each week. Imagine trying to manage a business and investing each week less time than it takes to watch a watch a football game. In other words, most believers are not experiencing Messiah in their life simply because they are not committed to the covenant relationship in which they have entered.
The Bible reveals that HaShem is a jealous G-d and when our relationship with Him is far down on our list of priorities He becomes silent and it becomes very difficult to experience His presence. Why not count up the time you spend with Him each week and then ask yourself how important your relationship with Yeshua is to you. You may find the answer to why He seems so distant from you.
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