Parashat Re’eh (See…)
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 11:26 – 16:17
Every time I read this week's Scripture portion, I'm always faced with examining my life, and more specifically the choices that I have made. From the time of creation, we were created with the ability to make choices; to honor God or not; to obey God or not; to live for God or not.
Likewise, from the time of creation, there have also been consequences for our choices, and the reality is that often times we don’t think about them, we don’t consider them, and as a result we end up turning our backs on God.
Our weekly reading has something interesting to say about this:
See (look), I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.
The children of Israel had a choice to make: either choose the blessing that comes from obeying God or choose the curse that would result from disobedience. It's really that simple!
In the years that I have been a disciple of Yeshua our Messiah, I have had many conversations with other brothers and sisters in the faith about this issue. Often I hear an idea expressed that basically says we are forever free from any curse of disobedience because of Yeshua's perfect and complete work of grace on the tree (Cross); we are now forever in the place of blessing regardless of what we do.
The reality is, that due to Yeshua’s amazing work, we are freed from the bondage of sin and we do have eternal access to the Almighty through a restored relationship with Him. As Rav Sha'ul (Paul) wrote, we are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:6). This is our freedom in Messiah! This does not mean, however, that we have the freedom to live disobediently. In fact, God's spiritual principles have been the same from the beginning of time until today; just because we are forgiven for every sin does not mean that we are exempt from the consequence of sin. Very often I ask myself if I/we really understand what He has done for us?
I personally believe that if we truly understood the fact that He took on Himself the curse for each and every one of us, then we will desire to live our lives in a way that truly honors Him. And this is not motivated by the blessing that may come as a result of our obedience, but rather because we truly understand the blessing that we already received when Yeshua gave His life for us.
Often when I speak to congregations, I like to give an example of a person pointing a gun at another person, and that just as he pulls the trigger, someone else jumps in to catch the bullet; this person loses his life to save the other person's life. I then ask the person whose life was saved if he will ever forget that which was done for him… The answer is always the same… NO…
How much more did Yeshua do for us when He drank the cup of God's wrath, which was reserved for us sinners, effectively canceling a debt we could never pay?
May our daily choices be a reflection of appreciation for the amazing, perfect love that was given to us.