Torah Portion Ekev
Adding to Jason’s earlier website pearl on Ekev in that we need to learn from a leader - Moshe and then Yeshua in the scriptures below. What are we to learn? Some thoughts are included in the following.
Deuteronomy 11:14 (The Scriptures)
14 then I shall give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, and you shall gather in your grain, and your new wine, and your oil.
Joel 2:23 (The Scriptures)
23 And you children of Tsiyon, be glad and rejoice in יהוה your Elohim, for He shall give you the Teacher of Righteousness, and cause the rain to come down for you, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.
Ekev is often translated as ‘if/when’, the name literally means (on the) “heel” or (in the) “footprint”.
It is first mentioned in Genesis 3:15 “he will crush your head (rosh - meaning head, either anatomically or in the sense of a leader, chief, king) you will strike his heel.
Each person’s footprint is as unique as their fingerprint.
What kind of footprint do we leave in the places we visit? In other words, how significant an impression our presence and conversation and input and expenditure of creative energy leaves in the hearts and minds of the men, women and children who come into our presence.
Are we net takers of that which gives life, or a net contributor of that which gives life? I pray that all of us are net contributors!
To begin Deuteronomy 7:12, we need to go back one verse;
Therefore, you are to keep the mitzvot (laws and rulings) which I give to you today, and obey them. This flows directly into
Deuteronomy 7: 12 – 16
12 It shall happen, when you listen (sh’ma) to these judgements, and keep (sh’mar) and do/implement (asah) them, that YHVH our Elohim will keep (sh’mar) with you the covenant and the lovingkindness which He swore to your fathers:
These of course were (???) à Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
13 and He will love you and bless you and multiply you He will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock in the land which He swore to your fathers to give you.
14 You will be blessed above all peoples; there will not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.
15 The Holy One will take away from you all sickness; and none of the evil diseases of Mitzrayim (Egypt) which you know, will He put on You but will lay them on all those who hate you.
16 You will consume all the peoples who YHVH your Elohim shall deliver to you: your eye will not pity them: neither will you serve their gods; for that would be a snare to you.
Which comes first – the sh’ma-ing or the blessing! DON’T BE FOOLED! It is not If you sh’ma then you will be blessed. In fact, one comes on the heels of the other. It is like which came first à the chicken or the egg.
How many of us in our pre-Torah observant days were given this scripture as a message of faith and hope, in particular with respect to tithing?
You may have been taught about tithing - if you give 10% then and only then will the Father bless you. - COMPLETE GARBAGE!
2 Corinthians 9:7
says ………God loves a cheerful giver.
Again, be careful, it does not suggest that he does not love a stingy person.
We have three assurances:
1. He will love us: YHVH loves all human beings, and will never cease to love anyone. There is a unique and special kind and quality of love the Father feels for and delight He takes in those who trust Him enough to overcome not only fear concerning the future, matters of personal appetite and self-interest, and greed, but also the religious tendency toward a critical and self-righteous spirit and cheerfully give to others.
1 John 1:1 – 3
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of the Holy One!
2 Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved we are now children of YHVH our Elohim; and it is not yet revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him.
3 For we shall see Him as He is, and everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Romans 8:38 – 39
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2. He will bless (barach) us: barach (baw-rahk) – means to release from limitations and restrictions. To barack (baw-rahk) someone or something means to infuse the object of blessing with unlimited potential and empowerment. He will release us from restrictions, limitations, give us unlimited potential and empowerment. He will separate us from the world. Maybe another way to bless or baw-rahk someone is how others use Mazel Tov! In Yiddish Mazel means luck or fortune and Tov means good.
Friendship with the world is enmity with the Holy One. Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Adonai.
Romans 8:6 – 8
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against YHVH our Elohim as it is not subject to the Torah of YHVH nor indeed can be.
8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please YHVH.
3. He will multiply us: do you or have you ever felt alone in your Torah walk? Do you ever hunger for community and fellowship and a sense of common purpose?
When we came back to Melbourne in 2008, Deb was unable to work and I would continually come home to a wife yearning for fellowship. It was alright for me as I was teaching at Oxley Christian College and sharing with Christians each day, including starting each day with worship and sharing the Father’s word. It became a prayer focus for us as a husband and wife. Debbie eventually started to contact some other Hebrew roots people. However, it was ad hoc. But then she came into contact with Michael and ‘Restoration Down Under’ in Perth, which led to Brad Scott coming to Australia. This fellowship then arose from the interested Melbourne people and the tour done by Brad. Gab, Lina, Rory, Dirk, Pete, were the beginning. He certainly answered our prayer!
The Hebrew word rabah (raw-baw) means to become many, to become numerous, to multiply.
The key here was the prayer and allowing the Father to do it and not try and do it ourselves and create a network of Ishmaels. As I was writing this I can recall some of the ‘Ishmaels’ we came into contact with!
Verses 12 – 16 - talks about the blessings. Then WARNINGS, ASSURANCES and INSTRUCTIONS!
No good thing is withheld.
We all know that we have two choices:
· Walk out the Torah in a passionate love of YHVH our Elohim or
· Adopt the mindset of the serpent - wanting the mindset of the world very, very badly. This mindset does not like anyone else possessing them much less enjoying them. They cannot stand the idea that people may be swayed from or indeed remain aloof from the gods of their culture. In an era of multiculturalism and political correctness, have you noticed that this anger is rising in the world.
Antisemitism is not racism BUT FOOTPRINT ENVY!
WOW! For those who have adopted the mindset of the serpent, the Torah is something they will detest as it is completely contrary to their worldly view. Pride and haughtiness! They know all and so the footprint that believers in Yeshua have left is something that will breakdown the complete foundation of their life. No wonder they get angry!!!
Be encouraged that as you get further towards living YHVH our Elohim’s Torah there will be increasingly more people who will aggressively oppose you. You are beginning to live the Torah out in the world Praise Yah!
Don’t bring anything abhorrent into your house, or you will share in the curse that is on it, instead you are to detest it completely, loathe it utterly; for it is set apart for destruction.
I know have shared this before however I believe it is worth repeating.
A year after we were married, we went to NZ to spend time with Debbie’s sister Lynne and her husband Garth. We actually gave our hearts to the Lord whilst over there (another story)’. We bought back with us a Maori tiki given to us by Air NZ. As it was a life changing trip and we kept the tiki as a special memory item to remind us of our trip! A few months later, our assembly had visiting ministry and the couple stayed in our house. They awoke on the second day and came out saying that the Father had shown them there was something in the house to be removed. ‘Imagine our shock and horror!’ Thankfully it was quickly traced to the tiki, which we got rid of.
Prayfully, check your houses today to make sure you do not have any similar thing which replaces the glory of YHVH in your home!
I BELIEVE THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DIRECTION FROM THIS TORAH PORTION.
Our heavenly Father has programmed into our Betrothal Covenant three primary barometers by which both the purity and the maturity of our love for Him to be revealed. There were three different types of instructions:
· Mitzvot which refers to acts through which the Father calls us to join ourselves to Him and be like an apprentice doing whatever we see Him doing.
· Mishpatim which consist of our responses to specific instructions and controversies based upon the Father’s perspective of right and wrong rather than our own!
· The Torah are his chukim (mitzvot which transcend rational reason). They are literally engravings which we are instructed to do. They test the strength of our love for YHVH our Elohim.
If you love me you will keep (sh’mar) my commandments. It is important now that we sh’mar, that we adopt and incorporate each commandment (asah) into our daily life.
We must live the Torah.
John 14:15 – 28 This is another WOW moment
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you
19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Fathers who sent Me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said,[b] ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.
Deuteronomy 8:11 – 20
11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today,
12 Otherwise —when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied;
14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock;
16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—
17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’
18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.
20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.
Have you wondered why YHVH our Elohim blesses us so much?
He blesses us not only because He loves us, but because He wants to see how well we respond to the blessings we receive.
We must accept the blessings graciously, humbly, and responsibly as the gifts of love they are.
Interestingly, if we still have unresolved love deficits – i.e. lingering spiritual issues which prevent us from receiving and returning Divine Love and calling in an appropriate manner – we may come to think of the blessings as something Adonai ‘owes’ to us for our service . . . and alas may become arrogant, prideful and downright surly if we do not get what we wanted.
Remember is a key word in this Torah portion. He uses words such as remember, think deeply about it, be careful not to forget, forgetting, remember, if you forget etc.
READ Exodus13:3 Exodus 20:8, Numbers 15:29 – 40
Deuteronomy 5:15 Deuteronomy 8:2 Deuteronomy 8:18.
These instructions are not commandments but prophetic empowerments! They are invitations to structure our perception of the world, and view all events that occur in our lives, in the light of what YHVH our Elohim has done for us.
Adonai told them not to forget:
· How He led them out of Egypt
· Gave them water from the rock
· Rained manna down from heaven
· How their clothes did not wear out
· He gave them the 10 Commandments
· He changed their lifestyles etc. etc.
It is vital that daily we reflect on what YHVH has done for us!
YOU MAY REMEMBER WHEN CORNE SHARED DURING SHABBAT about ‘Times of darkness followed by the flash of lightning.’
Deuteronomy 9:1 – 3
1. Sh’ma Israel! You are to cross the Jarden today, to go in and dispossess the nations greater and stronger than you, great cities fortified up to the sky;
2. A people great and tall the ‘Anakim’, whom you know about and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of ‘Anak’?
3. Therefore, understand today that YHVH your Elohim will himself cross ahead of you as a devouring fire; He will destroy them and bring them down before you. Thus you will drive them out and cause them to perish quickly, as Adonai has said it to you.
The YHVH your Elohim does not give you good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a hard and stubborn people.
The heart of this message is going to be that our lifestyle must always have as one of its characteristics a trait known in Hebrew as aino maczh’zik tova li’atzmo (AINO MACK-ZHIK TOE-VAR LEART-ZMOE) – not claiming credit for oneself.
I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as the Holy One has dealt to every man the measure of faith.
1. YHVH our Elohim has shown us miracles - Release from Egypt, the Sea of Reeds, water from the rock etc. We are to simply be in awe of Him.
2. We have heard the sound of His voice for ourselves. He gave us His betrothed covenant of the mitzvot, mishpatim and of Torah. We learnt about living His ‘covenant lifestyle’.
3. He will go before us. The battle is won!
A people who truly sh’ma the Elohim of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob receive and accept both the Holy One’s salvation and His judgement – and their assigned role in each, -- in humility, with unspeakable gratitude and with newfound compassion.