Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25: ‘I took you into this Land, and I can take you out’

Some have disregarded Israel at the time of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) ministry and in modern times as having anything to do with Bible prophecy, because of perceived failings of the people in trusting God.

But as we see in the Torah reading עקב Ekev/Eikev (“consequence,” Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25), God is faithful to His promises. We should be grateful for God’s mercy and bigger plans for our lives.

“Then it shall come about, because [עקב] you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers.” (Deuteronomy 7:12 NASB)

Parents will say to rebellious children, “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” Much of this parashah (Torah reading) is an elaboration on this point. God is reminding them that they will enter the Promised Land and remain in the Promised Land because of God’s grace, not because they earned it.

God is their only source of strength and they are to also honor their mother and father because they were the instruments God used to bring them into existence.

When history is no longer used a guide to figure out where you came from and where you are going, you are bound to go in circles and right back with the same problems and without a good solution.

Eikev means “consequences.” It’s an “if, then” statement. If the children of Israel obey God, they will prosper and live in peace in the land. If they don’t obey God, they will suffer and be expelled from the land.

When we read the Bible, it’s not about the restoration of Israel but restorations of Israel. Restoration comes when there’s justice, judgement and mercy in proper balance. If any of those are lacking, society will not be healthy.

““Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers.” (Deuteronomy 7:12 NASB)

When we keep and guard the commandments, we protect them from ignorance and irrelevance. When you guard something, you have to understand why it is worth guarding. Do you think what the prior generations passed to us is worthy of guarding? Do we want to protect them and pass them on to the generations after us? If you don’t, you won’t be diligent in passing them on. The prophets are a warning of what happens to society when they no longer find God’s words worth guarding.

“You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.” (Deuteronomy 8:2–6 NASB)

Are we guarding, protecting and passing on what God has shown us? We have the benefit of knowledge because our generations overlap. Learning our family history from a book is not the same as learning it from our grand or great grandparents.

Respect for authority, history and elders is utterly lacking. We need to rediscover that the message from Genesis to Revelation is a coherent message. Our journey from Eden to the Kingdom is from wandering to coming home in the end.

The griping and complaining was all about how “nice” the food in Egypt was in comparison to the “what the heck is this?” that they called “manna.” It was a lesson for every generation that “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.”

God is not holding us back, He is positioning us to do something great. John 6 emphasizes this point as Yeshua went into the wilderness for 40 days. During Yeshua’s 40-day travail in the wilderness after His mikvah in the Yarden (Jordan River) by Yokhanan (John), the Adversary (haSatan) challenges Yeshua to use His power to satisfy His human hunger. Yeshua responds with Deuteronomy 8:3.

During Yom Kippur, we are to humble ourselves and focus on what our great High Priest did for us.

Yeshua is the “bread come down from Heaven.” John 6 ends with this conversation about eating Yeshua’s flesh and drinking His blood. Seems like crazy talk.

First Fruits of Zion’s Weekly eDrash for Aug. 24, 2016, said:

“The manna, which daily descended from heaven symbolizes God’s divine Word (Memra/Logos) entering the world. This is why Yeshua referred to Himself as the bread from heaven in John 6. He is the Word of God (and the Word was God) made flesh.”

We need to ask if we are eating or being eaten. We need to consume the words of the LORD through the Word become flesh (John 1) or  we will be “consumed” like the nations who rebelled against God before Israel entered the Land.

No matter what happens to our body, if we feast on God’s words, our spirit lives.

“When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.” (Deuteronomy 8:10 NASB)

We don’t to forget where our blessings really come from after we eat our meal and receive blessings from God. This is developed in Psalm 95 and Hebrews 3–4. We are to enter God’s rest where we feel at home and want to put down roots.

The enemy wants to destroy our rich history that has been passed down from generation to generation. His attacks on the family structure is part of his attempts to deny us access to the wisdom of our elders.

God repeats the refrain several times that we are not to be attached to our own righteousness or to assume that God blesses us because He owes us something. Don’t get haughty about being God’s chosen. He repeats three times the phrase “not for your righteousness…”

Deuteronomy 9:8–21 recounts of the golden calf incident, but Deuteronomy 9:22: reminds us of the rebellions at Taberah, Massah and Kibroth-hattaavah. There were complaints about adversity (Numbers 11:1–3) which caused the LORD to sent a fire on the outskirts of the camp, killing some.

There were also complaints about enough water (Exodus 17:1–7). After the crossing of the sea (Exodus 14–15) and the gift of daily bread (Exodus 16), the people ask when faced with another struggle, “Is the LORD with us or not?”

These complaints were the key reason that God told them He would not enter the rest he wanted to give them in the Promised Land. “I swore in My wrath, ‘You shall not enter My rest.’”

The secular word knows that we are to be “mindful” and “grateful” for our blessings, how much so should we, who have a relationship with the Creator of the universe should be mindful and grateful for what He has provided for us?

Reflecting on this incident in Psalm 95, the prophet David wrote how that incident was part of the train of evidence  of the heart condition that led to the judgment of the first generation out of Mitsraim (Egypt) being barred from entering the land.

They also complained of not having meat, even as they were given enough manna to fill them up and nourish their bodies. The manna wasn’t as fun or tasty as meat. Their appetites and souls were dry. That is why the craved meat. God answered the greed for something other than Heaven-sent manna with another Heaven-sent food miracle, a massive flock of quail. But that greed came with a price, eating that meat brought a plague.

This is recorded to teach us to recognize one’s blessings, thank God for them, and be content.

Even after all these lessons, the children of Israel rejected the Promised Land when they were at Kadesh-barnea. They didn’t trust God to enter the Land. Moshe pleads with God for 40 days and nights for mercy, and although God didn’t kill the children of Israel, they were still permanent consequences for their lack of gratitude and faith.

The parashah reading ends with Moshe recounting how after the golden calf God instructed him to cut two stone tablets for the Ten Statements, make the Ark of the Testimony and come up the mountain again, staying another 40 days. This is a retelling of the events recorded in Exodus 34 (return to the mountain) and Exodus 25 (instructions for the Ark).

“the LORD listened to me that time also; the LORD was not willing to destroy you” (Deuteronomy 10:10 NASB)

The Golden Calf was a big slap in God’s face, yet He listens to Moshe’s request for justice (found guilty), judgement (drinking the ground up calf and recarving the 10 commandments) and mercy (restart relationship).

“So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.” (Deuteronomy 10:16 NASB)

God looks after the widow, orphan and foreigners and we are to look after them as well.

“If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me ― I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies ― or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land.” (Leviticus 26:40–42 NASB)

We need to cut off those things that keep us from following God’s way.

Yet the Haftarat Ekev passage (Isa. 49:14-51:3) and a prophecy of the restoration of Israel in the latter days points to a restoration that’s more about God’s faithfulness than Israel’s.

“But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me.’ ‘Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.’ ” (Isaiah 49:14–15 NASB)

“ ‘Therefore say to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.’ ” ’ ” (Ezekiel 36:22–27 NASB)

God is staking out his beachhead in this world, even taking to Himself a people that betrays Him, denies Him. He wants the nation of Israel to become so great that the people of the nations want to know who God is because of them. That is the legacy we should want to pass on from generation to generation. Sometimes God has to strike down rebellion with a hammer but the hammer is not all God has. The hammer helps mold and fashion us into something better than we are now.

We all have certain talents, gifts and insights. Do we have the right to question this? Does the clay have the right to question the potter? God is refining and making us better not just for us but for those who will be blessed by us. This world is not all there is. The Kingdom of Heaven is where everyone wants to be.

Banner Photo: The eviction of Michael Connell, in Moyasta, Co.Clare, Ireland on July 30, 1888. Photo by National Library of Ireland on The Commons. 

Summary: Tammy.

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