Receiving judgment: Learning from the struggles God sends

There was a small group from another region who called me a few months ago. The person kept asking for advice. After several phone calls, I told this person that God would now put a test on your group. When He is finished, you will have a great loss. I knew then that this would happen to Hallel Fellowship too.

That is what has transpired. I have looked back and asked God why? How did it happen? Did the Devil do it? No, the Devil is feeble and weak. The Devil only has the authority that God gives him. God can and does protect us from the Evil One.

What is it that God has in mind? For the past couple of weeks, I have been deeply meditating, asking God over and over what to do. I have sought God’s wisdom and understanding and yet something is missing.

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Parashat Shoftim (שפטים): Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

Shadows of the prophet status and crucifixion of the Messiah appear in the Torah passage שֹׁפְטִים Shoftim (“judges,” Deut. 16:18–21:9). In a section of the Bible focused on codes of justice still used in modern society, there also is hope for the greatest mercy the world has ever seen, in Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ).

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Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17: Learning to live a blessed life

Blessing and cursing are very important Biblical principles. There are two ways of life, either under God’s blessing or under His curse. Emphasized in the Torah reading כי רְאֵה Re’eh (“see,” Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17) is we want to live under His blessing.

We live under God’s blessing when we read and apply Torah. When we screw up, we still apply Torah to deal with our screwups. We are under God’s curse when we refuse to follow Torah. We all have experienced how bad life is when we refuse to obey God and walk in Torah. God can’t bless us when we are walking in sin. He can only bless obedience. He teaches us like we teach our own children.

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Parashat Re’eh (ראה): Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

Common advice in this world is, “Follow your heart.” But in the Torah reading רְאֵה Re’eh (“see,” Deut. 11:26-16:17), we learn that God wants to transform our way of thinking, so our desires will take us in a wiser direction. This section explains the reborn heart approach to the Second, Third and Fourth commandments on blasphemy, idolatry and stopping what we’re doing to remember the rest God gives us.

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Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25: Stay with the One Who brought you this far

We are seeing the heart of God in the book of Deuteronomy. He makes promises and follows through with them. There are those who believe that the foundation of the modern state of Israel has nothing to do with God, because the current state of Israel is largely a secular state. But what does it mean about the LORD’s promises if He were to turn them off like a light switch? What would that mean for another great promise from the LORD, the grace given us through Yeshua the Mashiakh (Jesus the Christ)?

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Parashat Eikev/Ekev (עקב): Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25

“And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.” (Matthew 3:9 ESV)

Some have disregarded Israel — during the earthly ministry of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) 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 this week’s Torah reading — עקב Ekev or 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.

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Parashat Va’etchanan (ואתחנן): Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11

Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) said several times during the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, “You’ve heard it said …, but I tell you ….” Many of the corrections He provided to what God originally intended were similar to the lengthy explanation of the Ten Commandments by Moshe (Moses) in Deuteronomy.

This week’s Torah reading, ואתחנן Va’etchanan (“and I pleaded,” Deut. 3:23-7:11), includes the beginning of Moshe’s elucidation.

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