“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.
The traditional complementary reading for Ekev is Isaiah 49:14-51:3.
- John 13:31-15:27 (First Fruits of Zion)
- Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; James 5:7-11 (Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern)
- Hebrews 11:8-13 (Parashiot From the Torah and Haftarah by Jeffrey E. Feinbe of Flame Foundation)
- Luke 24:13-32 (Chayyei Yeshua Three-Year Besora Reading Cycle by Mark Kinzer)
Listen to and read studies on the following passages in Ekev by Hallel Fellowship teachers over the years:
God chose the people of Israel as His primary representatives and He wanted them to remain pure and distinct from the Gentiles but He did not call the children of Israel to isolate themselves from the Gentiles. The Gentile nations, for the most part, are have always been obsessed with anger, depression and death. God reveals His will even to the Gentiles where there’s rampant rebellion against it.
The Torah has a reputation of being offensive, but it is always truthful. The words in Deuteronomy center on God’s statutes, judgments and commandments. When we come to understand and hear God, we start to ask God why? He says, “because I love you.” Why does He punish us? Because He loves us.
Deuteronomy 9 starts with the refrain “Hear, O Israel.” This time God is not declaring His own unity, or telling the children of Israel what they need to do. This time, God is telling the children of Israel what He will do for them: “Know therefore today that it is the LORD your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the LORD has spoken to you.” (Deut. 9:3 NASB)
Deuteronomy 9-10: Israel must remember her rebellious acts before ridding the Land of its rebellious peoples
God required Israel to fear Him, walk with Him, love Him and serve Him with all their hearts and souls. Notice we have to fear Him first, then walk in His ways, then we love Him and serve Him and others. Many Christians teach that the first thing we need to do to respond to God is to love Him, but that is not what God tells us. Our first response to Him should be fear. Loving God comes later, after we have cultivated an appropriate fear of God and have learned to walk in the ways He calls us to walk
The number 40 plays heavily in this chapter. Both Moses and Yeshua had to spend 40 days and 40 nights alone in prayer with God to prepare themselves to teach and lead His people through difficult times ahead. It’s no coincidence that a woman carries a child in her womb for 40 weeks either and the correlation is purposeful as Moses’ 40 days and nights with God brought forth the 10 commandments into the world. Yeshua’s 40 days and 40 nights gave Him the strength to resist temptation and defeat Satan.
Moses specially addressed the adults of the community who are preparing to enter the Promised Land to teach their children God’s charge, commandments, judgements and statutes. There are two parts to sanctification: mind and heart. Once the mind is sanctified, the heart will follow. Once the mind and heart are sanctified, the person will not depart from God.
Recent posts in Torah
- Parashat Tetzaveh (תצוה): Exodus 27:20-30:10 - February 18th, 2018
- Exodus 25:1–27:19: How thankful are we for our Savior? - February 17th, 2018
- Parashat Terumah (תרומה): Exodus 25:1–27:19 - February 11th, 2018
- Parshat Mishpatim (משפטים): Exodus 21:1–24:18 - February 4th, 2018
- Exodus 18–20: Ten Commandments reveal the Creator and Savior of Israel and the world - February 3rd, 2018
- Parashat Yitro (יתרו): Exodus 18:1–20:23 - January 28th, 2018
- Exodus 13:17–17:16: Are you ready to enter God's rest? 5 questions to ask yourself - January 27th, 2018
- Parashat Beshalach (בשלח): Exodus 13:17-17:16 - January 21st, 2018
- Parashat Bo (בוא): Exodus 10:1–13:16 - January 14th, 2018
- Parashat Va'era (וארא): Exodus 6:2-9:35 - January 7th, 2018
- Parashat Shemot (שמות): Exodus 1:1-6:1 - December 31st, 2017
- Parashat Vayechi (ויחי): Genesis 47:28–50:26 - December 24th, 2017
- Parashat Vayigash (ויגש): Genesis 44:18–47:27 - December 17th, 2017
- Chanukah: Dare to be a Daniel, Joseph, Judas Maccabeus - December 16th, 2017
- Parashat Miketz (מקץ): Genesis 41:1–44:17 - December 10th, 2017
- Genesis 37–40: Joseph and Judah's school of hard knocks - December 9th, 2017
- Parashat Vayeshev (וישב): Genesis 37:1–40:23 - December 3rd, 2017
- Genesis 32:3–36:43: Peace on Earth depends on a transformed you - December 2nd, 2017
- Parashat Vayishlach (וישלח): Genesis 32:3–36:43 - November 26th, 2017
- Genesis 28:10–32:2: Messiah seeks 'the lost sheep of Israel' - November 25th, 2017