“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 Re'eh (ראה): Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 - August 13th, 2017
- Parashat Va'etchanan (ואתחנן): Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 - July 29th, 2017
- Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22: Growing in grace by every word from God - July 29th, 2017
- Parashat Devarim (דברים): Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22 - July 22nd, 2017
- Numbers 30-36: We want Messiah to give us rest from our dumb oaths and vows - July 22nd, 2017
- Parashot Matot/Massei (מטות/מסעי): Numbers 30–36 - July 17th, 2017
- Numbers 25:10-29:40: A 'snake' again becomes an icon of salvation - July 15th, 2017
- Parashat Pinchas (פינחס): Numbers 25:10-30:1 - July 9th, 2017
- Numbers 22:1-25:9: God sent emissaries to the Gentiles too - July 8th, 2017
- Parashat Balak (בלק): Numbers 22:2-25:9 - July 2nd, 2017
- Numbers 19–21: Life and salvation amid death and rebellion - July 1st, 2017
- Parashat Chukat (חקת): Numbers 19:1-22:1 - June 25th, 2017
- Numbers 16–18: Korah, an early anti-Messiah - June 24th, 2017
- Parashat Korach (קרח): Numbers 16–18 - June 18th, 2017
- Numbers 13–15: Overcoming fear in doing the right thing - June 17th, 2017
- Parashat Shelach (שלח): Numbers 13–15 - June 11th, 2017
- Numbers 8–12: Heaven wants you to be Spirit-filled - June 10th, 2017
- Parashat Beha'alotecha (בהעלתך): Numbers 8–12 - June 4th, 2017
- Numbers 4:21–7:89: Ambassadors for the gospel - June 3rd, 2017
- Parashat Nasso (נשא): Numbers 4:21–7:89 - May 28th, 2017