“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 Vayetze (ויצא): Genesis 28:10–32:2 - November 19th, 2017
- Parashat Toldot (תולדת): Genesis 25:19–28:9 - November 12th, 2017
- Genesis 23:1–25:18: A time to rebel and a time to trust - November 11th, 2017
- Parashat Chayei Sarah (חיי שרה): Genesis 23:1-25:18 - November 5th, 2017
- Parashat Vayera (וירא): Genesis 18:1–22:24 - October 29th, 2017
- Genesis 12–17: Instant gratification is never instant or gratifying - October 28th, 2017
- Parashat Lech Lecha (לך לך): Genesis 12:1-17:27 - October 22nd, 2017
- Genesis 6:9–11:32: Our salvation floats on a real Flood - October 21st, 2017
- Parashat Noach (נח): Genesis 6:9–11:32 - October 15th, 2017
- Parashat Bereisheet (בראשית): Genesis 1:1-6:8 - October 8th, 2017
- Yom Kippur: Confidence before God under Messiah's covering - September 30th, 2017
- Judgment Day: Day of the LORD is a day of awakening - September 21st, 2017
- Parashat Ha'azinu (האזינו): Deuteronomy 32 - September 17th, 2017
- Deuteronomy 29:9–31:30: Hungry to get close to God? - September 16th, 2017
- Parashot Nitzavim (נצבים)/Vayelech (וילך): Deuteronomy 29:9–31:20 - September 10th, 2017
- Deuteronomy 26:1–29:8: Coveting thankfulness for the LORD's blessings - September 9th, 2017
- Parashat Ki Tavo (כי תבוא): Deuteronomy 26:1–29:8 - September 3rd, 2017
- Parashat Ki Tetze (כי תצא): Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 - August 26th, 2017
- Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9: Learn to judge life & death righteously & mercifully - August 26th, 2017
- Parashat Shoftim (שפטים): Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9 - August 20th, 2017