Written by Mordecai Silver. Posted in Journey Through Torah.

Ekev-As a Result

Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25
Matthew-Mattiyahu 4:1-4


Whenever the Torah begins an admonition with the Hebrew term v’atah, “and now,” as it does in this portion, it reminds us that no action is unredeemable, there is an acceptable Halachic or Way out. It is called repent-forgiveness, known in Hebrew as teshuvah, to turn back. It is not a right but a privilege, an act of Divine mercy which defies natural law.

Deuteronomy 11:1-6

1 "The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you. 6 So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. (ESV)

<01980> halak (229d)
Meaning: to go, come, walk

<01870> derek (202c)
Meaning: way, road, distance, journey, manner

Torah has always been about a way to walk on a road that has been laid out for us by God. It has never been about laying a burden on us or trying to show us that we can never hope to keep Torah perfectly. It is about God showing us we need to take on a humble attitude so we can learn what it means to live a Torah-based life. It is not just about rules and regulations. It is as much about a faith-based walk as it is about a Torah-based walk because you cannot walk according to God’s ways unless you are in the right frame of mind and you have surrendered yourself to Messiah. Without faith in the Son of God, you have no way to come into the presence of the Father. There is no shortcut to God, where many think they can get around committing themselves to Yeshua by claiming God never had a Son, and there is no need for an intermediary. If we learn one thing from reading the Bible it is this: we do need an intermediary between ourselves and the Father. Someone has to prepare the way for us. Even the sacrificial system teaches us this because you could not come into the presence of God without cleansing the way by the shedding of an animal’s blood.

To some this may seem like a terrible way to have to go about pleasing God, but it is a reality and a stark lesson that blood must be shed to prepare the way. Many say the temple was destroyed because Yeshua came, died, shed His blood for mankind, and rose again on the third day, so there is no longer any need for animal sacrifices. Yes, animal sacrifices were symbolic of the sacrifice Yeshua would make whereby His sacrifice would be once and for all while animal sacrifices were ongoing, but no matter how many animals were offered up, their blood was only a temporary covering for the sin of mankind while Yeshua’s was the permanent solution.

1 John 1:7 But if we are walking in the light, as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of his Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we acknowledge our sins, then, since he is trustworthy and just, he will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing. 10 If we claim we have not been sinning, we are making him out to be a liar, and his Word is not in us. (CJB)

Judaism does not believe in the concept of “original sin.” They believe an individual is responsible for themselves, within each one of us is a good and evil nature, and it is up to us to overcome the evil part and raise up the good part. There is some truth to this, but it ignores the fact that Adam and Chavah defied God and made a choice to do the opposite of what they were told. It was their choice, but that choice laid the groundwork for how mankind would respond to God from that day forward. We believe we can make ourselves into gods, when in truth there is only one God who created all there is, and anything we do is a pale comparison to the Creator. He created all there is by His Word spoken in the very beginning, and this Word is none other than Yeshua. The light we are called to walk in is the light of the Word of God that leads us out of the darkness, the sin state we have fallen into, because we have failed to walk in Torah by faith in His Son the living Word.

If we deny we have sinned, the only one we are fooling is ourselves because in the end when we stand before the Judge and give an accounting, He already knows what we have done, where our faith is at, and whether we have tried to follow the covenant of Torah. We need to remember Torah cannot save anyone. That is not what it was meant to do. It was meant to show us a better way to live our lives to bring us into harmony with our Creator and with one another, but we have moved so far away from the narrow road, we have lost our way, and we need to find our way back. Torah points the way to Messiah, and through Messiah we receive forgiveness for our sins knowing that when the third Temple is built and animal sacrifices resume, the blood of these sacrifices do not remove sin but point the way to the one sacrifice has.

Matthew 4:1-4

4 Then Yeshua was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'" (NAU)

This was an abject lesson in the power of Torah and what it can accomplish when properly followed. Yeshua did not come to start a new religion, despite what the church might believe. He came to fix the problems with the faith that existed but had gone off course. Judaism had fallen under the sway of the rabbis, their interpretation of Torah, and the reality that the “fences” they had built up around the Torah commands to protect the Torah itself had the exact opposite effect in that the fences became elevated to a position equal to or even taking the place of the written Torah itself. This was never meant to be, no matter what the rabbis might try to tell you. While their intentions were good, like all things man does, they went overboard and created something that Yeshua had to come to fix.

Matthew 23:1 Then Yeshua said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. (ESV)

Yeshua recognizes the authority of the scribes and the Pharisees in the ability to teach Torah, but He goes one step further by telling the people to do what they are told, but not the way the teachers do it because while they talk a good game, that is all they do -- talk. They were not living it out in their lives to be an example for others. Anyone can tell someone what to do, but unless they are doing it themselves, they are talking to the hand. We must live by example. Moses lived Torah before the Children of Israel, but at the same time he had a relationship with the Lord that causes our own relationships to pale in comparison. God knew him face to face and spoke to him as a friend. How many of us can claim to have that type of a relationship with God?

Exodus 33:11 Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. (ESV)

With Moses, God did not speak in parables but spoke clearly so Moses understood what it was God wanted Moses to teach the people of Israel. They had been chosen to receive a special gift – the gift of Torah, God’s instructions and His teachings. God wanted man to learn, He chose a nation to be His own, and it would be through them the Word, the truth, would be brought forth. It began with the Torah; a way to teach the people there was a better road to take. The purpose of Torah was to show us God’s ways versus man’s ways, and that if man wanted to be able to live in covenant with his Creator, he had to do it God’s way, not his way. By living Torah, one would see what it was God expected from us. By doing what God wanted, we would find the path to be able to walk with His Son Yeshua. To walk with Yeshua would be to walk with the one who was walking in the garden in cool of the day.

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (ESV)

Who was walking in the garden? Judaism describes God as being Spirit represented by a ball of fire as at the burning bush. So, if we follow this train of thought, who then walked in the garden? Who is the physical manifestation of the Father?

John 14:6 Yeshua said, "I AM the Way- and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me. 7 Because you have known me, you will also know my Father; from now on, you do know him- in fact, you have seen him." (CJB)

To know Messiah Yeshua is to know His Father, so in truth, Yeshua is the one who walked in the garden. He was the one who closed up Noah in the Ark. He appeared to Abraham and stood at the top of the ladder in Jacob’s dream. He was there and spoke to Joshua. Time and time again He has stepped into time to reveal Himself to us. What more can we ask from Him because in the end He has given us much more than we have given Him, so is it too much to ask that we should honor Him by following the path He has already laid out for us in Torah? Live Torah in your lives by your faith in Messiah.

Blessings in Messiah Yeshua,

Mordecai Silver

Torah Man says, “So, live that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”

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