Ki Tavo-When You Enter In
2 Thessalonians 1:6-12
This Portion or Parashah begins with promises of blessings if Israel follows the Torah. Then it quickly takes a turn for the worse if they don’t follow Torah with curses that span nearly half of the portion.
1 "And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7 "The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. 8 The LORD will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 9 The LORD will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. 10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The LORD will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, 14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. (ESV)
There are so many things that run through my mind when I read this passage of Scripture from this week’s Torah portion. The list of blessings is impressive, but they are contingent upon doing what God tells you to do. Moses is reiterating the same message he has been since assuming leadership of Israel forty years prior. Moses never veered from his calling and must have found it frustrating at times due to the fact that Israel would not listen. They had failed in their calling to the point they were doomed to die in the wilderness and now, at this point in time, a new generation had arisen and were now at the point they were ready to enter into the Promised Land. They were finally going to bring to culmination the promise God had made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob while they were sojourning in the land, though they did not have possession of the land. The ones who had come before Israel were waiting for the time when the promise would come to pass, and now here we are on the brink of the fulfillment, and sadly we are also on the brink of the passing of Moses from the scene in the Biblical story. The entire book of Deuteronomy is Moses’ final message to Israel trying to get them to remember that in order to inherit the blessings, there was one key element to this promise, and it has always been a key part of God’s promise and His covenant with His people.
Deuteronomy 28 1 And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God.
Faith and obedience are integral parts to this promise and have always been at the heart of the covenant between God and His people. It has never been enough to have only faith in Messiah Yeshua because anyone can profess faith, but what it also comes down to is the will to do as God instructs, and that is to hold fast to our faith and walk in Torah or in covenant with Him. With only faith, you can only go so far, and with only Torah you can only go so far. To walk a complete walk, you need to put both together. It is extremely important to do this, and without both parts to the equation, you will only be able to go so far in your walk. In fact, you may fail in your walk if you can’t get your act together. Your walk will not only suffer but also your relationship with your heavenly Father as well as your relationship with your fellow man. It is what is, people, and the sooner you realize it, the better things will become for you; but remember this, no matter how perfectly you walk the walk, we live in flawed world and are subject to the ruler of this world who has been given jurisdiction over it.
A perfect example of this is what is taking place in the United States at this moment in time regarding the unfolding presidential campaign. We have several candidates who profess to be Christians, and yet their behavior leaves a lot to be desired. What is coming out of their mouths in no way uplifts the Creator or stands against the test of Torah and the teachings of Messiah Yeshua. The Lashon Hara-Evil Tongue is unbelievable, and I do not know what our Father thinks of all of this. There has to be a better way to go about this. Yes, there are important issues that need to be dealt with, but are we not supposed to be better than what we are? I always like to look to the story of Israel to see how it was that God dealt with them and how in turn He deals with us. Israel started off on a high point and then slowly went downhill. It has been the same with nations throughout history that they rise up, and then when they believe they have reached their peak, they become full of themselves and forget where they came from and who brought them to that point.
Israel was supposed to be the pinnacle of a nation in covenant with their God, placing their faith in Him, listening to His voice, and walking in Torah. This was to be the example of what all other nations and people were supposed to aspire to, but even Israel fell, but God did not forsake them as many believe because if He did forsake them, then how could they rise from the ashes to be re-born? What a picture we have of Messiah Yeshua’s redemption of not just individuals but of a nation who will one day be totally in sync with their Lord and Redeemer. I, for one, cannot wait for that day when all men and women will be united under one banner – the banner of Messiah Yeshua and His Father YHWH!
6 For it is justice for God to pay back trouble to those who are troubling you, 7 and to give rest along with us to you who are being troubled, when the Lord Yeshua is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in a fiery flame. Then he will punish those who don't know God, that is, those who don't listen to the Good News of our Lord Yeshua and obey it. 9 They will suffer the just penalty of eternal destruction, far away from the face of the Lord and the glory of his might. 10 On that Day, when he comes to be glorified by his holy people and admired by all who have trusted, you will be among them, because you trusted our witness to you. 11 With this in view, we always pray for you that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill by his power every good purpose of yours and every action stemming from your trust. 12 In this way, the name of our Lord Yeshua will be glorified in you, and you in him, in accordance with the grace of our God and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah. (CJB)
The day is coming when those who have come against the people of God will have to account for their actions to the Messiah Yeshua. In that day all things will be set right and in their proper place in God’s plan. Make no mistake about it, God has a plan, though we might look at it differently because of our varying beliefs, but the bottom line is if we do not put on our Jewish thinking caps and start reading the Word of God from a Hebraic or Jewish perspective, we will never understand what it is the Lord is trying to teach us. The Bible is a Jewish book from Genesis to Revelation. Was every writer of the Bible Jewish – no! They were people who did their best to record God’s revelation with mankind, but it was the Jewish people through whom the Bible was carried and passed down from one generation to another. In our day, we have many different translations of the Bible along with the good and not so good aspects of what that carries with it. We have the Jewish or Hebrew Bible with a Jewish perspective and the Christian Bible with its own perspective. To understand the Bible, you must see it through Hebraic eyes because that is how the writers wrote it down by inspiration of the Ruach HaKodesh-the Holy Spirit.
Were the Christian translators of the Bible actually doing us a service when they placed what they call the “Old Testament” in opposition with what is known as the “New Testament?” In claiming one is old and another new they are, in effect, saying that we no longer need the old because the new is better and takes the place of the old, but there is no truth in this thinking. Why – because all the new does is reveal the truth of the old, and what is contained in the new is not new! Does this mean that all Christians are bad? Of course not – most are simply blinded to the truth of the validity of Torah. Torah has been with us for as long as God has had His Word because His Word is Torah, and in that we find the revelation of Yeshua, the Son of God, and the Son of Man who is the Living Word of the Father. So what am I saying here? What I am saying is Torah and Redemption go hand in hand because they are embodied in the Messiah. Since Messiah has existed with the Father from before time began, Torah has always existed still exists, and the Lord has not been done away with it. The multitude of teachers out there, whether Messianic, Hebrew Roots, or whatever they call themselves need to focus on Torah and Messiah. Everything else is in addition and can be studied for its value and its ability to help us understand the fundamental truth contained in the Word of God, and that is Yeshua is the sole salvation for all of mankind, and there is only one path to the truth and not many paths.
It is a narrow road that brings us to redemption, not the wide road the world tries to present to us. Things are not getting better in their world, they are getting much worse, and this is because God is allowing it to happen under the reign of Satan. Satan is the false Messiah, even though he will empower another to represent him. The truth is God is permitting it to happen and allowing man to fall away from faith in the Almighty and follow after false Messiahs and false teachings.
Philippians 1:9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Messiah, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Yeshua the Messiah, to the glory and praise of God. (ESV)
Discernment is the key here, my friends. Be aware of what is happening around you and also within the world of believers in the Messiah. Persecution is on the rise, and we are hearing more and more about the Nazis, what happened under them, and what they did to the Jewish people; but remember this, every Christian who tried to protect the Jewish people also were persecuted at the hands of the Nazis and those who followed their thinking. The same thing is happening today as society is falling apart around us, but we take hope in the promise that as we walk the right path and do our best to follow the Messiah promised in the Word that everything will work out to God’s glory in the end. Remember, that this not a time to fall in fear of the turmoil engulfing the world, it is a time to rejoice that the day of promise is upon us, and we are to look at the signs around us to catch a glimpse of the changing winds that will bring Yeshua back that much sooner.
We are to take hope in all the bad around us and in all the wagging tongues because in these things, we will see the truth of Messiah being revealed along with the truth of Torah.
Psalm 43:3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! (ESV)