For many of us, we can remember the days that as a child, when our parents would tell is to do something and we questioned authority as to why we should obey, the answer was often, ” … Because I said so!” Although in parenting child-rearing, this response runs the risk of backfiring, this word “because,” carries much weight in the Hebrew, and especially in light of Deuteronomy 7:12-11:35.
In Parashah ‘Eikev (or, because in Hebrew) we are taught what I believe to be biblical law of “cause and effect,” or better put, here God reveals how the Fruit of Blessings always follows those who lad a life a distinctive obedience. In this, we are not promised a worry or pain free life (cf. John 16:33), but are ensured that blessing will be our inheritance.
As to the context of this Parashah (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25), Moshe is found, still delivering the end of his closing drash (instruction/address) of the Children of Israel, revealing the other side of covenantal-faithfulness. In this, the Word of God reveals that as the Children of Israel sought to obey the commands of the Lord (as detailed in the Torah), that they would both inherit Eretz Yisra’el and prosper in the Land and that victory would mark their steps as they conquer and settle in makom (the place) which the Holy One had promised them.
For us today in 2019, Parashah ‘Eikev provides a “three-point” perspective where on one end we see how, first, Adonai had faithfully given the Land to our father - Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov, secondly, our Hatkivah (Hope) was renewed and revived by God’s very hand in establishing of the modern State of Israel and thirdly, we encounter the reality of not only those who seek our destruction, but from our passage, we are also reminded of the judgment which befalls those who hate and persecute Israel, the Jewish people and the ways of Adonai.
In this, our attention should nevertheless remain in a single location as we continue obeying, following and trusting Adonai! Of this, our delight must be not in the seeking ore receiving the rewards of Adonai, but instead the pleasure that comes in being sons and daughters of the commandments. It is the Word of God that gives us life, hope and draws us deeper into Covenantal-Relationship with Adonai and toward one another. We therefore Delight in Torah BECAUSE he first loved us (1 John 4:19) and BECAUSE continually seeks our good. It is BECAUSE of his great love that we must seek to continually obey his commands! Beloved, lets Delight in the Lord and His commandments today - Dear friends, today, taste and see that the Lord is in fact very good! ~ Rabbi Mark Rantz
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