Have you ever been in a classroom setting where the professor seems to just repeat himself over and over again? You have been told that what he is saying is important to remember, but after a while, the repetition only coms as “white-noise,” and in error you block it out - only to find out on exam day that the repetition was mandatory for making the grade!
In our spiritual journey, we too have the same problem, and even though God might be repeating something to us over and over to us, we have the temptation to block it out and, in the moment, fail to do what He says … In short, we miss the mark!
In Parashah Vaetchanan (Deuteronomy 2:23-7:11) we see such repetition broken down into three essential segments (or lessons) from the Prophet Moses. For the first lesson we turn to Deuteronomy 4:1-40, the second Deuteronomy 5:1-27 and finally, the third is in Deuteronomy 6:1-7:11. Where some might falsely think that these three sections only repeat the next, the truth is that they all bring a unique perspective and a panorama our calling in Messiah Yeshua!
First, in “section one.” Moses says to the children of Isra’el,
Now listen to the laws and rulings I am teaching you, in order to follow them, so that you will live; then you will take possession of the land that Adonai, the God of your fathers is giving you. (4:1)
Secondly, in “section two,” Moses continues, …
Listen Isra’el, to the laws and rulings which I am announcing in your hearing today, so that you will learn them and take care to obey them. Adonai our God made a covenant with us at Horev. (5:1-2)
And finally “section three” stresses,
Now this is the mitzvah (commandment), laws and ruling which Adonai your God ordered me to teach you for you to obey in the land you are crossing over to possess, so that you will fear Adonai your God and observe all his regulations and mitzvot that I am giving you … as long as you live, so that you will have long life. (6:1-2)
Here, all three sections of Scripture sound the same and in fact seem to parallel …
But, do they really?
All three passages of Scripture direct us to LISTEN to God’s commands, but in chapter 4 we are told that through listening, learning and obeying we will not only LIVE but also TAKE POSSESSION of the Land which God had promised.
Not stopping there, in chapter 5, Moses goes deeper and reminds that obedience is linked with covenant relationships - which by definition is immersed in God’s love. Finally, chapter 6 circles all the way back to chapter 4, reminding that covenantal faithfulness to Adonai brings not only blessing but also a long life!
As noted, some might see this all as endless repetition, but here we find that the repetition is in fact our pathway to blessing, life and the promise fulfilled!
When we come to Yeshua and surrender our lives to Him, we must also surrender our agenda’s and the roadmap that we think is the best for our future. Only when we listen to God and follow what He says will we find life and see the fulfillment of all that He has promised and be enabled to walk out His calling and destiny for our lives!
And what that destiny? Chapter 4, verse 6 has the answer stating -
Therefore, observe them; and follow them; for then all peoples will see you as having wisdom and understanding. When they hear of all these laws, they will say ‘This great nation is surely a wise and understanding people.’
As we choose to walk out our calling in covenantal faithfulness - our actions become contagious and will draw those around you to want to know more and experience God’s blessings that you have. In this, our walk of covenantal faithfulness to God is not just for us, but in fact for the whole world for as Yeshua states in John 12:32,
As for me, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.
Dear friends, let’s be faithful to God, not just for ourselves, but for all people and every generation that lies us!
Rabbi Mark Rantz
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