The Blessing or the Curse! Our choice! (A look at Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17)


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Parashah: “Re’eh” (see) DEUT: 11:26-16:17

Why are they "our choices?" Well, that's all we have in this world. The blessings and the curses, obedience or disobedience. We learn that at home from Mom and Dad. Disobey them and we might feel the belt across our fannies. Obey the law or we get arrested and go to jail. Are God's laws any different? I would say not. More so, because they come from a divine source.

After this Parasha, we start the month of Elul, which is the month of soul searching and meditation on our relationship with Adonai. This year it starts on the 18th of August. It starts the 40 days of Awe which culminate with Yom Kippur in the month of Tishrei. We should ask these questions to ourselves; “where am I in my relationship with G-d?” Where have I fallen short? And how do I make things right again?

Re’eh means “see” yet it is not so much “physical sight” but “insight” To be aware of following HaShem, his commandments, and our faith walk. It is also about “understanding” (Binah). So, this month of Elul is about “understanding” Adonai’s will for us, understanding more Torah, more of Yeshua. There is a relationship between the two words; “Elul” and “Binah” they both total “67” in Hebrew gematria. “6” is the number of man and “7” is God’s perfect number. Through Yeshua, Adonai looks upon us as “7”s, even though we are “6”s.

Also, “Elul” (Alef, Lamed, Vav, Lamed) are the acronyms for the verse “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” in the Song of Solomon 6:3 “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li. Our heavenly Father loves us, because we belong to Him.”

See” (Re’eh) this day I set before you a blessing and a curse” We wonder why YHVH did not say in the plural, “blessings and curses?” one could say perhaps “blessing” goes with “obedience” and “curse” with “disobedience” both words are also singular. One could also say that “all blessings” fall under “ONE BLESSING” (B’rakhah Echad) and all curses fall under ONE CURSE, “K’lalah Echad” the word “Echad” is ONE in UNITY, Elohim (who is unity) blesses all humanity (also Echad) that is in obedience to the WORD, and to the LIVING WORD. and also, the curse is also upon “All humanity” that does not obey and that walks in rebellion against Adonai. Well, that’s one way to look at it.

This is a repetition of last week’s parashah, Moshe mentions this many times, and cannot stress it enough to his people. Even the pronoun “I” in “I set before you. is stressed in Hebrew “Anochi!” meaning “I MYSELF!!!!” (People, I am really serious!)

Moshe states to his people; “you have not yet come into your rest” (12:9) Once they get into the promised land, and IF they obey the commands of Adonai, follow HIS precepts, and drive out all the pagan peoples, THEN, they will have their rest. Yet Israel did not obey all the commandments since they were still fighting against enemies and did not drive them all out. They never really came unto their “perfect rest” (Menuchah Tamim) The L-RD wanted a permanent rest for His people, yet because of disobedience, that was never accomplished.

Adonai wants a “rest” for us all. The Hebrew word “Menuchah” if looked at from an ancient Hebraic point of view, could symbolize (by the paleo-Hebrew letters) “behold the living water who gives life through the nail) the letter “Chet” symbolizes a fence, a fence serves as an area of protection.

We are protected and surrounded by HIS love, through the sacrifice of blood by our Messiah, who is the Living Water, who gives us life, through the nails that he received in his wrists. This gives us spiritual peace and rest, from a lifestyle of sin. It is interesting to also note that one of the towns where Yeshua ministered was “Capernaum” which, in Hebrew, is “Kaphar-Nachum” (Village of rest)

12:2 “You must destroy all the sites….” The pagan nations gathered together at different places to erect false gods and worship them, these must be destroyed! Today, we must walk away from false gods, put them behind us, and even, destroy them if necessary. If a TV has become a god to you, and you find yourself addicted to it, sell it, give it away, or destroy it. If money has become like a “god” to you, give some of it away to the poor and needy. Anything that comes before your love and worship of Adonai is considered a “false god” get rid of it!
12:13 speaks of burnt offerings, it is good to dedicate our meals to Adonai, we are blessed to be able to go to a store and buy chicken and beef already prepared. We must remember to thank YHVH for this food, ALL FOOD which means ALL that is mentioned in Leviticus 11, is for us to enjoy, now, verse 15 says, “The unclean and the clean alike may partake of it, as of the gazelle and the deer…” this is NOT talking about unclean and clean FOODS, it is talking about PEOPLE who are clean and unclean. Anyway, gazelles and deer are both clean animals, but I have never seen gazelle steaks in the supermarket, maybe in Africa they have them. It is saying that people who have diseases that render them “unclean” like lepers, may partake of this food, just like people who are disease free may, verse 22 mentions this again, “the unclean may it to together with the clean” (people).

Another point to mention is that even though the gazelle and deer are clean animals to eat, they were not permitted as sacrificial animals. As we know, the animals permitted for sacrifices were bulls, sheep, goats, rams, and certain birds.

Chap 13 deals with false prophets. These deceivers were NOT TOLERATED back then! Turning people away from the true worship of Adonai warranted a death sentence. Back then, God was dead serious about true worship and teaching the truth, and…HE STILL IS! We must all worship him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH, when study the scriptures (Truth) we must do so in the ‘spirit” of joy and ask for wisdom.

Chap 14 deals with the chosen kosher foods which YHVH has selected for all humanity, it is a repetition of Leviticus 11. However, man thinks he is smarter than God and has added stuff to His perfect menu, and the result is obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease. We all know what foods have been added to the menu, I won’t go over them as that will produce a bunch of negative comments from readers. When people’s “food comfort zone” is threatened, it is very uncomfortable to “give up” those unclean meats, no matter how tasty they may be. Well, we all can either obey or disobey, the choice is ours.

” You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” This verse has caused questions, and traditions, even unto separating meat and milk items, getting separate refrigerators, etc. All it is saying is this; (literally) if you have a female goat, and the mother goat is raising its kid, do not kill the kid, then milk the mother goat, and boil the kid in its mother’s milk. I mean, who would go out of the way to do that anyway? However, this might also have a deeper spiritual meaning. So, there is more than meets the eye and the basic understanding.

” meat” can symbolize the “flesh” and “milk” symbolize “life” it is the mother’s milk which maintains life to her young, yet “meat” once off the bone is dead! dead flesh! So, the connection is “our carnal flesh is sinful” yet the “milk of the WORD” (as said by Rav Shaul/Paul the Apostle) is what gives us LIFE. The Hebrew word for meat is “Basar” yet milk, in Hebrew, is “Chalav”. written with the same Hebrew letters, but with different vowels is “Chelev” which means “pleasure” and the three Hebrew letters “Chet, Lamed, and Beit, (CH L V) “LeiV” is also the word for “heart” so “milk” can be connected to “pleasure for the heart” and indeed, the sincere “MILK of the WORD of God is indeed, pleasure for the heart, while the things of the “flesh” (meat) are of the world. So, there is a separation of “meat and milk” symbolizing “things that give life, from things that produce death” This, of course, is not a literal separation, but spiritual and moral. (if literal, we shouldn’t eat Lasagna! Or cheeseburgers)

Chapter 16 deals with “Yamim Kadoshim” the HOLY DAYS, the days that YHVH has separated for our observance and worship; PASSOVER, we remember the “Passover Lamb” who was Yeshua HaMashiach who gave his life for us all. The week of UNLEAVENED BREAD, when we put leavened bread away since leaven reminds us of SIN in our lives. SHAVUOT (Pentecost) when the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) came to earth to stay, and when the Torah was given to Israel on Har Sinai. SUKKOT the feast of booths, is a time of Thanksgiving, similar to the Thanksgiving of the pilgrims of Plymouth. When we thank God for abundant harvest, and for the coming of God to earth (as Yeshua) to walk among humankind, to teach Torah, heal, raise the dead, and die for our sins. Have you accepted HIM as your LORD and Savior?

Shavua tov...Have a blessed week.

Brother "Tito" enjoying our time of Bible study at his place (Las Colinas)
San Salvador, El Salvador