The reading this Shabbat is from Deuteronomy 29:10 (9) – 30:20. The name of the parasha is Nitzavim – “We are standing straight and firm.” From the prophets we are reading from Isaiah 61:10 – 63:9. All of the reading on this Shabbat is of great importance.
In fact looking at the reading for Shabbat I see so much that is like a prescription for medication written by the master doctor. The medication is for a healing of nations and especially for Israel. From the New Testament the reading is from Romans 10:1-13.
The first verse of this reading of Nitzavim provides a spiritual light for me personally.
“All of you stand today before the Lord your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, your little ones and your wives—also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water— that you may enter into covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath, which the Lord your God makes with you today.” – Deuteronomy. 29:10-12 [NKJV]
Why am I always deeply touched by the public reading of this text? The reason is because this generation that was born in the Sinai wilderness, that was fed manna from heaven, that drank water from the Rock, is now invited to stand before the Lord as one united body of people, including the strangers who are not Israelites (Gentiles) who have joined Israel for the journey and will enter the land of promise and inherit it, and Moses that is talking to them and who will not enter the land.
The Lord is addressing all of the people gathered there and is inviting them to enter a covenant with the Lord your God… today! Most people that read this text miss the most important point of this text in the Torah.
This gathering of all of the people of Israel as one man, is invited to stay united and to enter the covenant with God as one people, united by the circumstance of tracking together nearly 40 years, and eating the manna, and the quail, and drinking the water from the rock as one people, one nation united by God, having the joint experience of crossing the Sinai desert together, fighting the wars together, having the opportunity, through the giving of their gold and jewelry, to participate in the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness.
Now they are all invited to take part on this occasion, of standing across the Jordan River opposite Jericho and hearing and committing to be a part of the nation of Israel. The invitation of the Lord from the mouth of Moses is an invitation for all those gathered there on that day to become one with the nation of Israel.
One of the reasons that this text excites me so much now is the terrible things that are happening in the United States and the violent and destructive behavior of one important minority that has good reason to be upset.
However, there may be good reasons for this minority to be upset over the abusive behavior of several policemen that have abused their authority and power and have committed murder, but one wrong and even a thousand wrongs and abuses of power do not justify the violence, looting, burning and killing that is going on, and above all they do not justify the slogans that are not bringing an end to racism, but perpetuating it.
The life of every person is important, but even more important, figuratively speaking, is how we all drink our coffee. There are some that drink their coffee black, no milk and no sugar. Others drink their coffee with milk and it is not black now, it is brown, and some don’t drink coffee and only drink white milk.
Shall one of these coffee and milk drinkers be discriminated against for what and how he drinks? We are one people with one destiny, bound to share the future of the United States together, with unity and prosperity as one nation under God.
Those who take themselves out of the consensus, and place themselves out of the whole and the united nation, will cause themselves trouble in the future. The seeds that you plant now will grow in the future and if poisoned seeds are planted poison trees will grow and mature, and the fruits of these trees will be good only if the tree is good.
The tree will be good only if the seed that was planted is good! Let us all take care to plant good seed so that our children and grandchildren will have good fruit to sustain them and keep them in the Lord.
The portion of reading this Shabbat from Isaiah the prophet chapter 61:10 – 63:9 is also very important for every disciple of Yeshua. Chapter 62 of Isaiah is of special importance for us in Israel, but is also of essential importance for all Christians throughout the world.
There is a challenge for every Christian in chapter 62. The challenge is to fulfill the promises of God to Israel and to those non-Jews around the world who are connected with Israel’s hope and Israel’s future, and with their identity as described by Isaiah and by the other prophets.
Read and meditate on these texts and pray for the Holy Spirit to quicken to you these words of God and to help you to appropriate these words from Deuteronomy and Isaiah and the apostle Paul, for yourselves.
This article originally appeared on Netivyah and is reposted with permission.