Choices Have Consequences
Central question of this message: Are you committed to following G-d’s word, so as to make good choices?
We are in parasha V’Etchanan. It means “and I pleaded”. Its name comes from the first word in the parasha, which is a continuation of the historical message which Moses began in last week’s portion.
Deut 3:23-25 23 “I also pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, 24 ‘O Lord God, Thou hast begun to show Thy servant Thy greatness and Thy strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Thine?
This Shabbes is known as “Shabbes Nachamu”, the “Shabbes of comfort”. That is because it follows the fast and mourning of the 9th of Av, when we remember all the catastrophies that have befallen our people in that season.
The Haftarah portion for today, Isa 40:1-26 is the portion of comfort.
Isa 40:1-2 40 “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. 2 “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that 3 her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the Lord’s hand Double for all her sins.”
Today’s portion serves as a unique marker in all of Scripture. Not only does it contain some of the greatest theological statements found in all of Scripture, but it seems to serve as a fulcrum, a theological midpoint, for G-d’s eternal plan.
G-d, as He began the creation of this world, engaged in a gigantic act of mercy toward man (Adam). He saw Adam’s sin, and covered it Himself with a sacrifice.
In today’s portion, G-d uses Moses to remind the people of the importance of Torah to a live of blessing in the Land. But as we see in this portion (and as we know from history), the people did not honor G-d, or His instructions.
As we read of the end of days as written by the prophets, and particularly by Yochanan (John) on Patmos in the book now called Revelation, G-d will finish His plan for this world with yet another act of mercy toward mankind which is the largest one yet… and that is His judgment.
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