Thought for the week

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‘Parsha Ha’azinu’ – ascribe greatness to our G-d

 

‘SHABBAT SHUVA’

 

The Shabbat between ‘Rosh Hashanah’ and ‘Yom Kippur’ is known as ‘Shabbat Shuva’ (‘Shabbat’ of Return or Repentance). The name is a reference to the opening words of the week's haftorah: “‘Shuva Yisrael’ – “Return O Israel to the LORD your God” (Hosea 14:1).

This ‘haftarah’ is read in honour of the ‘Ten Days of Repentance’, the days between ‘Rosh Hashanah’ and ‘Yom Kippur’.

 

The prophet Hosea exhorted the Jewish people to return to the L-rd their G-d, encouraging them to repent sincerely and ask for G-d’s forgiveness. He then urged the Jews to put their trust in G-d; not in Assyria’s powerful horses or idols. 

The prophet then goes on to foretell the return of the exiles and the cessation of idol-worship amongst the people.

 

‘PARSHA’ AND ‘HAFTORAH’

 

2 Samuel 22:2-3: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My Saviour” 

 

The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) of this week is ‘Parsha Ha’azinu’ (listen).

 

‘Parsha Ha’azinu’ is found in Deuteronomy 32:1–52; the corresponding ‘haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in 2 Samuel 22:1–51

‘Parsha Ha’azinu’ makes up the 53rd weekly ‘Torah’ portion in the annual Jewish cycle of ‘Torah’ reading, and the tenth in the book of Deuteronomy. This ‘parsha’ is read on the ‘Shabbat’ between ‘Rosh Hashanah’ and ‘Sukkoth’.

 

‘Parsha Ha’azinu’ sets out the “Song of Moses” which is an indictment of the Israelites’ sins, a prophecy of their punishment and a promise of G-d’s ultimate redemption of them. This “song” is delivered by Moses to the people of Israel on the last day of his earthly life.

 

The ‘parsha’ concludes with G-d’s instruction to Moses to ascend the summit of Mount Nebo, from which he would view the Promised Land before dying on the mountain. 

 

‘Haftorah Ha’azinu’ found in 2 Samuel 22:1–51 describes the song King David composed in his old age, echoing the weekly ‘Torah’ reading, where Moses delivers his parting words to the Jewish nation in song form.

 

David's song expresses gratitude to G-d for saving him from all his enemies. He starts with the famous words, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.” He goes on to describe the pain and hardships he encountered and reiterates that he always turned to G-d in his moments of distress.

He recounts G-d’s reaction to those who tormented him: “The Lord thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice. He sent out arrows and He scattered them, lightning bolts, and He vanquished them. . . I have pursued my enemies and have destroyed them; never turning back until they were consumed.”  

The song ends with David’s expression of thankfulness.

 

Both the ‘parsha’ and the ‘haftorah’ speak of the L-rd as our Rock - Deuteronomy 32:4 and 32:18, 2 Samuel 22:1-2.

2 Samuel 22:2-3 goes on to say that the L-rd is also “our fortress; our deliverer; the G-d of our strength in whom we will trust; our shield; the horn of our salvation; our stronghold; our refuge and our Saviour.”

 

How true this is!

G-d was faithful in giving Abraham and Sarah a son, Isaac; He was faithful in giving Elkanah and Hannah a son, Samuel; He was faithful to provide a ram as a sacrifice in Isaac’s place so that His redemptive promise for the Jewish people and the Gentiles could come about through Abraham and His seed, Isaac, then Jacob (who was renamed ‘Israel’), and ultimately Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah.

If you ever doubt the faithfulness of G-d, just read this week’s ‘parsha’ and ‘haftorah’.

 

Also, look at ‘Eretz Yisrael’ (the Land of Israel). G-d has faithfully re-established modern day Israel according to His word; He has faithfully brought His people, the Jewish people, back to the Promised Land, Israel, according to His word; and He has faithfully established Jerusalem as a banner to all nations according to His word.

 

If G-d has been so faithful to His word regarding Abraham, the Jewish people, the Land of Israel, the city of Jerusalem and His redemptive promise for mankind, will He not be faithful to you? 

You see, G-d IS your rock and fortress and deliverer; He IS the G-d of your strength; He IS your shield and the horn of your salvation; He IS your stronghold and your refuge.

Only believe! Only trust Him!

 

Deuteronomy 32:1-4 declares: “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass. For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.” 

 

The above scripture is the first four verses of what is known as Moses’ farewell song which he spoke to all the assembly of Israel just before his death. These verses are a magnificent tribute to Almighty G-d in which he describes G-d as the Rock of Israel who is perfect, a G-d of truth, justice and righteousness. This awesome and majestic G-d is the G-d of the Universe, and Moses declares that he will proclaim the name of the L-rd.

 

My question is: Whose name are you declaring?

 

Are you declaring the name of Covid-19? Are you declaring the name of fear and anxiety? Are you declaring the name of sickness, lack and defeat? I encourage you, in order to live a life of absolute victory and contentment despite the current circumstances, to only declare the name of the L-rd; the name of the G-d of Israel and the Universe.

 

Finally, as 2 Samuel 22:3 tells us, the L-rd is our Saviour – “The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Saviour…” 

 

And the G-d who is your strength, in whom you trust, who is your shield and the horn of your salvation, your stronghold and your refuge, your Saviour asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac his son whom he loved; however at the last minute, He stayed Abraham’s hand and provided a ram to be sacrificed in Isaac’s place.

However, G-d did not withhold His Son whom He loved, Yeshua.

G-d’s amazing plan for the redemption of mankind, which began with Abraham, came through Isaac and Jacob and, ultimately, through the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, shows that the L-rd is truly our Rock, our fortress, our strength, our shield, the horn of our salvation, our stronghold, our refuge, our Saviour and our deliverer.

 

Scripture records that Yeshua became the perfect sacrifice for the redemption of mankind when He died on the cross, shedding every last drop of His blood thus taking our sins upon Himself; guaranteeing all who believe in His death and resurrection and who invite Him to become L-rd of their lives, eternal life in heaven. 

Joel 2:32, found in the ‘Tenach’ (Old Testament), tells us that “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” 

Acts 4:12 declares: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (but Yeshua).” 

2 Peter 1:11 declares: “for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Messiah Jesus Christ.” 

 

To ensure that you will have eternity in heaven, all you need do is accept Yeshua as your L-rd and Saviour by believing in His death and resurrection; confessing your sins and repenting of them and inviting Him to be L-rd of your life – and this is for both Jews and Gentiles. 

To do this, simply pray the prayer of salvation found on this webpage.

 

We love you. 

 

Shalom.

 

Scripture of the week: 2 Samuel 22

 

SALVATION PRAYER

 

Thank you Yeshua for Your love for me.

Thank you for giving up Your life on the cross for me and for taking my sins upon Yourself.

I confess that I have sinned.

I repent of my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong.

I invite You to come into my life as my Messiah, my Saviour.

By Your grace I will serve You all the remaining years of my life.