“A man’s steps are from HaShem, but what does a man understand of His way?” Proverbs 20:24
With all that is going on around each of us, on a daily basis now, many people are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, I won’t lie, myself included. Things are changing rapidly, nothing is certain and now we live in a culture in which it has fully adopted the concept that ‘right is now wrong and wrong is now right.’ This can lead to sense of hopelessness for those who are striving to do what is right in a world gone mad, however, in the midst of all this, there is always hope for HaShem has NOT forgotten His people and while He may delay His return, we have this hope that He WILL always be our Shield, High-tower, Place of refuge, Safety, and our Provision! Baruch HaShem!
The opening verse above from Proverbs is a very good reminder that everything around us is controlled by HaShem and per the commentary on this verse “Acknowledges that our ability to understand Divine Providence is limited, but we know that HaShem controls history. This is a source of encouragement, for we trust that HaShem has our best interest at heart.”
There is a great reminder we read in Tractate Chullin 7b from the Talmud Bavli which is widely celebrated because it reminds that “No one so much as bruises his finger unless it has been so ordained from above. EVERYTHING is part of HaShem’s master plan, implemented solely for our benefit!” Baruch HaShem!!
Is it therefore a coincidence that this weeks Torah portion is Ki Tavos, which is found in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:1-29:9, which lists out all the blessings and curses for keeping or rejecting HaShem and His Torah? We know there are no such things as coincidences with HaShem!! America can be clearly seen in all the consequences which will befall as we see these consequences each day in the news! Perhaps another giant indicator we are truly at the very end!
But before we can jump into this short Op, as always, remember the following eternal characteristics of HaShem!
- HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
- His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
- He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
- He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
- He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
- He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
- He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
- He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
- He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
- He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
- He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
- He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
- He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
- He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
- He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
- He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
- He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
- He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
- He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
- He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
- He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
- He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
- He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
- He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
- He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
The focus of this Op will be a specific verse from this weeks Torah portion i.e. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 28:9 which says “HaShem will confirm you for Himself as a holy people, as He swore to you, IF you will observe the commandments of HaShem, your Elohim AND YOU WILL GO IN HIS WAYS…“
That word ‘IF’ jumps out because it implies the choice is up to each of us to decide to whom we will choose to serve. Further, it implies if we are to serve HaShem, then there are specific ways in which we must adhere too and not left up to our own decisions as too how to serve Him, meaning, He has specific protocols which must be followed in order to serve Him and in doing so, we will be set apart to Him as His people. This also implies, refusing to adhere to His protocols means we are choosing to serve other gods. But we will explore this further as well as see how this connects to the Apostolic Writings in what prove once more there is absolutely nothing new in the Apostolic Writings!
So the question to ask is then, ‘How do we walk in His Ways?’
Mitzvah #611 out of 613, is the ‘Obligation to Emulate the Good and Just Ways of HaShem‘ which is derived from Devarim 28:9! The Book of the Mitzvot discussing #611 says “We are commanded to conduct all of our actions in accordance with the path of uprightness and goodness, to the utmost of our abilities, and to direct all of our affairs with others in the way of kindness and compassion. For we know from our Torah, this mode of conduct is known as the ‘Way of HaShem’ and it is what He desires from His creation i.e. ALL of mankind!”
Interesting! So, the Way of HaShem is summed up in walking in His Torah! Per, Devarim 28:9 and I will paraphrase, HaShem says IF we choose to serve Him and walk in His Ways and strive to keep His commandments, THEN we will be His people set apart to Him! How then is it possible for a group of people adhering to a theology that considers the Torah of HaShem as something burdensome, dung, the epitome of bondage, death, destruction, etc, to now be the people of HaShem who walk according to their own ways when HaShem says the exact opposite coupled with the fact He never changes? The only way to make this be true is for HaShem to be a proven liar, which we know is absolutely impossible! I digress!
Consider the following verses:
- Devarim 8:6 says “Take care lest you forget HaShem, your Elohim, by NOT observing His commandments, His ordinances, and His decrees, which I command you today.”
- Devarim 10:12-13 says “Now, O Israel, what does HaShem, your Elohim ask of you? Only to fear HaShem, your Elohim, to go IN ALL HIS WAYS and to love Him, and to serve HaShem, your Elohim, with all your heart and with all your soul, to observe the commandments of HaShem and His decrees, which I command you today, for your benefit.”
- Devarim 11:22 says “For IF you will observe this entire commandment that I command you, to perform it, to love HaShem, your Elohim, to walk IN ALL HIS WAYS and to cleave to Him…”
- Devarim 13:5 says “HaShem, your Elohim, shall you follow and Him shall you fear; His commandments shall you observe and to His voice shall you hearken; Him shall you serve and to Him shall you cleave.“
Can you see an emerging pattern here? If we are going to be His people then the only way to do that is walk in His Ways out of love, devotion and loyalty unto Him and His Ways are found in His Torah!!
Now consider what is said in the Apostolic Writings and see for yourself there is NOTHING new and its the exact same message being taught!
- Matthew 22:16 says “And they sent to Yeshua (Not Jesus) their taught ones (Talmidim/Students) with the Herodians, saying, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are true, AND TEACH THE WAY OF HASHEM in truth, and it does not concern You about anyone, for You are not partial to any man.” WHOA!! This one verse here completely separates Yeshua from Christendom’s Jesus….Yeshua teaches the Way of HaShem i.e. the Torah as opposed to Christendom’s Jesus who according to the Replacement Theology doctrine teaches the Torah is now rendered obsolete, replaced and tossed aside!
- Mark 12:14 says “And when they came, they said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are true, and it does not concern You about anyone, for You are not partial to any, BUT TEACH THE WAY OF HASHEM in truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?'”
- Luke 20:21 says “So they asked Yeshua, saying, ‘Rabbi, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You are not partial to any, BUT TEACH THE WAY OF HASHEM truly.”
- Acts 18:26 says “And he (The Yehudi/Jew Apollos, a learned man and mighty in the Torah) began to speak boldly in the congregation. And when Aqulas and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him THE WAY OF HASHEM more exactly.”
Again, can you see an emerging theme in these four verses from the Apostolic Writings? The Torah of HaShem was VERY much taught by Yeshua as being the Way of HaShem, not some new, Torahless doctrine nor the establishment of some new religious system called ‘Christianity!’ There is NOTHING new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9)!! Further, Yeshua would have been completely discredited as being the Messiah had He come teaching a doctrine devoid of the Torah and HaShem would NOT have resurrected Him out of the grave if He was teaching something opposed to Torah i.e. the Way of HaShem!
I will close with this one verse from Yirmiyah (Jeremiah) 6:13 which says “Thus said HaShem: ‘Stand on the roads and see; ask about the various paths of history (Old paths), which path is best, and walk on it and find solace for your soul.’ But they said, ‘We will NOT walk.'” What are the ‘Old Paths?’ He is once more talking about the Torah i.e. the Way of HaShem! And notice what the response from the people He was addressing was? “We will NOT walk!” Does that unfortunately sound familiar? And then we wonder why the world and the country is in the unbelievable mess it is in today!
What path will you choose to walk on today? Your own way which will lead to chaos, destruction and death? Or the Way of HaShem which will lead to life, blessing and a real relationship with the Great King? Choose wisely because your life literally depends on it!
- The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
- Tractate Chullin from the Talmud Bavli by Steinsaltz
- The Stone Edition Chumash by Artscroll
- The Milstein Edition of the Prophets Jeremiah by Artscroll
- The Writings Proverbs by Artscroll
- The Schottenstein Edition of The Book of the Mitzvot by Artscroll