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August 5, 2023: Parashat Torah Portion Eikev

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Eikev is taken from Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he recounts the important life lessons learned in the re-carving of the second set of Tablets, for the Ten Commandments. And the need to safeguard our hearts, staying united together in community, so that we are kept aligned in obedience to the Word of ADONAI!

Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Parashah Torah Portion:

Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Eikev - Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25

In this parashah portion, Deut. 10-11, Moses recounts the events which transpired as he carved out a second set of tablets and ascended Sinai to meet with Elohim and to receive from His Hand the second copy of the 10 Words/ or commandments. Elohim in His mercy had forgiven Israel’s sin and as a loving Father, instructed them with the words of life.

Moses was instructed to build an ark to safeguard the tablets. This brings us to a simple understanding that from Elohim’s perspective, the words He gives us are precious and important and are therefore, to be guarded! Proverbs 7:2 says, “Guard My words as your most precious possession. Write them down and also keep them deep within your heart.” So, this physical guarding of the words by placing them in the ark is a lesson to instruct us that we must guard His words by keeping them in our hearts, in our minds and live them out in our lives.

Deut. 11:1 says, “Therefore, you are to love Adonai your Yah and always obey (guard) His commission, regulations, rulings and mitzvot.” “Safeguarding” means keeping them from destruction or deterioration in order that Yah’s words may be studied, learned, understood, and lived out. The Psalmist says, “I treasure your Word in my heart, so that I won’t sin against You.” Or “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”

This indicates that guarding the “Ten Words” (Yah’s Torah) as He instructs will certainly be “beneficial” to us. These words are not only to be lived out within a community but individually. Elohim first made a personal covenant relationship with Abraham, Isaac, and Ya’akov but chose their descendants after them to be His covenant nation. This is by divine choice not based on physical lineage.

Though the covenant was put in place by Elohim, we see that there is still required a personal response of faith. According to Deut. 10:16, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more

“stiff necked.” This reveals that covenant membership is a heart issue, not merely a physical one. Covenant membership is characterized by a circumcised heart and signified by circumcised flesh. Therefore, a circumcised heart produces an attitude which is opposite of a

“Stiff neck”, the metaphor of a stubborn spirit, and unwillingness to submit joyfully to Elohim’s leadership and His commands. We have a tendency to make ourselves sovereign and submit to no one. Rebellion, the sin of Satan and that which Adam and Chava fell, is at the root of the sinful bent mankind inherited from our first parents.

We also see an incredible love that Elohim has for Israel. The love that He put upon Israel is a binding love, a love that forever connects Israel to her Yah. However, there are two aspects of this love, as we read in Deut. 10:20, which says, “Thou shalt fear Adonai thy Yah; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His name.” This means that the love of Elohim is both His faithfulness to us, and our willingness to “cling” to Him. This divine-human cooperation is fully in place within the covenant relationship.

Now, once that love is realized, Deut. 10:16 gives us our response, “Don’t rely on your flesh…get rid of it.” (Paraphrased). To rely on our flesh will never bring Yah’s purposes. Quit giving birth to Ishmael’s that satisfy your flesh desires. Like circumcision of flesh, the circumcision of the heart means to live by faith, not by one’s own abilities or strength. Circumcising the heart means to strengthen our resolve to trust Elohim for what He has promised and not to seek “shortcuts” in accomplishing the mission He has assigned to us.

We also see in this week’s parashah a connection to last weeks Deut. 6:4-6, Shema parashah. Deut. 11:13 says, “And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love Adonai your Yah, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul…that I will give you the rain…”. We notice the word “you”, which is singular, and the word “your” which is plural. Deut. 11:13-21 clearly uses them very frequently and switches back and forth between the singular and plural…why? What is He trying to reveal?

Observance of Torah can, in one respect, only be accomplished within a Torah-submissive community. There is a community responsibility to the individual, including the inclusion of the individual in worship; the teaching of children, and the observance of the commandments. Individual ownership is a Torah principle.

We find a very important, indeed, sobering reality here: Our obedience to Elohim, while it begins at the individual level, cannot be fully developed outside of community. While some have grown up with the belief that being a part of a community is nice but not essential, we understand according to Torah that community is essential for our full development as a worshipper of Elohim.

The text today makes clear that Elohim’s design for the individual, and for the individual family unit, is that each exist within the context of a larger community, and that it is in this community context that the larger and fuller picture of Elohim and His will may be understood and lived out.

Elohim’s Word tells us that in the last days there will be a change in community priority. Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” You don’t have to look too hard in Scripture to see the value of community within the Kehillah like in Acts 2. As we meet together, we have godly examples of behavior and beliefs that can spur us in our own spiritual growth. We have access to people who can actively encourage us and walk beside us in trials and joys. A community walking and fulfilling the commandments glorifies Yeshua.

As I close, let me give you just 5 quick reasons community is important:

1. It meets our basic need for belonging.

2. A strong community is a place for discipleship.

3. It is a place where we are held accountable.

4. We need to be fed a diet of Elohim’s Word that will cause us to mature in our relationship with Adonai.

5. We are commanded by Yah to be part of a strong community that follows after Him.

We should be thankful to be part of Elohim’s family and part of a local believing body. What a blessing it is to be part of His body locally. This is what Elohim desires and commands His children to partake in. Don’t miss out on this amazing blessing Elohim wants to give you.

Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,

Join us every Wednesday night at 7 pm for Bible Study and every Saturday at 11 am for Sabbath service at:

Lion of Judah Ministries

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Blackstone, VA.

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What a blessed day! It is His day to come and worship the King. The appointment has been set…don’t miss out! It is His appointed day, He is here to heal, deliver and set free. Awaken watchmen! Let the shofar be blown and the sound of His coming be heard. Let the bride make herself ready as the bridegroom comes. Don’t let the door shut you out because you had no oil. Prepare yourself and I will see you at the altar!

Shalom Aleichem

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