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PARASHAT RE’EH - רְאֵה | See

PARASHAT RE’EH - רְאֵה | See

Torah: Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17; Haftarah: Isaiah 54:11-55:5; Gospel: John 6:35-51

The Blessed Life

The Torah can be the source of great spiritual and material blessing, but it can also impart the heavy curse of condemnation. Moses told the children of Israel that the commandments of Torah would prove to be either a blessing or a curse to them depending on whether or not they obeyed them. Moses told the Israelites to conduct a covenant ceremony after entering the land of Canaan. They were to hold the ceremony at Shechem—the place where Abraham first received the promise of inheriting the land. Half the tribes would pronounce the curses for violating the Torah from atop one mountain while the other half pronounced the blessings for keeping the Torah from atop the opposite mountain. This ceremony is elaborated on in Deuteronomy 27. The purpose of the ceremony was to remind everyone that although disobedience begets curses, obedience brings God's blessing. This ceremony is a reminder for us to. It reminds us that we can obtain God's blessing in our lives if we will commit ourselves to faithfully observe His commandments. Who would not want to enjoy the abundant life of goodness that God's blessing bestows? Clement of Rome, one of the disciples of Simon Peter, advised the believers in Corinth to consider how they might lay hold of God's blessing. His letter to the Corinthians is not a part of the Bible, but it provides and important glimpse of the first-century believers. Clement told them, "Let us unroll the things which have taken place from the beginning" (1 Clement 31:1). What does he mean when he says "unroll the things"? He was referring to the scroll of the Torah. In the days of Clement, books were not bound. They were rolled in scrolls. In the synagogue, the Torah is still read from a scroll, just as it was in Clement's day. Clement encourages us to look intently into the Torah's words, understand them well and meditate upon them frequently:

You understand, beloved, you understand the Sacred Scriptures very well, and you have looked intently into the oracles of God. Bring these things to your remembrance. (1 Clement 53:1)

God has not left humanity adrift like a ship at sea without a rudder. He has spoken from heaven through His servant Moses, through His holy prophets and through His Son, Yeshua. Those words are recorded in the Bible. The Bible is more than just an ancient piece of literature; it is a living force, charged with the Spirit of God. The Bible is a compass for finding one's way through life. It is a road map for the soul. There is great blessing waiting to be bestowed upon us if we will keep the commandments of God. It can and will change our lives to the extent that we conform ourselves to its wisdom. It is God's own message to you and to all of us.


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