My life has been all about change lately. Even the puppet skit I performed for children at the Little Footprints Day Care Center was about change. Little did I realize that change is really about what is going on in my life. I should have seen it coming. Like David Bowie, I would have stuttered, “ch, ch, ch, ch, ch, changes”! ‘
Obama delivered what he thought was a message of hope during his bid for the presidency. Change. Well change makes for..ahem… adjustments and adjustments can be painful and they can be pleasant. I should have heard God speaking but I didn’t …really. When my husband passed away, I thought, “wow, my life will change dramatically and I will be poor.” I’m not poor. It was only a difficult adjustment because I miss my husband.
Now here comes another change. i planned well ahead for the Feast of Tabernacles so that I would be able to take off and enjoy a wonderful time of fellow shipping with believers for eight whole days. I was wrong. Sukkot in Gatlinburg is now canceled for me. Money has been refunded. It appears that there is some controversy with the teaching. God allowed me to know ahead of time though, and graciously allowed me time to adjust to this change. Thank you, Lord.
Now I will have to make other arrangements. It’s like He’s really leading me to another Sukkot. Well, here I go again on another adventure. But I’m going with the Lord, so I will learn a lot.
What does this have to do with this blog that is a spiritual blog? The Torah portion for this week was Devarim. This is a Hebrew desktop shortcut to the deep Torah study that will follow. It means “These are the words”. The words that “these” refers to are Moses’ last words to the Israelites prior to them entering the promised land. It’s his “up close and personal” book. Moses gives them a rerun of all the places they visited, starting in the very first verse, but according to a Jewish midrash (teaching) he is giving them code words in the form of all the places where they were disobedient to God. “In the desert” is the time they complained to God; “In the plain”, is the place where they sinned with the Moabite women; “Opposite Suf” is where they complained right at the very beginning of the Exodus; “Paran”, is where the spies were dispatched; “Tofel and Laban” is where they libeled the manna; “Haserot” is where Korah mutinie;.and Di Zahav is literally “too much gold”, where they sinned with the Golden Calf.
These places are landmarks where they sinned.
I found this very interesting.Many of us have “landmarks” where we’ve committed sin. As a matter of fact, if I mention some famous landmarks, you will immedately think of sins that were committed there…places where the memory is NOT pleasant. Auschwitz conjures up the pictures of dead bodies of Jewish people massacred by the Nazis. The Twin Towers, for all of us, conjures up pictures of airplanes crashing into buildings with disastrous results. Ford Theatre, where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The list goes on and on. You might have a few landmarks in your life that are fresh in your mind that make you cringe if you think about walking through that same landmark.
One of the things that Yahweh shows me over and over again as I study His Torah, is a picture of the Messiah. I love Him so much.
I was asking the Lord about landmarks in my life, some of which I am not proud…Landmarks that remind me of sin. I was thinking, “Man, You were kind of hard on them, reminding the Israelites of these places that they failed You…miserably!” Even though they may not do the things that separated them from God anymore, the landmark is still there. It is a reminder.
And, yet, in my mind, I see another landmark…a hill with three crosses on it and a man in the middle with a crown of thorns and blood flowing down.
Did you ever think about the fact that our Messiah was on a stick that bore into the ground with a hole that was dug for inserting a cross? Is that God’s claim on the earth?
In Ancient times, boundary stones were used to mark out territory. That is why “moving” boundary stones was equivalent to stealing. You don’t move ancient boundary stones without consequences either.
There’s something here if we could just step back and look at this picture without inserting symbols and meanings before we see what God is saying. Why is the Messiah of the world on a “stick” with His hands outstretched? It’s not an accident.
Is this God’s “boundary stone” that says, “You can’t move this stone,because I’m claiming this with My Son’s life”. Didn’t they call Jesus a “stone of stumbling” and “rock of offence”? Why would prophecy call the Son of God someone that would cause people to trip over Him? Is it because our we are walking without any light? We are stumbling?
This landmark is where a broken man hung on a cross because of broken promises..Because His blood was shed, He cleansed the land.
Moses is credited with writing this book and the other books of the Torah. The book of Deuteronomy is so important that it is quoted over eighty times in the New Testament. In the introduction to this book, my Spirit Filled Bible mentions that Moses is the only person that Jesus compares Himself with in the Old Testament (besides Jonah, who is an indirect comparison). He tells the Pharisees, “If you believed Moses then you would have believed in Me, because He wrote about Me…” It made me start thinking about what Moses said about Jesus. He said in Deuteronomy also, “The LORD 3068 thy God 430 will raise up 6965 unto thee a Prophet 5030 from the midst 7130 of thee, of thy brethren 251, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken 8085
So Moses is saying that the Israelites would “not” hearken unto him. They would “hearken” to this “prophet”. Do modern day Jews hearken unto Moses? How can they? There is no temple, so there is no cleansing of sin through sacrifice.Hearken is not just “listen”. It is “listen and obey”. It implies an action. The prophet then is a messianic reference. What does this mean to the modern Jew? (and to all of us). It means that we would not be able to return to the path that God has for us until we go to Jesus. The reason for this, is that through the blood of Jesus our sins are cleansed and we can stand before God with a clean conscience which we could not do before His sacrifice.
Every time I read a story in the Torah, it points to Jesus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. It’s all about Him.
So changes may come and go but the cross of Jesus is the landmark for us everyday, and because of Him we can return to the Torah of God. Without Him, we can do nothing at all.