Leviticus 26:3-27:34 Parasha "B'chukotai" (in my decrees, statutes, )
This is a small overview of this short parashah, the last before entering the Book of Numbers (B'Midbar). In the original Hebrew, we read;
"Im B'chukotai telihu v'et mitzvotai" (IF you keep my decrees (or statutes) and Commandments...)
God is about to give "conditional blessings and conditions curses" just by reading the word "IF" What is the difference between "statutes or decrees and commandments" some may ask. According to Rambam, the commandments are rules and regulations that we can understand, while a "chuk" or decree, is something that we might not understand, or it might not make sense to us, but we need to still obey it by faith. It can also mean just getting into the Torah and study. It might not make sense now, but tomorrow, we might see the light.
Also, some might say that decrees and statutes are the fine details of the commandments or the "fine print at the end of a contract".
It is very simple. God is saying; "IF you obey and follow my commandments and statutes, THEN, the rain will fall from heaven, etc...and the list goes on up to verse 13. Then it reads; BUT. If you will not harken unto me... and then the list of curses falls upon the people.
So, we see a simple choice of obedience or disobedience, of blessings or curses. Some may read and think God is a mean guy who is ready to fling a lightning bolt at a person if he or she slips up just a little. Yet we must understand that He is acting as a loving Heavenly Father who cares about his family.
Is Adonai any different than our earthly parents? who, out of love will explain the rules of the house, and since we are family, we are expected to obey them, yet there are consequences if we respond in disobedience. Even being ousted from our home if we really commit serious crimes and put the rest of our family members in danger.
God is giving warning IF you don't...THEN. This will happen. Like the law of physics, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same happens in the spirit realm. Each time, God warns; "If you STILL persist in disobedience. THEN..." and it gets worse.
In the eyes of our Heavenly Father, He knew what would happen, and both Israel and Judah were conquered and thrown out of the land, conquered by the Babylonians and the Assyrians. Later, they were scattered among the nations, absorbed by Spain, by Germany, by Russia, many losing their identity as Jews, yet still, the Father had His eyes on his children, bringing them back to discover their roots, their ancestry, bringing back both Ashkenazim and Sephardim to the Torah.
We are reminded of the story of Hosea, who was told by God to marry a "woman of prostitutions" "a harlot", namely "Gomer". This relationship would symbolize the relationship between YHVH and Israel. Israel would be the unfaithful wife who went after "strange flesh" (other gods) leaving her true God and husband. She was sold into slavery, as was Israel taken captive by Babylon taken from the land of Canaan. Yet 70 years later, Israel returned to the land by Ezra and Nehemiah. God did not forsake His remnant. Hosea also had compassion for his wife Gomer, buying her back from slavery. We wonder, did Gomer repent and turn to her true God, Adonai-Elohim?
We all have a choice to make, we can choose to obey or disobey, to reap the blessings or the whirlwind. Not that our obedience will bring us salvation, but that salvation (Yeshuah) will bring us to obedience. to walk in his commandments and statutes, to not turn neither to the right or the left, but to keep going straight and striving towards the mark of our high calling, as servants of the Most High God, as sons and daughters of Elohim, as "elohim" ourselves, (representatives of Adonai on this earth) the word "Elohim" has several meanings in Hebrew.
The world is all about choices. We get to choose, and God tells us of the rewards or consequences beforehand. Can it get any better than that? I would say not. Choose life, choose Torah, choose the "Living Torah"
Shalom Ben Avraham