PARASHAH: “VaYelech” (and he went)
DEUT 31:1-30………………. ISAIAH 55:6-56:8……………...JOHN 18:1-19:42
Is there a time when God is too far away? keep on reading
Just a few important points over this short Parashah. A few more points to add to the previous study where we combined “Nitsavim and VaYelech”.
“I am 120 years old today” starts Moshe, “I can no more go out and come in…” It is interesting that he mentions his age, 120 years old. Guess the day he spoke to his people was his last birthday. He would complete 120 years on earth and give up the ghost. We can divide 120 years into 3 parts, the first 40 years, the second 40 years and the third 40 years. “40” is the number of testings and trials.
He lived the first 40 years as a price of Egypt and a general in the Egyptian army, through circumstances (which never happen by accident) Adonai sends Moshe running to the land of Midian where he meets his wife and family and becomes a shepherd. So, we go from royalty to a shepherd, a profession loathed by the Egyptians. Then the last 40 years are the “ministry years”. Adonai changed his profession so that he could fit into God’s perfect plan, that of freeing his people from the bondage of slavery through HIS chosen vessel.
Moshe was 80 years old when he received the commission to free his people. The prior years were all “training years” or “Years of getting ready”. We ask ourselves what we will be doing when and if we reach 80 years of life? Will we be ready to continue in ministry? Or will we be looking forward to a rocking chair and sipping ice-tea through a straw?
We must take the example of Moshe, active until the day he dies. One can retire from a secular job, but not from ministry. Ministry is a life-long calling. Whether it be a pastor or rabbi, Torah teacher or Sunday School teacher, music leader, youth worker, o just giving out bread to the hungry along with a gospel tract of the “Bread of Life” we must no think of retirement, not from that.
“I can no more to out and come in” Moshe has already been told that he is about to leave the land of the living, so, he is to anoint the future leader, “Yehoshua” he will take the lead and lead the people to the promised land. “Yehoshua” (Joshua) is the longer name of “Yeshua” the name “Yehoshua” contains the name “Yeshuah” which is “salvation” or we could say, the name “Yeshua” with the added “h” which means “Behold, Salvation comes from “YAH”
Symbolically, it is God himself who will take the people through the final steps of the journey to reach the promised land, through his servant Joshua. We will not live forever in our mortal bodies, sooner or later, we must name a successor, someone who will take our place. Kind of like Luke Skywalker taking “Yoda’s place as the next “Jedi” yet he had to get prepared first! We need to be preparing someone who will be the next “you” in ministry.
After Moshe had finished writing the scrolls of the Torah, he gave them to the priests to put beside the Ark of the Covenant. So, I imagine that the Ark of the Covenant had some sort of “side-pocket” or a place to put the scrolls. Now, the “Aron HaKodesh” was complete, with a gold chest with the tablets of the Commandments, the pot of Manna, Aron’s rod, and now the Torah scrolls. All to remind us that the “Torah is our guide and leader to give us the “Bread of Life” who is Yeshua, who leads us through his Holy Spirit and his WORD.
Moshe also commanded that the Torah would be read during the time of Sukkot at the end of seven years (vss 10,11) It may have been just the book of “D’varim (Deuteronomy) or the whole Torah (from Genesis to Deuteronomy) I would like to think that it was the whole Torah (the five books at that time). That way, the people would listen to the history of the world, the entrance of sin, and the plan of redemption.
Why is the WORD of God important to us? What is its purpose in our lives? Why should it be so important to read and study it?
It shows us the perfection and sinless being of God and who He is. It points out our weakness and sinful nature, and it points us to reconciliation with God through Yeshua. Then it teaches us how to live a holy and righteous lifestyle through the mitzvoth (commandments) (In that order!) Good works do not come before salvation, rather the other way around. Righteous works will count towards rewards in heaven, not towards a salvation experience, THAT only comes by faith in the completed work of Yeshua at Calvary.
“Seek YHVH while he may be found, call upon him while he is near” But we ask ourselves, is there a time when he can NOT be found? Or when he is NOT near? One answer would be “at the time of death” if a person has not reconciled himself or herself with God through Yeshua, if a person dies lost and in the state of sin, then, YHVH will NOT be able to be found, and HE will be forever FAR AWAY.
A second answer would be this. When we are living in a state of sin, or out of fellowship because of sin in our lives, it will seem that God is far from us. In reality, HE is as near as prayer and repentance. He can be “found” again. It isn’t that HE is away from us, rather WE are away from HIM.
“Let him return unto YHVH” (vs 7) The word for “return” is “Shoov” or “Teshuvah” which is what the High Holy days are all about. The sinner should forsake his evil ways and “return” to Adonai. Just as the prodigal son returned to his father, we should return to OUR heavenly father. Remember that the prodigal son WAS A MEMBER OF HIS FATHER’S FAMILY! He was not an outsider. That should tell us something.
56:1 “Thus saith YHVH, keep judgment and do justice, for my YESHUAH is near to come and my righteousness to be revealed. Interested verse, the Hebrew “Mishpat (judgment) is keeping his commandments and understanding discernment in what we do. The word “justice” is Hebrew in this verse is translated as “Tzedakah” which is also giving charity. “Righteousness” is translated as “Kadosh” which is also “Holiness” so, the prophet foresees the coming of Yeshua as YHVH’s “righteousness” to be revealed to all mankind.
He has already come and will come again. Are you ready for his second coming?
“After Yeshua had said all this…” but what is “all this?” He had just prayed for his disciples, his followers, if you read all of chapter 17, it shows how Yeshua prayed for all those who came to trust in him, he prayed for their protection against HaSatan, he also states; “those who WILL trust in me because of THEIR word that they may all be ONE (Echad) He is talking about you and me, we are all ONE in the body of Messiah.
I think that “Y’hudah Ish Kariot” (Judas Iscariot) missed the greatest opportunity to be one of Yeshua’s disciples. Yes, he was “With” Yeshua but was not “part” of Yeshua. He was just along for the ride, didn’t learn very much (it seems).
When the soldiers and temple guards said, “we are looking for Yeshua” and Yeshua answered, the word of God says that they “all fell backward”. Some believe that Yeshua answered with the infallible name of YHVH.
Yet in the Hebrew New Testament, the words that Yeshua said were; “Yeshua Ani” (I am Yeshua), it does not mention the infallible name, yet even the name “Yeshua” has power in itself.
Even though they came and took him roughly, and Kefa took matters into his own hands by cutting off Malchus’ ear, even then, Yeshua rebuked his own disciple and healed Malchus! Even at that time, he showed love and mercy.
The world accuses the Jews as “killing Jesus!” when the truth of the matter is that no one took his life, he offered it up willingly as part of the Father’s perfect plan of redemption. It was just a handful of religious zealots who captured him, and the Romans hammered in the nails, yet it was really our sins that caused his death, his death for our life, life eternal.
Rabbi Ben Avraham