The ‘House of the Nazarene’ is an international non-denominational movement and is an evangelical part of the Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
“See (רְאֵה – Re’eh),” says Moses to the people of Israel, “I place before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.” (Deuteronomy 11:26–28)
Last week in Parasha Eikev, Moses promised the Israelites that if they were obedient to the commands of the Torah, they would prosper in the Promised Land.
This week, as the children of Israel stand poised to cross over into the Jordan, God sets before the people two separate and distinct directions: a way of blessing if they choose to obey God’s commandments and a way of cursing if they choose to walk in disobedience to those laws.
These two directions, the blessing and the curse, are to be proclaimed on two mountaintops in the Land: Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal.
“Now it shall be, when the LORD your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal.” (Deuteronomy 11:29)
Each one of us has been given this same choice to follow Him or not; in fact, the entire direction of our lives depends on which path we choose— the path of His blessing or of His curse.
Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah also told us of two paths — the narrow path that leads to life — and the broad path that leads to destruction. Sadly, it seems that few choose the narrow path. Most walk that broad path of destruction.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13–14)
Why does Yeshua, who is the Gate to salvation, tell us that the path of blessing is difficult, and that few enter His gate?
Because each day, we have to make hard choices between what our carnal nature desires and what is in alignment with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). To obey God requires that we crucify the desires of our flesh.
“I have been crucified with Messiah. It is no longer I who live, but Messiah who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Staying on the Path of Blessing During Trials
Sadly, human pride, love of sin, and opposition from spiritual forces of darkness keep many walking the broad path of destruction, preventing them from entering into a life of blessing through obedience to God.
As well, too many new Believers think that coming to faith in Yeshua and living a life of obedience to God are supposed to make all the problems and trials of life disappear.
Yeshua did not promise this. In fact, He assured us that in this life we will have trouble. He Himself was persecuted, as were His followers.
Despite that, we need not be discouraged. We can be of good cheer, joyful in the Lord, for He has overcome the world.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Choosing to obey God’s commandments in times of trouble is not always easy, especially when the whole world seems to be going in a different direction.
Going against the current can take a great deal of exertion and determination — whether for spawning salmon or for people desiring to live a righteous life. It takes effort to swim against the current.
Even simply making the choice to obey God can be excruciatingly painful. Yeshua experienced this in the Garden of Gethsemane when facing the choice to submit to God even to the point of death on the tree.
It was here, in the dark valley of decision that the battle was won, when Yeshua said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Even though we don’t know the totality of what He prayed this decision was so agonizing for Yeshua that He seemed to sweat drops of blood: “Being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)
We may not actually sweat drops of blood, but we may come to a crossroad in our lives where we must also decide whether to obey God’s will or to choose our own way — and the cost may seem beyond our ability to bear. But God has promised that His grace is sufficient for us in every circumstance.
Choosing to obey God will lead to blessing; however, we may not receive our full reward until Heaven, though we think we deserve God’s full blessing now on earth, remember Jesus said it would be better to have it for eternity than for just a short while here on earth.
For that reason, we must always live with an eternal perspective, not allowing the trials of life to weaken our faith.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
The Steps on the Path of Blessing
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 14:2)
This Parasha emphasizes that the path of blessing includes not following false gods or false prophets. All elements of pagan worship must be purged from our lifestyle so that we may be the holy people that God has called us to be.
The narrow way described in Re’eh includes God’s commandments regarding the consumption of clean and unclean animals: “You shall not eat any detestable thing.” (Deuteronomy 14:3)
Jesus made this astounding statement:
“Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill …. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches people to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17–19)
So, in Jesus He fulfilled ALL the commandments!
The path of blessing also includes giving tithes to the Levites, who were dependent on the people for their livelihood:
“You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you.” (Deuteronomy 14:27)
Generosity toward the poor is also important.
God said we are to open our hand and our heart to give to the poor in our land:
“If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.” (Deuteronomy 15:7–8)
Prosperity and financial blessing are not simply the result of working hard. Neither is it owed to us because we are Believers.
It is dependent upon exercising the spiritual principles of sowing and reaping. As we give, it will be given back to us (Luke 6:38).
God will bless us as we sow generous seeds in giving to the poor and to God’s faithful servants. If you have not it’s because you give not. Lazarus said he gave more than 10 percent to the poor, he died yet Jesus raised him from the dead; can you think of a better blessing than that?
“You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand.” (Deuteronomy 15:10)
And yet you moan about giving to a pastor or a church that does God’s will and work! Not just money, but time along with other things. How can a church feed the hungry, clothe the clotheless, give Bible to the poor, visit those in hospitals and prisons as God commanded without the generous support of those who have?
Choosing the Path to Eternal Life
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
One of the most important choices each one of us must make is whether or not to receive Yeshua the Messiah as the atonement for all of our sins and through Him receive eternal life.
When Yeshua returns, He will come on the clouds and every eye will see (Re’eh) Him.
“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” (Revelation 1:7)
This New Covenant Scripture about the Second Coming of the Messiah is founded on several Messianic prophecies in which the Hebrew prophets also foresee Adonai coming with the clouds:
“A prophecy against Egypt: See, Adonai [YHVH] rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before Him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.” (Isaiah 19:1)
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.” (Daniel 7:13)
One day, we will all see the Son of man coming on the clouds with great power and glory! Until that day comes, may we choose to faithfully and diligently walk on the path of blessing, keeping His commandments and teaching others to do the same.
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28)
An Ordained Anointed Minister of Jesus Christ to Minister His Gospel, to this online Church; House of the Nazarene, To spread the Good News of Salvation to the four corners of the Earth.
All Christians have, in profession at least, received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken him for theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him, unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Being established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in it more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from those who do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for his mercies is justly required by God.
There is a philosophy which rightly exercises our reasonable faculties; a study of the works of God, which leads us to the knowledge of God, and confirms our faith in him. But there is a philosophy which is vain and deceitful; and while it pleases men's fancies, hinders their faith: such are curious speculations about things above us, or no concern to us. Those who walk in the way of the world, are turned from following Christ. We have in Him the substance of all the shadows of the ceremonial law. All the defects of it are made up in the gospel of Christ, by his complete sacrifice for sin, and by the revelation of the will of God.
To be complete, is to be furnished with all things necessary for salvation. By this one word “complete,” is shown that we have in Christ whatever is required. “In him,” not when we look to Christ, as though he were distant from us, but we are in him, when, by the power of the Spirit, we have faith wrought in our hearts by the Spirit, and we are united to our Head. The circumcision of the heart, the crucifixion of the flesh, the death and burial to sin and to the world, and the resurrection to newness of life, set forth in baptism, and by faith wrought in our hearts, prove that our sins are forgiven, and that we are fully delivered from the curse of the law.
Through Christ, we, who were dead in sins, are quickened. Christ's death was the death of our sins; Christ's resurrection is the quickening of our souls. The law of ordinances, which was a yoke to the Jews, and a partition-wall to the Gentiles, the Lord Jesus took out of the way. When the substance was come, the shadows fled. Since every mortal man is, through the hand-writing of the law, guilty of death, how very dreadful is the condition of the ungodly and unholy, who trample under foot that blood of the Son of God, whereby alone this deadly hand-writing can be blotted out! Let not any be troubled about bigoted judgments which related to meats, or the Jewish solemnities.
The setting apart a portion of our time for the worship and service of God, is a moral and unchangeable duty, but had no necessary dependence upon the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath of the Jews. The first day of the week, or the Lord's day, is the time kept holy by Christians, in remembrance of Christ's resurrection. All the Jewish rites were shadows of gospel blessings.
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