Parashat Devarim

Lamed Messianic Studies

(Original Entry from HOD-Wordpress - 2007-07-21 2:44:29 pm)

Category - Lamed Messianic Studies, Jewish

Parashat Devarim (D’varim)

Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22
Haftarah Portion: Isaiah 1:1 - 1:27

In this week’s Torah Portion, we see many cities which are conquered by the Israeli People. We see that for each one there were instructions of method and process which, if followed, did allow a successful outcome. The nature of the text is a recounting of all that had happened before, serving as a reminder to why the Israelites were at the point in goals they found themselves.

If the whole text were to be paraphrased, it might read something like “G-D said it, and they did it. Because G-D said it, it was.”

We also get a glimpse of the expected level of holiness. According to the Mishnah Menachos 8:3, Chevel Argov, which is the region of Argov (Deut. 3:3-4) was the choice region for olive oil. It was oil from this territory that was used in the Holy Temple. Any old oil would not do. It had to be oil borne of sacrifice and the hand of HaShem by His people in order to be worthy of signifying a light truly separated (holy) and for sacrificial rites itself.

In our own lives, what have we really given to HaShem as an offering? Did it cost anything to us? Was it acquired or borne of sacrifice or conquered in the Name of the L-RD? Is it worthy to be called holy, as a separated offering? As the oil of Argove was the choicest of all oils, are our offerings the choicest of our produce? Did it cost us anything in battle, whether by legal means, physical means, or time spent in prayer?

These are all hard questions to answer. We must all continue to fight the good fight of faith. As it is written in James 2:20-26, our sacrifice of faith for our own “choicest oil” for the light in our own lives comes from what we do every day. That oil of spirit is borne of the sacrifice of living righteous lives and not just by the justification of the death and resurrection of Yeshuah. Even so, our sacrifice of spiritual battle is in James 2:18. It is by what is in our actions and works that others know our faith and are able to count us, along with HaShem, as either holy and separated to G-D or just as common as every other man.