The blind I will lead on a road they don’t know, on roads they don’t know I will lead them; I will turn darkness to light before them, and straighten their twisted paths. These are things I will do without fail.
The Father is always reaching out to you, seeking to draw you close. Let Him open your eyes. Let Him lead your walk.
With this in view, we always pray for you that our Father may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill by his power every good purpose of yours and every action stemming from your trust.
If you have a negative interaction with a fellow believer, will you simply cut them out of your life? Will you stop interacting with them? That might be a valid strategy. The temptation to divide ourselves from one another is natural, but you are called to be godly. Better still, you can diligently pray for them that they become who the Father wants them to be. Perhaps that is what you are here for.
Don’t you know? Don’t you hear? Haven’t you been told from the start? Don’t you understand how the earth is set up?
We should fundamentally know that we are not in control, that this is not our world, that all we can do, all we have power over is what we choose to do with what we have, because the Almighty is Sovereign.
Parashat Ki Tavo features: first fruits, tithes, the ceremonial blessings and curses on Mounts Gerizim and Eival.
This week’s haftorah is the sixth of a series of seven “Haftarot of Consolation.” These seven haftarot commence on the Shabbat following Tisha b’Av and continue until Rosh Hashanah.
In the Apostolic writings, Paul exhorts gentile believers to trust that the Almighty has a remnant in Israel, that Israel will be provoked to jealousy by the sanctification of gentiles and that Israel will accept Yeshua resulting in tremendous blessing.
The seventh portion of the book of Devarim/Deuteronomy is Ki Tavo, which means “When You Come.” This is the 50th Torah Portion.
You can read or listen to the Haftarah and Apostolic portions below:
“Arise, shine [Yerushalayim],
for your light has come,
the glory of HaShem
has risen over you.
For although darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness the peoples;
on you HaShem will rise;
over you will be seen his glory.
Nations will go toward your light
and kings toward your shining splendor.
Raise your eyes and look around:
they are all assembling and coming to you;
your sons are coming from far off,
your daughters being carried on their nurses’ hips.
Then you will see and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with delight;
for the riches of the seas will be brought to you,
the wealth of nations will come to you.
Caravans of camels will cover your land,
young camels from Midyan and ‘Eifah,
all of them coming from Sh’va,
bringing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of HaShem.
All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered for you,
the rams of N’vayot will be at your service;
they will come up and be received on my altar,
as I glorify my glorious house.
“Who are these, flying along like clouds,
like doves to their dovecotes?
The coastlands are putting their hope in me,
with the ‘Tarshish’ ships in the lead,
to bring your children from far away,
and with them their silver and gold,
for the sake of HaShem your G-d,
the Holy One of Isra’el, who glorifies you.
Foreigners will rebuild your walls,
their kings will be at your service;
for in my anger I struck you,
but in my mercy I pity you.
Your gates will always be open,
they will not be shut by day or by night,
so that people can bring you the wealth of nations,
with their kings led in procession.
For the nation or kingdom that won’t serve you will perish;
yes, those nations will be utterly destroyed.
“The glory of the L’vanon will come to you,
cypresses together with elm trees and larches,
to beautify the site of my sanctuary —
I will glorify the place where I stand.
The children of your oppressors will come
and bow low before you,
all who despised you will fall at your feet,
calling you the city of HaShem,
Tziyon of the Holy One of Isra’el.
“In the past you were abandoned and hated,
so that no one would even pass through you;
but now I will make you the pride of the ages,
a joy for many generations.
You will drink the milk of nations,
you will nurse at royal breasts
and know that I, HaShem, am your Savior,
your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Ya‘akov.
“For bronze I will bring you gold,
for iron I will bring you silver,
bronze in place of wood,
and iron in place of stones.
I will make shalom your governor
and righteousness your taskmaster.
Violence will no longer be heard in your land,
desolation or destruction within your borders;
instead, you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise.
“No more will the sun be your light by day,
nor will moonlight shine on you;
instead HaShem will be your light forever
and your G-d your glory.
No longer will your sun go down;
your moon will no longer wane;
for HaShem will be your light forever;
your days of mourning will end.
All your people will be tzaddikim;
they will inherit the land forever;
they will be the branch I planted,
my handiwork, in which I take pride.
The smallest will grow to a thousand,
the weakest will become a mighty nation.
I, HaShem, when the right time comes,
will quickly bring it about.”
“In that case, I say, isn’t it that G-d has repudiated his people?” Heaven forbid! For I myself am a son of Isra’el, from the seed of Avraham, of the tribe of Binyamin. G-d has not repudiated his people, whom he chose in advance. Or don’t you know what the Tanakh says about Eliyahu? He pleads with G-d against Isra’el, “HaShem, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars, and I’m the only one left, and now they want to kill me too!” But what is G-d’s answer to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not knelt down to Ba‘al.” It’s the same way in the present age: there is a remnant, chosen by grace. (Now if it is by grace, it is accordingly not based on legalistic works; if it were otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.) What follows is that Isra’el has not attained the goal for which she is striving. The ones chosen have obtained it, but the rest have been made stonelike, just as the Tanakh says,
“G-d has given them a spirit of dullness —
eyes that do not see
and ears that do not hear,
right down to the present day.”
And David says,
“Let their dining table become for them
a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a punishment.
Let their eyes be darkened, so that they can’t see,
with their backs bent continually.”
“In that case, I say, isn’t it that they have stumbled with the result that they have permanently fallen away?” Heaven forbid! Quite the contrary, it is by means of their stumbling that the deliverance has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy. Moreover, if their stumbling is bringing riches to the world — that is, if Isra’el’s being placed temporarily in a condition less favored than that of the Gentiles is bringing riches to the latter — how much greater riches will Isra’el in its fullness bring them! However, to those of you who are Gentiles I say this: since I myself am an emissary sent to the Gentiles, I make known the importance of my work in the hope that somehow I may provoke some of my own people to jealousy and save some of them! For if their casting Yeshua aside means reconciliation for the world, what will their accepting him mean? It will be life from the dead!
For the Father did not call us to live an unclean life but a holy one.
The community receiving this epistle seemed to struggle with sexual immorality. Sha’ul reminds them that they are to live set apart lives, they should be different from those around them. If you wanted to apply this to your own life, you would have to examine the culture you are in to see where you need to take a stance to set yourself apart from your worldly peers. It may bring you ridicule and discomfort, but it is important to stay true to yourself and the work of Messiah by making yourself into a new creation.
Hizkiyahu said to Yesha‘yahu, “The word of HaShem which you have just told me is good”; because he thought, “At least peace and truth will continue during my lifetime.”
This is an odd incident. I don’t understand what is going on. The text doesn’t carry context, so I can’t recall what kind of king Hezekiah was. He was saved out of mercy, but what sins did he commit? Did his lack of care lead Israel into sin and make them ripe for captivity? Is it enough to be concerned with only one’s lifetime? Does the Almighty demand that believers work for a lasting dynasty of people who will love and serve Him?
And as for you, may the Lord make you increase and overflow in love toward each other, indeed, toward everyone, just as we do toward you;
If you read through to the following verse, it seems to suggest that the overflowing love is a seal of salvation. Perhaps it is only an evidence of salvation and the consequential transformation of character in the believer. Regardless, if we want to be godly, we must emulate the powerful attribute of Divine Love. What does that look like? How do we love everyone? Does everyone include non-believers? Those are questions for you to wrestle with, but I suspect that peace, constancy, joy and compassion are signs that you are channeling godly love into your life. Life has its travails, but you can choose to elevate them and bless the Almighty no matter what befalls you. You can choose to approach difficult situations and people with positivity and love.
The living, the living — they can thank you, as I do today; fathers will make their children know about your faithfulness.
A father is not a king or a fool or a passing shadow. A father is meant to show his children how to live a life of godliness and meaning and how to serve the One True King. May the Almighty strengthen all fathers to be equal to the task and may they merit to have children and grandchildren who will always love the Most High.