Super-Heroes: Heartbreak for Moses!

In this weeks Torah Portion (Vayelech – Deut 31:1-30), we read about Moses last day and how the Almighty tells Moses that he is about to die, after the last 40 years leading the Nation of Israel in the desert.

God calls both Moses and Joshua into the Tent of Meeting (where His presence was most revealed; most real and ‘physical’ or felt). Along with ‘passing the baton’ to Joshua and encouraging Joshua as the new leader of His People, God informs Moses that the people will fail God (for a time) and God will hide His face from them!

Here is what He shared:

Deut 31:

“15 ADONAI appeared in the tent in a column of cloud; the column of cloud stood above the entrance to the tent.

16 ADONAI said to Moshe,

“You are about to sleep with your ancestors. But this people will get up and offer themselves as prostitutes to the foreign gods of the land where they are going. When they are with those gods, they will abandon me and break my covenant which I have made with them.

17 Then my anger will flare up, and I will abandon them and hide my face from them. They will be devoured, and many calamities and troubles will come upon them. Then they will ask, ‘Haven’t these calamities come upon us because our God isn’t here with us?’

18 But I will be hiding my face from them because of all the evil they will have done in turning to other gods.

19 “Therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the people of Isra’el. Have them learn it by heart, so that this song can be a witness for me against the people of Isra’el.

20 For when I have brought them into the land I swore to their ancestors, flowing with milk and honey; and they have eaten their fill, grown fat and turned to other gods, serving them and despising me, and broken my covenant;

21 then, after many calamities and troubles have come upon them, this song will testify before them as a witness, because their descendants will still be reciting it and will not have forgotten it. For I know how they think even now, even before I have brought them into the land about which I swore.”

The song that Moses writes for the people ends in hope (see Deuteronomy 32), with

“43 Sing out, you nations, about his people! For he will avenge the blood of his servants. He will render vengeance to his adversaries and make atonement for the land of his people.”

The Tanakh of course, shares in many places that despite all their wrongs and their turning away, HaShem will bring His People back into the Land of Israel, for His Name’s sake! See my article ‘Israel: Return in Belief or Unbelief’ (at www.circumcisedheart.info) for some of the evidence for this.

What I wanted to touch on though was Moses heartache!

Imagine, he has led the Jewish people out of Egypt; they have seen many miracles on a daily basis; they, this 2 million people, have ‘seen’ the Almighty in a way that no-one else has, and yet, after his forty years of leading them, Moses is told that they will turn their back on the Almighty!

And Moses can’t do anything about it; he is about to die; to ‘sleep’ with his ancestors!

How heart-broken must he have been; how despairing! He had been like a father to his brethren; he had devoted everything to them; he had rejected a royal life for them; he had sacrificed much and here he is being told in a sense that he has failed! Yes, he knew that at the great Day of Judgment; the People of Israel would be restored and all the prophecies to Abraham fulfilled, but what comfort now; in this his final moments.

Moses was a super-hero! And yet, in a sense HaShem tells him he has failed! Was it worth it?

Do you feel for Moses; do you empathize with him; when you have given your all and it appears you have failed? Evil still abounds! Man still hates his brother! What can we do?!

Let us turn to the Almighty, the King of the Universe and acknowledge we need Him; we need His strength; His comfort; His mercy and justice! His Messiah! His great Day; the Day of Judgment; the Day of Atonement; the Day of cleansing!

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One thought on “Super-Heroes: Heartbreak for Moses!

  1. I should have also said that you don’t need to look far to see the hope! The Haftarah portions for this week, this very special time, also declare this hope.

    They are Hosea 14:2-10; Micah 7:18-20 & Joel 2:15-27.

    In Hosea 14:2 we read:

    “2 Return, Isra’el, to Adonai your God,
for your guilt has made you stumble.
    3 Take words with you, and return to Adonai;
say to him, “Forgive all guilt,
and accept what is good;
we will pay instead of bulls
[the offerings of] our lips.
    4 Ashur will not save us,
we will not ride on horses,
and we will no longer call
what we made with our hands our gods.
For it is only in you
that the fatherless can find mercy.”
    5 “I will heal their disloyalty,
I will love them freely;
for my anger has turned from him.
    6 I will be like dew to Isra’el;
he will blossom like a lily
and strike roots like the L’vanon.
    7 His branches will spread out,
his beauty be like an olive tree
and his fragrance like the L’vanon.
    8 Again they will live in his shade and raise grain;
they will blossom like a vine,
and its aroma will be
like the wine of the L’vanon.
    9 Efrayim [will say], ‘What have I
to do any more with idols?’
And I, I answer and affirm him;
I am like a fresh, green cypress tree;
your fruitfulness comes from me.”
    10 Let the wise understand these things,
and let the discerning know them.
For the ways of Adonai are straight,
And the righteous walk in them,
but in them sinners stumble.

    And Micah 7:18-20 reads:
    “18 Who is a God like you,
pardoning the sin and overlooking the crimes
of the remnant of his heritage?
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in grace.
    19 He will again have compassion on us,
he will subdue our iniquities.
You will throw all their sins
into the depths of the sea.
    20 You will show truth to Ya‘akov
and grace to Avraham,
as you have sworn to our ancestors
since days of long ago.

    And to cap it off Joel 2:15-27 reads, in part:

    “15 Blow the shofar in Tziyon!
Proclaim a holy fast (Yom Kippur),
call for a solemn assembly.”
    16 Gather the people; consecrate the congregation;
assemble the leaders; gather the children,
even infants sucking at the breast;
let the bridegroom leave his room
and the bride the bridal chamber.
    17 Let the cohanim, who serve Adonai,
stand weeping between the vestibule and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, Adonai!
Don’t expose your heritage to mockery,
or make them a byward among the Goyim.
Why should the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?’”
    18 Then Adonai will become jealous for his land
and have pity on his people.
    19 Here is how Adonai will answer his people:
“I will send you grain, wine and olive oil,
enough to satisfy you;
and no longer will I make you
a mockery among the Goyim….

    23 Be glad, people of Tziyon!
rejoice in Adonai your God!
For he is giving you
the right amount of rain in the fall,
he makes the rain come down for you,
the fall and spring rains — this is what he does first.
    24 Then the floors will be full of grain
and the vats overflow with wine and olive oil.
    25 “I will restore to you the years that the locusts ate,
…
    26 You will eat until you are satisfied
and will praise the name of Adonai your God,
who has done with you such wonders.
Then my people will never again be shamed.
    27 You will know that I am with Isra’el
and that I am Adonai your God,
and that there is no other.
Then my people will never again be shamed.

    If you are interested catch our Podcast next week on Yom Kippur/The Day of Atonement at aubreyandpaul.podomatic.com

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