“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
The current Torah Portion (Nitzavim-Vayelech) speaks to a number of vital foundational elements of our faith in Yehovah. In this short post I wish to address two of them.
First the practicality of Torah:
Deut 30:10–‐ 14
10 “However, all this will happen only if you pay attention to what Yehovah your God says, so that you obey his commandments and regulations which are written in this book of the Torah, if you turn to Yehovah your God with all your heart and all your being.
11 For this commandment which I am giving you today is not too hard for you, it is not beyond your reach.
12 It isn’t in the sky, so that you need to ask, ‘Who will go up into the sky for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?’
13 Likewise, it isn’t beyond the sea, so that you need to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?’
14 On the contrary, the word is very close to you –‐ in your mouth, even in your heart; therefore, you can do it!”
And I repeat! “… you can do it!”, you CAN obey the ‘Instructions of Yehovah’, that is the Torah!
But wait a minute; didn’t Jesus/Yeshua die on the cross because it was all too hard for us and we can only find peace and joy with God through his blood sacrifice?
Doesn’t Christianity teach us that it is all too hard for us; that we are hopeless sinners and can only find eternal life with God through the ‘entry fee’ paid by God Himself on the cross; that we have no hope otherwise; no hope because we can’t be righteous and obedient; that God’s commands are too hard for us!!?
There is something seriously amiss here – please see my article for more on this massive and foundational issue.
But there is more! He has given us the freedom of choice:
“I have set before you life and goodness, and death and evil: in that I command you this day to love G‑d, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments . . . Life and death I have set before you, blessing and curse. And you shall choose life.”
Clearly, neither the Jewish People nor any of the Gentile people need to heed the call to obey the Life giving Instructions of the Creator (Torah), though here He is pleading with the Jewish People to do exactly that.
But when we do!!
I have always loved Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Surely the Psalmist not only experienced this truth but sourced this truth from this Torah Portion, as we read in verses Deut 30:9-10:
9 The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, … For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers,
10 when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Torah, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
You will also note here that when your delight in in the Lord, His is in you as well!
And further, as we also read in this Torah Portion last week, when we don’t delight ourselves in Yehovah and turn back to Him with all our heart and soul we risk Him hiding from us and worse hiding that he is hiding!
There are always consequences to our actions. There are always choices and we, at least in this life, are never free from having to make those choices, weekly, daily, moment by moment.
Inaction is a choice, silence in the face of evil is a choice, remaining ignorant to His Truth is a choice, but delighting in Him and His Ways (Psalm 119) is the best choice!
PS: The King Who Hides:
I have written on more than one occasion about the incredible text where Yehovah states that ‘I will hide that I will hide‘ (Deut 31:17).
And I have also written on atonement and that sin (missing the mark or rejecting the Instructions of God, i.e. Torah) does not keep God away from man, but that it keeps man away from God, and how the Almighty gives us the method to cover the sins from ourselves (Atonement), so we don’t need to try to hide from Him.
So what if we are trying to hide from God and He is hiding from us and even more, hiding the fact that he is hiding from us! What hope have we?!
Is there any hope if we are so far from Yehovah and so unconcerned with such a reality. Heaven forbid that any of us could be in such a place, a place where it seems most likely that you would reject God to the point of rejecting His very existence – you can’t see Him, and He has in fact hidden Himself so well that you perhaps have no evidence that He is or was there.
Yet, if you seek Him and if you seek Him with all your might and power He will be found by you! But what would ever prompt a person who has fallen so far to try again?
I don’t know, but I do know He is bigger and stronger than anyone’s disbelief, rejection, anger, bitterness, pain and/or pride.
He is in their every breath, there beside them in their every moment whether of joy or pain. He is always just a thought away.
But His grace is not cheap. There is a price to pay. His hiddenness can only be ended by our repentance, our ‘teshuvah’, our turning back with our whole heart, so that we can once again ‘delight ourselves in the Lord!’.