CANDLEGLOW LESSON HA’AZINU (Hear)
(Deuteronomy 32:1-52) Week 53
Just before his death, Moses gathered the Nation of Israel to hear the song which he composed based upon the prophetic words from Adonai, foretelling of their pattern of turning away from God and turning to idols instead. The words of the song were to fall upon the Nation as a light rain, bringing blessings and life! SHEMA ISRA’EL! (Hear and obey, Israel!)
The deliverer of the Nation of Israel constructs the poetic verses as one would build a fantastic stone wall, to withstand the test of time. The intent is to bless Israel and the world, by the revelation of Adonai! Moses’ intimate revelation of Adonai is encrusted with sparkling jewels of truth about the attributes of God’s eternal character. In so doing, a bow is pulled back by the strong arms of the deliverer, and his arrow is aimed at the heart of the matter; our God and King is faultless! It is humankind who err in sin and turn away from His loving gaze! This truth hits the mark; the heart of Israel and all who fall short of the glory of God!
With Moses’ arrow embedded deeply in the heart of the Nation of Israel, he pleads with them to REMEMBER! Remember from where they have come, before they knew Adonai as their God. Remember, the journey of slavery and hopelessness? Remember, the moment of rescue! It was Adonai who brought them out of slavery and into His glorious light!
How easily we too, FORGET. How distracted we are by our own hunger, pain, or craving for something we think we lack. How preoccupied we become with thoughts that turn our attention this way and that; like a self-flagellating wind, buffeting our thoughts away from what brings His soft, life-giving shower of rain from heaven. His peace (Shalom) is there for those who REMEMBER! The Lord promises to bless those who diligently seek Him.
This is the Lesson of PANIM EL PANIM: Face-to-face, (Panim El Panim) with our Father in Heaven is the delight of the great Architect, Adonai. We were created for this! Face-to-face, countenance upon countenance, gazing into the face of one another like a bride and her bridegroom under the CHUPPAH! It is never Adonai who turns away from His bride! It is a rebellious generation who first become dissatisfied with the things of the Kingdom of the light, and little by little, turn to explore the deep things of the Kingdom of the darkness.
This is the Lesson of PANIM EL PANIM: There is a moment, dear seeker, when we will stand in our personal Valley of Decision. There is a moment in time and space, while here, with feet held by the gravitational force of the earth, when we have before us the vision of the Mountain of LIFE or the Mountain of DEATH. It is in this valley that treacherous times may be cultivated. This song of Moses mirrors Mount Gerizim and Mount ‘Eival from pages already turned in Torah, reminding Israel and all mankind, it is Adonai who blesses and curses!
This is the Lesson of PANIM EL PANIM: Where will our heads turn? Upon whose face do we desire most, to gaze? Is it another human being we desire most? Do we crave what we do not have, while our Father in heaven waits patiently for us to turn (SHUV) to Him? It is He who first loved us! He is our Maker, our Father, our ROCK! The song of Moses is for us ALL for all time.
May we remember the words as we stand in our own Valley of Decision. May we forever face Mount Gerizim for the blessings of Adonai to rain down on us. Look fully now, dear seeker, into His beautiful face, and feel the soft rain of His presence!
CANDLEGLOW LESSON FOR SHABBAT
The gorgeous Fall harvest-time we celebrate called, “The Feast of Tabernacles”, or SUKKOT is one of the Feasts of the Lord, assigned by Adonai Himself to the Nation of Israel, and for all who desire to draw near! Each of the Moe ’dim or Feasts of the Lord are holy rendezvous, planned and prescribed by the Creator, for His creation!
We learn through Torah study, the deep things Jesus (Yeshua) learned as a Jewish boy from the line of King David, from the Tribe of Judah, and as a Rabbi or honored teacher of Torah. The Feasts of the Lord were observed in the Jewish culture into which Jesus was born. These holy pauses from life, where Adonai commanded His people to deny themselves going ‘about their daily lives’, to turn to Him and the Kingdom of Heaven, in a spiritual re-alignment of their focus upon things eternal, are for us today.
As a Torah lover and student (Talmidim), I experience the Holy Times of the Lord as my personal invitation to pause from the chaos of my earthly days, to re-calculate the trajectory of my heart and my actions, emitting from my heart-beats that affect the world around me!
On this very special SUKKOT Shabbat (Sabbath), take a deep, cleansing breath, and pause. Like the beauty in a score of music, where a pause and refrain gives depth and resonance to the instrumentation and voices, filling our hearts with joy; see these Holy Times of the Lord this way. The pause or holy refrain ushers in a re-alignment and re-focus, which brings beauty! This is not just for the Jew. This was offered to all, through Biblical History, and for today, and is an invitation for ALL who will come! See the arms of your Savior opened wide, waiting for your holy pause, as you gaze into His beauty, Panim El Panim, face to face, in the light of His love!
Feel the soft, gentle rain of heaven, pouring over your life.
May your SUKKOT observance bring a harvest of blessings!