“The Lesson of the Law of Chayim”
Parashah NITZAVIM (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20) Week 51
“For this mitzvah which I am giving you today is not too hard for you; it is not beyond your reach. 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?’ 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?’ On the contrary, the word is very close to you – in your mouth, even in your heart; therefore, you can do it! Look! I am presenting you today with, on the one hand, life and good; and on the other, death and evil – in that I am ordering you today to love ADONAI your God, to follow his ways, and to obey his mitzvot, regulations and rulings; for if you do, you will live and increase your numbers; and ADONAI your God will bless you in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, if you refuse to listen, if you are drawn away to prostrate yourselves before other gods and serve them; I am announcing to you today that you will certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Yarden to enter and possess.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-18 CJB)
After mounting the large, uncut stones at the base of Mt. ‘Eival, with the words of TORAH hand etched into their plaster overlay as commanded by Adonai, Moses gathers the Nation of Israel together. He stands before them to repeat the blessings of obedience to the TORAH, and the curses for rebelling against the TORAH. There must not be one stone left unturned in his effort to lead the new Nation of Israel onto the path to draw near to the Holy One of Israel. I envision Moses, inspecting each mounted boulder, leaving not one of the white standing stones at the base of Mt. ‘Eival unturned, ensuring every word of TORAH was inscribed accurately and completely, as commanded by Adonai.
Moses lived the life of a good shepherd for all his days as the deliverer of the Nation of Israel. He encouraged the Nation that even after his death they would not have to search for Adonai’s TORAH. They would not have to climb Mount Sinai, reaching up into the clouds for God’s instruction. They would not have to cross another sea, in pursuit of God’s truth. The truth was, TORAH was written on their hearts as well as on tablets of stone. All was in place at the base of Mt. ‘Eival as the reminder, if they needed it. The barren, lifeless, limestone mountain was the visual plumb-line between reaching for the light, or the darkness.
There are only two kingdoms dear seeker; the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness. There is only one true God and His name is El Elyon; God Most High; the Holy One of Isra’el. However, there is a deceiver. There is a destroyer. There is a thief. There is a liar and a murderer, a Prince who rules over the Kingdom of Darkness. We must be spiritually aware of the war in the unseen! “Things which are hidden belong to ADONAI our God. But the things that have been revealed belong to us and our children forever, so that we can observe all the words of this Torah.” (Deuteronomy 29:28-29 CJB)
This is the Lesson of the Law of Chayim. Chayim is a Hebrew word meaning, Life. The Law of Life flows abundantly from Adonai’s instructions to the Nation of Israel. From the promises and blessings by obediently following Adonai’s Torah, an abundant life will result! Adonai expressed His desire to see His people flourish under TORAH instruction, so all would go well with them. It is from the giving of TORAH to His chosen people that the entire world has been blessed. TORAH and the life flowing from obedience to it, brings light, life, love and unity.
The abundance of all that is good and virtuous and of the Kingdom of God flows like a mighty river through each life lived in honor of His holy name. “Then ADONAI your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your children, so that you will love ADONAI your God with all your heart and all your being, and thus you will live.” (Deuteronomy 30:6)
This is the Lesson of the Law of Chayim. We can venture all the way back to the Garden of Eden for this life lesson. There was a Tree of Life and a Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There was a choice put before Adam and Eve to obey the Lord by refraining from partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God, in His sovereignty, offered the choice of abundant life which comes with obedience to the Lord’s instructions, or death, by turning away from the light of His truth, as it pours forth from the lips of the Father. This same lesson is played out, verse by verse, throughout biblical history. This is the blessed lesson for all generations!
This is the Lesson of the Law of Chayim. Choose Life! All of creation is bursting with examples of life every second of every day. We need only look at our gardens, or at rows of wheat fields in springtime, or at the faces of our children and their children, to see there is life all around us as a promise that we CAN choose right and choose well. The Creator has not set us up to fail! We have the fullness of His word. We have all we need to choose life moment by moment, using the powerful living stones of His instruction!
“Pay attention!” (says Yeshua) “I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the Alef and the Tav, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city!” (Revelation 22:12-14 CJB)
During this blessed Shabbat observance, may we stand in awe of the powerful, everlasting sovereignty of our Lord God Almighty, who has paved our way ino the Tree of Life, if we will courageously follow in the dusty footprints of Rabbi Jesus, all the way through the gates, and into His blessed City!