“The Lesson of PANIM EL PANIM”

Parashah HA’AZINU (Deuteronomy 32:1-52) Week 53

Ha’azinu, Hear!  “Hear, oh heavens, as I speak!  Listen, earth, to the words from my mouth!  May my teaching fall like rain.  May my speech condense like dew, like light rain on the blades of grass, or showers on growing plants.”  (Deuteronomy 32:1-2 CJB)

Moses gathers the Nation of Israel to hear the song which he composed based upon the prophetic words from Adonai, foretelling of the pattern of the turning away of the people from their God; turning to idols instead.  The words of the song are to fall upon the Nation as a light rain, bringing blessings and life, if observed!  SHEMA ISRA’EL!  (Hear and obey, Israel!)

The song illuminates a pattern of worship to ponder.  May we read again and again the intent of the message which is to bring BLESSINGS and LIFE to all who hear!  May we read again and again how our lips must first proclaim the name of Adonai!  May we understand the powerful declarations of the greatness of our God, as the foundation for our worship and praise.  Yes, before we utter our repentance, our petition, or intercessory prayers to the Lord may we first enter His courts with praise! 

“The Rock!  His work is perfect, for all His ways are just.” (Deuteronomy 32:4 CJB)

Moses constructs the poetic verses as one would build a fantastic stone wall, to withstand the test of time.  His 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!  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 of all who fall short of the glory of God!

“Remember how the old days were; think of the years through all the ages.  Ask your father – he will tell you; your leaders too – they will inform you.”  (Deuteronomy 32:7 CJB)

With Moses’ arrow embedded 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 saved and brought them out of slavery and into His glorious light!

How easily we FORGET.  How distracted we are by our hunger, our pain, our 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!  He promises to bless those who diligently seek Him.

“But Yeshurun grew fat and kicked (you grew fat, thick, gross!)  He abandoned God his Maker; he scorned the Rock, his salvation.”  (Deuteronomy: 32: 15 CJB)

How like humankind to turn hungrily to the world for nourishment and gorge on it! 

The desert of Sinai was cratered by the graves of those who craved!  A craving for what they perceived was lacking, in the midst of the rain of manna from heaven; cold water spilling over rocks for parched lips; His cloud of shade by day; His pillar of fire by night!

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.  For this, we have been created!  Face-to-face, (Panim el Panim) countenance upon countenance, gazing into the face of one another like a bride and bridegroom under the Chuppah!  It is never Adonai who turns away from His bride!  It is the rebellious generation who first become dissatisfied with the things of the Kingdom of the light, and gradually, 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 own Valley of Decision.  There is a moment in time and space, while here with our feet held by the gravitational force of 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.  The song of Moses mirrors Mount G’rizim and Mount ‘Eival from pages already turned in Torah, reminding Israel and all mankind, it is Adonai who blesses and Adonai who 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 most desire to be face-to-face with, moment by moment?  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!  There is no other!

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 G’rizim 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!

Shabbat Shalom,




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