CANDLEGLOW LESSON: KI’TAVO
(Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8) Week 50
As I ran and prayed out the story of Parashah KI’TAVO, replete with covenantal promises made by Adonai to the people for the honoring of His name, and for their obedience to His commands (Mitzvot), I saw the irony. I pondered over the light and darkness, the blessings and curses, the obedience and rebellion, the sight and blindness, the hearing and deafness, and a soft beating heart, or a heart of stone.
The most poignant of ironies were the large uncut stones gathered by the people, mounted at the base of Mount ‘Eival, plastered over, and clearly hand etched with the words of Torah. They were erected for anyone and everyone who would ever stand in that place, to read. Yes, the two mountains of contradiction and the uncut stones were like an entrance sign into the Covenant Land for all time. I prayed, “Adonai this picture is so stunning in its simplicity, yet so deep and eternally wise. I pray for your Spirit to teach me this lesson today!”
As I continued on my well-worn path, I saw how only the words of Adonai make a mark on the hard hearts of humankind. Left to our own desires and progressively rebellious hearts, we become like Mount ‘Eival. I see the gathering of the heavy stones, the labor to mount them at the base of a mountain, the artistry to plaster them in white, then the baking of them in the desert sun, and finally the hand-etched words of Torah (The way to go), as a labor of love. The words of truth from Adonai pierce the darkness and chaos of the world. His Torah truths are etched for all time and eternity, whether we write them down in loving obedience or not. His Torah truth, etched by our own hands, will be the basis for our decisions as we journey into our inheritance, by His Spirit.
We must read His truth, write His truth, and place His truth on the doorposts of our homes and of our hearts. This spiritual etching takes place over a lifetime of seeking His face. The command to inscribe Torah on plastered stones is a mirroring of the Ten Commandments written upon the two sapphire tablets, by the hand of God. The command to etch the words of Torah into uncut stones would create the entry into the Covenant Land, like a stone banner from heaven. The words of Torah etched in front of the mountain of limestone bareness, cratered by the tombs of the dead, would remind all who passed by of the Covenant relationship between the God of Israel and the Nation of Israel. His words are a sword!
This is the lesson of His Living Stones. “For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days, says ADONAI: ‘I will put my Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Hebrews 8:10 CJB)
This is the lesson of His Living Stones. We have been set apart for Adonai. His spirit etches our hearts with His word. We become living stones for the Kingdom. Our hearts beat in a new way; hand etched by the Creator. Grafted into Israel by way of the Divine Vine, we are now the living, breathing Torah!
This is the lesson of His Living Stones. “See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword – it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. Before God, nothing created is hidden, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13 CJB)
May our lives be lived as His Living Stones; brilliantly transparent and inscribed for all to see. May our praise of His word be our weapons of warfare. May His double-edged sword first cut us, by the circumcision (Brit Milah) of our hearts. May we guard (Shamar) our lives with our lips as they pour forth His truth out into the atmosphere. With our declarations of His word, every step we take for the Kingdom of God is upon holy ground!
CANDLEGLOW LESSON FOR SHABBAT
As we approach this Shabbat (Sabbath Rest) just prior to the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, (‘Head of the Year, 5782) on the Hebrew Calendar, we can rest in faith that our Father in Heaven is good. He has not left us here on this big, blue planet Earth (Eretz) without a map to His heart! Far from it! He has left us with the Book to His heart, and His Fatherly ‘way to go‘; so that all will go well with us. We are His children of the light!
As we look to the new Hebrew year, 5782, occurring on September 5 and 6, USA time, or September 6 and 7, Israeli time, for some of us who are new to all things Hebrew, it is not 2021, almost 2022! No, not really. The Lord has His calendar, and it is a Lunar Calendar…not a Solar Calendar as is the Greek Calendar we have become familiar with over our lifetime. No, the Lord has His own time-clock and Calendar which is governed by the Lunar phases of His moon, and it changes daily, just like a clock!
As we enter into the ‘Feast of Trumpets’ or Rosh Hashanah, meaning the ‘head of the year’ or the ‘new year’, we can with faith, look to the hand etched stones of Torah Law still standing in Israel at the base of Mount ‘Eival. The Lord God Almighty has given us the way to go. We have the choice to believe and obey, or not. We are simply, the product of a lifetime of personal choices. We have a magnanimous God to thank for this free-will life. We have a merciful and forgiving God to worship and praise, for the way to His heart is by our beating heart for Him. It is the full circle of the Torah of Love! We rest in you Father God, for your ways are of light, life and love! We rest in you ADONAI, our Lord, for your eyes seek us out, and you ask us to gaze back, into yours. We rest in your heavenly gaze upon us, and praise you with all that is in us. Amen
Shabbat Shalom, dear children of the King…
May the Lord grant us, His children, a new year marked by His love, forgiveness, and blessings.