With the fall feasts in full swing it has been a busy time for most Torah observant believers. On top of the celebrations and preparations for Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, in the Northern Hemisphere the weather is getting colder, which means it’s time for pictures, sports, family activities, anything to enjoy the last bit of nice weather before winter. In all of the hustle and bustle things get forgotten rather easily. Our normal are routines disrupted and tasks that we have done faithfully for months are neglected.
That’s what happened to me this week. I was so focused on Yom Kippur and preparing for that celebration with my family and congregation that I forgot to prepare for this week’s Torah Portion! Something that I do on a weekly basis was left behind…and something important! Yet, the Father, in His gracious wisdom, uses these times to teach us valuable lessons.
Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of all generations.
Ask your father, and he will inform you,
Your elders, and they will tell you.Deuteronomy 32:7 NASB
Remember, consider and ask. These are the wisdom words Moshe uses to instruct the Israelites when they forget. When life is disrupted (for good or ill) it is easy to forget the things that really matter. To go a week without really spending time with our Creator. If we don’t catch our lapse a week turns into a month, and the month slowly drifts to years. Before we know it we have wandered from our first love. It happens in small ways, but it does happen. We’ve probably all experienced this to some degree. It’s frustrating, and I know it hurts Elohim’s heart when His children no longer call.
This is what Ha’azinu is all about. Elohim’s response when His children forget, and go their own ways instead of following His way. Note the language in the concluding lines of the song.
See now that I, I am He,
And there is no elohim besides Me;
It is I who put to death and give life.
I have wounded and it is I who heal,
And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.Deuteronomy 32:39 NASB
It seems harsh, doesn’t it? A threat from God, looking to punish those wander from His control. But in reality, these are words of comfort. Even when we wander from Him, for a day, a week, or a lifetime, He is still in control. Life and death are still in His hands. Adonai is reminding us to return when we need His help.
Consider the line, “I have wounded and it is I who heal.” The wounds that come upon us sometimes are from Heaven. The natural consequences of Elohim’s protective hand being lifted away, normally because we’ve pushed Him away. These are the warnings of a loving Elohim that the path we travel leads to danger. But always…ALWAYS…our Elohim seeks to bind up and heal those wounds from our rebellion.
Come, let us return to Yahweh. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know Yahweh. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.Hosea 6:1-3 NASB
It is human to forget. We all do it, and will do it again. May our prayer be that the time between forgetting and remembering be shorter and shorter. May we turn the chaotic times in our lives into opportunities to remember. Seeing Elohim in every aspect of our lives. Turning to Him first, instead of our task list or daily planner. Seeking His wisdom instead of the next pithy saying on social media. (Nothing against these…I rather like them myself.)
Remember Yeshua the Messiah, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my Gospel2 Timothy 2:8 NASB
Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.Hebrews 13:3 NASB
That you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.2 Peter 3:2 NASB