Weekly Drash - Nitzavim
Compliments of First Fruits of Zion
Nitzavim - נצבים : "You are standing"
Thought for the Week:
“Obviously no one can keep the whole Torah. No one is perfect. Therefore, we should not try to keep the Torah because it is too difficult.” Moses must have foreseen our faulty logic. Therefore he insists in no uncertain terms that “this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach” (Deuteronomy 30:11). The Apostle John agrees saying, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). It’s not about being perfect, it’s about loving God.
Moses sums up his entreaty to Israel with the passage that begins, “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity; and death and adversity” (Deuteronomy 30:15). If the Torah can be summed up into nutshell, Deuteronomy 30:15–20 is that nutshell. God sets before His people a choice. The choice is obedience or disobedience. The former leads to life, the latter to death. God dictates the choice, commanding us even, “Choose life in order that you may live!” (30:19) Yet it is a real choice, with real consequences. Man’s freedom to choose, to accept or to reject God, is a fundamental principle of Torah. As Moses sets this option of life or death before the children of Israel, we realize that we have come full circle from the Garden of Eden.
In the garden, there were two trees. One was the Tree of Life. The other was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the choice of death. They were placed before Adam and Eve as two options, but even then, God mandated the option, commanding, “Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Yet the choice was theirs, and they chose to disobey. They chose death.
Moses says to Israel:
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and holding fast to Him, for this is your life and the length of your days. (Deuteronomy 30:19–20)
The same choices hang before us. We can choose obedience or disobedience. We can choose Messiah, or we can choose to reject Him. We can choose to accept His sacrifice, or we can choose to rely on our own righteousness. To choose Him, is to choose life, for He says, “I am the resurrection and the life,” (John 11:25) and He says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
The life that He bestows upon us is a life of cleaving to God and oneness with the Father. It is a life of obedience, and as such, it too is a choice. We can choose to hear the commands of God and walk in obedience, or we can choose to cling to the comforts of theologies which exonerate us from obedience. We can choose to submit to the commandments of the King, or we can choose to turn away and walk after the vanity of our own hearts. Even disciples must make a choice. One is the path of Messiah, the other is the path of Judas. One is life; one is death.
We are pleased to announce 3 different Restoration products, now available at the FFOZ Store (http://ffoz.com/store). The Restoration Book, the Restoration Workbook and the Audio Book. The new workbook contains fifteen chapters that correspond to the chapters in the book Restoration, written by D. Thomas Lancaster. Each chapter contains an introduction and questions to help the reader explore the concepts and ideas presented in the book in more detail.
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