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Here we are. The last book of the Torah. Deuteronomy could have been strictly a continuation of the story in the wilderness and the eventual entrance to the land. Though HaShem used the last book of the Torah to summarize the previous four books and emphasize the importance of the Law. There were many instances of miraculous occurrences and benevolent blessings experienced by the Children of Israel. Although time and time again, the Children of Israel forgot G-d and slipped into sin. To avoid participation in similar mistakes take note of the excellent principle found in the first chapter of this week’s parasha.

“after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei. Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law, saying” Deuteronomy 1:3-4

Notice the sequence of the previous verse. The Children of Israel defeated a formidable foe through G-d’s intervention and “had no survivor left.” (Deut. 3:3) Then Moses “explained this law” and recounted the marvelous acts of HaShem. Why in this order? Because we are most vulnerable to fleshly seduction and pride when we are satisfied. Skipping ahead to Deuteronomy 8, G-d warned of this temptation:

“Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.” Deuteronomy 8:11-19

Following the example of Moses and deliberately remembering G-d’s magnificent works after receiving a blessing will help prevent sin. The Torah shared several tactics to avoid forgetting the L-rd our G-d. One notable tactic is the commandment to “bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.” (Deut. 8:10) after a meal. Also, wearing tzitzit on the four corners of a garment, placing His words on the doorpost, binding His words to our arm and head, and teaching our children. Deuteronomy contains many references to remembering the L-rd and commandments not to forget certain occurrences. Ultimately, Deuteronomy is a revelation of G-d’s grace. An entire generation passed away in the wilderness due to sin and turning away from G-d. Therefore Deuteronomy serves as an entreaty to learn from the mistakes and strive to walk uprightly before G-d. In several passages the tone is almost that of pleading with the reader to follow G-d and G-d alone. What a gracious Father that He would instruct the repetition of “this law” and key events of the wilderness journey.

In addition, Moses foreshadowed Messiah Yeshua. Moses explained the Law, recounted important events, and called for repentance before he died just as Yeshua eventually did when He dwelled on earth.

“Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.” John 18:20

“Therefore, holy brothers,you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.” Hebrews 3:1-2

Come quickly L-rd Yeshua!

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