"IF" - Torah Portion Ekev
Ekev in Hebrew means “if you follow” or “on the account of”.
Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25
In this portion, Moses continues his final address to the children of Israel reminding them that they must obey the commands, statutes and judgments of YHVH if they intend to prosper in the land into which they are about to enter. We find rewards and punishments which are attached to the land of Israel.
He also rebukes them for their failing to obey in the wilderness, and the many consequences of their rebellion; yet in their rebellion they are reminded of how God forgave them.
They are reminded of the provisions of manna and water and how that YHVH miraculously provided for them.
Moses then describes the land into which they will be entering and how YHVH will bless the land as “a land flowing with milk and honey”, and all rich things. YHVH promises that IF they obey all of His
words that He will give them rain in its season and an abundance of all good things from its ground for them and their livestock. All of this is contingent upon their obedience.
The land of Israel is a desert land. Yet, here YHVH promises that this desert land will bring forth an abundance of produce, including but not limited to what is called the seven species: barley, wheat,
pomegranates, dates, grapes, figs and olives.
The land did bring forth these blessings in abundance but once the Jewish people were driven out of the land, in the early second century, the land turned into a deserted wasteland.
Mark Twain visited the land of Israel in 1867 and he records about his visit that he found it to be a most deserted and desolate place. He states that it was overgrown with weeds and that there was barely a tree or shrub anywhere. He also stated that he encountered no other human being along their route. This is
hardly the appearance of the land of Israel once the Jews returned to the land. Once again, YHVH has blessed the land under their occupation and it has become a land flowing with milk and honey.
In verse 11:12 we read that “the eyes of YHVH are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year”. YHVH cares about the land of Israel. This is the only land on the face of the
earth that YHVH has declared that His eyes are upon.
In verse 11:13 we have the Shema repeated and are given the consequences of not being obedient: famine, death, and the people being driven from the good land.
In verses 11:18-21 we are exhorted to remember always the words of our Elohim and to teach them to the next generation. Each generation was to pass the teachings and instructions of YHVH to the next generation so that His Torah would be kept eternally. It is the job of parents to teach their children! It is not the job of a daycare, school or government; not a church or church school and not Sunday School or Sabbath school. It is and
always has been the job of the parents. This is where the assembly of God has missed the mark for the most part. We have attempted to let others take the responsibility of teaching our children until now a generation will be growing up, in the soon to be future, that doesn't even know if they are male or female. Good has become evil, and evil has become good!
We must return to the old paths! We must not have uncircumcised hearts! This is a clear warning in these scriptures. To have uncircumcised hearts means that we have stubborn wills and emotions that are determined to satisfy our own fleshly appetites instead of being obedient to HaShem’s teachings and instructions.
My word to those who will listen: If the majority are doing it, go the other way! HaShem has always had a remnant. It may seem that you are paddling upstream in a boat while everyone else is just floating casually downstream. Trust me- in the end it will be worth all the extra effort.