Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17
Re'eh in Hebrew means “see”.
This para'shah can be divided as follows:
Blessing or cursing set before the people
A Prescribed Place of Worship
Beware of False gods
Punishment of Apostates
Clean and Unclean Animals
Debts Canceled Every Seven Years
Generosity to the Poor
The Law Concerning Bondservants
The Law Concerning Firstborn Animals
The Passover (Pasach) Reviewed
The Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) Reviewed
The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)
This portion of scripture is full of so many good things that it would literally take many lessons to cover it all so I will only elaborate on a few points.
Blessing or Cursing
Notice in Chapter 11:26 that the portion opens with a choice. God will give you the choice to obey and receive a blessing, or to disobey His commandments, statutes, and judgments, and receive a curse.
This choice belongs to us. HaShem prefers to be merciful to a thousand generations but He will bring His punishment upon those who choose to be disobedient. He will not send anyone to eternal punishment, a person chooses to go there themselves, through their disobedience.
In verse 11:32, He admonishes us “to be careful” to observe all that He has commanded. This admonition of personal responsibility is not what our world likes to hear. It takes us all the way back to
Genesis, “in the beginning”, where the sacrifice of Abel was accepted but the sacrifice of Cain was not. Why was Cain's offering not accepted? Because he sought to bring to God an offering according to
his ways, and not the Creator’s. His fruit of the ground would have been accepted if he would have brought a blood sacrifice along with it. When Cain becomes grieved and angry because his offering was not accepted, God asks a question of him, "Why are you so upset? If you do what is appropriate, you'll be accepted, want you? But if you don't do what is appropriate, sin is crouching near your doorway, turning toward you. You must take dominion over it." (Genesis 4:6-7)
See, Cain was told that he had a choice to make, he could CHOOSE to do the right thing and be accepted or he could CHOOSE to do the wrong thing and not be accepted.
We all have a CHOICE to make. We can choose to be BLESSED or we can CHOOSE to be cursed. Point is, we have a choice, it denotes personal responsibility.
Beware of False gods
In Chapter 12:29-32 we are admonished to have nothing to do with the practice of idolatry. Idolatry falls into many categories other than bowing down to a statue. Idolatry still exists in millions and
millions of forms in this world, albeit called by new names.
Let's take for example the sacrificing of children mentioned in these scriptures, “they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.” Well, this doesn't go on anymore in a civilized society,
right? I don't see or hear of anyone sacrificing a child or infant to a god named Molech or Baal anymore. Wrong!!!! This idolatry has changed names – today it is called ABORTION! People are sacrificing their children to a god called “self”. That false god they are really sacrificing their children too is really the same false god it has always been – SATAN!!
God states that children are a GIFT FROM HIM!!
Psalms 127:3 - “Children are a gift from the LORD; a productive womb, the LORD's reward.” (ISV) He states that “sacrificing” the fruit of our womb to a false god is something that He hates and that the thoughts of such things have NEVER even entered His mind!
Jeremiah 19:5 - “They built the high places for Baal to burn their children in the fire as a burnt offering to Baal—something I didn't command, didn't say, nor did it ever enter my mind!”
America, and other nations, have sacrificed millions of their children to a false god throughout history, and they continue to do so; in the name of women's rights, population control, gender selection, birth control, etc. ABORTION IS AN ABOMINATION to our Creator.
Let me say here that many women have had abortions for whatever reason and afterwards they regret that decision. God STILL FORGIVES this sin if a person repents and turns from their sin.
Punishment of Apostates
Notice how in Chapter 13:1-18, Adonai admonishes again about not going astray from His truth. We are told that if a family member, spouse, or very close friend tries to lead us astray that we should not
listen to them. Furthermore, we are told that even if a prophet who has foretold something, and it came to pass, tries to make us go astray after other gods that we are not to follow that prophet. Now,
interestingly, we are told in other parts of scripture that we will know a true prophet if what he/she foretells comes to pass, but here God warns that even if that prophet prophesies and the thing comes to pass that we must not follow that prophet if he errs in his way.
The Apostle Sha'ul (Paul) admonishes us in these same terms in Galatians 1:8: “ But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that
person be condemned!”
So, with deception being so clever and using people so close to us, or using people in whom we may place a lot of trust, how are we suppose to guard ourselves from idolatry? We must study, pray and know His Torah/Word for ourselves. We cannot rely on a teacher, pastor, grandma, father or mother, or
anyone else on this earth, we must rely on His holy word.
Here is a personal example from my life. Many, many, years ago I was amazed to hear that statues of Jesus and the mother Mary were crying tears in different places around the world. My thought was Wow! When I traveled to Europe one year and was visiting some very old Catholic churches, the thought came to me that perhaps I would have an encounter with one of these crying statues. What a cool and miraculous thing that would be!
I never encountered one but the good news is that years later I heard the Father gently speak to my heart that this was idolatry. Why do I care if an idol that should never have been created cried? Those statues are against His holy word. The crying of them is even deeper deception brought about by the evil one to deceive the world. I believe we read about similar things taking place in the book of Revelation.
Deception is powerful my friend, we must always be on the lookout! We truly need eyes that can see and ears that can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit so that we don’t fall prey to the devices of the evil one.