Shabbat-Reading and Commentary

Friday, September 29, 2006 |  by Michael Schneider
Ha’azinu – Give ear! Special Shabbat of Repentance
Deut. 32:1 -52; Hosea 14:2-10; Joel 2:15-27

This week’s portion is the last before the yearly reading cycle of the five books of Moses, the Torah, begins again. It is a one-chapter portion that speaks of the “Song of Moses.” The first Song of Moses was the “Song of the Sea” when the people of Israel miraculously crossed the Reed Sea.

Now in the last song of Moses we stand once again at the crossing of the Jordan. The first song begins with the 40-year journey through the desert. The Song of Moses is like a last will to his people before his death. Moses begins his song with: “Give ear, O heavens, … and let the earth hear…” Moses chose heaven and earth to be his witnesses! According to the Jewish sages, if they obeyed God’s Word heaven would bless them (by rain etc.) and the earth by the fruitfulness of their soil (harvest).

We should not forget that Moses is speaking to a new generation that was to enter the Promised Land and not the generation that left Egypt!

In the stanza in verse 7 we read: “…Ask your father, and he will inform you; Your elders, and they will tell you.”

According to the promise we find in verses 10 and 11, God will cover you with His wings as an eagle and guard you as the apple of His eye.

Moses, before the Israelites even captured the Land, also spoke of bad times that would come, even an expulsion! In verse 21 we find a parallel to Romans 11: That gentiles will bring Israel to jealousy: “They have made Me jealous with what is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their idols; So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people…”

Believing Christians– especially through their aid of Israel, both financial and spiritual – will provoke a positive jealousy among the people.

For example, I’ve seen young German believers come to the Land and give their best years caring for elderly Holocaust survivors. They live out their faith in a way that counts for more than a mere profession of their faith. Therefore when they are asked about their faith, their answer is not empty words. He will say then, through the Messiah Yeshua, it is possible.

Moses called the Israelites a people of a perverse generation. They served God and the spirit of the world, they were double-minded. But the Lord will have compassion on His servants (36).

This also was foreseen: “It is I who put to death and give life; I have wounded and it is I who heal…” (verse 39). The order here is interesting: God first will kill, but then He brings life. Life and healing are the end, not the opposite.

That Song of Moses in chapter 32 has eternal value because in the Last Days they will sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb: "Great and marvelous are Your works; O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED." (Revelation 15:3).

This shows again the connection between believers from the nations and Israel. The two complete each other, rather than replace each other! God has a salvation plan and way for both. Also the vision of the New Jerusalem, the City of Gold like glass, shows 12 gates holding the names of the sons of Jacob (Rev. 21:12) and 12 foundation stones having the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb. (21:14)

Since we are in the days of repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we have a special reading from the prophets from Hosea 14 calling for return and repentance: “Shuva - Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God! For you have stumbled because of your iniquity.”

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