Messianic Torah Portion Ekev "Because"
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7:12- 11:25
No matter how much turmoil and strife enters our lives, we can trust that HaShem is steadfast in His commitment to the covenant. HaShem's commitment to the covenant does not change, because HaShem does not change. Mal'akhi 3:6 states "I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Yaakov are not consumed." Therefore, the covenant HaShem made with our forefathers is relevant in every generation. For example, Moshe relied on HaShem's commitment to the covenant to establish a foundation for intercession. Shemot 32:9-14 states "And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he brought them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swore by yourself, and said unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people." Moshe was able to intercede for the Children of Yisrael because he placed his faith in HaShem's promise to keep His covenant with Avraham.
Relying on HaShem's commitment to the covenant is also relevant for believers in Yeshua. HaShem's commitment to the covenant is the only security believers have. In fact, HaShem's commitment guaranteed that He would send a Messiah. Luke 1:73-77 states, "The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins."Yeshua is an extension of HaShem's commitment to fulfill the covenant He made with Avraham. Therefore, establishing faith in Yeshua makes us partakers of that covenant. In Ekev we can see that to function fully as partakers of the covenant we must be obedient, and remember.
Before entering the Promised Land HaShem chose to edify the Yisraelites by reminding them that obedience would invoke the blessings of the covenant. Devarim 7:12-13 states, "Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he swore unto thy fathers: And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy cattle, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he swore unto thy fathers to give thee." As partakers of HaShem's covenant the Children of Yisrael were guaranteed that when they walked in obedience they would receive the blessings of the covenant. HaShem used this guarantee to strengthen the Yisraelites faith and affirm that He is, as committed to the generation entering the Promised Land as He was to their fathers.
For believers in Yeshua obedience is also required to be a servant in Yeshua's covenant. Mathew 7:21-23 states "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." The word for iniquity in this instance is anomia. The definition of anomia is, without the law, or lawlessness. Clearly, Yeshua is addressing the problems of being a spirit filled believer without obedience to the Torah. This spirit filled group, is able to cast out demons and operate in the spirit. However, they have drifted away from the covenant of Avraham by rejecting the Torah. As a result, this group has become disobedient. Not doing the will of HaShem as defined in the Torah, has led these spirit filled individuals away from the true covenant. As a result, they are no longer acceptable to Yeshua .
Remembrance of the trials and struggles we have been delivered from is also, crucial for us to participate fully in the covenant of Avraham. Devarim 8:2-3 states "you shall remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou would keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which you knew not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." The act of remembering what HaShem has done, strengthens our faith and teaches us to trust HaShem as Avraham trusted Him. In fact, the righteousness of Avraham was based on faith. B'reisheet 15:5-6 states "he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness."
Yeshua is a good example of how remembering the covenant establishes faith, so that we are more secure in our trust of HaShem. Mathew 4:2-4 states, "when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Yeshua was able to overcome the temptation of hunger, because He built His faith by remembering the covenant of HaShem. Therefore, the covenant of HaShem became more important than Yeshua's struggle with hunger. As a result, of Yeshua's strong faith Satan could no longer tempt Him with hunger.
As believers in Yeshua the grafted branches as well as the native branches are partakers of all former covenants. Therefore, believers should become obedient to the Torah, and build a faith founded on remembering the covenants. Obedience to the Torah guarantees that we will receive and experience all the blessings of HaShem, because we are doing His will. Remembrance of the covenants helps strengthen our faith so that we can overcome our present struggles. Obedience coupled remembrance are critical for spiritual growth in the native branches as well as the grafted branches. In fact, obedience and remembrance establish the covenant of Yeshua by teaching us to do HaShem's will and live by faith.