Nitzavim – You are Standing Vayelech – He Went

Torah Portion: Deut. 29:9-31:30
Haftarah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
New Testament: Luke 24:1-2

This week we have a delectable double portion of Torah. Except in leap years, these two portions are combined. It is a bitter-sweet scene. Moses is about to die and he knows that after his death the people he has nurtured and cajoled, rebuked, and interceded for will serve other gods and thus incur the wrath of God as well as all of the curses He has described. We enter where we left off last week, the vows just having been renewed, Moses delivers his last set of instructions to the Joshua Generation Bride: 

“You are standing today all of you before the LORD your God: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and the sojourner who is in your camp, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, so that you may enter into the sworn covenant of the LORD your God, which the LORD your God is making with you today, that he may establish you today as his people, and that he may be your God, as he promised you, and as he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. It is not with you alone that I am making this sworn covenant, but with whoever is standing here with us today before the LORD our God, and with whoever is not here with us today.” (Deut. 29:10-15)

Last week I sent out a few text messages to ask folks if they had spotted the plan of salvation in the torah portion Ki Tavo. I got some great responses and could tell that people were studying and that wheels were turning. Last Saturday we said that Yahweh’s plan of salvation is for “whosoever will” to enter into covenant with Him. The generation that came out of Egypt did it; you can read it yourself in Exodus, chapters 19-24. But, last week we witnessed the Joshua Generation make the ketubah [marriage contract] their very own by renewing the covenant that their parents had entered into. Doing, so , they became Yahweh’s “am segulah.” Let’s review Moses’ summation of the vows:

“You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules, and will obey his voice. And the LORD has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession [“am segulah”], as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.” (Deut. 26:17-19)

Last Saturday, someone in our congregation asked the question. “Who is Moses talking to?” That question is answered definitively in this week’s lesson. Netzavim makes it clear that the covenant is open ended. The offer to be part of the “am segulah” was extended to whosoever desires to be a part of it in any age, at any time. As we stated last week, it has always has been and always will be that “God so loved the world that whosever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Further, as we stated last week, to believe in Hebrew thought, is to be moved and empowered to obey.

Before we look at Netzavim, there is another principal of Hebrew thought that we must address—the “seed” of an individual’s potential. This “seed” not only includes every possibility for good deeds during a person’s own life, it includes those of his offspring, and their offspring, and their offspring, etc. For example, when Cain slew his brother Able, he not only deprived the world of Able’s future good deeds, he robbed the planet of the good deeds of offspring that would have been influenced by that righteous man and the blessings they would have received that would have benefited the world to a thousand generations. When we look at the murder in this way, it becomes even more serious and grievous. [Now, pause and think about that in light of the millions of babies we have aborted.]

With that information, let’s look at the people who are standing before God, making covenant with Him. We can identify four groups of people. First and obviously, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are indeed standing. The physical seed of the patriarchs are, no doubt, prepared and committed, at least in their own eyes, and, no doubt, are chomping at the bit to cross the Jordan. Let me insert here that the word translated as “standing” by no means pictures lollygagging or hanging around waiting for something to happen. This word means standing up or standing for. In their case, it meant they were dressed for battle and prepared to cross the Jordan and fight their enemies in order to gain their rightful inheritance.

The second group, the sojourners, perhaps consists of travelers whose route happened to cross Israel’s, people whose eyes were opened upon hearing the stories of the miracles that Israel’s God performed, and who decided to cast their lot with Israel. Along with them, perhaps, are some of the locals, maybe sick or injured, maybe abandoned or even left for dead. In addition, there are wood cutters and water bearers, hired-help, we can say. In whatever manner the unseen hand of God brought them there, by grace through faith this mixed-multitude now finds themselves standing with the children of Israel, consenting to keep covenant with Yahweh, just like the mixed multitude that left Egypt in the Exodus, who along with the homeborn, by grace through faith painted the blood of the lamb on their doorposts.

The third group are the descendants of that mixed-multitude that left Egypt with the children of Israel. Foreshadowing Rahab and Ruth, they effectively said “Your people shall be my people and your God shall be my God.” (Ruth 1:16) Along with the natural descendants, for the last 38 years, they have known no bread but manna from heaven, drunk nothing except pure water from Rock that followed them, [which, according to Paul, was Yeshua]. We can be sure that these, the spiritual seed of Abraham, are just as eager as their brethren, the physical seed, to enter the Promised Land. For these two groups, the natural seed and the spiritual seed, from THIS DAY forward, it will no longer be the “faith of our fathers.” From THIS DAY forward, they will be responsible for their own words and promises, for their own victories and short-comings. From THIS DAY forward, they will not be able to blame anyone for their consequences but themselves.

Fourth and lastly, I perceive an invisible, mysterious throng which Moses identifies curiously as “whoever is not here with us today.” Who might these be? Friends, these are the ones that the book of Revelation describes as a throng “no man could number” (Rev. 7:9 ff). This great multitude is contained in the seed of the faithful, all the way back to Abraham and Sarah. The covenant that was made with them was extended to their descendants and the mixed multitude that accompanied them to Mount Sinai. That same covenant was extended to the Joshua generation and the mixed multitude that now stands with them at the border of the Promised Land. Moses makes it clear. The covenant offer is impartial; Yahweh is no respecter of persons. Isaiah proclaimed the identical message a couple of thousand years later:

“Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from his people… “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.” (Isaiah 56:3,6-8)

Peter comes to the very same conclusion as a result of his vision of the four-cornered sheet being lowered from heaven full of all kinds of unclean animals.

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, “Truly, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation, he who fears God and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

What does it mean to “work righteousness”? The Tanach is very clear on this matter:

And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us. (Deut. 6:25)

Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. (Psalm 119:142)

The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. (Psalm 119:144)

The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. (Isaiah 42:21)

Paul instructed Timothy that the Tanach [Old Testament] is God’s prescription for righteousness.

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it; and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:14-17)

It must be noted that when Timothy was growing up, the New Testament did not exist. The “Scripture” to which Paul refers as being profitable in righteousness was exclusively the Tanach.

Peter writes to the sojourners who had received the good news on the Day of Pentecost in Acts, chapter two, informing them they are part of the “am segulah” if they will walk in the “light” of God’s instructions for righteousness:

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia… you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were [lo ami] not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Pet. 1:1, 2:9-10)

What is the “marvelous light”? It is Yaweh’s the instruction for righteousness for the Bride!

Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:98-105

Peter and the disciples would have been very familiar with these verses. Yeshua said, “I am the Light of the World.” He was the Light because He showed us how to walk in Abba’s instructions. He told His disciples. “You are the light of the world.” We can only be Light if we reflect His example and keep Abba’s commandments, as He did. He is the WORD made flesh. Yeshua the Living Word cannot be different from the written Word. He plainly told His disciples, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me.” (John 9:4) “I am My Father are One.” (John 10:30) It is ludicrous to think the Father and Son have separate instructions for the Bride.

I can almost see Moses going into the highways and byways looking for the sojourners. “Hey YOU! Yeah, YOU cutting wood and YOU bringing water to the tents! Do YOU want to be part of Yahweh’s “am segulah”? Do you want to be part of the holy nation and royal priesthood? Now, don’t let my impending death make you rush. Take your time. Become a disciple. Go and sit in the tents of the Levites. Let them teach you world history. Let them teach you the ways of the God of Israel. But, be sure, very, very sure that, if you enter into the covenant that you really intend to keep your promise; because there are severe consequences if you don’t.”

We are warned again in this week’s torah portion that it only takes one person who refuses to obey to change the course of an entire nation, as we saw in the last few weeks with Solomon and Jeroboam.

“Beware lest there be among you a man or woman or clan or tribe whose heart is turning away today from the LORD our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit, one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.’ This will lead to the sweeping away of moist [righteous] and dry [unrighteous] alike. The LORD will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven. And the LORD will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for calamity, in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.” (Deut. 29:16-21)

Think back for a minute to Jeroboam. We determined two weeks ago in our study of Ki Tetze that he was the “rebellious son” and that his house is likely the one Yeshua said was built on sand (Mat. 7:24 ff), swept away in the winds and the rain. Jeroboam was a layman who was handed the world on a silver platter, given every promise of blessing by God IF he would obey God’s instruction. When he set up golden calves in Dan and Bethel, there was no outcry, no uprising in Israel. The blind sheep followed their evil shepherd until the King of Assyria took them away.

God showed Moses that all of that would happen; but He mercifully also showed Moses a generation to come that will wake up and understand why destruction came upon their ancestors.

“And the next generation, your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land will say, when they see the afflictions of that land and the sicknesses with which the LORD has made it sick— the whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger and wrath— all the nations will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land? What caused the heat of this great anger?’ Then people will say, ‘It is because they abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt, and went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they had not known and whom he had not allotted to them. Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, bringing upon it all the curses written in this book, and the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger and fury and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as they are this day.'”(Deut. 29:22-28)

The veil will be removed. A future generation will “re’eh” [“see,” “behold”] and dare to ask questions. They will not be satisfied with doctrines and traditions of men that make null the Word of God. They will dare to search Scripture for themselves and discover that calamity came to their forefathers because they abandoned the covenant of their fathers. Friends, I submit to you that we are that generation! We are the prodigal son “coming to himself” and returning to his father’s house, receiving the robe, the ring, and new sandals. But, there is even more good news!

“And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you, and return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will take you. And the LORD your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. And the LORD your God will put all these curses on your foes and enemies who persecuted you.” (Deut. 30:1-7)

Our Bridegroom is not only going to re-gather us, He is going to circumcise our hearts and the hearts of our offspring so that we will love Him with our whole heart and soul! Could there be any greater promise! I don’t know about you, but I am tired of being led astray by my split, froward heart, as the KJV puts it.

The prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah, Hosea, and Jeremiah confirm this Second Exodus. Listen in as Yahweh begins to reveal this to Ezekiel, complaining about the treatment He received from the Bride, restraining Himself from destroying them so that His name would not be profaned among the nations:

“So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live. Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands, because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. Nevertheless, my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make a full end of them in the wilderness.” (Ezekiel 20:10-17)

Yahweh goes on, now addressing the Joshua generation, who were apparently just as faithLESS as their parents!

“And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’ But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers’ idols. Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the LORD. “Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings.” (Ezekiel 20:18-28)

Yet, God did not wipe them out. He remembered His covenant with Abraham and He restrained Himself for the sake of His name. He is determined that He will have Israel as His Bride and she will be spotless. The day is coming, He informs Ezekiel, when “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” He will again return to take the Bride into “the wilderness of the peoples,” and there He will, once and for all, deal with her rebellion.

“As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 20:33-36)

To Jeremiah, Yahweh declares that this Second Exodus will be of such a magnitude that the first will be all but forgotten.

“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. (Jer. 16:14-15)

Back to the book of Ezekiel, Yahweh declares that those who wrongly teach that the commandments have been “done away with” will be exposed. Like the rest of the congregation, they will be brought out of their countries, but they will not enter the Promised Land.

“I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 20:37,38)

The rebels dealt with, the Bride will fall on her face and remember all of the evil she has committed and she will loathe herself. It is only then that she will be able to fully comprehend the magnitude of the Bridegroom’s love for her.

“As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers. And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 20:41-44)

Yahweh will not leave the Bride in this disgraced and filthy condition. He will wash it all away! He will restore her completely so that she can rule with Him in the Millennium. He will cleanse her and He will give her a new heart! He will give her His spirit and cause her to walk in His Torah!

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:22-28)

Moses, foreknowing the falling away and exile, must have been very heavy of heart. Hoping to spare them this pain and suffering, he concludes the ceremony with one final plea:

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deut. 30:20-21)

In our second parsha, Vayelech, [He Went], Moses summons Joshua and, ordains him in the sight of all Israel, saying:

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deut. 31:7,8)

In preparation for their departure, Moses distributes copies of the Torah to the priests, the Levites and to all the leaders of Israel (Deut 31:9) with the instruction that it is to be read it every seven years, at the sh’mittah. This would be a constant reminder of a future year of release in which all debts would be cancelled and every man could return to his property. The debt of the Bride’s sin was marked PAID IN FULL by Yeshua’s blood. One Sabbath morning, He proclaimed this year of release as He stood up to read the Isaiah scroll in the synagogue:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord… Today this is fulfilled in your hearing.”
(Luke 4:18-19, 21)

We come now to the final words of Yahweh to his faithful servant Moses,

“Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them. Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ And I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods.” (Deut. 31:16-18)

This lesson would thus end on a very sad and sorrowful note were it not for “the rest of the story” as radio commentator Paul Harvey liked to say, supplied by Yahweh Himself to the prophets.

“I paid them back for their uncleanness and their sins, and I hid my face from them. So this is what the Almighty LORD says: Now I will bring back Jacob’s captives and have compassion for the whole nation of Israel. I will stand up for my holy name. When they live safely in a land where no one will frighten them, they will forget their shame and all the unfaithful things they have done against me. I will bring them back from the other nations and gather them from the countries of their enemies. Many nations will see that I am holy. Then my people will know that I am the LORD their God. I sent them into captivity among the nations, and I brought them back again to their land. I left none of them behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, because I will pour out my Spirit on the nation of Israel, declares the Almighty LORD.” (Ezekiel 39:24-29)

For thus says the LORD: “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here. With weeping they shall come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. “Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’ For the LORD has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. (Jeremiah 31:7-13)

Friends, we are the most blessed people on the planet because, one by one, God is waking us, giving us eyes to see and ears to hear, along with a heart to obey His Torah. Think how He has longed to see the day when His people would truly delight in His Shabbats, would truly delight in His instructions, would willingly leave behind the pagan holidays and other doctrines and traditions of men that have for so long “made the word of God of no effect.” (Mat. 15:6) We are the generation of whom Jeremiah foretold, who are crying, “our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit” (Jer. 16:19) We are the vessels of mercy, those once called “not my people”, who are now called “beloved” and “sons of the living God.”

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.'” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'” (Romans 9:22-26)

This good news should cause us to rise to our feet, to STAND and praise Him with all of our might, to STAND and testify of His goodness and mercy day and night, to STAND to thank Him for His Torah, to STAND with Israel to the four corners of the earth, wherever they have been scattered, and to STAND with our brethren in the modern state of Israel. Until next week, shalom!

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