Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nitzavim/Vayelech "Standing/He went"


"Standing/He went

 Portion 51:   Nitzavim (Standing);   Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20; Isaiah 61:10-63:9; Romans 9:30-10:13; Hebrews 12:14-15

Portion 52:  Vayelekh (He went);   Deuteronomy 31:1-30; Hosea 14:2-10; Micah 7:18-20; Joel 2:15-27; Hebrews 13:5-8

This Portion is read along with the next weeks portion in regular years.   During leap years, the parshas are read separate.

Portion 51:  Nitzavim (Standing)

Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 
9 Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. 10 All of you are standing today in the presence of the LORD your God—your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, 11 together with your children and your wives, and the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. 12 You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the LORD your God, a covenant the LORD is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, 13 to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 14 I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you 15 who are standing here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God but also with those who are not here today.
 16 You yourselves know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries on the way here. 17 You saw among them their detestable images and idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold. 18 Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.
 19 When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, "I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way." This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. [a] 20 The LORD will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 The LORD will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.
 22 Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it. 23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger. 24 All the nations will ask: "Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?"
 25 And the answer will be: "It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the LORD's anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the LORD uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now."
 29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

 Deuteronomy 30

Prosperity After Turning to the LORD
 1 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes [a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. 6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The Offer of Life or Death
 11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.  15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
 19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

 Isaiah 6110 I delight greatly in the LORD;
       my soul rejoices in my God.
       For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
       and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
       as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
       and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
       and a garden causes seeds to grow,
       so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise
       spring up before all nations.

Isaiah 62

Zion's New Name
 1 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,
       for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet,
       till her righteousness shines out like the dawn,
       her salvation like a blazing torch.  2 The nations will see your righteousness,
       and all kings your glory;
       you will be called by a new name
       that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
 3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand,
       a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
 4 No longer will they call you Deserted,
       or name your land Desolate.
       But you will be called Hephzibah, 
       and your land Beulah  ;
       for the LORD will take delight in you,
       and your land will be married.
 5 As a young man marries a maiden,
       so will your sons marry you;
       as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
       so will your God rejoice over you.
 6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
       they will never be silent day or night.
       You who call on the LORD,
       give yourselves no rest,
 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
       and makes her the praise of the earth.
 8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand
       and by his mighty arm:
       "Never again will I give your grain
       as food for your enemies,
       and never again will foreigners drink the new wine
       for which you have toiled;
 9 but those who harvest it will eat it
       and praise the LORD,
       and those who gather the grapes will drink it
       in the courts of my sanctuary."
 10 Pass through, pass through the gates!
       Prepare the way for the people.
       Build up, build up the highway!
       Remove the stones.
       Raise a banner for the nations.
 11 The LORD has made proclamation
       to the ends of the earth:
       "Say to the Daughter of Zion,
       'See, your Savior comes!
       See, his reward is with him,
       and his recompense accompanies him.' "
 12 They will be called the Holy People,
       the Redeemed of the LORD;
       and you will be called Sought After,
       the City No Longer Deserted.

Isaiah 63

God's Day of Vengeance and Redemption
 1 Who is this coming from Edom,
       from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson?
       Who is this, robed in splendor,
       striding forward in the greatness of his strength?
       "It is I, speaking in righteousness,
       mighty to save."  2 Why are your garments red,
       like those of one treading the winepress?
 3 "I have trodden the winepress alone;
       from the nations no one was with me.
       I trampled them in my anger
       and trod them down in my wrath;
       their blood spattered my garments,
       and I stained all my clothing.
 4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
       and the year of my redemption has come.
 5 I looked, but there was no one to help,
       I was appalled that no one gave support;
       so my own arm worked salvation for me,
       and my own wrath sustained me.
 6 I trampled the nations in my anger;
       in my wrath I made them drunk
       and poured their blood on the ground."
Praise and Prayer
 7 I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD,
       the deeds for which he is to be praised,
       according to all the LORD has done for us—
       yes, the many good things he has done
       for the house of Israel,
       according to his compassion and many kindnesses.  8 He said, "Surely they are my people,
       sons who will not be false to me";
       and so he became their Savior.
 9 In all their distress he too was distressed,
       and the angel of his presence saved them.
       In his love and mercy he redeemed them;
       he lifted them up and carried them
       all the days of old.

Romans 9
Israel's Unbelief
 30What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." 33As it is written:
   "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble
      and a rock that makes them fall,
   and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

Romans 10

 1Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. 4Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
 5Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them." 6But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7"or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

 Hebrews 12
Warning Against Refusing God
 14Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

Portion 52:  Vayelekh  (He went)

Deuteronomy 31

Joshua to Succeed Moses
 1 Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: 2 "I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The LORD has said to me, 'You shall not cross the Jordan.' 3 The LORD your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the LORD said. 4 And the LORD will do to them what he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land. 5 The LORD will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."  7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
The Reading of the Law
 9 So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Then Moses commanded them: "At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Feast of Tabernacles, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess."
Israel's Rebellion Predicted
 14 The LORD said to Moses, "Now the day of your death is near. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, where I will commission him." So Moses and Joshua came and presented themselves at the Tent of Meeting.  15 Then the LORD appeared at the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the Tent. 16 And the LORD said to Moses: "You are going to rest with your fathers, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day they will ask, 'Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?' 18 And I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.
 19 "Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them. 20 When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their forefathers, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant. 21 And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath." 22 So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.
 23 The LORD gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: "Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you."
 24 After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, 25 he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD : 26 "Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die! 28 Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to testify against them. 29 For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall upon you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and provoke him to anger by what your hands have made."
The Song of Moses
 30 And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel:

Hosea 14

Repentance to Bring Blessing
 1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God.
       Your sins have been your downfall!  2 Take words with you
       and return to the LORD.
       Say to him:
       "Forgive all our sins
       and receive us graciously,
       that we may offer the fruit of our lips. 
 3 Assyria cannot save us;
       we will not mount war-horses.
       We will never again say 'Our gods'
       to what our own hands have made,
       for in you the fatherless find compassion."
 4 "I will heal their waywardness
       and love them freely,
       for my anger has turned away from them.
 5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
       he will blossom like a lily.
       Like a cedar of Lebanon
       he will send down his roots;
 6 his young shoots will grow.
       His splendor will be like an olive tree,
       his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
 7 Men will dwell again in his shade.
       He will flourish like the grain.
       He will blossom like a vine,
       and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.
 8 O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols?
       I will answer him and care for him.
       I am like a green pine tree;
       your fruitfulness comes from me."
 9 Who is wise? He will realize these things.
       Who is discerning? He will understand them.
       The ways of the LORD are right;
       the righteous walk in them,
       but the rebellious stumble in them.

Micah 7

 18 Who is a God like you,
       who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
       of the remnant of his inheritance?
       You do not stay angry forever
       but delight to show mercy.
 19 You will again have compassion on us;
       you will tread our sins underfoot
       and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
 20 You will be true to Jacob,
       and show mercy to Abraham,
       as you pledged on oath to our fathers
       in days long ago.

Joel 2

 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
       declare a holy fast,
       call a sacred assembly.
 16 Gather the people,
       consecrate the assembly;
       bring together the elders,
       gather the children,
       those nursing at the breast.
       Let the bridegroom leave his room
       and the bride her chamber.
 17 Let the priests, who minister before the LORD,
       weep between the temple porch and the altar.
       Let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD.
       Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
       a byword among the nations.
       Why should they say among the peoples,
       'Where is their God?' "
The LORD's Answer
 18 Then the LORD will be jealous for his land
       and take pity on his people.  19 The LORD will reply to them:
       "I am sending you grain, new wine and oil,
       enough to satisfy you fully;
       never again will I make you
       an object of scorn to the nations.
 20 "I will drive the northern army far from you,
       pushing it into a parched and barren land,
       with its front columns going into the eastern sea
       and those in the rear into the western sea.
       And its stench will go up;
       its smell will rise."
       Surely he has done great things. 
 21 Be not afraid, O land;
       be glad and rejoice.
       Surely the LORD has done great things.
 22 Be not afraid, O wild animals,
       for the open pastures are becoming green.
       The trees are bearing their fruit;
       the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
 23 Be glad, O people of Zion,
       rejoice in the LORD your God,
       for he has given you
       the autumn rains in righteousness.
       He sends you abundant showers,
       both autumn and spring rains, as before.
 24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
       the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
 25 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
       the great locust and the young locust,
       the other locusts and the locust swarm —
       my great army that I sent among you.
 26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
       and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
       who has worked wonders for you;
       never again will my people be shamed.
 27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
       that I am the LORD your God,
       and that there is no other;
       never again will my people be shamed.

Hebrews 13
5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
   "Never will I leave you;
      never will I forsake you."6So we say with confidence,
   "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
      What can man do to me?"
 7Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

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