Updated: Oct 11
[15-21 Sept 2024]
Theme of the Book of Deuteronomy:
Possessing the Promised Land
Meaning of "ki tavo" = "when you come / go in"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Monday: Deuteronomy 26:12-15
Tuesday: Deuteronomy 26:16-19
Wednesday: Deuteronomy 27:1:10
Thursday: Deuteronomy 27:11-28:6
Friday: Deuteronomy 28:7-69
Shabbat: Deuteronomy 29:1-8 & Isaiah 60:1-22
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
2 Chronicles 7-12
It's the 4th last portion of this year's reading cycle! Last week's portion (Ki Teitzei) meant "when you go out" and this week's Ki Tavo means "when you go in."
Remember that this took place when the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land. Thus, go out (ki teitzei) of the wilderness and into (ki tavo) the Promised Land.
In this portion, Moses tells them that God gave the Promised Land as an eternal inheritance to the Israelites and that they had to settle in the land and cultivate it. It's a little funny considering how much the world tries to prove that Israel does not belong to the Israelites. But that's a story for another day...
What we have to see from this portion is that Moses gave them instruction to cultivate the land. Cultivating the land which the Israelites entered into was part of them receiving the land as a eternal inheritance.
The way to possess any land, is to work it. To cultivate the land by putting a seed in the ground and watching it sprout forth! We cannot possess land without doing something with the land!
This principle applies to all circumstances and situations in our lives as well - our businesses, ministries, family, friendships, everything! We have to cultivate it and put in the effort required. It will not happen on its own, we have to do something from our side!
In the late Gerrit Nel's teaching on Kol Kallah, he linked something to me which I never thought of in that way before. You know, one of those things you've read a million times in the Bible, but one day it just makes different sense? Yes, I know you understand what I'm talking about haha. But in this week's Torah portion video - he links the fact that the very first thing Abba did on this earth was to create a garden. And when He created mankind, He told mankind to cultivate the land! It was connected to the promise of mankind who will possess the earth. To possess the earth, they had to cultivate the ground.
In our religious mindsets, we often believe the lie that we can sit back, and simply "believe" / have faith and that God will do the rest. But this portion (amongst many other Scriptures) reminds us that we have a role to play / an obligation if we want to possess the land and have an eternal inheritance.
In this portion we also see how Moses instructed the Israelites that the first harvest from the land was the "bikorim." The Hebrew word "bikorim" means "first fruits." This instruction was given so that the Israelites (and us as believers still today) would be reminded that God gave them the land. If He didn't, they would have been unable to receive a harvest, thus the first fruits belong to Him! The first three years after the fruit trees were planted, they were instructed to leave the fruit to fall to the ground and not be harvested. Then in the fourth year, the entire harvest was offered to God as a first fruit offering! The fifth year was the first time which they started to receive the benefit of the harvest for themselves. From that harvest the first 10% was continuously given as an offering to continue thanking God! \
Moses reminded the Israelites about the importance of giving thanks to Abba for all which He has done for them. We too should be thanking Him for what He has done and will still do for us. And therefore, the Israelites had to keep on bringing their offerings.
We have read in previous portions about the importance of tithing. But we read about it again in this portion. If we want to possess our land (the promises which Abba has for us), we have to cultivate the land first and foremost. Secondly, we have to give our first fruits and tithes to God - since He is the reason we have everything we do.
If we are unable to give, we cannot expect to receive nor to possess! Possessing is directly linked to giving!
We also see in this portion how Moses instructed half of the Israelites to stand on the one mountain and the other half on the other mountain. This portion is linked to Parashat Re-eh, where the people had to recite the blessings and the curses. In Exodus 6 we read about the 7 promises which Abba declared to the Israelites. In this portion we see how the Israelites then in return declared that God is their God! We declare that God is our God, through doing the things which He tells us to do! And it becomes evident in our lives, when we start to give.
As long as we are unable to give, we are actually proclaiming that money is our god and not God. If we struggle to give and to bless others, we don’t trust that Abba will do what He promised to do! This is where Matthew 6:24 comes in which says that you cannot serve God and mammon at the same time.
At the end of this week’s portion, Moses said to the Israelites that it took them 40 years to reach the point where they now have three things:
1. A heart to know.
2. Eyes to see.
3. Ears to hear.
The heart to know links to the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle. It’s about actually knowing life! This comes from having an intimate relationship with Him.
The eyes to see links to the Light, Who is Yeshua our Messiah. He is the Truth, the Way and the Life! And what we see should be that! We need His Light so that we will be able to walk in His Truth!
The ears to hear is about our obedience. It’s about getting to a place where we can hear His voice and walk according to His instructions in obedience. When we do that, we will get into the continual rhythm of living in His instructions, and also in His blessings. Again we see how the sowing and reaping principle is proven. I always say that it’s impossible to NOT believe in the sowing and reaping principle once you have read through the Bible.
The sowing and reaping principle reminds us once again that Abba’s heart for us is to live in a harvest. When we sow, we will reap a harvest. And depending on what we sow, will determine what we will reap.
The entire theme of this week’s portion is about blessing and curse. When it comes to curses, we need to consider how we deal with it – do we simply accept that it’s the way it is or are we willing to break down the altars and repent for the legal right that held legal right in our bloodlines that enabled the curse to pay out on us? On the flip side lies the blessings. To inherit the blessings, we have to cultivate the land and do our part. God promised the Israelites the Promised Land. But the Israelites had to travel through the desert to get to the Promised Land! God didn’t simply drop the Promised Land from heavens down on them where they were! They had to put in the effort to do their part and to cultivate the land. The same applies to us still to this very day! God changes NOT!
Abba blesses us when we cultivate the land / when we work. And once we receive those blessings, we have to give with that which we received – since everything belongs to Him anyway! We are not called to be reservoirs that keeps everything which we receive from Abba for ourselves. We are called to be rivers of streaming waters of Life! Where we share with others that which Abba have blessed us with – on spirit, soul & body level!
When we receive Abba’s blessing in our lives, our first thought should not be what we can do with that blessing for ourselves. But to ask Abba what it is that He wants us to do with it! We have to ask Him what we can give and how it is that He wants us to bless others with what He has blessed us with!
Gerrit Nel mentioned in his teaching on Kol Kallah, that he finds it so beautiful that Moses and Paul, who wrote the biggest portions of the Bible… both of their heart’s desires were to KNOW God! To have an intimate relationship with Him. To know Abba is to pursue life! When we know Him, we can walk in His Light and His Truth, and that enables us to walk in obedience to His instructions.
A lifestyle of worship and obedience is a life in which we cultivate the land and do what He has called us to do!
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Portion 44: Ki Tavo (The blog you are reading now)