This week’s Torah Portion is a very important one, in which Moshe says הַסְכֵּת | וּשְׁמַע יִשְֹרָאֵל הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה נִהְיֵיתָ לְעָם לַיהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ “Pay attention, and hear O Israel, on this day you have become a people to God, your God.” The reason this week’s Portion is so important is its relation to what it means to be “a people belonging to God?” Moshe and the Priesthood are saying to the people, you actually have a relationship with God. Our relationship with God is not just in word, but is also in deed (how we live your lives). To summarize Devarim / Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8, Moshe instructs the Israelites regarding the first fruits offering; Moses then lists the blessings for keeping the commandments and the curses for disobeying them. These things are related to a choice that is presented to all of us, whether we will choose to follow what God commands, or reject it. Whether we choose to humble our lives before God and men, or pridefully refuse. The question is, “if a person chose not to follow God’s laws or to walk in God’s ways will he still belong to God?” This is a very important question for us today as it is related to the blessings and the curses listed here in the Scriptures. Do you believe God sends blessings and curses to His people? Has the Lord God blessed and cursed you in your life? If so, how, and if not, why? These are important questions because the Scriptures state on the one hand, “If you listen to God and carry out God’s commandments, the Lord God will set you above all the nations of the earth. You will be blessed in the city and in the field. Blessed will be the fruit of your body and the fruit of your soil and the fruit of your livestock. Blessed will you be when you come in and when you go out.” And on the other hand, “But it shall come to pass that if you will not listen to the voice of God, nor carry out God’s commandments that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.” These are serious statements that need to be considered. Modern theologies today however reject what is written here as having any place in our lives today. The basic premise comes from what we read in…


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