Ha’azinu – Give ear, Listen

Torah portion: Deut. chapter 32
Haftarah: Hosea 14:2–10, Micah 7:18–20, Joel 2:15–27
[when occurring on Sabbath before Yom Kippur]
On regular years: 2 Samuel chapter 22
New Testament: Rev. chapters 14 and 15

This week’s torah portion is very interesting for a number of reasons. For one thing, the words themselves are written on the leaves of the Torah scroll in an odd manner. Instead of a single line of text running across the page, the Song of Moses is separated into two neat columns. Each stanza on the right side of the page is counter-balanced by one opposite it in poetic rhythm.

This is so unique that I took the time to separate the entire Song into two separate columns in English. Afterwards, it seemed to me that the first column could be viewed as the testimony of Earth concerning the parties to the Covenant, while the other could be considered as the testimony of Heaven. The Scripture says, “By the mouth of two or three witnesses shall a matter be established.” (Deut. 17:6, 19:16,Mat. 18:16, 1 Cor. 13:1, 1 Tim. 5:19, Heb. 10:28)

Archeologist and Old Testament scholar G. Earnest Wright, and others, have noticed that the elements of a suzerainty lawsuit are present in The Song of Moses. I found this theory to be quite intriguing. According to Wikipedia, a suzerain is an overlord that controls the foreign relations of a vassal state while allowing it sovereignty in internal affairs.

Did not the Elohim of Israel grant sovereignty to the leaders of Israel? Moses reports, “So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and set them as heads over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officers, throughout your tribes.” (Deut. 1:15) However, at the same time, Yahweh, imposed His authority by declaring His judgments on the nations surrounding them. For example, His foreign policy in regard to the descendants of Esau, Amon, and Moab was to leave them alone (Deut. 2:5,9, 19). In contrast, He instructed Israel to utterly destroy the seven nations occupying Caanan (Deut. 7:1-2).

From this perspective, if we look closely, we can re’eh [see, behold!] in the Song of Moses the voice of a prosecutor who calls witnesses, introduces the Complainant, summarizes the case, presents evidence of the faithfulness of the Complainant as well as the unfaithfulness of the accused, and, finally, announces both verdict and sentence. With this idea in mind, I invite you to enter the Heavenly courtroom. “Ha’azinu,” dear children, means “listen very carefully,” as Moses brings a case against the Bride.

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.” (Deut. 32:1)

Assuming the role of prosecuting attorney, Moses opens by calling for two witnesses. Israel is accused of idolatry, which, in the eyes of the Creator, is a capital crime. Torah precludes a death sentence unless there be “two or three witnesses.” In this case, the Heavens and the Earth bear testimony Israel’s history, as well as her future, which is foretold in the Song.

“May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.” (Deut. 32:2)

Moses pauses to beseech Heaven that the instructions God has given to Israel though him [Torah] will cause those who sh’ma [listen with a heart prepared to obey] to flourish as luxuriously as grasses and shrubs that are the beneficiary of plentiful showers. Then, Moses announces the Complainant.

“For I will proclaim the name Yud, Hey, Vav, Hey; ascribe greatness to our God! “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” (32:3)

Here, Moses introduces the Suzerain: Yud, Hey, Vav, Hey or Yahweh, as some of us say. The God of Israel revealed Himself to Moses by many Names. Moses knew God as “Elohim”[ God, Judge], “El Shaddai” [The Almighty], “El Elyon” [The Most High], “Adonai” [Lord or Master], “Yahweh Nissi” [The Lord my Banner], “Yahweh Rapha” [The Lord my Healer], “Yahweh Yireh” [The Lord my Provider],“Yahweh Raw-aw’ ” [The Lord my Shepherd], “E’ben of Israel”, [Rock of Israel], “Yahweh M-qadash” [the Lord who Sanctifies], “El Olam” [The Everlasting God], and, finally, “Qanna” [Jealous]. But, the Name Moses chose to use in the presence of the Two Witnesses is the one that God revealed to Moses after Israel built a golden calf and Yahweh threatened to annihilate them, or at best, to send them into the Promised Land without Him.

And [Moses] said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” And the LORD said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD’ [Yud, Hey, Vav, Hey] And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. (Exodus 33:15-19)

Yud, Hey, Vav, Hey is not the God of Judgment,  is not the Almighty God, not the Jealous God, or the Most High God whom Moses introduces to the two witnesses.  Rather, it is the God of Grace and Mercy whom Moses reveals as Complainant; and, just in case there are those present in the courtroom who are unaware of whom Moses speaks, he add to his introduction:

“The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” (Deut. 32:4)

Who is “The Rock?” We will go first to the New Testament, where Paul boldly identifies the Rock as Messiah Yeshua to the congregation at Corinth.

” For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Messiah. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.” (1 Cor. 10:1-6).

According to Paul, “The Rock” is Messiah. Are we supposed to take that literally or is this just spiritual gibberish? Let’s ask the man after God’s own heart, David.

“Yahweh is my Rock and my fortress and my deliverer.” (2 Sam. 22:2)

“my God, my Rock, in whom I take refuge, [is] my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my Savior…. (2 Sam. 22:3)

These are tiny samplings from David’s own Song, recorded in 2 Sam.2: 1-53, penned just before the end of his life. I hope you will take time to read all of it. It is actually the haftarah for Ha’azinu in years when the portion falls after Yom Kippur. It is oh! SO rich! but time and space do not allow me to comment. We will, however, let David sum up his praise to the “Rock of Israel” who converses with him.

“Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel: “The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.” (2 Sam 23:1-4)

Do you see the answer to Moses’ prayer? What is “like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth”? It is God’s “word”, His torah, or instruction. David understood that to live by God’s instruction is to live justly, in the fear of God. It is undeniable that David had a “personal” relationship with the Rock. A sampling of other of David’s psalms further demonstrates the intimacy David enjoyed with His Savior:

“To you, O LORD, I call; my Rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.” (Psalm 28:1)

“For you are my Rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me. (Psalm 31:3)

He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved…On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my refuge is God.” (Psalm 62:2,7)

There are many other examples found in David’s psalms; but, let us stop here and go to the prophet Isaiah:

“For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge” (Isaiah 17:10)

“Trust in [Yahweh]the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting Rock.” (Isaiah 26:4)

“You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:29)

Did you get that? When we keep a Feast, it is the Rock of Israel who meets us!

Moses had a few encounters with The Rock. The first was at Horeb (another name for Mount Sinai). When the people found there was no water, and murmured, Yahweh said to Moses,

“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (Exodus 17:6)

Here is an allusion to Messiah’s suffering. After the crucifixion, Messiah would be “struck” by the soldier’s spear, whereupon blood and water would flow from his side at Calvary. The blood represents atonement for our sin; the water represents the Torah, the Living Water by which we can live [thrive] and keep our garments clean.

Let’s glance back at Moses other encounter with The Rock after the golden calf incident. After Yahweh assured Moses that he had found favor with Him and would definitely accompany him and the people to the Promised Land, Moses asked God to show him His glory.

Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” [God] said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:18-23)

The Hebrew word translated as “cleft” comes from a root word that means “pierced.” Are you getting the picture? Yahweh put Moses in the “pierced place” of the rock, surely another allusion to Messiah. But, we need to stop and examine God’s statement “my face shall not be seen.” A few verses earlier in the same chapter, we read “thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face.”

“Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses. And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.” (Exodus 33:7-11)

What do we do with this direct contradiction?

The book of Proverbs contains a very important principle for us to consider. “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but is the glory of kings to search a matter.”(Proverbs 25:2) If we are part of the Bride, then we are ruling with God as priests and kings; therefore it is our glory to search out things that Abba has concealed. Bill Cloud, one of my favorite Messianic teachers, explains that God hides things to provoke His children to find them, kind of like a game of hide and seek. So, who is “hiding” in these Scriptures? My dear children, if you have ears to hear and eyes to see, it is Messiah Himself!

This rocked my boat a few years ago. Dear children, there are TWO Yahwehs! Yahweh the Father and Yahweh the Son! It really should not surprise us. After all, don’t your sons carry the same name as their father? Why shouldn’t the Son of the Most High God carry His name? But, wait! I can almost hear modern Judaism screaming “heresay!” and angrily shouting the Sh’ma. “Sh’ma Israel, YHWH eloheinu, YHWH echad.” This is exactly the reason the first century religious leaders picked up stones to kill Yeshua.

Who is correct? The answer is: BOTH!

Yahweh and His Son are One indeed! Yeshua’s own words confirm the Sh’ma:

“I and My Father are One” (John 10:30). “And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.” (John 12:44-45) “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” (John 12:49) “Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” (John 14:24)

When Yeshua said, “I and My Father are One,” He did not mean that He is THE FATHER; but, rather, that He and the Father are ONE in SPIRIT. They are inextricably united by the Spirit of God. Therefore, Yeshua speaks the words of His Father and does the works that His Father instructed Israel. In other words, He kept His Father’s commandments and taught others to do them, because “He is the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15); “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3). Therefore, He is the greatest in His Father’s kingdom:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”(Mat. 5:17-19)

My children, do you recall the Scripture which says “Yeshua Messiah is the same, yesterday, today, and forever”? Are you beginning to understand that Yahweh the Son was with Yahweh the Father “from the beginning”? This means Messiah was present as the universe was being created. In fact, He was more involved than perhaps we have ever considered:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made”? (John 1:1-3) “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:13-16) “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Does it make sense that if “by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth,” that He would be less than involved in His creation after “the beginning”? I submit to you that He is HIGHLY involved! He is found in the pages of the Tenach; but you have to search for Him. “It is the glory of kings to search out a matter.”

Near the end of their 38 years of wandering in the desert, after Miriam’s death; the people complained again about having no water. This time, Yahweh told Moses to speak to the rock. But, Moses, at his wits end with the murmurers and complainers, was overcome by anger and struck the rock twice instead, thereby losing his opportunity to cross the Jordan with the children of Israel.

“Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” (Numbers 20;8-12) According to the Interlinear Bible, which translates each word in Hebrew, the text actually reads: “Speak unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth HIS water.”

Do you see Messiah in the rock? Paul apparently did; that is why he could boldly proclaim, “For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, AND THE ROCK WAS MESSIAH! ” (1Corinthians 10:4, emphasis mine)

Whereas, the first encounter with The Rock was to demonstrate that Messiah would be struck at Calvary; this time Moses was supposed to speak to The Rock so that the people would learn to come to Him for their needs instead of murmuring and complaining. As great as he was, Moses was human, too. [The good news is that though Moses did not cross over with the children of Israel, he did cross over! You can find him, along with Elijah and Yeshua at the Mount of Transfiguration. (Mat. 17:1-9, Mark 9:1-10)

Back to the Torah portion, Moses introduces the accused:

“But Yahweh’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.” (Deut. 32:9)

The Hebrew word cheleg, translated as “portion,” means something separated out of a larger whole; but, in addition, carries the meaning of something very dear and treasured. It is the idea of a remnant; but it is much more. William Bullock, a.k.a. The Rabbi’s Son, explains cheleq as a covenant concept. It is what each partner wholeheartedly desires to obtain through the relationship. Cheleg then, to me, represents the fullness of one’s aspirations, expectations, hopes and dreams, plans, targets, and goals for a marriage. That, my friends, is HUGE! By stating that Jacob is His cheleg, Yahweh is admitting that His entire future—His aspirations, expectations, hopes and dreams, plans, targets, and goals– is bound up by covenant with Jacob!

Stop and think about that for a moment. The Creator of the Universe has done the most ridiculous thing human beings can imagine! He, the uncontainable, unrestrainable, unfathomable, has allowed Himself to be ETERNALLY BOUND UP with a weak, manipulative, WORM (see Isaiah 41:14). Why on earth (or in Heaven) would He possibly DO SUCH A THNG? It is because, God SO loved the world. He knew the one that He designated as “the light of the world” at Mount Sinai would die with only a flicker of light having been seen by the nations. He knew that the second generation would give little more illumination and that the days of the Judges would be very dark indeed. He foreknew Jeroboam’s irreversible apostasy that resulted in both Northern and Southern Kingdom in exile. He knew that the rabbis in the intertestimentary period would create what they saw as a “new and improved” progressive religion, modifying God’s Word by adding their doctrines and traditions of men (Mat. 15:3ff). He knew that after the deaths of the apostles Christianity would do the very same thing by subtracting the Torah and claiming that it had been nailed to the cross. He knew it all and He decided to use the colossal failure of the Two Houses of Israel to create the perfect condition for salvation to be offered to the entire world! Further, He knew that, in the process, Jacob the worm would become Israel the overcomer!

The prophets foretold it; but they didn’t understand it. The disciples were informed; but they didn’t “get it.” It was only when the “sheet” was let down from heaven that Peter’s eyes were opened (Acts 10 and 11). The “sheet” was actually a tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl worn by a Jewish bridegroom that when placed over a wooden structure [alluding to the “cross”?] becomes the huppah [bridal chamber] where Bride and Groom stand during a Hebrew wedding! The nations of the world, who were shown to Peter in the imagery of beasts, were wrapped in Yeshua’s tallit! Peter said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”(Acts 10:34-35) Along with Israel, the nations of the world are invited to become His Bride!

This parsha, like the rest, is divided into seven aliyahs by the rabbis. “Aliyah” means to ascend. Thus, as we study each week’s portion, taking into counsel the whole word of God, we reach higher and higher into the realm of spiritual truth until we reach the end of the book of Deuteronomy. We have noted the last several weeks that Yeshua quoted the book of Deuteronomy more than any other. Can this be any coincidence? As we start the new cycle of readings, after Sukkot, hopefully we begin on a higher plane than last year, growing in grace and knowledge as the years go by. On a physical level, a Jew from the nations immigrates to Israel and “makes aliyah.” When traveling to Jerusalem from anywhere in Israel, or for that matter, anywhere in the Middle East, one must “go up” or ascend Mount Zion. At 2700 feet above sea level, it towers above other mountains in the region. The prophets foretell of a time when the nations of the earth will gladly make aliyah to Jerusalem in order to receive Abba’s instructions. “Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law [torah], and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3, Micah 4;2)

A close inspection of the book of Romans reveals Paul’s commentary on Ha’azinu. Messianic Rabbi Yaakov benYosef ¬ has put much thought into this:

Before his death, Moshe warned Yisrael that the nation would not always be faithful to HaShem. Devarim [Deut] 32:15-18 states “Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.”

Moshe prophesied that Yisrael would eventually turn to Idolatry and forget the God who delivered us from Egypt. However, according to Rav Shaul an integral part of interpreting this prophecy is the understanding that Yisrael’s unfaithfulness allows HaShem’s plan for the world to be fulfilled. Devarim [Deut] 32:20-21 states “He said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward generation, children in whom is no faith. They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those, which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.”

Rav Shaul’s interpretation of Devarim 32:21 starts in Romans 10:19 when he states, “Did not Israel know? First Moses said, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.” From this quotation Rav Shaul begins to explain that the foolish nation mentioned in Devarim 32:21 consists of gentiles. Rav Shaul is literally interpreting Devarim, 32:21. This is because the word used for nation in Devarim 32:21 is goy. When translated the Hebrew word goy refers to anyone who is not Jewish. Therefore, Rav Shaul interpreted this passage to show how HaShem would use gentiles to provoke Yisrael to jealously. Romans 11:11 states, “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” Rav Shaul understands that when Yisrael turned away from HaShem and practiced Idolatry it allowed HaShem’s plan of salvation to come to the gentiles.

In the next verse, Rav Shaul then explains that through the salvation of gentiles HaShem intends to bring Yisrael to fullness as Romans 11:12 states “Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?” In the following two passages, Rav Shaul then explains how salvation of the gentiles will bring about the fullness of Yisrael. Romans 11:13-14 states “I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.”

Rav Shaul states that as an emissary to gentiles he magnifies his office, in hopes that he might provoke Yisrael to emulation. In other words, by teaching gentiles Rav Shaul hopes that he will provoke many of his Jewish brethren to live a lifestyle that is founded on his example of faith in Yeshua and established in the Torah. [Cathy’s note: Paul hopes his example of being a light to the world by observing the Torah AND proclaiming the salvation offered by Yeshua will provoke the Jews to fulfill their calling to also be a light to the world.]

This agrees with Rav Shaul’s previous comment in Romans 3:29-31 where he states, “Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the Torah through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the Torah.” Rav Shaul clearly believes that gentiles and Jews are both justified by faith so that the Torah will be established.

This agrees with Ezekiel 36:26-27 which states “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Rav Shaul then makes the promise that when Yisrael has faith in Yeshua and establishes the Torah through faith, it will reconcile the world and a transforming experience will occur as Romans 11:14 states “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”

Thank God for Rabbi Yaakov benYosef who opened my eyes to Paul’s teaching on Ha’azinu! Let us consider that we also are part of the “life from the dead.”

“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry.And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.” So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.” (Ezekiel 37:1-14)

When we realize that we have received a heart of flesh on which Abba is writing His instructions, that HE has given us eyes to see the fulness of the gospel and ears to sh’ma [hear and obey], that we are included in the dry bones of Ezekiel’s prophecy who are netzavim [standing], as we saw last week, standing up and standing for Yahweh’s torah, Yahweh’s Messiah, Yahweh’s land, and Yahweh’s people, we can only fall on our faces, recognizing that we are truly the most blessed people who have ever walked on this planet!

As we continue to bow before our Father during the Ten Days of Awe that lead up to Yom Kippur, may He search us and try us and expose anything that needs to be confessed, adjusted, or removed so that we can stand before Him on the rehearsal of the Day of Atonement next Shabbat, worthy to wear our white garments. Until next week, shalom!