Ha'azinu - האזינו : "Give ear"
Torah : Deuteronomy 32:1-52
Haftarah : 2 Samuel 22:1-22:51
Gospel : John 20:26-21:25

Thought for the Week:

"Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb. (Deuteronomy 32:2)" Moses prayed that his teaching would be to Israel like rain and dew, which water the grass and vegetation. He compared the people of Israel to the grass and the Torah that he had taught them to life-giving water.

Commentary:

The Apostle Paul used the same metaphor in 1 Corinthians 3. Because he was the first to bring the Corinthian believers to faith, he compared himself to a man who plants seed. Because his colleague Apollos had brought teaching to the Corinthians, Paul compared Apollos to one who waters the seed:

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)

We need to be watered daily with the teaching of God's Word.

Consider the story of a foolish gardener. In the spring he planted some seeds and watered them. He was pleased when they began to grow, and he assumed that he could simply wait for the harvest. He did not think to water the young plants again. "After all, I have already watered them," he said to himself. The plants shriveled up and died.

Many believers behave like the foolish gardener. They espouse faith in Messiah and find relationship with God, but they do not nurture that faith and relationship by regularly watering it with the study of the Word. To live successful lives of faith, we need to drink from the water of the Bible on a regular, daily basis.

A Torah teacher once had the opportunity to address some young Christian teens. Though they had grown up in Christian homes, their own faiths were floundering. They seemed spiritually listless and disinterested in the things of God. Seeking some way of engaging them, he asked them if they played any sports. A few of them said they were involved in karate. He took his cue from this and asked, "How do you become a black belt in karate?" They explained that it required regular lessons, daily practice and discipline, and that certain tests had to be passed. Then he asked, "Do you really think it is easier to be a believer and a disciple of the Master than it is to become a black belt in karate?" He went on to explain, "Just as any skill you want to acquire takes commitment and a routine of daily discipline, so does discipleship. You need to be spending time in prayer, doing good deeds and reading and studying your Bibles on a regular basis, not just once in a while. Do you think a kid who practiced his karate skills as regularly as you are reading your Bible would ever advance by even a single belt?"

The Torah of Moses is like dew and rain that water our souls and enable us to grow into spiritual maturity.

 

First Fruits of Zion, www.ffoz.org

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