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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Ekev 46-3


Deuteronomy 9:4-29

Do not say to yourself, "...because of my righteousness." It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land Š Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness.. you are a stiff-necked people. Remember this and never forget how you provoked the LORD your God to anger in the desert... At Horeb you aroused the LORD's wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you... You also made the LORD angry... But you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. You did not trust him or obey him... You have been rebellious against the LORD ever since I have known you.

Deut. 9:4a, 5a, 6, 7, 8, 22b, 23b, 24 NIV

Why so much rebuke?

How is it possible that Moshe Rabbenu keeps saying again and again that the people are rebellious? Shouldn't he have just encouraged them to live a righteous life instead of rebuking them for their past sins?

It's true that most of the time Moshe spoke words of encouragement, hope and faith to the people he so much loved. But in this instance Moshe urges the people three times not to stress their own righteousness but to remember their rebellion. Wouldn't it be better to forget past sins and focus on the good deeds?

The reason why Moshe Rabbenu admonishes the people in this way is in order for them not to commit such sins again. The one who does not repent thinking that he hasn't done any wrong, will keep on doing what's not right. That's why a person that doesn't see his sin or doesn't understand the severity of the sin must be aware of what he has done till he is ashamed and makes the decision of never doing such thing again. Moshe knew, due to his prophetic sight, that many among the people didn't understand the implications of their sin and were taking the matter too lightly. This is the reason why Moshe reprimands them so much.

Deep down, this entire rebuke comes from a great love and a desire to help the people to go well.

It's unfortunate that many without the same feeling as Moshe have used his words to express their despise against the Jewish people and justify their rejection against them. Because even though they say the same words as Moshe Rabbenu did, the motivation and attitude behind those words are the opposite of those of the great Prophet. It's not the same to say: "It's a rebellious people" from inside with love and concern than to say: "It's a rebellious people" from outside with despise and rejection.

Never use the words of Moshe to point and accuse the Jewish people. Stop criticizing the Rabbis and their writings.

When you rebuke someone make sure that the only thing you want is that that person is blessed and prospered. Never remind a repented person of his past sins. This can only be done when there is absolute certainty that such person hasn't repented.

If you have repented of something, don't let the memory of past sins make you doubt about the forgiveness and justification you received in Messiah Yeshua. At the same time you should never forget what you've done in order to understand what kind of mercy the Eternal has shown you. If it weren't for His forgiveness and mercy we would all be lost and destroyed by the Eternal's righteous wrath.

Blessed be Eternal for His great forgiveness in Messiah Yeshua!


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