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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Ki Tavoh 50-7

When you come

Deuteronomy 29:2 (1) - 29:9 (8)

And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: "You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land,  the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

Deut. 29:2-4 ESV

Who understands what he sees?

Even though the sons and daughters of Israel had seen many wonders in Egypt and all the miracles the Eternal was doing for them during forty years in the desert, Moshe says, through prophetic revelation, that they had not yet understood these things. What is it that they had not understood? Can anyone see and experience things without really understanding what is going on?

Similar expressions have been found in our great Rabbi's mouth when he says: ""Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?" They said to Him, "Twelve." "Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?" And they said, "Seven." So He said to them, "How is it you do not understand?"" (Mark 8:17b-21 NKJV)

And in John 12:37-41 it's written: "But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?" Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them." These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him. (NKJV)

These texts are saying that it is actually possible to see great miracles and still not understand. The truth is that everyone understood that the miracles were done by the Eternal's hand. That was not the point. Of course they understood that the Eternal was performing those miracles directly or through men. Then, what is it that they couldn't understand?

I believe that all this issue has to do with the sensitivity of people's hearts. When the Eternal shows His power it must have a great impact and produce something deep in each of those who experience it. A person with an insensitive heart sees but is not deeply moved within by the Eternal's wonders. When the Eternal works among us He expects total surrender from us in the face of His greatness and love. The logical thing is that anyone who has seen such wonderful miracles opens wide his heart and connects fully with the Eternal's presence. But the majority of the sons of Israel had not done that.

All the miracles they had seen by the hand of the first redeemer and by the hand of the second Redeemer were not only performed to confront the evil powers and deliver the oppressed but to create a totally submitted people, obedient to a God who not only can do such things but who also shows His presence among us through them.

The Almighty is among us and we don't fully perceive Him! That is the problem!

Every time we doubt His love, we do it because we don't have a heart that understands what it has seen. Every time we complain about circumstances it is because our eyes haven't perceived that the Eternal is with us, guiding us through the desert. Every time we doubt His presence and help it is because we haven't yet received ears to listen to His word.

May the Eternal, who is good, open our hearts, eyes, and ears to be sensitive and perceive His glory and presence among us and never again doubt Him and His goodwill toward us, so that we can be faithful and walk always with him.

Shabbat Shalom


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