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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

VaYelech 52-2

And (he) walked

Deuteronomy 31:4-6

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. "

Deut. 31:6 KJV

When does the Eternal go with us?

In this verse the Torah goes from plural to singular referring to the people. First it says: "Be strong and of good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them," in plural; and then it says: "for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee," in singular. (In the Hebrew original the difference between plural and singular is clear). In the second part of the text the Torah speaks to the people as if they were one.

This teaches us that the promise of the divine presence in war depends on the people's unity. On one hand, each one of them has to make an effort to be strong and brave, not to be afraid or terrified before their powerful enemies, thinking that the Eternal is present. But on the other hand, the Eternal's presence is not promised to the plurality of the people, but to its unity. That's why also each one must make an effort to be and remain united with his companions.

Should the people be divided, the Eternal's presence wouldn't be with them because HaShem is He who goes with "thee" and not with "you" in plural.

The same principle can be seen in chapter 20, which speaks about the preparations for war. In verse 4 the priest days to the people: "For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you" – in plural. But later, the officers will have to take out of the army those who have built a house, planted a vine, married a woman, and those who are afraid. In that way, the army is cleansed of all division causing element. Then, in verse 10 the Eternal speaks to the people in terms of unity: " When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it..."

The people's unity creates great strength and it is a condition for the Eternal to be with them and never forsake them.

When we are in a spiritual battle with pressure from all sides it's easy to start thinking and talking ill about our brothers. That is the enemy of our soul's best tactic. He knows that if we fight against each other the Eternal's presence will leave and we won't be able to have victory in the battle.

So, be very careful when you are under spiritual pressure, not to turn against your loved ones or even yourself. Do not criticize anyone, not even yourself. Make an effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Don't pay attention to the things that bother you; lift up your eyes and set them on the common goal. Don't let yourself be fooled by accusation or discouraging emotions. Make the decision in your heart to keep loving and showing love to those close to you in spite of the differences and so, the Eternal's Spirit and glory will come upon the community for victory in the spiritual world.

"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:22-23 NIV)

"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Anointed One that of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." (1 Cor. 1:10 NIV revised)

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." (Col. 3:12-14 ESV)



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