Massei – מסעי – Journeys
Many times, we look at what is happening around the world, especially in the middle east, and we ask why? Why are so many nations against Israel? Why is Israel surround by enemies? In this week’s Torah Portion, God gives Israel a specific command to drive out all the inhabitants of Canaan. Let us fast forward in the scriptures.
Israel did not obey the command of God, they did not drive out all the inhabitants of Canaan and they suffered for it throughout history. If Israel had obeyed the command of God, the Bible we read today would be very different. Samson probably would not have died the gruesome way that he did. David probably would not have killed a giant.
God warned Israel that if any of Canaanites remained that they would become like barbs in Israel’s eyes and thorns in their sides. God also warned them that if they did not drive out all of the Canaanites that He would do to Israel what He planned to do to the Canaanites. History shows that Israel was driven out of the Land not once, but twice.
It has been over 50 years since Israel has returned to the Land and the inhabitants are still like barbs in their eyes and thorns in their sides. Looking at everything that Israel has gone through, it is safe to conclude that God’s judgment found in this week’s Torah portion is still in effect. Despite whether or not the current world government known as Israel is living under God’s commands one thing is true; they are still God’s people and we are grafted in with them, we are one with Israel. What happens in Israel affect us all. On September 29, 2011, the United Nations will hold a meeting to decide if Israel should go back to the pre- 1967 borders, a move that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says would weaken Israel’s defense. Let us hope that Israel gets a favorable vote that day.
As you go throughout the week, remember that we are a part of Israel. Pray for our brothers in Judah. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for the Holy Land. Pray for the whole house of Israel. Pray for God’s shalom to cover us all.