The Bible Law of Reciprocity—You Reap What You Sow

Genesis 28:22, I will surely give the tenth. To whom would Jacob ultimately tithe? We don’t know, but Jacob may have been making a prophecy about his descendants bringing their tithes and offerings to the house of El or the temple that would eventually be built on that exact spot.

Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28 was his first, life-changing personal encounter with the Elohim of his fathers (Gen 28:10ff). What was his response? It was to serve YHVH and to worship him by giving him one-tenth (a tithe) of his increase (verse 22). What prompted this response on Jacob’s part? Why was such a response appropriate?

When did you have your first encounter with your Heavenly Father and Master? In following the example of Jacob, have you faithfully used the first fruits of your increase to honor, worship and express your gratitude to him ever since? If not, why not? Scripture calls not tithing “robbing Elohim” and that as a result a curse may be on your finances (see Mal 3:8–11). Proverbs 3:9 lays out a solid truth about how tithing is a form of worshipping the Creator. “Honour [glorify] YHVH with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase, so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”

The Scriptures reveal the importance of the spiritual law of reciprocity; namely, you reap what you sow (Gen 8:22; Gal 6:7–9). If you don’t sow you will not reap. If you sow evil or good you will reap the same. Jacob had to learn this law the hard way. In Job 4:8 we read, “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.”

Jacob gained the birthright through posing as Esau (a deception) and Laban in turn deceives Jacob by putting Leah under the veil posing as Rachel in Jacob’s marriage bed. It is very easy to see the principle of reaping and sowing in others’ lives, but can we see it in our own life? This is very difficult to do! Aren’t we prone to concoct every excuse and argument imaginable to justify our sinful actions and then blame the results on others? Prayerfully take a long and hard look at your life, examine hardships and trials, and honestly ask yourself the question: Am I reaping what I have sown? It is never too late to repent and make a course correction—to bring your life into agreement with YHVH’s Word and will, so you can start reaping Elohim’s blessings.

Honesty, patience and submission to authority are fruits of righteousness. What did YHVH have to teach Jacob about these fruits of the Spirit? Jacob was impatient in submitting to YHVH’s will and waiting for the birthright to come to him in a righteous way. How did YHVH use Laban to correct these character flaws in Jacob? Jacob had to go into the Babylonian world for a season in order to be refined before being ready to be a patriarch worthy of honor and an example of righteousness as the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.

What is YHVH allowing you to go through to refine you of character flaws and defects to prepare you for the future mission he has for you? Are you submitting to his refining fires that are burning the wood, hay and stubble out of your life (1 Cor 3:12–15), or are you resisting him thereby forcing him to “turn up the heat” of his discipline to help you “to get the point” and learn your lesson? (Read Heb 12:5–15.)

Jacob was forced to go east (toward Babylon) as a form of exile and punishment for his sins. After serving as a bondservant to Laban for 20 years, he returned westward to Canaan, the land of promise. This eastward-westward movement was a pattern followed by Jacob’s descendants later on several occasions. Even Abraham left Babylon and went west to Canaan. What are the prophetic implications of this in the end times when YHVH is calling his people to “come out” of spiritual Babylon (Rev 18:4)?

Jacob builds a complete family in “exile” consisting of twelve tribal leaders. To return to the Promised Land of Canaan, he had to encounter Esau (or Edom) who is the father of many of the modern day Arab peoples. What is this a prophetic picture of? Did history repeat itself when the Jewish exilic remnant again encountered Esau’s descendants when they come back from Babylon under Ezra and Nehemiah? Isn’t this same thing happening again in our time as the exiled Jews return to Israel—their ancestral and Elohim-given homeland? Who currently is opposing their return and is openly vowing to annihilate them? Consider Edom’s opposition to Jacob past, present and future. What (or who) is really behind this opposition to Israel’s (Jacob’s) inheriting his birthright that includes a land inheritance whose borders are from Egypt to the Euphrates River in modern Iraq?

Jacob vowing to tithe to Elohim was his acknowledging his submission to Elohim and to his will—that Elohim was the Lord over his life. Complete submission to Elohim came hard for Jacob. The same is true for us, and when we tithe this is an act of worship of Elohim and acknowledgement that we have come to a higher place of surrender in our lives.

 

The Old and New Covenants and the Law of Cause and Effect

Deuteronomy 7:12, Because you listen. This verse shows the conditional nature of the Mosaic Covenant. Blessings are conditional upon obedience to YHVH’s Torah instructions in righteousness. It was a person’s choice to obey or not. Either way, the law of cause and effect would come into play. Blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience.

The law of cause and effect sets into a motion a series of consequences.

The law of cause and effect sets into a motion a series of consequences.

The same is true with the New Covenant. If we place our faith in Yeshua the Messiah,who is the Living Torah, and love him by keeping his commandments (John 14:15), we will not only be blessed physically blessed here and now, but we will be blessed with eternal life. Those who refuse to place their faith in Yeshua and obey his commandments will receive the fruit of their disobedience now, and will also perish in the lake of fire.

The law of cause and effect still applies to both the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant, and humans will reap the consequence of their actions based on the choices they make whether good or bad. It’s that simple.

 

Judgment, judgment, judgment and more judgement—YHVH is knocking on the door

Leviticus 26:1–46, Blessing and curses based on obedience to YHVH’s Torah-Word. The corollary to this passage is Deuteronomy chapter 28. These judgments come upon a people who have forgotten their Elohim because they have been blessed materially and in their self-sufficiency have forgotten who the source of their blessings is, and that their blessings are contingent upon obedience to YHVH. These principles are universal, yet how we tend to forget the cycles of history that repeat themselves over and over again like the unstoppable turning of giant millstone grinding into powder those who refuse to learn the lessons from the past. Each generation proudly asserts it’s exceptionalism and that, somehow, it’s immune to YHVH’s inexorable and immutable principles of divine judgment. Only in the perfect hindsight of history can we see the fallacy of this assumption. Ancient Israel failed to learn these lessons as have subsequent nations who claimed to follow the Bible.

32031970

In the case of America, and Great Britain before her (and other Christian nations as well), there was in former times a national consciousness of core biblical values and, to one degree or another, a public acknowledgement, acceptance of and respect for the God of the Bible. However, as a nation becomes blessed, it reaches an apogee of prominence, power and wealth where it becomes rich and increased with goods and no longer needs Elohim — or so it thinks. It become fat and forgets the source of its wealth and falls into a state of self-sufficiency leading to spiritual blindness to recognize its true spiritual state (recall YHVH’s warning to a lukewarm church in Rev 3:14–22). This can happen to individuals, churches and to whole societies.

Because YHVH loves his people and wants to walk among them, to be their Elohim and to bless them (Lev 26:12), when they disobey him and walk in ways that are harmful to their well-being, like any loving parent, he is forced to discipline them. Again and again he sends them his prophets and watchmen to warn them that they’re on a path of self-destruction. But because their hearts are uncircumcised, they refuse to humble themselves and repent (Lev 26:41). It’s the same old story over and over again. Human pride insists that “judgments can’t happen to us because we’re so special.” “All things will continue as they have from the beginning” a self-assured society retorts in mocking and scoffing tones to all those who would hold them accountable for their errant ways (2 Pet 3:3–7). If only the great nations and empires that have already trod this well-worn path and are now in the dust bin of history could speak from their graves and this generation had heart ears to hear!

As a loving Father, YHVH doesn’t lower the boom of his full discipline immediately upon his wayward children. He increases the dosage incrementally in hopes that each successive ratcheting down of his judgments will heal the spiritual sickness of his people and bring them to a point of humility and confession of their iniquity (or Torahlessness, Lev 26:40). In this chapter, YHVH reveals four sets of judgments with each one becoming seven times more severe than the previous one (Lev 26:18, 21, 24, 28). This reminds us of YHVH’s end-times judgments upon a rebellious world that has given itself over to devil worship just prior to the return of Yeshua as prophesied in the book of Revelation. There are seven seals, seven trumpets, seven thunders and finally seven bowl judgments.

What can you do? You may not be able to change society, but a societal change begins one step and one life at a time — with your life! That’s the only thing for certain that you can change. You know what needs to be done. Just listen to your conscience — to YHVH’s Spirit knocking at the door of your heart (Rev 3:20), and then repent and obey. It’s that simple.

 

The Torah on the Mount of Curses?

Deuteronomy 27:2, 4, 8, Set up great stones. On Mount Ebal on whole, un-cut stones, the Israelites were to write the Torah-law and then coat these stones with lime plaster. Elohim also told them to build an altar there where they were to make burnt and peace offerings.

Why was Torah written on stones on Mount Ebal—the mountain of the curses? Why not on Mount Gerizim, the mountain of blessing? Certainly this cannot mean that the Torah is a curse, for Paul calls it kadosh (holy), just and good in Romans 7:12.

What could the stones represent? Who is the Chief Cornerstone, the Stone the builders rejected (Ps 118:22; Matt 21:42; Acts 4:11; Eph 2:20), and the stone cut without hands (Dan 2:34)? What was the purpose of these offerings and to whom do the burnt and peace offerings point?

Could lime plaster represent robes of righteousness? Who is clothed in robes of righteousness once sins have been atoned for? (Read Rev 19:7–8 cp. 3:5,18; Isa 61:10.) Who was wounded for our ­transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, had laid on him the iniquities of us all, and was made an offering for sin (Isa 53:5, 6, 10)? Who was the Living Torah, the Word of Elohim made flesh (John 1:1,14)?

Who redeemed us from the curses of the law (Gal 3:13), which came upon us as a result of our sinning (sin is the violation of YHVH’s law, 1 John 3:4), and thus bringing a death penalty upon us (the wages of sin is death, Rom 6:23)?

Does it now make sense why the Torah and the altar were placed on Mount Ebal? This is another one of the many prophetic shadow pictures in the Torah pointing to the redemptive work of Yeshua at the cross.

Does this strengthen your faith that Yeshua is indeed the Messiah, the Lamb of Elohim slain from the foundation of the earth? Who else could have fulfilled these prophecies?

 

A Blessing and a Curse — The Oak Trees of Moreh and a Kingdom of Priests

(This study is taken from Natan’s Torah study guide for Parashat Re’eh.)

Deuteronomy 11:26–28, This Torah portion begins with the words,

Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if you will obey the commandments of YHVH your Elohim, which I command you this day; and a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of YHVH your Elohim, to go after other gods, which you have not known. (Deut 11:26–28)

After this, in verse 29, YHVH instructs the Israelites that upon entering the Promised Land, they are to stop between the mountains of Gerizim and Ebal, which are located at the entry point of the land. The former mountain represents a blessing, while the later represents a curse. The town of Shechem is located between the two mountains.

The Hebrew word Shechem means “shoulder” or “back” (Strong’s H7927). The shoulder supports the head, which through the disposition of the mind and the direction in which the head is pointed, determines the path a person will walk whether good or evil. It was at Shechem, between the two mountains representing good and evil, that Israel renewed its covenant with YHVH before entering the Promised Land (Josh 8:30–35).

The power of the covenant that the people made with YHVH on that day thousands of years ago is still visible in the modern land of Israel: Mount Ebal is bare and devoid of vegetation, while Mount Gerizim is lush and green with foliage. This fact stands as a loud testimony and reminder to man today to the power of blessing and cursing, and to the reality and validity of YHVH’s Torah, its covenants and its ability to bless or curse us depending on whether we obey it or not.

Israel renewed its covenant with YHVH at Shechem at the plains (or oak trees) of Moreh (Deut 11:30). What was significant about this place? It was this exact spot, at the entry point to the Promised Land, that YHVH had established his covenant with Abraham some 500 years earlier. We read about this in Genesis 12:6, “And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem unto the plain [or oak] of Moreh [or teacher].” And it was to this exact spot that YHVH brought Israel to both fulfill and renew his promises he had made to Abraham. It was there YHVH would begin to teach them to walk victoriously and righteously before him in their promised inheritance IF they would choose to obey his Torah (or his instructions in righteousness) and to turn their backs on the pagan gods and practices of the nations around them. It was at the same spot that Jacob, upon entering the Promised Land, buried all his family’s false gods and pagan accoutrements (Gen 35:4). Continue reading