On Blessings, Curses and Divine Judgment

Leviticus 26:1–46, Blessings 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 is the source of their blessings. The Torah continually stresses that blessings are contingent upon obedience to YHVH. Similarly, Yeshua reveals that rewards in his everlasting kingdom are also contingent on obedience to his Torah-laws. The greater the obedience, the greater the reward (Matt 5:17).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 people who claimed to follow the Bible.

In the case of America, and Great Britain before her (and other formerly European Christian nations as well), there was in times past a national consciousness of core biblical values and, to one degree or another, a general public acknowledgement, acceptance of and respect for the Elohim 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 in that it fails 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 of pride, they refuse to humble themselves and repent (Lev 26:40–41). 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 and no evil shall befall us” a self-assured society and individual 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 people, nations and empires that have already trodden 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!

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Seek Elohim and Be Blessed!

Psalm 112:1, Blessed is the man. YHVH promises blessing upon those who fear him and delight in his commandments. This is such a simple concept to understand that it’s shocking that more people can’t grasp it! When you acknowledge the Almighty Creator of all things, who is the Just Judge of the universe and the Supreme Lawgiver and you seek him, serve him with reverence and live by his rules, it all stands to reason that you’ll reap some benefits. The blessings resulting therefrom are incalculable; the psalmist lists a few of them in the following verses.

Verse 2—His descendants will be mighty upon the earth. The  Hebrew word for mighty is gibbor meaning “powerful; by implication warrior, or champion, chief, giant, mighty, strong (man), valiant.” When we think of the concept of mighty, we mustn’t fall into the trap of defining mighty as the world defines it, which usually involves money, power and fame. One can be gibbor in YHVH’s sight and not possess those attributes that society requires for one to be considered “great” or “mighty.”

Verse 3—He will possess wealth and riches. Wealth is the Hebrew word hon meaning “enough.” Therefore, the Bible defines wealth as having enough. How does one define enough? How many people on earth don’t have enough? What are our needs versus or wants? If our needs are met, then we have enough. If we have more than that, then we have an over abundance and are truly wealthy.

Verse 3—His righteousness endures forever. What does this mean? This can be taken to mean several things. First, his righteousness endures through is posterity because he has raise his children in the fear of Elohim, and they in turn pass these values on to their children and so on. Second, as salt and light, he has also influenced the world around him make it a more positively and a better place. Like a pebble dropped into a lake, the ripples of his actions will reach out and touch many lives for years to come. Third, the righteous man has the hope of eternal life, therefore, both he and he will live forever before Elohim because he fears Elohim in righteousness. What is righteousness? It is adherence to the commandments of Elohim (Ps 119:172) and delighting in said commandments (Ps  112:1).

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What Are the Weightier Matters of the Torah-Law? The Higher Torah and the Highest Torah Explained

This is a teaching that every saint who is returning to the biblical, Torah roots of their faith needs to read. Why? So they don’t become hyper-focused on the dos and don’ts of the Torah-law, become legalistic, become head-knowledge-oriented people who have forgotten the spirit and heart of the law, become those who end up bowing down to the idol of intellectualism, and, most importantly, so they don’t forget the centrality of the gospel message with Yeshua the Messiah at its center.  Natan

Matthew 23:23, Weightier matters of the Torah. What are the weightier matters of the Torah? Torah is not an end-all. It is a vehicle that leads us to something. What is that? What really matters to YHVH when all is said and done???? It is the greater Torah or the higher Torah. The Gospel of Matthew (23:23) records that Yeshua rebuked the religious leaders of his day for their not following the higher Torah. What did Yeshua really mean by “the weightier matters of the Torah”?

What Is the Ultimate Goal of the Torah?

A strict obedience to the Torah is NOT the ultimate goal the Torah! The Torah, as wonderful as it is, points us to something even better and higher!

What are the weightier matters of the Torah? Perfect obedience to the Torah is not the ultimate goal of the saint. The Torah is merely a vehicle to lead us to something. What is that? What is the greater Torah, the higher and the highest Torah? What really matters to YHVH when all is said and done???? The Gospel of Matthew (Matt 23:23) records that Yeshua rebuked the religious leaders of his day for their not following the higher Torah.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the Torah, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

What did he really mean by “the weightier matters of the Torah”?

The Deeper Meaning of the Word “Torah”

Almost every place where you see the word “law” in the Old Testament (or Tanakh), it is the Hebrew word “Torah.” This word is used 219 times in the Tanakh, and in almost every case it is translated in the KJV and in most other English Bibles as “the law.” Is this all this word means? Is “law” even its main definition according to the Hebrew?

Let’s begin to answer this question by asking another one. When you think of the term “the laws” what comes into our mind: good thoughts or bad thoughts? Do you think of a list of dos and donts—what you are legally permitted to do and not to do? Do you think of red and blue flashing lights and a sirens? Or a man in a blue uniform with a star and a gun? A black-robed judge with a gavel? A prison or jail cell? If so, these can be scary thoughts!

Let’s see what the word “Torah” really means according to the Scriptures.

In Proverbs 13:14, the Bible tells us that the Torah is the fountain of life and keeps one and keeps one from the snares of death. This doesn’t sound like a bad thing, does it? It fact, it sounds really good!

Next start open your Bible to Proverbs 1:7 where we read that the fear of Elohim is the beginning of wisdom. In verse 8, Solomon urges us to not forsake the law. The word law in this verse is Torah. Continue reading what Solomon teaches us about the benefits of YHVH’s instructions and wisdom found in the Torah. Start reading in verse 9 to the end of chapter. Here he is talking about the path of sinners (those who lawless or Torahless). Next start reading in chapter three and continue to the end of chapter four. Whenever you see the words “law,” “instruction,” “wisdom,” “instructions” “commandments,” “truth,” “mercy,” “knowledge” or “words” think of Torah, for that is what these words are referring to. Does this sound like the Torah-law of Elohim is a bad think that should evoke thoughts and emotions of fear and anxiety in a person? Or does the Bible view Torah as a fountain that brings life, wisdom, mercy, truth and knowledge?

On our journey to discover what is the higher Torah, let’s turn to Psalm 119. Perhaps no other biblical chapter explains the ramifications and extols the virtues of the Torah more than this psalm of David.

Based on Psalm 119 and Proverbs chapters one through three, what are the blessings and benefits of Torah-obedience?

  • It takes away feelings of shame, guilt, reproach and contempt. (Ps 119:6, 22)
  • It gives us an upright (straightness of) heart. (Ps 119:7)
  • It cleanses one’s ways and keeps a one clean. (Ps 119:9)
  • It keeps us from sinning against YHVH. (Ps 119:11)
  • It brings delight and joy. (Ps 119:24, 70, 77, 162, 174)
  • It gives us the ability to answer those who reproach (taunt, defy, rail against) us. (Ps 119:42)
  • It gives us freedom (a large or broad area to walk in). (Ps 119:45, 96)
  • It allows us to speak wisely before leaders. (Ps 119:46)
  • It brings us comfort. (Ps 119:52)
  • It gives us something to sing about (Ps 119:54)
  • It brings hope. (Ps 119:74, 81)
  • It makes us wiser than our enemies. (Ps 119:98)
  • It gives us more understanding than our teachers and the ancients. (Ps 119:99, 100)
  • It keeps our feet from evil. (Ps 119:101)
  • It gives light to our path. (Ps 119:105; Prov 6:23)
  • It helps to order our steps and keeps sin from having dominion over us (Ps 119:133)
  • It shows us what truth is. (Ps 119:142, 151)
  • It gives something to love. (Ps 119:159, 163)
  • It causes us to hate evil. (Ps 119:163)
  • It gives us great peace. (Ps 119:163)
  • It defines righteousness for us and gives us understanding as to what righteousness is. (Ps 119:172; Prov 2:9)
  • It brings an understanding of the fear of Elohim, which is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7; 2:5)
  • It gives us discretion (purpose, to know the difference between good and evil). (Prov 2:9)
  • It delivers us from the way of the evil man. (Prov 2:12)
  • It will keep us from the strange woman (a metaphor for sin or wickedness). (Prov 2:16)
  • It shall bring long life and peace. (Prov 3:2,16)
  • It shall give you favor and good understanding in the sight of Elohim and man. (Prov 3:4)
  • YHVH will direct your paths. (Prov 3:6)
  • It shall bring you good health physically. (Prov 3:8)
  • It will bring you physical wealth (because you tithe to YHVH). (Prov 3:9–10, 16)
  • It brings the loving correction and chastisement of YHVH. (Prov 3:11–12)
  • It brings happiness. (Prov 3:13, 18)
  • It brings honor (glory, abundance, riches). (Prov 3:16)
  • It is a tree of life. (Prov 3:18)
  • It brings life to your soul and grace (favor) like an ornament around the neck (Prov 3:22)
  • It will cause you to walk safely so that your foot will not stumble. (Prov 3:23)
  • It will make you so that you are not afraid—so that you can sleep safely at night and have sweet sleep. (Prov 3:24)

As we can see so far, the Torah is more than merely a list of dos and don’ts.  It brings Continue reading


 

Blessings and curses for Torah obedience and YOU

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.

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 Continue reading


 

New Video: Need Help? Stay in the River of Life!

There is a river of life that flows from the throne of YHVH Elohim in heaven that benefits humans if they will only get into that river. This video disusses how to experience the victorious and abundant life even in the midst of life’s trials.


 

The Torah: the Letter Vs. the Spirit & Blessings Vs. Curses

Deuteronomy 28:1–68, Blessings and curses for Torah obedience.

Are the curses for Torah disobedience and the blessings for obedience still applicable in the life of the redeemed believer today, or because “we’re now under grace” are these blessings and curses irrelevant to us? Or, as some preachers teach, Christians now only receive the blessings, and not the curses regardless of whether they violate the Torah or not, since Yeshua took away the curse of the law. What is the answer to this question? The short answer is this: Is the law of gravity still in effect if you jump off a cliff? For a further explanation, see my notes at 2 Cor 3:7.

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2 Corinthians 3:7, Ministry of death. Is this a reference to the Torah? If so, which aspects? Just previously in verse six, Paul is speaking about the new covenant and the letter bringing death and the spirit bringing life. What is he referring to here? Is the spirit of the Torah-law all that is applicable to the believer today, and not the letter? If so then why did Yeshua in his Sermon on the Mount excoriate the Jews for keeping the letter and not the spirit of the Torah? In fact, he strongly affirmed that his disciples must keep both the letter and the spirit. To keep only the spirit would be tantamount to saying it’s all right to murder as long as you don’t hate the person, commit adultery as you don’t lust in the process, and so on. It is plain to see that his notion is absurd. Yet this is what many Christians believe. We must keep the spirit, but don’t have to keep the letter of the law, and they will use this passage of Scripture to justify their belief. If this is not what Paul Continue reading


 

New Video: Deuteronomy — the Heart and Spirit of Torah

This video explains how the Book of Deuteronomy reveals our loving Heavenly Father’s heart for his people, and his desire for them to follow his instructions in righteousness, so they will abide in his river of life and experience great blessings.