Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

 Bechukotai (In My Statutes)
(Sefer Vayikra) Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34

 

26:3- “If ye walk in My statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
4- Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the
field shall yield their fruit.
5- And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time:
and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
6- And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
9- For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish My covenant with you.
10- And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
11- And I will set My tabernacle among you: and My soul shall not abhor you.
12- And I will walk among you, and will be your Elohim, and ye shall be My people.
13- I am YHVH your Elohim, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
15- And if ye shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that ye will not do all My commandments, but that ye break My covenant:
17- And I will set My face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursues you.
19- And I will break the pride of your power; and I will set your heaven as iron and your earth as brass:
20- And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
23- And if ye will not be reformed by Me by these things, but will walk contrary unto Me;
24- Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
40- If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
42- Then will I remember My covenant with Yaakov, and also My covenant with Yitzchak, and also My covenant with Avraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
44- And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them nor will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them: for I am YHVH their Elohim.
45- But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their Elohim: I am YHVH.
46- These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which YHVH made between Him and the children of Yisrael in mount Sinai by the hand of Moshe.”
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and
death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
(Deuteronomy 30:19)

 

“You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all
your iniquities. Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
(Amos 3:2-3)


“Yet ye say, The way of Adonai is not equal. Hear now, O house of Yisrael; Is not my way equal?
are not your ways unequal?”
(Ezekiel 18:25)


“Why cry thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity:
because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.”
(Jeremiah 30:15)


“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye
shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of YHVH has spoken it.”
(Isaiah 1:19-20)


“That thou may love YHVH thy Elohim, and that thou may obey his voice, and that thou may
cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou may dwell in the land
which YHVH swore unto thy fathers, to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Yaakov, to give them.”
(Deuteronomy 30:20)

 

Bechutokai Summary:
2. The Last Word, Making Ends Meet under His Conditions:

Within the calling of Am Yisrael and the opportunity to experience a life filled with blessings of peace and prosperity, comes the responsibility to honor the orchestrated set of movements, defining the terms of covenant and articulating the righteous ways of the Eternal. Even as sure and methodical as the book of Vayikra had opened, so does the final parasha close with clarity and an ultimatum, accompanied by a major conditional note of “if.” Filled with numerous statutes and non-negotiable judgments, which were to guide a community into a land of promise, the Torah was about to be proven. Regrettably, the very words of this week’s sedra would be confirmed in Yisrael’s history. There is no debate, HaShem meant what He said. Isaiah 42:23-24 pleads transcendently through time that we take notice, as is posed:
“Who among you will give ear to this? Who will hearken and hear for the time to come? Who
gave Yaakov for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not YHVH, He against whom we have
sinned? For they would not walk in His ways, neither were they obedient unto His Torah.”
Thousands of years have passed, and one thing is certain: little has changed. To date, many still cast off the yoke of Torah, denying the consequences of lawlessness. Let us not be mistaken, we will not be able to extinguish rebellion’s effects. Exposing our state, Psalms 94:7-12 is most apropos, viz.:
“Yet they say, YHVH shall not see, neither shall the Elohim of Yaakov regard it.
Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?
He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye, shall He not see?
He that chastises the heathen, shall not He correct? He that teaches man knowledge,
shall not he know? YHVH knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity...
Blessed is the man whom Thou chastens, O YHVH, and teaches him out of Thy Torah.”
Confirming this national plight, Malachi 3:7 prescribes the antidote for our infirm ways as is written:
“Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept
them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, says YHVH Tzivaot…”
And so, with true repentance comes the return of His cherished brachot, as Malachi 3:11 promises:
“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground;
neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, says YHVH Tzivaot.”
 

1. Weathering the Storm as the Leather Meets the Sand:
The hope of restoration must be accompanied by faithful trust. Though times of refreshing will soon find the parched soul, in the interim, a journey through the wilderness is before us. For many, it is easy to say yes to the ways of HaShem provided everything goes off without a hitch. What about those seasons when adversity seems our sole visitor? For this Habakkuk 3:17-18 delivers the balm, namely:
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive
shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall
be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in YHVH, I will joy in the Elohim of my salvation.”
Indeed, Jeremiah 6:16 rejoins that with the return to Torah, comes the promise of favor and shalom:
“Thus says YHVH, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way,
and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls…”
As despair attempts to remove our feet yet again, Joel 2:25 relates the ordained repair of our nation:
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar,
and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you.”

 

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