Va'etchanan - July 24, 2021

Torah Portion:
Va’etchanan - July 24, 2021

Torah: Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:1-26
Portion Summary:
—Moses begs the Lord for entry into the Land.
—He begins to teach the Torah again.
—He teaches the 10 commandments.
—The Shema is given.
—All Israel is reminded to remember who gave them the Land and to teach this to their children.
—Moses admonishes the people to keep separate from idolaters.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
Images
“So be very watchful over your souls since you saw no form on the day that ADONAI spoke to you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make for yourselves a graven image in the likeness of any figure—the form of a male or female….” Deuteronomy 4:15-16 (TLV)

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian people were in a confusing state of flux. The strong state that had kept everything in orderly homogeny and godlessness had crumbled like a stale cookie.

Out of this came a group of young women who wanted a say in how their country was run. They were performance artists who formed a flash mob, a group that would assemble suddenly in a public place and make a statement with their music. They appeared in the sanctuary of a cathedral and performed a song protesting their Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin. While this was not during a service, those in the church were outraged because they felt the act desecrated the church and its icons. They called them “devils” and self-righteously pursued their incarceration.

Things are not sacred, and when we look for icons or images, we should see that God has already supplied them. They are the ones who stand before us, made in His image and carrying His breath. They are certainly the only icons God cares about. The people in the church could have taken the performance as an opening to embrace young people without faith, to listen to them, and to witness to them. These were children of communism and atheism. What did they know of God, or His mercy? What could they have experienced of His love for them there?

We have a more tolerant society than that in Russia, but sometimes people can push our buttons, making statements we disapprove of and not giving due respect to what is important to us. We must remember what is most important to God. The images He made are what He cares about and should be our priority.

Dear Lord,
Thank You that Your image is imprinted on every person I see, and Your breath contained in every image. I pray that You would remind me of this daily and give me opportunities to respond to them as You would have me.
In Yeshua’s name, amen.
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