Re'eh - August 7, 2021

Torah Portion:
Re’eh - August 7, 2021

Torah: Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
Haftarah: 1 Samuel 20:18-20:42
Portion Summary:
—The people are given the choice of blessing or curse.
—All Israel is commanded to revere Him and listen to His leading about the places that are to be destroyed and those that are to be built up.
—Instructions are given on how to deal with false prophets and leaders who turn away from God.
—Kosher laws and tithing are remembered.
—The laws of caring for the poor are given.
—Laws of cancellation of debts (slaves) and firstborn animals are discussed.
—Passover and Shavuot are revisited.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
Funds from the Father
“For there will never cease to be poor people in the land. Therefore I am commanding you, saying, ‘You must surely open your hand to your brother—to your needy and poor in your land.’” Deuteronomy 15:11 (TLV)

An old man had two sons who lived in another city. One was quite wealthy and the other was poor. The father asked for both sons and their families to come and visit him. He gave extra money to the rich son and asked him to make his father proud.

The wealthy son lavishly outfitted his wife, his children, and himself, decking them out in the finest clothing they could buy. The other son could not do this and instead his family had to go to meet their father in their old, worn clothing. As both families arrived to meet their patriarch, they saw that he was upset. The rich son asked, “What is the matter, Abba? I went and bought my family the finest clothes money could buy to make you proud!” His father said, “Your family is beautifully dressed, but your brother’s family is dressed shabbily. This does not make me proud at all.”

In saying this, the father was laying down a challenge to his more fortunate son to think beyond his own nuclear family. The rich son was already wealthy even before his father gave him extra funds and could afford nice clothing to present his family in. Despite this, he failed to see his brother in need and what would really make the father happy: that he would care for his brother’s family and needs as much as he cared for his own.

For some, even with a good income, enough is never enough. In a quest to meet their desires, they will seek out more and more wealth (and even go into debt!) to get all the things they desire.

In light of the story above, we must ask ourselves if we are in the same place as the rich brother.   Are we pursuing our own desires to the point where we are forgetting what actually pleases God? We have to make sure that we don’t get “stuck” in a place where we think all of the resources He gives to us are only for us; they are also for helping those in need. As we use our finances to bless others, we will grow in our understanding of what really brings joy to our Father!

Thank You that You provide for me and for my family. Please lead me when I should give aid to another, so that Your blessing to me can bless another as well.
In Yeshua’s name, amen.
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