Vezot ha’Bracha - September 25, 2021

Torah Portion:
Vezot ha’Bracha - September 25, 2021

Torah: Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12
Haftarah: Joshua 1:1-18
Portion Summary:
—Moses’ last blessing: the Lord at Sinai, blessings over the tribes.
—Moses views the land from the mountain.
—A tribute to Moses is given.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
Balm and Correction
“This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed B’nei Yisrael before his death.”
Deuteronomy 33:1 (TLV)

Moses saw good things for each of the tribes of Israel and blessed them. This was not exactly like the patriarchs; Noah in Genesis chapter 9 had some negative things to impart on the descendants of his son Ham, and in Genesis 49, Jacob had some reproaches for his sons. Moses knew of the faltering behavior of some of the people and the bad things to come, but this was a time for encouragement.

My sister and I joked with each other that we “had the gift of criticism” (a trait learned from our mother, who often had cutting commentary on others). Surprisingly, our mother had a gift of encouragement as well but it battled with its evil twin, criticism. This has helped me understand the damage that negative pronouncements can have on others along with how encouragement can be like a healing balm for the soul.

Some people are afraid to say anything negative while others may seem incapable of ever saying anything positive. The truth is there are times when both are necessary, but we must know when and how to apply each. Even though there is always room for encouragement, gentle correction that promotes understanding and growth can also be extremely helpful as well. God desires to show us how to wisely apply both, not just in our relationships but also in how we respond to encouragement and criticism as well.  

I thank You that You are the encourager who will call us out on our wrongdoings. Please lead me to be able to readily apply the balm of encouragement, and to be able to address the negative things in the manner You would have me do.
In Yeshua’s name, amen.

End of the book of Deuteronomy:

חֱזַק! חֱזַק! וְנִתְחַזֵק!
Chazak! Chazak! V’nee Chazek!

Be strong! Be strong! And be strengthened!
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