There is a Scripture

Eighth Day of the Assembly

Special Reading


On the calendar I use, the special readings for this, the last day of the annual appointed times, Sukkot, comes from Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12, Genesis 1:1-2:3, Joshua 1:1-18, and John 7:37-39.


This is the last Torah Portion in the annual cycle, the only one not read on Shabbat, and includes a reading that starts with Genesis 1, as the beginning of the yearly cycle for reading through the Torah, five books of Moses, again…in never-ending repetition, year after year.


My wife and I read through this traditional Eighth Day reading and in it we saw that the inclusion of Genesis did more than transition us smoothly into the beginning of a new reading cycle.


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” Genesis 1:1 CJB. And from these raw materials a world was created with land and seas, rivers and streams, fruit-bearing trees and grasses, earth-bound creatures and those in the seas and of flight…then humankind. And He placed the man and woman there in a garden to populate and cultivate and rule over it, all within the framework of law…and to commune with Him.


In Deuteronomy, Moses is speaking a blessing over the people of Israel prior to their going into The Land. The end of his life is near and though he is not allowed to enter the Promised Land he has been the agent through whom Yehovah God has done signs and wonders, given law, and brought the children of promise to the doorstep of the prepared and promised garden He had sworn to their ancestors to set them in… to cultivate and rule, populate it, commune with Him in obedience… and be a light to the nations.


Joshua, “… full of the Spirit of wisdom…”( Deuteronomy 34:9 CJB) would be the one to succeed Moshe as the leader, taking these people into the land flowing with milk and honey. God, in a way, was bringing His people out of the wilderness and back into a garden with instructions, that obeyed, would keep them near to Him and assure life for them, safety, and prosperity in the land.


“Only be strong and very bold in taking care to follow all the Torah which Moshe My servant ordered you to follow…Yes, keep this book of the Torah on your lips, and meditate on it day and night, so that you will take care to act according to everything written in it. Then your undertakings will prosper, and you will succeed…”…” Joshua 1:7-8 CJB.


He also said:


“…I will be with you. I will neither fail you nor abandon you…” Joshua 1:5 CJB.


“…don’t be afraid or downhearted, because ADONAI your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 CJB.


We know how things went for the Israelites. In time they were exiled from the Land just like Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden of Eden. But even in exile they were not forsaken nor was His plan for His chosen people and the world ever abandoned. Judah returned, Ephraim is returning and the world is being called.


Yahweh is committed to the “Great Salvation” and He has made a way for who so ever will, despite their shortcomings.


“Now on the last day of the festival, Hoshana Rabbah, Yeshua stood and cried out, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to Me and drinking! Whoever puts his trust in Me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being! (Now He said this about the Spirit, whom those who trusted in Him were to receive later…)’” John 7:37-39 CJB.


Here in this short portion, we see… well, I guess I’m seeing… a pattern of man falling away and God providing second chances to try again.


God works in the lives of His people so we should not be discouraged or lose hope when we fall short in our own lives or when we witness it in the lives of others near to us or far.


We sweep our own house clean and He will fill it with good things we can share. We pray for those others, fervently, and witness as and in the manner He leads, without ceasing.


Yahweh sees and hears… is faithful and well able to move, forgive, and bring back into intimacy.


He neither fails or abandons. He is with us…wherever we go.


That indeed is something to rejoice about…and I do.


Thank You Abba, Dear Father.


May Yehovah, Father God watch and keep us in His care today and in the days ahead.

May we acknowledge that He does and be grateful for His steadfastness.

May He give us…

wisdom, and common sense to receive it…

an aversion to pridefulness that would separate us…

a love for Him and His created beings that would keep us close and…

willingness to give Him praise and honor and all the glory.


In Yeshua’s name we pray,


Amen.



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