Ki Tavo - (When you come)
Torah Portion: Ki Tavo (When you come)
Torah Reading: Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8
Prophetic Reading: Isaiah 60:1-22
“Having Been Saved, One is Expected to Conform to God’s Standards of Holiness (Sanctification)”
Blessings and curses, to a large degree, is what this week’s Torah portion deals with. When one reads the promises of God, he finds that the curses outnumber the blessings. Why is this? In order to show how serious HaShem is about righteousness. The intent of the section dealing with the curses is to remind you and me that if we violate His standards there will most certainly be a response from G-d. When reading this passage someone might ask, “Where is the grace?” The grace is found in the revelation of Scripture. In other words, it is most gracious of G-d to clearly set before man His expectations, so we now know what to do and what not to do.
Some have pointed out that this week’s parasha establishes boundaries for personal behavior. These boundaries are clearly marked and when one crosses them, then there is a sure expectation of a consequence—judgment. I doubt today that people hear much concerning these hard and fast standards. We tend to misappropriate Messiah Yeshua’s message of grace to mean that there is now room for negotiations in regard to our conduct. Grace, however, was never intended to lessen the holiness of man’s behavior. In fact, the concept of grace has been often relayed improperly to individuals today. Yes grace is inherently related to forgiveness, and it is by means of grace that one is redeemed; however grace, when received by faith, not only saves, but brings about a transformation in the recipient. One of the outcomes of grace is that it teaches one to deny ungodliness. For Paul says,
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us in order that we deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and soberly, righteously and godly we should live in the present age.” Titus 2:11-12
These two verses reflect the outcome of the power of the Gospel. Grace is not solely HaShem dealing with my sin; this is marvelous and each individual has an absolute need for this aspect of Grace. Grace should also mature the believer so that grace does not continue to multiply the forgiveness aspect, but rather should lead to a life that exalts God. In other words, grace leads and causes the believer to behave in a way that his life actions are a source of praise to God.
A person is not saved by the performance of a list of God’s standards, but by entering into a New Covenant relationship with G-d by means of His Only Begotten Son, Yeshua our Messiah. Then, having been saved, he is indeed expected to conform to His standards of holiness (sanctification). This is the message that Moses set before the people 3,500 years ago and is still relevant today! What was that message?
“But if it should come about that you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God to hear and perform all of His commandments which I am commanding you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.” Deuteronomy 28:15
Dr. Baruch Korman – September 1st, 2023