The name of this week’s parasha is Nitzavim, which means “those taking a stand,” and covers Deuteronomy 29:9 through 30:20. Moses stresses to the Israelis the importance of following the terms of this covenant. Everyone there was standing in Adonai’s presence to enter a covenant with Him affirming they will be His people, and He will be their God in accordance with His promises.
Moses then warns the Jewish people against engaging in idolatry, reminding them that they saw these abominations among other nations during their journey to the Promised Land. He lists the destructive consequences resulting from idolatrous practices: any Israeli who practices idolatry will be severely punished by Adonai; the future devastation to the Promised Land will be seen by their descendants, as well as foreigners; God will angrily remove the Jewish people from their land into another land.
Chapter 30 begins with Adonai’s promises of restoration to the Israelis when they humble themselves before Him and obey His commandments – they will be brought back to their land, they will be more numerous and prosperous than their ancestors, and their enemies will be severely punished. If the Jewish people live in obedience to Him and keep His commandments, God will delight in them and bless them. Adonai’s restoration of the Jewish people is also declared in Isaiah 61:10 through 63:9, which is the haftarah portion of this parasha.
Moses stated that what God was expecting of the Israelis wasn’t too difficult or far away – no one would need to ascend to Heaven or cross the sea to bring it to the Jewish people, since His word would be within them. When discussing the righteousness by faith that comes from God to believers in Yeshua in Romans 10, Rabbi Paul expounds upon this passage, declaring that the righteousness by faith says no one needs to ask who will bring Yeshua down from Heaven or up from the dead, but that the word of faith is within them.
The parasha ends with Moses presenting two options to the Israelis – they could follow Adonai’s commandments and enjoy life and prosperity, or they could disobey Adonai and experience death and destruction. Moses urges them to choose life, so that God will bless them.
Parasha Nitzavim teaches us that obeying Adonai’s commandments brings life and blessings, while disobeying His commandments brings destruction and the loss of life. Although this teaching seems easy enough to understand, none of us can obey it based upon our own merits because we all have been thoroughly corrupted by sin, and since sin leads to death, we need a Savior that is holy, perfect and pure to make the ultimate atonement for our sin.
Therefore, if we truly wish to obey Adonai’s commandments and turn from death to life, we must loyally follow the holy, perfect and pure Savior He has sent Who has provided the once-for-all-time sacrifice for our sins by offering His own life for our atonement – Messiah Yeshua! Following Yeshua won’t be easy, but those who show that they love Him by loyally obeying what He has commanded will experience the blessings of having their sins forgiven and living forever with Him.
So, if you haven’t done so already, choose life by obeying what God has commanded in His word and loyally follow Yeshua as Lord and Savior, and experience the blessings that He desires to give you!