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Love's Confession


Torah Portion: Parashat Nitzavim-Vayeilech

Shabbat: Sep. 9, 2023 | Elul 23, 5783

New Covenant: Romans 10:1-18


Paul’s prayer in Colossians

“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins”.

Colossians 1:9-14


Love's Confession | Further Thoughts on Parashat Nitzavim

From our Torah portion this week we read: "The word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it" (Deut. 30: 14). What "word" is this other than the confession of faith in the LORD? Faith is the key, since it responds to God's voice and receives the message of hope within the heart... Faith is a matter of the will: of choosing to receive the blessing, accepting that you are accepted, and trusting God's passion for your life. "Consider Abraham; he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness" (Gal. 3:6). Faith itself is the obedience of Torah, the necessary precondition for all that follows. "I am the LORD your God" (אָנכִי יְהוָה אֱלהֶיךָ) is the very First Commandment. When we turn to the LORD, we esteem him as truthful, just, wise, compassionate, and worthy of our trust. "Let us then with confidence (μετὰ παρρησίας) draw near to the throne of grace (כִּסֵּא הֶחָסֶד), that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16).

The students of the maggid of Zlotchov once asked him, "In the Torah we read that our father Abraham kept all the laws (Gen. 26:5), but how could this be, since they had not yet been given to him?" The maggid replied, "All that is needed is to love God. If you are about to do something and you think it might lessen your love, then you know it's a sin; but if you think it will increase your love, then you know it's in keeping with God's will. That's what Abraham did." Amen. Faith is the confession of God's love. Abraham was justified by faith because he trusted in God's love more than anything else, and that is the essence of Torah. "Now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13).

John J. Parsons

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