Parashah Ki Tetze
14 Elul 5779 \ September 14, 2019
By David Davis
Torah: Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-10
Brit Chadashah: Matthew 22:1-14
This Torah portion has a focus on the mitzvot of marriage. Discussed in this parashah are procedures for taking a wife following a war campaign, the rights of firstborn sons even if the first wife is hated, taking a wife but then finding out that she is not a virgin, the penalties for having adulterous relations with a married woman, rape resulting in marriage or death, forbidding sexual relations with your father's wife, divorce and remarriage restrictions, freedom from military service upon marriage, and levirate marriage.
The Haftarah is a message for comfort for Israel about G-d’s commitment of loyalty to them. It presents an understanding of two things: (1) the importance of marriage and family, and (2) the Covenant promises the L-RD G-d made to his people Israel. In the midst of her difficult and doubting, the L-RD will keep the promises He has made to his servant David, and the house of Israel, despite Zion being in exile and few in number, scattered among the many who have plundered her. Isaiah through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit reminds Israel that it is the L-RD Himself, the Holy One of Israel, who is her husband and her Redeemer. While Moses forbids a man from taking his wife back after she is sent off and defiled, yet the L-RD promises to take his bride Israel back after she has been sent off.
The Brit Chadashah speaks of the way the L-RD has made to gather Israel and the world back to him. Our Father in Heaven made a banquet for His Son. No one will come. In fact, they would rather carry on with ordinary life or even do manual labor. Literally, anything but show up. Notice there are two basic reactions- hostility and indifference. We then see a third person who accepts the wedding invitation, but fails to put on the proper garments.
By now, we see three categories of people who will be judged with the eternal flames of hell: (1) those who persecute believers in the Gospel, (2) those who are indifferent to the Gospel, and (3) those who only appear to believe in the Gospel. Do we have a master who punishes hell upon people of different belief systems, or just want to live life? Do people go to hell for having weak faith or struggling with faith?
The Bible says NO! Yeshua says everyone who seeks finds. Yeshua helped a father who struggled with unbelief. Peter teaches that the Power of G-d guards our faith. Paul teaches that the Holy Spirit seals our faith forever. I am weak in faith, and I assume that I am in good company. Weak faith is standard, and it is the L-RD Yeshua who loves us and saves us.
Proverbs 1:29 says people go to hell because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of Adonai, they would have none of my council, they spurned my correction. 2 Thessalonians teaches that people perish because they did not accept the love of the truth so as to be saved…all those who did not believe the truth but delighted in wickedness.
One question: if you were to drop dead this very moment, where would you go? Would Messiah Yeshua call you to his side, or bind you hand and foot to be thrown into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth? The idea of eternal destruction is well-known. Yet, the hatred of G-d is so great that the vast majority choose that they would rather burn in hell forever than be married to the Lamb of G-d who takes away the sin of the world. Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our G-d for his judgments are true and just.