Ever feel like you’re in a time warp? With the recent spate of superhero movies, the comeback of Pokemon and Blink 182 having a number one album, it sometimes feels as if the last 15 years disappeared and we’re still stuck in 2001. Perhaps movie makers, music enthusiasts and videogame designers have just run out of ideas. After all, there’s nothing new under the sun…
After all, there’s nothing new under the sun…
Feeling like we’re living in a time warp isn’t just limited to popular culture. This week’s parasha is the start of the book of D’varim/Deutoronomy and is, essentially, a retelling of large parts of the Torah that we’ve already read! Moshe recaps our journey through the wilderness, our obedience and lack thereof, all through his perspective.
Sometimes it’s easy to think, “Save the ink, Moshe! We’ve heard it all before.” Rather than repeating something we’ve just read, perhaps God could have revealed to Moshe (and to us) more about what would happen in the future, or how exactly He created the world. Some more details would have been nice!
So why does God repeat Himself here? Tomorrow, we’re heading into a time of mourning for the destruction of both our temples – according to tradition, both occurring on the 9th of the month of Av, hence the day being known as “Tisha b’Av”. Why do we recognise these two days of tragedy every year? In order to remember. Otherwise, it’s just too easy to forget.
So Moshe rehashes our journey to our people and God instructs that it be written down. Why? So that we are more likely to remember it. More likely to remember God’s provision, our disobedience and the consequences thereof. Tisha b’Av gives us a chance to reflect on our disobedience that led to God exiling us out of the land. Perhaps if we’d taken heed of the first Tisha b’Av, there wouldn’t have been the need for the second…
Back in the times of Moshe, God was reminding us of all He did in order to prepare us for what was lying ahead.
So we remember. Back in the times of Moshe, God was reminding us of all He did in order to prepare us for what was lying ahead. It was a way to take stock before the battles that would take place on the other side of the Yarden. But God also often reminds us in the Hebrew Scriptures to remember what He has done, so that we will trust Him for what He will do.
Yeshua also encouraged us to remember. At His last Pesach seder, He took the Afikomen, broke it and declared that this was to represent His body. He took the cup of redemption and declared that it was to represent His blood. And then He told us that we should do it to remember. Remember that His body was broken and His blood was poured out to pay the price for the bad people we are, so that our lives might be rescued. Just like the first Passover lambs – they died, so we could live.
Maybe you’re at a point in your life where you need to take stock. What have you been living for up until this point? Where will you be in 5 years time? History has a nasty habit of repeating itself. If we forget what happened in the past, we will end up making the same mistakes in the future. So, it’s good to rewind and reflect. The failures and disobedience from our past can help us to realise how much we need God – and above all, how much we need the forgiveness that comes through the Messiah Yeshua. Because if we’re honest, there’s no other way to change our corrupt selves than to be changed by the very one who loved us so much that He died for us. And we’re all in need of that!
So, Moshe remembered in the desert, we remember on Tisha b’Av, and those of us who know the Messiah Yeshua remember His death when we eat the bread and drink the wine. Because if we’re confronted with the failures of our past, we might actually cry out to Him for help for our present. Pokemon will one day be forgotten, Blink 182’s music will fade away, but God’s message of forgiveness and redemption won’t. Why? Because He definitely will remember it!