Ki Teze
For the week of: August 21, 1999 / 9 Elul 5759
Torah: Devarim / Deuteronomy 21:10 - 25:19
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-10

Who Is Blessed?

"Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband," says the LORD (Isaiah 54:1).

God wants us to see life differently. He wants us to relate to our lives from his perspective. That’s why Yeshua said,

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God (Luke 6:20).

We don’t think of the poor as blessed. We see the poor as those who are missing out. However they got into their situations, they are the losers of society.

But God’s view is that they are blessed. But what’s so blessed about being poor?

Some think that the life of poverty itself is highly regarded by God. They think being rich is bad. Material things, according to these people, are inherently harmful. The more things we are without, the better. They misquote the Bible saying that money is the root of all evil.

This is how some people cope with their difficult situations. By developing a pride in their poverty, they see themselves as superior over people who possess wealth.

I don’t think that is what the Lord is saying however. The Scriptures nowhere give the impression that material things are evil in and of themselves. It is the love of money that is a root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10), not money itself.

So what’s so blessed about being poor?

It is not the state of poverty that is blessed, but the destiny of the poor that is.

In this week’s Haftarah, the nation of Israel, which has undergone so much trouble, is told to rejoice over its future. They are being called to focus their emotional energy not into their current desperate situation, but rather in the better times ahead.

In fact, they were to begin to live their lives now based on the future, not on the present:

Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes (Isaiah 54:2).

They were to do this because of the prosperity that would be theirs eventually:

For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities (Isaiah 54:3).

Note that this is not the same as developing a positive attitude. They were not being called to make the best of their current situation. Rather they were to grasp the certain reality that life was going to get immeasurably better for them.

As we too grasp the magnitude of God’s good intentions for us, we will begin to realize how blessed we really are. Then we will be enabled to live life in the light of our glorious future.

We normally make plans based on our current situations, but God is calling us to look beyond to a much better day. We need to live today in the light of the greater tomorrow.

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