Ki Tavo כִּי-תָבוֹא
“When You Enter In”
Torah: Deuteronomy 26:1–29:9 [8 Heb]
PROPHETS: Isaiah 60:1–22
APOSTOLIC WRITINGS: Luke 21:1–4
These devotionals are designed to supplement, not replace, your Bible reading.
Torah 1 & 2
Firstfruits Belong To God
Moses is looking ahead to when Israel enters into the Promised Land, and will reap the benefits of God’s provision. The “firstfruits” mentioned here is the first and best part of the land’s produce, that represents the entire crop. This firstfruits portion is returned to God to consecrate the entire crop (cf. Leviticus 27:30 and Romans 11:16) and as a reminder that He owns everything (vv. 1–3). The monologue then calls the offerers to remember their humble origins and God’s merciful provisions (vv. 4–10). The result of obediently giving to the Lord is rejoicing for the entire community (v. 11).
Does your obedient giving produce rejoicing in your own household and beyond?
Tithes Belong To God
Obedient Israelite tithing was essential to maintain community life according to God’s design (vv. 12–15).
Since God owns everything, nothing belongs to you.
Reflect on that for a moment. The implications are profound! How are you doing with the responsibility of stewarding God’s stuff? How can you grow in this area and be a cheerful, hilarious, and thus rejoicing giver (cf. 2 Corinthians 9:6–8)?
Torah 3 & 4
Keeping Promises Brings Glory To God
Moses most likely led Israel in some kind of covenant renewal ceremony during his final days east of the Jordan, where he spoke the words recorded for us in D’varim (Deuteronomy, cf. 1:5). This covenant renewal ceremony reflected the original at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:3–8) and foreshadowed many to come (e.g., Joshua 8:30–35; 24:1–25; 2 Kings 23:1–3).
When parties enter into a covenant, they essentially make an agreement to keep promises. God calls us to keep a promise to follow Him and love Him wholeheartedly (26:16, cf. 6:5 v’ahavta: “and you shall love”). Moses reminds Israel what their spoken promise was (v. 17) as well as what God promises to do (vv. 18–19, cf. Exodus 19:6) in this covenant relationship.
How faithfully are you keeping your covenant promises to “follow Him” wholeheartedly as a disciple (cf. Mark 1:16–18 and John 21:19)?
God’s People Must Obey God’s Instructions
Moses and the elders give instructions for another covenant renewal ceremony when they enter the land (cf. Joshua 8:30–35). What relationship do these instructions have with Nizkor (lit. “we remember”; traditionally called “the Lord’s Supper” or “Communion”)? In what way is this liturgical remembrance a kind of “covenant renewal ceremony”?
Moses and the priests give instructions for Israel to “shut up and shema (‘listen’)” (v. 9a). What is the very next thing said that is so important to understand (v. 9b)?
Belonging to God is the most important “identity” that matters. Identifying with God, however, means that we must obey Him by following Him and Him alone.
Is God at the center of your life? Take a moment to invite Yeshua into that area of your life where you are still trying to do it on your own.
torah 5 & 6
Promises and Warnings
(usually thought of as “blessings and curses”)
Moses expands on the covenant renewal ceremony instructions to be carried out in the land.
Beginning with warnings against idolatry (first commandment), the people were to verbally agree with each warning, thus committing themselves to heed each one.
The last warning is all-inclusive. Can it ever be fully obeyed (cf. Jeremiah 31:33)?
Next come the promise. How does the promise in v. 1 apply today (cf. 15:6; 26:19)?
Protection and Prosperity OR Devastation and Dispersion
Deuteronomy 28:7–29:1[28:69 Heb]
Protection and prosperity are promised benefits of being in covenant relationship with the God of the universe. Too often, however, we think of prosperity in individualistic terms. Verses 9–10 clarify that the real issues are not personal circumstances and comforts, but God’s reputation and following. Do you tend to see your circumstances in terms to how they affect you, or the degree to which God is glorified in your response to your circumstances?
Verse 13 promises Israel a position of national leadership. Apart from God, we don’t have a clue about godly leadership. Read Luke 22:25–26 for Yeshua’s corrective instructions for exercising authority through godly leadership. What are the implications for men providing godly leadership at home?
The warnings of devastation and dispersion have tragically befallen a rebellious nation. As members of the faithful remnant of this nation “united in Messiah” with the faithful remnant from other nations, how can we “provoke Israel to jealousy/envy” (cf. Romans 11:11 and 13) so that they will turn and be saved? How might the High Holy Days provide an opportunity for believers to exercise godly leadership to the lost sheep of the house of Israel?
torah 7 &
We Are Lost Unless We Know Him
Deuteronomy 29:2–9[1–8 Heb]
Moses concludes this section by reminding Israel of God’s merciful and miraculous provision. God provided signs and wonders in Egypt, and indestructible clothes and shoes in the desert (29:2–5a). What, however, was His real goal for this nation (v. 6b)?
Compare Moses’ mysterious description in 29:4 with God’s mysterious instruction in Isaiah 6:9–10 and John’s explanation in John 12:39–40. How does Israel’s “blindness” and “deafness” help bring about God’s real goal for all nations (cf. Genesis 12:3 and Romans 11:11–15)?
How does seeing the glory of Yeshua give hope and inspiration to speak the truth of God (John 12:41) and know the peace of God in ANY circumstance? Do you need His peace today? Try speaking up for Him so that others might “know God!”
We Are Saved So That We Will Obey Him
Deuteronomy 29:7–9[6–8 Heb]
God saved His people from slavery in Egypt and began giving them their inheritance (vv. 7–8). He did this so that they would know Him and help bring the knowledge of Him to the rest of the world. The way to do that is to follow Him exclusively and obey Him faithfully for His glory and our good (v. 9).
In the same way, He saved you from slavery to sin through faith in Messiah (i.e. trusting Him as God’s provision for your real problem and following Him exclusively). What can you specifically do to know Him more intimately and obey Him more faithfully?
God’s Faithfulness Is Most Valuable To Us
This haftarah is the sixth of seven “Haftarot of Consolation” following Tish’ah b’Av (9th day of lunar month Av, when both Temples were destroyed). Isaiah’s vision of Israel’s future springs a hope to console anyone who loves God and desires His fame and glory to abound throughout the earth!
Compare vv. 11 and 19–20 with Revelation 21:23–26, and find the similarities between what Isaiah saw and what John (the author of Revelation) saw. God is doing an amazing thing through the faithful remnant of Israel in preparation for “all Israel being saved” (cf. Romans 11:25–27).
God is doing an amazing thing through His body, the believing community. As a Body of Jews and Gentiles, we stand with Israel on the one hand—many of whom do not yet know Messiah—and with Yeshua’s followers from the Nations on the other hand. God is working to unite us as His Body through love and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ask God to show you how He is working to deepen this unity in your sphere, and commit yourself to partner with Him to see this become more of a local reality. As you do, you will position yourself to be used by God to bring about this grand promise of the salvation of Israel and the restoration of all things!
Our Faithfulness Is Most Valuable To God
In the Torah portion, Moses is standing in Moab and instructing the nation, proclaiming: “Ki Tavo (“when you enter in”) the land, you must give the Lord your firstfruits and tithes.”
In the B’rit Chadashah portion, Yeshua is standing in the Temple courts observing the pushke (“offering box”), and instructing His followers, proclaiming: “Giving when it hurts has more value than giving out of the overflow of abundance.” How can this be true? To the world, value is determined materially: more money = more value. In God’s economy, however, value is determined spiritually, so more faith (trust) = more value.
Where is this widow’s faith? In what or in whom is she trusting? Is your money an idol?
Are you trusting in your own ability to bring in material resources to provide for you and your family, or is God receiving all the glory as the great provider? How can you “step out in faith” to obey God and thus “store up treasure in heaven” (Matthew 6:19–20)?
Rest. Fellowship. Discussion.