Ignoring what God says, פרשת נִצָּבִים, Parashat Nitzavim, Bits of Torah Truths

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This week’s Torah portion speaks of obeying the covenant of God, and seeing all of the abominations of the nations, their wicked ways, their idols, and of the person who believes he can ignore what God says. The Lord God Almighty states the following in Devarim / Deuteornomy 29:19-21, יח וְהָיָה בְּשָׁמְעוֹ אֶת-דִּבְרֵי הָאָלָה הַזֹּאת וְהִתְבָּרֵךְ בִּלְבָבוֹ לֵאמֹר שָׁלוֹם יִהְיֶה-לִּי כִּי בִּשְׁרִרוּת לִבִּי אֵלֵךְ לְמַעַן סְפוֹת הָרָוָה אֶת-הַצְּמֵאָה: יט לֹא-יֹאבֶה יְהֹוָה סְלֹחַ לוֹ כִּי אָז יֶעְשַׁן אַף-יְהוָֹה וְקִנְאָתוֹ בָּאִישׁ הַהוּא וְרָבְצָה בּוֹ כָּל-הָאָלָה הַכְּתוּבָה בַּסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה וּמָחָה יְהוָֹה אֶת-שְׁמוֹ מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם: כ וְהִבְדִּילוֹ יְהוָֹה לְרָעָה מִכֹּל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל כְּכֹל אָלוֹת הַבְּרִית הַכְּתוּבָה בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה: 29:19 ‘It shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, ‘I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.’ 29:20 ‘The Lord shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. 29:21 ‘Then the Lord will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law. (NASB) This person who witnesses the miracles of God, the destruction of the nations and their evil practices, boasts in his heart that he is stubborn and unwilling to hear the Lord, and does not believe anything will happen to him by the choices he makes to disobey God (to walk in his own way or to do what he feels is right in his own eyes). Rashi states the following concerning these verses.

Rashi on Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:19 Part 1
יעשן אף ה׳ THE ANGER OF THE LORD SHALL SMOKE [AGAINST THAT MAN] — Through anger the body becomes heated and smoke, as it were, issues from the nostrils. And thus does it state, (Psalms 18:9) “Smoke rose up in his nostril”. Although this idea is not really applicable to God, Scripture makes the human ear hear the matter (i.e. it tells it to him) in the manner that it is accustomed and able to understand according to the ordinary course of the world (i.e. when speaking of God it uses language that properly is applicable only to human beings because this is the only language we have at our command).

Basically, Rashi says the Lord God explains these things to us in human (anthropomorphic) terms in order to allow us to understand based on our lives here in this world. Here the Scripture states, יט לֹא-יֹאבֶה יְהֹוָה סְלֹחַ לוֹ כִּי אָז יֶעְשַׁן אַף-יְהוָֹה וְקִנְאָתוֹ בָּאִישׁ הַהוּא וְרָבְצָה בּוֹ כָּל-הָאָלָה הַכְּתוּבָה בַּסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה וּמָחָה יְהוָֹה אֶת-שְׁמוֹ מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם: 29:20 ‘The Lord shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. (NASB) The words בָּאִישׁ הַהוּא “against that man” the word אִישׁ does not literally mean “man” but it refers to the person that God says is deliberately sinning and whom He will deliberately single out for personal attention. The Lord will literally erase his name, referring to his entire family, all the family members will bear the punishment. This is where we get the understanding how important it is to repent of not just our sins, but also of the sins of our fathers. Ibn Ezra states that this wrath spoken of here will fall upon the whole family until the name is obliterated. (Ibn Ezra on Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:19 Part 1) This is a significant warning for us today in regards to the importance of taking seriously what God has spoken in His Word!

An example we can learn from is found in 1 Samuel 15:1-3 the Lord God speaking through the prophet Samuel to king Saul about Amalek. The command of the Lord to Saul was connected to this account in the wilderness in the Torah that is related to the man who does not listen to the Word of God but continues to walk in the stubbornness of his heart. Saul went to war with Amalek but did not totally obey what the Lord wanted him to do. Even though Saul partially did what the Lord wanted him to do, the Lord still counted it as a full blown disregard for the word given to him through Samuel.

1 Samuel 15:1-3
15:1 Then Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD. 15:2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 15:3 ‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.‘” (NASB)

We see here specific instructions given from the Lord and Saul does not utterly destroy Amalek. Instead, he spares some according to 1 Samuel 15:5-11. The Lord was looking for Saul do as he wanted him to do, to utterly destroy everything that belonged to Amalek.

1 Samuel 15:9-11
15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. 15:10 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, 15:11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night. (NASB)

Saul and his men were unwilling to destroy the good things they had obtained, those things they deemed good or best. (15:9) We read the following in 1 Samuel 15:13 Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command of the LORD.” (NASB) Saul went to Samuel when he saw him and said that he carried out the command of the Lord. Based upon his own words, in Saul’s mind, he had done what the Lord had asked and suggesting from his words he believed he had fulfilled the commandment. What do you suppose King Saul was thinking at this moment? Do you think he believed that he had fully obeyed the Lord? Or do you think he had deluded himself into believing that he had fulfilled the Lord’s command by doing “most” of what He asked? There is a lesson here that is related to our verse in this week’s Torah portion in Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:19 ‘It shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, ‘I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.’ 29:20 ‘The Lord shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. (NASB)

This week we are looking at the verses from Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:9-29.

Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:9-29
29:9 ‘So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. 29:10 ‘You stand today, all of you, before the Lord your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 29:11 your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 29:12 that you may enter into the covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath which the Lord your God is making with you today, 29:13 in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 29:14 ‘Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 29:15 but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today 29:16 (for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed; 29:17 moreover, you have seen their abominations and their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which they had with them); 29:18 so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood. 29:19 ‘It shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, ‘I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.’ 29:20 ‘The Lord shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. 29:21 ‘Then the Lord will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law. 29:22 ‘Now the generation to come, your sons who rise up after you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it, will say, 29:23 ‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.’ 29:24 ‘All the nations will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’ 29:25 ‘Then men will say, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. 29:26 ‘They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them. 29:27 ‘Therefore, the anger of the Lord burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; 29:28 and the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’ 29:29 ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. (NASB)

ט אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם זִקְנֵיכֶם וְשֹׁטְרֵיכֶם כֹּל אִישׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל: י טַפְּכֶם נְשֵׁיכֶם וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֶיךָ מֵחֹטֵב עֵצֶיךָ עַד שֹׁאֵב מֵימֶיךָ: יא לְעָבְרְךָ בִּבְרִית יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּבְאָלָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כֹּרֵת עִמְּךָ הַיּוֹם: [שני] יב לְמַעַן הָקִים-אֹתְךָ הַיּוֹם | לוֹ לְעָם וְהוּא יִהְיֶה-לְּךָ לֵאלֹהִים כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר-לָךְ וְכַאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב: יג וְלֹא אִתְּכֶם לְבַדְּכֶם אָנֹכִי כֹּרֵת אֶת-הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת וְאֶת-הָאָלָה הַזֹּאת: יד כִּי אֶת-אֲשֶׁר יֶשְׁנוֹ פֹּה עִמָּנוּ עֹמֵד הַיּוֹם לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנּוּ פֹּה עִמָּנוּ הַיּוֹם: [שלישי] טו כִּי-אַתֶּם יְדַעְתֶּם אֵת אֲשֶׁר-יָשַׁבְנוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָבַרְנוּ בְּקֶרֶב הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר עֲבַרְתֶּם: טז וַתִּרְאוּ אֶת-שִׁקּוּצֵיהֶם וְאֵת גִּלֻּלֵיהֶם עֵץ וָאֶבֶן כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב אֲשֶׁר עִמָּהֶם: יז פֶּן-יֵשׁ בָּכֶם אִישׁ אוֹ-אִשָּׁה אוֹ מִשְׁפָּחָה אוֹ-שֵׁבֶט אֲשֶׁר לְבָבוֹ פֹנֶה הַיּוֹם מֵעִם יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵינוּ לָלֶכֶת לַעֲבֹד אֶת-אֱלֹהֵי הַגּוֹיִם הָהֵם פֶּן-יֵשׁ בָּכֶם שֹׁרֶשׁ פֹּרֶה רֹאשׁ וְלַעֲנָה: יח וְהָיָה בְּשָׁמְעוֹ אֶת-דִּבְרֵי הָאָלָה הַזֹּאת וְהִתְבָּרֵךְ בִּלְבָבוֹ לֵאמֹר שָׁלוֹם יִהְיֶה-לִּי כִּי בִּשְׁרִרוּת לִבִּי אֵלֵךְ לְמַעַן סְפוֹת הָרָוָה אֶת-הַצְּמֵאָה: יט לֹא-יֹאבֶה יְהֹוָה סְלֹחַ לוֹ כִּי אָז יֶעְשַׁן אַף-יְהוָֹה וְקִנְאָתוֹ בָּאִישׁ הַהוּא וְרָבְצָה בּוֹ כָּל-הָאָלָה הַכְּתוּבָה בַּסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה וּמָחָה יְהוָֹה אֶת-שְׁמוֹ מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם: כ וְהִבְדִּילוֹ יְהוָֹה לְרָעָה מִכֹּל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל כְּכֹל אָלוֹת הַבְּרִית הַכְּתוּבָה בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה: כא וְאָמַר הַדּוֹר הָאַחֲרוֹן בְּנֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר יָקוּמוּ מֵאַחֲרֵיכֶם וְהַנָּכְרִי אֲשֶׁר יָבֹא מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה וְרָאוּ אֶת-מַכּוֹת הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא וְאֶת-תַּחֲלֻאֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר-חִלָּה יְהוָֹה בָּהּ: כב גָּפְרִית וָמֶלַח שְֹרֵפָה כָל-אַרְצָהּ לֹא תִזָּרַע וְלֹא תַצְמִחַ וְלֹא-יַעֲלֶה בָהּ כָּל-עֵשֶֹב כְּמַהְפֵּכַת סְדֹם וַעֲמֹרָה אַדְמָה וּצְבֹיִים [וּצְבוֹיִם] אֲשֶׁר הָפַךְ יְהֹוָה בְּאַפּוֹ וּבַחֲמָתוֹ: כג וְאָמְרוּ כָּל-הַגּוֹיִם עַל-מֶה עָשָֹה יְהוָֹה כָּכָה לָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת מֶה חֳרִי הָאַף הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה: כד וְאָמְרוּ עַל אֲשֶׁר עָזְבוּ אֶת-בְּרִית יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתָם אֲשֶׁר כָּרַת עִמָּם בְּהוֹצִיאוֹ אֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם: כה וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָהֶם אֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יְדָעוּם וְלֹא חָלַק לָהֶם: כו וַיִּחַר-אַף יְהוָֹה בָּאָרֶץ הַהִוא לְהָבִיא עָלֶיהָ אֶת-כָּל-הַקְּלָלָה הַכְּתוּבָה בַּסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה: כז וַיִּתְּשֵׁם יְהוָֹה מֵעַל אַדְמָתָם בְּאַף וּבְחֵמָה וּבְקֶצֶף גָּדוֹל וַיַּשְׁלִכֵם אֶל-אֶרֶץ אֲחֶרֶת כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה: כח הַנִּסְתָּרֹת לַיהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְהַנִּגְלֹת לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ עַד-עוֹלָם לַעֲשֹוֹת אֶת-כָּל-דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת:

What we learn here in the narrative from the book of 1 Samuel, and from the Torah portion, is instead of the “devil” being in the details, the reality is that the Lord God of Israel is in the details! We read in the Scriptures that the Lord God is our friend, the One who loves us and sustains us. However, if we live in unrepentant disobedience, the Torah states that he becomes our foe. Do you suppose King Saul knew deep down in his heart that he had not fully obeyed God’s word? Saul’s words to Samuel (1 Samuel 15:13) suggest otherwise. Saul may have deluded himself into believing that he had fulfilled Lord’s command by doing “most” of what He asked?

1 Samuel 15:17-19
15:17 Samuel said, “Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the LORD anointed you king over Israel, 15:18 and the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.’ 15:19 “Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD?” (NASB, יז וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל הֲלוֹא אִם-קָטֹן אַתָּה בְּעֵינֶיךָ רֹאשׁ שִׁבְטֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל אָתָּה וַיִּמְשָׁחֲךָ יְהֹוָה לְמֶלֶךְ עַל-יִשְֹרָאֵל: יח וַיִּשְׁלָחֲךָ יְהֹוָה בְּדָרֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר לֵךְ וְהַחֲרַמְתָּה אֶת-הַחַטָּאִים אֶת-עֲמָלֵק וְנִלְחַמְתָּ בוֹ עַד כַּלּוֹתָם אֹתָם: יט וְלָמָּה לֹא-שָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה וַתַּעַט אֶל-הַשָּׁלָל וַתַּעַשֹ הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה:)

Samuel points out that Saul did not do what God had expected, and states וַתַּעַט אֶל-הַשָּׁלָל “but rushed upon the spoil” which is a description that is similar to the one whose feet hasten to run to do evil (Mishley / Proverbs 6:18). Notice how Saul responds according to 1 Samuel 15:20-21, כ וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל אֶל-שְׁמוּאֵל אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְתִּי בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה וָאֵלֵךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר-שְׁלָחַנִי יְהֹוָה וָאָבִיא אֶת-אֲגַג מֶלֶךְ עֲמָלֵק וְאֶת-עֲמָלֵק הֶחֱרַמְתִּי: 15:20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 15:21 “But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” (NASB) Saul thought going on the mission the Lord had sent him was obedience enough. In fact, Saul sought to modify the command slightly so that he could bring sacrifices to the Lord at Gilgal. This however was a great sin, so great that the kingdom was taken from him. This is analogous to the saying that “each man doing what he thought was right in his own eyes,” in the Torah context when Moshe says in the Promised Land they cannot do this anymore according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 12:5-10.

Devarim / Deuteronomy 12:5-10
12:5 ‘But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the Lord your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. 12:6 ‘There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. 12:7 ‘There also you and your households shall eat before the Lord your God, and rejoice in all your undertakings in which the Lord your God has blessed you. 12:8 ‘You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; 12:9 for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. 12:10 ‘When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, (NASB)

The concept here is to obeying God’s Word, going before Him where He establishes His name, calling upon his Name, and living according to His Word. The Lord God of Israel gains centrality here in the lives of His people. As we study the bible further, beyond the Torah, we historically read again and again these words of every man doing what was right in his own eyes that was coupled to there being no king in Israel.

In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6)

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25)

In the book of Judges, the people were falling into idol worship, the Lord delivered them into the hands of a foreign nation, and then the people cried out and the Lord delivered them. The basic premise is when Saul came along, he was to live with obedience instead of rushing to the spoils of war. Saul changed the command (note the theologies today that say Yeshua did this too) and he lost his life because of doing so. Saul believed he had obeyed God’s word, but he did not act faithfully to the Word of God that was given him before men and God. This was King Saul’s sin before God, doing what he thought was right in his own eyes. Today, we too live in an age where everyone does what is right in their own eyes? This approach to the spiritual life is illustrated when we see the Bible being redefined or simply ignored. The consequences to doing what one thinks is right in his own eyes is what Solomon wrote in Mishley / Proverbs 14:12 saying the way that seems right actually “leads to death.” The point is the Lord God Almighty established the way of life for His people long ago. One can claim they know God, they know Yeshua, they are “born again” all day long, but if one chooses to live by “make up the rules as you go” style of life instead of being faithful to the Lord at His Word, it is revealed such a person does not love God. Yeshua said if we do not love the Lord, he in turn will not love us. (John 15:9-11) When we consider the phrase “doing what is right in your own eyes” have you ever known anyone who was “doing what is WRONG in their own eyes?” The point is NO, everyone does what they believe is right. Saul acted as if what he had done was right having obeyed only a fraction of what the Lord was wanting him to do. Suffering and distress are the end result of the worship of idols. Remember, an idol can be anything in life that takes the foremost position as opposed to God. History reveals when there was a king in Israel, the people did what was right depending upon the righteousness of the king. Wicked kings led Israel to sin, and righteous kings led the people to righteousness and God’s Word. The differences were not whether one is obeying one’s self or a king, what matters is that we are obeying God. This is illustrated in the Lord God telling Elijah that He had kept 7000 people from bowing to Baal in that day. (1 Kings 19:18) In the Zohar Volume 2, Bereshit B70.425-426 the Rabbis write on Bereshit / Genesis 6 and that wicked generation, with HaShem saying “I will destroy man, whom I have created from the face of the earth.” (Bereshit / Genesis 6:7) and the Zohar describes the Lord’s approach. An example is given in regards to when a man wants to take vengeance on another, he keeps quiet and tells him nothing. The reason being, if he discloses his intentions his opponent will be on guard and hard to overpower. The Lord God Almighty however does not act in this manner. He does not execute judgment on the world before he declares and informs it of His intentions, once, twice, and even three times. This way, nobody can go before him and ask “what are you doing” and so no one can guard against Him or stand up against Him. This is an important point, we have been given the Scriptures which contain both the blessing and a warning. This is the point of the person who believes he can ignore what God says and get away with it. (Devarim / Deuteornomy 29:19-21) In king Saul’s case, we see historically how the people did what they thought was right in their own eyes (they ignored God’s Word) and this brought destruction from the nations. The Lord God would send them a deliverer in their time of need. When the Lord provided them with a king, the king himself did what he thought was right in his own eyes. He sinned greatly in disobeying God’s command and he eventually lost his life as a result, and the kingdom was taken from him. As we continue to read the history of the Bible, we learn the Lord God Almighty sent another king and another deliverer. We have a king to follow, one who laid his life down for ours to make restitution on our behalf before God. This week’s Torah portion speaks of obeying the covenant of God, seeing all of the abominations of the nations, their wicked ways, their idols, and of the person who believes he can ignore what God says. These things are given to us as a warning, to daily repent of our sins, to seek the Lord, and not ignore God’s Word. Because if we fail to do these things what hope do we have? The hope that we can rely upon is our Messiah Yeshua, and the Lord God Almighty coming into our lives to dwell in our midst, and to help us each day to live for Him!

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!