V’Zot HaBerachah וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה — Hebrew for “and this is the blessing,” are the first words in the parasha which is the last of the 54 Torah portions.
At the end of the previous chapter the Lord tells Moses “Go up the mountain for you are about to die.” But before he does he speaks his last blessing over the people of Israel and the different tribes that have all gathered. Despite all the sin and unbelief of Israel the Lord speaks to Israel with love and blessing as a proud father speaks to his children. He declares his favor and love for the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Lord knows that they will sin and often be unfaithful to him, but despite this He sees his children and his “Holy People.”
“Yes, he loved his people, all his holy ones were in his hand; so they followed in your steps, receiving direction from you.” – Deut 33:3
“Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph!
After this God takes Moses to the mountain top and and shows him all of the Promised Land. Even in his judgment against Moses he shows mercy. After this Moses dies and God buries him.
In the end of Moses‘ life, He leaves a blessing. Not judgement or criticism, but a blessing. With words of promise he speaks to Israel and shows them the heart of God. He is their protector, their strength, and their portion. Because of God’s love and favor they will see success in the land and know peace and victory over their enemies. We can easily see an example to follow; our hope and trust is in the Lord and from this place we can speak blessing and the love of God over others even if those people haven’t always been a blessing to us.
Israel, still has many flaws and might not live up to God’s standards. Despite this, God still sees Israel as His nation of inheritance. As we pray for the nation, we want to see Israel as God sees Israel, by speaking and declaring the blessing of what is to come. Israel might identify itself as a “secular nation” but God declares that it is a nation of priests and a light to all the other nations. Israel needs to once again understand that her blessing comes from God and we as Christians, who have been grafted into that blessing, need to pray and declare that the true identity of Israel would shine brighter and brighter until it is Christ shining through her.
The European Coalition for Israel is a unique grassroots movement, which is seeking to promote better relations between Europe and Israel through advocacy and education. More information: www.ec4i.org
Header image: ‘Children at the Western Wall’, by Peter Forsberg