He Who Seeks Finds

If we believe we have already attained the goal, we cease to seek HaShem.

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

Va'etchanan

Special Shabbat Reading

Special readings are applicable this Shabbat.

  • Shabbat Nachamu (שבת נחמו | Sabbath of comforting)
  • Haftarah: Isaiah 40:1-26

Shabbat Nachamu ("Sabbath of comfort/ing) takes its name from the haftarah from Isaiah in the Book of Isaiah 40:1-26 that speaks of "comforting" the Jewish people for their suffering. It the first of seven haftarahs of consolation leading up to the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Regular Shabbat Readings

Read / Listen to these Portions

  • Va'etchanan (ואתחנן | I pleaded)
  • Torah: Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
  • Haftarah: Isaiah 40:1-26
  • Gospel: Luke 3:2-15

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Outline

  • Torah
    • Deuteronomy 3:23 | Moses Views Canaan from Pisgah
    • Deuteronomy 4:1 | Moses Commands Obedience
    • Deuteronomy 4:41 | Cities of Refuge East of the Jordan
    • Deuteronomy 4:44 | Transition to the Second Address
    • Deuteronomy 5:1 | The Ten Commandments
    • Deuteronomy 5:22 | Moses the Mediator of God's Will
    • Deuteronomy 6:1 | The Great Commandment
    • Deuteronomy 6:10 | Caution against Disobedience
    • Deuteronomy 7:1 | A Chosen People
  • Prophets
    • Isaiah 40:1 | God's People Are Comforted

Portion Summary

The forty-fifth reading from the Torah and the second reading from the book of Deuteronomy is named Va'etchanan (ואתחנן), which means "and I besought." The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, "I also pleaded (va'etchanan) with the LORD at that time" (Deuteronomy 3:23). The portion completes the historical prologue of the Deuteronomy covenant document and begins a rehearsal of the stipulations. Part of that rehearsal is a repetition of the Ten Commandments and the famous first passage of the Shema: Deuteronomy 6:4-9.


Moses warned the children of Israel that if they strayed from the Torah and worshipped idols, God would exile them from the land of Israel and scatter them among the nations. Nevertheless, He would not abandon them. Moses says that a person only needs to repent and seek the LORD. "You will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul" (Deuteronomy 4:29). Similarly, Yeshua teaches, "He who seeks, finds" (Luke 11:10). If we earnestly seek God and reach out for Him, He will not hide Himself from us.

We should never congratulate ourselves as if we have already attained the goal. A person should always regard himself as a seeker of God. "Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face continually" (Psalm 105:4). The prophet Amos tells us, "Seek the LORD that you may live" (5:6).

Even if we have found the way to God through the person of His Son, Yeshua, this is only the beginning of the quest, not the end. The real life of faith is an ongoing pursuit of the LORD. The contrite heart continues to seek God each day and continually cries out:

I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 63:1; 42:1-2)

Seeking God is the pursuit of righteousness. "Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, who seek the LORD" (Isaiah 51:1), the prophet says. In another passage he clearly states that seeking the LORD entails repentance:

Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7)

The one who seeks finds, but what if a person does not seek? It is possible to go through life in a state of numb self-contentment, continually distracted by the things of the world. "They do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!" (Isaiah 31:1).

One often sees children brought up in religious families who seem to nurture a bored disinterest toward God and the things of the kingdom of heaven. Their faith is an inherited faith that has never taken root. They have no desire to seek God for themselves, and they quickly fall away from faith. There are also the lost in the world who do not have enough knowledge of God to know to seek Him. As believers, we need to encourage everyone to seek the LORD.

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)

Join the Conversation:

FFOZ Friends are individuals, families, or congregations who resonate with the mission and vision of First Fruits of Zion and contribute financially towards reaching our ministry objectives.

Become a Friend!

Share this Teaching

Torah Club is an interactive group Bible study that brings together disciples from diverse backgrounds to share the common ground of new discovery. We have more than three hundred clubs forming around the world. Find a Torah Club in your area. If there is none, prayerfully consider joining our global mission and start a club in your area—there are others like you who want to be a part of Torah Club.

Learn More


Get the Email Newsletter

The Weekly eDrash

Get inspirational teachings on the Torah Portions delivered to your inbox free every week. Insightful commentary from Genesis to Deuteronomy!

EMAIL NEWSLETTER SIGN UP


Related Commentary

Torah Portions Library

Unlock all the portion library articles:
sign in, or join our community »


© 2019 First Fruits of Zion, Inc., All Rights Reserved

FOLLOW US ON

First Fruits of Zion

© 2019, All Rights Reserved

Copyright Privacy Contact Help Donate