Nitzavim- Vayeilech: Haftarah of Consolation #7
Isaiah Chapter 61:10-63:1: The prophet begins this final vision of consolation and redemption with a vision of the joy that comes from a healthy relationship with God. Isaiah compares the joy to that of a marriage in
which the man is always a groom and the woman always a bride. This is not a description of an old marriage of two people so accustomed to each other that they cease to make the effort to win the affection of the other. This is not a vision of the Jewish people taking their relationship with God. This is a new relationship. This is a marriage of eternal dating each party striving to attract the love of the other. God’s wins us over with constant expressions of love and we constantly strive to earn God’s love again much as a groom winning his bride. Israel reaffirms its original mission to be a kingdom of priests. We understand that we must live with such joy in our relationship with God, with such clarity, that we make the connection with God attractive to all the people of the earth.
Our lives will produce righteousness and good before all nations. We can live in such a manner that will naturally attract others to God. It is of this we must constantly speak and dream. This is what will make us attractive.
We can never take God’s love for granted. We must always speak of our vision of redemption, the perfect marriage, the ideal relationship. We desire a life in which God desires us and our service and that desire is manifest. Those who remember, always, that this is our ultimate wish, those who speak of this vision, are the guardians of Jerusalem. For it is they who see Jerusalem as the center of the earth, a place from which light goes out to the world and is a magnet to attract all of creation.
Have we forfeit our beauty? Have we lost the ability to attract God’s love? Look, see; who will be the one to bring news of the redemption. His clothes may be soiled. He may look old and unattractive, but his words of righteousness will carry all along with him as Elijah leads us back home.
Of what do we speak? Of what do we dream? Our clothes do not matter. Our outward appearance is not what we need to continue to win God’s affection. It will be our dreams, our goals, our vision for the world the will result in God declaring, “I desire these people.”