Flourishing in God’s Word

Yael Eckstein  |  September 21, 2020

fountain of faith, Numbers 20:1

Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants. —
Deuteronomy 32:2

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Ha’azinu, which means “listen,” from Deuteronomy 32:1–52.

In order to keep my children busy while we were sheltering at home, avoiding the coronavirus, we did some science experiments. Among them, we grew a bean plant in a jar.

My four-year-old had a great time placing the beans with water and paper towels in a glass jar. But he had a harder time waiting for the plant to grow. No matter how much we explained to him that it would take some time before we saw the beans sprout, he kept checking on them every hour on that first day. No one was happier than he was when small green shoots finally appeared.

One of the things that I hope my son learned from that experiment is that when we invest our efforts into something, it takes time and patience until we see the results.

In this week’s Torah reading, Moses continued his final message to the people. He prayed: “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” Moses compared his teachings — the Word of God — to life-giving rain and dew.

In Jewish tradition, the Bible is compared to water. It is the source of life and a critical element for our survival. Just as rain and dew allow vegetation to grow and thrive, we need God’s Word to flourish and develop. And just as plants and trees consistently need water in order to live, we need the consistent flow of God’s Word into our lives.

However, there is another lesson in this verse, as well. While water makes it possible for vegetation to flourish, it takes time to see the results. It takes consistent watering over a long period for plants to grow and for trees to bear fruit.

It’s the same way when it comes to studying and living God’s Word. The teachings of the Bible are life-changing and life-giving, but in order to flourish in God’s Word, we have to be patient in order to see changes in ourselves and in our lives. It’s easy to get discouraged, but we need to wait with faith and obedience. Just like my son experienced, when the time is right, we will enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Your turn:

Commit to Bible study daily, weekly, or monthly. When we consistently nurture our souls with the Word of God, we will undoubtedly thrive — it’s just a matter of time