Parsha “Bechukotai” (Leviticus 26:2 through the end of the Book) contains one of the two most dramatic sets of ‘blessings and cursings,’ but particularly cursings, in all of Scripture. And it is, as Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa demonstrates, utterly relevant now.

First, the Erev Shabbat reading:

The Sabbath Day midrash starts with a reminder: We are NOT in the land; we’re in exile.

But America’s Founding Fathers knew that. In August, 1776, Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were tasked with coming up with a suggested design for the Great Seal of the united States. Both Franklin and Jefferson wanted a depiction of then-Israel from the Exodus. Ben Franklin described a scene from the ‘parting of the Red Sea,’ with the inscription, later adopted, that “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

Yet they also clearly understood what was at the heart of the message of Leviticus chapter 26: “IF you will walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments,” you will be blessed. They believed that in this New land, there was a Covenant to be kept.

But now, what is beyond doubt is not merely that it has been broken, but that what He says in verse 15 is true: That this has become a nation, and a world, that rejects His statutes, and has a soul which abhors His laws. And, evidently as a direct result, “those that hate you,” do “rule over you?

And what, exactly, does it look like when YHVH Himself “appoints terror over you?”

Mark Call, of Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship, observes that we are about to find out.

But do we consent to that “other master?”

Bechukotai: The Covenant is clearly broken – so Where Are We in Those Curses?

The combined two-part teaching is here: