The Power of Teshuvah – Day 6
Keeping His Word
It is estimated that 80 million Americans believe we have been visited by aliens from another planet. Numerous studies show that millions of people believe in ghosts, extrasensory perception, and, of course, alien abductions.
People “believe” in many things. Nonetheless, our unwavering belief in Hashem is a certainty. When the Jewish people saw the sea split to let them pass in safety and then close over the heads of their Egyptian pursuers, the Torah states, “And Israel saw the great hand that Hashem inflicted upon Egypt, and the people feared Hashem, and they believed in Hashem and in Moses, His servant.”
Under those circumstances, however, it would seem almost impossible not to “believe” in the existence of God. Their “belief” is worthy of mention because it indicates that they believed that God would keep His word. That He is trustworthy, and that, just as He had fulfilled His promise to bring them out of Egypt, He would fulfill every promise He had ever made to their ancestors and would ever make to them for all eternity.
Our “belief” in God encompasses the complete trust in the absolute truth and trustworthiness of God’s every word. This level of faith is the foundation that had to be laid before the Jewish people were capable of receiving and embracing God’s holy Torah. It is at the core of the covenant between God and Israel.
The Talmud states, “What is the meaning of the word Amen? Rabbi Chanina said, ‘It is the acronym of the words Ei-l melech ne’eman, God, trustworthy King.’ ” We find that trustworthiness of God’s every word is actually used to describe God Himself.
Included among the Torah’s trustworthy words is the verse, “Rather, the matter is very near to you — in your mouth and in your heart — to perform it.” The Ramban teaches that “the matter” is teshuvah, which is near to us at all times and in all places. What is the benefit of teshuvah? The Torah promises: “You shall return and listen to the voice of Hashem … Hashem will make you abundant in all your handiwork … for good …when you return to Hashem, your God, with all your heart and all your soul.”
Believing with our entire being that God is trusted to reward virtue and punish sin is beyond question. There is no doubt: Do teshuvah and God forgives you and wipes away your misdeeds; thereby opening the way for blessings of livelihood, health, marriage and family, inner peace, and a renewed closeness with God.
Points to Ponder:
- Belief in God is a belief in the absolute trustworthiness of God’s words.
- The Torah assures us that teshuvah is within our ability, near to us at all times and in all places.
- Hashem promises that if we do teshuvah, He will forgive our sins and grant us a life of blessing.