Nasag - Overtaken By God
                                               by Lois Tverberg
"Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth."All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God: " Deuteronomy 28:1-2

In ancient times many words came out of the common cultural practice of hunting - one was radaf, to "pursue", another was nasag, meaning "to overtake" or "to catch up to." Of course they were used in their literal sense, as when Laban pursued (radaf) and overtook (nasag) Jacob fleeing with his daughters (Gen. 31:23).

In modern American culture that moves so fast, it seems that most of us are always chasing after something. Even among Christians, we feel we need to always be pursuing and attaining more and more. Even when thinking about how we are doing spiritually, we seem to see ourselves as the ones in pursuit of something, like a deeper walk with God or a greater ability to serve. We are always striving.

In light of this, I enjoyed seeing a metaphor in the Scriptures that seemed to be a little unusual in Deuteronomy 28:1-2. When a person seeks after doing God's will, what happens is not that he "catches up to" God or his blessings. Instead, God's blessings catch up to him! The text says, "All these blessings will come upon you and overtake (nasag) you if you obey the LORD your God." Imagine God's blessings chasing after you and catching up to you! If we pursue righteousness, we don't have to worry about finding our reward, because God is chasing after us with it.

Another delightful picture like this one is found in Psalm 23:6, when the psalmist says, "Surely goodness and mercy will pursue (radaf) me all of my life...." Most traditional translations say that "goodness and mercy will follow me", but the word actually is "pursue!" The psalmist has no worries about his enemies who are after him, because he is utterly convinced that God is chasing him down with his love!

   ©2005 Lois A. Tverberg, Ph.D., OurRabbiJesus.com. All rights
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