Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, May 14, 2020
Counting the Omer – Day 33 (Lag B’Omer)
Here is the proper blessing to be said each day. This is how Jewish people fulfill the command to count.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹֽמֶר
Baruch Atah Adonai Elohenu Melech Ha-Olam, Asher Kid’shanu B’mitzvotav, Vitzivanu Al Sefirat Ha-Omer.
Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by his commandments and commanded us about the counting of the Omer. Today is four weeks and five days of the counting of the Omer.
Today is Lag B’Omer. (Our counting is a little different from the larger Jewish community, so we are 2 days behind. I explained this difference at the beginning of our counting. I still think we are counting correctly.) Here is a link to more than you will ever want to know about Lag B’Omer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lag_BaOmer
Now we are following our understanding of the longing for beauty for the fourth time. We start with this comment. “God imparts His own beauty to those who follow Him.” Let’s turn to the Scriptures for a prooftext.
2 Corinthians 3:16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Ruach Adonai is, there is freedom. 18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory—just as from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Every time we replace darkness with light, we reflect the beauty of His image. Yeshua is the reality of all things. So naturally, He is the reality of the beauty of God. We cannot see God the Father and live, but we can see the Son. Hebrews 1:3a This Son is the radiance of His glory and the imprint of His being.
“The radiance of His glory” is the bright reflection of God’s presence. When we follow the Son, we also reflect His “marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Then there is Isaiah who prophesies that we will exchange beauty for ashes. Isaiah 61:1a The Ruach Adonai Elohim is on me, because Adonai has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor…. 3a to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes.
All of these verses address the spiritual reality of beauty (Remember the 4th dimension we discussed a few days ago?), which far exceeds the physical appearance of this 3 dimensional world. As the beloved of God, we become more like Him in every way, including His beauty. Revelation 21:9 Then came one of the seven angels… saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”… 11 having the glory of God—her radiance like a most precious stone, like a jasper, sparkling like crystal.
These verses and those that follow are the greatest description of beauty ever. What’s this? The Bride is described as a city. Not only are we (the Bride) promised citizenship in New Jerusalem, but as we come to the end of Revelation, we find that we ARE the new city first described earlier in the chapter. Revelation 21:2 I also saw the holy city—the New Jerusalem—coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Over each gate is an angel and a name; a name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. There are 3 gates in each of the four square walls of the city. Also, the four walls are built on 12 foundations and those foundations are the Apostles. There is so much beauty in New Jerusalem, there is no darkness there.
Revelation 21:23 And the city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb…. 27 And nothing unholy shall ever enter it, nor anyone doing what is detestable or false, but only those written in the Book of Life.
Revelation 22:5 Night shall be no more, and people will have no need for lamplight or sunlight—for Adonai Elohim will shine on them. And they shall reign forever and ever!
These last 2 chapters of the Bible are John’s attempt to describe a beauty that is truly beyond words. 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, “Things no eye has seen and no ear has heard, that have not entered the heart of mankind— these things God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Paul is building on the prophesy of Isaiah… Isaiah 65:17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating. For behold, I am creating Jerusalem for rejoicing, and her people for joy.
The eternal beauty to come will far surpass the temporal beauty of this age. Buckle up buttercup.
Memory Verse: Proverbs 1:7 The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
96 5/11 Monday: Proverbs 1-2
97 5/12 Tuesday: Proverbs 3-4
98 5/13 Wednesday: Proverbs 16-18
* 99 5/14 Thursday: Proverbs 31
100 5/15 Friday: 1 Kings 11-12
Question of the day: When was “Mother’s Day?”
Answer: I know, last Sunday. Thank you again Raymond Finney for writing so eloquently about mothers and motherhood. King Solomon (the writer of Proverbs) ended his 31 chapters with an excellent 22 verse description of the strength and valor of women. These verses are named for the first two words in verse 10, “A Woman of Valor.”
There is no way to improve on Solomon’s wisdom. But there is a way to improve on Solomon’s practice. Here’s my invitation to all the men reading this RR; let’s love with excellence. Treat your wife like a queen and you will be married to royalty.
All of us (men and women, married and single) are called to be Messiah’s ambassadors in every situation of life. Let’s remember that the next time we are tempted to be selfish or self-centered. Let’s pray… May we purpose to see the essence of God creation through God’s eyes (“on earth as it is in heaven”). May God fill our mouths with words that build up and encourage. In the name of Yeshua. Amen.