Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, September 7, 2019
Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,
I want to write today on the value of forgiveness. We all know it is expected and even commanded of us. But like a lot of things, the proof is in the doing, not in the knowing.
This Shabbat (September 7th) marks the end of the first week of the Hebrew month of Elul. Yes, Elul started (Rosh Chodesh Elul) was last Sunday. Why is this worth noting? Elul is the month that precedes Tishre and Tishre is the month with all the fall holidays (feasts of the Lord).
So Elul is the month of preparation for the holidays to come. And how do we prepare? We start with repentance.
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in tender compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience— 13 bearing with one another and forgiving each other, if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord pardoned you, so also you must pardon others.
That’s right, these verses talk about repentance without mentioning repentance.
Rabbi Trail: Repent is something we do after we have “pented.” Repent means to pent again. To be penitent is to show sorrow and regret for having done something wrong. End RT.
It also brings to mind the Lord’s prayer… Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.
We are all in favor of forgiveness until we are right and the other person is wrong. Then words take on different meanings. We say things (or think them) like, “Why should I forgive when I’m right?”
I want you to notice something about this verse. We don’t go if we have a problem; we go if we think someone may have a problem with us. Matthew 5:23 “Therefore if you are presenting your offering upon the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”
Yeshua is speaking here. Is He speaking to you? We should search our hearts, the Lord is. Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of Adonai, searching all his inmost being.
The Scriptures promise we will be offended. Luke 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! KJV
Rabbi Trail: I like the KJV here because it uses the word “offenses” “ (although they misspelled the word “offenses,” using “offences” instead.). End RT.
John Bevere calls offense the “Bait of Satan” (in his book by the same name). Satan uses offense as one of his best weapons to divide the body. The Bible promises offense will come. The question then is how will we respond to it? If we “take the bait” we become offended and that becomes our excuse to break off relationships.
Like most sins, it is based on pride. We think we deserve better. The truth is that we always deserve better, but so did our savior. Whether we know it or not, there is a war going on around us. Satan is trying to separate us from the love of God and the love of God’s people while God is leading us toward Him and toward each other. Remember, the victory belongs to the Lord.
What follows is a little long, but I couldn’t figure out what to redact.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say in view of these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is the one who condemns? It is Messiah, who died, and moreover was raised, and is now at the right hand of God and who also intercedes for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.