Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, November 5, 2019
My day began with a thought. Yesterday (I’m writing on Monday, so “yesterday” to me was Sunday) I attended a major part of the Tikkun Institute in Frederick, MD. I was late because I had to fly back from Dallas first. Michael Rudolph spoke on his tomb, the two volume set, The Law Of Messiah. https://smile.amazon.com/Law-Messiah-Torah-Covenant-Perspective/dp/1733711236/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Book+The+Law+of+Messiah+by+Michael+Rudolph&qid=1572898547&sr=8-1
As followers of Yeshua we must apply the Law of Moses to our lives in light of New Covenant realities. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to inform our observance. In traditional Judaism it our sages (through their writing in the Talmud) who do the interpretation of observance. As Messianics, we have better promises (according to Hebrews 8:6).
As Michael Rudolph spoke, the presentation turned to Jewish and non-Jewish roles in regard to the Law of God. This led to my outburst last night (I wrote the RR late) after I read Romans 7. Back to the thought that started my day today… I remembered Michael said this, “Unless you have standards that apply equally to the entire community, you don’t really have a community.
Rabbi Trail: If you’re from any small town in Texas, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Being from “the other side of the tracks” really does mean something. For those towns build along rail lines, there really are tracks and there really is the better side of town and the less desirable side of town.
The western side of town is always more desirable. The answer is simple. Generally, as people settled towns they arrived from the east and spread west. But there is more to it. The prevailing wind in North America is from west to east. When I first moved to Texas the smell of cattle was offensive. But everyone I knew called it the smell of money, and that made it less so.
The smell of horses and other livestock is carried by the wind from west to east, so living on the east side of town was less desirable because you had to smell the west side (but for the most part, the west side did not have to smell the east side). End RT.
What started that RT? What if there were two sets of laws, one for the west side of town and another set for the east side of town? It wouldn’t be much of a community now would it?
We don’t all have to agree on every detail. So we “major in the majors” with agreement on the major issues. Also, there is freedom for us as individuals to live as we are lead by the Holy Spirit. The more we are in agreement with our community standards, the stronger our community will be. Paul frequently has to rebuke the communities to which he is writing for not being unified with regard to the standards he passed on to them.
What if Paul wrote a letter to the community at Shomair. And in that letter he wrote this… “nevertheless, I have this against you Shomair….” How would he finish that sentence? More importantly, what shall we do about it? Let’s pray into how we should answer those questions.
Memory Verse: Romans 12:1 I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy, acceptable to God—which is your spiritual service. 2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
221 11/04 Monday: Romans 7-8
* 222 11/05 Tuesday: Romans 9-10
223 11/06 Wednesday: Romans 11-12
224 11/07 Thursday: Romans 13-14
225 11/08 Friday: Romans 15-16
Question of the day: Why is Romans 9, 10, and 11 even in the Bible?
Answer: Today’s reading and half of tomorrow’s is the heart of Messianic Jewish theology. Paul devotes these 3 chapters (I doubt they were chapters when he wrote them) to explaining the place and value of Jewish followers of Yeshua.
We know that God values all cultures. Let me rephrase that. God values what is valuable in every culture. Is the Jewish culture just another culture to God? Read the Bible. Find any page (there are a few, but very few) that does not deal with Jewish culture. Jewish culture is the apple of God’s eye. Jewish culture is the culture that God chose to introduce Himself into the World.
This week’s Torah portion is Lech L’cha that starts with Genesis 12. Read Genesis 12-18 and you’ll start to understand the basis of my comments here. Jewish people are not just another people group to God. And if I jump ahead to tomorrow’s reading, we have this… Romans 11:29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Today, the vast majority of the Christian world is not Jewish. That was not so in the beginning. In the beginning, all the followers of Yeshua were Jewish. But Paul lived in a day when the growth of the body of believers was among non-Jewish people groups. In fact, Paul calls himself the apostle to the gentiles.
So he writes 3 chapters to help the Romans (mostly non-Jewish) to value His own people who are the apple of God’s eye and have an irrevocable calling. Romans 11:28 Concerning the Good News, they are hostile for your sake; but concerning chosenness, they are loved on account of the fathers—
In Messianic Judaism, our calling is to participate with God’s plan to make Israel jealous. How do we do that? By having more fun (I want to explain this word “fun” below) with Jewish things than Jewish people do.
Rabbi Trail: What do I mean by “fun?” Perhaps enjoyment and pleasure would be better words. Perhaps blessing and especially miracles would be even better. End RT.
So, when Israel fulfills her “irrevocable calling” that will be “life from the dead” which is a good way to describe worldwide revival. How exciting! Let’s get after it!