Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, January 10, 2020 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Announcement:  On Sunday, January 26th, Shomair will have its annual members meeting.  It will start with a catered dinner at 6pm.  Shomair members are requested to register at https://syknox.org/annual-members-business-meeting-banquet/.  There is no charge, but we will need a number for the caterer. End of announcement.

I want to quote two verses from Proverbs and then explain why I chose these two verses.

Proverbs 3:11 My son, never despise Adonai’s discipline or dread His correction. 12 For Adonai loves those He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights.

There was a Messianic rabbi (no one is certain of his name) about 2,000 years ago (no one is certain of the date either) who wrote the book of Hebrews (currently canonized in the New Testament).  In Hebrews chapter 11, the author gives a great explanation of faith.  He starts with Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of realities not seen.

Then he goes into a detailed description of many the Biblical heroes and how they demonstrated their faith.  What follows that is an admonition to endure discipline which is then linked to demonstrating faith.  This is where our subject verses are quoted (in Hebrews 12:5,6).  He even commands us to have a right attitude about discipline.  We are to do more than endure, but to “non-despise” and “non-dread.”  (I just made those two words up.)

Notice too that discipline is connected etymologically (yes, look it up) to disciple.  Disciples are disciplined.  The Bible even says if we are not disciplined, then we are not disciples (children of God).  Hebrews 12:8 But if you are without discipline—something all have come to share—then you are illegitimate and not sons.

And to what purpose is all this discipline?  So we may be conformed to Yeshua’s ways.  Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  To be conformed to Yeshua’s image means to do what Yeshua did.  And what did Yeshua do?  He did the will of His Father.  That “will” is found in the commandments of God.  

I’ll close with this one verse which I feel fits here perfectly.  Okay, two verses.  John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

 As we read earlier (Romans 8:29), we are conformed to His image.  Need a second witness?  Here you go.  John 5:19 Therefore Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself. He can do only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.

The new “me too” movement.

Week 2
Memory Verse:  Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

6   1/6    Monday:        Job 38-39 

  1/7    Tuesday:       Job 40-42

8   1/8    Wednesday:  Genesis 11-12

9   1/9    Thursday:      Genesis 15

* 10 1/10  Friday:        Genesis 16-17

Question of the day:  What happened to Abram in Genesis 17?

Answer:  Several things, of course.  First, Abram get a name change to Abraham.  The addition of the Hebrew letter “Hay” is significant.  Abram is a compound name of two Hebrew words.  “Av” is “father” and “Ram” is “exalted.”  So Abram’s first name means “exalted father.”  

The addition of the letter “Hay” and the additional syllable changes everything.  Now Abraham is the “father of many people (nations).”  Then Abraham (with his new name) receives the promise of land.  

Every covenant God makes (All of God’s covenants are made first with the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we now know as Israel.) include the promise of specific land.  And God’s Abrahamic Covenant is no exception.

Then, finally, Abraham receives the most well known sign of God’s covenant promises, circumcision.  For new-born males, it is the 8th day covenant.  I could (and probably should) discuss this more, but you already know how I feel about it.  Discussing circumcision makes me nervous like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.   And on that happy note, Shabbat Shalom.