Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, January 15, 2021

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Fri 15-Jan-2021 2nd of Sh’vat, 5781

Ex 8:19-9:16 1 Ki 11 Ps 111-112 Lk 22:39-71 (Php 3)

Psalm 112 is part of our reading for today.  Let’s appreciate it together.  It starts (just like Psalm 111 before it, and 113 after it) with the Hebrew word Halleluyah!  “Hallel” is the Hebrew word for “praise.”  The “u” is a contraction for “our,” and “yah” is one of God’s names.  Put it together and we have “Our praise for God,” or as we like to say, “praise the Lord.”

Psalm 112 is written as an acrostic with each phrase starting with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  There are 10 verses and 22 letters.  Oops, that means 2 verses must have 3 phrases.  You’re right, the last two verses have 3 phrases and use 3 letters each.  Thus, each of the 22 letters has a designated phrase.

Let’s look at a few of them.  I am drawn to the message as it applies to what many of us are feeling in these days of trial.

Psalm 112:1 Halleluyah! Happy is the man who fears Adonai, who delights greatly in His mitzvot.  What a great start!  The Hebrew word for “happy” is “Ashre.”  This seems to me to be somewhat onomotopic (sounds like what it means).  Go ahead and shout, “Ashre!” and try to be sad while you do.  Not possible.  It’s almost like “hooray!”  The message is to be happy while taking delight “Chafetz” in obeying His commands.

The world is having a pandemic of depression.  The CDC is warning 25% of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 have contemplated suicide in the last month.  The scriptures are promising delight and much more (as we will see) to those who obey God.

Chew on that much for today.  I’ll pick up with this as a bonus section in the RR tomorrow.

Week 3

Memory Verse: Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. Yes, he who had received the promises was offering up his one and only son— 18 the one about whom it was said, “Through Isaac offspring shall be named for you.” 19 He reasoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead—and in a sense, he did receive him back from there.

11   1/11     Monday:          Genesis 18-19

12   1/12     Tuesday:         Genesis 20-21

13   1/13     Wednesday:    Genesis 22 

14   1/14     Thursday:        Genesis 24

* 15 1/15     Friday:             Genesis 25:19-34;26

Question of the day:  Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah and 60 when the twins we born (near the end of chapter 25).  What other blessings did Isaac get in his old age?

Answer:  Plenty… Genesis 26:4 I will multiply your seed like the stars of the sky and I will give your seed all these lands. And in your seed all the nations of the earth will continually be blessed, 5 because Abraham listened to My voice and kept My charge, My mitzvot, My decrees, and My instructions.”

And also this… Genesis 26:24 Adonai appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you, and I will bless you and multiply your seed for the sake of Abraham my servant.”

God is never late and he is never early.  To be early or late would imply a mistake in timing, and God makes no mistakes, in timing or anything else.  He is always just right on time.  Let’s rest in God’s timing.  

Read Psalm 19 and believe it… Psalm 19:2 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky shows His handiwork. 3 Day to day they speak, night to night they reveal knowledge. (The planets and all of space moves on time.)

And here are two bonus verses… Psalm 19:8 The Torah of Adonai is perfect, restoring the soul. The testimony of Adonai is trustworthy, making the simple wise. 9 The precepts of Adonai are right, giving joy to the heart. The mitzvot of Adonai are pure, giving light to the eyes.

What more could you, Isaac, or anyone else ask?  God is good, all the time.  He is also good on time.