Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, January 2, 2023

Don’t Be Happy, Be Focused

Rabbi Trail: Happy New Year everybody.  Most likely you’ve heard that enough by now. Add to that, it’s not very biblical or godly to wish someone a “happy new year.”  Forget the fact that the date (January 1st) is not biblical.  It originated as a memorial of the death of Saint Sylvester.  (Pope Sylvester I, who served as Pope from 314 to 335)  Europeans (and many Israelis) call December 31st “Sylvester.” End RT.

While New Years Eve/Day is still on everyone’s mind, I want to bring a biblical perspective to it.  “Happy” is based on outside influences.  It is not ungodly to be happy, just don’t call it by that name.  Better to be joyful.  Happy is based on what “happens” (happenstance) to you.

Guess what?  Things change!  When they do, if you have been happy (externally generated) you will then have no choice but to be sad.  The real epidemic around the world is depression.  And the healer of depression is Yeshua.

The ungodly world is searching for happiness.  What will thrill them next?  Is it the next concert, movie or other amusement?  “Muse” means to focus.  Amusement means to lose focus.  Hebrews 12:1b Let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2a focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith.

In Hebrew, we find a word frequently translated as happy, Osher (also Asher, like the tribe).  In modern Hebrew it means happy, but in biblical Hebrew a better translation (and one frequently used) is “blessed.”  For example, Psalm 1:1a Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked,… ASV. Note: I had to use the ASV because the usual TLV translates “Ashre” as “happy.”

By now I’m sure you’re wondering where I’m going with this.  I simply wanted to wish everyone a blessed new year, while keeping it in a biblical and godly perspective.

Deuteronomy 28, verse 1 states “Tishma… Lishmor La’asot” (Lishmor is based on the first name of our congregation, Shomair) meaning “listen… to diligently do.”  What follows is a blessing… Deuteronomy 28:2 Then all these blessings will come upon you and overtake you, if you listen to the voice of Adonai your God.

“All these blessings” are found in the next 11 verses.  They apply individually and corporately (as the people of God).  Read them in Deuteronomy 28.  We pray in Yeshua’s name, “May this be a year of blessing for us all.”  His answer…  John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 02-Jan-2023 9th of Tevet, 5783
Ge 48:10-16 2 Sa 15 Ps 87 Lk 9:27-62 (2 Co 10)