Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, January 21, 2021

Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Bonus #4 in a series on Psalm 112.  Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the upright. Gracious, compassionate and just is he.  This is so straightforward.  The first verse of Psalm 112 mentions God (Yah) who will be praised (Hallelu-yah) and then mentions the Lord using the tetragrammaton (4 letter ineffable name of God).  Then, God is not mentioned again in any way until the last word in verse 7.  And following that, not again through the end of the Psalm in verse 10.  

So, here in verse 4, we are reading about God, but we have to go back to verse 1 to know it is God about Whom we are reading.  “His light shines in darkness,” but the verse out of context doesn’t say that.  “He is gracious, compassionate and just,” but again the verse out of context doesn’t say that.  We have to take the subject from verse 1 and continue to apply it throughout the Psalm.  

And the subject is God, Who blesses the man who fears Him.  One last thought today,… it is the man who fears God who is joyous.  Let’s keep that in mind as we go through our day. 

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

Thu 21-Jan-2021 8th of Sh’vat, 5781

Ex 12:21-28 1 Ki 16 Ps 119:1-24 Jn 1:1-28 (Col 4)

From today’s Aliyah… Exodus 12:26 Now when it happens that your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’

This is what we call in English an “if/then” sentence.  Paraphrasing, “If your children ask you, “What does this ceremony mean to you?”  Then how will you answer…?  But we are missing the “then” part.  Actually, it follows in the next verse, but I wanted to stop here for a reason.  I want to ask the question, “What does this ceremony mean to you?”

Throughout Christian history the honest answer has been, “Not much.  After all, we are under grace and those Old Testament ceremonies don’t apply today.”  What do you suppose Paul would have to say about that?  Let’s quote him.  1 Corinthians 5:7 Get rid of the old hametz, so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened—for Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast not with old hametz, the hametz of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread—the matzah of sincerity and truth.

Did you catch that?  “Therefore let us celebrate the feast!”  But Paul, we’re Yeshua following Corinthians.  Why do we need that ceremony?  Did you forget we’re saved by grace and no longer need the “works” of a ceremony?  God takes us deeper through symbolic acts.  After all, isn’t a wedding ceremony a symbolic act?  

Exodus 12:24 Also you are to observe this event as an eternal ordinance, for you and your children.  And what about the further enlightenment given in Exodus 13?  Exodus 13:14 “So when your son asks you in times to come, ‘What is this?’ say to him, ‘By a strong hand Adonai brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage.  This is from the 7th Aliyah of this week’s Torah portion.

The point is to be thankful.  God delivered the ancient Hebrews, and He has made provision to deliver us from slavery to sin through His Son, Yeshua.  Joel 2:21 Do not fear, O land. Be glad! Rejoice! For Adonai has done great things.  Go ahead and read more of Joel 2 as I did today.  You will be encouraged.

Week 4

Memory Verse: 1 John 3:18 Children, let us not love with word or talk, but in deed and truth!

16   1/18     Monday:         Genesis 27-28

17   1/19     Tuesday:        Genesis 29-30:24

18   1/20     Wednesday:   Genesis 31-32 

* 19 1/21     Thursday:       Genesis 33;35

20   1/22     Friday:            Genesis 37

Question of the day:  What was Jacob doing in Beth-El?

Answer:  The Bible tells us… Genesis 35:14 Jacob set up a memorial stone in the place where He had spoken with him—a stone pillar—and he poured a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. 15 Jacob named the place where God spoke with him Beth-El.

As we read through this part of Genesis, we see that God never left Jacob.  Jacob was blessed as he left his homeland (his father and mother), and he was blessed as he returned there.  Both, as he went and years later as he returned, Jacob was visited by God at Beth-El.  

What question rises up in us as we examine our own situation?  God promises never to leave us.  This is a word for many of you today.  Deuteronomy 31:6 Chazak! Be courageous! Do not be afraid or tremble before them. For Adonai your God—He is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.”

Have you ever noticed how sad people hang their heads?  Someone told me recently it is impossible to be sad when you lift your head and look up.  Luke 21:28 Now when these things begin to happen, stand straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation is near!”  Try it!  Shalom.