Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, January 31, 2020 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Yesterday the Trump administration (wisely, to take some attention off the incessant drumbeat of the impeachment trial) made a public announcement of the long-awaited “Deal of the Century” Mid-east peace plan.  Let me offer two “don’t’s.”  Don’t look to any national media for accurate and objective reporting.  Try the link to CAMERA below.  The second “don’t” is DON’T GET YOUR HOPES UP.  The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to pass on a good deal.  

They want their own country.  But they don’t have their own country because every time they were offered their own country they said, “No thanks.”  What happens when they are given land and sovereignty?  We get a Hamas controlled terror state in the Gaza Strip from which to attack Jewish Israel.  Yes, their position is that as long as there is a Jewish state in the Middle East there will never be a Palestinian State.  Yes, I think we have a situation only God can redeem.  But I do give President Trump credit for trying.


That said… let’s return to our analysis of the 12 Pillars.  Currently, I am writing commentary on Pillar 4.  So here we go…

Pillar Four: The Kingdom is Expressed in a Life of Power – part 2

Mark 16:17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak new languages; 18 they will handle snakes; and if they drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.”

Read the context of these verses.  According to the Gospel of Mark, these were the last words of Yeshua.  There He was, teaching the disciples for 40 days.

Rabbi Trail:  These 40 days were the first 40 days of the counting of the omer, which is counted for 50 days, from the 3rd day of Passover (resurrection day) until Shavuot which is the day the Holy Spirit fell with power.  End RT.

Immediately after speaking these words, it is written… Mark 16:19 Then the Lord Yeshua, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.  What would your last words have been?  Aren’t the last words of every person given extra weight?  Don’t you suppose Yeshua chose His last words carefully?  Some scholars dismiss Yeshua’s last words as possibly being added to the text after the gospel was complete.  But those same scholars believe in Santa Claus.  (Sorry if I just ruined it for you.)

I am writing this from my home in East Tennessee.  What I say next might offend the snake handlers in my neighborhood.  

Rabbi Trail:  More power to them.  I openly admit I have faith for some things and not for other things.  All I want to add is that if you’re going to handle poisonous snakes, do so being prayed up and at the leading of the Lord.  I feel the same way about drinking from the same communion cup as 200 other people (although I don’t mind being first).  I don’t care if they have the magic cloth to wipe away all the germs between each partaker.  I’m not even wild about drinking after myself.  End RT.

I said this yesterday, but didn’t really break it down.  (Yes, I admit quoting myself is a sure sign of senility.  Maybe it’s only if I do not know that I’m quoting myself that I’m senile.)  For every reality of God, Satan has a counterfeit.  This is especially true regarding the power of God.  My advice, never let the counterfeit get in the way of the reality.

Since Yeshua ascended on high, we have His kingdom (His presence and power) available to us all, everywhere and all the time.  This is exactly opposite the experience of the kingdom of God before Yeshua came.  One man (the high priest) was allowed to go into one place (the Holy of Holies) at one time (Yom Kippur afternoon) to experience the power and presence of God.  

But now, we all can call upon the Lord at any time and at any place.  Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us.  By what?  By “His power” that works in us.  Are you part of “us?”  If so, then His power is at work in you.  Why don’t we feel it?  Because we’re not asking.  Jacob (James) 4:2b You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives so you may spend it on your passions.

There’s more, but that’s enough for today.  Pray for more power to grow His kingdom.  Remember the words of Yeshua… Luke 22:42b “…not My will, but Yours be done.”

Week 5
Memory Verse: Romans 8:28 Now we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. 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. 30 And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified; and those whom He justified, He also glorified.

21  1/27     Monday:        Genesis 39-40

22  1/28     Tuesday:       Genesis 41

23  1/29    Wednesday:   Genesis 42-43

24  1/30    Thursday:      Genesis 44-45

* 25 1/31    Friday:           Genesis 46-47

Question of the day:  How does Jacob characterize his life to Pharaoh?

Answer:  Joseph presents His father, Jacob (now Israel), to Pharaoh.  Pharaoh asks Jacob how old he is.  Jacob tells him that he is 130 years old.  Then he says something I find curious.  Genesis 47:9b “Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life.”  

That’s so sad.  Jacob is the third of our Patriarchs.  He fathered 12 sons who would become 12 tribes.  He overcame the trial of birthright and his brother’s anger.  He overcame the trickery of his father-in-law.  He even lived to overcome the treachery of his own sons.  Yet he views his life in retrospect as short and evil.

Maybe he was just being humble before Pharaoh.  He didn’t want to look too good or sound too strong before the great king of Egypt.  Since the Bible doesn’t say, we don’t really know what he was thinking.  We do know, however; that Jacob blessed Pharaoh.  

Oh well.  I love a story with a happy ending.  The end of this story is not yet complete, although it has been written.  Revelation 21:3 I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God. 4 He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer, for the former things have passed away.”