Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, January 9, 2020

Shalom *|FNAME|*,

If I said, “Our God loves covenant,” would you argue with me?  If I said, “Our God loves it when we make and keep covenants,” would that change your position?  

Rabbi Trail:  Notwithstanding rule #1, I’m asking rhetorically.  Rule number 1 is “don’t argue with Rabbi.” (In Hebrew it’s cute – actually a pun, “Al T’ariv Im Rav.”)  So, even before I ask the question, (“Would you argue with me?”) I know the answer is, “Of course not.”  Besides, God does love covenant.  I’m not saying He loves us more if we keep covenant, but I am saying He honors us when we keep covenant.  End RT.

God makes covenant.  He made covenant with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the ultimate covenant through Yeshua.  Covenants are promises; and when God promises, “Betach!”  Betach is the Hebrew word meaning “you can count on it.”  In English we usually say, “It’s a sure thing,” or “You can bet the farm.”

There is a pointless question that comes up among atheists and agnostics.  What thing is impossible for God?  Then the follow up… Can God create a rock so big that He can’t lift it?  My answer is, “Who cares?”  But what is impossible for God is that God cannot lie.  Right in the middle of Hebrews 6:18 we find this phrase, “…it is impossible for God to lie…”

I want to make another point.  Marriage is a long honored covenant.  Breaking a marriage covenant is not always done through divorce.  Divorce is a legal end to a marriage, but most marriages that end in divorce actually ended some other way before the divorce.

Some pastors are just plainly against all divorce.  I just can’t go there.  The question that has to be asked is the same question in every situation.  What outcome will provide the greatest redemptive value for all concerned?  Sometimes the physical reality has to catch up to the spiritual reality.

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that Adonai your God, He is God—the faithful God who keeps covenant kindness for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His mitzvot,”

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:  How do we get our minds around one of the most quoted verses in the Bible?  Genesis 15:6 Then he (Abraham) believed in Adonai and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Answer:  God offered Abraham a grace covenant.  The sign of the seal of that covenant was circumcision.  God was teaching Abraham (and consequently, the rest of us) that He (Elohim) is the creator, and we can add nothing to His creation.  God created the world to love us in it, and we can’t earn His love.  We can only believe and receive.  

Abraham had the plan of salvation through Yeshua explained to him.  Through Abraham (then Isaac and Jacob) God would bring for a nation that would produce His Son in the fullness of time.  This would provide the ultimate covenant.

But it started with one man of faith who crossed over from unbelief into belief.  The Hebrew word for “cross over” is the Hebrew word for Hebrew (Eev’ri).  We, who have faith in Messiah Yeshua have followed that same path of faith and have crossed over to become Eev’ri, or at least grafted in.

Welcome to the family of God.