Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, November 5, 2023

Shavuah Tov,

Comment by Rabbi Michael:  Regarding Raymond’s “goodbye” below, Raymond has been a trusted friend for more than 20 years.  I am so thankful for his many contributions to our Messianic community.  Of course Raymond will make RR submissions in the future, but I do want to grant him relief from the weekly expectation.  Let’s be praying for Raymond and about what to have as a devotional on Sunday.  His writings are always so insightful and popular.  He is a treasure, and there will be no replacement.  Love you Raymond.

PS – I just found out that Raymond is in ICU at Blount Memorial following neck surgery and some complications that followed.  Please lift him up in prayer.

In the beginning, God…

by Dr. Raymond Finney

ANNOUNCEMENT– GOODBYE: I have suffered from a neuromuscular malady for months. My mobility is severely impaired. Walking from one end of my home to the other may involve a fall. I am beginning to lose the use of my hands. My wife must button my shirt for me.

MRI studies show severe cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis. I may have other as yet undiagnosed problems, too. I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon this week. I regret that this RR should be the last I write, whether temporarily or permanently. Writing just one RR weekly is becoming a struggle for me.

I thank Rabbi Weiner for giving me this opportunity to serve the Lord. To any reader, thank you. I am now eighty-two years old, My amazing wife, Linda, my family, and so many others have given me such a wonderful life. I have no complaints, whatever lies ahead for me. If I am able to write more RRs in the future and Rabbi permits, I will talk to you, then. If not, may we walk together on streets of gold in New Jerusalem some glorious day. Maranatha!

INTRODUCTION– TIME FOR A RESPITE FROM BAD NEWS? The Tanakh begins with the beginning (Hebrew Parashat Bereshit). << See Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. >>

I have watched too much news recently, as may have you. The news seems mostly bad. Sadly, my watching bad news does not make the news any better. The news will likely continue to worsen until our Messiah returns and finally establishes His Shalom throughout the world. According to Yeshua’s Olivet Discourse, wars and tribulations must occur first.

Instead of placing my “spin” on bad news, I suggest you join me today in  concentrating on the goodness, power, and sovereignty of God. God, Creator of the Universe, has always been in control yesterday, today, and forevermore.

Your Internet connection is a passport for you to marvel at the magnificence of God’s creation. A search engine will permit your armchair travel into at least a small amount of God’s creation.

Acknowledging that similar Websites are available, I suggest one site for the purpose of this RR: https://esahubble.org/images/archives/top100/ .

This site is an archive of one-hundred images of the Universe compiled by the Hubbard space telescope. If you are unfamiliar with the way to navigate through such an archive, a few maneuvers will enhance your enjoyment:

● To enlarge the image, hit the “Fullscreen” prompt on the right side of the image. Use the Escape <Esc> key on your keyboard to return to the default (not enlarged) size of the image.

● Use arrow prompts on the sides of the image to go to the next image ( > ) or return to the previous image ( < ).

You may be reading this RR on a Sunday afternoon. I suggest you plan on spending some time to marvel at God’s creation. You may want to brew a pot of coffee or hot tea and relax in the arms of your Father. Dedicate this time just for yourself and the Creator of the Universe.

HOW BIG IS GOD? The God who created the vastness of the Universe is the same God who controls the affairs of humans. We cannot surprise God. He has known about you and me, and about Israel and her enemies, and about, well, everything that was, is, and is to come. God is not surprised by humans’ sins and rejection of Him. Scriptures tell us of a never-changing Messiah. << See Hebrews 13:8: Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever. >>

The stars and galaxies you see in these photographs are separated by vast distances. Astronomers measure space distance in “light years.” A light year multiplies:

● The speed of light (the constant “c” in mathematical computations) and

● The number of seconds in an earthly year.

The speed of light (c) is 186,282 miles per second. A year is 365.2442 days (commonly rounded to 365.25 days). A year in seconds may also be expressed as 365.25 x 24 x 60 x 60. Multiply this large number of seconds in a year by 186,282 miles per second, and WOW! Let me save wear and tear on your calculator. A light year is a distance of approximately 5.88 TRILLION earth miles. The bodies you see in these NASA photographs are many light years apart.

INCIDENTALLY: Our government sadly spends billions of citizens’ tax dollars trying to find water on other planets– planets that are, say, ONLY a few dozen  light years away. If NASA scientists will visit me and buy my lunch, I will find water within walking distance of my home. Actually, I can find running water inside my home (so, bring me a takeout lunch).

Why is there an obsession with finding water in space? Could it be that there is another agenda for some scientists than the quest for water on other planets? The water molecule is simple– two atoms of hydrogen combined with one atom of oxygen. Is it surprising that water exists in space? Comets, for example, are mostly ice (frozen water).

If water is found, then there may be life. If life is found in space, all “Bible thumpers” should be silenced. Right? Wrong! The Bible does not claim that Elohim (God) created life exclusively on Earth. All the Bible says is that God created everything– here on Earth and throughout the Universe. He may have done so with a “Big Bang,” if the scientists want. < See Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. >> Period.

I admit it is unfair for me to question the motives of people I have never met. I still wonder, though.

Even if you and I have countless “cousins” scattered throughout God’s Universe, God remains God and the Bible remains Truth. Scientists cannot destroy God with foolish “research.” If water and life are found on planets other than Earth, nothing changes. << See Psalm 37:13: The Lord laughs at [wicked man] – for He sees his day is coming. >>

CONCLUSION: I hope you have spent some time marveling at God’s creation. Complete your quiet time by considering a few verses from the Bible:

● Psalm 8:2, 4-5: Adonai our Lord, how excellent is Your Name over all the earth! You set Your splendor above the heavens. || When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You established– what is man, that You are mindful of him? And the son of man, that You care for him?

● Psalm 19:2: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky shows His handiwork.

● Psalm 95:3-5: For Adonai is a great God and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, the mountain peaks are His also. The sea is His– He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.

● Psalm 96:11-12: Let the heavens be glad, let the earth rejoice. Let the sea roar– and all that fills it. Let the land exult– and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy….

● Psalm 104:24-25: Adonai, how countless are Your works! In wisdom You made them all– the earth is full of Your creatures. There is the sea, vast and wide, teeming with gliding things innumerable, living creatures, both small and large.

● Psalm 139:14: I praise You [Adonai], for I am awesomely, wonderfully made! Wonderful are Your work– and my soul knows that very well.

● Isaiah 40:26: Lift up your eyes on high, and see! Who created these? The One who brings out their host by number, the One who calls them all by name. Because of His great strength and vast power, not one is missing.

● John 1:3:All things were made through Him [the Word made flesh = Yeshua], and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being.

● Colossians 1:16: For by Him [God] all things were created– in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen, whether thrones or angelic powers or rulers or authorities. All was created through Him and for Him.

You are part of God’s magnificent creation! Shalom and Maranatha.

<< Scriptures are quoted from the Tree of Life Bible Version. >>

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

Sun 5-Nov -2023 21st of Cheshvan, 5784

Ge 23:1-16 Jdg 3 Ps 26 Mt 21:23-46 (Ro 4)