Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Please say a special prayer for the country of Israel, their armed forces fighting terror, and all their citizens, those who know and love the Lord and those who have yet to come to faith.  Please also pray for all of the innocents who have been so traumatically affected.  Thank you.

Life In The Body part 35 – Romans, part 210

Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day over another while another judges every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

Every once in a while my phone rings because someone thinks they’ve just discovered a better calendar.  https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/julian-gregorian-switch.html  (Note : in the switch between the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the date changed, but the days of the week didn’t.)  Even better than that, part of their “discovery” always includes the idea that Saturday (Shabbat) is not really Saturday.  They believe the real day of rest is what we now call Thursday (or some other day).  In light of that, allow me to settle the issue once and for all with a simple statement of truth….  “There is always someone with a ‘better’ calendar!”

My problem isn’t that they want to keep their own calendar, it’s that they want me to join them in their newly discovered “wisdom.”  But our verse clearly says, “Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.”  Let’s do that!

Having settled that issue, now let’s turn our attention to Shabbat itself.  You can worship God any day (or every day) if you like, but that doesn’t change the fourth commandment.  To believe anything else, you have to use (what I like to call) “X-acto knife theology.

Rabbi Trail:  Those who practice X-acto knife theology have to cut out verses of scripture from the Bible to make what they read in their Bible fit their preconceived ideas of theology.  End RT.

Besides all the specific verses that make God’s seventh day Shabbat clear as crystal, there is that name, “Shabbat!”  It is the Hebrew name for the seventh day of the week.  In Hebrew, the names of the days are numbers.  Sunday is “Yom Rishon” meaning “the first day” and Monday is “Yom Sheni” or “the second day.”  And guess what… “Yom Shabbat” means “the seventh day.”

The idea that you could somehow turn “day seven” into some other day would be “ludicrous.”  (That’s a word other people have made popular, but I like it here.)  We better turn to some scripture “quick, fast and in a hurry.”  (Now I’m quoting Rascal Flatts, what’s happening to the world today?) Let’s start with the Ten Commandments (number 4).

Exodus 20:8 “Remember Yom Shabbat, to keep it holy. 9 You are to work six days, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Shabbat to Adonai your God. In it you shall not do any work—not you, nor your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your cattle, nor the outsider that is within your gates. 11 For in six days Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Thus Adonai blessed Yom Shabbat, and made it holy.

The first word in Deuteronomy (the repetition of the Ten Commandments), chapter 5 verse 12 is changed from “Zachor” (remember, memorialize) to “Shamor” (observe, protect, keep).  We ask, “Which is it, Lord?”  And He answers, “Both!”  We are to both memorialize and defend the Sabbath Day.

Shabbat is the link between Genesis chapters 1 and 2.  Genesis 1:31b So there was evening and there was morning—the sixth day.  Genesis 2:1 So the heavens and the earth were completed along with their entire array. 2 God completed—on the seventh day—His work that He made, and He ceased—on the seventh day—from all His work that He made. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on it He ceased from all His work that God created for the purpose of preparing.  We get blessed when we honor what God honors, when we love what God loves.

There are so many biblical references to Shabbat.  Let me close this today with one of my favorites.  Isaiah 58:13 If you turn back your foot from Shabbat, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call Shabbat a delight, the holy day of Adonai honorable, If you honor it, not going your own ways, not seeking your own pleasure, nor speaking your usual speech, 14 then You will delight yourself in Adonai, and I will let you ride over the heights of the earth, I will feed you with the heritage of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of Adonai has spoken.  

Simply put, God can do more in six days than we can do in seven.  Put Him to the test in this.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue 14-Nov-2023 1st of Kislev, 5784 Rosh Chodesh Kislev
Ge 26:13-22, Nu 28:11-15 Jdg 11 Ps 34 Mt 26:1-30 (Ro 11:1-16)