Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, December 10, 2023
Shavuah Tov,

Love Each Other / Glorify God part 4 – Romans, part 229

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through patience and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Whatever was written before?  To what could Paul be referring?  It couldn’t be the New Testament because the NT wasn’t canonized until about 30 years after Paul wrote this letter to the Romans.  Of course he is talking about the Hebrew Scriptures that were already well known in Paul’s day.  Yeshua quoted them and read from them.  They are “written for our instruction” for a purpose.

“So that through patience and the encouragement of the (Hebrew) Scriptures we might have hope.”  Why would we need encouragement except that discouragement is a constant threat?  In the Torah, we find Moses warning us not to “fear or be discouraged” because the Lord Deuteronomy 31:8b …will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.

Adonai spoke a similar word to Joshua in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Chazak! Be strong! Do not be terrified or dismayed, for Adonai your God is with you wherever you go.”  King David wrote the last verse of Psalm 27 for our benefit… Psalm 27:14 Wait for Adonai. Be strong, let Your heart take courage, and wait for Adonai.  So did Isaiah… Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Our subject verse today ends with the words, that “we might have hope.”  The “hope” we have is not hoped for, it’s owned.  What’s the difference?  The first is pious hope, a wish for a future expectation, while the second is righteous hope an earnest expectation of a future reality.  Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have in mind for you,” declares Adonai, “plans for shalom and not calamity—to give you a future and a hope.  Godly hope is always mixed with faith.

1Corinthians 13:13 But now these three remain—faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.  When Yeshua returns, we will have the  fullness of the reality of all things.  W will no longer need faith or hope.  1John 4:16 So we have come to know and trust in the love that God has for us. God is love. Now whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  We will always have love, and we will always need love, that that’s why “the greatest of these is love.”  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sun 10-Dec-2023 27th of Kislev, 5784
Chanukah: 4th Candle (Sunday night)
Ge 41:1-14 1 Sa 16 Ps 56 Mk 11 (1 Co 14:20-40)
Nu 7:24-29, 1 Macc 5-6