Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, December 16, 2019
What’s in a name? That’s what I want to write about today.
Rabbi Trail: Those 4 words are borrowed from William Shakespear (Romeo and Juliet). Just because Shakespear wrote it first doesn’t mean I can’t write about it later. End RT.
A name is more than a label. A name is also a reputation. Many of us have stories about our names. How did your parents choose your name? Are you named after a relative (living or deceased)? Our name is part of our story.
In some first nation cultures, a name described a predominant characteristic such as Running Deer or Sitting Bull (don’t go there). They even went so far as to change a name when it no longer fit.
Our last name in Hebrew is called “Shem Mishpacha” or “family name.” These also tell a story. In some cultures your father’s first name becomes your last name. In the Jewish culture this is partly true as there was a time when a man (or a daughter) would be named with a first name followed by “son of” (or daughter of) and then the father’s first name is repeated.
The Bible addresses the value of a name. Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth, and grace rather than silver or gold.
Yeshua has a name with a meaning. Yeshua is Hebrew for “Salvation,” while Mashiach means “Anointed.” Yeshua’s anointing is double. He is both King and Priest, a royal priesthood after the order of Mechizedek. (Hebrews 5:6 & 7:1)
I want to conclude this first part with the reason I brought this up at all. Not only do we call on His name, but we who follow Yeshua are known by His name. We must be vigilant to protect Yeshua’s good name. The Bible addresses this in a lengthy passage.
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who once were enlightened—having tasted of the heavenly gift and become partakers of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, 5 and having tasted the good word of God and the powers of the olam ha-ba , 6 and then having fallen away—to renew again to repentance, since they are again crucifying Ben-Elohim for themselves and publicly disgracing Him.
We never want to be in the place from which it would be “impossible to be restored (or “renewed again”).”
Memory Verse: 1 John 4:10 This is love—not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atonement for our sins. 11 Loved ones, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
251 12/16 Monday: 1 Peter 3-4
252 12/17 Tuesday: 1 Peter 5; 1 John 1
253 12/18 Wednesday: 1 John 2-3
254 12/19 Thursday: 1 John 4-5
255 12/20 Friday: Revelation 1
Question of the day: What does it mean to “live for God’s will?”
Answer: This question comes from 1 Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Messiah suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same attitude. For the one who has suffered in the flesh is finished with sin. 2 As a result, he lives the rest of his time in the flesh no longer for human desires, but for God’s will.
What we do is “die to self.” Yeshua spoke openly about this. Luke 9:23 Then Yeshua was saying to everyone, “If anyone wants to follow Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross every day, and follow Me.
So did Paul… Galatians 2:19 For through law I died to law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Messiah; 20 and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me. And the life I now live in the body, I live by trusting in Ben-Elohim—who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
To “live for God’s will” we’ve got to know His will. Maybe the more relevant question then is, “How do we know God’s will?” We can always read about His will on His book. After all, it is called a “Testament.” Then there is that “shema” thing. Shema means “listen.” But more than that it means to listen with a heart to obey. In other words, we should show evidence that we have heard.
Yeshua spoke these words to the Judean leaders who were not listening… John 8:47a He who belongs to God hears the words of God.
Should we expect that since God wants us to hear Him, He also wants to hear us? Absolutely! Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you— I will tell you great and hidden things, which you do not know.”
So, let’s close today with one of my favorite verses… 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.
Now let’s really close with the following 2 verses… Jeremiah 29:12 “Then you will call on Me, and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me, when you will search for Me with all your heart.