Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, December 18, 2021 

Shabbat Shalom,

Hope 26 – Fellowship and the God of Hope by David Harwood

It is an high honor to speak of God in such a way that opens up multitudes of people to a fresh revelation of their God. There are some defining moments in Israel’s history when this happened. These insights were often connected to a place.

Abraham called a place Adonai-Yireh which has been translated, “the LORD will provide”, or “the LORD our provider”.  It actually means, “Adonai will see”, with the inference that He will provide (see to it) what He sees is needed. This is how the Complete Jewish Bible translates, and makes sense of, this:

Avraham called the place ADONAI Yir’eh [ADONAI will see (to it), ADONAI provides]- as it is said to this day, “On the mountain ADONAI is seen.” (Genesis 22:14 CJB)

An English semi-transliteration of the Hebrew has become part of many followers of Yeshua’s vocabulary: Jehovah Jireh. We are those who choose to see God as the one who foresees, and is immediately aware of, what is needed and provides. 

Abraham is not alone. Both Moses and Gideon named altars after their experience with God.

Then Moses built an altar, and called the name of it AdonaiNissi. (Exodus 17:15)

So Gideon built an altar there to Adonai and called it “Adonai-shalom.” To this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. (Judges 6:24 TLV)

Recall that Ezekiel prophesied that someday the God’s city will be named after Adonai‘s presence (Adonai Shama).

“From that day on, the name of the city will be: ‘Adonai Is There.’ ” (Ezekiel 48:35b TLV)

Perhaps the most personal of His titles have to do with people laying claim to Him. It is as if He endorses being described as the God who belongs to people. He is “Adonai my God”, “Adonai your God”, “Adonai our God”. 

He belongs to those who belong to Him.

Examples of this practice abound. Here are several of these types of descriptions of God.

Adonai is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will glorify Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. (Exodus 15:2 TLV)

He said: “Adonai is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. My God is my rock, in Him I take refuge, my shield, my horn of salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my Savior—You save me from violence. (2 Samuel 22:2–3 TLV)

Adonai is my shepherd (Psalm 23:1 TLV)

Adonai is my light and my salvation: (Psalm 27:1 TLV)

Adonai is my strength and my shield. (Psalm 28:7a TLV)

Adonai is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:24 TLV)

so that with confidence we say, “The Lord is my helper…” (Hebrews 13:6a TLV) 

I think that Yeshua made the most powerful of these declarations. Who was God to Him?

Yeshua says to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am going up to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’ ” (John 20:17 TLV) 

These chosen worshipers chose God, described Him, and named Him. To them He was: My strength and song. My salvation, my God, and my father’s God. My rock, fortress, and deliverer. My shield, stronghold and refuge. My savior, my shepherd, my light and my salvation. My portion, my helper. 

This brief discussion provides some background to what Paul did. In Romans 15, the Apostle gave God a new title. He is the God of Hope.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and shalom in trusting, so you may overflow with hope in the power of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. (Romans 15:13 TLV)

In the place where Isaac was bound, Adonai saw and provided. Moses worshiped at the altar of “the Adonai, my (victory) Banner”. Gideon commemorated his calling and called an altar, “Adonai Shalom”. Ezekiel prophesied that the LORD would be so present in Jerusalem that the city would be called “Adonai is There”. In each place Adonai received a “new” name. 

Paul had found a relational place in which he encouraged believers to abide. In that spiritual space he named Him the “God of Hope”. 

Therefore, having been made righteous by trusting, we have shalom with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah 2Through Him we also have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast in the hope of God’s glory. (Romans 5:1-2  TLV)

We believers stand in the place of grace. In that favor-zone we exult in the Hope of experiencing the ultimate goodness of God. This God, the God of Hope, is the one Paul invoked in Romans 15:13. It is a name, and it is an important name. This title reveals a significant way God identified Himself through the Apostle. Through infallible inspiration Paul called Him the God of Hope and this God does not change. I believe that the LORD proclaims to us, today, “I am the God of Hope!” Let’s take Him at His Emissary’s word.

This God will fill believers with “all joy and peace” as they trust in Him. How will He fill us with all joy and peace? Through answered prayer-decrees.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and shalom in trusting, so you may overflow with hope in the power of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. (Romans 15:13 TLV)

May the Ruach ha-Kodesh get your attention through this verse. It indicates that it is God’s will for you to overflow with confident expectation.

I have been applying this verse to us, individually. Now I want to emphasize that this benediction was given to communities of believers who resided in Rome. You is plural. Let’s reread it together with the following verse:

Now may the God of hope fill (all of you) with all joy and shalom in trusting, so (all of you) may overflow with hope in the power of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 

Now I myself am convinced about (all of you), my brothers and sisters, that (all of you) also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and also able to counsel one another. (Romans 15:13–14 TLV) 

Paul was blessing and commending corporate entities. These disciples were in relationship with one another. They were functioning members of one Body. The redeemed Jews and Gentiles in Rome had a common eschatological expectation. They were called to admonish one another in line with their shared Hope. After all, it is as we maintain the Hope of the Lord’s return, and our glorification, that we pursue holiness. 

Loved ones, now we are God’s children; and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. But we do know that when it’s revealed, we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:3 TLV) 

This holiness is relational. It is pursued in community with people who are Hoping for the Lord Yeshua’s return. The primary war we experience is a conflict over our faithfulness to the Messiah. We are not to be isolated and fight this fight alone. In fact, we’ve been exhorted to watch over the state of one another’s hearts. Let’s review a couple of verses from Hebrews 3.

But encourage one another day by day—as long as it is called “Today”—so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partners of Messiah, if we hold our original conviction firm until the end. (Hebrews 3:13–14 TLV) 

When someone’s Hope weakens, let others gather around them and exhort them to maintain an eternal perspective. This is important for the health of the Messiah’s Body. This is also relevant regarding temporal promises and temporal hopes. An individual’s deferred temporal Hope may make their heart sick. This type of sickness may infect others and consequently sap their spiritual vitality. 

But there’s another kind of contagion. 

Hope is contagious. And believers need to be, and be around, expectant people. Let’s encourage one another. Let’s strengthen one another’s Hope in our Father’s faithfulness. 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be a people who have embraced God-guaranteed-expectancy? What a great social and spiritual environment that would be.

Can this be done?

Is there anything too hard for God?

Ah, my Lord Adonai! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm—nothing is too hard for You! (Jeremiah 32:17 TLV)


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

Sat 18-Dec-2021 14th of Tevet, 5782 Parashat Vayechi

Ge 50:21-26 1 Ki 2:1-12 Rev 7:1-8