Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, December 23, 2019
Monday night is the second light of Chanukah. This is planned for distribution on Sunday night, the first light of Chanukah.
Rabbi Trail: As you can see from the image above, next Shabbat (our last Shabbat of 2019) will be a service that will include a component of listening prayer for vision for next year. That service will be followed by our annual Chanukah party. All y’all (you’unzes if you’re from Scott County) are invited. Bring any food to share. When we work, we work with intensity and when we play we also play with intensity. Come join in the fun. End RT.
I’m going to say something about the 7 Spirits of God (as promised last week). I’ll deal with one per day for the next 7 days unless directed otherwise by the leading of the Spirit. (Side note: Could the Spirit of God direct me in writing about the Spirit of God? Of course! It’s a great fit!). I want to teach them in reverse order from how they are found in Isaiah 11:2.
These seven Spirits of the Lord are said to be resting on (anointing) the Branch Who will come out of the root of Jesse (King David’s father). Isaiah is prophesying about the anointing of David’s Son Who will sit on David’s throne. How appropriate to quote the angel Gabriel’s message to Miriam (Mary in Hebrew) at this time of year.
Luke 1:30 The angel spoke to her, “Do not be afraid, Miriam, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you shall call His name Yeshua. 32 He will be great and will be called Ben-Elyon. Adonai Elohim will give Him the throne of David, His father. 33 He shall reign over the house of Jacob for all eternity, and His kingdom will be without end.”
Verse 32 is key. “He will be called Son fo the Most High (Elyon).” This is followed by “The Lord God (Adonai Elohim) will give Him the throne of David, His father.” Kings are anointed. Priests are too. Yeshua is the only One to ever receive this double anointing, and it is this double anointing that the rabbis have always associated with the Mashiach (Messiah).
Why is this important? (It may seem like a silly question because all of this is dripping with importance.) Because we stand today as a kingdom of priests on the basis of Yeshua’s anointing as a king and priest. Remember our subject verse from Friday. In case you’ve slept since then, I’m providing it here.
Revelation 1:4 John, To Messiah’s seven communities in Asia: Grace to you and shalom from Him who is and who was and who is to come, as well as from the seven spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Messiah Yeshua, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood 6 and made us a kingdom, kohanim to His God and Father—to Him be glory and power forever! Amen!
Right there in verse 6, (Messiah) “made us a kingdom, priests (kohanim) to His God and Father…”. I rest my case.
How can Yeshua have the Spirit of the fear of Adonai? The spirit of fear is not the spirit to be afraid. The spirit of fear is the spirit to be in awe. It is the spirit to treat God with reverence. The Bible speaks amazing things regarding the fear of the Lord.
Proverbs 14:26a In the fear of Adonai one has strong confidence.
In this verse, fear of the Lord is connected to both the blessing of happiness and obedience. Psalm 112:1 Halleluyah! Happy is the man who fears Adonai, who delights greatly in His mitzvot.
Finally, in this verse, we find the same couplet.… Psalm 128:1 A Song of Ascents. Happy is everyone in awe of Adonai, who walks in His ways,
Again, happiness and obedience are connected to the fear (awe) of the Lord. Some translations say “blessed” instead of “happy.” That’s okay, but the Hebrew word is “Ashre” meaning a “shout of joy” that can’t be contained. Go ahead, shout it out, “Ashre.” (Like Hebrew for “hooray!”)
Memory Verse: Revelation 21:3 I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God. 4 He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer, for the former things have passed away.”
256 12/23 Monday: Revelation 2
257 12/24 Tuesday: Revelation 3
258 12/25 Wednesday: Revelation 19:6-20
259 12/26 Thursday: Revelation 21
260 12/27 Friday: Revelation 22
Question of the day: What is happening at the congregation in Ephesus?
Answer: Revelation 2:4 “But this I have against you, that you have forsaken your first love.” This is followed with an admonition to repent and a threat that if they won’t repent, their “menorah” will be removed from their presence.
Maybe the better “question of the day” should be how does that apply to us? We, ourselves might forsake our first love. After all, if it could happen to the Ephesians, who history indicates probably received visits from Rav Shaul (Paul) and (the capital “A” Apostle) John and per perhaps other capital “A” Apostles, then it could certainly happen to us.
The consequence of having our menorah removed is that light will be taken from our community. Without light, we will stumble about in darkness. Without light, we are living in the 9th plague. Without light, we can’t see the path the Lord is calling us to walk (as a community and as individuals).
After all, what is our first love? Deuteronomy 6:5 Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Why is that so hard? Because everything in this world is crying out for our affection. Especially in the days of the early church, and just like today, there were people perverting the gospel. False teachers were leading the people astray, and I’ve recently described some of our modern expressions of that old deception.
Your first defense, keep reading the Bible. The printing of the Bible fostered the Protestant Revolution. Putting the Word of God into the hands of an educated population was revolutionary. It doesn’t do us any good to have a Bible unless we read it. (There you go, that one was for you, Bob Sisson.)
The second defense is prayer. Practice listening prayer. Ask God questions and wait for answers. Always match the answers with Scriptures (the only way to do that is to know the Bible, go back to defense #1).
The third defense is communion. I’ve started receiving communion every day. What a difference it makes. I highly recommend it. Get yourself a box of matzah (keep it in a gallon freezer bag for freshness). Buy a bottle of the fruit of the vine and you’re all set.
The fourth defense is each other. Surround yourself with godly people to whom you are accountable. Talk about what you’re hearing from God and seek wise counsel. I found this website that might help. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/erik-raymond/makes-good-accountability-partner/
Rabbi Trail: When I recommend websites or resources (like books), I’m not endorsing everything they might say or offer. You are always responsible to filter everything through Yeshua’s teaching and the Holy Spirit. End RT.
That’s it for today. Blessings my friends and thanks for reading. I know it sounded a little “preachy” today. Remember, I’m writing to myself, but I don’t mind if you read my self-talk. Shalom.