Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, December 30, 2023
Shabbat Shalom,

Persevere by Seeing the Invisible – Part 5
by David Harwood

Allow me to continue my meditation…

I may have to endure persecution in the coming days. Paul said:

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:12) 

Persecution is part of the spiritual conflict which shall intensify as the Day of the Lord draws near. My tendency towards self-preservation is normal, but I am part of the company who follow the Lamb, overcome through His blood, confess His lordship, and surrender their lives.

Yes, the warfare manifests in the material realm. Yet, Paul gave a principle that is applicable to the fight in which I find myself.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but powerful through God for the tearing down of strongholds. We are tearing down false arguments (2 Corinthians 10:3–4) 

Concerning my role, I’m to be like a soldier who is waging war.

Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Messiah Yeshua. No one serving as a soldier entangles himself in the activities of everyday life, so that he might please the one who enlisted him. (2 Timothy 2:3–4) 

Me, a soldier? I’m a middle-class suburbanite. Okay, but I’m not exempt from the conflict.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist when the times are evil, and after you have done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm then! (Ephesians 6:12–14a)

I’m to stand in the victory and not get caught up in the adversary’s schemes or earthly distractions.

so that we might not be outwitted by satan—for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11) 

Now that which fell into the thorns are those who were hearing; but as they go along the way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life. (Luke 8:14a) 

Moses provided a pattern. He persevered as if seeing the One who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:27b) I can meditate on that which is eternal, too. One way I meditate is through worship, motivated by faith in Yeshua’s glorification.

But we see One who was made for a little while lower than the angels—namely, Yeshua. He is now crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9a)

To sum up these meditations:

Persecution is prophesied. I’m concerned about that. I want to be faithful. How might I prepare? My answer: By faith, I can behold the Messiah now.

Let us run with endurance the race set before us, focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1b–2a)

I can prepare to persevere through the prophesied persecution by seeing the invisible and joining with heaven’s praise.

What’s that praise like?

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13)

Through His enabling favor I will embrace this reality and persevere.

I hope to see you at the throne.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 30-Dec-2023 18th of Tevet, 5784 Parashat Vayechi
Ge 50:21-26 1 Ki 2:1-12 Rev 7:1-8