Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, December 6, 2019 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Alright, this isn’t funny.  Someone is speeding up time.  This has been the fastest week.  Can you believe it’s already time to write the Friday RR?  It seems like yesterday I was sitting down to write on Sunday.  As Misty Edwards sings in her song “Days of Noah” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwfIKw_zYXU), “Better get ready, Yeshua is coming.”

Rabbi Trail:  Okay, she says Jesus, and I changed it.  I’m not a Jesus-phobe, like some Messianics.  It’s just our culture to call Yeshua by His Hebrew name.  That’s the name He was given in the original language of the Bible.  We started out thinking we were being sensitive to Jewish people who have not yet stepped into their calling as followers of the way.  But if I’m witnessing in English (which is my only option), I will usually say, “Jesus,” at least until we explain who Yeshua is.  End RT.

Yosef was betrothed to now pregnant Miriam.  He was trying to decide what to do with her (since he knew he was not the father of the child), the angel of the Lord appeared to him with this message…. Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son; and you shall call His name Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins.”

I checked the Hebrew New Testament, and sure enough it says, “Tikra Sh’mo Yeshua.”  I rest my case.  You can argue against me, but my first answer is, “Maybe you’re right.”  That gives us both a pyrrhic victory.

I have one more thing today.  Let’s be very careful in the way we use the name of the Lord.  The third commandment is (paraphrasing) to not take the name of God in vain.  Most people think that involves a prohibition on cussing.  I think it is that and much more.  If we start a paragraph with, “Thus saith the Lord,” we better be sure it is God speaking.  

I’ve known people who use that phrase to cut off debate.  Where do we go from there?  Do we really want to say, “Oh no He didn’t!”  “Yes He did.”  “No He didn’t.”  Any conversation will end quickly on a low note.  

The question is, “How did God say that to you?”  Followed by, “Because He hasn’t said it to me.”  If both parties are being led by the Holy Spirit, shouldn’t both parties be hearing the same thing?  The Holy Spirit does not send out mixed messages. 

When we say, “Thus saith the Lord,” there should be 2 or 3 witnesses.  Don’t be afraid to ask God for a sign.  It’s only a wicked and adulterous generation that will not receive one.  Gideon needed a sign and was not afraid to ask, and neither should we.

Hearing from God is distinctive to the people of God.  It separates us from other people.  That’s another way to say hearing from God makes us holy, and we are a holy people. John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me.  King David understood the value of hearing from God.  Psalm 28:1 Of David. To You, Adonai, I call— my Rock, do not be deaf to me. If You were silent to me, I would become like those going down to the Pit.

The last word is, we must be sure we are hearing from God before we say we are.  There is severe judgement on those who abuse that privilege. 

Week 49
Memory Verse:  2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

241   12/2    Monday:        Hebrews 7

242   12/3    Tuesday:       Hebrews 8-9

243   12/4    Wednesday:  Hebrews 10

244   12/5    Thursday:      Hebrews 11

* 245 12/6    Friday:           Hebrews 12

Question of the day:  What is the message of Hebrews 12?

Answer:  Consider these phrases. v. 1 “Let us run with endurance.”  v. 3 “that you may not grow weary.”  Why?  Why endure and not grow weary?  Because God loves us, He disciplines us.  God is our spiritual trainer.  He needs us in tip-top spiritual shape.

Hebrews 12:5b “My son, do not take lightly the discipline of Adonai or lose heart when you are corrected by Him,  6 because Adonai  disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He accepts.” 7 It is for discipline that you endure. God is treating you as sons—for what son does a father not discipline?

In fact, I would propose that if we are not disciplined by God, we are not really disciples.  Hebrews 12:11 Now all discipline seems painful at the moment—not joyful. But later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Let me ask you a question.  Who is speaking in this verse?  Who is the One?  (Clue – I capitalized the “O” in One.)  Hebrews 12:25a See to it that you do not refuse the One who is speaking!  (Rabbi’s note: please consider this verse in light of the message in the top part of today’s RR.). We will not… Hebrews 12:25b escape if we reject the One who warns us from heaven.

I close today with this verse from the Psalms.  It is quoted in the New Testament (Hebrews 3:15) as well.  Hear the Word of the Lord.  Psalm 95:7 For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the flock of His hand. Today, if you hear His voice:

And please (one really last word), don’t miss the connection here to the “Shema” (Deuteronomy 6:4ff), which Yeshua calls the greatest commandment.  Especially the version in Mark 12:28, 29.