Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, February 22, 2021
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 22 Feb-2021 10th of Adar, 5781
Ex 28:13-30 2 Ki 25 Ps 149-150 Jn 21 (Heb 6)
The Aliyah (Torah portion) for today contains instructions for making the garments of the high priest. In particular, we read the instruction for making the breastplate. The instruction is to make a pocket and to place the Urim and Thummim within that pocket. This pocket was adorned with the Jewels bearing the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the Urim and Thummim, but there is revelation in the names themselves.
The Urim has Ohr as it’s Shoresh (Aleph-Vav-Resh). This is a reference to light. When the High Priest would inquire of God for a particular direction, the Urim would provide a light on a particular path or direction. This was my prayer on many occasions when seeking the will of God. “Lord, show me the way by enlightening the choice You would have me to make.” We don’t have the Urim, but we do have the Holy Spirit.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Ruach ha-Kodesh whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of everything that I said to you.
Then there is the Thummim. It is the name of the second object in the breastplate. That name in Hebrew is “HaTummim.” “Ha” is always “the,” and “Tamim” means “perfect” made from the Shoresh “Tav-Mem-Mem.” There are several connotations to this word, including being eternally perfect and innocent.
Together they form the “perfect light” which is truth. The Urim and Thummim were available to the High Priest (and him only) to make inquiry before the Lord. That was in ancient Israel. But today, we are a kingdom of priests. Exodus 19:6a So as for you, you will be to Me a kingdom of kohanim and a holy nation. God has not left us without a means to hear from Him. We no longer use the Urim and Thummim. Today we seek the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
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. 14a Then I will be found by you,” says Adonai.
Yeshua is “the way the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) The Holy Spirit will alway lead us to the true way, and that way is Yeshua.
Memory Verse: Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
* 41 2/22 Monday: Exodus 32-33
42 2/23 Tuesday: Exodus 34-36:1
43 2/24 Wednesday: Exodus 40
44 2/25 Thursday: Leviticus 8-9
45 2/26 Friday: Leviticus 16-17
Question of the Day: What is the great sin?
Answer: The sin of the golden calf. You might be tempted to leave this discussion right here. You might be tempted to say, “That was those people who came out of Egypt, and it has nothing to do with me.”
But the Scripture implores each of us to identify as if we personally were delivered out of Egypt. Exodus 13:8 “You are to tell your son on that day (the day of celebrating the Feast of Passover) saying, ‘It is because of what Adonai did for me when I came out of Egypt. This is then repeated a few verses later to include our children. Exodus 13:14 “So when your son asks you in times to come, ‘What is this?’ say to him, ‘By a strong hand Adonai brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage.”
My point is simply this,… if we identify with the Exodus from Egypt, we must also identify with the sin of the golden calf. We might not make an object or build an altar literally, but let’s answer the question. What do we worship that is not God? Are there movie stars, rock stars, or sports stars for which we drop everything? Is our spouse in the place of God? How about our children or grandchildren?
If it is not the false adoration of a person, there are 2 other possible snares or entrapments. 1 John 2:16 For everything in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the boasting of life—is not from the Father but from the world. Any of these could grab our affection. The other option is simply love of self. We might be tempted to make an initial denial, but look deep within. Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of Adonai, searching all his inmost being.
In every possible situation there is one right choice. Repent!! Change direction! Put God on the throne of your heart, and ask Him to be Lord of your life. Jacob 4:7 Therefore submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded!
Rabbi Trail: Spoiler alert. You might not want to read this RT aloud to children. Moses had the children of Israel grind the golden calf to powder and then drink the powder. What happened next? Could it be that it was a great object lesson to them all. I believe, the next day they saw their false god shining up at them as golden flakes in their poop. That is the judgment of God when He corrected ancient Israel. Let their experience be our wisdom. End RT.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and it was written down as a warning to us—on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let the one who thinks that he stands watch out that he doesn’t fall.