Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, February 6, 2023

Today (Monday, beginning Sunday at sundown) is Tu B’Sh’vat (the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Sh’vat).  It is a minor holiday of uncertain origin (uncertain to me) that is a “New Year” for the trees.  Traditionally, it is a day for planting trees.  On behalf of all the trees of the world, thank you for remembering to celebrate their New Year.

He Is The Potter, We Are The Clay – Romans, part 20

Romans 2:5 But by your hard and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. 6 He will pay back each person according to his deeds. 7 To those who by perseverance in doing good are seeking glory, honor, and immortality—eternal life. 8 But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—wrath and fury.

I’m trying to write about Romans in “bite-sized” pieces.  Last week we ended with “not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance.”  And here, in our opening words for this week, we find that the opposite of receiving God’s kindness (leading us to repentance) is a “hard and unrepentant heart.”

How could we miss this?  Our hearts must remain soft and open to change.  He wants to do His work in us, to change us into His image.  Isaiah rightly said, Isaiah 64:7(8) But now, Adonai, You are our Father. We are the clay and You are our potter, We are all the work of Your hand.  This is confirmed in Jeremiah 18:2 “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.”  God is the potter and we are His clay.

Romans 9:21 Does the potter have no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honor and another for common use?  Yet we play like this is not the truth.  Luke 17:26 As it was in the days of Noah, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

Let these verses today from Romans the 2nd chapter be a “wake-up call.”  God will not be mocked.  “Sinner’s prayer” or not, Romans 2:6 He will pay back each person according to his deeds.  Repent (have a change of heart, turn from evil and do good) before it is too late.  Your eternity depends on it.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 6-Feb-2023 15th of Sh’vat, 5783    Tu B’Sh’vat
Ex 18:13-23 2 Ki 1-2 Ps 120-121 Jn 6:1-36 (2 Th 3)