Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, March 12, 2020 


Pillar Eleven: The Kingdom is Expressed in Every Life Sphere – part 2

Probably 35 years ago, shortly after I became a believer in Yeshua, I had a dream.  It was one of those rare dreams that I remember vividly to this day.  In the dream I was singing a song.  

Rabbi Trail:  The song had only two words, sung repeatedly.  These two words were sung 4 times in four bars before the whole thing was repeated.  I’m going to ask Mark Smith (both friend and worship leader at Shomair and, of course, faithful RR reader) to write an arrangement for it.  End RT.

The only words in the song were Hebrew words, “HaRachamon Gibor.”  The problem was I didn’t know what they meant.  So I “phoned a friend.”  I was living in Northern Virginia, so I called the conservative synagogue in Arlington and got the rabbi on the phone.  He told me what it meant, and now I’m going to tell you.  

But first, I want to share why I’m writing about this today.  We have now worked our way to the second message of the 11th “pillar.”  Years ago (probably 12-15 years ago) Dan Juster (our shileach with Tikkun) delivered the same message to every Tikkun congregation he visited.  It was the message of the “12 pillars.”  He did it in one sitting, and Patty listened to all of them.

Rabbi Trail:  “Shileach” is the Hebrew words meaning “one who is sent.”  It is the word given to describe the Apostles.  Dan is not a capital “A” Apostle, he is a little “a” apostle.  (No one can match the anointing of the 12 who will sit on thrones as described in Revelation 4:4.  This will be the topic of another RR, soon.

A little “a” apostle is a person with a gift (as described in Scripture) to anoint and set people into ministries.  This is why, in May of 1998, we invited Dan to Knoxville to pray over Shomair and set me in as congregational leader.  Dan has set many others into ministry, most notably Paul Wilbur, Asher Intrater, Eitan Shishkoff, Jerry Miller, our own Keith Henschen and many more.  (Now I’m in trouble, because I cut the list short and left some important ones out.  Forgiveness is a beautiful thing.)

An apostle (like all gift ministries) is a title not sought.  Rather, it is a gifting recognized by others and then granted by God through the laying on of hands by others who are already recognized as gifted in that area.  However; an apostle is the only one who can set in any other gift ministry.  End RT.  

Tikkun means restoration, and we are an association of congregations and ministries that believe in the coming restoration of all things (Thy kingdom come).  This foundational message has now been turned into a book.  I have been given some copies and if you ask me nicely on Shabbat I’ll give you one while supplies last.  

Back to “HaRachamon Gibor” and why I’m writing about it today.  (I see this getting long, so I’m going to bring it to a close.)  I actually said this yesterday, but not as clearly.  The kingdom of God is an expression of both His power and His mercy (grace).  We (God’s people) are called to operate in His power, but we can only do that from a position of submission.  “HaRachamon Gibor” means “the merciful One is mighty.”

Would you take a minute to meditate on that and seek the will of God in applying it to your own life.  Let’s make ourselves available to His coming kingdom.  The objective is to love others at a higher level.  There is a scriptural basis for everything I have written today.  I should go back sometime and prove it to you.  Maybe that would turn into another book.  Is that what we need, another book?  I think not.  

Week 11
Memory Verse: Deuteronomy 4:7 For what great nation is there that has gods so near to them, as Adonai our God is whenever we call on Him?

51    3/9        Monday:         Numbers 20; 27:12-23 

52    3/10      Tuesday:        Numbers 34-35 

53    3/11      Wednesday:   Deuteronomy 1-2

* 54  3/12      Thursday:       Deuteronomy 3-4 

55    3/13      Friday:            Deuteronomy 6-7

Question of the day: There were an abundance of possibilities for the RR today.  Which Scripture did I choose, and why did I choose it?

Answer:  Deuteronomy 4:40 You must keep His statutes and His mitzvot, which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may prolong your days in the land that Adonai your God is giving you for all time.”

We tend to view God’s commands in terms of boundaries (not to be crossed).  We ask, why does God want to limit our freedom?   Why doesn’t God want us to have a good time?  Why does God want to punish us by placing restrictions and burdens on us through His laws?

This one verse debunks all of that.  God wants things to “go well” with us and our children after us.  God even defines what “go well” means; “So that you (yes, Moses is talking to you) may prolong your days in the land.”  What does it mean to remain “in the land?”  This has to be a reality, but also euphemistic for something.  

The land of Israel is the destination (destiny) of those delivered from the “brick making” of Egypt.  Brick making under a task master is metaphorical for the system of works.  God wants to bless us, but we want His blessing on our brick making.  God wants to deliver us from brick making into His presence.  Being “in the land” is euphemistic for being in God’s presence, living in the reality of His promises.

God promises a land flowing with milk and honey.  Psalm 16:11b Abundance of joys are in Your presence, eternal pleasures at Your right hand.  God’s desire is to bless you by grace.  Don’t miss it.