Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, March 12, 2021

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Fri 12 March-2021 28th of Adar, 5781

Ex 39:22-43 Isa 21-22 Pr 15 Ac 14 (Rev 8)

Do you believe in miracles?  I do.  Part of today’s “Daily Bread” is Acts 14.  It is a chapter filled with the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” (Quote from ABCs Wide World of Sports)  Paul and Barnabus are ministering together throughout what is now Turkey.  God is giving them signs and wonders… Acts 14:3 So they stayed there a considerable time, speaking boldly in the Lord—who was testifying to the message of His grace, granting signs and wonders to come about by their hands.

Those who did not believe their preaching weren’t just neutral, they wanted to hurt them.  Acts 14:5 Now it happened that an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jewish people, along with their rulers, to abuse and stone them.  But Paul and Barnabus learned about the plot and escaped.  

And they continued doing notable miracles.  Paul saw a man who had never walked from birth.  Acts 14:10 he (Paul) said with a loud voice, “Stand right up! On your feet!” And the man leaped up and began to walk around!

So the men of that city wanted to treat Paul and Barnabus like gods.  But they put a stop to it.  Acts 14:14 But when the emissaries Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their clothes and rushed out among the crowd, crying out 15a and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We too are human, just like you! We proclaim the Good News to you.

But how quickly Paul went from being treated like a deity to being stoned (mostly dead – shout out to Princess Bride) to death.  Acts 14:19 But Jewish people came from Antioch and Iconium; and after they won the crowd over and stoned Paul, they were dragging him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 

But the Lord miraculously healed Paul too, so much so, that in one day he went from being mostly dead to being well enough to travel (which in those days was physically challenging).  Acts 14:20 But while the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went back into the city. On the next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

These miracles were done then and recorded in the Bible so that we, who read and study about them centuries later, will take heart, be encouraged, and have faith.  Let’s believe God for miracles.  

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us, 21 to Him be the glory in the community of believers and in Messiah Yeshua throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Week 11

Memory Verse: Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one . 5 Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, are to be on your heart. 7 You are to teach them diligently to your children, and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, they are to be as frontlets between your eyes, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

51   3/11    Monday:         Numbers 20, 27:12-23

52   3/12    Tuesday:        Numbers 34-35

53   3/13    Wednesday:   Deuteronomy 1-2

54   3/14    Thursday:      Deuteronomy 3-4

* 55 3/15    Friday:           Deuteronomy 6-7

Question of the day:  Well, well, well… What is the greatest commandment?

Answer:  Mark 12:28 and Matthew 22:36 pretty much agree that the words of Deuteronomy 6 are the answer.  Deuteronomy 6:5 is the commandment.  

Deuteronomy 6:5 Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  But before that is Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”  But Deuteronomy 6:4 doesn’t sound like a commandment at all.  Yet it is.

Deuteronomy 6:4 is like the top button of your shirt.  If it is buttoned wrong, the rest of the shirt buttons will never line up.  If we don’t get Deuteronomy 6:4 right, we’ll never get Deuteronomy 6:5 right.  If our love is not directed to the One True and Living God, we are lost.  

Is there anything left out?  Love with all your heart, soul and what makes you very much of anything that might not have been included with the terms heart and soul (muchness).  

Rabbi Trail:  Did I leave out “strength?”  I didn’t mention it, because the Hebrew word “M’od’e’cha” doesn’t really mean “strength.”  It means “muchness.”  So it means “all of everything that makes us anything.” End RT.

Nothing is left out.  We are commanded to hold nothing back when we love God.  And yes, “It’s a heart thang.” 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom (again).