Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, March 16, 2021


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

Tue 16 Mar-2021 3rd of Nisan, 5781

Le 2:7-16 Isa 25-26 Pr 18 Ac 17 (Rev 11)

The Aliyah today is the rest of Leviticus chapter 2.  The entire chapter is devoted to grain offerings of various types.  While this is generally confusing to me, one thing stands out.  Leviticus 2:11 “Every grain offering which you present to Adonai shall be made without hametz, for you are not to burn up as smoke any hametz nor any honey as a sacrifice made by fire to Adonai.

Rabbi Trail:  Hametz (I spell the transliteration “Chametz” to get the “ch” – back of the throat clearing sound – in there.  End RT.

Chametz is leavening.  Leavening puffs up whatever it is in, and represents the pride of life.  Whatever we offer up to God, cannot be offered up in or with pride.  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.  We cannot offer the world to God, the world is polluted with sin.  God is holy.  

All sin is based in pride.  Some like to say fear is separate and also a basis for sin, but I prefer to think of fear as a branch of the pride tree.  There are only 3 possible protagonists (main characters) in the world, God, self, and satan.  Satan is always the antagonist.  Self is in the middle and open to influence from God, the righteous One, or satan, the evil one.   

Rabbi Trail:  There is a healthy fear, called “fear of the Lord.”  This is not the fear I’m talking about here.  To fear God is to respect His authority.  That is a good thing.  You will see I’m talking about something quite different here.  Fear (a healthy respect) of God should never be confused with being afraid to trust (unhealthy fear of) God.  End RT.

Pride is preferring to trust self rather than trusting God.  Fear is the lack of faith to trust God.  Both pride and fear involve hardship in the area of trusting God, so you can see their connection.  That’s the problem.  What’s the solution?

The Bible warns us repeatedly against both pride and fear.  (I chose these two verses from among hundreds of options.)  Concerning pride, we read… Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be proud, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own eyes.  Then, concerning fear… Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

One last word of warning.  At the end of the parable of the wheat and tares, the tares are standing tall (in pride) before the Lord makes this command… Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time, I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the weeds and tie them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.’” 

So, my friends, what’s it going to be, “burn up” or into God’s barn?  Choose wisely.  

Week 12

Memory Verse: Psalm 1:1 Happy is the one who has not walked in the advice of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of scoffers. 2 But his delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and on His Torah he meditates day and night.

56   3/18    Monday:         Deuteronomy 8-9

* 57 3/19    Tuesday:        Deuteronomy 30-31

58   3/20    Wednesday:  Deuteronomy 32:48-52;34

59.  3/21    Thursday:      Joshua 1,2

60   3/22    Friday:           Joshua 3,4

Question of the day:  Is there a future for Israel, and how do we know?

Answer:  In the first few verses of Deuteronomy 30, Moses is speaking prophetically as he gives a summary of God’s plans for the future.  The children of Israel have not yet even entered the promised land for the first time, and already Moses is prophesying of the exile caused by disobedience.  THE END… NOT.

Deuteronomy 30:2 and you return to Adonai your God and listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you today—you and your children—with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 then Adonai your God will bring you back from captivity and have compassion on you, and He will return and gather you from all the peoples where Adonai your God has scattered you.

The question arises, “Is this a promise, or a conditional statement?”  As our friend Glen Blank says, “Yes, both.”  It is conditional, “If you will listen to the voice of God, then I (God) will bring you back….”  But it is also a promise, “You WILL listen to the voice of God, AND I will bring you back.”  We have to appreciate the preponderance of Scripture that provides blessed assurance that God is never done with Israel.

Isaiah 11:12 He will lift up a banner for the nations, and assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Jeremiah 31:36 Thus says Adonai: “Only if heaven above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then also I will cast off the offspring of Israel—for all they have done.” It is a declaration of Adonai.

Amos 9:14; Zechariah 14:1; Joel 3:1; Ezekiel 36:24; Joel 2:19; Hosea 6:1 and so very much more.  The entire Bible is full of promises from God to restore the fortunes of Israel.  God is not done with His people, Israel, but will use them to bring in a worldwide harvest.

Hosea 6:11 Also, Judah, there is a harvest for you, when I return My people from captivity.”  Don’t act surprised when this happens.  When Yeshua returns, we will speak this truth to Him, “We’ve been expecting You.”