Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, March 16, 2023

Trials?? Consider It All Joy – Romans, part 47

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been made righteous by trusting, we have shalom with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

What is “therefore” there for?  It makes the connection between chapter 4 and chapter 5.  Chapter 4 was all about how we are made righteous by trusting (just like father Abraham).  Now, Paul declares, on that basis, we have “shalom with God.”  That declaration makes me want to ask, “What is disturbing our shalom with God?”

Paul actually asks the same question a little differently, except it is not a “what,” but a “who.”  And it is not “shalom,” but “love.”  Romans 8:35a Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah?  With all those “exceptions,” one might wonder if it really fits here, but for now, let’s go with it.

Romans 8:35b Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  Ask yourself right now, “Are any of these things going to separate me from the promised Shalom that is a benefit of my faith relationship with God?”  Paul actually goes a little further in his answer…. Romans 8:37 But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Rabbi Trail:  Who is “more than a conqueror?”  I heard it described once like this…. A prize fighter wins the heavyweight boxing championship, earning a nifty check for $10 million (winner take all).  When he gets home, his wife puts out her hand and says, give me the check.  He immediately complies, thus making her “more than a conqueror.” End RT.

Seriously, let’s get back to our original point, “we have shalom with God through Yeshua.”  He is our mediator.

Rabbi Trail:  I’ve heard rabbis scoff at the idea that we need a mediator to bring us together with Father God.  My answer to them is found in Leviticus.  The entire sacrificial system is based on the need for a mediator.  We can’t be our own sacrifice.  What would be the point?  1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and there is one Mediator between God and men—a human, Messiah Yeshua.  End RT.

That “Shalom” we have with God, is not the absence of war or conflict (although it does include that), but rather is based on the fuller meaning of “Shalom.”  True shalom is complete wholeness, lacking nothing, perfection.  Yeshua sets us in right order with God our Father.

Jacob 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Therefore, the testing of our faith produces endurance which produces shalom (lacking in nothing).  The whole world is seeking shalom.  When our faith is tested, we’re very close to finding the shalom the whole world is seeking.  Therefore; consider it all joy.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 16 Mar-2023 23rd of Adar, 5783
Ex 39:2-21 Isa 15-16 Pr 12 Ac 11 (Rev 5)