Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Several people have asked me why I have not written something personal (or on behalf of the congregation) concerning the COVID-19. My answer is that I don’t know; perhaps two reasons. First (and mostly) I haven’t received anything from the Lord to write. And secondly, don’t you think there is enough of everyone else’s stuff out there already? There may be a shortage of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but there is no shortage of commentary on COVID-19.
That said, now I’ve got something. I was inspired by Scott Volk (pastor from Charlotte), and the other inspiration came from Sean Steckbeck (who commented on Scott Volk’s FB post). Here’s the point… Everything in life contains within it the opportunity to submit to God. That’s not as practical as the 10 person rule or the 6ft. rule, but it is worthy of our attention.
Congregations are being shut down. This carries with it a range of potential negative effects. However; “congregations” are not buildings. The real congregation is a community of people. Let’s stay connected in every way and defeat the enemy who wants to scatter and isolate the flock.
But, at the same time, the devil’s playground (bars, clubs, movie theaters, and various other centers of amusement) are also being shut down.
Rabbi Trail: Amusement is the opposite of “musement.” To be a-mused means to lose focus. To “muse” over something means to focus on it. To be amused is to loose focus on what is worthwhile and to focus on something else. Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the reward of the upward calling of God in Messiah Yeshua. 15 Therefore let all who are mature have this attitude; and if you have a different attitude in anything, this also God will reveal to you. 16 Nevertheless, let us live up to the same standard we have attained. 17 Brothers and sisters, join in following my example and notice those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. End RT.
All of us, especially those who are being thrust out of their natural environment (like bars and clubs) need to put meaning on our circumstances with COVID-19. The Bible references pestilence in many places. In every case a turn to God brings blessing. But our first move when we turn to God is repentance. So, here is my prescription for overcoming the Coronavirus… Pray prayers of repentance and then pray prayers inviting God’s healing power.
2 Chronicles 7:14 when My people, over whom My Name is called, humble themselves (repent) and pray and seek My face and turn (repent) from their evil ways (repent), then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Pillar Twelve: The Kingdom is Extended through Prayer – part 1
Prayer is critical to our calling. It is also poorly understood and generally under valued. Psalm 18:4 I called upon Adonai (through prayer), worthy of praise, and I was rescued from my enemies (deliverance).
Prayer is spiritual warfare. God’s power is loosed through prayer. The Scriptures call this “binding and loosing.” I want to make these verses personal. Although they are written in the 3rd person (to “them”), let’s pray it to “us.” Also, it is written in the past tense, but let’s pray it in the present.
Adapted from Psalm 107:28 So we cry out to Adonai in our distress, and He brings us out of our troubles. 29 He stills the storm to a whisper— the waves are hushed. 30 We are glad when it becomes calm, and He leads us to our desired haven. 31 Let us praise Adonai for His mercy, and His wonders to the children of men. 32 Let us exalt Him in the congregation of the people, and praise Him at the assembly of elders.
One last set of Scriptures concerning the power of prayer. We can only pray from a position of submission. We can only quote Scripture in prayer, and expect it will be effective, if we are submitted to that Scripture. Satan knows the Scriptures, but he can’t pray them. Jacob(James) 5:16b The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.
Memory Verse: Joshua 1:8 This book of the Torah should not depart from your mouth—you are to meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will make your ways prosperous and then you will be successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Chazak! Be strong! Do not be terrified or dismayed, for Adonai your God is with you wherever you go.”
56 3/16 Monday: Deuteronomy 8-9
* 57 3/17 Tuesday: Deuteronomy 30-31
58 3/18 Wednesday: Deuteronomy 32:48-52; 34
59 3/19 Thursday: Joshua 1-2
60 3/20 Friday: Joshua 3-4
Question of the day: The Lord has a word for you today. There are about 150 faithful RR readers, and yes, this applies to every one of you. I’ve never said this before, but today is special. And you might say, “Okay then, what is the word from the Lord?”
Answer: These words were spoken by God to Moses who followed God’s instructions and delivered them to Joshua. They are available to you today. Like I said yesterday, “Own it!” Deuteronomy 31:7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong! Be courageous! For you are to go with this people into the land Adonai has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you are to enable them to inherit it. 8 Adonai—He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be discouraged.”
If you receive this blessing from God, then tell Him, “I receive it from You, Lord. Thank You for Your faithfulness.”