Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, March 20, 2023

The Hope Of God’s Glory – Romans, part 49

Romans 5:2 Through Him we also have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast in the hope of God’s glory. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in suffering—knowing that suffering produces perseverance;

Last Friday we meditated on Romans 5:2.  We are repeating it today because Romans 5:3 doesn’t make any sense without it.  No only do we boast in the hope of God’s glory,… but we also boast in suffering.  Wait a minute?  What was that?  In whose suffering are we boasting, and why?  I’m glad you asked….

Boasting in God’s glory is easy to understand.  After all, Isaiah saw it.  Isaiah 6:1b I saw Adonai sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the Temple.  Then he heard the seraphim calling out what the rabbis believe is the highest praise to the Lord…. Isaiah 6:3 One called out to another, and said: “Holy, holy, holy, is Adonai-Tzva’ot! The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Rabbi Trail:  Who are the seraphim?  They are angelic beings (They live in heaven, God’s presence, and are completely obedient to Him.) who are responsible for worship.  Their assignment is to declare the glory of God.  Seeing God and hearing the seraphim was enough to make Isaiah realize how unclean he really is (as are we).  Isaiah 6:5 Then I said: “Oy to me! For I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I am dwelling among a people of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King, Adonai-Tzva’ot!”

Isaiah was healed of this condition by a seraph, who delivered a hot coal to his lips.  Isaiah 6:6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a glowing coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips. Your iniquity is taken away, and your sins atoned for.” End RT.

What is God’s glory?  His oneness!   Isaiah 48:11b I will not give My glory to another.  And more from Isaiah 42:8a “I am Adonai—that is My Name! My glory I will not give to another.  Let’s pause here to appreciate what God has done by sending His Son.  He has brought us, His faithful followers, into His glory.  1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  How wonderful.

Yeshua prayed for this, mere hours before His crucifixion.  John 17:1 Yeshua spoke these things; then, lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so the Son may glorify You.  Then He continued in prayer.  He prayed for our inclusion.

John 17:22 The glory that You have given to Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one— 23 I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them as You loved Me. 24 “Father, I also want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory—the glory You gave Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

But now, on the high of “boasting in His glory,” we have to deal with something called “boasting in suffering.”  That is exactly the counter-intuitive perspective that defines the kingdom of God.  Jeremiah 9:22 Thus says Adonai: “Let not the wise boast in his wisdom nor the mighty boast in his might nor the rich glory in his riches. 23 But let one who boasts boast in this: that he understands and knows Me. For I am Adonai who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth. For in these things I delight.” It is a declaration of Adonai.

We don’t want to boast in suffering, we want to complain in suffering.  The flesh wants to complain while the spirit is under divine command to boast.  And besides, boasting has such a negative connotation.  What’s the opposite of boasting?  We might be tempted to think of being humble as the opposite, but what I’m proposing today is that, biblically speaking, complaining is the opposite of boasting.

The wilderness was littered with the bodies of complaining Hebrews who, for 40 years, would not submit to the divine provision of God.  Psalm 95:10 For forty years I loathed that generation. So I said: ‘It is a people whose heart goes astray, who do not know My ways.’ 11 Therefore I swore in My anger, ‘They shall never enter into My rest.’”  God had to teach the children of Israel perseverance through suffering, which is exactly what He wants to teach us.  Let’s dive into that tomorrow.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 20 Mar-2023 27th of Adar, 5783
Le 1:14-2:6 Isa 21-22 Pr 15 Ac 14 (Rev 8)