Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, April 9, 2020
Chag Same’ach (Happy Holiday),
Today is the first day of Passover. All Jewish holidays (the Bible calls them the “Feasts of the Lord”) begin at sundown the night before the day (Wednesday night for Pesach this year). This custom to begin every day at dusk comes from Genesis 1:5b So there was evening and there was morning—one day. See, the first day and every day since starts with “evening.”
The first day of Passover is also called “The Feast of Unleavened Bread.” Leviticus 23:5 During the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is Adonai’s Passover. 6 On the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Matzot to Adonai. For seven days you are to eat matzah.
Check out the moon tonight. Passover is always on a full moon. The full moon is the brightest night of the month. Do you think there is a message from God in that? Did He want the memorial of His Son’s crucifixion to be a beacon of hope during an otherwise dark season?
While we’re on the subject (we’re not really), the rabbis say this is year 5,780. They know the object is to get to the year 6,000 (the end of a work-week of 1,000 year days), so we can begin the 7th 1,000 year day known as the millennial reign of Messiah. Personally, I’m hoping they have made a 220 year mistake (so we really are at the year 6,000).
Jewish people have various beliefs about the coming of a (the) Messiah. Come to think of it, there is more uniformity in practice in Judaism than there is in belief; and there is considerable diversity of practice. Some believe the Messiah is their head rabbi of their sect of Judaism. Others are not expecting a person as Messiah at all, but a Messianic age similar to the age of Aquarius (kind of a “peace on earth, goodwill toward men” season).
In Messianic Judaism our belief is in the one true and living God (of the Shema) in His fullness as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are all 3 mentioned in one verse of the Hebrew Scriptures. Isaiah 48:16 Draw near to Me, hear this: Since the beginning, I have not spoken in secret. From the time it existed, I was there. So now Adonai Elohim has sent Me, and His Ruach.” The sent “Me” in that verse is none other than Yeshua HaMashiach.
Every Feast of the Lord has Messianic implications, and so does Passover. When we get to the 4th cup of the seder, it is the cup of victory, the cup of the second coming, the cup of the millennial reign. When we get to the 4th cup it’s just after we have welcomed Elijah. That same Elijah who will announce the coming of Yeshua. Malachi 3:23(4:5) “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and terrible day of Adonai.”
How unfortunate the Hebrew word “HaNorah” is translated “terrible.” It’s shoresh (root word) is from the word “Ya’re” meaning fear or fearful. A better translation might be “awesome.” For those who know the Lord, His return will be an awesome day; for those who don’t know Him, not so much. Same day for all, but different responses. Remind you of our current crisis?
Now, back to Psalm 91…
Psalm 91:14 “Because he has devoted his love to Me, I will deliver him. I will set him securely on high, because he knows My Name.
“Love and know God.” To love God is not as most people believe, an emotional response (like being “in love”). Loving God is intentionally obeying Him. Hear the words of Yeshua. John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
Read Psalm 91:14 again, slowly. Deliverance and security are promised in this watershed verse. Every song reaches a high point. I believe the song of Psalm 91 reaches its high point right here. I hear echos of Deuteronomy 6:5 Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 15:22 Samuel said: “Does Adonai delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Adonai? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay heed than the fat of rams.
71 4/6 Monday: 1 Samuel 1-2
72 4/7 Tuesday: 1 Samuel 3;8
73 4/8 Wednesday: 1 Samuel 9-10 Erev Pesach
* 74 4/9 Thursday: 1 Samuel 13-14
75 4/10 Friday: 1 Samuel 15-16
Question of the day: Okay, I get it. King Saul was the best looking warrior, but not the sharpest tool in the shed. What makes you say that Rabbi?
Answer: First, Saul receives a sharp rebuke from Samuel… 1 Samuel 13:13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly by not keeping the commandment of Adonai your God which He commanded you. For now, Adonai would have established your kingship over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingship will not last. Adonai has sought for Himself a man after His own heart. So Adonai will appoint him as ruler over His people—because you have not guarded what Adonai commanded you.”
Saul made the mistake of taking on the role of priest. He usurped authority, and God takes that seriously. Then Saul made the mistake of forcing his warriors to fast which violates another Scripture, which is quoted twice in the New Testament (1 Timothy 5:18 & 1 Corinthians 9:9). Deuteronomy 25:4 You are not to muzzle the ox while it is threshing. Then he compounds the error by declaring his son, Jonathan, must die. Thank God for the people who changed history.
1 Samuel 14:45 But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die? It was he who brought about this great deliverance in Israel! Far be it! As Adonai lives, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground! For he has worked with God this day.” So the people rescued Jonathan and he did not die.
Yet there came another day on Passover eve when the people chose poorly. John 18:39 But it’s your custom that I release someone for you at Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They shouted back, “Not this One, but Bar-Abba!” Now Bar-Abba was a revolutionary.
Even so, God’s will was accomplished. Isaiah 53:10a Yet it pleased Adonai to bruise Him. And this leads to worldwide redemption. (Almost too good to be true.) Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will give Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the spoil with the mighty— because He poured out His soul to death, and was counted with transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.
Happy Passover everyone.