Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, April 14, 2020 

Shalom and Chol-HaMo’ed Same’ach (Happy Half-Holiday),

Counting the Omer – Day 3

Here is the proper blessing to be said each day.  This is how Jewish people fulfill the command to count.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹֽמֶר

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohenu Melech Ha-Olam, Asher Kid’shanu B’mitzvotav, Vitzivanu Al Sefirat Ha-Omer.

Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by his commandments and commanded us about the counting of the Omer.  Today is three days and no weeks of the counting of the Omer.

I want to continue writing today on the longing to be LOVED/ENJOYED.  1 John 3:2a Loved ones, now we are God’s children.  We enjoy and love our own children, so it only makes sense that God loves His own children.  What does it mean to be “enjoyed?”  It means to be loved, valued, pursued, and cared about.  Yeshua expressed love, even while being crucified.  Luke 23:34a But Yeshua was saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Part of our who we are (who God created us to be) is the “baked-in” desire to be enjoyed.  Properly channeled, that desire is for God to enjoy us.  Improperly channeled, we develop codependent relationships in which we look to others to fulfill our needs.  God wants us to look to Him, the author and finisher of our faith.  Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  I’m not against interpersonal relationships.  Quite the contrary.  But, if we put God first, He will inform all our other relationships.

God is not standing in our way (of being enjoyed) by Him, but we, ourselves, are not prepared to receive His enjoyment.  We have believed a lie from Satan.  We tend to believe we are undesirable, so we find it hard to believe that the Almighty God enjoys us.  Sure, there are times He enjoys us less, but His love for us is never ending.  Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

After all, we use ourselves as a measure of God’s desire to draw close to us.  We tend to judge ourselves harshly.  This entire study is based on the full gospel, and the full gospel is more than getting a ticket to heaven.  It involves a relationship with God right here and now.  It goes back to the 2 greatest commandments.  

Matthew 22:35 And testing Him, one of them, a lawyer, asked, 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah?” 37 And He said to him, (quoting Deuteronomy 6:5) “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it, (Quoting Leviticus 19:18b) ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Would we want to “draw close” to something or someone we don’t enjoy?  Certainly not!  But God is not us and He does.  Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” It is a declaration of Adonai. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Here is the “watershed” verse for today.  Get this and you can graduate to tomorrow’s lesson.  Hear Yeshua’s prayer.  He prayed for you.  John 17:24 “Father, I also want (desire) 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.

Let me ask you a question.  Did Yeshua love the Apostle Peter?  You know He did.  Okay then, another question.  Was Peter perfect?  Far from it.  Yet Yeshua never stopped loving Peter.  Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon! Indeed, satan has demanded to sift you all like wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back (repented), strengthen your brothers.”  

Our calling from Him is irrevocable (Romans 11:29).  Moses was a murderer.  David was an adulterer and a murderer.  Yet God loved them, and never stopped loving them.  Know this and we’ll pick this up tomorrow.  God loves you, and His love is perfect to the point of enjoying you.  Our longing to be enjoyed must first be fulfilled in Him. 

Week 16
Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 17:46 This very day Adonai will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and take your head off you, and I will give the carcasses of the Philistines’ camp today to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth. Then all the earth will know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and so all this assembly will know that Adonai delivers not with sword and spear—for the battle belongs to Adonai—and He will give you into our hands.”

76    4/13      Monday:        1 Samuel 17-18 

* 77 4/14      Tuesday:       1 Samuel 19-20 

78    4/15      Wednesday:  1 Samuel 21-22  7th Day of Pesach (holiday)

79    4/16      Thursday:      1 Samuel 24-25:1

80    4/17      Friday:           1 Samuel 28;31

Question of the day:  Jonathan asks his father, King Saul… 1 Samuel 19:32b “Why should he (David) be put to death? What has he done?”

Answer:  For this question, Saul tried to kill Jonathan by hurling a spear at him.  Saul rightly saw David as a threat.  He was very angry at Jonathan for protecting David.  

Saul missed God on many occasions throughout his life.  Yes, we will see that David never loses sight of the truth that Saul was anointed king.  So was David (also anointed king) but he understood the value of authority and the wisdom of not usurping it.

The authority given by God rested with Saul until God removed it.  David understood that.  He refused to lift his hand against the anointed of God.  

What is God saying to His people through this story in the Bible?  We also should see authority as given by God and respect those in authority.  We must put our trust in God and wait and pray for Him to bring about His desired outcome.  “Touch not the anointed of God.” (1 Samuel 26:23) will be skipped in our daily readings, so I put it in here.  Blessings.  R. Michael.