Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, April 15, 2020 

Shalom and Chag Same’ach (last day of Pesach) *|FNAME|*,

Special Invitation:  Celebrate the miracle with HaYovel.  Click here for details:  https://www.hayovel.com/events/live-from-israel-2020?mc_cid=712bbc048f&mc_eid=dbc80ac165  

Tommy Waller first went to Israel in 2004.  From that first trip, God birthed a vision to this middle Tennesseean and his family.  Today, the mission of HaYovel is “to strengthen and undergird the often overlooked small independent farmer in Israel through creative networking, education, tourism, and activism.”

On April 30th, HaYovel will be bringing good news from Israel to your home via live broadcast. With an incredible line up of Israel’s most dynamic and inspiring speakers.  They will be hosting a one day virtual event from Israel, broadcasted to your home.  A free sign up is required.  Sign up here.  https://www.hayovel.com/events/live-from-israel-2020?mc_cid=712bbc048f&mc_eid=dbc80ac165

Counting the Omer – Day 4

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 four days and no weeks of the counting of the Omer.

Today, we continue our study of the 7 longings of the human heart (spirit).  Each of them (we will identify the 7 longings below) is based on what Mike Bickle calls the superior pleasure of being spiritually transformed into the body of Messiah (changed eternally).  This is juxtaposed to the inferior pleasure of fleshly comfort (which is temporary).  This is the journey of every Believer into the fullness of our individual, God given, destiny; it is the very purpose for which we have been created.  

Let’s go ahead and enumerate the seven longings as found in Mike Bickle’s book “The Seven Longings of the Human Heart;”  the longing to be enjoyed by God, the longing for fascination, the longing for beauty, the longing for greatness, the longing for intimacy without shame, the longing to be wholehearted, and finally, the longing to make a deep and lasting impact.

None of them are attainable until we first come to the realization, about which I’ve already written, that God loves you, no matter what.  Each longing can only be satisfied in relationship with God.  To drive this point home today, I want to focus on Yeshua’s response to Peter in the resurrection.  

Peter was adamant in his belief that he (above all others) would rise to defend Yeshua, and he did raise the sword in the Garden of Gethsemane.  John 18:10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the servant of the kohen gadol, and cut off his right ear. Now the servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Yeshua said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath! The cup the Father has given Me—shall I never drink it?”

Then, shortly afterward, in the court of Caiaphas, Peter denies even knowing Yeshua.  John 18:17 The maidservant at the door says to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this Man’s disciples too?” He says, “No, I’m not.”

Imagine Peter’s shame after first defending (probably the top defender) and promising faithfulness and then denying even knowing Yeshua.  After the resurrection, Peter takes this shame to the Galilee, where he again meets Yeshua, but this time Peter is stripped of all pretense.  In the presence of God, we (just like Peter) loose all pretense.  

In the presence of Yeshua’s gaze, everything is revealed and nothing remains hidden.  Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.’ 62 And Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Yeshua looked at Peter and asked him a question.  John 21:15 When they had finished breakfast, Yeshua said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”  This question was asked 3 times.  And 3 times Peter answered, “Yes.” 

The third time (verse 17) the Bible says “Peter was grieved.”  What grieved Peter should also grieve us.  Peter’s heart was broken.  He thought he was strong, but he was like a hot air balloon that is out of hot air.  Peter was Isaiah all over again, a man who is undone in the presence of the great King.  

Peter had entered the beatitudes.  What are the beatitudes, other than the Torah in new covenant language.  Peter is us, and we are Peter.  

When we are poor in spirit, God declares we are blessed with the kingdom of heaven.  

When we mourn, God declares we are blessed with comfort.  

When we are meek, God declares we shall be blessed to inherit the earth.

When we are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, God declares we shall be blessed by being filled (satisfied).

When we are merciful, God declares we shall be blessed to obtain mercy.

When we are pure in heart, God declares we shall be blessed to see Him.

When we are peacemakers, God declares we shall be blessed to be called sons of God.

When we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, God declares we shall be blessed to have the kingdom of heaven.

Then, in the following verse, God declares we will be blessed when we are reviled and persecuted, as were the prophets who came before us.

So we also, like Peter, are loved even in our weakness.  Our surrender opens the door of grace.  God spoke to Paul.  I believe the message to us is the same today… 2 Corinthians 12:9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

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:  How is Saul doing?  Here’s a better question, “How are we doing?”

Answer:  Saul is sinking into insanity.  Paranoia is more than a punch line to a party joke.  It is a real debilitating mental condition.  Saul becomes convinced that David is out to get him.  There is no evidence this is true, but in Saul’s mind that doesn’t matter.  

At the end of 1 Samuel 22, Saul has 85 priests killed for “conspiring” with David against him, even though there is no evidence that this is true.  His own courtiers would not contribute to this crime, so Saul turned to one of his army officers.  That man, Eliab, fulfilled his role.  

Why am I writing about this?  First, it’s all over our 2 chapters today.  But (as we do every day) we must ask, what does this mean to us?  To answer that question, I want write about the spiritual reality to everything.  Yes, everything has a spiritual reality.  And in every way that spiritual reality is greater than the physical reality.

The spiritual reality is eternal, while the physical reality is temporal.  The spiritual reality is in the fulness of God’s realm, while the physical reality is limited to this world.  We are just now seeing the beginning effects of the “emotional brokenness” prophesied by scripture.  

Luke 21:26 People will lose heart from fear and anticipation of what is overtaking the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Does this have anything to do with what we are watching happen in our world today?  The only thing that will keep us from falling into this fear and despair is our faith.  God is still on the throne.

Revelation 12:11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives even in the face of death.

Saul’s insanity began with fear.  We are living in the most fearful generation since the blitzkrieg (lightening war) when Germany bombed London.  This will lead to emotional brokenness, and that emotional brokenness can only be healed by the power and presence of God.  Saul did not listen to Samuel.  He would not humbly submit to such power and presence.  Surrender to the will of God will always bring us into God’s healing power by grace through faith in Yeshua’s sacrifice.  

Psalm 105:3 Glory in His holy Name. Let the heart of those who seek Adonai rejoice. 4 Seek Adonai and His strength, seek His face always.