Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, April 16, 2020 


Just Making You Aware:  Caleb Company (the ministry led by Don Finto and Tod McDowell) will be going live on Facebook every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 2pm EDT until further notice.  Don writes a newsletter titled “The Good Report.”  Now “The Good Report” is going live.  Find them on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/calebcompany.

Counting the Omer – Day 5

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

Today we are continuing our discussion (if you want to call it that) of the desire to know someone delights in you, no matter what.  When our focus is on other people, it’s called disfunction.  Actually, longing for another person to delight in you is how many codependent relationships start.  That’s not a good thing.  Eventually, people will let us down, God never will.

Let’s review.  We are well grounded when we begin to understand that God’s love for us is unchanging.  God is passionate, but He is not ruled by His passions.  God delights in us and He wants us to know that.  Zephaniah 3:17 Adonai your God is in your midst— a mighty Savior! He will delight over you with joy. He will quiet you with His love. He will dance for joy over you with singing.’

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, God loves you.  He loves you with an unchanging and everlasting love.  His love is not affected by our successes or failures.  We are all God’s children of grace.  He loves us unconditionally, and nothing we can say, do, or believe can change that.

Luke 12:27 Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass in the field—which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow—then how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

Trust in His love.  When we trust in His love, we have more faith, not “little faith.”  What we have less of is fear.  Luke 12:32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father chose to give you the kingdom.  God has not brought us to this place in space and time to forget about us.

Would you agree that Yeshua is our example in all things?  Say, “Yes!”  In fact, while we’re on the subject, say “yes” to God in your heart (see the message in the daily reading below).   Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise—dwell on these things.  This is an example of how the “yes” in our hearts relates to God.

God doesn’t learn, but Yeshua is our example.  What did Yeshua learn that will help us if we apply His lesson in our own lives?  In other words, what was the nature of Yeshua’s victory?  Hebrews 5:8 Though He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered. 9 And once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.  Did you catch that?  It’s not the sinners prayer that saves people.  He learned obedience, and so must we.

And obedience to His will has nothing to do with how much God loves us.  His love means He wants the best for us, and His best for us is found in obedience.  He will never tell us to do or think anything that will harm us.  Satan will, because he’s a liar.  

Satan promised Adam and Eve that if they would eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would have their eyes opened, to be like God.  But the opposite happened.  Their eyes were closed to God’s glory and they became less like God (and more like Satan).

Yeshua came to reverse that.  Yeshua said, John 10:30 “I and the Father are one” and it almost got him stoned by those who were not ready to hear the truth.  Are we ready to hear Him today?  Let’s pray…

Father in heaven, pour out Your grace upon us right now, so that we may begin to receive your steadfast love.  Open our blind eyes to your provision in Messiah Yeshua.  Help our unbelief through our whole-hearted submission to Your perfect will.  Lamentations 3:22 Because of the mercies of Adonai we will not be consumed, for His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning! Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “Adonai is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” 25 Adonai is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him. 26 It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of Adonai. 

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 does the saga between Saul and David in 1 Samuel 24 end?

Answer:  David honors God.  When Saul is delivered into David’s hands, he refuses to kill the man who has sworn to kill him.  Instead, he acts generously toward Saul and offers a testimony of faithfulness and truth.  Saul must have been having a sane moment because he rightly answered David… 1 Samuel 24:20 Now behold, I know for certain that you will be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will rise in your hand.

David wasn’t just any king of Israel.  He was the first king of Israel in the lineage of the Messiah.  God made promises to David that were only fulfilled in the Son of God, Yeshua HaMashiach.   Miriam (Mary) received this message from the Archangel Gabriel…. 

Luke 1:32 He (your Son) will be great and will be called Ben-Elyon.  Adonai Elohim will give Him the throne of David, His father. 33 He shall reign over the house of Jacob for all eternity, and His kingdom will be without end.”

The Bible repeatedly says David was a man after God’s own heart.  He said, “Yes” to God.  When I write that, I mean David’s first response to God was always, “Yes.”  This is true for us as well.  Our first response to God should always be, “Yes.”