Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, April 17, 2020
(Early) Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Please tune in to our Facebook page on Saturday at 10:30 for our Shabbat morning worship service.  Search for “Shomair Yisrael Knoxville” and we should pop up.

Counting the Omer – Day 6

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

Today we continue our discourse on the longing to be enjoyed, loved, pursued, valued, and cared about, even in our weakness.  Let’s dive into this verse.  Song of songs 1:5a I am black, but beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem.  

Rabbi Trail:  We must identify with the bride (even the men among us), for we all have a destiny to attend the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Who is the Bride and who is in the bridal party is a discussion for another day.  For today, let’s live in these verses.

Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready, 8 She was given fine linen to wear, bright and clean! For the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the kedoshim.” 9 Then the angel tells me, “Write: How fortunate are those who have been invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb!” He also tells me, “These are the true words of God.”

This has everything to do with being desired by our groom, Yeshua.  The Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) was written by Solomon as a love story about Yeshua and His Bride.  She starts out saying “I am black, but beautiful.”  We may or may not be people of color.  It’s not the outer color being reported here, but an inner darkness.  Beauty, in that we were created by God, but dark, in that we have not yet attained the fulness of our calling to be paired with the Son of God.  1 John 1:5 Now this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you—that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.  End RT.

What is this “blackness” (darkness)?  Let me quote you 2 verses and then I’ll explain.  1 John 2:4 As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua.

As “living stones” in His “spiritual house,” we are placed on His altar as “spiritual sacrifices.”  Sacrifices get burned.  Our flesh is burned until it’s black.  What’s left is beautiful.  Hence, “black but beautiful.”  We identify with Isaiah, who comes into the presence of God and realizes how unclean he is.  No surprise he takes a hot coal and puts it in his mouth, declaring Isaiah 6:5a “Oy to me! For I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips.”

I encourage you to read all of Zechariah 3.  I’m only going to quote 2 verses here. This is us, we are Joshua.   Zechariah 3:3 Now Joshua was wearing filthy garments and standing before the angel 4 who answered and spoke to those standing before him saying, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ Then to Joshua he said, ‘See, I have removed your iniquity from you and will dress you with fine clothing.’

Yeshua, our Bridegroom, removes our iniquity.  We may be burned, but we’re beautiful.  Blackness is progress, not failure.  Our longing is for God to look beyond the blackness of humanity to the beauty of His word in us.  God sees us, inside and out, and still passionately desires us.

Song of Songs 1:6a Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked on me.  We don’t want our darkness exposed, but Yeshua has already seen every flaw and still delights in us.

Watchman Nee says that the Lord’s disciplinary ways weather our flesh and make life in the flesh of no account to us.  Philippians 3:8 More than that, I consider all things to be loss in comparison to the surpassing value of the knowledge of Messiah Yeshua my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things; and I consider them garbage in order that I might gain Messiah 9 and be found in Him not having my righteousness derived from Torah, but one that is through trusting in Messiah—the righteousness from God based on trust.

God’s judgment is not to condemn us (Satan condemns), but to extend grace, not only forgiving our iniquity, but receiving us totally acceptable unto Himself, through redemption (which always involves repentance).  Then He clothes us in His righteousness, and we live happily ever after….

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:  Wow!  Why are these two chapters so hard to write about?

Answer:  The subject matter of these two chapters is the episode with the witch of Endor and the death of King Saul and his sons at the hands of the Philistines.  What good lesson do we take from this?

The chapters are full of contradictions.  Saul had declared war on the spiritists, but here, under pressure and not able to hear from God, he turns again to such a one.  He did this only to hear Samuel say that he already told him what would happen.

Samuel prophesied that Saul would be with him (dead) by the same time tomorrow.  He told Saul he had less than 24 hours to live.  Then Saul, literally fell on his sword to avoid the capture and torture the enemy would surely have visited on him.

With every scripture we ask, what is the take-away for us today?  I’ll tell you.  Don’t live like Saul.  Saul lived in his own strength.  He didn’t listen and act on Samuel’s instructions.  Saul didn’t repent, he sought a witch.

Follow my advice, live like David.  David had a heart after God’s own heart.  David lived in the will of God.  When he didn’t, he was quick to repent.  Our calling is to follow the calling never available to Saul.  We must repent and believe the Son of God unto salvation.

Psalm 149:1 Halleluyah! Sing to Adonai a new song, His praise in the assembly of the kedoshim. 2 Let Israel rejoice in its Maker. Let the children of Zion be glad in their King. 3 Let them praise His Name with dancing. Let them sing praises to Him with tambourine and harp. 4 For Adonai takes pleasure in His people. He crowns the humble with salvation. 5 Let the kedoshim exult in glory. Let them sing for joy on their beds. 6 Let God’s high praises be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand— 7 to execute vengeance upon the nations and rebukes on the peoples, 8 to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, 9 to carry out the sentence decreed— this is the glory of all His kedoshim. Halleluyah!