Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, April 21, 2021


Rabbi Trail:  I’ve been waiting for this day.  In Judaism, the number “18” is special.  Rabbi’s Note:  Sometimes begin labeled “special” isn’t a compliment.  But, as I will explain, in this instance, yes it is.  End RN.  In Hebrew, the letters are the numbers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_numerals) or better still (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/552887291728722470/).  Combining the 8th letter (Chet) with the 10th letter (Yud) adds up to 18 and makes the word “Chai” which means “life.”  So, in Hebrew numerology, the number 18 represents life. End RT.

Day 18 of counting the Omer

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 two weeks and four days of the counting of the Omer.

There is judgment and then there is judgment.  We are taking these 49 days of the counting of the Omer to appreciate God’s attributes.  We are currently valuing God’s attribute of mercy (aka grace).  Most people think of judgment and mercy as being opposed to each other, but in the kingdom of God, they are one and the same.  Let me explain.

God has already judged the world, and everything in it.  Ecclesiastes 7:20 Surely there is not a righteous person on earth who does what is good and doesn’t sin.  You might be tempted to say, “But that’s Old Testament, and we are New Testament people.”  Then consider this… 1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  Not specific enough for you?  Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 

A courthouse is called in Hebrew, a “Beit Din,” meaning “house of judgment.”  But a courthouse is where a trial takes place and then the verdict is given.  So the first judgment is the trial.  Then, at the end of the trial, there is the verdict.  This is also called a judgment.

The judgment of Nebuchadnezzar applies to us all.  Daniel 5:27 TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.  God’s judgment was to overturn our guilty verdict by sending His Son.  So then, God’s judgment is the salvation of the world.  Rather than fear Judgment Day, for those of us who know and trust the Lord, we should embrace and look forward to Judgment Day.  

2 Corinthians 2:14a But thanks be to God, who in Messiah always leads us in triumphal procession…  15 For we are the aroma of Messiah to God, among those who are being saved and those who are perishing— 16a to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.

Then Paul asks this question… 2 Corinthians 2:16b Who is competent for these things?  And he answers his own question… 2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God. Rather, in Messiah we speak in the sight of God with sincerity, as persons sent from God.  

God’s mercy is good news to all who believe.  Let us then, “speak in the sight of God with sincerity.”  We don’t have to sell God’s mercy, but just tell it…  Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman and born under law— 5 to free those under law, so we might receive adoption as sons.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Wed 21 Apr-2021 9th of Iyar, 5781

Le 18:22-19:14 Isa 59 Job 15 (Mt 15) 1 Jn 4

The last verse of the Aliyah today is Leviticus 19:14 “You are not to curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God. I am Adonai.”  Yet there is a major portion of Christianity today that is doing exactly that.  Today, there are many Jewish people who are both deaf and blind, not physically but spiritually.  

Isaiah is prophesying the ingathering of Jewish people back to the promised land… Isaiah 43:6b ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from far and My daughters from the ends of the earth…. 8 Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears.  

Michael L. Brown, PhD has written a book titled “Christian Antisemitism: Confronting the Lies in Today’s Church.”  (https://www.amazon.com/Christian-Antisemitism-Confrontng-Todays-Church/dp/1629997609)  Click on the book and read the preface.  

If you were to read the whole book, you would see how he provides great detail in the many ways the church has made it difficult for Jewish people to be saved.  The message of the love of Yeshua, the fire that burns in our souls, is quenched by the flood of hate toward Israel in much of the church world today.  

Because we are saved, are we exempt from the fear of the Lord?  Do we get a pass from obeying His commandments?  Philippians 2:15 so that you might be blameless and innocent, children of God in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation. Among them you shine as lights in the world, 16a holding fast to the word of life.

Love what God loves… Romans 11:1a I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! 2a God has not rejected His people whom He knew beforehand.

Week 17

Memory Verse: Psalm 51:10 Let me hear joy and gladness, so the bones You crushed may rejoice.  11 Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.  12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  13 Do not cast me from Your presence— take not Your Ruach ha-Kodesh from me.

81   4/19    Monday:         2 Samuel 1; 2:1-7

82   4/20    Tuesday:        2 Samuel 3:1;5; Psalm 23

* 83 4/21    Wednesday:   2 Samuel 6-7

84   4/22    Thursday:       Psalm 18; 2 Samuel 9

85   4/23    Friday:            2 Samuel 11-12

Question of the day:  The Scripture is written in such a way as to provide many layers of understanding.  What are the two layers spoken of in these verses of 2 Samuel 7?

Answer:  This is a little lengthy, but after you read it, I’ll make a short point of distinction and we’ll be done for today.  The prophet Nathan spoke these words from the Lord to David…

2 Samuel 7:12 When your days are done and you sleep with your fathers, I will raise up your seed, who will come forth from you after you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a house for My Name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. If he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and with the strokes from sons of men. 15 Yet My lovingkindness will not be withdrawn from him as I withdrew it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 So your house and your kingship will be secure forever before you; your throne will be established forever.”

Of course there is Solomon, David’s seed, who would build a house for Adonai.  But there is also Yeshua, David’s seed, who would build a house for Adonai.  The key is found in verse 13, “I will establish his royal throne forever.”  The house Solomon built was destroyed in 586 BC.  The greater Temple Yeshua built is still being built.  

1 Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that the Ruach Elohim dwells among you?  Receive the testimony of Stephen as he was about to be stoned to death.  Acts 7:45 Our fathers received it (the Tabernacle) in turn and brought it in with Joshua when they took possession of the land of the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it remained until the days of David, 46 who found favor in God’s sight. He asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built a house for Him. 48 However, Elyon does not dwell in man-made houses. As the prophet says, 49 ‘Heaven is My throne, and the earth is the footstool of My feet. What kind of house will you build for Me, says Adonai, or what is the place of My rest?

David had seed in Solomon, but David also had seed in Yeshua.  They both built houses, but Yeshua’s house is the only one that endures forever.  May the Shalom of God rest in you today and every day.  In Yeshua’s name, amen.