Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Today is Yom HaZikaron, the Israeli Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and terror victims. It is in stark contrast to tomorrow, which will mark the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel. Israel is a great work of God and a sign that He keeps His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Please pray for those who morn. Some gave their lives and others had their lives taken from them. May the Lord provide comfort for all the bereaved.
Day 17 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 three days of the counting of the Omer.
Follow up that prayer by remembering a blessing from the Lord and give Him thanks.
Victory Over Sin 12 – Romans, part 73
Romans 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. 21 So then, what outcome did you have that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death.
Paul is continuing to draw a contrast between two absolutes, sin and righteousness. He will firm this up (as we will see tomorrow) at the end of chapter 6, in the next two verses. The tension between good and evil is nothing new. It has been in the world since the original sin.
Genesis 5:5 Then Adonai saw that the wickedness of humankind was great on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil all the time.
But Noah found favor in God’s eyes, and humanity was saved through God’s with covenant with Noah. Then God extended and deepened that covenant through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And again through Moses and the deliverance of Jacob’s descendants from slavery to freedom. The covenant was further magnified on Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Torah.
God made more promises to King David, a man after God’s own heart, who, though he sinned, demonstrated true repentance. Finally, God sent His own Son, Yeshua, to be sacrificed and then to sit on David’s throne. That is the kingdom into which we, who follow Yeshua are invited to spend eternity.
This brings us to the “great divide.” There is sin (breaking God’s commandments) and righteousness (keeping God’s commandments). God’s kingdom is a kingdom of absolutes; people are in or out, with God or against God. Hear the words of Yeshua…
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick by one and look down on the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
“Money” is not bad, but “serving money” is. God’s desire is that we would use money for His purposes. Serving money is a phrase that means we care about the things money can buy more than we care about God.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
So, what will it be? The choice is yours. Choose wisely! The bitterness of slavery to sin is eternally painful, while the sweetness of being one with God for all eternity is a delight which cannot be imagined.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, “Things no eye has seen and no ear has heard, that have not entered the heart of mankind— these things God has prepared for those who love Him.”
So again, the choice is yours. Shalom shalom.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 17 of the Omer
Tue25 Apr-20234th of Iyar, 5783 Yom HaZikaron
Le 17:8-18:21 Isa 52-53 Job 10 2 Pet 2 (Mt 12:1-21)