Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, April 29, 2021


Counting the Omer – Day 26

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 counting the counting of the Omer.  Today is three weeks and five days of the counting of the Omer.

I want to write about change.  I want to write about it in a way that gives thanks to God for His work on the cross that changes us.  Without His saving work on the cross, we have no way to become like Him.  

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

It is becoming like Him that allows us into heaven.  I apologize but I have to quote myself here.  “You can’t live live like hell and expect to get to heaven.”  

We are saved by faith.  Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourselves—it is the gift of God. 9 It is not based on deeds, so that no one may boast.  But that’s not the end of the lesson.  The next verse is critical… Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship—created in Messiah Yeshua for good deeds, which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them.

How do we even know what “good deeds” are without instruction from Scripture (from Genesis to Revelation)?  After all, what was prepared “before hand” is the Scriptures.  When we become like God, we are then invited to spend eternity in His presence.  Romans 8:10 But if Messiah is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is alive because of righteousness. 

As we continue to count our blessings through the counting of the Omer, we must add “regeneration” to our list of blessings.  What is regeneration?  It’s being made new in Messiah Yeshua.  It’s a changed life that is the result of a salvation experience.  We pick up where we left off in Romans 8.  Romans 8:11 And if the Ruach of the One who raised Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Ruach who dwells in you.

Water is the symbol of the Holy Spirit.  We must remain soft moldable clay in the Potter’s hands.  Isaiah 64:7(8) But now, Adonai, You are our Father. We are the clay and You are our potter, We are all the work of Your hand. 

Stay moist my friends.  Be willing to change.  

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

Thu29 Apr 202117th of Iyar, 5781

Le 23:23-32 Jer 2 Job 22 (Mt 22) Ro 3

In Jeremiah 2 we read about the rebellion of the children of Israel in great detail.  Ultimately, God’s complaint comes down to two things explained in this verse.  Jeremiah 2:13 “My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me —the spring of living water— and they dug their own cisterns— cracked cisterns that hold no water.  

I bring this up (like every subject) with the intent that we should find application in our own lives.  We must ask, how have we forsaken God, and how have we dug our own cisterns (and our own cisterns are cracked and hold no water)?

The Bible describes a sad situation… Haggai 1:6 “You sowed much but bring in little. You eat but are never satisfied. You drink but not enough to get filled. You put on clothes but no one is warm. And whoever earns wages works for a bag full of holes.”

Let’s pray the Scripture… (from Isaiah 55:8,9) Oh Lord, Your thoughts are not my thoughts, nor are my ways Your ways.”  You have declared, “For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  Yet, You have promised, Isaiah 55:10 “For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without having watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to sow and bread to eat, 11 so My word will be that goes out from My mouth. It will not return to Me in vain, but will accomplish what I intend, and will succeed in what I sent it for.”

So Lord, would you bring to mind the areas of my life in which I have not submitted to your authority, and made your ways my ways.  Then, Lord, please give me the courage to change.  I want to be more like You, Lord, in every way.  In Yeshua’s name, Amen.

Week 18

Memory Verse: Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart have I sought You —let me not stray from Your mitzvot. 11 I have treasured Your word in my heart, so I might not sin against You.

86   4/26    Monday:         Psalm 51

87   4/27    Tuesday:        2 Samuel 24; Psalm 24

88   4/28    Wednesday:   Psalm 1, 19

* 89 4/29    Thursday:       Psalm 119:1-48

90   4/30    Friday:            Psalm 119:49-128

Question of the day:  Psalm 119:1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the Torah of Adonai.  What does it mean to “walk in the Torah?”

Answer:  The following verses shed light on the answer.  Psalm 119:2 Happy are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with a whole heart, 3 who also do no injustice, but walk in His ways.

To keep His “testimonies” means to be His witness.  To be His “witness” means to tell about your personal experience.  What has God done in your life?  We all have a story to tell.  

I suddenly looked up at the first verse and it mentions “blameless.”  In Hebrew, that is “Tamim” which is the word used to describe us as we come up and out of the waters of baptism.  Then in verse 3 we are to “do no injustice.”  The Hebrew word translated “injustice” is “Evel.”  Does that look at all like our English word “evil” to you?  It does to me.  

That sounds simple.  God says, “Do no evil.”  That’s not really news worth reporting in this RR.  But the benefits are described.  The benefit words are, “blessed” and “happy.”  What?  The Torah is for blessing and happiness?  Oh my!  That is worth reporting, and I just did.