Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, April 29, 2023
Shabbat Shalom,

Day 21 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 three weeks and no days of the counting of the Omer.

Follow up that prayer by remembering a blessing from the Lord and give Him thanks.


Day 34: Morning
The Lord Equates His Goodness with Favor and Compassion
by David Harwood

I can imagine Moses’ expectation.

He had asked to see God’s glory. The Lord promised that He would reveal all of His goodness to him. Moses was probably excited. I would be. Maybe his anticipation was something like this:

“I’m about to see God’s glory! He’s going to preserve me in the secret place and cause the glory of His goodness to be revealed… 

“It will be more extraordinary than the beauty of the most glorious sunrise, more radiant than the sun, more powerful than the waves of the sea, deeper than the ocean, more refreshing than rain in this wilderness… 

“I can’t wait!”

Instead of visual demonstrations of splendor, the Lord described what He loved about Himself. He came to Moses and used words! Here’s what happened:

Then Adonai descended in the cloud, (and) stood with him there, as he called on the Name of Adonai

Then Adonai passed before him, and proclaimed, 

Adonai, Adonai, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and truth, showing mercy to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means leaving the guilty unpunished, but bringing the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:5-7 TLV)

God came down. He humbled Himself to reveal Himself and highlighted His moral goodness. These words help define that goodness.

Think of goodness as if it were light. If that light passed through a prism, we’d see that His goodness is comprised of numerous elements.

This is a great verse:

The unfolding of Your words gives light; giving understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130 TLV) 

The Lord equates His goodness with favor and compassion. He describes His goodness as being very, very patient. How slow is He to anger? Very slow. When God reveals His goodness, He emphasizes intervening love and faithfulness. His goodness is experienced by His people as transgenerational mercy and forgiveness. His goodness is revealed as justice for the sake of preserving His beloved people.

These words He spoke impacted Moses, who reported them to Israel. Through Moses these words helped form a nation’s outlook. Through that people those words have impacted believers from the Gentile nations throughout the generations.

In John 1 it is written that grace and truth come through the Messiah Yeshua.

And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth…. Out of His fullness, we have all received grace on top of grace. Torah was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Yeshua the Messiah. (John 1:14, 16-17 TLV) 

In the Scriptures, grace (charis) means favor. All sorts of favor. Truth (alētheia) may also be translated faithfulness. For the sake of my conscience, to offer you the emotional impact of these verses, I shall insert favor in the place of grace, and faithfulness in the stead of truth.

We looked upon His glory… full of favor and faithfulness. OUT of His fullness we have all received, and favor on top of favor. Torah was given through Moses; favor and faithfulness came through Yeshua the Messiah.

God spoke words to Moses. The sum total of all the personally aware self-understanding of God, the Word Who was God, became flesh. He was “full of favor and faithfulness.” That’s what the Lord is like. God’s intended “favor and faithfulness” came about, is experienced, through the Messiah—the Word Who is more than words.

John 1:14-17 is recognized by many to be a reference to the realities revealed to Moses. The Messiah Yeshua incarnated all of these wonderful characteristics. He also said that if we beheld Him we were seeing the Father.

He who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9b TLV) 

Moses found favor in God’s sight. He was known by name. Upon that basis, he petitioned, “Show me Your glory.” God answered.

So He said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass before you, and call out the Name of Adonai before you.” (Exodus 33:19a TLV) 

Our next meditations are going to look into this dynamic and the content of the revelation Moses received.

This is a pattern for us. Let’s emulate Moses.

Pray: God, please show me how good You really are!

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 21 of the Omer
Sat 29 Apr 2023 8th of Iyar, 5783 Parashat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim
Le 20:8-27 Am 9:7-15 1 Tess 4:1-12