Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, April 5, 2021


Day 2 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 counting the counting of the Omer.  Today is two days and no weeks of the counting of the omer.

I’m inspired today by A. W. Tozer’s book “Knowledge of the Holy” Chapter 2, “God Incomprehensible.”

In counting the Omer, we are counting our blessings.  And what greater way to count our blessings than to appreciate the attributes of God?  We sing the “Bar’chu” to the Lord as we declare that He alone is the source of all blessing.  In fact, if we were really to do God justice (in commenting about His goodness) we wouldn’t say one word.  We should all be silent before Him.

Habakkuk 2:20 But Adonai is in His holy Temple. Let all the land be silent before Him.  

But then what?  Luke 19:40 But answering, Yeshua said, “I tell you that if these (disciples) keep silent, the stones will shout out!”  So we dare not withhold His praises.  Jan and I share in communion every night.  The essence of our time at His table is to declare His praise.  We give thanks as we recount the many times every day the Lord has blessed us, protected us and shown us mercy.  Then we lift up various needs in intercession, and conclude with a blessing over the bread (gift of His body) and wine (gift of His shed blood).

God is “The Creator.”  Tozer muses upon this simple statement.  God is not “One of many,” but He alone is the creator.  Every person and every being only have imaginations.  God alone transforms thought into reality.  You might be tempted to say, “That’s not true.”  But whatever is made, is made from something God made.  John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being.

Paul connected this truth to knowing God.  In Acts 17:23 Paul comments on a building inscription “To an Unknown God” and tells the men of Athens, Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by hands.

Which bring me to our conclusion today.  God lives in You.  You are His highest creation, and He loves you enough to live in you.  King David understood this.  Notice the notation that this is to be sung to a certain tune… Psalm 9:1 For the music director, to the tune of “The Death of the Son,” a psalm of David. 2 I will praise Adonai with my whole heart. I will tell about all Your wonders. 3 I will be glad and rejoice in You. I will sing praise to Your Name, Elyon!

So we count the first blessing.

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

Mon5 April-2021 23rd of Nisan, 5781

Le 9:1-16 Isa 43 Job 1 (Mt 3) Jas 3

I want to comment on Isaiah 43:11 today.  (This is in the Jewish Bible, as is the entire book of Isaiah.  Jewish people should read it and believe it.  Please pray into that.)

Isaiah 43:11 “I, I am Adonai— and there is no savior beside Me.

The verse starts in Hebrew “Anochi, Anochi.”  That’s not a typo, the word is repeated.  God is the “I AM” of all “I AM”s.  When Yeshua declared Himself to be the “I AM,” His meaning was not lost on the hearers… John 8:58 Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, before Abraham was, I am!” 59 Then they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Yeshua hid Himself and went out from the Temple.  Just because they wanted to stone Him, doesn’t make Him wrong.

Yeshua used the “I AM” that is not the conversational “Ani,” but the greater biblical “I AM,” “Anochi.”  This is the first word of the 10 Commandments… Exodus 20:2 “I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”  That’s why they had such a violent response; they wanted to stone Him for making Himself out to be God.  

And the last word of Isaiah 43:11 is “Moshi’ach.”  This is the Hebrew word for the anointed Messiah (Christ).  There it is in Isaiah, “… There is no Christ other than Me (Yeshua is Adonai).   

Week 15

Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 16:7 But Adonai said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have already refused him. For He does not see a man as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but Adonai looks into the heart.”

* 71 4/07    Monday:         1 Samuel 1-2

72   4/08    Tuesday:        1 Samuel 3; 8

73   4/09    Wednesday:   1 Samuel 9-10

74   4/10    Thursday:       1 Samuel 13-14

75   4/11    Friday:            1 Samuel 15-16

Question of the day:  Channah becomes the mother of Samuel, Israel’s great prophet, who anointed both Saul and David.  What is her prayer?

Answer:  She prays this prayer to the Lord at the start of 1 Samuel 2… It reminds me of the “Magnificat.” (Luke 1:46-55)

1 Samuel 2:1 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in Adonai, my horn is lifted high in Adonai. I smile wide over my enemies, for I rejoice in Your salvation.

2 There is none holy as Adonai, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.

3 Boast no more so proudly— insolence comes out of your mouth. For Adonai is the all-knowing God, and by Him deeds are weighed.

4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the stumbling are girded with strength.

5 Those full hire themselves for bread, but those starving hunger no more. Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she with many sons languishes.

6 Adonai causes death and makes alive, He brings down to Sheol and raises up.

7 Adonai makes poor and makes rich, He brings low and also lifts up.

8 He raises the helpless from the dust. He lifts the needy from the dunghill, to make them sit with nobles, granting them a seat of honor. For the earth’s pillars are Adonai’s, and He has set the world on them.

9 He guards the steps of His godly ones, but the wicked are silenced in darkness. For one does not prevail by might.

10 Those who oppose Adonai will be shattered. He thunders against them in heaven. He judges the ends of the earth. He gives strength to His king, exalting the horn of His anointed one.”

Channah is a very wise woman.  She ends the first verse, “For I have rejoiced in Your Yeshua.”  Channah prayed for a son and God gave her Samuel.  Then, as she fulfilled her promise to dedicate him to the Lord, she uttered the prayer we just read.  She covers a lot of ground.  She starts with praise for God, then compares the mighty with the stumbling (verse 4).  Verse 5 is a contrast between the full (who sell out for even more bread) and the hungry (who become full).  God can’t fill you up if you’re not empty.  

She compares barren and pregnant, rich and poor, alive and dead, the helpless with royalty, and the godly and the wicked.  Her whole prayer is filled with the wisdom of God.  I just wanted to draw attention to the reading today.  I hope you appreciate her prayer as she dedicated her son to the Lord.