Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Are there any young adults out there?  You might be interested in this virtual event for young adults from the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).  

Date: April 7th, 2021

Time: 4pm-6pm- Eastern Time (USA)

For Questions Call: (717) 405-0918

Register here:  https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zIwXlGEKTY-cetnPp9Bbtg?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=dc8d6ee6-812c-43ea-a575-39ce8c5fc423 

Day 4 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 Omer.  Today is four days and no weeks of the counting of the Omer.

It’s the middle of the first week of the counting of the Omer.  I’m going to write today about what it means to us that God is great.  “God is great” almost sounds trite, like the first line of the first prayer you ever learned, “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food. (And the rest) By His hand we are fed, thank You, Lord, for daily bread.”

But I’m not writing only that “God is great,” but also about what it means to us that “God is great.”  God is greater than the world that He created.  Whatever this world has to offer (including the whole world itself) does not compare to the greatness of God.  Abraham believed God, not God’s Word, for there was no word yet.  Galatians 3:29 And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed—heirs according to the promise.

Walking with the creator means finding your lost soul.  Hear the words of Yeshua (taken out of context, but the meaning is not changed).  Matthew 16:25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26a For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul?

I am inspired today by chapter 2 of A. W. Tozer’s “The Attributes of God” Volume 1.  Our appreciation of the greatness of God does not depend on His written word; it depends on His character which is described in detail in the Bible.  The cornerstone of God’s character is integrity.  Hebrews 6:18b “…it is impossible for God to lie….”  In Hebrew we say, “Betach.”  It means “count on it.”  God tells us to count on Him.  

Let me ask you a question.  Is faith in God from the head or from the heart?  Everyone who knows me, knows “It’s a heart ‘thang.’”  Consider this… Colossians 1:27b Messiah in you, the hope of glory!  “In you,” is that in your head or in your heart, the very core of your being?  It is our heads that relate to the written word.  It is our hearts that relate to the character of God.  Let’s walk in faith like Father Abraham.  Genesis 15:6 Then he believed in Adonai and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.  Welcome to the new “me too” movement.

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

Wed7 April-2021 25th of Nisan, 5781

Le 9:24-10:11 Isa 45 Job 3 (Mt 5) Jas 5

I knew this was coming, so I waited for it.  Leviticus 10:1 Now Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu each took his own censer, put fire in it, laid incense over it, and offered unauthorized fire before Adonai—which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire came out from the presence of Adonai and consumed them. So they died before Adonai.

What, for heaven’s sake, is “unauthorized fire?”  For the last 40 (or more) chapters of Scripture, Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu have faithfully been preparing to minister before the Lord.  Where did they make their mistake and what can we learn from it?  In Hebrew “strange fire” is “Aish Zara.”  Zur is strange, but it can also be unauthorized (like the TLV translates it), as in layman fire.  

This is the opposite of “Pekudei” (official appointments).  Nadab and Abihu were only appointed to serve UNDER their father, Aaron, the high priest.  Like kids playing with a new puppy, they thought they could go in at any time (without authority) and minister to the Lord.  Their deaths are a lesson to us all.

Please don’t miss this.  (Most of the Christian world does.)  God places leaders under authority.  We see this throughout the Bible and especially in the book of Acts.  The Apostles didn’t just go, they were sent.  To be sent, one must be under authority.  The centurion understood this, which amazed Yeshua.  Matthew 8:9 For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 

In fact, it goes further than that.  To have authority, one must be under authority.  While all authority is given by God, (and we are all under God’s authority), God also wants us to be relationally connected in real submission one to another.  No one, not even Yeshua, is not called to a life of submission.  

The power of the cross (which was celebrated on “Resurrection Sunday,” is based on the greatest act of submission ever.  Yeshua submitted to His own crucifixion.  Therefore;… Hebrews 12:1b Let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

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:  What was the essence of the prophesy given to Saul by the prophet Samuel?

Answer:  It is found in this verse… 1 Samuel 10:6 Then the Ruach of Adonai will seize you and you will prophesy with them—you will turn into another man.  According to this, Saul turned into another man.  He began to prophesy.  Through faith in Yeshua, you too have been turned into another person.  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. 

But Saul backslid.  There he was prophesying among other prophets, but later in life he disobeyed God.  Rather than repent, he preferred to cast the blame to others around him.  He rightly perceived David as a threat to his rule as king, but never connected David’s anointing to the will of God.

How does this apply to us?  It should be obvious.  We too can backslide.  We too can fail to discern the will of God in a given situation.  We too must be diligent to obey God and quick to repent when we miss the mark.

Acts 3:19 Repent, therefore, and return—so your sins might be blotted out, 20 so times of relief might come from the presence of Adonai and He might send Yeshua, the Messiah appointed for you.