Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, May 1, 2020
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,
I’ve mentioned to you before how God begins a process in the life of every believer (follower) in Him. That “process” is a process of order. God begins to set our lives in order. Our priorities get set straight. Unimportant activities fall away and sinful activities cease.
And it’s not just “stuff” that gets reordered; thoughts and emotions also come under divine authority. Today is the 5th time I’m writing about the longing to be passionate with God. It’s time to state the obvious. Nothing in our lives will function properly (for our benefit and the benefit of those close to us) until we passionately give our hearts to God.
This requires that we remove ourselves from the driver’s seat and submit (submit means “to place under”) to God’s person and purpose. We are not our own god. Our purpose in God has to be beyond our self-interests. Love God and love others (that’s not complicated); that’s the meaning of the cross. The vertical beam reminds us to love God and the horizontal beam reminds us to love each other. They cross over the heart of Yeshua, who perfectly loves both us and the Father.
Another characteristic of wholehearted love is that it does not grow weary and it never experiences boredom. Passionate describes the wholehearted lover, today, tomorrow, and the next day. We become energized by God’s love for us and the opportunity to love Him back. You are the temple of God.
Yeshua said it this way at the end of His prayer after the Last Supper… John 17:26 “I made your Name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” That’s it, the love of God and Yeshua both in us. And that Temple (which we are) is passionate for God, “Nikudah!” (period).
Memory Verse: Psalm 1:1 Happy is the one who has not walked in the advice of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of scoffers. 2 But his delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and on His Torah he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a planted tree over streams of water, producing its fruit during its season. Its leaf never droops— but in all he does, he succeeds. 4 The wicked are not so. For they are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand during the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For Adonai knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
86 4/27 Monday: Psalm 51
87 4/28 Tuesday: 2 Samuel 24; Psalm 24
88 4/29 Wednesday: Psalm 1; 19
89 4/30 Thursday: Psalm 103; 119:1-48
* 90 5/01 Friday: Psalm 119:49-128
Question of the day: Psalm 119:123 My eyes fail, longing for Your salvation and for Your righteous word. Can you break it down in the Hebrew?
Answer: Sure, but it’s not easy…. In the Hebrew, the word translated as “fail” is “Kalah” (Kaf-Lamed-Hay) which also means “bride.” And “longing is not in the Hebrew at all. So another valid translation would be, “(With) eyes toward Yeshua as a bride, and toward Your righteous word.”
This is not a complete thought, but must be read with the verses before and after. All of these verses of Psalm 119 seem to take Hebrew to a higher level. This is not ordinary Hebrew, but some form of poetry. Like a Sonnet is not ordinary English, or a Haiku is not ordinary Japanese.
I find it significant that the word for “bride” is the same as the word for “fail.” This is not to say that brides fail, or are even synonymous. We have to understand word derivations. A bride is complete. The sense here is not that we are going blind (failing eyes), but that in turning toward Yeshua (salvation) we are completing the mission for our eyes. Hence the other word “longing” which also does not appear in the Hebrew.
Lastly, Psalm 119 is broken into parts according to the Hebrew alphabet. Verse 123 is part of the letter “Ayin” which means “eyes.” It could be the poet is mentioning eyes purposely in these verses to say something about where we look and what we see. Happily, our vision is connected to Yeshua and to righteous things.