Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, May 10, 2021
Rabbi Trail: Just so you know. The Lord is clear that we need Shabbat rest in our lives. As a rabbi, that “rest” is always a challenge, especially because the RR is a 7 day a week commitment. (I really do like writing it. It has enhanced my devotional time tremendously. If you don’t journal in some way, I highly recommend it. Get a notebook and spend a few minutes each day writing your impressions from the daily scripture readings. Then see what God does with it.)
All that to say, I am so thankful for David Harwood (who writes every Saturday) and Dr. Raymond Finney (who writes every Sunday). I receive their submissions early in the week and review them in advance, so I don’t have to write on Friday or Saturday (for Saturday and Sunday).
Now (as I write this) it is Mother’s Day Sunday (and I’m writing for Monday), so a belated (by the time you read this) Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who claim that title. End RT.
Counting the Omer – Day 37
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 five weeks and two days of the counting of the Omer.
Everyone has a story. Check that. Everyone has an amazing story. And, is our story ever really separate from God’s story? You know the answer is, “No.” We are woven into God’s fabric. Our own successes and failures are a reflection of our responses to the One Who created us. His goodness and His love, guide and direct our steps. When we embrace and value His attributes, we become more like Him. When we reject Who He is, we are separated from His blessings.
Rabbi Trail: Whenever I say something in the RR, I like to find a Scripture that proves my point. You don’t have to believe me, but you do have to believe God (and God’s written word). Here is some Scripture that underlines what I’ve been saying. End RT.
2 Corinthians 3:3 It is clear that you are a letter from Messiah delivered by us—written not with ink but with the Ruach of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence we have through Messiah toward God— 5 not that we are competent in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God.
God is above all. King David knew it and expressed it as he blessed God before the people… (This verse is part of the liturgy of the Torah service. Traditionally, it is sung as the Torah is carried around the congregation.) 1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, Adonai, is the greatness, the power and the splendor, and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything in heaven and earth. Yours is the kingdom, Adonai and You are exalted above all.
God transcends everything and everyone. Transcends simply means that God is above all. Hear the words of John the Baptist, which he spoke concerning Yeshua.… John 3:31 The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is of the earth, and of the earth he speaks. The One who comes from heaven is above all. This he spoke just before he made this statement concerning Yeshua.… John 3:35 The Father loves the Son and has given everything into His hand.
What sets all of this up is this little (big) verse…. John 3:30 He must increase, while I must decrease. In Hebrew we say, “Yotair Mem’cha, Pachot Mi’me’ni,” meaning “More from You, and less from me.” Consider this in your devotional today.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon10 May-202128th of Iyar, 5781 Yom Yerushalaim
Nu 1:20-54 Jer 11-12 Job 32 (Mt 28) Ro 12
Rabbi Trail: Today is Yom Yerushalaim. This day has been marked on the Jewish calendar by the chief rabbinate of Israel as a minor religious holiday. On this day, we honor the reunification of Jerusalem under Jewish rule. Since the victory of the Six Day War, in June of 1967, Jews are once again allowed to pray at the Western Wall.
From 1948 until 1967 (19 years), no Jews were allowed in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Armistice lines were drawn in 1948 to exclude Jews from accessing the Western Wall (which is inside the Old City), while it was under Jordanian control. Since 1967, both Jews and Muslims have access to their holy sites. Well, not exactly. Maybe I’ll write more on that another time. End RT.
The last reading of the Daily Bread today is Romans 12. We have to read Romans 12 in light of Romans 9, 10, and 11. Romans 9, 10, and 11 are all about how to love Jewish people. The body of Messiah has a calling to love Jewish people the way God loves them. (“Them” is “us,” which really makes this message somewhat self-serving. However; it isn’t self-serving to preach for everyone to loves what God loves.)
It’s not an accident that the first thing in the word of God that follows the details of Messianic Jewish theology is this… Romans 12:1 I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy, acceptable to God—which is your spiritual service. Did you notice “therefore?” It means there is a connection (as I just said) between Romans 11 and Romans 12.
Israel has been disobedient. We get that throughout the Bible, even in our reading from Jeremiah today. Yet our lesson, also throughout the Bible, is that God is not done loving Israel. Romans 11:31 in like manner these also have now been disobedient with the result that, because of the mercy shown to you, they also may receive mercy. God’s intention is to show mercy to both Jewish and non-Jewish people. Romans 11:32 For God has shut up all in disobedience, so that He might show mercy to all.
THEREFORE; since God is going to show mercy to all,… present your bodies as a living sacrifice…. Romans 12 is a call to righteous living. Living separate from the world (Romans 12), is what follows a right response to Israel (Romans 11), even though Israel has been disobedient toward God. A right response to Jewish people is a real test to believers everywhere. It is God’s test that leads to righteous living.
Romans 12:5 so we, who are many, are one body in Messiah and everyone parts of one another. We are not to look down on other parts of the body, but to embrace and honor those not just like us. I’m going to give Paul the last word here. Romans 12:10 Be tenderly devoted to one another in brotherly love; outdo one another in giving honor.
Memory Verse: Proverbs 3:5 Trust in Adonai with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
* 96 5/14 Monday: Proverbs 1-2
97 5/15 Tuesday: Proverbs 3-4
98 5/16 Wednesday: Proverbs 16-18
99 5/17 Thursday: Proverbs 31
100 5/18 Friday: 1 Kings 11-12
Question of the day: Which verse from Proverbs 1 & 2 will we choose for today?
Answer: Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in. Does this choice surprise you? I’m writing this to the young readers of the RR. Show me your friends and I’ll show you you. The point here is that you’re going to become like the people with whom you hang out. This goes for television shows too. There are so many ways we make a covenant with death (that which destroys). A covenant with death is Satan’s covenant. Not so with God. Choose God, choose life.
Yeshua makes this distinction at the very end to the Bible. Revelation 22:14 How fortunate are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and may enter through the gates into the city. Then He makes the distinction clear. There are those… Revelation 22:15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the sexually immoral and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. And then there is the Bride… Revelation 22:17 The Ruach and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come—let the one who wishes freely take the water of life!
Take the water of life.