Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, May 15, 2020 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Counting the Omer – Day 34

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 the counting of the Omer.  Today is four weeks and six days of the counting of the Omer.

Here is a message for the ages… “God loves you.”  How much convincing do I have to do?  Okay, I’ll add this thought… When God does something (anything), He does it perfectly.  Don’t doubt me on this.  The logical conclusion then is that God loves you perfectly.  

God’s love is expressed in being chosen.  John 15:16a “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.”  Isaiah also prophesies what it means to be chosen. Isaiah 41:9b ‘You are My servant— I have chosen you, not rejected you.  10 Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  

Come to think of it, what a shame we have to use the word “love” at all.  It is so over used, and misused at the same time.  All of the longings involve love.  We are created to be vessels of love.  I’ve told you before how much I hate unrequited love.  We must fulfill God’s purposes to love Him perfectly by finding the satisfaction of each of our longings in Him.  

Proverbs 18:10 The Name of Adonai is a strong tower. The righteous one runs into it and is set safely up high.  (Hint: This verse may work its way into the message on Shabbat.)

I want to drive this home in the strongest language possible.  God does not love us on the basis of our good looks or sharp intellect.  God doesn’t love us  because we first loved Him.  1 John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.  All we can give God is the one thing in heaven and earth that He refuses to give Himself, our willing hearts.  He knows that if He has our hearts, everything else will fall into right order. 

Immediately following “The Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6, Yeshua urges His followers to store up treasures in Heaven, and then He says this… Matthew 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore if your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.”  The “good” eye is the eye that is fixed on Him.  

Remember the RR from yesterday; how the promise is that New Jerusalem will be full of light?  The city is full of light because everyone in it reflects the light of the Lord.  John the Baptist said of Yeshua, John 1:9 The true light, coming into the world, gives light to every man.  Then Yeshua, Himself said of Himself… John 8:12b “I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

My prayer in closing for today is this… Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah. 4 He chose us in the Messiah before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love.  Colossians 3:2 Focus your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Messiah in God. 4 When Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him, in glory!  In Yeshua’s name, amen.  This is the beauty of Yeshua, and this is the beauty He shares with us.  

Week 20
Memory Verse:  Proverbs 1:7 The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

96     5/11      Monday:        Proverbs 1-2

97     5/12      Tuesday:       Proverbs 3-4  

98     5/13      Wednesday:  Proverbs 16-18

99     5/14      Thursday:      Proverbs 31

* 100 5/15      Friday:          1 Kings 11-12   

Question of the day:  How did the wisest man in the world become so stupid?

Answer:  Solomon received pure and clear instruction from the Lord, and purposefully disregarded and disobeyed that instruction. 

1 Kings 11:1a Now King Solomon loved so many foreign women,… 2b Solomon clung to them for love. 4a For it came about, as Solomon grew old, that his wives led his heart away after other gods, so that his heart was no longer wholly devoted to Adonai his God.

This is sad; not just for Solomon, but for us too.  Why is it sad for us?  I’m glad you asked.  Solomon started well but finished poorly.  Does that sound like a warning to the people of God?  Say, “Yes and amen.”

Paul writes about his own victory, but read the last phrase carefully.  It includes you and me.  2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. 8 In the future there is reserved for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not to me only, but also to everyone who has longed for His appearing.

Let’s give Paul the last word too… Galatians 6:9 So let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good toward all—especially those who belong to the household of faith.