Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, May 17, 2021


Counting the Omer – Day 44

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 six weeks and two days of the counting of the Omer.

Ever heard of the fountain of youth?  Juan Ponce de Leon, the first governor of Puerto Rico, traveled to Florida in 1513 to search for it.  But he came late to the party.  Tales of such a mythical place go back to the 5th century BC.

Rabbi Trail:  The Fountain of Youth is an attraction in St. Augustine, FL.  You pay to get in, but it doesn’t work.  The concept of the fountain of youth is of a pool where one would gain youth by bathing in and drinking the waters.  My advice, drink first.  End RT.

It seems like the world of children is filled with the desire to grow up.  But, as you might expect, the adult world is obsessed with staying young and when that doesn’t work, returning to youthful vitality will do.  Business and industry have capitalized on this desire, turning the effort to look and act young into a multi-trillion dollar industry.  Yet, for all the money spent on being youthful in old age, this world offers no solution, but God does…

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

There it is, right at the end of perhaps the most famous verse in the New Testament.  “Believe in Him and have eternal life.”  God is eternal (we’ve been focused on this attribute for a few days now).  Those who follow Him, are promised eternal existence in His presence.  As I said in a service about a month ago, “That’s an offer you can’t refuse.”

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

Mon17 May-20216th of Sivan, 5781

Ex 19:1-20:23 Nu 28:26-31 Ez 1:1-28; 3:12 Ruth 1-4 Ac 2:1

You might notice the Torah reading for today (according to the Daily Bread) is way out of order.  This is because our friend, Lars Enarson, is celebrating Shavuot (along with the vast majority of the Jewish world) today.  I explained the difference previously.  We will celebrate it as a community next Sunday with a joint worship service with Grace and Glory Fellowship at the building we share with them (10:30 start) followed by a cookout at Holston River Park.  Shomair will provide the hamburgers and hot dogs.  Shomairians will bring sides to share and G&G folks will bring salads and desserts.  All are invited.

While we’re on the subject, let me draw your attention to all the recommended readings for today.  They are all focused on Shavuot.  Ruth and Acts 2 are also oriented toward Shavuot.  Ruth is traditionally read on Shavuot.  Two great events happened on Shavuot, about 1,300 years apart.  The Torah was given through Moses on Mt.Sinai, and roughly 1,300 years later, in the year of Yeshua’s crucifixion and resurrection, the Holy Spirit fell with power on the Feast of Shavuot as is recorded in the book of Acts, chapter 2.  May the power of the Holy Spirit be felt by everyone at our joint service next Sunday.

Week 21
Memory Verse: Psalm 63:1 A psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. 2 O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You. My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You in a dry and weary land, where there is no water.

* 101 5/20 Monday:        1 Kings 16:29-34; 17

102   5/21 Tuesday:       1 Kings 18-19
103   5/22 Wednesday:  1 Kings 21-22
104   5/23 Thursday:      2 Kings 2
105   5/24 Friday:           2 Kings 5; 6:1-23

Question of the day: What is the great miracle of 1 Kings 17?

Answer:  Elijah is the prophet, and there are several great miracles recorded in the chapter.  The one that stands out to me is the seemingly endless supply of oil and flour.  Elijah is sent by God to a woman who has nothing… 1 Kings 17:12 So she said, “As Adonai your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in the jar, and a little oil in the jug. Now look, I am gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.”   But God prophesies through Elijah that she will provide for him, even though she has nothing. 

I want to share a prophetic sense that the woman is the believers today and Elijah represents Israel today.  We believers have to be willing to give the Lord what little we have.  Israel is going to turn to the followers of Yeshua for sustenance.  God is the creator who makes something out of nothing.  We must never forget that.  

Hear the words of Elijah… 1 Kings 17:14 “For thus says Adonai God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be exhausted nor shall the jug of oil be empty until the day Adonai sends rain on the land.’”

Lastly, I sense a connection between this story and the following verse.  Matthew 24:22 And unless those days were cut short, no one would be delivered. But for the sake of the chosen, those days will be cut short.  Elijah said it to the woman and I believe the Lord has made it clear, “Fear not” is the message for today.  The Lord will provide.