Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, May 19, 2020 


Counting the Omer – Day 38

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 five weeks and three days of the counting of the Omer.

Yesterday we left off with this thought.  The greatest honor of all is to be seated together with Him in heavenly places. (Rabbi’s note: BTW, being Jewish or non-Jewish, male or female, slave or free, none of these is greater either.)  To be seated with Him is to be in the place of learning to walk with Him.  And to walk with Him is to learn to stand firm against the enemy.

Colossians 1:9b We keep asking God that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding— 10 to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. 

But this is the longing to be both great and successful.  Proverbs 3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my mitzvot…. 3 Let kindness and truth never leave you— bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will gain favor and (find success) a good name in the eyes of God and man.

The picture above proves that success comes in cans… not in cannots.  Most people think of success as a destination.  It isn’t.  Success is a journey, a pattern, a way of life.  Our longing to be successful in our walk with God can be fulfilled daily and even several times a day.  A lifetime is made up of moments.  A successful life is made up of moments of godly choices.  

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 (finds success) succeeds. 

The Lord is our redeemer.  He redeems us, and when we repent, He redeems our ungodly choices too.  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.  

Our longings can be summarized as the longing for “Shalom.”  Shalom is usually translated “peace,” but it is related etymologically to “Shalem.”  Shalem means “complete” (as in “done deal”) in this sense…. Jacob(James) 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

“Ad Machar” (until tomorrow).  Shalom.

Week 21
Memory Verse:  Psalm 17:15 I in righteousness will behold Your face! When I awake, I will be satisfied with Your likeness.

101     5/18      Monday:        1 Kings 16:29-34; 17 

* 102   5/19      Tuesday:       1 Kings 18-19  

103     5/20      Wednesday:  1 Kings 21-22 

104     5/21      Thursday:      2 Kings 2

105     5/22      Friday:           2 Kings 5; 6:1-23  

Question of the day: Let’s have Elijah ask the question of the day.  1 Kings 18:21b “How long will you waver between two opinions? If Adonai is God, follow Him; but if Baal is, follow him.” 

Answer:  We all know the right choice is to follow God and not Ba’al (a false god).  That’s not really the question.  The real question is, “How long?”  There is a presumption in the question that may not be fair.  The presumption is we have not yet decided to follow the One true and living God.  

Joshua offered the people a similar choice.  Joshua 24:15(14)b “choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…”  By the end of the verse, Joshua answers the question for the people… Joshua 24:15(14)c “But as for me and my household, we will worship Adonai!”

But, before we end for today, let’s return to Elijah and the confrontation on Mt. Carmel.  This is such a great story.  I don’t even want to try to do it justice.  Read it and be blessed.  The people saw the fire from God and proclaimed.  1Kings 18:39b 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces, and they said, “Adonai, He is God! Adonai, He is God!” 

One last thought… (Remember the teaching on rain from yesterday?)  The land was in a great famine (no rain).  The last thing Elijah said to Ahab on Mr. Carmel after the great victory of God was this… 1 Kings 18:41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there’s the sound of rain.”

I hear it.  Can you hear it too?  Song of Songs 2:8 The voice of my lover! Behold, he is coming— leaping over the mountains, springing over the hills!