Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, May 22, 2020 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Announcement:  Please bring your own communion elements again this Shabbat.  Hope to see you on Saturday.  The service starts at 10:30.  Once again we will not have the Bible study at 9:30. 

Counting the Omer – Day 41

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 six days of the counting of the Omer.

We are near the end of writing about the longing to be great and successful.  We’ve made clear how that longing is satisfied in a living relationship with Yeshua.  Today, let’s examine how the greatness we experience in Yeshua is only fulfilled in humility.

Sounds counterintuitive, right?  We can only ascend to greatness as we live in humility.  Jacob(James) 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of Adonai, and He shall lift you up.  Our calling is to be like Him.  

Yeshua entered Jerusalem not like any other king…. Matthew 21:5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘See, your King is coming to you, humble and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” (Which fulfills the prophesy of Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you, a righteous one bringing salvation [Yeshua]. He is lowly, riding on a donkey— on a colt, the foal of a donkey.)  Rabbi’s note: Yeshua, King of Jerusalem, will return on a white horse (not like before, on a donkey).  End RN.

Rabbi Trail:  The kingdom of God operates on principles that are regularly upside-down from the ways of the world.  Everyone has a natural tendency to strive to be on top.  But God has said… Isaiah 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” It is a declaration of Adonai. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  Most of our thinking is “top-down,” but God has said… Matthew 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first last.”  Greatness is found in serving others… Matthew 20:25 But Yeshua called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones play the tyrant over them. 26 It shall not be this way among you. But whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant.  Simply put, pride is a “deal killer” with God.  End RT.

Any greatness or success this world has to offer will fade away.  Today’s hero is tomorrow’s goat.  Records are made to be broken.  The things of God are eternal.  We belong to Him and that will last through all eternity.  Isaiah 55:14 …then You will delight yourself in Adonai, and I will let you ride over the heights of the earth, I will feed you with the heritage of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of Adonai has spoken. 

Did you notice Isaiah 55:14 starts with “then?”  What is the first part?  “If you will keep Shabbat… THEN God will “let you ride over the heights fo the earth.”  Yes, my friends… Hebrews 4:9 So there remains a Shabbat rest for the people of God.  Shabbat 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:  Do we dare doubt the power of God?

Answer:  Read the reading today.  What’s better than an axe head that floats?  An army of Aram that is confounded by the army of Adonai.  And what’s better than that?  Read the rest of the chapter (not assigned today) and chapter 7 too.  Such a great story gives us hope today in the face of enemies (terrorists, the deep state, epidemics, and more).  The officer who doubted the power of God to fulfill His word died at the gate.  Shabbat Shalom again, my friends.