Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, May 3, 2021


Counting the Omer – Day 30

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

I continue to be inspired by A.W. Tozer’s 2 volume set, “The Attributes of God.”  One of His attributes describes Him as a consuming fire.  Isaiah 33:14 Sinners in Zion are afraid. Trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can live with the consuming fire?” “Who among us can live with everlasting burnings?”

Wait a minute… I thought that was about who is going to hell.  It clearly says “sinners are afraid.”  Yet the next verse of Isaiah 33 is full of revelation.  It answers the question, “Who among us can live with the consuming fire?”  Isaiah 33:15 One who walks righteously, and speaks uprightly, who refuses unjust gain by extortion, who shakes his hands free of bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from looking on evil. 

The only way to live in the presence of God is to be dead (to self) before you get there.  Mark 8:35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the sake of the Good News will save it.  If we have died to self, the fire cannot touch us.  

God makes promises to those who have laid their lives down.  The metaphor for this sacrificial life is to take up your cross daily… Luke 14:27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.  The promise is here… Isaiah 41:10 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.

God appeared as fire on Mt. Sinai and the people ran away in fear.  Yeshua is coming again… Luke 12:49 “I came to pour out fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already ablaze!  Just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we will be tossed into the fiery furnace, but we, who follow Him, will be dancing with Yeshua and will not be burned.  God is a consuming fire, but He will not consume the faithful.

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

Mon 3 May-2021 21st of Iyar, 5781

Le 25:19-28 Jer 5 Job 25-26  (Mt 24:29-51) Ro 6

The Torah portion this week is a double portion (always special).  “B’Har” means “in the mountain” (where the Lord spoke to Moses) and “B’Chukotai” meaning “in My ordinances” (you will walk in them).  This coming Shabbat is special for other reasons too.  Not only is it a double portion, but we end the reading of the book of Leviticus.  Whenever we end a book of the Torah (or even the larger Bible too) it is an occasion for celebration.  Plus, (yes there is another reason for celebration) the new moon inaugurating the month of Sivan begins Tuesday night (after next Shabbat).  So this coming Shabbat is all set for triple blessing, double portion, end Leviticus, and new moon.  How exciting.   

The Torah portion begins with the description of the “Sh’mitah,” 7th year rest for the land.  It then quickly moves to the description of the 50th year of Jubilee.  These are commanded Shabbats that are not in the Leviticus 23 annual cycle.  Although they are on God’s calendar, they never quite got on Israel’s calendar.  But God is not mocked.  

I’m getting a little ahead of the daily reading.  We will see how God speaks of the coming exile (due to disobedience), and the purpose of it, even before the children of Israel have entered the land, but while they were still wandering in the desert.

Week 19
Memory Verse: Psalm 139:15 My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me when I was unformed, and in Your book were written the days that were formed— when not one of them had come to be.

91   5/7 Monday:        Psalm 119:129-176; 139

92   5/8 Tuesday:       Pslam 148 – 150
93   5/9 Wednesday: 1 Kings 2
94   5/10 Thursday:   1 Kings 3; 6
95   5/11 Friday:        1 Kings 8, 9:1-9

Question of the day:  What does God know?

Answer:  Duh-uh, everything!  I’m tempted to let that be the end of the lesson, but first, let’s just go one step further.  What does it mean to us that God knows everything?  We can ask Him for revelation; He is all revelation.  The last 2 verses of Psalm 139 are exactly such a request…

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart. Examine me, and know my anxious thoughts, 24 and see if there be any offensive way within me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Don’t pray that unless you mean that.  God takes our words seriously (and so should we).  God is good… Matthew 7:9 “For what man among you, when his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or when he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

I’m amazed at the number of people who tell me they are seeking the truth, but the reality is they are not.  Stop eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and start eating from the tree of life.  God is very specific in relating His love for us.  It is our responsibility to receive it.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Ruach ha-Kodesh whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of everything that I said to you. 27a “Shalom I leave you, My shalom I give to you.  Receive it in the name of Yeshua.