Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, May 30, 2020 

Shabbat Shalom,

What’s this?  Today seven weeks are complete.  We have counted seven weeks of blessings.  Blessings to us all for our obedience to God in counting as He commands.  Throughout these 7 weeks we have experienced trying times of sickness (both real and potential) and isolation. 

Times have changed, perhaps forever.  Used to be, if you showed up in a bank with a mask you could be arrested.  I remember not being served until I removed my baseball cap.  I believe we have not yet seen the full extent of the changes coming to our society.

Let’s consider the last 4 verses of Revelation 13… (Spoiler alert: The words in these verses may be disturbing to some, but we should not act as if we have never seen or read them before.  When they come to pass, we should not be surprised.)  Revelation 13:15 The second beast was permitted to give life to the image of the first beast, so that the image of the beast could even speak and cause all who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He also causes all—the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slave—to receive a mark on their right hand or upon their forehead. 17 And so no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark—either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is a number of a man, and his number is 666.

The Bible is not specific (regarding time, place and other particulars), but the “mark” of verse 16 could be a chip that identifies who has received a vaccine for COVID-19.  It no longer stretches our imagination that we will not be allowed into stores, schools or even work places unless we have been vaccinated.  

The “number” 666 in verse 18 is also interesting.  In Hebrew the letters are also the numbers. (For example, “Aleph” the first letter is also the number “1.”)  The sixth letter is the “Vav.”  Three of them would be Vav-Vav-Vav or WWW (World Wide Web).  I was going to play with this more, but now I’m not. 

Now, please read my final notes on the longing to make a deep and lasting impact.  I believe I have sufficiently proven that we touch eternity through our relationship with Yeshua.  It is our high calling.  

Song of Songs 1:4 Draw me after you, let us run!  The Hebrew word for “draw” is from the same Shoresh as “Mishkan” or “Shekinah (Glory).”  The image is to be brought in close and wrapped in the arms of God.  By the use of this particular word, God is inviting us to be drawn out to share in His glory.  We melt into His arms, but the use of “after” means we are still following Him.  We run together with Him, but still following Him.  

Matthew 28 verses 18-20 provides us with the “great commission.”  The command is to go in the authority of Yeshua (Who has all authority) and make disciples (not converts).  It ends with a promise, a promise of His presence.  The last words of the book of Matthew is not just a footnote.  Matthew 28:20b “And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  This is the promise of eternal love.  His presence is a resource activated by prayer.  

This promise of His presence is found throughout the Bible.  For example, John 14:18 I will not abandon you as orphans; I will come to you.  The love of God draws us into His presence which allows us to make a deep and lasting impact.  John 14:19 In a little while, the world will no longer behold Me, but you will behold Me. Because I live, you also will live!  This is followed by the “icing on the cake.”  It is the ultimate fulfillment of all the longings.  John 14:20 “In that day, you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you.  Colossians 1:27b Messiah in you, the hope of glory!  

Chag Sameach (happy holiday) my friends.