Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, May 4, 2020
Counting the Omer – Day 23
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 three weeks and two days of the counting of the Omer.
Today we begin our examination of the 4th of the 7 longings, the longing to be intimate (ideally – with God) without shame. All of these longings are part of our created being that reflects God’s image. Shame is connected to sin. There was no shame in the world before the “fall” of Adam and Eve.
Why did I say “ideally – with God” in the previous paragraph? Because each of these longings is properly satisfied in a relationship with God. When we try to satisfy our longings in any other relationship, the result is trouble, pain, and suffering. The last thing we can expect from such an aberration is satisfaction.
Also, worthy of our attention here is the interconnectedness of all of the longings. They are really one longing or desire with 7 parts. All our longings, when put in right order, are connected to our love for and relationship with God. We want to be enjoyed by God, fascinated with God and passionate toward God (the first 3 longings). We also want to be known intimately and not be ashamed (our 4th longing).
Shame is Satan’s binding to keep us from a passionate relationship with God. Satan also uses shame as a club to beat us up. Part of the gift of the salvation experience is to remove shame. But our tendency is to hold onto it, even wallowing in it. But God promises something better…
Isaiah 61:6a But you will be called the kohanim (priests) of Adonai, They will speak of you as the ministers of our God. 7a Instead of your shame, double portion. instead of disgrace they will sing for joy…. they will have everlasting joy.
There is a trade for us, “instead of your shame… have everlasting joy.” We believe in the restoration of all things. (Acts 3:21) Adam and Eve walked in the Garden in an open and unashamed relationship with God. (Genesis 2:25) That relationship is only restored to us through the cross of Yeshua. That restored relationship must be shameless by definition.
There will be more tomorrow (by the grace of God).
Memory Verse: Psalm 139:1 For the music director: a psalm of David. Adonai, You searched me and know me. 2 Whenever I sit down or stand up, You know it. You discern my thinking from afar. 3 You observe my journeying and my resting and You are familiar with all my ways.
91 5/04 Monday: Psalm 119:129-176; 139
92 5/05 Tuesday: Psalm 148-150
93 5/06 Wednesday: 1 Kings 2
94 5/07 Thursday: 1 Kings 3; 6
95 5/08 Friday: 1 Kings 8; 9:1-9
Question of the day: How awesome is God? How awesome are you?
Answer: Read Psalm 139 (yes, the entire Psalm) to get a sense of how awesome God really is. The way we see God is really a reflection of the way we see ourselves. This Psalm proves my point. It goes from describing the awesomeness of God to describing the awesomeness of us.
About God… Psalm 139:7 Where can I go from Your Ruach? Where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I go up to heaven, You are there, and if I make my bed in Sheol, look, You are there too. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn and settle on the other side of the sea, 10 even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.
About us… Psalm 139:13 For You have created my conscience. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise You, for I am awesomely, wonderfully made!
What’s left? To make God the Lord of our lives. Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
So, Psalm 139 closes with this invitation for God to perform a “check-up.” 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.