Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, May 5, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Day 27 of counting the Omer
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 six days of the counting of the Omer.

Follow up that prayer by remembering a blessing from the Lord and give Him thanks.


Victory Over Sin part 18 – Romans, part 79

Romans 7:13  Therefore did that which is good become death to me? May it never be! Rather it was sin working death in me—through that which is good—so that sin might be shown to be sin, and that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.  

Paul starts this verse with a question.  Has the Torah (which he just said is “holy, righteous, and good”) become his death?  And he answers his own question, “May it never be!”  It is only by the Law of God that we know what sin is, but that doesn’t make the Law sinful.  In fact, the law is good, which is exactly the opposite of sin.

So the Law allows for the revelation of sin.  Therefore; it stands in contrast to sin.  Now, let me ask another question.  Since we are now in the dispensation of grace, and are now “free from the Law” (Rabbi’s note: I just searched the web for “free from the Law” to see what I would get.  Seven of the top 10 verses were from Romans.), were the Beatles right, “All you need is love?”

Paul (the apostle, not the Beatle) is writing to the Romans so that they (and now, “we”) would be convicted of sin and become zealous to obey God’s commandments.  Clearly something is new.  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.  What is it that is new?

Paul tells the Corinthians a few verses later… 2 Corinthians 5:21  He made the One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.  That’s right, we are saved for obedience, not disobedience.  What is now new is our approach to obedience by the power of the Spirit.  Colossians 1:27b …Messiah in you, the hope of glory!  We approach obedience to God, not by the letter, but by the Spirit.

Does it seem to you (as it does to me) that Paul is obsessed with this issue?  He must be aware of the problems that come into the life of a believer through sin.  When we accept Yeshua as our Lord and Savior, He begins to put our lives in order, according to His Word.  Rebellion against that order is sin, which has consequences.

The solution to this dilemma is both obvious and simple.  1John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  My rabbi and our apostle, Dan Juster, has always offered that solution to me (when needed).  He says, “Michael, you can always repent.”  There it is!  Make my experience your wisdom.  (Wisdom is being able to apply someone else’s experience into your own life without having to suffer the same painful experience yourself.)

That’s a great way to end the week.  Although I’m a little early for some reading this, let me offer you the blessing of a hearty “Shabbat Shalom.”

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 27 of the Omer
Fri 5 May 2023 14th of Iyar, 5783 Pesach Sheni
Le 23:33-44 Isa 65 Job 19 Jude (Mt 19)