Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, May 8, 2020
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

ANNOUNCEMENTS:  There will be a worship service open to the public on this Shabbat.  Last week went well.  Please bring a mask, your own matzah and grapes or grape juice for communion.  The doors will open at 10.  The service will start at 10:30 as usual.  Please remember, there will be no class at 9:30.

Second announcement:  The May and June Shomair calendars are attached to this RR.  Please print them for reference or find them on syknox.org.  Please recheck before every event as things are more subject to change than usual.

Counting the Omer – Day 27

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 six days of the counting of the Omer.

After today I have one more time to write about the longing for intimacy without shame.  Please evaluate this simple statement.  “Yeshua is our example in all things.”  Is there Scripture to reinforce this thought?  1 Peter 2:21 For you were called to this, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you might follow in His footsteps: 22 “He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” 23 When He was abused, He did not return the abuse.

What’s the point?  Suffer in silence when we are persecuted for doing something good.  That’s what Yeshua did and He is our example.  Yeshua suffered, yet He only did good (in life and death).  Yeshua fixed His eyes on His Father.  Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also get rid of every weight and entangling sin. Let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Yeshua suffered, not just to take on our sins, but to show us an example.  Hebrews 2:3 Consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and lose heart.

What is our sorrow?  Are we misunderstood, abandoned, betrayed, or shamed?  None more than He.  Yeshua is our High Priest, but He, Himself, is also our high sacrifice.  Who killed Christ?  Humanity, of which we are a part, misunderstood Him, abandoned Him, betrayed Him, and yes, shamed Him.  Yet He does not mock, belittle, or ridicule our feeble attempts to love Him.

Back to my subject from yesterday, Yeshua sees our hearts, and responds to us with honor.  He ascribes greatness to us, and calls us His family.  John 15:15 “I am no longer calling you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing. Now I have called you friends, because everything I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I selected you so that you would go and produce fruit, and your fruit would remain.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.

We are the family of God… 1 John 3:2a Loved ones, now we are God’s children; and it has not yet been revealed what we will be.  As God’s children, we must cease striving.  The hardest thing we will ever do is to stop striving.

All that’s left is to rest in the care of our heavenly Father.  Remember the parable… Luke 15:20b But while he was still far away, his father saw him and felt compassion. He ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your presence. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it! Let’s celebrate with a feast! 24 For this son of mine was dead and has come back to life—he was lost and is found!’ Then they began to celebrate.

That describes a life without shame; every reason to be ashamed, yet the Father will not allow it.  That’s Shabbat Shalom every day.

Week 19
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:  What happened to the pot of mana and Aaron’s rod?

Answer:  We don’t know.  We speak where the Scriptures speak and we are silent where the Scriptures are silent.  In today’s reading, we find that in Solomon’s Temple there is only the tablets of the 10 commandments.  1 Kings 8:9 Nothing was in the ark except the two tables of stone that Moses put there at Horeb, when Adonai cut a covenant with the children of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt. 

We know the pot of manna and Aaron’s rod were in the ark.  Exodus 16:33 Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put a full omer of manna inside. Store it up before Adonai, to be kept throughout your generations.”

This is confirmed but Aaron’s rod is added.  Hebrews 9:4b In the ark was a golden jar holding the manna , Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.  These 3 were called the testimony of God.  Exodus 25:16 You are to put the Testimony, which I will give you, into the Ark.  What is the nature of this testimony?

The Tablets of the 10 Commandments represent God’s righteous standard.  The golden pot of manna represents God’s provision.  Aaron’s rod represents the power to bring forth life (Aaron’s rod budded almonds).  Three items that symbolize the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  But, which is which?  Not that it matters, the 3 are one.

But let’s suppose, the Law has to represent Yeshua, Who is the Word made flesh.  What about the manna.  I see the Holy Spirit as connected to the provision of manna.  That leaves Aaron’s rod as symbolic of the authority and life giving power of God the Father.  Interesting midrash, but the Bible is silent on this, so maybe yes and maybe no.  You can disagree with me and maybe you’re right.  The important thing is to appreciate the fulness of the testimony of God.