Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, June 26, 2020 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Here’s a reminder.  Shomair is having a baptismal service tomorrow (Saturday, June 27th) after our regular Shabbat morning worship service.  Bring a change of clothes and towel and be prepared to head over to Holston River Park with us if you would like to be immersed.  If you’re not sure about this, come prepared and wait to be convicted.

Here’s a second announcement… Christians United For Israel (CUFI) is holding their Annual Summit June 28-30 virtually this year.  Much of it is free online, but you must register in advance.  There are also some pay options for breakout sessions, but they are not required.  Use this link to register.  http://support.cufi.org/site/PageServer?pagename=2020Summit_Register

Yeshua’s prayer in John 17 is amazing.  First, these are the words of Yeshua immediately following the first communion (or the last communion before the crucifixion).  Both Yeshua and the disciples had not yet left the upper room.  The entire chapter is the prayer of Yeshua.  First He prays for Himself… John 17:1b He said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so the Son may glorify You…. 5 Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world came to be.” 

Then Yeshua prays for a wider circle, the circle of His disciples.  John 17:9 I ask on their behalf. Not on behalf of the world do I ask, but on behalf of those You have given Me, for they are Yours…. 11b Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are…. 15 I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one.   

Then finally, Yeshua prays for all future believers.  John 17:20 “I pray not on behalf of these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their message.…  21 that they all may be one. Just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You, so also may they be one in Us, so the world may believe that You sent Me.

I’m writing this to illuminate a pattern for prayer, increasingly wider circles.  We don’t pray only “for my four and no more.”  We should pray for our family, of course, but then for our congregation, its leaders and members and then for the body of believers in Israel and worldwide.  Then do the same thing for the lost, those of our family, community, state, country and finally worldwide revival.  

Yeshua’s John 17 prayer empowered Him all the way to resurrection and the right hand of the Father.  And our righteous prayers will also lead to that same resurrection fullness through that same resurrection power.  Have a blessed day, evening or time, whenever you read this.

Week 26
Memory Verse: Daniel 6:27(26) I issue a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom people are to tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. “For He is the living God, enduring forever! His kingdom will never be destroyed, His dominion will never end.  28(27) He delivers and rescues. He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions!”

126      6/22   Monday:   Daniel 5-6

127      6/23   Tuesday:  Daniel 9-10,12

128      6/24   Wednesday Ezra 1-2

129      6/25   Thursday: Ezra 3-4

* 130   6/26   Friday:   Ezra 5-6

Question of the day:  Did you catch that?  It doesn’t appear until the very end of the reading for today.

Answer:  We’ll get to “that” in just a moment.  But first, the story takes a much better turn in our reading today.  God caused the opposition (which still existed) to be ineffectual.  If we will turn to God, like the leaders Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak along with the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, then God will also shut the mouths of our adversaries and thwart their purposes. 

Back to our question of the day… “Did you catch that?”  Here, I’ll read it to you.  (Okay, I’m not there, so read it for yourself.).  Ezra 6:21 So those of Bnei-Yisrael who had returned from the exile ate it, together with all who had separated themselves from the impurity of the nations of the land to seek Adonai the God of Israel.

Now you know.  Passover was celebrated “together with all who had separated themselves from the impurity of the nations (goyim).”  Why that’s a pretty good description of all non-Jewish believers today.  Passover must be important for all to have celebrated it together.  But why?

Paul wrote to the Corinthians… 1 Corinthians 5:7 Get rid of the old hametz, so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened—for Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast not with old hametz, the hametz of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread—the matzah of sincerity and truth.

So please mark your calendar for Sunday night, March 28, 2021.  We will gather once again (isolation and social distancing notwithstanding) at Rothchild Catering on Kingston Pike at 6pm to celebrate the Lord’s Passover.  You are all invited.

As important as Passover is, there is something else that is more important.  Jeremiah 16:14 “Therefore, the days are quickly coming,” declares Adonai, “when it will no longer be said. ‘As Adonai lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.’ 15 Rather, ‘As Adonai lives, who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ So I will bring them back into their land that I gave to their fathers.

What?  Are you telling me that the regathering of Jewish people into the land of Israel (the 2nd exodus) is more important than the first exodus?  Why?  Because that 2nd exodus will lead to all Israel being saved.  Romans 11:26 and in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer shall come out of Zion. He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”

And that, my friends, is prophesied to lead to worldwide revival.  Romans 11:15 For if their (Jewish people) rejection leads to the reconciliation of the world (our faith based on the first coming), what will their (Jewish people) acceptance (of Yeshua) be but life from the dead?  “Life from the dead” is an excellent description of revival, worldwide revival.  Let’s build our faith on that hope.  From the third Psalm of Ascent… Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem— “May those who love you be at peace! 7 May there be shalom within your walls— quietness within your palaces.” 8 For the sake of my brothers and friends, I now say: “Shalom be within you.” 9 For the sake of the House of Adonai our God, I will seek your good.

The King is coming, lift up your hands….  Finally, this is from the last Psalm of Ascent…. Psalm 134:2 Lift up your hands to the Sanctuary and bless Adonai.