Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, July 2, 2021

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

The instructions concerning the Red Heifer expressed in Numbers 19 are very detailed and specific.  As we near the end of theses instructions, we read this… Numbers 19:7 “Afterward, the kohen (Eleazar) is to wash his clothes and bathe his flesh with the water, and afterward he may come back into the camp. Still the kohen will be unclean until evening.  

Most, if not all, of these rituals (not customs, but ritual instructions from God) have their reality in Yeshua, who came as the perfect atonement for sin.  The priesthood of Aaron was flawed, because Aaron was a man (and so were all of his sons who became priests).  Sin is highly infectious and highly contagious.  It even affected the priest involved in the cleansing ceremony.  

That “cleansing ceremony” involved the shedding of blood (death).  When Eleazar dipped his finger in the blood, he became unclean.  Even washing wouldn’t cleanse him until a new day started (at sundown).  Only God’s sovereignty brings us to a new day.  None of us are clean (we can’t wash enough) until we submit to the sovereignty of God.  

This causes us to more fully appreciate Yeshua’s perfect work on the cross.  When He said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) this is “it.”  Never again will a Red Heifer be needed.  Never again will there be ongoing uncleanness.  Yeshua did it all.

Hebrews 7:24 But on the other hand, the One who does remain forever has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, always living to make intercession for them.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Fri 2 July 2021 22nd of Tamuz, 5781

Nu 28:16-29:11 Ez 16 Neh 11 (Lk 17) Eph 4

Whew!!!  I tried to get something on which to write several times.  First, I looked in Numbers to get something on the Feasts described in today’s Torah reading, but that wasn’t it.  Then I looked in Ezekiel 16 where there is so much, I went into overload.  Next came Nehemiah 11, but for the most part it is a list of who went to live in Jerusalem after the first exile.  That leaves Luke 17 and Ephesians 4.  

Aaaah, Ephesians 4… how could we possibly pass by the first 3 verses?  Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you were called— 2 with complete humility and gentleness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Ruach in the bond of shalom.

My only problem with the TLV translation is the term “putting up with” in verse 2.  Our calling is not to “put up with” but to “bear with.”  Our response to each other is to be one of love.  Let’s do that with “complete humility, gentleness, (and) with patience.”  That would give both us and Yeshua a good name.  

Yeshua gets the last word today… John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Week 27
Memory Verse: 1 Peter 3:15 Instead sanctify Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,

131   7/1   Monday:        Zechariah 1:1-6; 2; 12

132   7/2   Tuesday:       Ezra 7-8 

133   7/3   Wednesday:  Ezra 9-10

134   7/4   Thursday:      Esther 1-2

*135  7/5  Friday:           Esther 3-4

Question of the Day:  How did Esther risk her life to save the Jewish people of Persia?

Answer:  Esther and her cousin who raised her, Mordecai, were having a “back and forth” discussion through Esther’s intermediary, Hathach, when Mordecai makes this statement that would echo throughout history.  Esther 4:13 Mordecai told them to reply to Esther with this answer, “Do not think in your soul that you will escape in the king’s household more than all the Jews. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place—but you and your father’s house will perish. Who knows whether you have attained royal status for such a time as this?”

Esther agreed to go before the king and risk her life in the process.  Her last words… Esther 4:16b “So if I perish, I perish!”  I’m aware that the times in which we live are perilous as well.  We ourselves will likely be called upon to make a similar commitment.  May God be with us and strengthen us in our resolve to serve Him with gladness.