Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, July 23, 2022
Shabbat Shalom,

Growing in Love for God 26 by David Harwood

In our last meditation we touched upon our mutual abiding. We in God, God in us. At times, the fact that God loves living in, and with, us stimulates my awe of Him and my affection towards Him. Upon occasion I find it startling that He loves our living in and with Him. (I’m trying to describe a phenomenon: God making things we know, real to us.)

I sought to emphasize the delight our praise gives to the God we are praising. Yeshua, Himself, celebrates God. He is the Kohen Gadol (Great Priest). We are part of His kingdom of kohanim (priests). We are called to celebrate God together with the God we celebrate. Yeshua is pictured in Hebrews 2 as guiding a worship service. We are depicted as participating in what He is doing. We are in this together with the Messiah.

It is important to emphasize that we also get to exalt the Lord Yeshua. Years back I was taken aback by John’s forceful reinforcing of that reality.

In Revelation 4 we find three aspects of worship being offered to the Father: glory, honor and power.

“Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive (1) glory and (2) honor and (3) power, for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created!” (Revelation 4:11 TLV)

In Revelation 5 we find seven – seven! –  being ascribed to the Messiah. Here’s the record of the Lamb’s praise. Count them.

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive (1) power and (2) riches and (3) wisdom and (4) might and (5) honor and (6) glory and (7) blessing.” (Revelation 5:12 TLV)

John was reporting on Heaven’s activity. He was also making a point: seven speaks of completeness. The Word is God.

In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 TLV)

When we focus our praise on the Father we may experience a spiritual shift. All of a sudden it may dawn on us that we are offering sacrifices of praise together with the Messiah. This is part of the reason we’ve been redeemed: Yeshua wants our fellowship with Him as He loves our Father.

Here’s Yeshua speaking to Father within the context of Heaven’s worship:

“Here am I and the children God has given Me” (Hebrews 2:13b TLV)

I read that like this: “Abba, look! We are worshiping You together!” I think we are intended to be in touch with our Father’s pleasure in our taking pleasure in Him. That, in itself, is love-provoking.

One thing in which we will rejoice is God’s rejoicing over us. As we know that God rejoices over us, our love for Him may increase. After all, we tend to love those who love us. Even sinners and tax collectors love those who love them. Yeshua said:

“For if you love (agape) those who love (agape) you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? … For even sinners love (agape) those who love (agape) them. (Matthew 5:46; Luke 6:32b TLV)

As we know God loves us we reflexively reciprocate. Even society’s dregs respond to love. I did.

Some of us have this testimony: we once were, we no longer are.

Don’t be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, those who practice homosexuality, 10thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. 11That is what some of you were—but you were washed, you were made holy, you were set right in the name of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and by the Ruach of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9b–11 TLV)

Right now we partake of the Kingdom we shall one day inherit. We’re not what we could be, not what we should be, but thanks be to God we are no longer what we once were. We’ve been set apart for God and declared righteous – both legally, and experientially.

Meanwhile, consider that there is eternal joy in Heaven as God interacts with Himself and we are invited to this party. By the way, Adonai, the saving God is also celebrating the restoration of  people who were once lost.

“… there will be more joy in heaven, in the presence of the angels of God, over one sinner who repents. (from Luke 15:7,10 TLV)

Pray. Ask God to reveal hints of His delight in you. Ask for insight and strength to reciprocate.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 23-Jul-2022 24th of Tamuz, 5782 Parashat Pinchas
Nu 29:12-30:1 Jer 1:1-2:3 1 Co 6:9-20