Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, July 29, 2022
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Is God opposed to pleasure? (Part 4 of 4)

I expect this will be the final installment of this series on pleasure, and it may not be much about pleasure at all.  Clearly, we have demonstrated that God is not opposed to pleasure, but it depends on what you call pleasure.  We are warned not to abuse our freedom in Messiah Yeshua.

Galatians 5:13 Brothers and sisters, you were called to freedom—only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Rather than focus on what is and isn’t godly pleasure (Let the Holy Spirit guide you, and remember, the Holy Spirit will never tell you to violate Scripture.), let’s take this discussion to a higher level.  What is “Shalom?”  Yeshua offered His shalom as a gift to us.

John 14:27 “Shalom I leave you, My shalom I give to you; but not as the world gives! Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid. “

The world gives conditionally.  We have to earn what we get in the world.  Yeshua gives unconditionally, by grace.  We don’t have to earn His shalom, only enter it.  So too, our relationships with each other should be grace motivated and not works motivated.  There is eternal pleasure in that.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything—but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the shalom of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua.

God is inviting us into a grace relationship with Himself.  His promise is “shalom,” another fruit of the Spirit.  He goes on to describe this as a “peace that surpasses all understanding.”  What does that mean exactly?  I’m glad you asked.  It ties in to what we discussed yesterday.

Our “understanding” is based on intellect which is informed by circumstances.  “Shalom that exceeds understanding” is shalom that is based on faith, faith in knowing Who God is and faith that is anchored in our relationship with Him, not what the doctor and your boss or anyone else  says.

That godly “shalom” produces a life filled with joy.  On the contrary, there is much hurt to those who have not yet died to self.  Paul writes about this.

Galatians 2:20 and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me. And the life I now live in the body, I live by trusting in Ben-Elohim—who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

God calls living under His authority “the highway of holiness,” and it really is the “high way.”  Isaiah 57:14 Then it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every stumbling block out of the way of My people.” 15 For thus says the High and Exalted One who inhabits eternity, whose Name is Holy: “I dwell in a high and holy place, yet also with a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and revive the heart of the contrite.

The “low road” is filled with potholes.  Take the “high way” and enjoy the ride.  Now that’s pleasure unspeakable.  Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life. Abundance of joys are in Your presence, eternal pleasures at Your right hand.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Fri 29-Jul-2022 1st of Av, 5782 Rosh Chodesh Av
Nu 34:16-35:8 Eze 28 1 Ch 2 (Lk 22:39-71)   1 Th 3

Week 31
Memory Verse: John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

151   7/25     Monday:       Luke 1
152   7/26     Tuesday:      Luke 2
153   7/27     Wednesday: Matthew 1-2
154   7/28     Thursday:     Mark 1
155   7/29     Friday:      John 1