Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, July 29, 2023
Shabbat Shalom,

Day 40: Morning
Evaluating Our God as Being Altogether Love-Worthy
by David Harwood

What is it like for created beings to participate in unencumbered love toward God? When we look at Revelation 4 and 5, we read of the wholehearted adoration of God and the Lamb of God.

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 

And I heard every creature in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea and everything in them, responding, “To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and power forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:12b-13 TLV) 

We are invited into the foretastes of this experience. Hebrews 12 speaks of our participation in the beginnings of the forever victory festival.

But you have come to Mount Zion—to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, a joyous gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are written in a scroll in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous ones made perfect, and to Yeshua, the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24 TLV) 

What we receive through faith they see face to face.

Meanwhile, we are exhorted to heed the command to love God with all we are and all we have. The Messiah’s affirmation of this command is a sufficient reason for the sincere disciple to prioritize it together with Him. With Him? Yes. Yeshua fulfilled and grew in obedience to every command. Of necessity that includes the Foremost. He proved it.

But in order that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. “Get up, let’s go from here!” (John 14:31 TLV) 

Hebrews 8 reiterates the benefits of the New Covenant. When we read them, we find that we can expect the LORD our God to enable us to obey.

I will put My Torah into their mind, and upon their hearts I will write it. (Hebrews 8:10b TLV) 

Not only to obey, but to obey with delight.

I delight to do Your will, O my God. Yes, Your Torah is within my being.” (Psalm 40:9 TLV) 

We were created to be loved by God. Yes, we were alienated. However, we were still beloved like Absalom was loved by David, or the Prodigal loved by his father. How much were we loved? God demonstrated the strength of His love for us in that while we were His enemies the Messiah died for us. (Romans 5:8)

By affirming our love’s value to Him, we begin to embrace a loving reason to love Him. It is reciprocal love toward the One Who loved us first. We recognize that our love for Him falls short of fulfilling the Great Command. However, the Messiah was willing to suffer in a most humiliating fashion to ensure that we might be inscribed in the Book of Life.

We will ultimately come into the fullest reality of what we were created to be. We will not be hindered by how we were acculturated, our genetic limitations, satanic influences, or any sinful inclinations. We will truly, freely evaluate this God as being altogether love-worthy.

We can taste of this in this life. Why wait?

Ask the Lord for enabling-favor to appreciate how wonderful He is. Ask for illumination about what He loves about Himself that would resonate with your soul. Meditate upon what has been plainly written.  Consider how surprisingly faithful He is to bring you to Himself in this life and into eternity. By faith, gaze upon the One Who is compassionate, favorably disposed, remarkably patient with you, intervening in your life through the Messiah’s sacrifice, and steadfastly loyal to you. Finally, consider, and reconsider, Yeshua—the author and perfecter of your faith Who loved you and gave Himself up for you.

Read the Scriptures, think about what you’ve read, pray, sing, and share with others the wonder of this love.

Ask God for illumination. Share with a friend what you receive. Thank Him together for what He has showed you. As you do, you will grow in your love for God. You will mature in fulfilling the Greatest Command. Your love for God will bless Him because you have been created to be someone whose love for God is significant to the God you love.

Please pray and commit your soul to the worthy King.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 29 July 2023 11th of Av, 5783 Parashat Vaetchanan Shabbat Nachamu
De 6:4-7:11 Isa 40:1-26 1 Pe 1:18-25