Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, July 7, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Reminder:  Jim Brown’s memorial service will be held on Friday at 10am at East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery, 2169 E Governor John Sevier Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37920.  The graveside service will be followed immediately by a celebration of life nearby at Shomair and lunch will be served for all in attendance.

One In Messiah part 11 – Romans, part 122

Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up—to demonstrate My power in you, so My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”

What is a miracle?  My definition would be, “An act of God that defies the natural order.”  This seems consistent with other definitions from professionally published sources.  To believe in miracles, we first must believe in the One true and living God, Who performs them.

Psalm 77:13 I will meditate also on all Your work and consider Your deeds.”14 O God, Your way is holy. What god is great like God? 15 You are the God who works wonders. You have made Your power known among the peoples. 16 With your arm You redeemed Your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

Pharaoh’s stubbornness allowed God to show His power through the ten plagues.  Each of these plagues could also be called a miracle.  But there was an 11th and even a 12th miracle. God had led the children of Israel into a “dead end,” up against the Red Sea.  On their third day of freedom, there was no way out, until God made a way.  God miraculously held back the waters for His children and then miraculously loosed the waters on Pharaoh and his army who all drowned in the Sea.

So it is with us… we have no way out, until God opens up the way.  And that too is a miracle.  In ancient Egypt, Pharaoh stood in the way of God’s purposes.  Even before that, Sodom and Gomorrah stood likewise against God.  Had they not been destroyed, they would have destroyed Abraham and his family.

As Abraham goes, so goes the children of Israel.  And as the children of Israel go, so goes Yeshua.  And as Yeshua goes, so goes the salvation of the world.  My point here is that God’s purposes are still being accomplished in the world today.  Good and evil are at war.  Choose wisely whose side you’re on.

None of what Paul is writing here erases our free will.  God’s will is His purpose.  Who can resist God’s will?  My advice, be sure your life is in line with His will.  If you are in opposition, your fate will be mixed in with the grapes of wrath.

Spoiler Alert:  In the world today, deception is an epidemic.  Our subject verses end with this… “for who has resisted His will?”   Isaiah 5:20 Oy to those who call evil good and good evil, who present darkness as light and light as darkness, who present bitter as sweet, and sweet as bitter! 21 Oy to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight!… 24  Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes straw, and as chaff collapses into the flame, so their root will be like rot, and their blossom will go up like dust. For they have rejected the Torah of Adonai-Tzva’ot, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Resisting God’s will produces the opposite of every desire.  We long for joy, peace and every other fruit of the spirit.  Violating God’s righteous principles only brings brokenness, sadness and destruction.  Ask Pharaoh, ask the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Resisting God’s will cannot end happily.  In Hebrew we say, “Tishma Oti,” meaning,  “Listen to me!”  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Fri 7 July 2023 18th of Tamuz, 5783
Nu 28:16-29:11 Ez 12-13 Neh 8 Eph 1 (Lk 13)