Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, July 8, 2023
Shabbat Shalom,

Day 39: Morning
Yahweh’s Desire is to Bless Us Continually
by David Harwood

God is concerned about the prosperity of generations. The remaining two aspects of the Exodus 34 revelation expand upon God’s purposes for the future. This is what it says:

(Yahweh,) abundant in chesed and truth, showing chesed to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means leaving the guilty unpunished, but bringing the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34:6b-7 TLV) 

Our Creator’s compassion, chesed and faithfulness want a transgenerational blessing to be upon His people. This follows through in the New Covenant scriptures.

Many mock the Apostle John’s greeting. They relegate it to polite religious language that doesn’t really signify anything. But those who understand the sweep of God’s compassionate gracious ways immediately recognize the heartbeat of the Father in this:

Loved ones, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. (3 John 2 TLV) 

Doing well and being well as one’s soul does well is God’s desire for you. It is reflected in John’s heartfelt greeting. In many respects this is in line with the Aaronic benediction.

Adonai bless you and keep you! Adonai make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you!  Adonai turn His face toward you and grant you shalom! In this way they are to place My Name over Bnei-Yisrael, and so I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:24-27 TLV) 

God wants to bless His people every day. That’s why Yahweh established priests who had the spiritual authority to release this blessing. He desires to be abundant in chesed to His people. That is the Scriptures’ testimony. In Exodus 34:6-7 Yahweh said that He loved Yahweh’s determination to show chesed to thousands of generations. Therefore, the society that loves the Lord their God will experience His loving, intervening acts of compassion and favor generation after generation.

To make certain that this flow of chesed is uninterrupted, He will forgive iniquity, transgression, and sin. The forgiveness is offered to the repentant. The priesthood is established to make atonement for them. All of this is put in place because He is compassionate and gracious, sloooow to anger, and abounding in chesed and faithfulness.

But what might happen if people in that society grievously sin, refuse to repent, and there is no intercessor like Moses? Will Yahweh allow that society to rot from within?

No, for the sake of Israel, and for the sake of that which Yahweh will do through Israel, He will show chesed to the nation through the judgment of arrogant rebels. That includes those who were raised by them and acculturated to various sins—like pagan worship, vile idolatries, oppressing those who are helpless, etc. For the sake of the nation, for the sake of the world, the Lord, Yahweh, will not leave the defiantly guilty unpunished.

What else can compassion do? What else can faithfulness and chesed do?

Yahweh’s heart is to bless. He continually appealed to the free will of His people. He urged them to choose life, not only for their sake, but for the sake of their descendants.

“I call the heavens and the earth to witness about you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live, by loving Adonai your God, listening to His voice, and clinging to Him (Deuteronomy 30:19-20a TLV) 

For those who may be tempted to doubt how much God desires to forgive that which would cut off the current of compassion and frustrate the flow of faithfulness, I encourage you to review some thoughts from Isaiah.

But (Yahweh Incarnate) was pierced through for our transgressions, (Yahweh Incarnate) was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon (Yahweh Incarnate), and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but Yahweh has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on (Yahweh Incarnate). (Isaiah 53:5-6 ) 

Yahweh revealed that Yahweh loved Yahweh’s compassionate favor, patience, intervening love and faithfulness. He loved the Lord‘s intention to show chesed to multiplied generations and to establish justice when human justice fails.

Pray: Father, may we love You in fellowship with Your Son with a joyous expectancy and deep sobriety. Thank You for Your determination to show chesed throughout our generations. Thank You for Your willingness to preserve our society. We love this about You, too.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 8 July 2023 19th of Tamuz, 5783 Parashat Pinchas
Nu 29:12-40[30:1] Jer 1:1-2:3 1 Co 6:9-20