Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, August 12, 2023
Shabbat Shalom,

David has sent a Zoom link that combines the messages from last week and this week.  Here it is.  May it be a benefit to you.  https://vimeo.com/852000688?share=copy

The 3 R’s
by David Harwood

Through the Messiah’s instruction we learn that we can have Resting, Reverent Reliance on our Father. This is foundational and highly relational faith. It is trusting our Father, not relying upon principles of faith. Restful, reverent reliance is enjoined in abundance in the Sermon on the Mount. Look how Yeshua taught disciples to pray:

And when you are praying, do not babble on and on like the pagans; for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

“Therefore, pray in this way: ‘Our Father in heaven, sanctified be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Matthew 6:7–13 TLV)

It’s amazing to me as how this prayer was changed into something that would be repeated several times as penance. After all, it was introduced by the Lord instructing people to not “babble on and on.”

On the other hand, the simplicity of this prayer was apparently not thorough enough, in and of itself, for many believers. They have been taught to use it as a grid that guides more in-depth petitions. This is not harmful. It can be helpful. Yet, Yeshua was not giving an outline. He gave a prayer. It was intended to encourage disciples, who trusted Father, to put everything in His hands. This prayer expresses and reinforces restful, reverent reliance.

From my perspective it appears that within both extremes this prayer doesn’t seem to be enough to pray by itself and then leave the results to God. Why is that? I think that perhaps we are lacking in restful, reverent reliance. Anxiety militates against the simplicity of placing everything in God’s hands. Sometimes we pray not believing that He is actually there.

Normative living is informed by this type of faith. The Sermon on the Mount is for everyone all the time and it reinforces this simple, childlike faith. Let’s peruse… Yeshua said:

Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your Father in heaven feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

That perspective encourages restful reverent reliance.

And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

That challenge encourages restful reverent reliance, too.

And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

What do you think? Is this a reflection of restful reverent reliance?

Now if in this way God clothes the grass—which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow—will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Here, our faith level is confronted and we’re exhorted to have restful reverent reliance.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the pagans eagerly pursue all these things; yet your Father in heaven knows that you need all these.

That is restful reverent reliance upon a Father who knows and cares. He said, “Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these”

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:26–34 TLV)

There’s this challenge which is worth noting: “Do not worry about tomorrow.” Restful reverent reliance is a foundational attitude for those who seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Restful reverent reliance waits and sees Father fulfill His promise of provision.

This faith is filled with the revelation of, the knowledge of, and reliance upon, the love of the Father. Yeshua said:

Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened.

For what man among you, when his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or when he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:7–11 TLV)

Certainly this is an exhortation to trust and hope in a Father who loves us (i.e. restful reverent reliance).

When someone trusts God like this it is similar to the old trust building exercise of closing your eyes, spreading out your arms, and falling back into the arms of someone you trust, and you trust is there.

In addition to believing He is behind us to catch us when we fall into His arms, we can also believe that He, is in front of us, goes before us, will guide us, and preserve us. In the light of this confidence we can step forward in faith. Initiative and boldness that come from an inner posture of rest, reverence, and reliance.

This type of faith may receive a bad report because of the way people distort the sovereignty of God. They believe that whatever happens, or whatever happened, is God’s will. Biblically speaking that is manifestly false. However, we really are called to trust in God’s wisdom, willingness and power, and then pray from that holy place.

This restful, reverent, reliance is the spiritual environ in which Yeshua lived before His specific call to ministry. It was the faith atmosphere of the community He was establishing.

Yeshua lived as a human who trusted in a God who was a good father. As this faith matured it became the means of provision and blessing to everyone around Him.

“Therefore, pray in this way: ‘Our Father in heaven, sanctified be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Matthew 6:9–13 TLV)

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 12 Aug 2023 25th of Av, 5783 Parashat Re’eh
De 15:19-16:17 Isa 54:11-55:5 Rev 21:9-27