Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, August 26, 2023
Shabbat Shalom,

A Certain Impossibility – But God
by David Harwood

When we examined the record of Abraham’s faith-relationship to God, we found that in the midst of a holy visitation he openly confided his doubts and disappointments to his Friend.

Abram wanted God’s guarantee. He was importunate. He sought to compel God to reinforce the revelation of His promises to him. Perhaps this was a snapshot of their relationship. Think about that… At any rate, through this Abram developed a deeper friendship with God.

I would have thought that his doubts and disappointments might have alienated God. They didn’t. I think that God appreciated Abram’s reverent, faith-filled candor. As a result of his persistent pursuit of the Creator his faith deepened; his confidence in the Lord, and in his relationship with his God, increased.

Later, he was able to intercede for Sodom. Later he was willing to demonstrate his trust as he offered up Isaac. And one mystery revealed in Hebrews is this: Abraham believed for his son’s resurrection. He trusted God’s goodness and track record to the degree that he was willing to confidently, radically obey God.

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. Yes, he who had received the promises was offering up his one and only son— the one about whom it was said, “Through Isaac offspring shall be named for you.” He reasoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead—and in a sense, he did receive him back from there. (Hebrews 11:17–19) 

Speaking of believing God for resurrection, Abraham’s ideal child, Yeshua, believed for His own resurrection. Look at this declaration:

As they were coming down from the mountain, Yeshua commanded them, saying, “Do not tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” (Matthew 17:9) 

What faith!

This is a bold prediction of what was a certain impossibility. After all, it had never happened before. I believe that the Messiah’s publicly confessed assurance, that He communicated to His disciples, was not without a copious amount of hidden prayer.

What Yeshua confided concerning His resurrection and God’s reputation was hard-won in the secret place. It was there that the Son of Man battled through to the place of victorious confidence. Read this description of Yeshua in private prayer.

In the days of His life on earth, Yeshua offered up both prayers and pleas, with loud crying and tears, to the One able to save Him from death; and He was heard because of His reverence. (Hebrews 5:7) 

Yeshua wanted to be saved from death and believed Father could save Him from it. He unburdened His soul and sought to be heard. He was alone with God and He was loud. The Greek translated loud crying can also be translated wailing. The Righteous One cried out, beseeching, pleading, with strong cries and tears. He was seeking to overcome in the midst of a titanic spiritual struggle.

That doesn’t sound like rock solid faith, does it? It sounds like He was weak: in need of renewed faith, courage, strength to persevere to the end, and that Yeshua was very much in touch with His need. The Son of Man was in need of enabling favor.

He sought it and received it.

Next week we’ll look at some parallels between Yeshua’s and Abraham’s expressions of faith.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Sat 26 Aug 2023 9th of Elul, 5783 Parashat Ki Teitzei

De 24:14-25:19 Isa 54:1-10 Rom 8:18-30