Rabbi’s Reflections -Saturday, September 11, 2021
Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,
Today we mark 20 years since 9/11/01. We reverence, we say Kaddish (sanctify the name of the Lord) in memoriam of their loss. And we continue to mourn our own loss too.
You may notice that this Shabbat has a special name, Shabbat Shuvah, Sabbath of Repentance. This is the name given to that one Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These 10 days between the holidays are called in Hebrew, “Yomim Noraim,” meaning “Days of Awe.” These are the last 10 days before (according to Jewish tradition) the Book of Life is sealed for another year.
This is a season for repentance. There are two main types of repentance, repentance toward God (for sins against God) and repentance toward man (for sins against man). Repentance and forgiveness are always interwoven. One repents and another forgives. Usually, we repent and God forgives. All repentance toward God is transactional repentance. We repent and God always forgives.
Beyond that, there are two types of forgiveness between people, transactional and non-transactional. Non-transactional forgiveness is done without the active participation of the offending party. Transactional forgiveness is when someone asks to be forgiven and then they are forgiven. Both types of forgiveness are valid, but it’s always better if forgiveness is transactional.
And the last word today, it’s always a good time to repent, so why wait?
Link #2 to JB Bernstein: https://gatesofzion.net/blog-articles/jb-bernstein/the-equip-series/the-equip-series-day-2-jbs-testimony/16 Today JB tells the story of his salvation. It’s a little long, (13 minutes) but worth the listen.
Hope 15: Then Comes The End by David Harwood
Faith and hope are closely connected. The most well-known description of faith is found in relationship to Hope in Hebrews 11:1. Please re-read it.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of realities not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 TLV)
In exploring Hope it is possible to work with the pattern in Hebrews 11:1 and adjust it so that it clarifies Hope’s meaning. Take a look:
Now, Hope is the confident anticipation of finally possessing what you know, through your faith, that you already own.
Yeshua spoke of this dynamic. He said, ‘believe you’ve received it and it shall be yours.” (Mark 11:24b TLV) The expectation of getting that for which you believed is Hope. Here is that section of Scripture from the Complete Jewish Bible.
He responded, “Have the kind of trust that comes from God! 23 Yes! I tell you that whoever does not doubt in his heart but trusts that what he says will happen can say to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea!’ and it will be done for him. 24 Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, trust that you are receiving it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive your offenses.” (Mark 11:22–25 CJB)
Fair warning: there may be spiritual conflict that must be endured between receiving the promise (having the conviction that it’s yours) and the promise’s realization (actually having what is yours). What may, in retrospect, look like a mountain leaping can look like something moving in slow motion to us in the present. The process really stretches us.
Let’s peruse a couple of causes for the delay between having faith for something and the fulfillment of spiritually enhanced anticipation. There is the interplay of God’s Timing, natural Adversity, and demonic Resistance. Timing, Adversity, Resistance? Yes, some things look like they’re stuck in TAR. While one’s waiting it can feel TARrible. (Forgive the pun.)
In the case of Joseph there was natural adversity manifest through brotherly envy and fratricidal enmity. He was plunged into adverse circumstances that were the opposite of his dreams. These situations proved to be a purifying flame in the life of an adolescent. He was definitely not ready to steward the responsibility that would derive from his destiny. When the timing was right, his Hope – perhaps, all but dead – happened.
The Scripture confirms that deferred hope makes the heart sick. The protracted trouble in Joseph’s life did not do that. From my perspective, the preservation of the health of his soul was like a miracle. During the intervening years between dream and destiny God reached into his circumstances and coordinated them to bring about a desired outcome. Joseph’s fulfilled desire was like a tree of life which, manifested in the material realm, fed multitudes.
In future meditations we will more thoroughly consider Proverbs 13:12.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12 TLV)
Let’s look at demonic interference from an analogy taken from Solomon’s life. Here’s the background taken from 1 Kings 1.
King David had made a promise that Bathsheba’s son, Solomon, would be king after him. Those loyal to David believed that promise. Bathsheba and Solomon were expecting it to happen. They had Hope. Towards the end of David’s life his purpose for his son, Solomon, was almost thwarted. Adonijah, another son of David, a half-brother, almost stole Solomon’s destiny. He arranged to self-coronate. It was a huge affair. It looked like his coup was successful
King David had close loyal advisors and supporters. First in line was the prophet Nathan. Zadok the high priest was loyal and prominent in a time when the identity of the chief priesthood was in flux. Finally, there was Benaiah who led David’s mighty men who were ready to defend the true king.
Nathan informed King David’s favorite wife, Bathsheba, about Adonijah’s actions. She understood the resultant potential danger to her and her son’s lives.
These people engaged in something similar to strategic intercession. They brought the situation to King David’s attention. King David affirmed and acted upon his promise. Adonijah was dethroned. Solomon inherited the throne. David, the king, said:
Then the king swore an oath: “As Adonai lives, who has redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30as surely as I swore to you by Adonai, the God of Israel, saying that your son Solomon will be king after me and will sit on my throne in my place. Thus I will surely fulfill it this day!” (1 Kings 1:29–30 TLV)
I see this as a picture of satanic forces intentionally, strategically, seeking to thwart a God-given, faith inspired, hope-anticipation. There are many times that faith and hope-expectation must be reinforced with intercession. In the case of demonic delays we do not have to give up Hope. We have the option of purposefully approaching God’s throne and reminding Him of His promised purposes. This is an aspect of spiritual warfare.
We are living in a time of protracted warfare that calls for faithful perseverance. I am referring to the fulfillment of the Promise of Promises: Yeshua’s return. Talk about delays? Look at Peter’s take on prophetic timing.
First of all, understand that in the last days, scoffers will come scoffing, following after their own desires 4and saying, “Where is this promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers died, everything goes on just as it has from the beginning of creation.” … 8But don’t forget this one thing, loved ones, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some consider slowness. Rather, He is being patient toward you—not wanting anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:3–4,8-9 TLV)
Peter wrote that God is behind this delay.
Yet, we are called to strengthen our hope-anticipation and embrace this:.
Besides this, you know the time—that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first came to trust. 12The night is almost gone and the day is near, so let us put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11–12 TLV)
The Messiah’s return is worth waiting for. It is promised and meanwhile we have the presence of the coming Kingdom in our midst. Yeshua is with us. He’s still Immanuel.
With firmness of purpose we can present ourselves before the throne of God and ask that we might participate in the process of hastening our King’s return.
Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what kind of people should you be? Live your lives in holiness and godliness, 12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God. In that day the heavens will be dissolved by fire, and the elements will melt in the intense heat. 13But in keeping with His promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:11–13 TLV)
Colossians 3 encourages us to maintain our focus as we are immersed in the eschatological hope of glory.
Therefore, if you have been raised up with Messiah, keep seeking the things above—where Messiah is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2Focus your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Messiah in God. 4When Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him, in glory! (Colossians 3:1–4 TLV)
While we are hope-expecting His return we are called to Ruach empowered, Hope inspired activity.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58 TLV)
Let us embrace this commission together in the strength we receive from faith-filled expectation.
Pray for one another.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and shalom in trusting, so you may overflow with hope in the power of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. (Romans 15:13 TLV)
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 11 Sep 2021 5th of Tishrei, 5782 Parashat Vayelech Shabbat Shuva
De 31:14-30 Hos 14:2-10, Mic 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27 Heb 12:1-17