Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, September 11, 2023


For those of you who are new RR subscribers,

I have been writing these devotionals for more than six years (that’s over 2,000 devotionals since June 2017).  They are archived, and can be accessed at https://syknox.org/blog/ and scroll down.  Just in case you want to catch up.  We are currently doing a series on the Book of Romans.  The previous two series were the Olivette Discourse and the Sermon on the Mount.

Yesterday, during our Shomair worship service, my wife, Jan, recommended listening again to Keith’s messages from last Yom Kippur.  In these messages you’ll find the answer to Yeshua’s question to Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Here they are on YouTube.  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmywcO_7DL1N8yGq1270L0HxRwd96JurR

Kol Nidre – the message starts at 1:07 (one hour and 7 minutes)

Yom Kippur – the message starts at 1:10 (one hour and 10 minutes)

N’ilah – the message starts at 0:11 (just 11 minutes)

One In Messiah part 57 – Romans, part 168

Romans 11:28  Concerning the Good News, they are hostile for your sake; but concerning chosenness, they are loved on account of the fathers— .

This is a great verse of Scripture.  It needs to be carefully “unpacked.”  Do you see that dash at the end of the verse, following the word “fathers?”  It means that this thought leads to (or precedes) the following thought.  I was tempted to write about verses 28 and 29 together, but decided to treat them separately (at least for now).  There are six significant points in this one verse alone.  Let’s enumerate them here and then write something about them later.

  1. Good news – aka “the Gospel.”  Soon, we’ll answer the question, “What is it?”
  2. Hostile – Jewish people have a long history of mostly (emphasis added) being hostile about the Gospel.
  3. For your sake – For the benefit of the Romans (to whom this letter is addressed).  How could the hostility of Jewish people toward Yeshua be of benefit to the Romans?
  4. Chosenness – The Jews are God’s chosen people.  Some want to dispute this truth, but their dispute is with God.  Unless you’re Moses, you’re not winning an argument with God.
  5. They are loved – The chosen Jews are loved (by God).  Is there evidence for this?
  6. On account of the fathers – Because God loved Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He also loves their descendants.  Yet many want to argue that God’s love for the children of Israel ended after He “used them” to bring forth His Son.

What does the Bible have to say about these concepts?  Let’s take a few minutes to examine these points one at a time.

  1. What is the Gospel (which is our way of saying “the Good News”)?  The Good News is the answer to Yeshua’s question to Peter.  It is our personal Good News when we answer just as Peter did.  Mathew 16:15 He said, “But who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Get that right, and you have blessed assurance to be in the presence of God for all eternity.
  2. Jewish people have been waiting and watching for the Messiah throughout history.  It is the greatest paradox that the One Who Jewish people have been seeking can only be found in the one place they are forbidden to look, in the Person of Yeshua HaMashiach.
  3. The hostility of the Jewish leaders led directly to the crucifixion, which was and is for the benefit of the whole world.  The Romans (to whom this letter is addressed) were/are saved because of this.  Philippians 2:8 He humbled Himself—becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name.
  4. Concerning chosenness: Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a holy people to Adonai your God—from all the peoples on the face of the earth, Adonai your God has chosen you to be His treasured people.  But did this chosenness end with Yeshua?  Jeremiah 31:35 “Thus says Adonai, who gives the sun as a light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars as a light by night, who stirs up the sea so its waves roar, Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name: 36 Only if this fixed order departs from before Me”—it is a declaration of Adonai—“then also might Israel’s offspring cease from being a nation before Me—for all time.”
  5. Does God love Israel (the Jewish people)?  Psalm 47:5(4) He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loved. Selah. And there are many more.  Deuteronomy 10:15 Only on your fathers did Adonai set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them—you—from all the peoples, as is the case this day. (See also Deut 7:7,8)
  6. We made this point in a few of the previous statements.  God loves Israel because He cannot lie.  Isaiah 54:8 In a surge of anger I hid My face from you a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says Adonai your Redeemer….10 Though the mountains depart and the hills be shaken, My love will not depart from you, nor will My covenant of peace be shaken, says Adonai who has compassion on you.

Well, that’s a bunch for today, more tomorrow.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 11 Sep 2023 25th of Elul, 5783 Erev Rosh Hashana
Ge 21:5-8 Nah 3 2 Ch 20:1-19 Rev 5 (Ac 13:26-52)